Dumped: Sobbing Dean destroyed
AFTER exposing his insecurities and declaring his love for Tracey, Married At First Sight's cheating groom Dean is left shattered and in tears when his wife mercilessly rips his heart out at their vow renewal ceremony.
"Tracey, after all we've been through and all we learned ...," Dean tells Tracey, choking back tears as he reads his vows to her while standing in the paddock of a random farm. "I now know that I love you and I want to have a future together."
Tracey has a choice. She can go home with this man who once strayed but now loves her. Or she can hurt Dean and leave him humiliated - making him ache the same way she did when he cheated.
She gives her lips one long final lick as she contemplates the decision.
Under a tree on the picturesque property, with the warm afternoon light flickering through, Tracey holds Dean's heart up in the palm of her hand. And then she crushes it.
"You don't deserve me," she says, staring into the wide, adoring eyes of the man who loves her. "I'm so sorry, Dean."
Just like Dean tried to "hib ip and quib ip" with Tracey, she's done it to him.
Dean sobs as he grips his face in his hands - his handwritten vows falling to the ground and fluttering away in the breeze. He turns away from the woman he just gave his heart to and walks.
He didn't expect this. He's blime-fib-eb, one might say. Was this Tracey's plan all along after the affair? To wait until Dean developed feelings only to dump him as some form of payback? Well played, if so, but we'll never know for sure.
It's the dramatic end we have to wait around for on Sunday night. Honestly, the first 40 minutes of the episode is about as interesting as watching Charlene watch water boil.
Before the vow renewal ceremonies, the couples are split up and sent home to reflect on what decision they'll make.
It's at this point we make a disturbing revelation about Dean: He owns two pink corduroy couches.
Over in Perth, Tracey's overwhelmed and confused. She doesn't know if she should follow her head or her heart or her lips. It's in these moments of desperation that humans often turn to a higher spirit for answers.
Tracey pads across the hardwood floor of her living room and into the bedroom. She lights several candles and smudges some sage around the room while humming. Tip-toeing up to her nightstand, she bows her head and kneels reverently in front of a large photo of the holy one: Oprah.
Unable to channel the spirit of the divine power, Tracey organises a lunch with her adoptive mum and her birth mum. She craps on about everything we've heard before and uses a lot of hand gestures and licks her lips frequently. To Tracey, it's all very compelling. To us and her mums, it's not.
"Now I'm feeling even more confused," Tracey tells us, blinking away tears. And of course she is. She just tried to get love advice from two old ladies and a crumpled photo of Oprah. She's even more lost than she was before.
But Tracey's not alone. Dean's also grappling with this final decision. Away from his wife,
he spends these valuable days alone looking for more woman to have an affair with.
Down in Melbourne, Pat gets all Carrie Bradshaw while writing his vows on a really old laptop.
It's no secret that Pat will stay with Charlene. But does Charlene feel the same? Last time we saw her, she was screaming "be a fricken' maaaaan!" at her husband in the middle of a real fancy restaurant.
At the coastal vow renewal, Charlene is dropped at the wrong end of the beach and she's forced to clamour over the rocky headland to get to the ceremony.
Pat cries and declares his love for Charlene and she begins to wonder if she wants to be the asshole who dumps the guy that cries.
"My strength has often left you scared. I know I am a strong, loud woman. So for me, it's really important to be with someone who can meet my strength," she says, loosely quoting the lyrics from the Destiny's Child hit Independent Women.
But just when I think she's going to start growling "be a fricken' maaaaan!" again, she changes gears.
"Let's do this!" she beams. It doesn't make sense but we really didn't care about their future either way so we don't question the decision.
We'd love to stick around for the reception, but we can't because we've got another ceremony to get to. Since it became socially acceptable to be super cheap and hold your wedding on a weekday, it's no surprise we're doubled booked. We apologise to Charlene, tell her the steak knives John Aiken bought her are also from us and jump in an Uber to head to Tracey and Dean's glamorous farm wedding.
Three hours later, our car pulls off-road and starts hurtling through a paddock in rural New South Wales.
We find Dean and Tracey standing under a tree and the vows begin. Dean tells his wife he loves her and owns up to his mistakes. We're disappointed he doesn't rap it.
"I strayed away from you. I lied to you. I embarrassed all of us," he says, wiping tears from his eyes. "But somewhere deep in my heart I knew there was something I needed to grasp onto. I could've easily ran off with the other woman. [But] I realised how amazing you are in so many ways. I'm taking this very seriously."
He chokes up. It's the most vulnerable we've seen Dean. He's not the cocky, toxic bachelor that entered this competition. He's changed.
"Tracey, after all we've been through and all we learned," he sobs. "I now know that I love you and I want to have a future together."
Dean looks at his wife with loving eyes. After all the pain this man has caused her, Tracey knows she now holds the power. Dean can't do anything more to hurt her. But if she wants to destroy him, she can. And she does.
Tracey slowly runs her tongue over her lips one final time.
"Standing in front of you is a woman who has understood you and all your BS," she tells her husband. "I feel like you have met your match in me. This experiment has reminded me that when I love a person I must not forget to take care of myself, too. That I trust too easily. This experiment has shaken me awake … and helped me see what I'm worth. And unfortunately, Dean. You don't deserve me."
Dean's eyes strain and well up. His lips purse. I've managed to identify and screenshot the moment his heart is ripped out.
"I'm so sorry, Dean. But I have too many doubts to trust you," Tracey says. "With so much murky water under the bridge, I just can't continue this relationship with you."
Dean doesn't know what to do. He turns away and drops his handwritten vows on the ground.
With his hands in his pockets, he walks away. The sun shines and the sunflowers that line the path beam, almost mocking him.
"I don't know what to say," he says, turning back to Tracey. "I thought everything was OK? I can't deal with this right now."
Dean's winded by the heartbreak and he stumbles away, leaning against a fence in the paddock. Will he be OK? We don't know. And he's not Tracey's problem anymore.
She turns away and slides into the chic vintage limo she arrived in.
No, she didn't find the love she came here for. Instead, she was humiliated and had her heart publicly broken. But she's not going home alone entirely. Back in Perth, on the nightstand next to Tracey's bed, there's a worn-out photo of Oprah. And she's smiling.
For more observations on pink corduroy couches and the divine power of Oprah, follow me on Twitter: @hellojamesweir