Last night's edition of Made in Chelsea saw Sam Thompson return to the E4 series after an extended break... but while fans knew Sam was on his way back to SW3, his big comeback episode still held one big surprise.

Sam – who'd previously quit the show earlier this year– returned to Chelsea bearing a grudge, with his former best friend Jamie Laing having romanced Sam's ex-girlfriend Sophie 'Habbs' Habboo while Sam was away.

At first, the show danced around the question of where exactly Sam had been during his absence, with only a few vague references to the fact that he'd dropped out of the Chelsea "social circle" after his break-up with Habbs. But then, things got real...

Jamie Laing - Made in Chelsea
Jamie Laing - Made in Chelsea E4

The episode's climactic scenes saw Sam finally engage in a furious face-off with Jamie, taking him to task for hiding his relationship with Habbs.

"You told me before the day I was going to find out anyway!" Sam said. The implication was clear – Jamie had only confessed the truth a day before Sam had seen events play out on TV along with the rest of the show's audience. But then, Sam went one step further...

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"I saw it on Made in Chelsea the next day!" he said, exasperated.

For Made in Chelsea fans, this was a jaw-dropping moment. In its eight years on air, encompassing over 200 episodes, the reality show has never before addressed the fact that the cast know they're being filmed.

Of course, we *know* they know, but to have it finally acknowledged on-screen sent viewers into a tizzy...

So why now? Why finally have a cast member break the fourth wall? understands that Sam's 'slip-up' wasn't planned and was instead his genuine reaction in the moment. Though there was some consideration from the Made in Chelsea team as to whether or not to cut his statement from the final episode, it was ultimately felt that the sequence was more powerful and truthful with the line left in.

Sam Thompson - Made in Chelsea
Sam Thompson - Made in Chelsea E4

In a statement, a Made in Chelsea spokesperson said: "Made in Chelsea portrays the real lives of its cast members and last night’s episode was a great example of that."

Could this be the beginning of something? Will future episodes see references to Jamie Laing's ill-fated Strictly Come Dancing stint? Will Mark Francis start shooting Fleabag-style looks to the camera?

We sort of hope not. In this one rare instance, Sam acknowledging the full truth of the situation in his argument with Jamie made the show feel way more authentic than it has in ages. But to rely on this trick too often would actually have the opposite effect.

Sam's outburst was a spectacular TV moment, but from now on, let's all go back to pretending that no-one in Chelsea notices the camera crews following their every move...

Made in Chelsea continues next Monday at 9pm on E4