10/1/04 Recap - "The Return of Brad and Lew"
And as Harvey Pewter affixed the last tile to Unit 9 and 3/4, Professor Sliding Glassdoor exclaimed, "Well done, Harvey. Well done! You're a favorite to win this competion." Professor Drapes sneered and, with a whirl of his cape, walked out the apartment and down the stairs.
"Blawdy hell," said Rattan, walking out of the kitchen. "Drapes cast a spell in there and turned the floor into quicksand."
Sure enough, all the appliances in the kitchen of Unit 9 and 3/4 had half-sunk into the tile floor that was now a death trap. The squid from the lake reached a tentacle up through the sand and waved it frantically, as a plea for help. The clouds obscured the perpetually full moon and a crow cawed in the distant night. Calliope Range-Oven was, of course, not interested in the kitchen debacle. She was in the living room again, studying, this time flipping through stacks of Dwell magazine, each stack rising up from the apartment like a turret.
A Rat and a Rug
Welcome to Smogwarts, I mean, The Complex: Malibu where four couples attempt to transform an apartment building from rundown to upscale. In the previous episode, we saw the four remaining couples take on one unit each. Dave and Ana moved into Brad and Lew's oft-winning apartment #3. Barbie and Ken got their hair hacked off by a 4-year-old who refuses to go by any name but "My Little Pony." That didn't actually happen on the show, but I'm trying to appeal to a new audience, one that matches me in maturity level. In any case, we discovered last week that the couples were in the final remodeling stretch. They'd have to distribute their remaining money among the remaining rooms, and all of them set aside the largest quantity for the kitchen, and this week's challenge is, to wit, the kitchen. Dun-dun-dunh! The Kitchen!
The episode begins after Dave and Ana celebrate their win. They won the second bathroom challenge. Whee! It's a nice bathroom and all, but, for one, it's the bathroom and, for two, it's not even the master bathroom. They hang out in their winning bathroom, Ana on the toilet and Dave standing, and Dave tells Ana about how great he is. They kiss each other in the winning bathroom, the toilet bowl their lovechild.
The couple, then, go door-to-door to collect their winnings from the other teams. Dave takes a crowbar with him, because New York City could use that kind of soft-hearted reputation. When they reach apartment #4, they discover that Barney and Rose don't have the $1000 that they were supposed to fork over to the winners of the bathroom challenge. They give them $400-or-so dollars, and bargain with Dave and Ana, offer them a dinner. Ana is visibly upset, but Dave, exhausting all his stores of goodness, tells Ana he doesn't want to leave Barney and Rose penniless. At this point, Dave, his cockiness obviously inversely proportional to the size of his you-know-what, thinks he has it easy. He doesn't have to work as hard as the other units, he thinks. Rose, though, has no money to buy a kitchen table. After blowing $24,000 on cabinetry, they have no money to spend on anything but bad art.
Steve and Nicole, worried about their expenses, decide to call Brad and Lew, recently voted off the show. Brad and Lew have earned the respect of many of the other teams, not just for winning three challenges in a row, but for crafting unique pieces and for having excellent taste. In the previous episodes, Brad and Lew worked calmly and efficiently on all aspects of home renovation. Steve and Nicole contract them out to build a kitchen table. They offer $1,500. Brad and Lew agree, just so that they can see the looks on their former teammates when they show up at the complex.
Steve, then, hires contractors to build cabinets, and Nicole looks on while the contractors hammer in the kitchen wall looking for the outlet. Ana, on the phone with flooring contractors who never returned after doing no more than taking out the kitchen floor, tries to renegotiate their return. Dave waves off the matter, telling Ana that he could tile the floor in three hours. On his urging, she hangs up.
With 5 days and 18 hours to go, Ana and Dave fight. She gives him that needed reality-check that he doesn't have the skills to do the floor. Dave counters by saying that she can't even build a bookshelf, that she doesn't have the right chromosomes. Ouch. Low blow. Many women can build excellent bookshelves, but Ana has partnered with someone with a false sense of superiority.
Scotty and Sam fight, too. Scotty accuses Sam for sitting all the time, and she disagrees. She gives him the silent treatment for awhile, and finally Scotty asks her if she's still not talking to him. She gives him a look, and he tackles her on the kitchen floor and hugs and tickles her. Sam tells Scotty she loves him, and he says she "lies like a rug." Scotty, later, tells the cameras that the secret to their relationship is open communication and that, once anyone says anything, you can't take it to heart. I love Scotty. He's the only decent guy on the show right now, not counting Brad and Lew who haven't shown up yet.
Dave and Ana's situation gets worse. At the day spa, which is their reward for winning the last challenge, they barely look at each other. Ana tells us that she can't stand to look at Dave. They receive manicures and massages. Their muscles loosened and nails filed, they scratch each others' eyeballs out. In bed, beneath the security cameras, Ana plainly says that she's tired of Dave belittling her. He tries to grope her. Bad timing, Dave. You will never have sex again, according to the decree that stupid people who treat their girlfriends like dirt on television must never have sex again. Dave cackles resoundingly, after he is served the decree via owl post, and he shrinks down into his clothing, his baseball cap bounding up and down. Underneath the cap is what Dave transformed into: a rat, its wormy tail slithering behind. Wormtail! How did he enter the complex? The baseball cap with the tail poking out skitters across the bed. Ana considers stepping on it, but chooses to roll over and go to sleep.
Steve and Nicole, also in the bluish glow of the security cameras, writhe beneath the sheets. The hope they've gained from Brad and Lew's impending arrival has clearly been a turn-on. Either that or the producers have kept stock footage of someone making-out beneath bedsheets for expressly this purpose.
The Return of Brad and Lew
The sun emerges. The couples have 5 days, 2 hours to go. Dave, with Ana at his side, tells us that the day spa helped their relationship. Ana rolls her eyes. Her eyes say, "I'm dating a half-man/half-rat. No manicure will convince me to get it on with that." Next, Dave tells us that all their problems are because of Ana, since she doesn't know how to talk to contractors. We flashback to when Ana was on the phone with the contractors who were set to do the kitchen flooring, to Dave telling her to hang up since he'd tile the floor himself. It's his own fault, but he blames the floor issue on Ana.
Somewhere, Dave's mother reads this and says, "How can you say that? He is such a nice boy." Yes, lots of moms think that about their children, and occasionally they're dead-wrong. Public service announcement to moms: Don't let your babies grow up to be pigs...or rats...or rat-pigs.
We see Barney and Rose delighting again in their kitchen prospects and believing themselves to be "over the hump." Unless they're talking about their impending osteoporosis, I'm not sure what they're talking about, because...
Enter Brad and Lew. They walk down the streets of Malibu, their dark sunglasses on, an extension cord wrapped around Lew like ammo. They walk in slo-mo. They are our heroes. They're tough. We need to see them running out of the complex, after it blows up, their muscles rippling as they escape in their getaway car. We need to see them exiting the window of the moving getaway car as they grab onto a rope ladder descending down from a helicopter.
Barney and Rose are surprised to see them.
Rose shouts after them, determined to win the Mean Old Lady award. She calls them low-lifes, which makes no sense, since Brad and Lew helped Barney and Rose with most of their earlier renovation projects. Steve and Nicole engage Scotty and Sam in balcony-talk. Sam admits to having thought about Brad and Lew several days ago. They speak kindly to one another, but when the former lower complex team visits with Sam, she gets riled up. She admits that, at first, she didn't care about Brad and Lew returning, until the other teams confronted her about the fairness of it. What really upsets her, though, is that she thought that she was friends with Steve and Nicole, and she thinks they should've told her that they were hiring Brad and Lew. Sam is steamed and tells the others that a dining room table and chairs costs more than Brad and Lew's fee, $1500.
After the commercial and after we see more sad shots of sandpipers scuttling across the warm Malibu sand, we return to the design patchwork that is the complex, and all I can think about is whether or not it ever passed a safety inspection: any lead-based paint in the walls? any asbestos? will the complex survive an earthquake? will it roll down the hill? will an evil witch over-take it for use as his hide-out?
51 hours to go. I want to be serrated.Steve tells Brad and Lew that they should go with whatever design ideas they have. Brad and Lew suggest a table and benches that extend from the cabinetry area. In Unit 4, Barney and Rose test out their kitchen drawers, which after gently pushing on them, seem to roll in the rest of the way by themselves. Dark Magic, I tell ya.
The Harvest Moon shows up overhead, yellow and full. The women and men of the complex prepare for a dinner and night out, split by gender, even though I'm sure they'd all rather be working. This is certainly a producers' ploy to get footage on the contestants discussing their relationships. Because they can't bother to show us some actual craftsmanship, because then this would be the Scotty and a Handful of Contractors Show. Ana tells the women that she doesn't want to be with Dave anymore. Sam calls him a male chauvinist pig. At the guys' restaurant, Dave says he'd be better off alone, and he mimics how he talks to Ana: "Vaccuum something already vaccuumed." Scotty just tactfully smiles. He's thinking, "I would never in my life talk like that to Sam or I would never have sex again." Some men know about the decree, some don't.
At the women's restaurant, Nicole baits Sam. Nicole wants to know why Sam isn't talking to her. Sam says she just doesn't feel like talking. Nicole keeps pressing her. I think it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you think people are always mad at you, eventually you'll make them mad.
Sam tells Nicole that she's taking things too personally. Nicole says that that's what she does and she gets up and leaves the table, crying, the table not crying but her crying. Somewhere, a table wails, "It's those dangling participles which really get to me, you know?"
Nothing New Under the Sun
With 28 hours to go, it's the next day, and Nicole is still bitter. She says she's happy with her decision to have Brad and Lew work for them, even if it means that Sam and Scotty are no longer their friends.
Barney and Rose go to Sears and buy little decorative objects that one would find at a Goodwill, because they think this will draw attention away from their lack of kitchen table.
Brad and Lew finish the kitchen table and benches, and they with Steve and Nicole sit at the table, beaming, the table not beaming but Steve and Nicole beaming. They wish Brad and Lew the best of luck, hug them, and we bid farewell to the coolest couple on the show. Steve says that Brad and Lew felt like everyone was against them, and Steve declares he and Nicole the new outcasts.
In apartment #4, Barney notices parts missing to his faucet. He decides to phone the swindler who accepted $24,000 for their cabinetry work. He calls him Yahtzee, like the game, but his name is really Yossi. They can't get a hold of him because he's in Vegas with their money, Rose says. Dice-rolling, no doubt.
Dave and Ana are in dire straits kitchen-wise. The dishwasher installer says they have no cabinets to mount their appliances to. They also realize that their sink is too deep. Steve and Nicole heave appliances to their kitchen, but Steve won't let Nicole take rests while she's lifting heavy things. He is an insensitive control freak who pushes the limits on what little charm skills he has. We see a scene of the two of them carrying an appliance and Nicole mentioning she needs to put the appliance down, since it's slipping from her fingers. Steve won't let her. If Steve were her boss, he'd be an injury lawsuit waiting to happen. He thinks he belongs to the America's Sweethearts couple, but unfortunately he's what happens when a Ken doll sticks his finger into the socket and gets wiry hair and a rude disposition and an unlimited store of cliches.
Sam and Scotty sit on the kitchen floor in apartment #2, awash in self-pity, the apartment not awash in self-pity but Sam and Scotty awash in self-pity. Sam considers herself "one foot in the pine box." Gawd, I love Southernisms. Scotty uses a football analogy and says that to win the kitchen competition would be like winning a football game after the score is 150-0 not in your favor.
Dave, who decided to take a hot tub and go to sleep the night before, is ready to give up and go home. We see his bad tiling job, the tiles popping up out of the floor, a rat scuttling beneath it.
Here Today, Blown-up Tomorrow
With power-drills awhirring and two minutes to go, Sam yells at Scotty to dump their trash off the balcony! That's a novel method for cleaning the kitchen, if I ever heard one. Tyler, the host, blows the horn, and the experts prepare to critique the kitchens of the complex.
In Unit 1, Lourdes, the designer on the panel of experts, thinks Steve and Nicole did a great job. She loves the stainless steel appliances. Jason, the architect, approves of the kitchen table, but he doesn't like the table legs, which look like they belong in a restaurant.
In Unit 2, Jason shows his appreciation for the tile work. David, the real estate agent, exudes emotion toward Sam and Scotty. He thinks their kitchen looks like "sand washing up on the beach." He calls it "wonderful" and "light."
In Unit 3, Lourdes is quite dismayed at the lack of renovating skills displayed. She notices a "peephole" near a cabinet. Jason mentions that it's obvious the kitchen isn't finished. Dave, in a voiceover, tells the camera that a million dollars--which I guess he expected to receive--has been thrown to the wind. If Dave would only admit to his limitations with renovating, they'd be in far better shape.
In Unit 4, Lourdes notices the absence of a kitchen table, and Rose defends that she didn't want to get a table that wouldn't go with the rest of the kitchen. To each of the judges, Barney shows off the self-closing drawers. David, in one of his slogan-like statements, says of the kitchen that "It's now. It's today. It's even tomorrow."
The couples convene on a balcony, while Tyler congratulates them again. He boomingly tells them that they've turned a nightmare into a buyer's dream. He adds that the winners of the kitchen competition would receive an extra $5,000 to spend on additional improvements before showcasing their apartments to prospective buyers. Next, we learn what each of the couples spent on their kitchen purchases.
--Apartment #1 (Steve and Nicole): $20,639
--Apartment #2 (Scotty and Sam): $20,600
--Apartment #3 (Dave and Ana): $21,317
--Apartment #4 (Barney and Rose): $31,987
Tyler lets us know that the kitchen which added the most value to the complex, according to the panel of experts, is the one in apartment #1. The couples argue with one another. Barney doesn't understand how Steve and Nicole could've won, since Barney and Rose spent $11,000 more on their kitchen. Sam is pretty sure that apartment #1 wouldn't have won without her help, since she's convinced that they took on many of her ideas, and she even went shopping for certain items for them. Steve responds by saying she's living a dream. Tyler repeats that, after today, the buyers will determine who the winners are.
Next time: the couples ready their apartments for display and sale. Harvey Pewter and Calliope Range-oven show off their apartment to a family of bats. Professor Drapes discovers that there's a methamphetamine lab in Barney and Rose's basement and kicks them out of Smogwarts. The complex is shut down, blown up, while Brad and Lew roll out and escape in their getaway car for the second time this season!
Thanks again for joining me. Please send love notes to firstname.lastname@example.org
Last edited by Shayla; 10-03-2004 at 01:37 AM.
Read The Clue
When is the finale, in my tv guide next Friday at that timeslot are more of the Presidential debates? BTW UPN is trying to kill off Enterprise as the season debut is opposite the debates.
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