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.
Monroe does sleep on the flight home – then we suddenly cut to three months later! Obviously, Bravo halted filming (I’d assume, per Jeff and Gage’s request) until things settled down. However, things have decidedly not settled down. Because the first sound we hear pealing through the offices of Jeff Lewis Design is a baby’s scream. Monroe’s awake! And she needs attention. From the looks on everyone’s faces, this is not a new scenario. They are exhausted.
The nanny is on the case, but Gage checks in with her – something Jeff wishes he would stop doing. He thinks they should just let the nannies (multiple?) do their jobs so everyone else can get through the work day. Jeff has also beefed up his house and business staff. New design associate
and future Real Housewife contender by the looks of her, Cat, has come on board, as has Nancy, who’s taking on the role of house assistant – i.e., animal wrangler, i.e., Zoila Chavez 2.0. Megan Weaver and Jenni Pulos are apparently still employed, but blip-on-the-radar Taylor is gone. And of course, Vanina Alfaro left just before Monroe was born. <sad emoji face>
Okay – producers are obviously experimenting with some sort of Quentin Tarantino directorial technique this season, because now we are transported to earlier that very morning. As dawn breaks, Zoila, Jeff, and Gage discuss their new schedule, which involves being up at 5:22am. Together. Gage says the first night they brought Monroe home, she screamed. “And that started the next three months of…holy sh*t, what did we do?” Well, one thing they did is make a BEAUTIFUL child, because Monroe is a doll!
Jeff thinks everyone he’s ever known has lied to him – at least when it comes to parenting. He knew it would be hard, but this experience is kicking his a$$. Yup, sounds about right. Monroe having acid reflux and colic is not helping matters either. Jeff feels like he’s failing at knowing what his baby needs, and Gage just can’t believe how hard it all is. *I’d like to pause here to remind viewers at home that neither one of these men actually GAVE birth, then were forced to care for a newborn while physically wrecked AND that they have an entire household staff at their disposal!!!!!!* But, yes, it is hard, and I do think their pain is valid.
Later that day, Jeff gets a sweet little email from former employee, Taylor, who’s decided to air his grievances about his former boss. Taylor basically thinks Jeff is a raging a$$hole, too controlling, and an egomaniac. So…is this supposed to be new information??? Jeff is also Jeff, so he fired Taylor unceremoniously after Taylor had emailed him a “review” of working at JLD for only 89 days. He never made it to 90, poor kid. Taylor ends his rant with, “Go f**k yourself, Jeff! I fear for your daughter.” Jeff, who’s had maybe 4 hours of sleep in the past three months, is like, KIDS TODAY!!!! Whatevs.
At Newport Beach, Jeff, Megan, and Jenni meet with their client, Heather – you know, the one who likes to tell hideously depressing stories about infertility and childbirth to new parents? The project is on pace, as far as Jeff is concerned, but Heather is unreasonable in her expectations, especially given her indecisive nature. Also, she needs to trust Jeff’s design choices, period. Because he’s the master! And despite loving or hating him as a person, one has to admit that he’s got better design instincts than 99.9% of his clients.
On the ride home, Jenni updates Jeff about her ultrasound. She’s six months pregnant!!! Only having one embryo implanted was a risk, and Jenni is thrilled it paid off. She is not relishing the long nights though, especially after witnessing Jeff and Gage’s pain up close and personal.
Sometime later at Old Hollywood, Gage, Jenni, and Megan check in on the renovations. After the architect-from-hell experience of last year, Old Hollywood was stuck in limbo. But now they’ve got real plans and are ready to hire real contractors to build out a real reno. Plus, they bought a whole ‘nother house next door! This comes in handy, since Jeff plans to move everyone – baby, Gage, office, EVERYONE – into New Hollywood while construction continues on Valley Vista. Why Jeff thought construction plus baby was a winning combo before is unclear. #DUH
Speaking of Valley Vista, everyone there is in hell. Monroe’s screams have become the constant soundtrack of their working environs, which is not helping morale. But poor little Monroe is just being a colicky baby! Zoila knows this, and she’s pretty zen about the whole scenario. Gage is NOT zen about it, though, running to check on Monroe constantly, controlling the thermostat like a cave troll, and (according to Jeff) not letting anyone help out with care and feeding – unless it’s done to his exact specifications. In other words, Gage has turned into Jeff Lewis. And Jeff Lewis does NOT like living with himself!
At a working lunch, Gage yawns and stares at the baby monitor while the animals try to get in a quick nap between screams. He also accuses Jeff of throwing away supplies he needs for the baby, which makes Jeff wonder, “Do guys get their period?” Gage says no, but guys can get postpartum – because he has it! Feeling downtrodden and sleep deprived, Gage recounts how Jeff has passed off most of the baby responsibilities to him. And he’s doing all he can, but there’s also a business to run, which requires his attention. Basically, Gage is singing the song of every new mother who’s come home and undergone the sudden (and sometimes brutal) identity shift that having a baby brings. Something’s gotta give.
As Jeff and Jenni head out on a round of client calls, Gage remains a prisoner in his own home. The nanny called off sick, so he’s gotta stay with Monroe. Jeff is mildly sympathetic, but doesn’t fully understand the pressures and identity crisis Gage is facing. Jeff does have his own set of hardships to face, like locking himself out of houses on site – resulting in contractors scaling balconies. Jenni just thinks chaos follows Jeff…and Jenni would be correct!
Back home, Monroe screams and Gage rubs his bleary eyes. It’s early morning, which means time for Gage’s night shift to end and his working shift to begin. Jenni senses the pressure cooker of new parenthood around her, listening to Jeff and Gage bicker about contracts and emails and small sh*t that doesn’t matter. “We’re brewing for a HUGE fight,” says Jeff when Gage tries to brush off his criticisms. Jeff feels ready to pull a Janet Jackson and leave his partner after three months of raising a child together. “I’m surprised she lasted that long!” he snarks.
Newport Beach client, Heather, has rejected all of Jeff’s design choices. He’s losing interest in the project and feeling frustrated in the partnership, so maybe it’s time to end it. Long term, it’s not a good match. Long term, Jeff hand Gage also hope Monroe sounds less like a baby velociraptor.
Jeff, Jenni, and Megan head out to a fancy lunch at Babbette’s in Newport Beach later – the kind of lunch that Gage is probably dreaming about as he wipes spit up from his shirt and squirts more Visine into his eyes back home – to meet Heather.
But before she arrives, Megan gets a surprising call. Her daughter, eleven years old, has just gotten her period! She’s at school across town, which freaks Megan out. She needs to go to her baby – who’s suddenly a woman! Jenni orders her to go outside to call the school nurse and take care of things. Jeff jokes that he can’t wait for this day to come for Monroe. Um, I can only surmise that Jenni – not Jeff – will be on the receiving end of that call from future tweenage Monroe.
When Heather arrives, she rejects Jeff’s design advice in person, then actually makes some decisions on the spot. It’s a new day in their partnership, perhaps? No, it’s not. Jeff gently broaches dumping her as a client, but she offers the idea of keeping him on as a design consultant rather than lead design firm. Jeff agrees to the arrangement, assuring Heather that they’ll always be friends no matter how sh*tty their working relationship gets. He needs to have someone to lunch with outside of the house.
Another day, another email from Taylor! He apologizes for his inappropriate email(s), but still doesn’t appreciate being fired for his original one. Also, he’s still scared for Monroe. I, personally, am scared for Gage. Because that dude is on the EDGE! Let’s hope Jeff doesn’t push him right over it.
But he just might, because the next morning, Jeff starts in on Gage in the car about him giving up the morning feedings. DUDE – GAGE NEEDS MORE SLEEP! Especially if he’s got to work. Jeff thinks that this is a ridiculous proposition though, cruelly saying Gage is just spoiled and entitled. If Gage gives up the morning feeding, asks Jeff, “Then what’s your contribution? Because I’m the one paying all of the f**king bills!”
Enraged, Gage feels like he should just walk away at that very moment. But he suppresses his anger for the moment…saving it up to go full tilt nuclear later? Or maybe actually leave Jeff? Whatever it is, it ain’t looking good.
TELL US: TEAM JEFF OR TEAM GAGE?
Photo Credit: Bravo