For a quarter at a garage sale, you could buy a Malibu Barbie. For no money at all, you could develop a complex. For several million dollars, you could buy an apartment complex overlooking the ocean in Malibu, California, develop a reality show that takes place on the grounds, and there you have The Complex: Malibu. Why renovate an apartment complex, when you could drive eight couples to the brink of insanity? Were they insane in the first place? What is the secret to success in renovation? What is the sound of one sea urchin embryo in meiosis? Let's ponder these questions as we review Friday night's episode.
The premise: Eight couples renovate four apartments. They are divided into two teams, Upper and Lower Complex. Each week they are given a challenge, a room to renovate. At the end of the challenge, a panel of experts assess the apartments, one adding the lowest value, one adding the highest value to the complex. The team responsible for that lowest-value apartment will then have to evict one of the couples on their team. When four couples are left, they will be on their own and responsible for one of the apartments. The couple whose apartment ultimately adds the most value to the complex wins. They earn the profits from the sale of all the apartments, which will occur by public auction.
In the last episode, Upper Complex evicted Sanyika and Monique. Now, seven couples are left in the competition.
Grout Is a Fun Word to Say Aloud (Grout, Grout, Grout)
The teams open up their mail tubes and read about their next challenge: Master Bathroom. They will have $10,000 to spend in renovations, $3000 given them as a Sears gift certificate, the rest in cash. Also, they may apply the money left over from the Master Bedroom challenge to this challenge. The challenge begins when they finish reading the instructions. They have exactly 150 hours, and each team must nominate a Property Manager (which I'll abbreviate as PM).
Jayna is willing to take on PM responsibilities for the Upper Complex. She tells her teammates that she's not going to be autocratic; however, they must listen to her when she speaks. In Lower Complex, the devious renovators in Apartment Four nominate Kim again. Barney offers her compliments, but--behind her back--he calls her an idiot for taking on PM again (the PM doesn't get an eviction vote). Rose is the pot calling the kettle black (the cigarette calling the beach "tar"?), and she says that Kim's ego must be really big. Kim, however, continues to want to have a hand in what goes on with Apartment Four, and who can blame her?
Kim suggests upscale, elegant additions to the Fours' bathroom, such as a steam shower and a vertical spa. Barney later calls her a pain in the butt and compares her to a hemorrhoid. In Upper Complex Eric and Steve take out all the fixtures, while Sam and Jayna argue for the 21932924th time. Jayna determines Sam to be psychotic and says Sam should be on medication. Jayna, who in the last episode said she'd stay out of the fights, is immediately hooked in again. She is the bass calling the codfish "wide-mouthed."
136 hours to go, and Ana says that it's every apartment for themselves. Later, at 12:49 p.m., Barney shuffles around under the security cameras. In the eerie green lighting, he tells Rose, "Sabotage the bathroom." They conspire and decide to leave their bathroom unfinished and to use this opportunity to evict Kim and Carl. In the morning Dave and Ana are in on the plan. Rather than work, they go for a walk on the beach. The seagulls swarm them and poo on their heads and poke at their eyes. OK, this doesn't happen, but it's a nice thought.
Scotty and Sam head to Sears for a shopping
sortiespree. They buy more tools. If you remember from the last episode, Steve commented on how equipped they were, but he was wrong. Scotty is truly the handyman of Upper Complex. Stoic and a man of few words, he seems to know what he's doing. Anyway, we see Sam and Scotty run through Sears as if they just saw an x-ray of Rose's black lung.
In Unit One, Steve realizes he only has $87.28 remaining. They are broke, he says, because of the cost of bathtubs. Erik and Jayna decide to save funds by tiling the bathroom walls. They're confident about their abilities, they say, as we witness a tiling shot of Erik hitting Jayna's hand with a little hammer.
Back at Unit Four, Barney and Rose have also returned from shopping. They've purchased the cheapest vanity in the store, one with a plastic top. Lew is quick to point out that laminate is wrong. Kim is outraged that they bought a storebought vanity and cheap tile. Dave, in an aside, says he loves watching Kim suffer. Finally, Kim throws up her hands and tells the Fours to do everything themselves. "Now you're talkin', baby," Barney yells as Kim storms out. Kim's project, which she shares with Carl and Lew and Brad, is a work of elegance in contrast to the Fours' fiasco. They've custom-ordered green mosaic tile and are building their own vanity. Brad and Lew stay awake into the wee hours.
At 2:33 a.m. Erik and Jayna are also still awake, tiling their little paws off. They run into Steve and Nicole, hard at work on Unit One. Jayna points out to Steve that Scotty and Sam are asleep: "Just remember what you saw tonight. Two people sleeping over there and two people working." Jayna hasn't obviously remembered that tried-and-true saying: "A fool and his grout are both very sticky indeed."
Pin the Tail on the Half-assed Bathroom
Sunrise. Seagulls. Sure as seagull poop through the hourglass, so are the days of our miserable lives. Tyler, who is half Doc Martens boot/half human, gives the teams their 24-hour warning. He issues them a surprise: the PMs may survey the other teams' bathrooms. He blindfolds them so that they can all play a rousing game of "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" afterward. Rose wheezes and she accidentally incurs a tail-sticking. Kim's assessment of Unit One's bathroom is that it doesn't look too bad, but she calls the materials in Unit Two cheap. Jayna views Three's bathroom and says, "Not fair! Those are special order" about the green tiles. To Unit Four, she euphemistically says, "Minimalism." She asks, "Where's the value?" Right now, Unit Four's bathroom is just white, plain, and plastic.
Jayna returns to the Upper Complex team and tells them that Unit Three will likely win. Sam is offended that one of her own teammates is saying that they're going to lose.
Downstairs, Kim comments on Rose and Barney's taste. She says that it's almost as if they're trying to lose, and, in saying this, she begins to catch on to the Fours' plan. Kim makes suggestions to the Fours. Barney tells her that, if she changes anything, he'll stop working. Dave also says that, if he's not going to design the bathroom, he'll stop working.
Jayna and Sam have a fight. Jayna tells Sam that they let her (Jayna) be PM because they didn't want her to win. Also, she accuses Sam of "talking smack" about her and Erik behind their backs. Sam says it's just that type of comment which puts them both at odds and that, when she has something to say to them, she'll say it to their faces. Jayna calls her a liar. Erik runs the table saw and drowns them both out.
The Threes talk with Ana. Ana is, for all intents and purposes now, their liaison to the Fours. Exasperated, Kim asks Ana to look her in the eye and tell her that the Unit Fours will get their bathroom done. Ana very forthrightly says that she believes they will. Lew acknowledges Kim's admission and says he also believes they'll get it done.
With 10 hours to go, sleep is not an option, Nicole says. She wishes Scotty would help Steve put in the sink, but Scotty is busy with Apartment Two. Steve has never put in a sink before. Last we heard from Steve, he was screaming, "I can't find the hole!"
Downstairs, Ana tells Dave that she thinks that their plan is disrespectful to their team members in Unit Three who are doing so much work. Dave, offended that she would cast doubt on their strategy, calls her "weak." Now, let's compare. Ana has the cajones to look at an alternative view and to call her team's strategy into question, just as an inquiry. Dave can't handle any dissent (or at least being contrasted with people who are deserving of respect and who do a lot of work), and he lashes out. Who is the weak one here?
The Threes realize that the Fours sabotaged the Unit Four bathroom on purpose. Brad tells Barney that he thinks Barney's disgusting. They have it out. Barney tells Brad, "This is strategy. This is a game." And I quote the Talking Heads song "Burning Down the House," which is The Complex's theme song: "Watch out. You might get what you're after."
What Does Your Bathtub Tell You (in the Night)?
Brad and Lew abandon their bathroom for the nonce and work on the downstairs bathroom. They've been up all night and have 76 minutes to go. Brad puts in the rest of Unit Four's tile. He asks Carl to take over. Rose and Barney are leaning back on the balcony. Rose jokes that she can't hang up her shower curtain. "That was going to be my wow effect," she says. All the teams put the finishing touches on their bathrooms, and then Tyler blows his horn. He tells them to all move to the balconies, except for the PMs. Following the inspections, the teams must drop off their eviction notices and head to the lumber yard.
Here I will post pictures, which are just screenshots I took from FOX's website. I'm not going to post "before" shots, though, because basically they were all messy, dusty gutted-out bathrooms. If you'd like to see their starting point, feel free to check out The Complex's website.
Jayna and the panel visit Unit One. Lourdes, the designer, notices that the bathroom is very traditional. It's mostly white, and she's not pleased with the detail on the tile. Jason, the architect, says that the fixtures and vanity are generic. David, the real estate agent, says that the tub is unexciting and that the bathroom says to him, "I'm in prison." Does your bathtub talk to you? If not, why not? And does it tell you you're in paradise, or does it tell you you're in prison? And, does your bathtub whisper sweet-nothings in your ear? Or, does it gurgle? Can it lull you to sleep with the soft whirring sounds of jets? Can you hear the secrets the bathtub keeps, when it talks in its sleep? What else can you do with a bathtub? Pictures of Unit One's bathroom:
Unit Two's bathroom looks like a Classic Sims bathroom. Check out the sink and medicine chest. You can earn charisma points by talking into that mirror. Please tell me I'm not the only one who played this game. In Unit Two, David likes the "cool lines." Lourdes notices that they haven't finished the tile work and points out that one line of tiles is crooked. Jason likes the size of the bathtub but critiques them for its lack of jets. Pictures of Unit Two's bathroom:
Kim talks with the panelists in Unit Three. Unit Three is beautiful. They've installed a ceramic bowl for the sink, custom-order green mosaic tile, and their own mahogany-stained vanity (with a lighter stain for the large drawer in it). Lourdes appreciates the sconces. Jason considers the closet space adequate but he notices unfinished tile work in the shower. David mentions that the shower has no shelves. Pictures of Unit Three's bathroom:
Unit Four's bathroom is very unfinished. Jason comments that the tiles are set but not grouted. The faucet falls off when Lourdes touches it. And, Dave mentions again that the shower lacks shelves. Pictures of Unit Four's bathroom:
After the inspection, Kim cries. After all this hard work and with the knowledge that Unit Three may win, she fears that she's going home anyway. She entreats Ana to use her vote as an individual, not as a member of a couple. Ana, in an aside, says that she wanted to win but that she didn't want it to be this way. Ana is conflicted over her teammates' below-the-belt tactics.
But, I Like Toast (Especially with Butter and Jelly)
The couples meet in the lumber yard, which looks nothing like a lumber yard but more like the set from an '80s music video. I expect Stevie Nicks to sashay out in full lace garb and request that I tell her lies, sweet little lies. The couples walk down the center aisle to their bench seats. We hear voice-overs of some of the couple's thoughts as they take their seats. Jayna says that she came here to prove something to herself. Kim says that she had good intentions and that she gave it a shot. Dave says that, if their apartment doesn't come in last, then the whole week would've been wasted. Dave just needs a leisure suit and a pair of hookers to complete his outfit.
Tyler tells us the amount each team spent on each apartment. The amount they didn't spend will be applied to their next challenge.
Unit One: $7,685
Unit Two: $7,395
Unit Three: $9,196
Unit Four: $8,050
Tyler then tells us that the apartment which added the most value to the complex will--this week--receive an additional $2000, and that would be Apartment Three. Next we move on to the evictions. Tyler asks various couples to stand up, and he reveals to them what their teammates think of them. Erik and Jayna, Tyler says, are admired for their creativity. But, he adds, they've led their team into turmoil; therefore, they're up for eviction. Erik and Jayna walk to where Tyler stands.
To Barney and Rose, Tyler says that their teammates recognize that they plot more against them than work with them. Dave and Ana, "to some you're team players; to others you're ruthless enemies." Tyler mentions that the Fours' alliance to each other "proved effective," and they can sit down. To Carl and Kim, Tyler says that their teammates admire their ability to get things done, but that they were unable to unify their team. Carl and Kim are up for eviction. Once again, all the Property Managers are on the block.
Tyler asks the couples if they'd like to talk with their team before he reveals which team has lost. Jayna accuses the Upper Complex of "6th grade playground politics." Kim tells Barney and Rose that America is going to see what pieces of s*** they are, to which Barney raises his middle finger. Kim calls out Ana for playing both sides and asks her if she thinks she'll get anywhere with Barney and Rose.
Tyler announces that the apartment which adds the least value to the complex is Unit One. He says that the panel mentioned that potential buyers would be happier with an unfinished bathroom than with Apartment One's bathroom. Also, the materials in Unit One added so little value that all the materials would have to be torn out and replaced. Upper Complex loses again, and Erik and Jayna are evicted. As Erik and Jayna depart, Jayna says her last words to Sam and Scotty: "You're toast, you're toast, you're toast." She then calls Steve and Nicole pancakes. Carl and Kim are buttermilk biscuits. Brad and Lew are eggs benedicts with salmon. The Fours are all canned spam. And, Tyler doesn't get to be a breakfast food because, after all, he is a big boot.
Carl and Kim go over to their side of the lumber yard and Kim hugs "the boys." Tyler calls them back and says that Carl and Kim won't be going back to Lower Complex tonight. They now belong to the other team, therefore balancing out the teams, three and three.
Erik and Jayna pack and offer closing remarks. Jayna says, "The complex is complex. We did the best we could." Jayna hopes that Sam and Scotty "go down in flames." Of really burnt toast, perhaps? Watch out--you might get what you're after. Burning down the toast!
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