Finale -- "Going Once..."
Going once, going twice, sold...to the lady with the red-hatted avatar! May I present to you your last and final and ultimate The Complex: Malibu recap, full of surprises, smarminess, and repetitive phrases! OK, it only contains one of the above three, and it's not surprising or smarmy.
We begin on another full moonlit night, after Steve and Nicole have won the Kitchen Challenge. We flash back to last week's bitter remarks from Sam, who says that her designs were upstairs with Steve and Nicole's unit. Nicole calls that a lie, and Sam and Scotty are quite disappointed. Sam returns to her oft-mentioned phrase: "Always a bridesmaid and never a bride." Being that she was once a bride and has the coolest partner of any of the couples, I think I'd rather count blessings here. She may have lost the kitchen challenge, but at least she's not married to someone with the manners of tile grout.
At any rate, part of this episode is a retrospective; we look back at each of the couples' progress to where they are now, with what ever kind of apartment they have now. Part of the episode is the auction; we watch as tanned strangers bid on the teams' apartments.
Before the retrospective, we hear some of the contestants' final comments. Scotty mentions that he really took ownership of a piece of Malibu. He and Sam remained tied to apartment #2. Dave and Ana had been the only couple who moved into a new apartment, once the Final Four was determined. They usurped apartment #3 and made many bad decisions following Brad and Lew's departure. Ana mentions that what she lost in this game was "priceless," in that her relationship took a death blow. If anything, I'm glad that it took a stressful situation to find out that Dave's character resembles what her prized second bathroom looked like, prior to remodel--useless, crumbled, dirty.
Then there's a retrospective. If you'd like to review everyone's behaviors and strategies, feel free to read the other recaps in this forum. I'll just quickly mention some of the basic points. The retrospective begins with apartment #4 and works up.
Barney and Rose were the "seniors." Barney worked hard while Rose complained and tarred up her lungs. Early on, Dave and Ana wrote them off because of their style choices. Barney and Rose proved to be quite the playahs and helped to evict Kim and Carl (and later Brad and Lew) by teaming up with Dave and Ana. They, at one point, chose not to work at all, in an act of defiance to Kim's leadership, in the hopes that the Lower Complex would lose and they'd get to evict Kim and her husband Carl. Eventually, Barney and Rose put all their eggs in one basket: the kitchen. They spent most of their money on it, and even though they spent $10,000 more on the kitchen than Steve and Nicole did, they lost the challenge.
Dave and Ana, the "New Yorkers," got lucky by teaming up with Barney and Rose. They then ended up moving from apartment #4 to #3, which was the apartment which won the most challenges (owing to Brad and Lew and Kim and Carl, who were all evicted). We see, early on, Dave and Ana's differences of opinion. Ana considered the Lower Complex's game of not working while the Threes did all the work as "disrespectful." Because of that, Dave called her "weak." Eventually, their relationship disintegrated. We see how their Second Bathroom challenge win made Dave a bit over-confident, causing them to greatly underestimate the time it took them to finish the kitchen project, which they completely lost.
Scotty and Sam call themselves "the redneck and the redhead." They're shown as a couple who chooses to honor their word, even if it seems to put them in a bind. We see the early episodes of their conflict with Erik and Jayna, "the artists." Scotty and Sam had formed an alliance with Steve and Nicole, whom they repeatedly hung onto, even if it appeared to not be in their best interest. Steve and Nicole belonged to the apartment which lost the most challenges, prior to the Final Four stuff. It's hard to say whether or not they stuck to the alliance because they knew they'd be easy to beat or because they were honoring their word. I'd give them the benefit of the doubt, even though I remember Sam crying to Scotty while she sat backwards on the uninstalled toilet and screaming that her word is more important than a million dollars. I can't help but question the histrionics, but I agree with her. Scotty and Sam became my favorite couple of the Final Four, even though they're half-crazy. I think it's because they generally spoke their mind and still managed to get along. We're told that their unit came in second place five times in a row. When discussing why their relationship works so well, Sam says that they put up with each others' bullsh**.
Steve and Nicole, the "fiancees," are represented as the all-American team, whatever that means. Isn't this country what it is for being a hotbed of diverse populations? Steve and Nicole, of apartment #1, were responsible for losing three challenges in a row. After losing, they started winning and even won the kitchen challenge, which the host proclaims is the most important room. While Steve became competitive, he acted like a jerk to Nicole, who cried a lot. While they're shown as the "underdogs," I don't think they became many people's favorite, mostly because Steve is a jerk and makes Nicole cry a lot. Nicole is one to occasionally mention when Steve is acting like a jerk, but then she forgives easily and covers everything up with a sweet demeanor, after crying a lot. I think being with Steve, who is a jerk, perpetuates her insecurities and causes her to cry a lot.
After the retrospective, we see the couples showing the prospective buyers around their apartments. In apartment #1, Steve and Nicole tore out a bathtub and made a closet. Steve calls their apartment the "penthouse" to prospective buyers: "No one looks down on you." Steve, who spent much of the game asserting his superiority, trying not to be a loser, and snubbing his nose at everyone every chance he got, is the right person to concern himself with that statement. In apartment #2, Scotty asks visitors to look at the appliances, to open them up, try out their workability. In #3, Ana tells a buyer that the second bathroom is her favorite room in the house. I won't even get into how pathetic that sounds. In #4, Barney is at it again with the self-closing kitchen drawers.
Beneath the auction tent, the couples sit on a stage facing the prospective buyers. It's a blustery day and gusts of warm wind blow back the contestants' hair, kind of like they're in a music video with Stevie Nicks. Tyler introduces the event by telling buyers that they have an opportunity to own a piece of television history. He lets them know that, not only have the units been remodeled, but they've been refurnished.
The auctioneer begins with apartment #4, Barney and Rose's unit. He tells the audience that it's the largest unit at over 1450 square feet. $500,000 is the starting bid. Immediately the price ascends to $900,000, and it finally sells for $950,000. Barney screams across the auction floor, "You got the best one!"
Next, the auctioneer moves to apartment #2, Scotty and Sam's unit. Apartment #2 has 1100 square feet, but a 700 square foot deck. The auctioneer plugs the mission-style kitchen. This auction ascends a bit more slowly than the first one. A mature short-haired blonde woman holds a poker face during the auction, and she wins it for $900,000, at which point she screams with delight. I think the workmanship in the second unit was probably the best overall, and had I bid on one of the apartments, I'd have wanted the second one. Better to get one that consistently is second place than one that is fourth place half the time and first place half the time.
Apartment #1 is next, and theirs is billed as the penthouse. The auctioneer mentions that Steve and Nicole's apartment won first place in the living room, deck, and kitchen challenges. The bids quickly rise up, and soon the auctioneer offers increments of $25,000, rather than the usual $50,000. Eventually, the apartment sells for $1,150,000. Nicole blows kisses to the winner.
Apartment #3 is last, and the auctioneer lets the public know that it won first place most often. When he mentions the warm green mosaic tile in the master bathroom, we see Kim and Carl smiling in the audience. They worked too hard for Dave and Ana to be enjoying the fruits of their labor. In any case, the apartment stalls out at $900,000, and the auctioneer offers another partial increment, this time at $937,500. He offers $962,500, but no one accepts and the apartment is sold. It comes in third place, price-wise, which I don't believe would've been the case had Brad and Lew stayed on. I hope that Brad and Lew get snatched up as renovators and given gazillions of dollars for their workmanship and taste.
The season finale ends with Steve and Nicole stepping to the front of the stage, the wind blowing through their blonde hair. They bow. Tyler proclaims that "The buyers have spoken." Steve and Nicole are proclaimed the winners. Steve asks Tyler to stop mid-speech so that he can kiss Nicole, who seems willing to keep having him, so maybe with their winnings they can purchase really great couples' therapy or whatever, and then Tyler reads a piece of paper which indicates the total profit. I'm not sure what all the expenses were, in addition to doling out renovation money and the cost of the show and people's salaries, but Steve and Nicole earn $317,250. They say, "Wow," and proclaim the challenge to be the best experience of their lives. I'm confused, because the two of them fought most of the time. I'm also confused, because all the contestants had talked about winning a million dollars. Guess the final profits were less than what the producers had originally calculated.
That's all, folks. I suppose I should say something witty about real estate or remodeling or relationships, but instead I'll just end, almost unnoticed, like when the sound fades at the end of a song. Thanks for joining me.
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