‘The Ultimatum: Queer Love’ episodes 5-8 recap: “People just offer me unconditional love”
By: Dani Leever
This week really kept us LGBTs satiated. We had FOUR new episodes of the most chaotically trash TV show of all time: The Ultimatum: Queer Love.
Welcome to the recap of The Ultimatum: Queer Love episodes 5-8, where we learn that love is a lie, Lexi has a hot mum, the stereotype of lesbians saying “I love you” after 2.5 weeks exists for a reason, and some people don’t shoo their dog off the bed before having sex.
I’m Dani, Archer’s Online Editor. I’m gay and love reality TV, so welcome. If you missed my first recap (written in a fugue heartbroken state; I stand by nothing), head here.
These four episodes were absolute mayhem. The breakdowns, breakups and breakthroughs: you can’t write this shit.
(Literally. I believe The L Word: Generation Q tried to reach this level of dyke drama and just couldn’t. Nobody does chaos better than real life lesbians.)
Let’s go through couple by couple. But first, can we please talk about the music in this show? The hyper-specific lyrics from songs feel as though they’ve been downloaded off a site called GayStockMusic.com, lol.
Here are a few of my favourite examples:
- Mildred and Aussie have a huge fight. Aussie leaves (classic). Lyrics: “It’s madnessss, how did it get to this”
- Xander reveals to Vanessa that they slept with Yoly. Vanessa sits on Xander’s lap and says she missed them. Intense, brooding music plays. Lyrics: “Watch out… watch out… they’re coming for you” (Subtle.)
- Tiff and Sam try to connect on their last night, but it’s just not happening. Lyrics: “No one ever told you how to open up”
- Xander and Yoly stare into each other’s eyes. They’re about to bang. Lyrics: “I’ve got it bad, baaaaad, but it feels so good”
Mildred and Aussie
The yikes have remained. These two are a disaster.
Aussie initially comes off as guarded and avoidant, and throughout the show slides into a conflict-fearful and full-blown trauma response. Mildred is very confrontational, and their final argument shows the peak of their incompatibility.
In her defence, Mildred initially tried to approach Aussie with more calmness than she had previously, only to be met with: “I’m going back out with the boys, I can’t be fucked with this conversation.” AUSSIE!
Aussie leaves, as is an unbreakable habit of Aussie’s. Mildred reflects on her abandonment issues and again, I love the gays. Do you think we’d ever hear a hetero Bachelor contestant say: “When they walked out, it reminded me of deep wounds I have from being left by my family. I am noticing abandonment triggers.”
Yoly and Xander
These two hornbags just said “I love you” after 2.5 weeks. They tie-dye T-shirts and talk about how gays never show their clavicles. They show each other how much money they have in the bank for a baby. I LOVE THEM.
While all other couples are disintegrating, these two are single-handedly upholding the concept of The Ultimatum, much to their exes’ dismay.
Mal and Lexi
It takes a strong person to admit they were wrong, and when I said these two were endgame last week, I was extremely incorrect.
They meet Lexi’s hot mum and nonchalant dad, who seem weirdly unfazed by all of this drama. Lexi’s mum is sure Mal and Lexi won’t last. Lexi disagrees, saying two weeks is basically the same as six months, seemingly forgetting how the passage of time works. Ah, the gays.
They hang out with Mal’s friend Alicia, who is a fucking star. They need their own spin-off, stat. Lexi, famously 24 years old, boasts about being 24 years old (“Do you know how old I was in 2007?”) which Alicia calls a “cute red flag waving in the wind”. Iconic.
Alicia’s reality check sends chills down Mal’s spine, and they switch off from Lexi. They lie in bed like a plank of wood on their last night, with the fear of God in their eyes.
Tiff and Sam
Tiff has taught Sam to speak up for themselves and Sam has taught Tiff that it’s possible for conflict to be constructive, not toxic. They have zero chemistry, but what a pair.
Another icon friend enters the picture: Tiff’s masc pal, Samantha. Samantha is understandably confused and skeptical about this whole situation. They pick up Tiff and Sam’s lack of chemistry and challenge them to try and cuddle, which later leads to the most awkward spoon ever captured on screen.
Vanessa and Rae
Rae wants to get the fuck out of here. Vanessa is satisfied with stirring the pot. Their sex continues to be the scandal of the series.
Lexi watches from a distance, fuming.
During a dinner that you couldn’t pay me one million dollars to attend (imagine: your ex and their new partner talk about how in love they are, right before you leave with said ex to start a three-week fake marriage), a LOT goes down.
- Vanessa reads an ‘apology’ to the group, stating her views on marriage have changed. Yoly replies: “Your apology is performative.”
- Aussie claims shutting Mildred out didn’t actually happen. Aussie likes calling people “mate” in conflict. Tiff steps in, telling Aussie that leaving the marriage was a weak move. Everyone agrees.
- Lexi makes it clear that she would lay a curse on Vanessa’s bloodline if given the chance.
- Xander and Yoly confess their love for each other in front of their exes, and I didn’t breathe for several minutes.
- Vanessa classically says: “People just offer me so much unconditional love.” It’s unclear whether it’s said with deep reflection or unhinged ego, or just because Vanessa likes to say random shit like this.
The original couples are back together. I watched this shovelling mozzarella sticks into my mouth with a friend, and every time a couple’s name would come on screen, we’d moan and brace for chaos, proving this show has gone off the rails.
Sam and Aussie
Ooof. This was a tough watch. These two navigate some big conversations about gendered dynamics, conflict styles and conservative families (although, how has it never come up with Sam that Aussie isn’t out to their family?).
Sam is initially gentle on Aussie, declaring about the dinner party: “You kind of got chewed up tonight.” Lol.
At best, Aussie leaves a room whenever a conversation kicks up a single notch.
At worst, Aussie has a complete breakdown outside a restaurant after Sam comments on Aussie’s avoidant nature. The breakdown highlights Aussie’s deep childhood trauma, which is a scary thing to be just realising during a reality TV show. While trying to debrief in bed, Aussie becomes volatile and dismissive, eventually walking out the door (again). Aussie eventually comes back inside, but, my god, Sam is a queen and deserves someone on her level.
Mildred and Tiff
Tiff’s hot friend just helped us uncover the news that these two lovebirds have broken up over 52 times. They got fired by their couple’s counsellor who thought they were beyond help. Mildred sees Tiff constantly returning after she dumps them as a sign of love.
Therapists everywhere are quaking.
Somehow, many, many moons into this relationship, they realise that interrupting each other constantly isn’t a good thing.
They have a fireside conversation that contains such bangers as: “You can stop being an asshole, but I can’t stop being a Latina!”
Their subsequent arguments suggest that this conflict cycle is very likely a never-ending one.
Vanessa and Xander
Vanessa’s gaslighting and belittling continues. It’s tough to watch.
Upon learning how much Xander and Yoly have bonded, she takes Xander up in a hot air balloon and reads another handwritten letter, claiming she’s finally ready to give them a proper shot.
Is it authentic? Honestly, I believe Vanessa thinks so, but it’s also clear she’s now realising Xander is capable of finding love elsewhere and is panicking.
Vanessa’s own dad (who thinks marriage is a sham because humans grow to be too old these days) asks if she really wants Xander back or is perhaps floundering because she’s about to lose them, and will try anything to avoid the ego hit. It’s a surprisingly fair call from this man who loves to dump people after three months, but Vanessa refuses to see this as a possibility.
Mal and Yoly
Mal’s worst fears were that Yoly would fall for whoever came into her life next, and that’s exactly what happened.
The situation is a messy love triangle, with Yoly stating she’s in love with both Mal and Xander, while they both reciprocate. Mal appears to be the most secure in the whole cast, handling the situation with more grace than most could. They’re also really hot and kind and deserve the world.
Mal’s changed their tune on marriage, proving there might just be something to this whole ultimatum bullshit (I’m kidding, it’s chaos). And they want to marry Yoly.
Lexi and Rae
For god’s sake, someone get Rae out of here. My pal pointed out that these two are having the same conversation every scene, just in different chairs.
While eating tacos on the beach (which Lexi claimed ruined her docs), they have a fight about Lexi not feeling let in, and Rae feeling smothered and rushed. A few seagulls get extremely close during the climax of the conflict. They are braver than most.
Rae then has to sit through a dinner with Lexi’s hot mum and nonchalant dad listening to Lexi absolutely dunk on her.
In regards to the “betrayal”, we find out two conflicting pieces of information:
- Prior to the experiment, they agreed that sleeping with people would be okay.
- Rae told Vanessa at The Choice dinner that she’d “never” sleep with Vanessa.
Lexi’s utter hatred of Vanessa doesn’t let up for a single second, arguably creating the very volatile dynamic she’s trying to avoid. It’s ironic, given Lexi and Vanessa aren’t too dissimilar in their self-absorbedness.
Lexi cracks it at Rae for hugging Vanessa at drinks. Help.
This lesbian drama is chaotic and delicious. Yum.
My predictions for the finale:
- Tiff and Mildred get engaged, and break up the next day.
- Mal proposes to Yoly, who says no – SAD.
- Vanessa proposes to Xander, who says no – not so sad.
- Xander proposes to Yoly, who says yes (they have the baby money to think about).
- Sam decides she doesn’t want to stay with Aussie, but Aussie has already left the show.
- Lexi wants Rae to marry her, but Rae says no.
- Xander and/or Mal decide they want to date me, instead. A guy can dream.
I’ll end each review with quotes from local queers about why this show rules:
“For years we’ve stewed on hetero trashy reality TV, and it’s finally our time to see ourselves within the trash. Lesbians were built for this kind of format. Though the show has a ridiculous premise, it’s actually believable that a lesbo can fall in love with someone else in a week and then all the exes and lovers frolic together in social settings. That’s just standard practice for us.” – Miller (they/he/she)
“Are the gays okay?” – Liv (she/her)
Dani Leever is a non-binary nonfiction writer, editor and DJ from Naarm. They’re Archer’s Online Editor – a role they truly think is the best role on planet Earth. They love The Veronicas, pinot grigio and playing Nintendo Switch in the bath.
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