I had to showcase this line from Chris K because it is so perfect. Here's Part II of this week's Flipping Out.
1. At Commonwealth, we hear Jeff telling Chris to make sure that he puts zinc, sunscreen and lotion on Casey the dog's nose. What? Chris is scribbling down notes and doesn't acknowledge that Jeff has given him instructions, so Jeff says "hello, I am talking to myself here?"
Cut to Jeff telling the camera that Chris started out with an amazing attitude but lately he has become increasingly "angry, bitter and resentful." Jeff states that "it's a little to soon for that." Right, because while it may be too soon, it is sadly inevitable because Jeff is impossible to please. Jeff goes on about how he's had to pay his dues and that Chris will have to pay his dues, and that Chris can't expect to be a project manager in 6 months and blah fucking blah. He was being a total bitch about our darling Chris, but that's his style.
2. At Lorie's house, workers are slacking and it's becoming a problem. As Jenni explains, its always the same excuses: the truck broke down, court date, family emergency. Jeff gets all rage-y about it and Jenni has to track everyone down and get them back to work. Poor Jenni. I'd like to pause to give her a little love right now. Her make-up always looks great, she dresses fantastically and most importantly, she is an expert Jeff handler (although she does take some blows as we see later). And did you not love her "brown chicken-brown cow" joke?
Jenni, in Lacoste, searching desperately for the painter
We get to see yet another Jeff-goes-nutty scene when he has Jenni call the MIA painter, on speakerphone of course, so Jeff can tell Jenni exactly what to say without actually speaking to the painter. There is this scene in which the painter is blathering on with excuses and Jeff keeps yelling in this intense psycho voice: "cut him off cut him off cut him off!" I'm sure that was really helpful to Jenni. I was tempted to fast forward through this part because he was being so fucking annoying, but I didn't. I soldiered on.
2. Jeff, while sporting his hott sexy sunglasses, hears the news from Bony Boni that he's got an offer on Commonwealth. Swoon on the sunglasses! But it is dampened by my revulsion at the cruel behavior.
Guess what? Jeff's all pissed and insulted by offer! Yeah. Sounds like it was about $75k below asking price. He counters with full price and throws in patio furniture, potted plants and two plasma tvs.
3. You may want to skip this part, as it contains scenes of extreme mental abuse. I don't even want to cover it.
Chris has just brought lunch home. Ryan and Zoila are there. Jeff calls to Chris, "Ask me how my lunch is." Oh God. Here we go again. Chris asks, "how is your lunch?" and everyone in the room can smell the blood in the water. Jeff says, "not so good. I'm missing something. Why don't you tell me what's missing?"
Chris says amiably, "why don't you tell me?" But no. Like the bully that he is, Jeff insists on treating Chris like a dumbshit. Clearly frustrated by the craziness but trying to get this over with, Chris guesses, guesses, and finally gets it right with guacamole. It is so very painful to watch. Chris takes full responsibility for forgetting it and apologizes.
Can Jeff just let it go and say "no biggie, just remember it next time"? Of course not. He has to get his pound of flesh, yo. He has to mete out his punishment.
This is when Chris says the Joan Crawford comment and I was all "TOTALLY!"
Jeff says in a freaky-calm voice, "guess what you're going to do after lunch?" He proceeds to tell Chris that he's going to jump the wall and retrieve 4 avocados from the neighbors property without permission.
What on earth is the point of this if not to make a person feel like a complete shitburger? You know that no one will even eat the guacamole made from the stolen avocados (although I bet Zoila makes some fierce guac). Jeff tells the camera "I want to make sure this never happens again."
It's a total exercise in humiliation, and on SGM's Bravo Scale of Agony™, it ranks dangerously high. If Chris would have jumped up right then and killed Jeff by stabbing him 42 times in the heart, not a jury in the world would have convicted him. In fact, I would have testified on his behalf, claiming that he had battered person syndrome.
Instead of brutally attacking Jeff, Chris pleads his case saying that in the three months he's been doing lunch there, he's never screwed up. Do you think that makes a difference to Jeff? Nope. He's in asshole mode and he's not backing down.
Jeff tells the camera some insane bullshit like "it's very easy to succeed at Jeff Lewis' office. You do exactly what I tell you to do in the exact way I tell you to do it."
At this point, I had to turn the show off to take a breather.
When I turn it back on, Chris is outside, wandering over to the wall and the avocado tree. We hear his voice saying that it "comes down to an issue of self respect. Am I going to allow somebody to talk to me this way and treat me like this?" The writing is on the wall, kiddos. Not literally, of course. Figuratively.
Chris is trying to gain some perspective by talking to Ryan about whether he is actually expected to steal avocados. Ryan tells him that Jeff is just teasing but that the harder Chris resists, the more Jeff will dig his heels in too. So it's not teasing. Right?
Did you watch this and feel proud of yourself, Jeff? I am FURIOUS with you. I withdraw my offer of hugs and cuddling. How does it feel to be punished? Hmmm?
4. Next, sad music is playing and we see Chris meeting with Jeff in his office. Jenni is there too. Chris tells the camera that Jeff is a genius and brilliant but he likes to work in chaos, and Chris is at his wit's end with the chaos. Chris opens the discussion with Jeff by talking about how at other places he's worked, there has been structure and personal-professional boundaries.
"Oh, we don't have any boundaries. Check them at the gate," Jeff interrupts. Dude, you need a new team of therapists.
Chris gets teary and he's embarrassed that he's teary, and we've all been there before. I just wanted to comfort him.
Jeff says "I understand I've put you through a little bit (!!!!) of hell and I apologize but I felt like I was grooming you." Oh please! Jenni tells the camera that Chris is a good guy. Jeff goes on: "we've been insensitive." Then he motions to Jenni and says "she's been really insensitive and I apologize." Okay, this broke the tension a bit. But I'm still pissed, Jeff Lewis! He continues, "you have to be really dysfunctional to fit in here and I'm afraid you're just too healthy." That is the most sane thing I've ever heard out of his mouth.
Chris and Jeff agree to part ways, and Chris suggests that in the future, Jeff not hire anyone who doesn't aspire to anything bigger than pooper-scooper. Chris leaves on good terms, which is an amazing testament to his diplomacy. As he walks out, his relief is palpable, and mine too. I am crushed that he will no longer be on the show, but it killed me to watch Jeff torture such a well-meaning soul.
After Chris leaves, Jeff says "sucks" and he truly looks bummed out. Jeff, can I introduce you to a concept called "consequences"? No sympathy from me, toots.
Farewell, One and Only Chris in My Heart. You made me believe that a person can conduct himself with complete dignity and grace on a reality show. I wish I had the mental and technological where-with-all to do a video montage tribute to you to the tune of "I Will Remember You." If anyone out there can put one together, I would be thrilled to tears.
5. Poor Zoila. She gets to pick up the slack after Chris' departure. Jeff is going through his grocery list with typical OCD-like precision. He drinks Grey Goose vodka, fyi. And some Special K diet crap too. He specifically asks for plain white toilet paper and I am greatly amused when Zoila teases him about it: "you don't want little houses? Boats?"
Jeff helps her into one of his pimped out cars and almost crushes her against the steering wheel when he adjusts the seat for her. We watch her drive down the street. Then he says, "There is a part of me that is afraid she will escape. She just might be tempted to keep driving and never come back. And I don't have lo-jack on that car yet." Okay, Jeff. You caught me smiling. Damn you.
6. Back to Encino! Jeff totally bitches out the painter and tells him "this paint job is the shittiest paint job I've ever seen in my whole life!" Nice. The painter tells Jeff he's going to need more money to do all of the touch-ups. Jeff says that he hired the painter because he was inexpensive. Note to Jeff--you get what you pay for. Inexpensive = shitty paint job. Did you not learn anything from Courtney's mistakes? Jeff agrees to pay for touch-ups. He says "remember who you're working for. I MISS NOTHING." Really? Good God.
7. Commonwealth offer--buyer comes back and says he will pay full price if Jeff lets him have all of the furnishings. HA! This means that the second offer is even lower than the first, as the furnishings are worth $250k. Jeff reads through the list of the furnishings that the buyer specifically wants, and Zoila's bed and bedding is one. Zoila remarks that she never washes the sheets (good one, Z) and Ryan says that maybe she should leave a little pair of panties there too. Hee hee! Also, Ryan looks particularly fab in white jeans in this scene.
8. You're not going to believe it, but at this point I think the show is over and I turn it off. I am emotionally spent and can't conceive that there's more. When I went back to review something tonight, I noticed that there were six more minutes left! Six minutes in which Jeff goes apeshit on Jenni for a potential mistake that could maybe cost him $30,000. Turns out that there's no harm done, but he's still harping on it (surprise) and almost gets into a wreck. Jenni was all "AHA! See what happens when you go apeshit?"
Season finale is next week, can you believe it? I'm going to have a very special treat for you to help ease the pain (no, it's not drugs or alcohol). SGM loves you! Never forget it.