Bravo recaps all of last week’s episode, even though a lot of it doesn’t have anything to do with this week. We’re reminded how Trace got slapped, and how Jeff threatened to fire Jenni over the lost planner. Not important.
But more importantly, (or maybe just, “importantly” without the “more”), the cabinets at the Royal Woods project have not been installed and now Jeff could miss Tracey and Stewart’s move-in deadline–which he’s already pushed back several times.
Also, that House Beautiful project in New York City is finished. We haven’t heard from this one in a while, so to make a long-ish story short, Jeff was chosen to design House Beautiful mazagine’s Kitchen of the Year. He went to New York with Jenni and Zoila and the magazine editors made him give an impromptu demonstration to see if he would crack under the pressure.
They were like a judge in a bad comedy movie. “Instead of jail time, I sentence you to move in with the man you embezzled from…for a whole year!”
Well, the kitchen is just about built. It’s in Rockefeller Center, and now it’s time for the unveiling.
We start out this week with a little slice o’ life. Jeff’s dogs are barking like crazy and Jeff reminds Zoila to spray them with the spray bottle. He sprays some water on the floor even though Zoila just cleaned it.
Then, Jeff and Trace discuss one of the details about the House Beautiful kitchen. Jeff doesn’t totally dig the color of marble they picked for the counter tops.
This is the top secret Kitchen of the Year bunker. Undisclosed location
This is just one of ten thousand tiny design decisions Jeff’s had to make, and he reminds us he’s been doing this from 3,000 miles away. Being a micro-manager, he hates not being on-site to supervise. But worst of all, Jeff hasn’t seen the kitchen even once. (Apparently nobody has Skype?) So, he’s about to leave for New York City, to unveil what’s probably the biggest project of his career, and he has no idea what to expect.
Then Jeff notices Sarah misspelled the word “pagoda.” She wrote “prgoda.”
“Ha! I always confuse those two words for each other.”
NEW YORK DRIVE
Jeff just wants to get everything in LA done before he leaves for New York. This also includes finishing the New York Drive project in the next couple days so its owners can move in. Today Jeff is upset to learn his sub-contractor Luis can’t install the speakers because he didn’t order them in time, even though he’s had six months. Jeff tries to get the guy to come in on a Saturday, but it’s the guy’s daughter’s birthday. Jeff complains in his reaction that surely the kid’s party isn’t from 5am to 11pm and it’s pretty awesome. Still, he’s pissed.
But at least he knows enough to step away and have Jenni handle it diplomatically. Luis agrees to get it done on Monday.
Then it’s over to this project to check on the cabinet install.
Progress continues not to be made
Jeff’s cabinet sub-contractor Alex isn’t even on-site, so he asks the workers if Alex mentioned anything about when they’d be finished. The guys don’t know.
BTW, did you notice how this guy really said “He didn’t tell me anything,” but they subtitled it “He didn’t tell me nothing.” Way to ESL it up, Bravo.
More fury from Jeff. Once again he has Jenni handle the discipline. She calls Alex, apparently for the hundredth time this week. They do get a hold of Alex this time, and he brushes them off. Don’t worry about it.
Jeff decides to issue a threat. For every day Alex doesn’t get the project completed, Jeff will charge him $500.
He’s got a couple motivators here. One is that Tracey and Stewart have babies and can’t have people working on the house after they’ve moved in. But really Jeff admits that, being an organized person, he NEEDS it to be done.
Jeff gets a little irritated with Jenni when she mishears one of his instructions. There’s some tension, maybe from his blowup earlier, but that’s all for this scene.
Or maybe the tension is from something else. They have lunch now, and Jeff starts going over the logistics for the New York trip. Apparently he’s taking Trace and Sarah along but not Jenni. What the fuck?
Jeff explains to us that he feels Trace and Sarah have helped out with the design, so they deserve to go. Technically Jenni hasn’t helped on this specific project—at least not since the initial meeting.
I’m pretty sure it’s not a punishment. Clearly Jeff thought about it in literal terms and failed to calculate the emotional ramifications of this. And hoo boy, are there some!
At lunch they talk about the hotel rooms and other details, and Jenni chimes in to ask a totally unnecessary question about it, so she’ll be included in the discussion. Everyone falls silent for a beat.
I think that until this exact moment Jeff hasn’t realized Jenni feels left out. And we got to see it.
But before he leaves for New York, turns out there’s another problem Jeff has to deal with, this one unrelated to work. Jeff is having some arborists trim his olive trees, and one notices they are infested with whiteflies, i.e., the scourge of gardeners everywhere.
Thanks for giving us Tomato yellow leaf-curl begomovirus, you fuckers!
For Jeff, it’s a nightmare. For us, it’s a dream come true. Who hasn’t been waiting for Valley Oak to get some kind of infestation?
Jeff accuses the arborist of planting the flies in his trees so Jeff will have to pay him to get rid of them. It’s a tough economy. This is how the arborist stays in the black. For his part, the arborist just chuckles and walks back to his truck.
Jeff calls Felipe, the landscaper, to ask about spraying the trees, referring to the pests as “killer whiteflies” now. Jeff starts rambling angrily about how they should kill the whole colony, or eggs, or however it is whiteflies reproduce because they sure as hell don’t have sex.
Jenni, meanwhile, tells us in talking head that this is all just Jeff’s stress coming out. She seems to enjoy the show. She starts throwing out alarming facts about the whiteflies, like they reproduce really fast, and that Jeff will have to evacuate the house.
Jeff and Jenni stop by here again to check on the cabinet installation progress. And hey, Alex got it done! All the browbeating worked! Jeff spots a couple minor flaws that need correcting, but overall, Tracey and Stewart are good to go.
For example, Jeff spots that these handles are unlevel. It took me like 30 seconds to see it. He’s pretty good at what he does, I think.
JEFF’S CAR/VALLEY OAK
Next Jeff calls Trace back at Valley Oak for an update on the whitefly situation.
The flies have reached the house. Time for drastic measures.
Jeff sends Trace to Home Depot to pick up some poison spray. When he gets back, Trace spends about twenty minutes hosing the trees down.
Jeff’s glad Trace is around to do stuff like this, because that stuff is really toxic.
NEW YORK DRIVE
Jeff and Sarah are heading over here to do their final check. The project is finished.
Jeff reflects on the progress. When he started, Nancy and Emily were very hands-on because they didn’t know Jeff very well. But as they grew to trust him they loosened up, and Jeff delivered with an awesome house.
After…honestly, they included a million of these before-after shots in this episode, but this is all I’m putting up. They take forever to upload
Before they leave, Nancy tricks Sarah into thinking the new microwave is voice-activated. Oh, Sarah! Even the clients are scoring on you.
And that’s that for New York Drive. I think we all were expecting way more from this storyline. Practically no difficulties, and barely even a story at all—and even then, we didn’t see much of it unfold, we just get Jeff summing it all up for us. Oh well. That’s the pitfall with reality shows, I guess. Maybe the Flipping Out producers should try to covertly fuck with Jeff’s projects like Fear producers used to do.
Trace asks Jeff another question about the House Beautiful kitchen, and it raises an issue. The builders over in New York have been inundating Jeff’s office with questions—really nuts-and-bolts stuff, like what dimensions to cut the counter top slabs, for example—and Jeff’s pissed because that’s not his responsibility. He’s in charge of design, not building.
But it worries him, too. Why are there all these questions? Are they competent? (But I bet if they weren’t asking any questions at all, Jeff would be worrying about that, too.)
So he tells Trace not to answer them. If they do, and things are done incorrectly, Jeff’s office will be blamed.
COMING UP NEXT
Here they refer to the upcoming unveiling, when Jeff will finally see his built kitchen for the first time. They have an audio clip of him exclaiming, “Oh my god!” in disgust. But I’m pretty sure it’s the exact same audio from when Jeff found those dust bunnies under his stairs three episodes ago, when he was finding reasons to yell at Zoila. So I’m not too nervous, to the extent that I can actually get nervous about this.
Ugh, I seriously don’t want to recap this next part.
Jeff notices his cat, Monkey, is waiting to use the bathroom, because Zoila is currently occupying it. So he kicks Zoila out. (First, yes, the cat gets priority over humans). Zoila doesn’t like Monkey, as you can see from the subtitles here:
Not to worry, Monkey uses a litter box, not the actual toilet. So it’s not as disturbing as the cat in Meet the Parents, but maybe five minutes from that
When Monkey comes out, he’s stunk up the whole place and grosses everybody out. That would be because…
“So I’m a terrible boy, Zoila? Well, I just DID something terrible. But you knew that.”
I’ll also let you read Zoila’s reaction, rather than type it out myself…
This is the thrust of the entire scene. It has no bearing on the rest of the episode. This is what they pad their shows with
Jeff and Jenni get in the car with a Starbucks, and Jeff lets Jenni know there are still seats available on the flight to New York if she’d like him to bring her along. She thanks him, but she tells us she’s still hurt about it.
For his part, Jeff tells us he’s rethought things. Even though Jenni technically wasn’t part of the design process, she was still part of the initial meeting about it. It’s probably the right thing to do to bring her along.
To say nothing of the fact that it would be a great gesture to have her present for the defining moment of your entire career. I guess.
For those of you who believe the “Jeff has Asperger’s” theory, this is incontrovertible evidence
Jeff and Jenni stop by here to oversee the last few details, as Tracey and Stewart move in. Also present is their young daughter, Chloe. They’re having her “help” with the process, which really means she carries in her tiny stuffed animals.
I admit, at first I was thinking, haha, that’s so dumb, Chloe isn’t really helping, she’s just carrying toys. But then I realized…oh, that’s just how you raise a child, by having them participate in things. Never mind
This project is finished, too. The remodeling was less drastic than at New York Drive, but still an improvement.
I’m sure Bravo or Jeff’s website have more pictures of this if you want to see them
And in a final bit of fussiness, Jeff spots a plunger in their bathroom and removes it to the garage. They can put it back after he’s gone.
And then it’s time to check on this project.
They mentioned this a long time ago, but Jeff’s only been doing the “phase one” remodel, only including the front lobby and the exteriors.
Casa Vega probably has a website, too. Or is on Google. You’re welcome!
They’re going to give Christy and Mr. Vega a break before moving on to phase two. But before going on hiatus, Jeff and Jenni have one last Casa Vega lunch.
Somehow the conversation immediately jumps to Jeff’s snub of Jenni over the New York trip.
I’m really going to miss the couple’s counseling Jeff and Jenni force Christy to have with them
Jeff fills Christy in on the situation, and tells us Jenni hasn’t officially accepted his belated invitation. In talking-head Jeff’s take is this—he knows Jenni really wants to go, otherwise she wouldn’t have been so hurt. But, he thinks now she’s trying to make him feel guilty by declining. She wants to punish him.
The conversation doesn’t go any further than that, though, because Jenni reminds him, hey, they’re with a client.
After lunch, Jeff reflects on how uncomfortable Christy gets when they argue in front of her, which only makes him want to do it more. (Amazing).
Jenni then tries to officially decline his invitation. She’s proud of him, but she feels that since such a big issue has been made out of it, she’s uncomfortable going.
Bullshit, Jeff replies. He screwed up, but he fixed it, and he wants her there, she’s going.
And seconds later Jenni found herself flying to New York
NEW YORK CITY
So Jeff, Jenni, Sarah, and Trace are in the city now, on their way to see the kitchen. Jenni reflects to us how, despite their ups and downs, she’s proud of him.
Jeff reminds us how anxious he is, since he’s never seen it before.
They go inside.
COMING UP NEXT (AGAIN)
Bravo uses that same disgusted “Oh my god!” audio clip as they walk inside the pavilion. As if the kitchen is going to be, like, overrun by orangutans. (Hopefully wearing tuxedos).
By the way, the pavilion is RIGHT outside 30 Rock. They weren’t kidding
HOUSE BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN
And after the commercial break, they use the audio clip AGAIN, (three times), followed by one of Sarah saying, “O-M-Geezies.”
But, exactly as we all expected the entire time, the kitchen looks fantastic.
Thanks for tickling my balls three times, Bravo
Jeff is literally glowing with happiness
Or maybe it’s just the glitter in his foundation
(Assistance on that last joke provided by my friend Laurel. I had to ask what kind of makeup would make you shiny like that. I don’t know anything about makeup).
Everyone is thrilled with the kitchen. Sarah and Jenni both think it’s perfect and love all the small details that went into it, like a reclaimed-wood table.
Here the show cuts back to LA to show us what it’s like when Jeff isn’t around the homestead, which I believe they did the last time Jeff went to New York.
Jett and Zoila both love the peace and quiet that results. Especially Zoila. And Jett doesn’t notice any change in the work pace. It’s as slow as it always is.
Back in New York, the doors to the kitchen have been opened to the public. Jeff acts as a tour guide to none other than…
Roker! Did you know he wrote a murder mystery novel called The Morning Show Murders? It’s true!
Among the features Jeff points out the reclaimed table again. Apparently it came from the Vanderbilt polo pony barn.
Haven’t you always wanted to own a table made out the building where a rich guy keeps his horses?
Jeff tells us this is like all the college finals you’ve ever taken all rolled into one, which sounds about right. But it looks like a success. Good for him.
NEW YORK CITY CAB
They go back to the hotel to chill out, then get cabs to go back to 30 Rock for the launch party. When they hail their cab, they see Jeff’s face on top of it…
Like a Century 21 realtor
It’s surreal for him. But he’s mainly worried someone will deface it.
And now it’s time to celebrate. It’s almost overwhelming for Jeff, because this is a career milestone. He’s got to put on his party face, but privately he’s thrilled. (He also says in his reaction that he was worried about the attendance level because he doesn’t have many friends. But 500 people showed up).
We get reactions from all the staff. They’re all proud of Jeff and happy to share the moment with him.
And, Jeff’s family came along! He was worried they wouldn’t, but they’re here to support him.
Finally, Jeff sums up his feelings for us. When he first started design and flipping property, he had a lot of self-doubt because his father pushed him out on his own. Jeff didn’t know whether he was good enough. Those feelings have stuck with him all along, so this experience is validating on many levels.
Here’s this week’s one-off. Back at the homestead Jett and Zoila have lunch together without the rest of the crew. Their food isn’t very good, and they have very little chemistry together, so they eat in silence. That’s the entire scene.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…this show has a weird streak, and I love it!
Jeff explains that ever since the House Beautiful event, business has gone through the roof. One of his new jobs will be renovating the restaurant at a boutique hotel. With Casa Vega behind him, Jeff’s clearly more comfortable doing restaurants now. He tells us this one is easier. He can easily visualize what the remodel will look like.
“I’m probably only going to have meltdowns over this, this, and this. I’ve done restaurants before.”
So Jeff has grown. Good to see.
And finally, everyone sits down to lunch. The beginning of the season focused on Jeff’s business expansion and how everyone would be affected by it, and whether Jeff would have to get rid of anyone. The Jeff Lewis Designs team has gotten over the hump together. Everyone has job security. Jeff’s come up with a way to demonstrate this to them—everyone gets new titles! (But no new responsibilities, and no pay raises, because he can’t afford that. Aww). They are:
Jenni: Chief Operations Officer
Zoila: Director of In-House Operations
Jett: Senior Manager of In-House Operations
Sarah: Executive Vice President of Communications
We end on everyone enjoying each other’s company. Jeff reflects on whether he’d want to open another office, and the answer? “Fuck no!” If he did, he’d be disconnected from his family. He really does use the word “family.” That’s what they are. They all know it, and are cool with it.
But isn’t the titles scene great? I love ending the season on that note. Jeff probably really can’t give them all raises, being that it’s a small business, but nobody minds being rewarded only with empty titles.
I had a blast recapping these for you this season, and watching Jeff’s personal growth unfold. If you’re looking for more Flipping Out, the jury is still out on a fifth season, but the show did boost its ratings this year.
And if you’re looking for more me, (probably less likely), I will next be recapping AMC’s Walking Dead, airing October 31st.
Thanks for reading and commenting!