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Party Down South‘s finale has me in a hot mess of emotion

The time has come, y’all. After five fun-filled seasons, we say goodbye to Party Down South — all the funnels, the marlins, the duck calls and the drama — with tonight’s series finale.

The episode picked up where we left off last week, with our newly reformed Mattie on the verge of going full Martha up in the bar. They manage to get her sassy ass in the cab, but it’s clear from her incoherent ramblings the night is going nowhere good fast.

More: Party Down South insider spills on the first explosive brawl of the season

Complicating matters, of course, is the fact that Bubba inexplicably picks this volatile cab ride to pick a fight with Tiffany about the status of their relationship. Dude! I hope your timing is better in bed.

Back at home, with Hurricane Martha brewing, most of the housemates decide to turn in for the night — also known as totally chickening out. Lauren, being the fearless warrior she is, decides to try to fill Tiff’s shoes (Tiff, who is still trying to reassure Bubba) as the Martha Whisperer.

Image: CMT

She manages to get Mattie inside, but that doesn’t improve matters much. Until, that is, Mattie confirms she truly is my spirit animal by getting distracted AF by some pizza. Just as quickly as the storm rolled in, it has passed. Thank God for pepperoni.

But, wait, would this trick have worked all these years?

“If all it took was pizza, trust me, we would have had pizza delivery on speed dial a long time ago,” SallyAnn Salsano, 495 Productions president and founder, and creator and executive producer of Party Down South, jokingly told SheKnows in an exclusive interview. “Seriously, though, it just goes to show how much she has grown personally, and hopefully seeing this inspires her to keep growing and showing others that it may not be easy, but it sure as hell is possible.”

Pausing, Salsano reconsidered, “Or maybe she was really hungry… I mean, personally, pizza calms me down.” Amen to that.

Meanwhile, in bed, Tiff is still coddling Bubba. The night ends with cuddles and tears — not the combo anyone was likely hoping for — and the next morning Bubba writes a note on Tiff’s mirror and slips out.

Not before kissing her head and telling her he can’t wait to marry her, though. Whoa, whoa, whoa, bruh. Like, eight hours ago you were accusing her of harboring feelings for her ex. Pump the brakes.

More: Party Down South insider weighs in on Tiffany Heinen’s major boyfriend drama

Tiff is left with a lot of uncertainty about her relationship, understandably. “I know there’s more to the world than Eunice, Louisiana, and I f***in’ intend to see it,” she says, “and I don’t want to see it with a baby on my hip.” You spread your wings, girl.

Happily, there is at least one relationship in the house on much more solid footing: Walt and Daddy’s. In a sweet moment, the guys open up about how much they love and respect each other. D’aw!

Over a meal the next day, the gang decides they had better get it goin’ for one final night out (*tears*), and everyone is hoping this will be the night Lyle finally hauls in a marlin to replace Santana.

Things start off promisingly enough, as a cute brunette seems to be eating up his every word. He politely passes on her, however, explaining she wasn’t an “upgrade.”

To be honest, he may have dodged a patchouli-laced bullet. Mere moments after Lyle cuts out, the brunette is giving Murray a lap dance. After that, she is rubbing some mysterious “natural” balm all over Daddy’s back.

She wasn’t easy to shake, either. “OMG! The boys had a hard time getting away from her. She was rather persistent. It wasn’t just our guys — it was everyone in the bar. The bar owner eventually couldn’t handle her either and had her escorted out. Just another night down South!” said Salsano.

When they get back to the house and Santana calls, everyone is afraid Lyle is going to be manipulated once more by her, uh, womanly charms, especially when she tells him she’s still wearing her ring.

Lyle’s a Boudreaux, though, baby! He secured his Season 5 MVP status with what will go down in PDS history as the best breakup ev-er, saying, “Santana, we’re nothing. We’re never gonna be anything.”

Image: CMT

He followed that up with a whole bunch of other good stuff and some metaphor about Gilligan and being marooned, but — real talk — I was too busy doing my happy dance to catch it verbatim.

And I wasn’t the only one. Salsano revealed that Lyle’s speech earned quite the positive reception on-set. When asked if anyone expected his diatribe, Salsano said, “Expecting? No. Hoping? For sure! He got a standing ovation from 20 people in the control room that night. One of my favorite Lyle moments ever.”

More: Lyle Boudreaux’s romance woes on Party Down South are far from over

To honor all of the memories the gang has shared over the years, Walt decides to create a time capsule with his bare hands. He’s so manly and resourceful, that one.

While he’s putting the finishing touches on the box, Lyle thanks him for being such a solid friend these last two years. The outlook for these two was bleak in the beginning, remember? Now they really love each other. Again with the feels.

For their last night in the house, they decide to have a huge cookout. The girls decorate aprons for everyone, and it makes me weirdly emotional. Where’s a hug from Sugarbear when a girl needs it?

During dinner, everyone says what they are thankful for and, via cut-in clips, talks about how much the show has changed their lives. Or, in Daddy’s case, saved it. “I was trying to die young, you know what I’m saying?”

After they fill their guts with good food, the gang starts filling up the time capsule. Daddy throws in Beerzooka, ’cause Daddy. Lyle tosses in his grilling fork. Mattie puts in her signature dancing shoes. Walt retires his classic white T-shirt. And so on and so forth until the major heart-tugger: Murray’s America shirt.

“If we are done, by God, it’s retired,” he insists. The next morning, they all say their official goodbyes and go their separate ways.

Aaaaand I’m crying. Don’t judge me, dudes.

Now that our exclusives are coming to an end, I feel confident in saying Salsano is pretty bummed to bid adieu to this motley crew, too. So where does she think the housemates will be in 10 years?

“I’m not sure I know where I’ll be in 10 years,” she shared, laughing. “If I had to guess, I’d say Walt will be back at a mill or plant, right where he left off. I can see Daddy running his own marina. Mattie will probably be running a chain of gyms. I can see Hannah running her own salon. I can see Murray being the bouncer at his own bar in Mississippi. He’s the most protective guy I’ve ever met.”

Image: CMT

As for BFFs Tiffany and Lauren, Salsano isn’t sure on specifics — but she is sure of this much: “Tiffany and Lauren are going to be successful and will figure out a way to work for themselves (they love kids). They are headstrong boss bitches who can be successful in anything they choose to do.”

Hear, hear.

Best of luck to Tiffany, Lauren, Murray, Mattie, Lyle, Daddy and Hannah (aka Hott Dogg) on whatever big adventure they choose to tackle next. We know wherever they go, they’ll get it goin’.

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