Do you know how I know that my love for Flipping Out runs deep? I am always rooting for everyone on this show, including the incorrigible Jeff Lewis, even when they are being evil a$$holes. Okay, when Jeff is being an evil a$$hole. But, seriously! I want the best for him – for all of them. (And of course, I want him to throw out all of my husband’s hideous college sh*t and redecorate my house from scratch, but I’ll have to settle for living vicariously through his clients for now.)
Last night’s finale, aptly titled “Full Circle,” brought us to the end of Flipping Out’s most intense season yet. A baby changes everything, and it certainly changed the lives of everyone on this show, most notably Gage Edward’s and Jeff’s. The nightmare of parenting a colicky infant, the revolving door of nannies, and losing beloved staff along the way all took a toll on the new fathers. But it’s a new day at Jeff Lewis Design! And with (a much calmer) 10-month old Monroe getting baptized and sitting for her first professional photo shoot, they can finally celebrate making it through the storm. So, cheers, papas! (Warning: This recap will contain a sh*t-ton of photos because, well, there was a baby photo shoot! And a baptism! And, come on! It’s basically cuteness overload, folks.)
At New Hollywood, Jeff and the team are working while Gage is giving Monroe her breakfast. Monroe Christine Lewis runs this house, and everyone knows it. But Jeff doesn’t exactly love it. Monroe, though calmer, is still quite the screamer – and she’s not fit for public appearances yet, according to Jeff. But Monroe’s baptism is coming up, so she’ll be making her public debut soon, like it or not! Father Davies will be presiding, who Jeff hopes has a gentle spirit and good ear plugs.
Jeff and Jenni Pulos meet Father Davies at the church to go over the details of the day, which will include holy water, prayers, and screaming. Jeff is paranoid that the “very spirited” Monroe will act like…um, a baby? Jenni astutely notes that he’s often freaked out about regular baby behavior that seasoned parents sort of shrug off, annnnnd she’d be right about that! Monroe might scream, but nearly every baby does when they’re doused in water by a strange man in robes. So, meh. It’s all good. “I feel like you may be performing an exorcism,” jokes Jeff, at which the good-natured Father Davies just giggles. These two are a perfect match.
Heather Madden’s house is nearing completion, and she’s happy seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. After Jeff convinces Heather on wallpaper choices
which some poor schmuck will be removing from every room in ten years, they make final decisions on finishes everywhere. Jeff is happy about this new streamlined partnership with Heather, which had a rough start.
Over at Chaz Dean’s house, we get a load of Chaz’s new crazy hair, as well as his shirt being literally soaked with sweat from neck to midsection – WTF!?!? Oh, he just came from the gym, apparently. Still…ick. But he’s a very good friend of Jeff’s, as evidenced by Jeff’s big news: He wants Chaz to be Monroe’s godfather! Aww. Well, she’s in WEN products for life, at the very least. (Unless that class action suit goes the wrong way for Mr. Dean. Was that ever settled?) Chaz is shocked, but thrilled by the honor of being chosen. And he seems to take the role quite seriously. Plus, he’s the richest person Jeff knows, so he can fund her college education if it comes down to brass tacks!
Next, Jeff tells Jenni that he and Gage would like her to be Monroe’s godmother. YAY!!! Okay, now we can all breathe a sweet sigh of relief. Monroe is in good hands with Jenni Pulos, who is possibly the most good natured person on the planet – as evidenced by her long-suffering fortitude with Jeff, as well as her sweet mothering skills. Jenni is also thrilled to accept the honor, and everyone hugs in celebration. Jeff thinks Jenni’s a good pick because she’s religious, and he’ll take all the help from Heaven she can deliver.
Back home, Jeff organizes the last minute details of Monroe’s upcoming photo shoot, sponsored by OC Parent Magazine. Since Jeff is not the kind of dude who’s gonna take his kid to JC Penney’s for family photos, he’s thrilled about the situation. And if he can monetize his child’s photos, then hey – even better!
Jeff, Gage, Monroe, and Jenni all arrive at Lea Black’s house to shoot there on location. While Gage gets Monroe ready, Jeff warns the photographer repeatedly that this baby is very difficult!!! The photographer brushes his concerns off, and it’s a good thing, because Monroe seems to feel her zen energy, cooing and smiling throughout most of the session.
Jeff interviews that Gage has bonded with Monroe so much since her birth, and he’s definitely the more nurturing of the pair of them. He admits that Gage will be the one Monroe goes to when she needs emotional support, and he’s the one she’ll run to for…money? Nah, I bet Jeff is a big ole’ softie with that little angel when he’s alone with her. You can see it in his face when he holds her, looks at her, kisses her. It’s all right there.
“At the end of the day, you just want to raise a happy child,” says Jeff. “She’s moody, but so are her dads!” The magazine photo shoot shows only Monroe’s happy side, though, and these images will stay with them forever.
Like this one…
And this one…
And of course, the bragging rights of making the cover at only ten months old…
It’s a fun memory, and a fitting cap on a stressful season. Now – on to the baptism! But before that, there’s business to attend to. Jeff is losing another employee, Cat, who will be leaving for Atlanta with her husband, who’s got a business (film) opportunity there. She was planning on telling Jeff earlier, but with all the Zoila Chavez drama, held back until now. Jeff is disappointed to see another employee go, but what can you do? At least Megan Weaver hasn’t handed him her walking papers (yet!).
Jenni thinks change is good, and she’ll be going down with ship come what may, so change doesn’t affect her in the long term anyway. But first, she’ll be going on maternity leave for a bit…so Jeff will just have to temporarily deal with his sh*t solo. Jeff sighs, wondering if long-lost Vanina will come back to him one day? He’s keeping a post-puke picture of her on his vision board to will this homecoming into existence. Nice move, Jeff.
While Old Hollywood slowly comes together, Jeff revels in how in sync he and Gage are these days. When it’s their own project – not someone else’s – they work like a well oiled machine. And now that Gage has the “flipping bug,” he’s a perfect partner in crime to the constantly-on-the-move Jeff. Uh-oh. Monroe better keep her bags packed! In any case, Jeff foresees getting back into much more flipping, much less designing for other people. It just fits their style better, and it comes full circle back to his roots.
The antithesis of their Hollywood projects is Valley Vista – the money pit. Jeff regrets ever buying it, not knowing then the major amount of work it would need. But now they’re in too deep to get out. On the way back from Valley Vista, Jeff calls Lea Black to praise the bar (that he insisted upon) and her entire house’s new vibe. It looks modern, but not sterile, which for Jeff is sometimes tough to pull off. Lea loves it too, which is good news. Because she’s got friends with money! Plus, she wants to partner with Jeff as a real estate investor. Jeff likes the sound of this, as it adds to his growing roster of investors. No more new clients for him, it seems. It’s all about buying, renovating, and selling from here on out.
At home, Chaz stops by to visit Monroe, who is screaming her head off. Good practice for god-daddy! Maybe shocked at the sight of a Real Live Chaz towering above her high chair, Monroe bizarrely quiets right down. Then she gazes upon the (very expensive) necklace Chaz has gifted her. That will taste good later as a teething ring, I suppose.
At the lumberyard, Jeff talks to Eric, the owner, about the history of wood – which Chaz will love. The cheesier, the better for that guy. Jeff is trying to get Chaz’s studios in running order since the fire destroyed one of the bungalows, and another is under construction. Chaz pops by to select panels and floorboards, which shockingly doesn’t take a thousand years! (Do you remember the flooring selection at the bungalows a few years back? It. Was. Painful.)
It’s Cat’s last day, and Jeff wonders who the hell will leave next? Jenni is also heading off to maternity leave, and Megan will be traveling for the summer. “I’m the last man standing,” thinks Jeff, who will have no one left to torture soon except for Gage and Laura, the housekeeper. They better get their bullet proof vests on. Gage isn’t scared, though. He’s ready for a change – a change for the better, that is. They’ve weathered a major storm together, and the calm might be coming.
It’s the day of Monroe’s baptism, and everyone makes it to the church in one piece. So far, so good. Monroe is a perfect angel while Father Davies begins the ceremony and leads the recitation. Nerves fade a bit as Jeff, Gage, Jenni, and Chaz fall in line with the Father’s peaceful vibe. It’s all good in the neighborhood, people! Monroe is blessed with water, then handed to Jenni after the ritual ends, which sends her into less than ten seconds of fussing – then it’s back to happyland she goes. Good job, Monroe!
But it’s straight to the ugly cry for me, because these damn Bravo editors are KILLING me with their flashback montage of Jeff and Gage’s IVF and surrogacy story, paired with the group reciting Father Davies’ verses. Oh lord, I need a hankie – or a bath towel!!! These guys waited a long time to get to this moment, and I’m really, truly happy for them. <sniff>
Despite their flaws, Jeff and Gage have long wanted to be parents, and they’re committed to raising Monroe according to the best of their abilities – neurotic tendencies and all. That’s all any child can hope for, parents who want them and who promise to stick by them through thick and thin. Plus, Monroe has a pretty sweet set of godparents (and grandparents) to guide her along. She’s surrounded with a support system who will catch her if she falls.
Cut to three months later, and we see Valley Vista still under construction. Breaking news! Jeff is planning to MOVE BACK IN! “We know we’re gonna land there, we just don’t know when,” says Jeff. It’s in the right neighborhood for Monroe’s schools, and he’s got to think about his family’s long term needs now. This project, in addition to Hollywood 1 & 2, are taking up most of Jeff’s time. He’s also got other flips underway too, focusing his energy mostly on his own projects these days. It’s crazy chaos and waaaaay too much work – just the way Jeff likes it.
As for Monroe, she’ll be fine wherever she lands, as long as she’s got her family. No matter the chaos that awaits her, something tells me that this girl will be up for it. She’s Jeff’s daughter, after all. As The Beatles taught us, all you need is love. And this kid’s got oodles of coming her way.
TELL US: WHAT DID YOU THINK OF FLIPPING OUT, SEASON 10? AND THE FINALE?
Photo Credit: Bravo