So I’m watching this week’s episode of Flipping Out and I’m all “Shawn is totally the tiki doll.” You know the episode of The Brady Bunch where the family goes to Hawaii and the boys find a tiki doll and it brings them all sorts of bad luck? Greg almost drowns, Peter almost gets bitten by a spider, Don Ho shows up . . . So that’s where I was going with this and BOOM – middle of the episode and Jenni gets all smart and show-offy and declares Shawn to be the tiki doll. Well, I thought of it first and I’m sticking with it.
You’re cute but the only way to end this crappy week at Jeff Lewis’ office is to return you to the caves and give you back to Vincent Price.
Jeff decides to hire a project manager to replace Rachel but his method of staffing Jeff Lewis’ office is not working so they have to tweak the process. Jeff lays out his new system: One, ask for a resume. Two, review the resume. Three, check references. They also decide that they should look for someone with experience, who wants to stay long-term and maybe, just maybe, they shouldn’t hire the first person they interview. Good point.
Turnover at Jeff Lewis’ office is a real problem. Jenni uses a revolving door metaphor which is nice because I’ve missed her metaphors. She hasn’t used them in at least one episode. So revolving door – get it? Everyone spins in and spins out but sad, little Jenni just got stuck. She keeps spinning.
“Not crazy” would also be something to look for. We’ve got enough already, thanks.
Shawn arrives for his interview. Jenni is proud that Jeff is doing the interview process differently and is going to be more professional.
Hi, pretty. You’re hired.
And the whole professional thing is over as Jeff asks Shawn every illegal question in the book: his age, his race (I was not aware that “white” was a race), and if he has kids or intends to have kids. Excuse me, Jeff? You forgot about religion and national origin. But Shawn slam dunks the interview when he tells Jeff that he was arrested for a high-speed chase with highway patrol and spent three weeks in jail.
Mother, may I sleep with danger?
Everyone makes mistakes but Jeff isn’t going to judge. Of course not. Inappropriateness (and illegality) continues and abounds as Zoila asks Shawn if he’s single. She complains that she’s cold — oldest trick in the book — and sits next to Shawn to warm herself. She asks him what he’s doing that night and tells him she’ll talk to him later.
Next season on The Cougar.
Jeff refers to his new interview system (remember that whole ask for a resume and not hire the first interviewee thing), discards his system and hires Shawn on the spot. He thinks Shawn is a good fit for Jeff Lewis’ office.
I think Jenni may disagree.
Jeff and Shawn head out to Cole, the hair salon bungalow colony. Jeff introduces Shawn to Frank, the contractor, and explains that they have a revolving training program here at Jeff Lewis’ office. Jeff teaches Shawn how to be condescending and rude to contractors and explains that Frank will lie about whether or not he’s finished any part of the project and that you can’t take his word for anything.
Nice hat. Perhaps a bulls-eye would have been more appropriate than the star.
Case in point: The laundry room. Frank shows off his beautiful dryer venting work and Jeff responds with an “uh oh.” I can’t imagine hearing two words out of Jeff’s mouth that might evoke more fear. Except maybe for “you’re hired.”
I didn’t know there was a dress code here at Jeff Lewis’ office.
It turns out Frank vented for a side-by-side washer/dryer but the plan was for a stackable washer/dryer. Jeff insists that if he ever mentioned a washer/dryer it was for a stackable washer/dryer. Chaz/Kato also insists they contemplated a stackable washer/dryer. Frank thinks disagreeing with his boss and his boss’ client is a good idea. He would be wrong.
Which way is Elm Street?
Frank is smart enough to realize that he’ll never win an argument with Jeff and agrees to fix the venting error. And I hope to never use the phrase “stackable washer/dryer” ever again.
Pledge is apparently filming a commercial at Valley Oak.
This episode of Flipping Out is brought to you by Pledge. And knock-off Converse sneakers.
Jeff advises Jenni that his car got towed and is remarkably calm about it. Jeff went out to dinner the night before and failed to see the sign that said you couldn’t park in the shopping center where the restaurant was located. I sense the sarcasm.
Good. ‘Cause I was laying it on pretty thick.
So Jenni and Jeff drive to the impound lot to rescue his car. Jeff is pissed that the car got towed and even more pissed that it’s now being held hostage. How about be pissed that you can’t read a street sign? Jeff decides he’s going to try one more time to get his car back legally (because he failed to retrieve it last night somehow) and if it doesn’t work, they’re going all Gone In Sixty Seconds on the impound lot’s ass and stealing the damn thing back. If that doesn’t work, they’re going to call the cops. Your plan has holes, man.
I don’t think these two would last long in prison.
Jeff is uncomfortable in this neighborhood. It’s a little rough and he points to the barbed wire and rottweilers as evidence of its seediness. Of course, it’s not the neighborhood that is covered in barbed wire or being patrolled by vicious dogs – it’s just the impound lot. Which. You. Are. Plotting. To. Steal. A. Car. From. Jeff thinks the whole thing feels like they’re doing a drug deal.
Because a lot of drug dealers wear pearls.
Then Jeff Lewis gets all Jeff Lewis and decides he needs to move his second car – the one he drove to the impound lot – to a new location within eyesight so it won’t get stolen. He doesn’t have just one Mercedes in a bad neighborhood but he now has two Mercedes in a bad neighborhood. If I lived anywhere near Jeff Lewis, I would so go steal one of his Mercedes right now.
This looks like a perfectly legal, not going to get stolen or towed parking spot.
Jenni tells Jeff that if he gives her the money to get the first car out of the lot, she can deal with it and he can sit with the second car, but his paranoia has reached epic levels. Now he won’t even let Jenni handle the cash because he doesn’t know that she’s going to be able to rescue the car.
You live five miles from this shithole neighborhood. How do I know I can trust you?
Jeff occupies himself with thoughts of drive-by shootings and suggests Jenni stand in front of him to absorb the impact of any stray bullets. Mr. Impound Lot tells them it’s going to be awhile and says they could go the taco truck, Taco Loco, up the block if they’re hungry. Despite the fact that Mr. Impound very expressly states that they should go to the taco TRUCK, Jeff is surprised to find that the taco TRUCK is . . . wait for a it . . . a TRUCK.
Wait a minute! This taco truck is a TRUCK!
They finish their tacos and pay Mr. Impound a grand total of $143.80 to release the car. $143.80?! Compared to New York City, that’s like free. Hell, it’s cheaper to have your car towed on a weekly basis than to pay for monthly parking. But where was I? Oh yeah, Jeff has bad luck. Jenni calls it the bad karma boomerang. I call it not reading a parking sign.
Also, Jenni is a dwarf.
The car has been successfully retrieved and everyone is back at Valley Oak to watch Shawn work his magic on two old ladies. Zoila tells Shawn that she dyed her hair and Shawn (condescension well-learned) tells her she’s getting her sexy on. Then Zoila tells Shawn he smells good and walks over to sniff him. I go blind and can’t see what else happens.
Trust me. You don’t want to see.
Zoila says she likes ‘a nice handsome people staying and working close to her’ which leaves the question as to why she works with people who look like Jenni and behave like Jeff but I digress. Zoila leaves so Shawn turns his attention to Jenni. They’re going through some numbers and Shawn says that he should get Jenni’s cell phone number. Good cover up, huh?
Aren’t I adorable? Give me your phone number. I’m totally going to call.
But you can’t get any of this past Jenni. She notices the flirting and thinks he might be sucking up a little bit. Gee. You think? But the sucking up comes to a screeching halt when Jenni tells Jeff that Shawn has put in a request to human resources to take off May 21st. The entire day. For a Jimmy Buffet concert. Here’s where a little white lie would have come in handy.
It’s a good thing you’re pretty.
Jeff is stunned since it’s only Shawn’s second day and he should be offering to work double time and weekends in order to impress his boss. Although if your boss doesn’t even ask you for a resume or a reference, you wouldn’t feel pressure to impress either. Jeff tells him to submit the request and he’ll review it with all of the other requests.
Jeff, Jenni and Shawn head to the hair salon bungalow colony where shelving and paint colors are discussed. Trust me when I say it’s nearly as exciting as the floor stain selection from last episode. Kato meets Shawn, does this weird two-handed handshake and lifts Shawn’s shirt sleeve to check out his tattoo but it’s done in a very non-heterosexual sort of way. Interesting. I didn’t think Shawn was gay but Kato’s gaydar has to be more finely tuned than mine.
Now this relationship could be interesting.
Jenni notices the Shawn/Kato interaction and thinks Shawn is hitting on Kato. I think there’s a little bit of both. Kato invites Jeff and Jenni to do yoga with him — in his bedroom, of course, because they’re installing the fireplace downstairs. Like who hasn’t used that line? But Jeff thinks that you have be careful how close you get to clients. You have to respect boundaries.
And showing up at a client’s home looking like this wasn’t crossing the line?
We’re back at Valley Oak and one of the dogs has peed a river in the living room and Zoila can’t figure it out. I’m no vet or dog trainer or whatever but there’s about a gallon of urine on the floor. I would go with one of the bigger dogs.
Um, I’m not sure you can determine the sex of the culprit by examining the puddle. Good try, though.
Jeff says this is just one more example of how everything is going wrong and everything is exploding in his face. Somewhere along the way he must have picked up some sort of bad luck charm — Tiki Shawn!
And it’s lunchtime at Valley Oak. It turns out that Jenni had a run-in with Shawn outside the office and Jeff wants to share the story with Jett. So he asks Jenni if he can mention her name.
I think you just did. Fucker.
Jenni is PISSED. Jeff promised that he wouldn’t involve her but now the proverbial cat is out of the proverbial bag and she’s involved. So Jenni was at the hair colony on her day off and Shawn walked in. He walked over to Kato, gave him his business card and invited himself to do yoga with Kato at Kato’s house. Jenni called Jeff and Jeff lost his mind.
Jeff, Jenni and Jett talk about how inappropriate and unprofessional this behavior was and they start guessing as to what Shawn’s angle might be. Does he want a job? Does he have a business proposal for Kato? Does he want to steal the client? I’m going with Option D — the boy wants to get laid. Get over it.
And can I just get a “WTF” on the mural in the kitchen?
Jenni is now afraid for her life because Jeff is going to confront Shawn and tell him that Jenni saw him GIVE HIS BUSINESS CARD to Kato. Who knows how Shawn will react? Well, thank goodness that Jeff had that new hiring system in place when he interviewed Shawn and reviewed his resume and did the appropriate background check . . .
Jenni asks Jeff to not use her name because she lives alone and you never know if this guy is violent or not. Because I’m sure he’s going to get fired by Jeff and come after Jenni. Fear not Jenni, as far as Jeff knows, his rap sheet only includes high-speed car chases and not assault. Except you don’t know because you didn’t actually do the background check. Jeff agrees to compromise and says he’ll just tell Shawn that “someone” saw him and only invoke Jenni’s name if he has to. Then he’ll put her in the witness protection program. Even Jett gave Jeff his resume and he just picks up dog crap.
And that’s why I love you, Jett.
Jeff and Jenni are in the car and he’s all worked up about Shawn’s act of blatant insubordination. There are a string of options – he can suspend him, fire and then rehire him, or require a letter of apology. In what world are these acceptable options?
So Jenni tells Jeff that his accountant forgot to sign Jeff’s tax returns. Jeff tells her to get the accountant on the phone but she dials before — and this is important — before she untangles the wires to the hands-free headset. The accountant is on the phone, Jeff is holding a mess of tangled wires and the only thing he can think to do is slam the headset down. Which, of course, rebounds, hits Jenni in the eye and breaks. Jeff wants to know if the day could get ANY worse.
If this is the worst thing that happens to you all day, you should probably shut the hell up.
Jeff realizes this is all about Shawn and he shouldn’t take it out on Jenni and apologizes for almost putting her eye out. And it almost sounds sincere.
Jeff and Jenni are back at Cole on a recon mission. Jeff asks Kato’s assistant, Patty, if Shawn asked Kato for a job. Patty refuses to answer because she’ll get in trouble — which sounds like answer enough to me. Jeff pretends that he wants to get to the bottom of this in order to protect Kato from being taken advantage of by people like Shawn. Yeah, because Shawn seems to be a real threat.
My lips are — quite literally — sealed.
Back at Valley Oak, Jeff tells Zoila he was going to get her a goldfish for her birthday which is really taking “it’s the thought that counts” to a whole new level.
So let me just tell you what I was going to buy you but not actually give it to you. Because, you know, it’s the thought that counts.
After berating Zoila for choosing a pink orchid rather than a white orchid for her bedroom, Jeff tells Zoila all the many ways her imaginary fish might meet its untimely demise if she puts it in the fountain as she wants to. Coyotes, hawks, sasquatch. Zoila isn’t worried about any of these – especially not hawks since she has no idea what they are – but about the raccoons. According to Zoila the Crocodile Hunter, raccoons eat everything. Even cats. By the way, Zoila looks like – to put it politely – death warmed over.
Rachel?? Is that you?
So Crocodile Zoila tells us the story of Shawn’s cat that went missing and then they “find her in piece.” I think if you’re going to find a missing cat, finding it in one piece is nicer than the alternative. I’ll chalk it up to language barrier and say that the cat was found in pieces. Crocodile Zoila tells us it was a raccoon. Jeff parallels the cat in pieces story to the Jenni in pieces story – which is what is going to happen to Jenni once Shawn finds out that she ratted him out.
We’re back at Valley Oak and it’s D-Day for Tiki Shawn. Jeff says he could have had numerous discussions and listened to Shawn’s side of the story but why be reasonable when you can be completely unreasonable? Jeff tells Shawn that a nameless someone was at Cole when Shawn walked in, gave Kato his business card and talked to him about doing yoga. It makes Jeff suspicious and it was inappropriate.
Can someone please get this girl to What Not To Wear? And quick.
Shawn defends himself and says it was harmless and he just went in to say hello to Kato and ask him to do his hair. Wouldn’t this be easier (and more interesting) if Shawn just admitted to a torrid love affair with Kato? Jeff says that he knows that he didn’t talk to him about doing hair but about doing yoga and has to assume that he went there to work for him or with him. We have to let you go.
I’m not crying. My eye is just really itchy.
Shawn is at a loss for words and never thought it would be an issue. Jenni says that Shawn was totally sideswiped because he had no idea anyone saw him at the salon. Except I’m sure she meant ‘blindsided’ unless Shawn has morphed into some sort of motor vehicle. Jeff gives Shawn his paycheck plus $500 to get him through another week while he looks for another job. Shawn refuses the money saying it’s not about the money but about pride and walks out the door.
Pride? I see no pride here.
Jeff is glad he let him go because he has no idea what else Shawn might be capable of. I’m going with “not much.” Jeff wants a thank you from Jenni because he didn’t rat her out and she doesn’t have to go into the witness protection program. She demands a hug from Jeff.
Surprisingly, Jeff does not enjoy physical contact.
Jenni says that Shawn is totally the Tiki Doll. As soon as they hired him, stuff started going wrong and you would turn around — and there was Tiki Shawn. He was their bad mojo tiki doll. Except I’m pretty sure bad stuff is still going to happen at Jeff Lewis’ office.
Jeff, Jenni and Zoila — because the housekeeper should totally be a part of this — have to break the news to Trace that a member of the team has been voted off the island. Jeff and Zoila give us their best Heidi Klum impression — one day you’re in, and the next day, you’re out — but Zoila confirms that Trace is safe for the day.
The next guest judge on Project Runway.
Jeff needs to feng shui his life so he invites over Tess, a cute (bonus!) and knowledgeable feng shui expert. Even though Shawn is gone there’s still a lot of heaviness in the house so Jeff wants to eliminate it. Tess starts spewing some feng shui crap and Jeff’s eyes glaze over. Or maybe those are just mine. Jeff misunderstands the entire concept and asks Tess to move a couch so he could gain some respect from his employees.
Yeah, I don’t think you really get it.
Tess suggests absurd things like letting Jenni have some personal photos in the office or making sure to knock before entering Zoila’s bedroom. She even tells Jeff that he should allow Zoila to decorate her own space which will likely involve chile pepper lights.
Jeff’s greatest fear.
Ultimately, Jeff feels like Tess is judging him — which she most definitely is — and decides he’s only going to implement a few changes. None of which will involve Jenni’s personal photos or knocking on Zoila’s door.
Jeff is in the car with his new assistant, Sarah. The day Shawn was fired, Carrie — Jeff’s real estate agent and future sister-in-law — called to ask Jeff to hire her sister who had just been laid off. Jeff knew Sarah socially and thought she was great and fun and would be an asset to the team.
Because we were missing a hooker from the 1980s.
Jeff instructs Sarah on how to order his coffee which seems to require a college education. She manages to order the coffee and bring him the coffee but then spills the entire thing all over the front seat of his car. Jeff must have taken two pills that morning because he’s laughing hysterically. Even after Sarah calls him “Jeffy” three times. He says she’s like a cartoon character.
Or a tarted-up, pageant-queen, Cabbage Patch doll.
Oh please, please let Sarah keep her job forever. On the next episode: Jeff yells at someone and throws up fifteen times, and Jenni dresses up like a nerd superhero and takes over Jeff Lewis Designs for the day. Chaos ensues.