If the handshake-dodging, date-crashing Thompson has had you fuming all season, hold on to your heartstrings because episode 11 promptly turns everything on its head.
It’s an inauspicious start though; the latest episode of Made in Chelsea begins with the Thompson clan (sister and brother, Louise and Sam), enjoying a saccharine sweet Christmas moment, playfully throwing baubles at each other by the tree.
Louise then announces that she is about to become the proud parent of…a dog…with muscle-bound fiancé, Ryan Libbey.
Unfortunately, all this sentiment does is provide a very real sense of how one feels after a big Christmas dinner with all the trimmings: ever-so-slightly sickened…
Fortunately, Liv Bentley is also in the room and, as ever, speaks her mind without fear or censor:
“I’m just not a dog person, couldn’t give a sh*t if I’m honest,” she says matter-of-factly, without causing offence.
Yes folks, people finally “get” Liv now.
And don’t worry – the pup was clearly unaffected by this insult:
Sam’s still affected by Habbs though…
Polite, smiley, and ever-forgiving, Sophie ‘Habbs’ Habboo loyally stuck by Sam after multiple indiscretions.
And then Sam fell in love with Habbs and was boundlessly enthusiastic about his golden girl, his doggish devotion only matched by his energetic enthusiasm.
(At times it is hard to understand how the Thompson family could ever need a puppy, when Sam possesses so many of their attributes.)
Sam committed to Habbs, offering her the key to his heart and hearth….and was then unceremoniously dumped by her at a party.
He is now grappling with the fact that Habbs will soon be coming around to his place to collect her possessions.
Louise, who has been in Big Sister Mode ever since the dumping, takes this opportunity to give Habbs another dressing down:
At least you can give her back all her bodycon dresses now.
A confused Sam, who is unlikely to have ever had an issue with an attractive woman wearing fitted clothing, laughs along politely.
Meanwhile, Miles Nazaire and James Taylor are clearly the designated light entertainment; the hapless duo are lugging about a Christmas tree and doing a wonderful job of playing “the Christmas goons” and “the Christmas Chuckle Brothers.”
Or at least that’s what the impossibly sophisticated Fredrik Ferrier names them while encountering the pair on a winter stroll.
Blond viking god, Fred, is accompanied by similarly coiffed Eliza Batten. The Durham University student is new and female – and so wouldn’t it be fun if Miles and James both fall for her immediately and unreservedly?
Luckily, they both oblige.
On bumping into the blond pair, they throw a lot of questions Eliza’s way, which she politely tolerates, in the name of “Just getting to know the beautiful Eliza,” while Fred (okay he’s Icelandic, not a viking) watches them in consternation.
Admittedly, it’s a few steps down from inviting a girl to a restaurant, only for her to find you playing the piano for her there (AKA Fred’s date with Mille Mackintosh in Season 1), but perhaps what the Chuckle Brothers may lack in dignity they make up for in boyish energy and humour.
Or so we have to hope…
As the pair bound off into the distance, Fred sums up their efforts:
I mean…literally Tweedledee and Tweedledum.
A giggling Eliza does not disagree…
Of course plot twists never get sillier than when they involve Mark-Francis Vandelli and Victoria Baker-Harber…
The current glimpse into the pair’s gilded life finds them in the illustrious surroundings of the Bentley Hotel – painting marzipan…
And if painting marzipan in your free time isn’t a cry for help (or a cry for a “proper job” at least), then what is?
“What a wonderful strawberry you’ve painted. You are so talented,” purrs Victoria as the pair prod at fruit-shaped marzipan with their paintbrushes.
At times like this it is helpful to remind ourselves that Mark-Francis and Victoria are probably in on the joke.
While Mark-Francis declares that this activity is the best thing about Christmas (at best, a highly contentious sentiment), Victoria is a tad less upbeat:
I think the best thing about Christmas is once it’s all over.
One thing that is supposed to be over, but never really is, is Olivia Bentley’s relationship with the long-suffering Digby Edgely.
Yes, Liv has decided that the best way to repair their relationship after her snogging both of the Chuckle Brothers, is to buy Digby “a promise ring.”
Which we’re fairly certain promises never to work.
Fortunately, besties Ollie Locke and Harry Baron are on hand to witness this act of folly and to dissuade Liv from buying the damn thing.
Harry, understandably, finds it a hilarious idea, while Ollie, even more understandably, looks confused and worried in equal measure.
“I didn’t invite you so that you could be judgemental, alright?” says Liv in retaliation, although she is unable to make this announcement with a straight face and is struggling to hide her mirth. “I need your opinion on the ring, alright?”
Essentially the ring symbolises Liv’s determination to “not be a bell-end anymore.”
“I didn’t think you bought jewellery for that,” observes a deadpan Ollie.
Neither did we, Ollie. Neither did we.
And although Digby will disagree, we personally think that there are far better gifts…
“I will support you with any decision that you want to do…” says Baron diplomatically, “but” (and it’s a big but) “I don’t think you guys are right together.”
Interestingly, Liv does not disagree…
Meanwhile, the Chuckle Brothers, who are now sporting obligatory Santa hats, are looking to lighten the mood in Chelsea by throwing a huge party – and there’s one person in particular Miles wants to invite.
Yup, it’s Eliza.
Apparently, “She’s quite good fun,” according to Miles, who has gleaned a lot from a 60 second conversation where he and Tweedledum did most of the talking.
“Let’s both have a chance with her,” says Miles, throwing down the gauntlet to James.
If there’s one thing these Chelsea chaps like doing it’s competing for an oblivious female.
But now let’s return back to one woman who certainly seems oblivious to Sam’s charms, our Habbs.
Having arrived at Sam’s doorstep, she is still the lovely Habbs of old – ever so polite, terribly civilised and decent – she’s returning the jewellery Sam gifted her with because it’s the right thing to do – which he promptly takes back without a murmur.
And is it any wonder? Frankly, the poor chap looks slightly stunned – and those disbelieving baby blue eyes look like they’re asking for a change of heart – in vain.
For Habbs says a few polite, kind things, and then quickly departs from his doorstep for the single life.
What Sammy needs right now is Jamie Laing in a Santa hat and some random carol singers at his door.
And that’s exactly what he gets.
Jamie is as baffled as we are that this has little effect on Sam, and is not the antidote to heartbreak it promised to be. “Are you just bummed out man? Really? Oh sh*t,” he says, genuinely horrified at his friend’s distress.
It doesn’t help that Sam had thought Jamie’s knock on the door was actually Habbs returning – ready to take him back.
But Jamie has more than enough passion for his best bud:
“You don’t understand how great you are… You’re amazing in every way. I can’t stress it enough,” says an emphatic Jamie who may be the first person on TV to spontaneously combust – so sincere is his desire to have Sam understand how wonderful he is.
And he spends much of the episode trying to prove just that. Look out for the owl he surprises Sam with – yes, that much-coveted present longed for by all those who are heartbroken.
But we’ll come on to all that later…
Right now, Jamie’s unabashed declaration of friendship is a genuinely Christmassy, heartwarming moment that the earlier Christmas tree scenario entirely failed to create.
Not that friendship can save Sam from his fate. For Habbs departed from his doorstep more certain than ever of not wanting to be with the youngest Thompson:
“It’s over now,” she tells bestie, Melissa Tattam “and I definitely made the right decision.”
“I can’t believe he took the necklace back,” says Melissa, who is perhaps not focusing on the most important point – which is that Habbs is moving on.
And as strange coincidence would have it, here’s Matt “that guy from the club the other night” strolling down the street, to help her do just that.
Naturally, he ends up getting invited to ice skating.
Which some of us would consider a date of sorts…
Melissa, never the biggest fan of Sam (watch any episode of this series to find out why) is delighted by the chemistry flowing between the pair but Habbs says she’s not ready to start dating.
“Don’t get any ideas,” she warns Melissa. Before adding, almost involuntarily, “He’s really good looking.”
Feeling sorry for Sam yet?
No? (Tough crowd.) Well, why not feel sorry for Eliza instead?
For the night’s ice skating outing begins with her standing about giggling confusedly while Miles and James do their blend of ‘banter’ and random in-jokes; the pair are clearly relishing being out after 7pm on a school night.
“I came here to skate…not for this mother’s meeting,” points out Eliza, who possibly realises that she’s surplus to requirements.
After all, who wants to be a third wheel in a blossoming bromance?
“You and I – I saw in your eyes – we both kind of like this girl,” says Miles after Eliza has wisely skated off.
They cheerfully agree to both make a play for her.
Which we thought they had already agreed.
Sam is also at the rink, having been dragged there by a jolly Jamie. Their friend, Sophie Hermann, has some advice on how to get over Habbs: “Either you go cold turkey with the ex….or you go full onto the rebound and f+ck everything that moves.”
This prompts Sam to say something that those who have been privy to his antics this season may heatedly dispute:
I’ve never been a f*cker.
Meanwhile Matt and Habbs have been having fun skating around their not-dating situation, or skating around on their non-date, depending on your view.
“It’s been really nice getting to know you better,” Matt tells Habbs, “Hopefully we can do something together soon..:”
“Sure,” agrees Habbs, without hesitation.
So, Habbs, this is what’s commonly known as…dating. You know, that thing you said you didn’t want to do yet.
Unfortunately, Sam’s recovery from heartbreak is now on thin ice as he’s spotted the pretty pair and wants to go home.
Looks like there are some ‘dates’ even Sammy won’t crash…
While Sam may be praying for better things at this point but his cast mates are the ones who have actually turned to God, presumably, for we later find his fellow sloanes in a church.
A place of reverence and worship.
And also, as it turns out, a place to send your crush notes (James to Eliza) and to gossip about your ex.
The latter conversation is between Digby and Harry, as Digby wonders, for perhaps the 5839th time, if he should get back with Liv, who has sworn to do anything she can to be his girl again.
Baron, scrupulously polite as always, manages to, ever so gently let Digby know that he thinks he’s being a bit of a silly:
It almost looks as if Liv could sort of do what she wants and you’d always go back there.
“I don’t think you guys getting back together now would necessarily be the best thing for the two of you,” adds our master of understatement.
You’ve got to hand it to Harry, he knows how to land a stinger without getting stung.
“Thank you for your honesty,” says Digby gratefully.
How does The Baron do it?
Meanwhile, Liv is also ruminating on her situation with Digby: “We speak and we hang out but not like we did when we were together,” she says, having perhaps grasped that there is a difference between being in a relationship with someone and not being in a relationship with them.
However, the break up isn’t going so well…
“When we’re not together, it’s sh*t,” continues an eloquent Liv.
“I feel like there’s unfinished business,” says Louise, encouragingly.
But we were kind of hoping Liv and Digby wouldn’t finish each other off.
“I feel like it’s exciting,” adds Louise, who is perhaps the only person rooting for round 757 of the Liv and Digby saga.
Meanwhile, uncle Jamie has some advice for Habbs about Sam, following her recent icecapades and ahead of the big party:
“Just be sensitive to the fact that he’s really upset,” Jamie asks of the Golden One, who agrees but looks slightly pained by the whole conversation – possibly because it generally takes a Chelsea boy 9 seconds to move on after a breakup and Sam just isn’t playing ball.
And so the scene is set for the big party…
Made in Chelsea parties always take place in stately rooms, furnished with men in smart suits and are peppered with disaster. Miles’ latest party is set to be no different but this time the Christmas theme has been artfully woven into the proceedings:
“What do you guys think about mistletoe at parties? Do you think it’s a forced thing…?” asks Alex Mytton of Sophie and Fred, ready to stir a pot that has long since gone off the boil.
Naturally, there happens to be some mistletoe not 10cms away and, within seconds, Mytton is waving it in front of the pair and suggesting that they “meet in the middle.”
Fred looks genuinely perplexed by this turn of events, given he has spent the entire series not flirting with Sophie.
However, Mytton gets his peck – the pair politely kiss each other.
Could they have moved away from each other any quicker?
Romeo and Juliet it ain’t.
Meanwhile, our lovelorn Romeo, Sam, is reflecting on 2018 with his sister Louise and fiancé Ryan:
It’s quite a year, guys. You’re engaged – I’ve been dumped twice.
Oh dear. It’s clearly time to head on back to the light entertainment…
It’s back to the Chuckle Brothers, and Tristan Phipps…
Yes, there is occasionally a third-wheeler to the Chuckle Brothers, in one Tristan Phipps, who seems unusually invested in their double act.
However, it isn’t until the party, that we start to suspect the wily fox’s motivations.
“How’s this little love triangle working for you?” asks an amused Phipps of Eliza. It is evident that by hanging out with the Chuckle Brothers, Tristan has managed to position himself as extremely mature, purely by comparison.
Eliza, who is clearly not enamoured by either Chuckle bro, responds very aptly with: “That’s an ambitious term.”
After all, the threesome haven’t racked up so much as a peck on the lips out of their love triangle.
In fact, the whole thing is an epic fail. Without any of the epic-ness.
And so it is scarcely surprising that Tristan is going in for the kill…
“Shall we go and meet the guests – and have a drink? One that you’ll actually enjoy..?” says ‘nice guy’ Phipps to Eliza, snubbing Tweedledee and Tweedledum while they look on, entertained.
“Cheeky,” says Miles, grinning his head off.
The pair then clink glasses, perhaps celebrating the fact that they no longer have to pretend-flirt with someone they were never remotely interested in.
Perhaps, the fun-loving pair are just playing for laughs, but Miles, at least, has somehow managed to reinvent himself, in Habbs’ generous eyes.
Simply by dint of inviting arch-enemy Harry Baron, and his girlfriend, Melissa, to the party he has come off smelling of roses.
“I feel like he’s a new man,” says Habbs of our giggling 22 year old.
The jury’s still out, Habbs… Let’s see what happens next season, eh?
Meanwhile, Sam is deftly killing her with kindness, by returning her necklace to her c/o bestie, Melissa.
Habbs is given a box, with a note from a generous Sammy, saying: “This belongs to you.”
If Sam wanted to make his ex cry, he certainly succeeds.
Tears ensue, as Sammy proves that he really is a sweetie after all.
“Oh no, you’re making me upset, bless him,” says Melissa, looking perilously close to crying herself.
“I just feel so bad. It’s just really sad,” says a miserable Habbs.
Well, Miles – this party has certainly lightened the mood, just as you said it would…
And now it’s the moment you haven’t been waiting for.
Yes, Digby and Liv come face-to-face at the party.
And, in keeping with the party’s theme (misery), neither one of them comes even close to cracking a smile:
“What do you really want (for Christmas)?” Liv asks Digby
“Liv, like I’ve said, I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship with you. But I can’t let myself trust you. So much stuff has happened – which is why we need time to figure it out, and jumping into anything is just completely stupid.”
The man talks sense.
“Right now…jumping into a relationship is not where I’m at,” he tells a disappointed Liv, who thankfully, does not start bawling.
So, that’s that.
On a more positive note, it’s time for Jamie to give Sam his owl…
But as it turns out, it’s what the owl is carrying that is the gift…
Yes, Jamie has a present for “one of the greatest guys I know in the world.”
In a fitting story arc, Sam has let go of some jewellery, and a girl – now he gains some jewellery, and a friend – for life.
For Jamie has gifted himself and Sam with matching feather bracelets.
And these bracelets are symbolic:
Feathers, dude. Constantly floating and never landing anywhere. Always all over the place.
It’s certainly an apt description of the pair.
And a gesture truly worthy of a best bud.
More waterworks, this time from Sam. And you?
And now we know why mid-winter was considered so bleak.
Tears all around.
Merry Christmas everyone…
Is Sam one of the greatest guys in the world? Is Tristan a wolf in sheep’s clothing? Will Habbs sell her necklace on Ebay? Will Sam sell his bracelet on Ebay? Have you started searching for necklaces and bracelets on Ebay? Was this episode the soggiest one yet?
Let us know how you felt about the end of season finale – go to the comments section below!