It’s time for Jeff Lewis and Gage Edward to move into their new home. So that means it’s also time to start epic fights with new neighbors in the driveway! On camera. Because this is Flipping Out, after all, and we would expect nothing less from our favorite OCD designer. Plus, baby Monroe’s screams are about to drive this faceless neighbor to the brink of sanity, so why not start things out with a bang?
After last week’s sh*tshow, Jeff and Gage are in a mildly more amicable place. Translation: Jeff has not called the lawyers to divide assets yet. We begin at Valley Vista, where dawn is breaking on the new fathers rocking their baby. Zoila Chavez is trying to help out, but she’s at a loss. Jeff is at least excited about moving back to Hollywood soon, where he thinks he’ll get some of his old life back. Earth to Jeff: You had a baby. You will NEVER get your “old life back,” dude. Embrace the cray-cray.
There are still a thousand jobs and tasks to do before (and after) the move, and Jeff has committed to a speaking engagement in his spare time – so I guess he’ll have to wait on getting that life back until further notice. His newest design project is a doozie too: Jackie Siegal, of Queen Of Versailles fame (a must-watch documentary!!!), has been led into Jeff’s design world courtesy of fellow Floridian, Lea Black.
Jackie is – how do I put this? – batsh*t crazy. But she’s sweet, plus she’s loaded – or at least, she once was. And she’s been building the monstrosity known as “the biggest house in America” for the past gazillion years. We’re talking 90,000 square feet, 11 kitchens, crystal doorknobs made of angel tears…you get the picture. Jeff wonders what the hell he’s gonna do with a joint like that, besides demolish all of the gold foil and install 3-inch white quartz slabs everywhere? More to come on this later…
In the mean time, it’s moving day! As Jeff and Gage pack up the office, Jenni Pulos coos over Monroe’s baby book. No time for that nonsense, woman! This train is leaving, even if the contractors at New Hollywood are still installing light fixtures literally at the moment the moving truck pulls in. Moving day (or days, as it were) isn’t the same with a baby, as everything’s gotta happen based around Monroe’s nap schedule. “It’s not the smartest thing to move your baby at 5 months old,” admits Jeff, “but it’s the smartest thing for our relationship.”
The smartest thing for Jeff’s relationship with his new neighbor, however, is apparently to scream at her (it’s a her, right?) when she doesn’t move her vehicle out of his driveway quickly enough. This comes on the heels of Jeff giving everyone in his home marching orders for EXACTLY how he’d like this move to proceed. With Monroe screaming in the background, everyone just nods yes while Jeff looks around wild-eyed but grateful that Gage will be taking Monroe in his car. (Even though Gage looks like he is going to soil his khakis while his baby rides in the backseat for the first time.) Monroe is safely tucked beside her nanny in back, but this doesn’t quiet her murderous screams. Thankfully, the car and its contents all make it to Hollywood in one piece.
But Monroe is not the only child acting up – Jeff’s dog, Chris, bites one of the movers while he’s innocently strolling by! OMG. This moving day, much like this newborn period in Jeff and Gage’s life, is giving us all PTSD. Is it not?!?! I am experiencing virtual heart palpitations just watching this nightmare from week to week.
When Jeff and Jenni arrive at New Hollywood, they find a Mercedes blocking their driveway – and it’s not the first time. Jenni politely asks the owner to move it, but Jeff’s not gonna be so polite. No no no. After he instructs the moving truck to pull up within literal INCHES of the Mercedes, he goes into a full bore rage on the neighbor. And in this case, I kinda get it. A blocked driveway on any day, let alone moving day (with a colicky baby and a biting dog in tow) is just not cool.
“Move your car!” screams Jeff, threatening to tow the neighbor’s vehicle if she ever blocks him again. “Is this how we’re going to start this relationship?” he yells after the neighbor doesn’t respond to Jeff’s verbal barrage by obeying quickly enough. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” snarks Jeff after he’s done laying into her, “You’re welcome.”
The poor movers are also walking on eggshells trying not to wake Monroe as they tiptoe furniture in piece by piece. I’m not sure their efforts make any sense, considering the fact that Monroe is screeching 100% of the time they’re moving in.
Days after the move from hell is over, Jeff and his office staff work at their new digs in relative peace. Jeff says he is now “choosing to be happy” even though he’s not feeling it. Zoila, for one, is not buying what Jeff’s selling. But she’s pleased to see Jeff smiling instead of barking orders at her – so, she’ll take it.
At Jeff’s speaking engagement, he does what he does best: Talks design and charms the crowd. He hopes to get clients and connections out of these kinds of gigs, which is just the icing on the cake after being paid for speaking in the first place. Plus, he’s a giver, that Jeff Lewis! He needs to save humanity from red wood, one skinny plank floorboard at a time – whether they know it or not. When an audience member asks Jeff if his house flipping/moving will slow down now that he has a baby, he says no. The only reason he’s been in a relationship with Gage this long is because he can change houses and cars. So that coping skill/escape hatch is going nowhere.
Even this recent move has worked wonders on Jeff’s mood. He likes the new house, the new neighborhood, the new daily walks and routines. He and Gage are more connected now, and Monroe is calming down a bit (HOORAY!). Jeff also admits he’s in a better place emotionally, so he’s not “throwing gasoline on the fire” as much these days. Understanding that he has a rather large part in his home’s dysfunction is an enormous milestone for Jeff and cannot be overlooked as trivial therapy talk.
At his therapist’s suggestion, Jeff also willingly closes his eyes to envision his life in three years. What does he see? she wonders. He sees Monroe, another baby with Gage, a two-story house, his father and stepmom, and a birthday party. He’s happy envisioning this; this is the life he wants. But can he get there? Yes, he believes he can if he works at it. Call me naive, but I do too! No matter how dark this show goes, I am always rooting for these guys. Always.
At lunch with Lea Black, Jeff, Jenni, and Megan listen to all of the reasons they should work with the Queen of Versailles. Jeff is game, even though Jackie drives around in a van with her picture painted on the side. Because she is cuckoo. It’s a match made in heaven, actually!
After a slew of client calls, Jeff, Jenni, and Gage meet Jackie at Lea’s home. “Jackie is wacky,” Jenni muses, immediately loving the mother-of-eight billionaire. Her palace, er, house is wacky too – but so was Aaron Spelling’s! And Jeff has plenty of Spelling manor photos to show Jackie, who might actually think she’s looking at her own house. Because, again, she is more than a little touched in the head. After being regaled with Jackie’s list of wants – including ice skating rinks and Benihana’s inside of her home – Jeff cringes…yet sees dollar bills floating before his eyes. This job could mean high levels of psychotic episodes, yes. But also buckets of money!
Jeff wants to actually see the palace and get to know Jackie first before he commits to the project ahead. Not living on the same planet be damned! Jeff is willing to work with this sweet ole’ space alien. And she’s willing to go to bat for Jeff with her husband, who will be the real decider here. And I pray to the Bravo gods please, please, please, let this project happen on camera for all to see! It’s just too good. I am ready for Versailles!!! And if Jeff is forced to design an actual Benihana’s in this crazy chick’s mansion, well then, I don’t need any other Christmas gifts this year.
TELL US: DO YOU HOPE JACKIE HIRES JEFF ON FOR VERSAILLES? WAS THE MOVE TO HOLLYWOOD JUST WHAT JEFF AND GAGE NEEDED? WILL JEFF EVER STOP MOVING?
Photo Credit: Bravo