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.
But there cannot be the sweet without the sour, and Jeff also faces a whole heap o’ that in the days leading up to Monroe’s birth. At Valley Vista, Jenni Pulos helps Gage pack his bags for Chico, where he and Jeff will need to travel for the birth. With Vanina Alfaro set to leave the business, the house closing for New Hollywood, and nearly constant construction at Valley Vista, Gage is about to devolve into a puddle on the floor. As for Jeff, he heads to therapy! That’ll fix it.
At the therapist’s office, Jeff confesses that he already feels very protective over his unborn child. He admits he runs a pretty dysfunctional home/office environment, and it’s what he’s used to. But he doesn’t want Monroe, who has a “clean slate,” to be subjected to that. Though Jeff’s expressing his feelings more, Dr. Donna wonders if he and Gage are having any fun lately? Uh…the answer would be NO. “I mean, I’m having fun,” snickers Jeff, who knows poor Gage is about to have a full throttle aneurysm back home.
Before heading to Chico, Jeff, Megan Weaver, and Vanina head down to San Diego to see Jeff’s long-time
perpetually confused client, Krista. After going through a traumatic divorce, Krista wanted her entire house remodeled. Now she wants to sell it, so the remodel has to come to a quick close. Jeff and Gage plan to fly up to Sacramento two days before the due date, then wait for the call from there. In the mean time, Jeff’s working on design decisions down to the wire – as Krista pets her dog and lounges by the pool, incidentally.
Back home, Zoila Chavez in feeding animals and taking immunization advice from Gage. Though she side-eyes his demands that she get vaccinated for whooping cough, she’ll play along. She’s gonna be the grandmama in charge once that baby comes home, after all.
After returning from San Diego, Jeff shows Betty, the night nurse, around the nursery. She’s blown away by its beauty, of course, probably knowing it will be trashed within approximately three days of Monroe’s arrival. She also flatly informs Jeff and Gage that they have definitely bought TOO MUCH SH*T. Basically, the baby needs clothes, diapers, and bottles. But the Babies-R-Us situation they’ve got set up in the guest house will be great for future registries! Gage seems deflated when Betty schools him. He read the books, people! But he doesn’t know anything about the reality of bringing a baby home.
Jenni’s infection has been clearing up, so she’ll still be joining Jeff and Gage in the birthing room, as will Jeff’s dad and stepmother. Someone who I imagine is banned from ALL birthing rooms everywhere is Chaz Dean, who Jeff, Jenni, and Gage visit to discuss the eternal project known as the bungalows. Nuria, Chaz’s business manager (and Jeff’s nemesis), is on hand to help Chaz needle Jeff about how he’s too hard on his employees. Case in point: Vanina is leaving just at the time they need her most.
At another project stop in Glendale, Jeff talks to his client, Stephanie, about her moving soon. Though he warned Stephanie not to be too specific in her design choices (in case of resale), she didn’t listen. And now she’s selling, just like he knew she would.
In the car afterward, Jeff wonders if they should just demand that their surrogate, Alexandra, be induced? He can’t handle not being in control of this birth situation! Neither can Gage, who has basically taken up stalking as his second job. He texts Alexandra morning, noon, and night. She is probably ready to freaking induce by now too! But in actuality, Alexandra has not decided to be induced, as it poses a risk. Jeff suggests a 5-mile hike instead. But Jenni reminds him that he can’t tell the woman carrying his unborn child what to do. She’s not a damn contractor! He’s definitely not okay with this.
Jeff is also not okay with Vanina leaving the business, so he takes her out to lunch to make one final play to keep her. He admits that it’s been a really rough year, and he totally understands why she’s ready to go. But he values her, and actually tells her the enormous respect her has for her, not to mention how much she’s helped his business. What will it take for her to stay? Vanina isn’t sure. But Jeff wants to fight for her, joking that “it’s like the Firm, you can never leave.”
Even though she’s considered staying, Vanina says leaving isn’t just about being unhappy. She wants to branch out on her own, and she knows she’ll never make that big move if she’s got Jeff’s paychecks coming in. Knowing that Vanina is definitely ready to strike out on her own, Jeff offers her an uncharacteristically humble apology for all of the times he’s taken frustrations out on her or unfairly blamed her for something. She’s been a fantastic employee, and he wishes her the best. Plus, he’ll miss her.
Now, it’s baby time! On the due date, Jeff, Gage, and Jenni pick up Jeff’s dad and stepmom, then head to a hotel in Sacramento. It’s a waiting game until Alexandra goes into labor…which lasts two full days past the baby’s due date. Once Gage gets a text about Alexandra losing her mucus plug (just what everyone wants to hear at lunch!), the gang heads out to Chico to wait. They visit the OB/GYN first, where there’s more frustrating news: It could be up to a week before this baby comes. Because as everyone who’s ever had a baby knows, there is NO telling when labor will happen. Jeff and Gage’s heads practically explode all over the blue drywall when they hear this, however.
“All adventures have to come to an end,” says Jeff in the hotel later. “I’m suggesting we end this as soon as possible.” But “as soon as possible” means three days later, which is when Alexandra agrees it’s time to induce. While she labors, Jeff and crew wait…and wait…and wait. They’re at the end of a journey that started back in 2014, when he and Gage first consulted a specialist about having a child. And they won’t have to wait much longer – because the moment is finally upon them!
In scrubs, Jeff, Gage, and Jenni (who’s even holding Alexandra’s leg!) bear witness to the two most shocking sights they’ve ever seen: 1) a vagina, and 2) their beautiful newborn daughter entering the world. And all joking about vaginas aside, it really is a tender, powerful moment. The instant Jeff and Gage see their baby, then hold her for the first time afterward, is just about the most endearing thing I’ve seen on any reality TV show – ever. Jeff is crying, the baby is crying, I’m crying – it’s just too much!
“Thank you,” Gage whispers to Alexandra as he rocks Monroe in his arms. “You’re welcome,” she says, just before Jeff takes Monroe in his arms to look at the new little life that will change his forever.
TELL US: DID YOU BAWL YOUR HEAD OFF LAST NIGHT, OR WAS I THE ONLY ONE? ARE YOU SURPRISED VANINA LEFT?
Photo Credit: Bravo