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Dean ignites Charlene and Pat's 'intimacy' problems on MAFS

With the last commitment ceremony sorted and just about a week of shenanigans left till this season's final decisions, it's impressive how MAFS' producers keep finding new hurdles to throw at their loved up contestants.

On Monday, the show was unapologetic on the shitstirring – with the couples forced to split for some deep-and-meaningful one-on-ones with each other.

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Dean and Charlene prepare for 'wife swap'

Sadly it's not the 'wife swap' Dean and the boys were blathering about, but an opportunity for each person to get an outsider's perspective of their marriages. Vision: Married at First Sight on Nine.

"The one-on-one is an opportunity for couples to look at the progress of their relationship in the experiment... It's an opportunity to use others as a soundboard," is how the experts sold it.

Really, it's just a last ditch at lobbing grenades at the polite romance. True to form, Dean Wells lands the most devastating hit.

He's been matched up with Charlene Perera, 'cause the show's execs aren't stupid.

The two all but came to blows at last week's dramatic dinner party, with Charlene standing up for the show's women in the face of toxic men's nonsense, and Dean defending his right to 'bro-talk' about wife-swapping.


Their meet-up, over burgers and cocktails at Sydney's Hubert, is delightfully passive-aggressive.

"I'm sure Charlene's going to teach me so much about myself," Dean tells the cameras with a punchy eyeroll.

"I'd love to ask what advice he'd give Patrick (Miller) and I and just see what he comes back with – so then I can shit down all over it!" Charlene returns.

Charlene doesn't waste any time. She grills Dean on the Davina Rankin episode, on "hitting on a quarter of the women here", on lying about what he said during "boys' night", on the whole "vibin' with Carly" Bowyer thing.

"If you screw Tracey over again, I will lose my mind," she tells him pointedly.

Dean still can't understand why the woman's "harping on" so much.

"I feel like Charlene wants to demonise me," he tells the camera. "I don’t get why she thinks what I did is so terrible? It doesn’t make any sense at all."

While we're all busy groaning, he pulls a dastardly ace from his sleeve, a bit of revenge therapy.

"You think I wasn't taking the experiment seriously?" he starts. "Well, I'll throw that back at you. I think you guys haven't taken the experiment seriously enough – because if you're so unhappy, why hasn't one of you guys said leave up unto this point?"

Charlene's taken aback. "What makes you think that Pat and I are so unhappy?" she replies.

"You just don't seem happy," Dean says matter-of-factly.

From there, we're shown Charlene and Pat, who is at his own one-on-one with Sarah Rosa, distressing over their lack of sex-life.

"She cringes any time she hears sex, and it makes me feel crap inside," says Pat. "I need that [grunts] connection."

Charlene's less interested. "In this experiment, if sex is the measure of success, #failure," she says.

The unexpected pivot in her exchange with Dean has left her rattled – next we see her, she's sitting forlornly on her couch, chugging white wine while the sun's still up.

Over what was supposed to be a romantic dinner, the couple bicker.

"I feel like you're scared, scared to get near me," Charlene tells Pat.

"Sometimes," he replies.

"Dude! Be a freakin' man!" she yells.

Well, that was unexpected. The sole united front at last week's yell-y dinner party appears to be on shaky ground, with their bedroom issues threatening an unexpected cliffhanger at week's end.

Never thought I'd say this, but thanks Dean we needed that.