On Jeff’s radio show today he spoke a bit about tonight’s episode. Everything seems to have gone to hell when Lea Black decided to interview the employees on Jeff’s behalf so some unknown reason. Jeff says that Jenni told Lea that working at JLD was humiliating for her and she wanted to be an actress. Really Jenni? Being on a hit Bravo show is humiliating? Didn’t you voluntarily make a commercial for toilets? Jeff claims that Jenni embarrassed and angered him with that comment. He goes on to say that the thing with Lea was supposed to be a supportive and encouraging space. When has JLD ever been supportive and encouraging? Jeff says that Jenni worked part time for him five months out off the and Jeff allowed her time off for auditions and she had the seven months of the year totally free to work in show business.
Jeff and Gage tell us to pay attention to a lie that Jenni told at the very beginning of the episode that gets obfuscated by the end as she tries to make the issue about something else. They both say this is the best episode of the season because it has the least amount of editing and is show in real time. Jeff said he wished he would have handled it differently. It was not losing a friend over, even though she lied, he regrets how he handled it. Jeff says there are not right sides in this situation both of them were wrong.
Okay, let’s start the show! We start with Jenni drying her tears in an interview, and with Jeff in a separate interview looking sad with his head bowed. They are both taping their finale interviews of the season.
But first we flash back to find out how it all came to this. And it starts with Lea Black. Jeff apparently thought the best way to work Lea in to the final episode would be to have her give a seminar to his employees. Apparently, she is there to motivate Jeff’s employees to be more productive. You know what would make them more productive Jeff? Not constantly mocking them. Seconds before Lea walked in Jeff and Gage were mocking the young gay kids white pants. That’s highly inappropriate behavior right there and would be cause for a sexual harassment suit at any other business. It’s not a good look to start off with.
Lea says that it all starts with attitude and gratitude. Apparently she means the employees, not Jeff and Gage. I’ll spare you all the other excerpts from Tony Robbins sermons that are so very popular with west coast celebrities. It was just a regurgitation of a Tony Robbins cult follower.
Jeff then takes the floor to say he would love to hear feedback without anyone being afraid to speak up. This is a trap and I can’t believe anyone is falling for it! The new guy says his background as an architect is being underutilized. Megan smartly say she has no complaints. Lea randomly says everyone needs to have business cards when talking to the young man in the white pants.
And then we get to Jenni. She says that she had two choices, she has another career she pursues and she could have put this opportunity to the side and said she wasn’t going to do this anymore, it’s humiliating to her and focus just on acting. She chose not to do that. Jeff points out that the conversation at the moment is how to improve JLD business. In his talking head he says he has been questioning how present Jenni has been with JLD lately. No one seems angry after this is over. It certainly doesn’t seem like the end of a very long friendship.
But when Jenni leaves the room, Jeff starts badmouthing her to the rest of the company. He says they were talking about how to improve the company not her nonexistent acting career. He admits he is really mad.
Next, Lea, Jeff, Jenni, Megan and Tyler are out to lunch together. Leas says that she never knew that Jenni wanted to be an actress. This seems to irk Jenni who tells Lea that of course she knew that. She wanted to be on SNL, she had a one woman comedy show, she wanted to move to NYC. Lea says she should audition for sitcoms because she would be good at that. Jenni says that she doesn’t audition anymore. She seems bitter about that. On the radio show Jeff said that Jenni only worked a few days a week and he was always flexible with her schedule if she had auditions. Jenni says to go full force with auditions she may need to be off four days a week and he would not be okay with it. This is right after the Tony Robinson sermon and these two are simmering in anger.
Jeff says that he doesn’t believe that Jenni would blow off a good audition to come in to work for him. Jenni says that is absolutely not true. Jenni starts to tell a story about two years ago when she could have gone to talk to a head guy at NBC about sitcoms and she chose to work for Jeff instead. How the hell is that Jeff’s fault? Jeff says he doesn’t believe her. She never turned down some dream acting job to be his assistant. Jenni says that since the day she met Jeff he has minimized her acting. While they are arguing, Lea is laughing hysterically. What’s up with that? Jenni says that he has mocked everything she has ever done including her rapping. I believe that. But Jenni chose to stay.
Jeff says that Jenni has been in every room in LA trying to get acting roles and nothing has worked. He suggests that she reflect on why she hasn’t gotten the roles she has wanted and assess how to make changes to her strategy. Jenni says she has things she doesn’t tell him about. So she is hiding some major roles somewhere? Jeff says that he thinks Jenni is embarrassed to be his assistant and he is more than willing to accommodate any auditions she has. That was good, Jeff. Right until you added “which is not very often” to the end of that sentence. These two know how to push each others buttons. Lea keeps randomly laughing as if this is somehow funny. Megan and Tyler are mortified by the entire situation. On the way out Jenni sarcastically thanks Lea for her help.
We move on to the car to head to work. Jenni forgot Jeff’s schedule and goes running back to get it and almost gets hit by a car. Once everyone is safely en route, Lea starts in on Jenni with more of her not so inspirational at all memes and platitudes. Then Jenni tells the lie that he was referring to on the radio show. She claims she had some great role last year that she was offered but she didn’t take it because it would have meant two weeks off of work at JLD. First of all, unless it was during filming, she wouldn’t be working for him at all. Secondly, she never mentioned it to Jeff her BFF. Jeff says she talks about every little thing she does with her acting pursuits. I believe him when he says she would have definitely told him about an actual offer. The role is now supposedly a movie with Nicolas Cage. Jeff tells her she is lying and there is no way she would not have told him about that immediately.
I should take a moment her to point out that Meghan is in the middle of the back seat with Tyler on one side and Jenni on the other. Meghan is practically sitting on his lap and they are both staring out the window as if they are looking for a safe place to flee. Jeff calls Jenni a liar multiple times. I agree with Jeff on this.
Jeff said the first 27 minutes of the episode are completely linear for a change and follow this fracture in their relationship very accurately. We return from commercial still in the car! Now Jenni is changing her story. She didn’t get an offer to be in a Nicolas Cage movie, they wanted her to come in and film some tape. Oh Jenni. This is not a good look for you. Meghan is trying to stick up for Jenni but she is quite literally stuck in the middle of this shit storm. Jenni says that she is sick of Jeff being mean to her. He’s been way worse than this over the seasons. All he is doing is saying she doesn’t come to work everyday and leave acting jobs on the table to carry around his schedule and be the soothsayer with the clients Jeff pisses off all the time.
Finally we get to the lighting store and everyone is stressed except Lea who seems to be having the time of her life. Since when does it take five people to purchase lighting? Lea continues her loud cackling all the way into the store. Is she drunk? Then Lea randomly tells Jenni she sort of knows how she feels because her husband doesn’t believe her whenever she tells him about new projects she is working on. Jenni says Jeff respects Lea but doesn’t respect her. You can tell that Jenni is furious. Her chest is bright red. A gaudy light fixture is found among the chaos of the browsers and the lighting.
Back to the car we go.That has to be vodka in Lea’s water bottle. She now tells Jeff that he should apologize for calling her a liar. Jeff says he doesn’t think she lies about everything. Lea asks Jenni how she is feeling right now and she breaks down crying and says she is done. Jeff’s face is tense. Tyler is in the middle seat this time and puts his arm around Jenni to try to comfort her. She is crying hysterically and tells Lea that she can’t continue to be in this environment if that is truly who he thinks she is. Jeff sends Jenni home early because she is too upset to work.
Back in the office Gage is given the rundown. Jeff sent her a text telling her to take a week off and that he will reach out and talk to her then. Gage says that the relationship between Jeff and Jenni is a dysfunctional brother and sister one.
Finally we get to some job sites. I’m already approaching two thousand words for this recap so I’m not going to cover the logistics of the site issues too much. Old Hollywood looks fantastic and I believe recently sold for a good price.
Jeff, Tyler, Meghan, and Jeff’s business partner Julie go out to lunch. Jeff lets her know that he has fired Frankie and Paul, Meghan is quitting and Jenni has taken a week leave of absence and he plans to meet with her right afterward.
The sitdown with Jeff and Jenni is going down. Jeff gets up to give her a hug. She tells Jeff he looks good. He brags about losing five pounds. Jeff apologizes to Jenni for losing his cool with her. Jeff says that he needed the week apart to process what was going on with them. He says what he heard is that she isn’t where she wanted to be in her acting career and it was his fault because she had sacrificed so much for him. He tells her he was really hurt by that. But after he thought about it for a few days he realized that she probably did turn down some things to be there on Wednesdays to help him with designs for Alder & Tweed. He understands where she is coming from. He apologizes again. This is going well.
Jenni says she just doesn’t want him to get to that level again not just with her but with anyone. To me this fight wasn’t any worse than others they have had, but clearly for her it was the straw that broke the camels back. She also says it wasn’t sacrifice for her to work there, it was her decision. Then she says that she felt minimized. I can see that. Jeff does constantly mock people sarcastically. I don’t think he realizes how hurtful that is. After the break Jenni says the same thing. He doesn’t realize how many things he says are actually hurtful. Also, as a father, she doesn’t want him to ever say someones dreams are stupid because they are not. Jeff agrees that he wants to support whatever Monroe wants to do. He also believes in Jenni’s talent and wants to support her too. Jeff tells her he believes in her and thinks she will accomplish all of her dreams. This is going exceptionally well.
Except Jenni is still mad. She says she was hurt that he said she never wanted to work for him. Well, she said a lot to give him that impression. And she is angry he repeatedly called her a liar. Again, I don’t believe her. Sorry. She is hurt that he would ask her to be the godmother to his child and invest his time with her if he thought she was a liar. Jeff says he doesn’t think she is a liar. They seem to have both listened to one another and seem ready to move forward. Jeff tells her Anthony quit. I have a feeling that was the hot underutilized architect. Yes it was the architect. Jeff said Anthony quitting made it clear to him that he is holding Jenni back from her dreams. Jeff says for his dreams to expand, he needs employees whose goals and dreams align with his goals and dreams.
Jeff gives her the most polite firing in the history of the world. Jenni didn’t see that coming. In Jenni’s finale interview she cries and says the future is scary with Jeff. Oddly Jeff uses the same description in his final interview when he says it is scary to move on without Jenni.
Wow that was a lot. Jeff claims that after this lunch Jenni went batshit with Bravo and made several allegations to them about a hostile work environment. Jenni denies this. Jeff said she may or may not have made an official complaint to the Bravo suits but that lawyers flew down from NYC to interview both of them so it sure felt like an official investigation. Tons of raw footage was viewed and Bravo found no evidence of inappropriate behavior by Jeff. Jeff was hurt and appalled by the allegations.
So do you think this will be the last episode of Flipping Out? I really thought I would be more on Jenni’s side, but I’m not. I do not believe that the Nicolas Cage story had any truth to it at all. What do you think? Can the show go on from here? Will you miss it if it is gone? No decisions about the upcoming season have been made yet.