As I predicted in my review of the previous episode, this episode switches the narrator to Ben and focuses on him.
The gang have been living in the house together for a couple of months now and Ben’s behaviour—specifically his apparently slow pace of getting the house painting finished, sending his tradie mates to Harry for skin checks, and his “nudie strolls” are bothering the others, especially Liz. Ben is completely oblivious to this and thinks his life is “finally on track.” While this can be excused as him thinking his life is good, when his secrets come out later in the episode, his words take on a whole new meaning.
Heather decides to have a chat with him on everyone’s behalf while he’s in the pool (naked of course) and tells him how they feel. When Heather tells them what happened, Liz decides they need to have an intervention, however Ainsley decides it would be a better idea to set up a letter writing system and drop them into a Housemate Feedback box. From there, Ben narrates and tells the housemates how he feels about them in his letters.
After his conversation with Heather, Ben goes to the hospital to apologise for Harry and ends up having a skin check. Harry finds an abnormal mole and Ben reveals he first noticed it last year. Ben gets a biopsy and Harry later reveals the mole is melanoma and he needs to have surgery to get rid of it as it’s larger than two millimetres. When Harry asks about his next of kin, it’s when Ben’s secrets come out—he has a 12 year old daughter, Mia, an ex-wife, Rebecca, and he hasn’t seen Mia in two years as he was in jail for possession of pot. Ben also reveals that he has been painting the house to make it presentable for them.
When Harry comes home from work, he finds the rest of the gang, bar Ben, are ready to give Ben an intervention, however Harry tells them it might not be the best night (although he can’t tell them why due to doctor-patient confidentiality).
Meanwhile, Ben’s letters are read throughout the episode—he adores Ains, praises Heather for her strength and expresses admiration for Liz, and thanks Harry for his help and encourages him to come out to his mother. Ben also reveals his melanoma diagnosis and impending surgery as a P.S. at the end of the letters. Heather reads her letter first and is therefore the first one in the gang to find out about it. She goes to the hospital to both support and give him a lecture. Rebecca and Mia then show up, and Harry and Heather leave the room. After they leave the room, Harry tells Heather about Ben’s secrets.
While Harry and Mia catch up, Harry, Heather and Rebecca are waiting outside. Harry and Heather talk Ben and the house up to Rebecca. Meanwhile Mia figures out that Ben has melanoma.
While Harry and Ben are in surgery, Heather organises Simmo and Ben’s tradie mates to get the house painting finished and gives Ainsley and Liz their letters. Once they’ve read them they’re motivated to pitch in and help finish the painting. Harry comes home and tells everyone Ben will be fine.
When Rebecca picks Ben up from the hospital and takes him home, he shows her the house. He later tells Heather that Rebecca was impressed and they are organising for Mia to come over every once in a while. He later thanks her for her support and kisses her. This was completely out of the blue, not just for Heather, but for me and from what I could tell on Twitter, many viewers as well. While Heather tries to dismiss Ben’s kiss as a drug-fuelled impulse, he tells her he likes her. I felt that this was a forced twist, I genuinely thought he liked Ainsley, however this twist provides the foundations for a love triangle that I hope is executed tastefully and as realistic as possible, and not dramatically or in a cheesy manner.
Overall this was a solid episode, with major character development in Ben, and the establishment of another story arc. From what I could tell in the promos for the next episode, it looks like the next episode will have Liz as the focus and narrator.
-According to Ben, the gang have been living together in the house for a couple of months.
-Apparently Ben sings on the toilet.
-Apparently Liz has a “being a total bitch” alarm that Harry sets off to warn her when she’s being a bitch.
-Harry is scrubbed up and dressed head-to-toe in medical gear, yet he speaks to Ben without his mask on in the OR. How is that not ruining the sterile environment of an OR?
Best one liners and interactions:
- “He’s doing nudie runs?” “Nudie strolls…leisurely nudie strolls.” (Heather-Liz on Ben)
- “For me and by no means is this a main concern, but I do have to bring up his lack of pants.” (Harry to the group on Ben)
- “I’m sorry but a penis is not an extenuating circumstance.” (Ainsley to Heather on Ben)
- “He’s the house mascot!” (Heather to Rebecca on Ben)
- “I think it was a combination of modesty, bashfulness and sheer idiocy.” (Heather to Ainsley and Simmo on Ben telling the gang about his melanoma and surgery through his housemate letters)