It’s another day and another opportunity to make design dreams come true on Flipping Out.
The team is ready to pitch Walter E. Smithe, a large furniture and design group in Chicago. Jeff Lewis is still (just a tad) angry because of his unceremonious firing from Living Spaces and he is feeling the pressure to land his next big gig. Gage Edward is just excited about the idea of heading out of town and seeing something besides the inside of their office.
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Tensions have been a little high and there has been a lot of bickering between Jeff and Gage, but Jeff has the perfect solution: a guided meditation, peppered with self-affirmations and F bombs. Perfect and very relaxing, I might add.
Jeff and sidekick, Jenni Pulos set out on a full day tour of all the properties they are working on before they head to the Windy City. Jenni fills us in on what’s going on with her reproductive system as she outlines where she’s at in the pregnancy process. She just finished her second IUI and is hoping to be pregnant. If that doesn’t work, she will likely move on to IVF. Because Jenni is taking shots to support her possible pregnancy, lucky Jeff gets to help her out with that while they are in Chicago. He seems a little too excited about having the task of sticking Jenni with needles.
Once they get back to the house, Zoila Chavez fixes up some drinks and Jeff gets down to business with some serious vision boards (yes, I know they are called something else in design but I’m a recap writer, not an interior designer so bear with me).
Welcome to Chicago! Jeff and Gage arrive at Walter E. Smithe and are greeted by all the daughters of Walter E. Smithe III. So many Smithes and I’m confused already. The vision boards are set up (ok, they are called vignettes apparently) so a catalogue can be shot and made into a commercial. Jeff is surprised at the organization and access to extra items that one of the Smithe sisters has provided and it’s like a breath of fresh air from Living Spaces. Gage is on standby to make sure no feathers get ruffled since they are shooting at two locations that they have never seen.
Back at Valley Vista in L.A., Matt, Ashlyn, and housekeeper Laura are hard at work. Zoila is busy reading What To Expect When You’re Expecting. She’s thrilled just to have some free time and a chance to order Matt to remove the “cat sand” from the house.
At the first photoshoot in Chicago, Jeff and Gage get another breath of fresh air with Walter (the owner of the company) moving furniture right along with them. They set up the space in decent time and it feels like a real collaboration.
After a long day of work, Jenni needs her shot and it’s another team effort as Jeff gets her prepped, Cat does the shot, and Gage avoids the whole damn thing because he hates needles (and female body parts).
It’s 8 AM on Shoot Day One and it’s time to start hustling. Between shooting the rooms for the catalogue and fitting in a commercial, the schedule is tight and Jeff is stressed in trying to juggle time constraints and making a good impression at the same time. He still finds time to try and set up Vanina with the photographer but her oversized parka shield is still on so it’s not likely to happen.
Walter might be hands on with moving furniture but he’s hands off when it comes to feedback. He’s watching but not saying much, making Jeff even more nervous.
Thankfully, Shoot Day Two brings actual feedback from Walter in the form of praise for the bedroom set up. The high Jeff is feeling from Walter’s response is short lived because it’s commercial time. Jeff hates commercials and is ready to cancel out 98% of the script that the Walter E. Smithe team has come up with. They seem to take it in stride and even thank Gage for his updating of their script to make it more Jeff friendly.
Jenni gets thrown into the commercial as Jeff’s security blanket and also succeeds in making it cute and funny. Walter and his counterpart go next and nail the comedy aspect as well. As they wrap the commercial, Jeff is feeling really good about the possibility of this new partnership and he has plenty of reason to – the whole Smithe family is there pitching in, supporting his efforts and actually having fun doing it.
It’s time to check in on Alexandra the Surrogate’s ultrasound via FaceTime. It’s a really sweet moment to see Jeff and Gage watching the ultrasound and hearing that little heartbeat. The baby is starting to look more like a baby and Gage gets emotional seeing the movements of his little one.
Now that all the work is done, it’s time to foster this working relationship on a more personal level. The whole group heads out to dinner and during dinner conversation, Walter says in the most fatherly of ways that he knows it wasn’t Jeff’s fault in what happened with Living Spaces. It hits Jeff right in the heart and Jeff has to try and hold his emotions in check, it makes him so happy. Jeff knows this partnership happened for a reason and leaves Chicago on a high note.
The team is back together again at Valley Vista and it’s time to check out the construction going on in the backyard (or is it the front yard?). Jenni describes Jeff’s obsession with finding more things to do with the house as a gambler living in a casino. Gage’s high from Chicago is quickly deflated and he realizes it’s time to get back to reality.
TELL US – DID JEFF DESERVE TO BE FIRED FROM LIVING SPACES?
Photo Credit: Bravo