9/24/04 - "This Recap Is Not About My Relationships"
Welcome to the fifth episode of The Complex: Malibu, where if I made some almost funny pun right now, I'd sound a lot like Steve of Unit 1 (and I plan to make fun of him for it). Because this show isn't all love and truffles, donchaknow.
The premise: convert a dilapidated building into a beautiful dwelling space. Eight couples are assigned four units. Now that we're down to four couples, each takes charge of their own unit. The couple which ultimately adds the most value to their unit, wins the amount which all four units sell for. The others win nothing, except for a new texture on their paint-stripped hands and lots of badmouthing from their respectful partners. In some respects, this episode seemed more about relationships than about real estate. Now that I'm single (after an almost five-year relationship) and somewhat woeful about that, I couldn't help but look at the way these couples interacted and think, "Man, am I glad I don't have to deal with that." I went on a date last week (OK, I met someone in a bar) and, d00d, by the end of the week he became the Jerk of the Century. So, this is a public service announcement to all people in any relationship anywhere: respect and honor the person you're with, even if you don't plan on being with them forever!
Anyway, this recap isn't about my non-existant love life (though I wish it was). It's about episode 5 of The Complex. First off, I'd like to mention that I'm sexually repressed. Whoops! Sorry, forgot--it isn't all about me. All righty, then. The show opens with some upbeat synth pop and the former upper complex teammates are renewing their friendship, reaffirming that they made it to the final round with honesty and integrity. They toast with champagne. Nicole insists that they'll be lifelong friends. My stomach rebels suddenly. I loosen a button on my pants and decide I'll ride it out.
The first challenge is the deck. The couples now are told how much money they have left for the rest of the house, so they have to budget themselves. The couples realize that they'll have to save most of what they have left for the kitchen remodel. Barney figures they'd spend $20K just on cabinets. Sam is already prepared to price kitchen appliances on-line. Steve plans to make the deck aesthetically pleasing and still spend most of their money on the kitchen. They have five days to complete the deck remodel, but they're looking ahead.
A "residents meeting" is called, likely on the urging of the producers. All the couples look like they hate being there, and they're situated in a semi-circle facing the cameras. Dave notes smarmily, as if he was told to say this, that the residents have to keep their deck remodels somewhat similar. He's wearing a painter's cap that reads, "Unit
4 3." He thinks he's fabulously funny, and sometimes he is, but mostly he's a jerk with an ego so large it has stretch marks. I tell ya', you only see jerks like that with partners who are insecure. They allow the jerk-y behavior until they develop self-respect.[/backspace]
In any case, Rose tells the others that her patio is the size of her piece of notebook paper. This is not totally untrue. Unit 4's patio is a little sliver. So, while the others remodel just their decks, apartment #4 will remodel their very little patio and a spare bedroom. And, truly they're not operating with a full deck. (I couldn't resist.) They say they'll get a grill and a table for the deck, and that's it. Steve wants some type of covering for the deck, but Sam protests. Scotty thinks that the covering would cause water to get blocked up, such that water would run down an inside wall. Steve insists the material will be porous and water will go through it. They all vote, in a way; Steve does a head count of the people who haven't said anything and assumes they're in agreement with Steve's decision. At this point, the former upper complex teammates are not lifelong friends. It took them one stupid building decision for them to become enemies. Dave says they'll get a bubbly water device, a cooking device. Scotty says Dave is funny but then uses his and Sam's favorite word: Shady. Maybe if Dave turned his cap around he'd shade some of his sunburnt brain cells.
The couples begin working, team-less. Steve tries to rip the granite out of the first unit. Scott jokes about how Steve probably wishes he was up there helping him. Scotty and Sam peer upward from their balcony and ask Steve what he's doing. Steve, like a bratty 4-year-old girl wearing pigtails and pink ribbons, says, "What do I get? Tit for tat." That's it for the Unit Twos. They're like, "What the f*** was that?" And, I only have to answer, "I don't know...I don't know." I shake my head mournfully and tragically. Steve was so much nicer when he was losing. He wins once and suddenly he's Hermione, age 11. (I'm bringing up the first book here, before she becomes fun and lovable.)
Ken with Perm
47 hours to go. I want to be cremated. Dave has ordered a blue outdoor rug for apartment #3. It's the tackiest piece of s*** I've ever seen in my life. It also weighs 300 pounds. They have to pay extra for the delivery men to cart it up the stairs. Then they roll it out. It's the color of a light blue Chevy Nova. Eventually, they buy plastic lounge chairs and hire a freakin' crane to hoist a hot tub up to their apartment. Somewhere, Brad and Lew are crying.
In apartment #1, Steve applies wood flooring. He was going to floor the entire balcony, but he ran out of money, so he settles for half. He says it's like Groundhog Day, because he's always doing the wood flooring. I'd rename it Rooster Day, because every day he's still the same cocky jerk. Eventually, he'll fight a lot with Nicole and they'll apply straw matting to the other side of the deck and put throw pillows on a little bamboo mat. His adam's apple will also appear to grow larger.
Rose and Barney visit the cabinet Godfather. He points out their options: long, big, thick, full extension? Yes, please. Oh, we were talking about cabinets and kitchen fixtures, were we? At the end, Rose shakes his hand and they give him $24,500. At this point, I decide to pimp out my friends to the cabinet business. Barney acknowledges that the salesperson was a bit of a con artist. You mean, the way he was feeling Rose's hand was meant to be sincere? Eventually, they'll cheaply furnish the spare bedroom and equip the deck with the grill of someone of a moderate income, and one plastic chair or so.
In apartment #2, Sam and Scotty get along swimmingly. They roll out a straw floor and Sam sews parts of it together. They alternately build and purchase wooden lawn furniture. They also purchase a giant grill from Sears. Eventually, everyone but Unit 4 will have purchased the exact same grill. Aren't corporate sponsors fun? Why be unique and interesting when you're forced to blow your wad on Sears?
44 hours to go, and Steve and Nicole are fighting. Steve is very cocky now that he doesn't think of himself as a loser, and the air pressure has increased inside his head. Nicole calls him "Mr. I need to win the game and I don't give a f*** about you." Steve denies it, and she tells him that actions speak louder than words, "babydoll." So that's what Ken would've looked like if he had a perm! Barbie, kick him out of your townhouse, preferably off an upper story! Kill him, Skeletor! Run him over, Optimus Prime!
Steve understands Nicole's frustration, he says to the camera. However, he says, you need to break eggs to make an omelet. Later, in the big red pick-up, Steve says that it'd be great if Nicole went up to him and asked, "What can I do to help?" He needs that from her, he says. Nicole tells him that what she needs is for him to stop being an a**hole. Steve, ever in metaphor, asks her why everything has to be daisies. Then they scream at each other and Nicole breaks down in some very large heaving tears. In a later car ride, she tells him that he is killing her, crushing her. Steve responds productively, "Likewise."
Wet Bisquick...in the Bedroom?
Sam notices the crane lifting and swinging about the hot tub for apartment #3. She polishes their grill (which the others have a copy of) and says, "Happy, happy, happy, grill, grill, grill." With 29 minutes to go, Sam screams at Scotty for not having painted the railing brackets. Scotty affixes tiki torches. Steve complains that now he has no fingerprints. Ana puts martini glasses around an outdoor plant near their tub. With 2 minutes to go, Sam crawls along the railing with a plank in her mouth, screaming for a hammer. Ana tries to rearrange the outdoor flowers, but Dave tells her not to touch it. Tyler blows his horn, and at least someone is satisfied. I mean, his horn. Wait a second. What was I saying?
The judges visit the units, but unlike in previous episodes, we're not going to hear all of the judges' critiques for each unit. Here is what they did have to say. For Unit 1, Jason, the architect, likes the separation of spaces between the eating area and the every-which-way throw pillow area. He compliments their use of flooring, but notes that when he leaves the nice wood floors of the eating area, it's a let-down. Lourdes, the designer, notices that they've made an investment by purchasing the grill clone, but that she'd like them to extend that eating area.
For Unit 2, Lourdes doesn't like the straw flooring. David, the real estate broker, likes the furniture but doesn't understand why all the chairs are facing away from the ocean. Sam, as an aside, comments that it's patio furniture, buddy, not a living room set. At this point, we understand that David is the patron saint of picky details, and I'm just glad that he didn't suggest their patio needed little shelves.
For Unit 3, Lourdes comes right out and says she detests outdoor carpeting. Jason notices that there's too much empty space in the middle, since their small hot tub is tucked into the corner.
For Unit 4, Lourdes notices, after Barney makes her notice, that the mattress is indeed good quality. But, she says, they didn't finish the closets. Jason asks them about their outdoor fixtures, if they put those up. Rose assents and says she likes them. Jason says that he doesn't. David calls the spare bedroom simple, plain, and uninteresting. He describes it as "wet Bisquick." And your guess is as good as mine, because certainly I wouldn't want wet Bisquick in the bedroom, or would I? As they head outdoors, Rose says she wants another real estate agent. David calmly tells her that the balcony needs potted plants, better lighting, maybe terracotta pots. Rose plainly says, "Out, David." She basically attempts to shoo him out and says that she's hiring someone else, which makes no sense being that David is a panel judge.
The group meets then on apartment #3's balcony and not in the lumberyard/set of a Fleetwood Mac music video. Tyler gives us some lame excuse about why they're not meeting in the lumberyard anymore, and I think it's just that Stevie Nicks got pissed. He tells them how much each of them spent on the deck challenge and the money remaining (after their additional expenses on the other rooms). Unit 1 (Steve and Nicole) spent $13, 268. They have $17, 302 remaining. Unit 2 (Scotty and Sam) spent $13, 184. They have $13, 855 remaining. Unit 3 (Dave and Ana) spent $11, 438. They have $28, 108 remaining. Unit 4 (Barney and Rose) spent $6, 523. They have $9, 079 remaining. Tyler announces that the apartment whose deck added the most value to the complex was apartment #1's. Steve and Nicole are rewarded with a night at Santa Monica Loew's Hotel. They also will receive an extra $3K, while $1K will be stolen from the other units' budgets. He tells Dave and Ana that they inherited an apartment which came in first place for three weeks in a row, but that under their wing, it came in last.
But the show is not over, and I tell you, I almost powered off the TV and VCR at this point, but there is still another challenge to be played! It's the second bathroom! I didn't realize that these units had so many little rooms. The space seems so little when you walk in, and yet it reveals so much.
The couples come home from the patio ceremony. Sam is upset that they always come in second. Ana calls apartment #1's patio a "half-assed outdoor park." And, that's where I have to disagree with Ana, because an outdoor park would have a water slide, and the funnest slide would lead from apartment #1's balcony down to the ocean! Whaddya think of that? Fun, huh?!
Scotty thinks that their deck should've won and he entreats Sam to go look at their deck at night, certainly attempting some perpetual-full-moon nookie. He tells her he'll fire her "heater" up, which I'm only now realizing may not be an actual outdoor heater. I've decided that my next boyfriend will be like Scotty from this episode (not from the other episodes where he puts down his wife). He's kind, happy, and gentlemanly (and he has a sexy accent). Or maybe he just gets very nice when he's hurtin' for some lovin'. Sam, though, tosses and turns in bed and refuses his invitation.
Steve and Nicole are primping for their stay in a schnazzy suite in Santa Barbara. Steve tells Nicole she looks nice and has to indicate that that was a compliment. Nicole says she needs 40 more compliments and a shot of tequila. Steve says something about having to be drunk enough to be with her. This is where 100 women from Oprah's studio audience show up to Unit 1 shouting, "Girlfriend..."
The couple, now in Santa Barbara, enters their hotel suite, decorated thousands of times better than their Malibu fiasco, and rose petals scatter the floor on the way to the bed. The two are happy and moved and, over dinner, they toast. Their toasts come out sort of self-righteous, if you don't mind my saying so. Steve toasts to no more arguing or crying. *gulp* He adds a toast "to winning." Nicole finishes it with a toast to "not just winning" but to realizing that their relationship is more important than money. They clink their glasses. Later, while spied on by the ever-intrusive cameras, give each other a peck-kiss, which is their first kiss in awhile, they admit.
To Never Being a Jerk Again *clink*
The moon remains full and this time it's yellow. It gives way to the sun, also yellow, but always full. It's 7 a.m. and the remodelers awaken. Nicole returns from the hotel with a single red rose, which she puts in water. She tells Steve the rose is a reminder of him never being a jerk again. I think she's in for a serious let-down with that kind of never.
They all learn they have five days to remodel the second bathroom. Ana realizes their unit is behind the times because they haven't contracted out a kitchen designer. Steve and Nicole order stone tiles. Barney notices that there's granite beneath the paint in the second bathroom, and he says he plans to just remove the paint. Ana and Dave then fight over having to return the tiles they've chosen. She tells him he's been an engineer for five years and doesn't know what he's doing. He tells her not to talk to him.
When we return from the commercial, we learn that Steve and Nicole have hired contractors with the money they won from the other units. He then says, "Shame on them for losing." And now we see the most integral part of Steve's psyche. He's all about winning, and when he loses, he feels shame, and those who lose are shameful. I hate him.
Scotty and Sam talk with Steve and realize he's at an advantage because he hired a professional drywaller. Ana is sad because their kitchen designer cancelled their appointment. Sam is at Sears with Scotty and approving of "buttercream" as the color for...something. Scotty debates her on the choice of color and later tells us that, when they lost the deck challenge, Sam lost her spirit. Sam, back at Sears, tells Scotty that she's never wrong. Scotty says, and I think this is beautiful, that he's never wrong either; he's just been mistaken. He tells her not to dwell on the deck challenge, since that'll impede their chances of winning the next challenge.
When Sam and Scotty return from Sears, Scotty is extremely happy. He's turning on the charm. Sam tells him that there's no way he can be happy 24 hours a day. When they return to the complex, they hit each other with rolled up insulation, like nerf-bats, and they end up wrestling. I think Scotty got some that night. Or, he sublimated his urges, which explains why he stayed up all night tiling.
In the morning, Sam is upset about the pattern Scotty made for the bathroom wall, and she takes down the tile. Scotty quietly and calmly leans his head forward and bangs it against the patio table.
In Unit 4, Barney attempts to do electrical work in the bathroom, but Rose mindlessly flips the lightswitch. He asks her if she's trying to kill him. Rose says that she could kill him if she really wanted to. Barney later tells us that he can't stand her attitude, and Rose later tells us that she can't stand when Barney screams and curses. Barney reminisces about how Rose used to answer him with a "yes, honey" or "no, honey" and that now she's nasty.
Dave and Ana are not getting along either, of course. They purchase appliances at Sears, and Ana tells Dave that it'd make her happy if they purchased all stainless steel appliances. Dave, out of context, responds, what does that matter when you make me miserable every day?
At 6 a.m. the next morning Nicole thinks she tore off a part of her finger. Steve thinks the past 24 hours were the worst of his life. Barney realizes that he accidentally switched the hot and cold taps in the sink. Ana asks Dave about how he'd prefer to paint the doors. They miscommunicate. Ana looks like she's inwardly breaking away from this relationship, and she says she's going to just ignore Dave and focus on the prize.
With 7 minutes to go, the couples scramble. Tyler blows his horn. For this set of inspections, the judges remain silent. Completely silent. They don't utter a word. And, the couples are, in turn, dumbfounded. Steve and Nicole in Unit 1 attempt a style reminiscent of Florence, Italy. The entire bathroom is awash in stone tiles. Scotty and Sam in Unit 2 kept the granite for the wall of the tub. Their sink is ceramic. Unit 3's bathroom is mostly built from a purple transparent material (glass or plastic?). The sink is made of this material, as are the shelves. Unit 4's bathroom: granite, etc.
The couples join Tyler on Unit 3's balcony. He tells them their monetary status. The first number represents what the couples spent on the second bathroom. The second represents the money they have left to spend. 1: $5,072/ $13,3193. 2: $3,342/$7,439. 3: $2,630/$17,426. 4: $1,320/$5,136. Note, too, that just because one unit has more money to spend, it doesn't mean they have a particular advantage. They might have just not bought a bevy of expensive kitchen appliances yet (or $25K worth of cabinetry...ack!). Tyler tells the couples that the apartment whose second bathroom added the most value to the complex is the one in apartment #3. Ana is especially delighted at being a winner for the first time in the program. Tyler tells Sam and Scotty that, not surprisingly, they came in second. Steve and Nicole are third. Barney and Rose are fourth, though Rose protests with a "Wrong, wrong!"
The couples return from the patio ceremony. Steve is determined to win, even if he doesn't sleep. Sam, about her second-best status, says, "Always a bridesmaid, never a bride." She covers her forehead in her forearm in the universal sign of "Alas!"
Next week, Dave and Ana's relationship is still falling apart, but! in an interesting twist, Steve and Nicole call for reinforcements. We see Brad and Lew, looking like they're ready to do a Mission: Impossible 4, dark sunglasses and a determined expression. They're returning. Yay! We love Brad and Lew!
Please send love notes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sorry to hear about your love life, but just think. IF you stayed with someone for TOO long, you may end up like Rose.
I love this show, and cannot wait to see Brad and Lew next week!
Cy Young 2010
Great recap Shayla! I missed the show but feel like I didn't. I have a feeling the recap was much more entertaining than watching all of the couple's trainwreck relationships.
Originally Posted by Shayla
So I'm expecting fireworks tonight.
My favorite episode thus far in this series. Worth every minute. Watching Brad and Lew work their magic was spectacular.
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