Stephanie has only been in Manhattan for about 45 seconds, but she’s already acquired a giant dog. It’s about the same size as Lucy, who is terrified. ‘It hates me!’ she squeals, as the pup slavers in her direction, clearly eyeing up her grill. Also slavering is Sam, who has gone across town and dragged everyone with him in order to sample the ice cream at Oddfellow’s ice cream parlour. ‘I’ve brought you all here because this is where you get the best ice cream in the Tri-State area!’ be beams, before crumpling. ‘I have no idea what that means.’ Still, he’s not sad for long – he’s ordered a banana split the size of Stephanie’s new dog. ‘I feel sick looking at that!’ shouts a weirdly furious Louise. We’re not quite sure why she has such strong opinions about the amount of ice cream that her little brother is allowed to eat. We can only assume that she’s reached the point everyone who has ever vacationed with a sibling is familiar with, when, no matter what they do, if they’re in your eyeline you could cheerfully and methodically stab them to death with a wooden chip fork. The way they use the ATM! The way they hold their map! The way they breathe. Happily and miraculously, Sam is oblivious to all of this. When Louise tears up at the idea of being separated from Alik, he suggests cheerfully ‘You could make a collage!’ Dude, maybe take yourself away for a walk around the block or something. Otherwise that collage is going to be decorated with your capillaries.
Alik is also getting emotional during a bois boat trip. ‘I could open up a leather shop in England!’ he exclaims, and viewers everywhere rejoice at the idea of Alik tempting Ollie Locke back into the fold with some KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON chaps. Spencer isn’t so much pissing on his parade as dumping the contents of the Download Portaloos all over it. ‘You’re almost too nice a person [for Louise]. We had a friend called Andy, the nicest guy, and she just got bored like that.’ Yeah, and whose fault was that, Spenny? Beneath that powder blue life jacket and layer of Shake Shake comestibles beats a heart of pure dastardliness.
Binky appraises Lucy of the Stephanie Stevie Billie triangle, while informing Lucy about Liberty (‘You can’t go up her any more’) and then a heartbroken Billie has it out with Stevie. ‘I refuse to be your rebound girl,’ she huffs, while the hand holding her drink remains perfectly still. Bloody hell Billie, don’t do us out of a drenching. You can always get another one. Perhaps she’s waiting for an opportunity to push Stevie into a bigger body of water. Happily, Mark Francis is obliging. He’s organising ‘a little boat affair on the Hudson. I’ve invited everyone. I can always throw anyone I don’t like off.’ So far, so classic MF. Less traditional is his mode of transport – Binky has persuaded him into a Central Park carriage. ‘Do I look like a tourist? I’ve bought half of New York!’ he huffs. One suspects monied America would fall over itself to offer him citizenship.
Lacking a major storyline, Biscuits has been reduced to spending $700 on a hair-growth helmet. ‘I bought it from an informercial,’ he explains to the bois. ‘I thought they were talking to me. They said “you” and they pointed at me. It’s full of LED lights, which stimulate the hair follicles and make them grow,’ he explains, rather than improvise a less embarrassing lie. ‘Guys, I’m playing Transformers! It’s really fun, join in! I’m the main one, because I’ve got the magical helmet...’
Elsewhere, Rosie bumps into Jana and Jules, who confirm Rosie definitely did the right thing by saying ‘I wanted to reach out to you.’ RUN, ROSIE! RUN QUITE FAST! Louise is trying to work out a way to deal with leaving Alik behind, wailing ‘I just want to postpone being upset!’ as if emotions are inconvenient meetings one can wriggle out of with some passive aggressive Outlook calendar scheduling. And Proudlock and Lucy are having a suspiciously cosy date on a roof. It’s hard to work out exactly what’s going on because Proudlock is shirtless, his hair flowing from his scalp which is protected from the elements by a sporty red bandana. I’m sorry I was so mean about the topknot, please put it back. Put it back now.
Stevie and Stephanie have a date in the botanical gardens, and Stephanie manages to say the word ‘Billie’ less than 11 times. ‘I’ve seen a bug!’ she beams, heading towards a bemused Stevie, who hasn’t been eating his heart out for months on end in order to have a sexy reunion with David Attenborough. They move onto a bar. ‘You’re so lucky I love you, because your chat is the worst. I don’t know how you ever got Billie,’ smirks Stephanie. Let’s be charitable and assume she’s not being bitchy, she’s reminding everyone of the storyline because she’s got a US TV background and they have more ad breaks in the States.
It’s a good thing that she’s got such a top memory, otherwise we’d all wonder why their date is being interrupted by a blonde in the slinky white dress who is looking at Stevie as if she’d like to bang him over the head repeatedly with a saucepan and then chuck his unconscious body on the top of a Wimbledon bound bus. Oh, yeah. It’s Billie! ‘Can we talk?’ Stephanie asks Billie’s perfectly spherical breasts as Stevie turns a pale chartreuse. ‘I’ve been nothing but honest with you,’ says Stevie, pleadingly. ‘There’s a difference between being honest and being vague,’ snaps Stephanie, who is visibly playing back every single moment where Skype chat cut out and getting increasingly paranoid.
We’re holding our breath and waiting for some kind of a fist fight, but being Yanks, Billie and Stephanie hug it out. ‘Why would I date someone whose heart is somewhere else?’ cries Billie. ‘Because he told me it wasn’t!’ sobs Stephanie, in a scene that probably pre existed as a DVD extra from The Hills. Billie slinks off to meet ‘a friend’ – Spencer, natch – and Stevie and Stephanie remain in the bar for some silent, moody staring.
Still, no time to mope, we’re off to Mark Francis’ boat affair. Mark looks divine in a pale blue suit and coordinated floral pocket square, but clearly has infernal intentions. ‘I do hope no-one suffers from sea sickness!’ he coos, giving an oblivious Spencer some serious side eye. Spenny, I really don’t think he likes it when you call him ‘Markie’. We discover Mark Francis has a ‘small’ 15 tonne container booked to transport his shopping back to England. We can only hope that the bulk of the weight is comprised of Alik’s hand made leather trousers.
Leathery Alik lets slip that Proudlock and Lucy have been hooking up, so Biscuits marches over and confronts them. I think they’d take him more seriously if he were still wearing his hair growth helmet. ‘We were very drunk, we kissed, that’s it,’ said Lucy. (Side note – your dedicated reviewer failed to pick up on this also, and no amount of rewinding is helping her to solve the mystery. If you can tell her when Lucy first puckered up for Proudlock, she will send you a Twix or Snickers.) Biscuits claims he has a right to be cross because Lucy was so angry when he slept with Riley. Yes, Biscuits, but nothing Lucy said or felt actually prevented you from sexing Riley, did it?! ‘It’s not like it means anything!’ protests Lucy. Proudlock’s face is inscrutable. Hmmmm.
Alik, unaware of the havoc he has unleashed is telling Louise that he loves her, and he’ll come to London with her. ‘If you’re willing to put the effort in, I’m willing to put the effort in.’ And to celebrate this intimate, tender moment, everyone else on the boat comes along to leer at them, waving their arms in the air and shouting ‘Wahey!’ and probably ‘Go on, my son!’ Gotta love romance.
We’re super sad to see our chums leave Manhattan, but we can’t wait to welcome them back to London later this Autumn. Let’s hope for more leather, bigger dogs, bigger ice creams, fancier boats, a hairier Biscuits and hot dogs that Mark Francis can enjoy with relish.
Hero of the series
We’re going to have to give this to Binky, who has transformed herself from moper to joker and recaptured her joie de vivre in the most delightful way. The best revenge is living well, and Binky has executed revenge on Alex brilliantly, just by having a nice time. Brava, ma petit choux fleur! Special mentions must go to Anna Louise and Mark Francis, who helped put Binks back together. People with two names are clearly a great influence on lovely Binky.
Villain of the series
The tough thing about MICNYC is that there was no clear series villain. Spencer and Biscuits were arses, granted, Jules should have told Rosie that he regularly samples a vaginal array, Stephanie may or may not have stolen that giant dog... so let’s give it to poor old Sam, whose displays and behaviour have probably made everything a little bit harder for every Brit hoping to head to Manhattan over the coming 12 months. We’ll all be keeping our heads down and avoiding the bus tours.
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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.