Real Housewives Of Melbourne (S04E04) "Dishing The Dirt"

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From photo-gate to bushfires, this episode packs a solid housewives punch.  We begin with Gamble and Sally at lunch.  Sally gave Gamble rave reviews of Luke’s 21st.  Gamble mentioned her lunch with Gina, telling Sally that she felt excluded from Gina’s dinner.  She also said that Gina is really close to Venus, and Gamble doesn’t trust Venus after hearing what Janet told them last episode regarding ‘photo-gate.’  Yes, we are reluctantly calling it ‘photo-gate’ now as it seems this story line is here to stay this season.

Gamble then tells us that she felt ‘left out in the cold’ and then “Gina brought on a new recruit”.  I’m really baffled at how personal Gamble is taking Gina’s friendship with Venus.  Perhaps we will learn more in future episodes that explain her resentment… but probably not.

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Sally’s advice to Gamble was to not worry about Gina and then Sally tells us that she doesn’t think Gina worries about how Gamble feels.  Sally tells Gamble to empower herself a little more which sounds like great advice.  Gamble tells us that she had unrealistic expectations in her friendship with Gina but that is now resolved.

Sally and Gamble then moved the conversation to ‘photo-gate’. Sally said that she found it creepy that Venus had photos of them and they wondered if Venus had deleted photos when she stormed off at the party to go to the bathroom.  Sally then tells us that while trying to think of a reason why Venus would want photos of her and her home, she’s “pissed off and creeped out” by it.

Gamble then tells Sally that she contacted her ex-partner (whose family owns Selfridges) to ask him about Venus and James.  Gambles ex told her that he has never heard of Lord James Nicholas Clark, and suggested that Gamble check Burkes Peerage for a record of James.  Gamble did that but there was no record of him online. Is Gamble turning into “cancer-gate private investigator” Meghan King Edmonds from the Orange County franchise? Is it possible that the franchises exchange tactics and plots with each other over Skype?

Gamble then went on to say nasty things about the way Venus looks, comparing her to an Alien baby.  Sally called their situation ‘new money’ and Gamble said “they have a poor man’s idea of what rich is”.

Venus and her sister Rebecca go car shopping as she is looking to buy a McLaren convertible.  This scene is completely bizarre and frankly unrealistic as Venus and Rebecca sit and chat in the $500,000 car about Rebecca’s reluctance to proceed with her upcoming wedding. Venus tells her sister to talk to her fiancé about how she feels.  She also tells Rebecca that she needs to speak to their parents because they are paying deposits for the wedding but she clarifies that Rebecca’s happiness is more important than the money being spent.

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Venus also told Rebecca all about ‘photo-gate’ and that the girls were aggressive in the way they approached her about the photos.  She tells us that she didn’t lie because when she went to the party she did not have photos of the girls on her phone. So, she did have photos at some stage, but deleted them before the party.  She said that she messaged her husband James when she went to the toilet and that she didn’t go there to delete anything from her phone.  She then shares a laugh with Rebecca saying the girls have first world problems.

Photo-gate is entirely peculiar to me.  The fact that one cast member has photos of another can’t possibly be an original concept.  We only have to google these women to find thousands of photos of them on the internet that any diabolical mind with a computer can download.  So, the problem is perhaps, how the ladies look in the photos, or what they were doing when they the photos were taken, and what did Venus plan to do with these mysterious photos?

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In the next scene, Lydia then takes Gina to one of her stomping grounds; the Prahran Fruit and Vegetable Market. When they walk in you can feel that Market buzz for a moment with the Hawkers shouting out to customers and the hum of background noise.  At the end of each week, produce that hasn’t sold, is packed in boxes and sold for the reduced price ‘somewhere’ for $15. Lydia is friendly with one of the green grocers John and says that when she can, she goes there on Sundays to help pack those boxes. Gina has come along on this day to also help but she said that she thought they were going to be selling produce which explains why she’s wearing a beautiful lace dress, high heels and diamonds. Looks like they had a bit of fun too as John was flirting with them using phallic shaped gourds, and Gina was stuffing her bra with pumpkins!  They finish up with Lydia telling Gina that she’s arranged a trip for them to go hunting for Truffles.

Next, we learn that Sally is going to hold her ‘Bloomfield and Webber Homewares’ launch in the ‘Nathan and Jacks Showroom’ in Richmond. Janet goes to visit Sally there and we learn a little more about Sally’s husband Ian who died recently.  Apparently, the shop was opened only a week after he passed away which would have been incredibly difficult for her. Sally told us that she had an instant connection with Ian when she met him and she described him as extraordinary man.  They were very close and she described them as inseparable since they first met.  She explained to Janet that Ian had aggressive throat cancer and that he was treated with chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery but the cancer kept returning more aggressively each time.  Ian also had his voice box removed, and that she didn’t hear him speak or laugh for the last couple of years of his life.

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Sallys tells us that you never really think that it will happen to you and she described the experience as surreal.  A lot of people who go through similar journeys with death and loss describe the surreal feeling that Sally mentioned. I’m going to be sensible for a moment and say that  the surreal state is one of the methods our own minds use to protect us from the full impact of the situation. We sometimes need to do this so that we can continue functioning. Some people feel so surreal that they describe the experience as being spaced out and distanced from what is going on.  Sally then told Janet that she cried for days but had to pull herself together as she needed to work in the shop. She had literally lost her best friend and it’s obvious that Sally had an amazing relationship with Ian. Sally also told Janet that it helps her to talk about Ian.  She said that she still cries, but tends to do that in places where no one is looking.  The whole situation would still be really raw for her.  She must be an incredibly strong woman to be functioning so well, raising two young boys, taking care of business and joining the cast of Real Housewives!

Janet also asked Sally about her lunch with Gamble.  Sally described Gamble as a bit “cheeky and a shit-stirrer” and Janet who is an experienced shit-stirrer herself agreed with her.  Sally went on to say that she likes those qualities about Gamble and they had fun at lunch.  When Sally mentioned that she’s been invited to go truffle hunting with Lydia, Janet wasn’t impressed that she had been left out.  Janet tells us that she owns a truffle farm and would have been the perfect person to go on the trip.  Janet then morphed into an 11-year-old child telling Sally that those girls are the “dark side” and that Sally can’t jump ship and join them on the dark side. Just as you  expect Janet to pull out Luke Skywalkers ‘lightsaber’, she goes on to give Sally a warning to not share her deepest secrets with Lydia. Sally seems pretty switched on to me. I doubt that she will need a great deal of coaching on how to handle the ladies.
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Next up, Venus, Sally and Gina pile into Lydia’s car along with the dogs Noodles and Figaro. After sorting out where Figaro will sit, they head off on their trip to hunt for truffles.  On the way Sally blurts out that Janet warned her about going to the dark side by joining them. Lydia and Gina ask Sally what Janet meant, and Sally suggests that maybe she has issues with some of the girls.  That’s an understatement!  Gina tells us that Janet should grow up and in return says that they should call Janet’s side the ‘plastic surgery side’.

They eventually arrive at Truffle Tressures in Daylesford.  They’re greeted by the staff ‘Nigel and Sue’ and their truffle hunting dog ‘Holly’.  They head off and Holly gets straight to work and finds a truffle right away!  Venus pops down on the ground and sniffs the earth saying it smells like fish.  Then Lydia gets down too, and says the ‘aroma is amazing’.  After digging it up they offer a sniff to Gina who lets out a loud “awahhh ewwww”, soon to be followed by Venus sharing that the truffle looks like testicles.
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They then sit down at a beautiful outdoor table setup for lunch. As the girls sit down, Lydia begins by saying that they’ll love this as its “right down their alley’s”.  Sally who isn’t familiar with ‘Lydia-isms’ tries to correct her with “up our ally’s, not down our alley’s”. Gina jumps in with “she gets it wrong, that’s why I love her”.  Lydia replies “no, no, down the alley” and this goes back and forth for a bit.

The soup gets served with some freshly shaved truffle on top.  The girls mostly seem to like it but Gina looks and sounds pretty disgusted by it.  She tells us that she doesn’t get it and tells the others that “it tastes like what it is, which is something that came out of the ground that is mould and fungus”.

They begin chatting about the other girls and Lydia explains that she feels a bit cornered by Jackie and Janet.  She says after their lunch with Janet, she is now being blamed for trying to cause a rift in Janet’s friendship with Jackie.  At the lunch Janet apparently said a lot of things about Jackie which left Lydia and Gina wondering if they had problems.  Gina said she was surprised because she’d never heard Janet say anything about Jackie before that day.  Gina clarifies this again by telling us that Lydia can’t be held accountable for problems they have and there were already issues when they met with Janet.  At that lunch, Gina and Lydia suggested to Janet that she call Jackie and invite her to join them.  When Janet called Jackie, she hung up on Janet and apparently this then led to Janet telling Gina and Lydia “things” about Jackie.  Lydia then tells us that Janet was saying that if Jackie knew she was telling them these “things”, Jackie would kill her. So which Lydia claims she said to Janet, “then don’t tell us, don’t tell us”.
Lydia told the girls she’s sick of being blamed for things and tells us that Janet “twisters (Lydia-ism) the story” because she knows that she has said too much about Jackie.  When Lydia said that Janet is annoyed with Jackie, Gina agreed saying “there’s no question”.  Lydia finished by telling us that “Janet’s loose lips told us everything” and she doesn’t think that Janet is being a good friend to Jackie.

At Janet’s party, it seemed as though Jackie thought it was unbelievable that Janet might talk about her behind her back.  This surprised me because one of the things I’ve learned in life is that if someone gossips about anyone else, they have the potential within them to also gossip about me.  Usually, this happens when there is just a little bit of extra strain on a relationship. I’m still waiting for the next episode for more information but I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s true because Janet is well known for gossip and is seen admitting to this herself on next week’s previews.   However, if it turns out to be true I don’t think it means that that Janet doesn’t care for Jackie.  If it turns out to be true, I imagine Janet will be feeling pretty lousy about it all –  but we shall see next week.

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Sally then brought up photogate by saying that Venus lied at the party by saying she did not have photos of the girls. Venus said ”no I didn’t lie” but Sally wasn’t buying it.  Sally went on to tell Venus that she was told there were 50 photos of them, some without makeup in their homes.  Venus claimed that Sally was misinformed and that this is what happens when people play Chinese whispers.  Then Venus tells us that she doesn’t understand why the women can’t stick to the facts. When asked if she has photos in her phone she answered honestly by saying no, but that they did not ask her “did you have photos” suggesting that yes, she did have the photos in the past tense. Venus then asks to have a private word with Sally because she didn’t want the other girls involved.  She tells Sally that she did have photos of the girls in the past but didn’t have them only longer when they asked her at the party.  Sally tells us that she doesn’t think Venus can tell the truth as she keeps changing the story.

Venus then told Sally that their mutual friend told her that she can have photos from his phone and they were selfies which Sally questioned as she says they haven’t taken selfies of each other.  Venus then says that ‘he’ took the selfies.  Sally can’t understand why she would want photos of people that she has just met.   Venus answered saying that she wanted a keepsake, and she wanted photos of all of the girls for memories.  Sally then asked her why she’d take photos from someone else’s phone, and Venus claimed that she did not steal the photos.  Sally also asked what Venus did at the party when she stormed off.  Venus told her that she went to the toilet and she messaged James to ask his opinion on whether or not to tell the girls what happened with the photos.  Venus tells us that they are just photos and its not as though she’s done something serious like sleeping with someone else’s husband.  She also said that half of Melbourne has photos of the women.  Venus finished by telling Sally it was an honest mistake and no malice was intended.

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Elsewhere, Janet has organised a wine tasting day for herself, Jackie and Gamble.  They are heading off in a helicopter and Jackie tells us that she doesn’t want to be ‘schlepping around in a car when she can just fly there in 20 minutes’.  They land in Levantine Hill Winery which looks absolutely picturesque.  As they get out of the helicopter Gamble takes a tumble onto the ground so to put the pesky fall behind them, they head inside to begin wine tasting.

Janet asks the others if they think Venus did take the photos of the girls.  Jackie said she hates liars and if she discovers that Venus lied about the photos, it would change the way that she thinks.  Janet then told the girls that the person who told her about photogate has sent her copies of the photos on her phone.  I was thinking that as it was such a big deal for Venus to have copies of these photos on her phone, that Janet then surely must have asked each of the girls first if they approved of her having copies sent to her on her phone? In truth though I suspect that this didn’t happen as Gamble and Jackie both looked surprised and Janet didn’t mention getting anyone else’s permission first.  It just seemed odd to me that they didn’t just forward each lady their own photos when they were such a big concern.
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Anyway, the photos showed that they have been sent to Venus previously.  When Janet shows the girls the photos they are shocked to see photos of Sam’s house.  Jackie says that although she looks good in the photos she finds it weird, concerning and creepy.  There was a photo of Sally without makeup and then Jackie held up a photo (that was blurred for the show) asking “what the fuck?”.

Just before the episode screened, news broke on social media that Venus had posted the shocking photo that Jackie held up. Venus showed a photo of herself with Jackie, Lydia and Gina at Sam’s house, taken the night of Janet’s party.  They were all fully dressed and glammed up so I’m hoping we learn next episode what was so shocking about the photo for producers to blur the image on screen.
Gamble tells us that now they have proof that Venus was lying as well as evidence that Venus tells lies.  The girls begin asking each other why she would lie and why she would want the photos.  Then they begin questioning the Lordship Titles yet again, but Jackie jumps in saying that she has heard something along the lines of their family being knighted.  Gamble then repeats what she said to Sally, that “they are the poor man’s idea of what rich is”, and then she tells us this means having Titles and showing flashy cars on your Instagram account but “they’re as rough as guts and behave like filthy bogans”. That’s a bit full on Gamble but maybe she has witnessed this bogan behaviour of which she speaks. It seemed that they convinced Jackie by the end of the conversation as she said” they’re trying to make out that they’re filthy rich when they’re not”.  We then end the episode with Janet dramatically saying “where there’s smoke there’s fire Jackie, and I’m telling you we’ve got a fucking bushfire here”.

Please don’t be shy and let me know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @beccamb777
Have a great week! Becca Balayance