Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward prepared for a baby as much as they could have…then she was born. Let the madness begin! This week, Flipping Out follows Jeff and Gage as they travel back to Valley Vista with their newborn daughter, Monroe, wading through the first hours, days, and months knee-deep in diapers and midnight feedings. Good thing Gage didn’t piss that nanny off too badly last time she visited! He needs her now like Jeff needs his breath spray. And by that, I mean, desperately.
Before they leave Chico, their surrogate, Alexandra, must say goodbye to the baby she carried in her womb for nine months. Even though Monroe is not biologically hers (Jeff and Gage had a separate egg donor), it’s still an emotional process for Alexandra to let go. Naturally. “My heart hurts looking at her, it’s so full,” she says while rocking her. Jeff and Gage wanted Alexandra to hold Monroe before she left, which they hope provides closure, but aren’t sure whether it just made everyone more sad. Jeff also hopes to get more sleep in the coming days because they literally got zero the night she was born. From one parent to another, Jeff, let me say: BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! Bless your heart.
It’s the day Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward have been waiting for! Not to mention we diehard Flipping Out fans, who have traveled a long journey with Jeff and the gang since he was just a relatively nameless OCD dude on a little network called Bravo. Last night delivered – both metaphorically and literally – a turning point in Jeff and Gage’s lives: the birth of their daughter, Monroe. And if you haven’t seen this episode yet, I’d suggest at least taking a peek at the birthing scene. The look on Gage’s face as Monroe makes her entrance into the world is incredible, and the new fathers holding their baby for the first time is about as sweet as it gets.
The baby countdown is closing in on Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward, and last night’s Flipping Out highlighted, yet again, the very different ways these fathers-to-be deal with stress. With two weeks to go before their daughter’s birth, half of Valley Vista still under construction, and Vanina Alfaro threatening to quit, Jeff decides now might be a good time to buy a brand new property! Also, he decides to learn CPR in case Gage wills himself into a catatonic state.
Picking up where we left off last week, Jeff, Vanina, and Jenni Pulos are in the car. Vanina has just admitted she’s not feeling valued at Jeff Lewis design, and thinks it might be time for her to leave. Jeff asks if she feels respected. No. She feels overwhelmed, overworked, and under-appreciated. Jeff tries to joke around the issue, but Vanina’s not having it. Jenni knows this is no time for poking fun at a crying woman, and flatly calls him out on it. But he’s uncomfortable with Vanina going dark. “Respect the darkness!” commands Jenni, who has shockingly become a Jedi Master since last season.
Is it possible to be personally invested in the lives of reality TV folks one has never, nor will ever meet? Because, for good or for bad, that’s me when it comes to Jeff Lewis and the gang of Flipping Out. And this season, things feel more personal than ever. Season nine left off with Jeff and Gage Edward expecting their first child via surrogate, Zoila Chavez, Jeff’s housekeeper of eighteen years, moving out on her own, and renovations of Jeff’s current home, Valley Vista, only halfway completed. Since then, Jeff has (finally) agreed to agree to Zoila’s long overdue retirement this past year, which means he’ll have to find someone else to get his three brown salsas and alphabetize his refrigerator items, going forward. (Oh, the humanity!)
For season ten, we pick up just four weeks before the birth of baby girl Monroe, whose arrival will change everything. And Jenni Pulos doesn’t know it yet (at time of filming), but she’ll be expecting baby number two – her second daughter – who was born this past June after a long and arduous IVF journey. Whew. There’s a lot of life changes on the horizon for this crew. So, let’s jump right in and see how it all shakes out!
With enormous life changes this year, Jeff says the viewers are in for a different kind of season. He does, however, admit that his crusty old ways aren’t entirely gone. (For example, preview clips show Vanina Alfaro being brought to tears by yet another one of Jeff’s tirades.) But daily life has changed for Jeff. Besides the laundry, diapers, and toys, he’s still getting used to something else – someone else – needing his attention besides work.
After eighteen years of working for Jeff Lewis, everyone’s favorite Flipping Out cast member Zoila Chavez has officially retired. As of this moment, there’s no word on if this is just from housekeeping or if it’s from working all together (i.e. appearing on on the show).
Hopefully this housekeeping retirement does not mean reality TV retirement. The show just wouldn’t be the same without her. Either way, I feel like Jeff should throw Zoila an over the top retirement party. She more than deserves that.
On last night’s season 9 finale of Flipping Out, it was the end of one era and the beginning of another. As Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward say goodbye to Zoila Chavez living with them, they make room for the new life who will be joining them all too soon. When Jeff and Gage see their daughter move on an ultrasound, that new era becomes more of a reality than ever.
Despite these emotional transitions, Jeff and the gang must still keep up their hustle. So they take a job with Real Housewives of Orange County star (and close friend of Jeff’s) Shannon Beador to decorate her new home. And her budget is HUGE!
Sadly, last week may have possibly held the only tender moment we’ll see on this season’s Flipping Out, as Jeff Lewis has officially lost his one remaining marble. With the stress of their Valley Vista remodel looming before them, the drama with Zoila Chavez behind them, and the promise of a new life joining them soon, Gage Edward and Jeff are at a crossroads. Instead of using his big boy coping strategies like therapist Dr. Donna suggested, Jeff instead opts for a full nuclear meltdown with a side of rage. At Gage, at architects, at ducks, at mailboxes. You name it! He’s on a tear.
Since Silent Matt has left, Gage has been picking up some major slack. But Jeff chooses to mercilessly rag on him in the car on their way to a job site anyway. In the back seat, Gage is at his breaking point as Jenni Pulos sits in the front seat awkwardly trying to diffuse the situation with a combination of whispery mantras and subtle side-eyes. Suddenly, we flash back to three days prior to see how they ended up in this pressure cooker of resentment.