Why I’ve forgiven MAFS villain Ines
TRADITIONALLY, a Road to Damascus moment is a blinding flash of insight. But my wholesale
conversion to Team Ines Basic across the course of this season of Married At First Sight, was
a slower, deeper realisation, one that climaxed with her shining come-to-Jesus moment on
the couch with Elizabeth Sobikoff at last night's finale.
Let's start at the end, at the moment when the clouds parted and a white-robed, haloed Ines beamed down at me from the heavens.
Lizzie had just finished detailing the grubbier moments of her ill-fated relationship with her ghosting groom, Sam Ball. She insisted that Sam had led her to believe he was sexually attracted to her before giving his mates a very different account.
"I was being fed totally different things by him and then he's going around, 'She's a fatty who wants to bang me'," Lizzie raged.
That was when Mike Gunner, the show's in-house mansplainer, stepped in to defend his absent friend. Lizzie was in fact a fatty who did want to bang Sam, he corrected, and she should pipe right down.
Watching the scene unfold, Ines' eyes narrowed until she couldn't take it one more minute.
"Did you have a relationship with Sam?" she demanded to Mike, who looked confused because no, he didn't have a relationship with Sam but everyone knows he has been deputised to comment on everyone's relationships because of his special understanding of human nature.
"Did you spend time alone with him, like in a room?" she pressed. "Do you know him like she would know him or seen sides of him? Or like I have?"
Mike was just about to bring out his copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus and direct Ines to some of the bits he'd highlighted for use in moments exactly like this but Ines was unmoved.
"Are you hearing yourself?" she thundered and Mike looked confused again because of course he was hearing himself; that's the only thing he ever hears.
"Elizabeth deserves closure," Ines boomed. "She had some sort of connection and a relationship there."
And with that she expertly shimmied herself vertical in that tiny slip of a leather dress without flashing anything, which is a miracle of Biblical proportions in itself and joined Lizzie on the couch where she proceeded to reveal what could only be described as scraps, whole scraps, of humanity.
She tearfully confessed she finds it hard to open up to men, she apologised to Bronson and then - this bit was my favourite - she baldly admitted she has only three friends, which was one of those classic, thuddingly opaque and weird Ines moments on par with that time she wrote an Instagram comment saying she liked to r**t dogs, and I was sold.
I know Ines was monstrous at first. She screamed hysterically at Bronson on their honeymoon because they were on a boat. After her wedding day, she didn't exactly treat us to her best side when she told producers "I just want to punch (Bronson) in the jaw."
"Ines was very sharp-tongued and witty which we like for people who are going to be at dinner parties," he said.
Her more terrifying side only appeared later, and he said he hopes that we could understand where it came from.
"On the honeymoon she was quite scared of being on a boat. Under pressure that aspect of her personality came out that wasn't apparent to us on the way through (the casting process)," Walsh said.
"I hope over the course of the journey we got to see some of the reasons behind why Ines behaved the way she behaved. She was a refugee and her father had PTSD."
I was all about the Ines Journey. I've warmed hugely to that funny side the producers saw in the casting process. I like her honesty. I think there was something heartbreakingly vulnerable about her when she detailed what it's like to be told you're crazy by a guy who's just treated you like garbage, even if, as in her case, she is just a little bit crazy.
She's utterly transparent. And most of all I think she's a refreshing contrast to every other scheming bore on the show.
Others weren't quite so convinced by Ines' sermon on the mountain of cheap cushions.
"OK while they're all painting Ines as the victim can we all remember how awful she was to Bronson?" was one comment on Twitter to which I'd say - can we also all remember that Bronson is actually quite goofy and annoying?
But I'll leave it to this commenter to supply what is almost certainly going to be the last word on Ines Basic as she vanishes into merciful obscurity.
And that, readers, is the god honest truth, forever and ever Amen.