It’s a great day at Jeff Lewis Design! We’re only on episode 2 and already have one flip out behind us, one new clueless intern ahead, and the rest of the Flipping Out gang (minus Andrew, of course) back in action.
This week, we begin at Gramercy where Jeff is hearing news from Gage Edward about a “Jefferson thing” sent via text to Intern Joe, who has no idea what that means. Neither does Jeff. But before Joe can blink, in walks Gage to snipe at him to “get clarification in person” next time he has a question – rather than pass on his weird text messages to Jeff sans interpretive call? Gage is stressed and Jeff is snippy. The addition of Joe as Gage’s “assistant” was supposed to help ease Gage’s stress, however Joe’s obvious inadequacy in sending mail and answering text messages is hurting rather than helping the already tense situation.
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Jeff and Jenni Pulos head to Heather McDonald’s house, where Jeff’s been hired to do a “light and quick” decor remodel. Jeff quips that Heather’s taste is so bad that he basically needs to tear everything down, even her $12 paintings and start from scratch. Heather is 99% sure she made out with Jeff in college, so they go way back as, uh, “friends” too. Whoa! Jeff is worried that there’s such a disconnect between his style vision and Heather’s current decor that she & her husband will not be able to envision his ideas. “I hate it! Hate it!” says Jeff of Heather’s bookshelves, “It’s like a junk room. It’s a mess!” People don’t need to see books! They need to see gray, black, and white!
Jesse the painter is back! He meets Jenni, Jeff, and Megan Weaver at Jeff’s 3-bungalow Finley project which he wants to turn into an office compound, including guesthouse. What the what!? Jeff is actually moving into a REAL office space at some point? I still envision Jenni being forced to share a desk with Jeff no matter where he moves. Gage has been overseeing most of the Finley project along with his zillion other business duties, so he’s overwhelmed. Jeff says Gage is the most important employee he has. “He really drives the train,” says Jeff. Jeff tells Gage to get “a little more balance” in his life because he seems “constipated.” But Gage is not hearing this from the likes of Jeff and Jenni, who are 1) not his mom and dad, and 2) don’t know the first thing about “balance.” Jeff thinks Gage needs a Jenni in his life, but tragically, Gage got Joe, the booby prize, instead.
Through a mutual friend, Jeff heard about an experienced and professional assistant named Matthew, who Jeff hires quickly to bail out a stressed Gage. Joe is demoted to 2nd assistant, then? Matthew takes over Joe’s place at Gage’s right hand and immediately gets down to business. Jenni thinks, “Wow, it’s Gage 2.0!” So perhaps Joe is Andrew 2.0? Yikes. While Jeff needs to screw around all day, according to Gage, Gage needs to work. He spends the car ride to a job site instructing Matthew nonstop on the minute of what they’ll need to do that day. I hope Matthew is writing this sh*t down.
Back at Gramercy, Jeff tells Jenni she has to ride with Jesse the painter to the next job site, which Jenni is not looking forward to. Last time she rode with him, he could barely see, but this time his glasses are fixed and he’s only got eyes for Mrs. Pulos. While he complains to Jenni about his wife never wanting to get it on with him, he assures her that his health and HOR-MON-EHS are just fine! So, let’s pull over right here? Jenni uncomfortably humors him, her finger pressing 9…1… on her cell while Jesse coos, “I love you, ok?” and “You beautiful.” Ain’t nobody getting paid enough for this ride.
At Matthew’s Day 1 hazing ritual, Gage is marching him from project to project showing him the ropes. While over at Heather McDonald’s Woodland Hills remodel, Jeff meets a traumatized (but smiling!) Jenni and Jesse to get the ball rolling on paint colors. Jeff only uses Jesse on “budget conscious” jobs, but Jesse is no fool and quotes Jeff an inflated price of $3k for a 3-room job. Get out of here! Jeff is no fool either, so he – and his clients – laugh straight in his face until he cuts the budget down to $2k, after much negotiation. “You get what you pay for with Jesse,” says Jeff. If the paint job isn’t perfect, well, it’s on Jesse.
In the car ride home, Jeff and Jenni hear from Gage, who is thrilled with the copious texting notes that Matthew has taken from him all day. Gage 2.0 has been created, people! And on the seventh day, Gage can rest. With the bar set so abysmally low by nearly every former Jeff Lewis employee/intern, one can only wonder what minimal skills would shock and impress Gage at this point, however. “You know what would make Matt perfect?” asks Jeff, “If he knew how to make drinks.” Back at the office, Gage actually institutes Bartending Training For Dummies as Matt’s next training exercise, but Matt (are we calling him Matt now? Sure, why not!) is not sure what to think about this drinking on the job requirement. “You’ll start soon,” Gage warns him of his budding drinking problem as a result of working for Jeff Lewis.
Intern Joe, meanwhile, has been demoted to trashcan-emptying-duty. Everyone’s got a purpose, I guess! Zoila Chavez is back at the ranch trying to explain these new vital trash duties to Joe, but he’s confused. Is he now Zoila’s assistant? Yes. Yes he his.
Vanina Alfaro, who has not been demoted, is accompanying Jeff and Jenni on a furniture shopping trip to scope out new pieces for Heather’s Woodland Hills remodel. He’s scared to involve Heather and her “bad taste,” but in she and Peter walk to swiftly veto most of Jeff’s choices. Though they like modern design, “It’s bad modern,” says Jeff. Heather and Peter’s incessant bickering is a also stumbling block to decision making, so Jeff resorts to sell tactics like “You look so skinny in that chair!” to get Heather on board. That’s Jeff’s gift, says Jenni. True confession: I’d totally buy that chair if Jeff told me that. #easilyswayed
Night falls on Gramercy as Matt finishes up Day 2. He’s too focused, thinks Jeff and Jenni. He’s…uh, actually working and concentrating on details, which is just not fun. So Jeff and Jenni distract him with questions like, “Can you spell ‘orthodontics’?” and “What year did you graduate high school?” (It’s 2010, he says – O.M.G., I am oooooold.) Jenni was on her second marriage by then, so she can’t relate either. Whew.
Outside the house, Joe is armed with a hand broom while he follows Zoila around sweeping up the patio. Then he looks in the window longingly at Matt silently reading Gage’s every mood, thought, and need. The sound of typing is all that can be heard between Gage 1.0 and Gage 2.0, and apparently, this due is just meant to be.
Back at Heather’s the paint is on the walls and looks great. Jesse is finishing touch ups, but he’s not inappropriately touching up Jenni today, so the project is moving along fine. #nolawsuitsyet Since there’s not a lot to critique about the project, Jeff instead launches into a critique of Heather and Peter’s relationship, which gets awkward fast.
Lunch break! There’s no sea salt chips, just “funky fusion” flavor (um, ick?) which puts Jeff off his game. Matt doesn’t join them for lunch because besides not speaking, he also apparently doesn’t eat. Actually he ate beforehand. Gage loves Silent Matt. He also loves Silent Matt working upstairs while Gage gets his funky fusion chip eating on downstairs. Jeff doesn’t get it because Jeff lists #drama as his number one job requirement when hiring new employees.
It’s time to put the furniture and finishing touches on Heather’s home and things are looking very sleek and clean and deliciously Jeff Lewis-y. “Changing a person’s paint color might not change their lives, but we change how they live,” says Jeff. True dat. On the ride home Gage calls Jeff to fill him in on some work details, and he’s in an unusually chipper mood. Jeff knows this personality change is all because of Gage’s new, beautifully workaholic soul mate: Matt. “He’s in love,” says Jeff. But even if he does run off with Gage 2.0, Jeff’s just happy Gage is not the harbinger of doom he usually is. Plus, with Joe becoming the new Zoila 2.0, all the bad b*tches of Gramercy are sitting pretty.
TELL US: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MATT? WILL JEFF EVER MOVE OUT OF HIS HOME OFFICE? DID YOU LIKE HEATHER MCDONALD’S RENO?
Photo Credit: Bravo