Previously, while the EC crew was in Miami for a hair show and fully engaged in hot comb to curling iron combat, Elgin took a few minutes out to meet with Shaunie O’Neal. The slightly bitter ex-NBA wife turned reality show creator convinces Elgin he should open a salon in Miami.
In this week’s opening scene, Elgin announces his plans to make the Elgin Charles brand bigger, better and, most importantly, more profitable. Is he worried there won’t be a second season of BHF? After all, reality TV gets tougher every season. It’s almost impossible to compete with teens who flunked sex ed, the world’s most famous ass and the two siblings in its shadow, and botoxed mafioso chicks.
But I have to give credit where it’s due. Elgin seems to make solid business decisions. He has two empty workstations in the Beverly Hills salon and needs extra dough to cover the start-up cost of his new Miami salon. Unfortunately, that kind of intelligent, strategic thinking isn’t on Sean’s “can do” list. He’s more worried about bringing new personalities into the fold. He sums up his feelings in three words, “I hate people.” In Sean’s world—one where local check cashing joints are better than banks because you can buy minutes for your prepaid cell phone—it doesn’t matter that empty booths means wasted space and less cha-ching. His five-year plan is to give more ass, get more cash and shop.
“Mirror, mirror on the salon wall who’s the bitchiest of us all?’
Sean’s assistant Syreeta may have a career plan, but no one at Elgin Charles is going to help her get as much as a big toe on the success ladder. Her ego, which is actually larger than Lolita’s ass, would probably weight her down anyway. Now she’s upset because Elgin hired outside stylists instead of promoting her. She’ll never get ahead as long as the EC crew continues their evil plot to restrain her personality in a box, according to Syreeta. When your unwarranted diva attitude causes toxic messes, spilling out like an Exxon oil leak, your personality needs to be contained. But don’t look for it to happen. I don’t think a Xanax, Vicodin, Mary Jane cocktail could calm this lunatic. Which is why, while rapping up his morning meeting, Elgin instructs Sean to put his pouting psychotic assistant on a short lease.
Katrina throws in two useless cents to help Syreeta stay focused on her current duties. “Do what you do, boo” she advises. As the argument escalates, Syreeta calls the EC crew disrespectful, ignorant and typically ghetto. Syreeta is now officially the Dionne Warwick of BHF.
“Bird brain? No, I only bought the hat.”
In the confessional, Katrina wears the same peacock feather hair ornament she wore in Miami. It’s so distracting I could barely focus on what she’s saying. But since her input is as valuable as tickets to Charlie Sheen’s Torpedo tour, I’m not worried about missing anything important.
It’s time for the big reveal. Elgin reminds the old EC crew that he is the sugar, honey, iced tea up in there. What he says, goes. He wants a diverse, full service salon, and that’s what it’s going to be. He should’ve followed this speech with jazz hands for effect.
Elgin finally introduces the gang to the new additions. Esau McGraw is a barber. Esau lets us know right away he’s an attractive man, probably because we couldn’t tell on our own. Tifphanie, who he’s practically drooling on, doesn’t appear to be blinded by his beauty either. She’s even able to resist his not so clever pick up lines. But then again, I think most women wouldn’t be wooed by a man who recommended she tape her lips open so she can show her pretty smile all day. Most of us would wonder is he saying my lips are like Mr. Ed’s or that he’s into duck tape and other binding materials?
Don’t: Wear you hat to the back if it looks better over your face
Do: Dress for the temperature, season and geographical location you are in
Lauren, Elgin’s dose of diversity and token white girl, enters. As she travels around the room shaking hands, Sean keeps his buried in his cocoon/wrap/blouse thing. She has to request his hand and he responds with, “I’m sorry. I don’t do energy until I know you.” Sean, you’re not sorry, but I’m sorry I had to watch a grown ass man channel the 14-year-olds in Mean Girls. Sean says there’s not enough room for two blonds in the salon. Truthfully, there’s not enough room for two simultaneous, worthwhile thoughts in Sean’s pea brain, but somehow he manages to get dressed and make it to work every day anyway.
“Guess who’s coming to dinner?”
In an intentional display of reverse discrimination, Sean says that the only words he has for Lauren is get to the back of the bus. According to Sean, it sends a bad message to have her in the front window. Then, he begins to make sarcastic remarks about extreme tanning, lip injections and other enhancements that he believes white girl get to look like black girls. When Lauren starts slinging some mud back Sean’s way, Esau expresses his concerns about the blonde on blonde violence. Elgin is happy to learn that someone likes marshmallows in her chocolate milk (Tifphanie’s description of the new diverse salon) and, surprisingly, it’s Lolita. Lo liking Lauren inspires Elgin to do another “come to Jesus” dance.
When one of Sean’s clients—a matchmaker—enters the room, the discussion turns to men and what Sean likes. He insists he can’t be with someone who didn’t have the same morals he did. I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say, “huh?” Probably happy to get away from the unexpected, rapid fire from his new adversary, Sean leaves the shop to attend a blind date with the plainest, squarest white boy he’s ever seen, a hookup courtesy of the matchmaker chick. Brad’s humor, good taste in men and lucrative business keep Sean’s attention. But when the meal’s over, Brad asks Sean if he wants to split the cost of the champagne. Perhaps it’s the large Louis Vuitton purse that Sean placed on table that made Brad want to go Dutch. Either, he’s not into men men that carry murses (man purses) or men that mooch.
“I ain’t saying he’s a gold digger.”
Back at the salon, Sean is still in a state of disbelief that he had to sweet talk and threaten his date to be the bigger man and foot the bill. Although he doesn’t want share the details with “Jessica Simpson,” aka Lauren, Sean needs someone to dish to. When Lauren takes his side, he thinks he may like her a little after all.
Elgin pulls Syreeta into his office. He acknowledges that Syreeta needs to be in the driver seat because she’s a seasoned stylist, but right now his salon needs an assistant. However, he called around and and found her a job at another salon. You’ve got to love Elgin. Syreeta apologizes for the drama and lets Elgin know that she has grown from working with him. She leaves the salon with her fantasy of her own fabulousness still intact.
“How long will it take these damn tears to come?”
He tells her don’t be a stranger. That’s right Elgin, keep your enemies even closer.