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.
In Vanina’s mind, even the 25% raise she got this year isn’t making up for Jeff’s verbal lashings. But she decides not to quit on the spot, perhaps in a plan to torture Jeff with the “will she or won’t she?” game to give him a taste of his own medicine. Check mate.
Later, the crew gathers for lunch, with Vanina silently nibbling at her food while Jeff’s newest assistant, Taylor, makes small talk. Suddenly, Jeff commends Vanina for not quitting…yet. Gage is shocked to hear this, given the fact that they need Vanina desperately right now. And he certainly doesn’t want Jeff to push her off the very precarious ledge she’s currently standing on.
At a client’s site later, Jeff works out measurements for pools and spas. Jenni loves watching Jeff’s design wheels turn (ditto here!). But when Vanina arrives later to assist, the design joy goes out of her eyes. She is at least relieved to see that Jeff doesn’t antagonize Vanina further – for now.
Back at the office, Jeff asks Megan Weaver to text Vanina, who’s out at another job site. Megan agrees that Vanina was hurt about being berated (albeit secondhand) over the plant issue, but thinks she needs to move on. (From the job? Hmm. What’s Megan’s angle on this?) Jeff just thinks Vanina needs to suck it up and get over it. Work is work. Gage mildly suggests that Jeff take a look in the proverbial mirror. Does he see what everyone else sees? Jeff’s like, “I’ve been the same person for SIX YEARS!” (which is how long Vanina’s worked for him). Yeah, but Vanina was younger and less experienced then. Now she has options.
Jeff and Jenni later head to his property, Old Hollywood. Jeff is thinking of buying the property adjacent to it, New Hollywood. If another buyer snaps it up and obstructs Old Hollywood’s view, it could dig into his flip value big time – so Jeff wants to jump on the opportunity NOW, even though the timing is awful. Jenni muses how it’s par for the course for Jeff to introduce more chaos into his life at the very time he should be simplifying. This is classic Jeff. Plus, New Hollywood is eighties fabulous! And with a Jeff Lewis makeover, it will dazzle.
Jenni is still awaiting news from her doctor about her IVF results. She took a pregnancy test, which was positive (yay!), but now it’s a waiting game to see if the fetus will be viable. Since she’s miscarried several times, she remains cautiously hopeful.
From the office, Jeff announces the purchase on New Hollywood is final. Now he just has to come up with the money! Gage is completely overwhelmed, mentally checking out of Jeff’s ramblings about all of the surveys and financing and blah, blah, blah to come. They have a baby coming in just over a week!!! But Jeff’s method is to compartmentalize, and he does so expertly – even conveniently forgetting that Vanina kinda/sorta quit. As evidence of this, he expects her to take care of his escrow details when they’re gone.
When Vanina hears about these extra duties, she verbally says yes. But her entire body says: I. Am. Planning. Your. Murder. Especially after Jeff pokes at her, joking that she’ll need to work around the clock and even attend his psychic reading if need be. Gage’s eyes silently beg for Jeff to STOP THIS. But who is he kidding? #CantStopWontStop
In the car, Jeff and Vanina call to check in on Jenni, who’s feeling sick from her fertility drugs. She sounds awful, but vows to come into work the next day. Jeff doesn’t want her to overdo it, knowing she’s likely the person who’s eyes he’ll be staring into when he takes his last breath on this earth. This doesn’t stop him from mocking the infection she has in her a$$ currently, however.
The next day, Jenni valiantly comes into the office, gently positioning her derrière on the chair while grimacing in pain. Because she’s not laid up in a hospital bed somewhere with an IV strapped to her, Jeff takes this for Jenni at 100% capacity, so he puts her directly to work. But not before he asks, “Can I see your butt?” Jenni declines. She’d rather let his imagination paint the grim picture.
In another uncomfortably hilarious moment, Jeff’s grandma comes to the office and, upon hearing that Vanina quit, announces straight to her face, “You quit?! How ignorant!” Though she laughs it off, Vanina looks like she wants to sink through a hole in the floor. But then grandma defends Vanina as a responsible, hard worker who Jeff should think twice about treating like garbage. LISTEN TO GRANDMA, JEFFREY!
At client Kathy Watts’ home later, Jeff revels in the modern kitchen remodel he did for her. He likes Kathy because she listens to him – his favorite kind of client! And the kitchen is of course gorgeous, so she made the right decision to put her design fate in Jeff’s able hands. But Kathy berates him about Vanina potentially leaving (which Jeff freely brings up in front of both Kathy AND Vanina).
Jeff clearly wants Vanina to stay, and this is his M.O.: Use humor to deflect the real issue, hoping everyone just goes along with it, then forgets everything. But when Vanina clearly offers her two weeks notice on the spot, Jeff’s grin fades. He’s stunned that Vanina’s threats weren’t empty. And now he must come up with an actual grown-up plan to keep her…or else.
Until Jeff comes up with that plan, he continues to keep things light on the next job site, followed by the distraction of a bizarro CPR-training back home. Jeff thinks they all need to know CPR before the baby comes, so everyone lines up for duty. But it’s Zoila Chavez who offers her services as resuscitation victim when the trainer asks for a volunteer, if only because she gets a free feel-up out of it.
After Zoila lives through her episode, everyone gets a chance to practice on the doll of their choice. And if the way Jeff and Gage are holding these dolls indicates their comfort level at present moment with becoming fathers, it’s a CODE RED situation, ya’ll! Nah – I’m actually of the mind that these two, as freaked out as they are (and as ALL first time parents can be) will be just fine. Especially if they keep Zoila around – because that lady is a warrior. (Even if she didn’t learn CPR from this wackjob Jeff hired.)
Back at New Hollywood, Jeff, Taylor, and Jenni get the property inspection done just under the wire. Even though the place looks decent, the inspection delivers a series of bummer news – including water, drainage, and chimney problems. But that won’t prevent Jeff from buying it. Meanwhile, Gage is back at the office, feeling unprepared and anxious. He’s about to hyperventilate into a series of paper bags, but somehow manages to focus on pertinent details like car seats and plane schedules instead of buying new properties DAYS before his daughter’s birth. Suffice to say, his resentment is building to a fever pitch.
But Jeff has no time to worry about Gage’s irritation, because Vanina’s is the one on his radar. And she’s ready to walk. Instead of getting honest with her about how much he values her, Jeff teases Vanina later about seeing a therapist. “It might be a good idea just to take a look at your life,” he says. If only to decide if it’s actually work that’s messing with her mind
or just Jeff. “I just cannot do it anymore,” says Vanina emphatically. This seems to sober Jeff for a moment, who then tells Vanina he will truly support her in whatever venture she moves on to next. He even encourages her to start her own firm, swearing he will refer business to her.
Though in this moment, Jeff seems to accept the fact that he’s losing Vanina, he’s not really letting go just yet. Previews reveal Jeff pulling a Seinfeld on Vanina and not accepting the breakup! But in the end, it might not be up to him.
TELL US: WILL VANINA REALLY LEAVE JEFF TO START HER OWN FIRM? IS JEFF BUYING A HOUSE DAYS BEFORE THE DUE DATE CRAZY OR SMART BUSINESS? ARE YOU EXCITED FOR THE BIRTH NEXT WEEK?
Photo Credit: Bravo