Episode 3: The Haves and the Have Nots
Tantrums, caviar, and assistants all around.
In an instant, Madison snaps and knees his client, Ismir, in the stomach, dropping him faster than the price of Bernie Madoff's old condo. By the time Ismir recovers, all he can do is shake his troll-fist as Madison rolls, top down, on the Pacific Coast Highway...
Of course, I myself am on the Wishful Thinking Expressway here, but I have no choice. Seeing Madison take abuse from clients every episode is getting too hard. Episode 3 is the worst he's had it, as Ismir fires Madison for not negotiating a deal where he basically gets paid to buy a house. (See photos from Episode 3.) Madison is hampered by the fact that Ismir insists on going to the negotiations, where he acts like a toddler with an itchy sweater and a runny nose. It's too bad Madison forgot Ismir's sippy cup and Ziploc-full of Cheerios.
The Joshes, meanwhile, are having a ball. Josh Flagg and his mother swing by some kind of caviar restaurant to do a caviar taste-test. That's really a sign that you've eaten a lot of caviar—just normally eating it is too boring for you, you need the taste-test gimmick make it tolerable. Makes sense, as Josh says he's been eating caviar since he was six (the rest of us settled for Fruit by the Foot).
And Josh Altman? He teams up with Mauricio to list a house that can only be described as the boooommmmb. No white plastic-y counters. No weird tribal masks in corners. NO CHANDELIERS OR WROUGHT IRON HANDRAILS. There are none of the usual weasely terms like "in-room windows" or "exclusively small kitchen." Just ones like "a billion square feet," "massive guest house that is as nice as a real house," and "actually tasteful rooms." (Rate the best and worst properties from Episode 3.)
I would have accepted Josh Altman even if he hadn't been as talented as Madison or Josh F.—three seasons of being unable to solve the mystery of what powered Chad's hair had left me weary. But this house is proof that he can hold his own, and more, when it comes to listings.
And he's a trendsetter when it comes to assistants. A Mikey-style assistant/personal servant/best friend wasn't something anybody knew they needed until Josh A. came along. But all of a sudden, Madison has added this awkward, red polo-ed cookie-attendant to his stable, and Josh F. has hired a blonde set of twins. I'm going to have to wait to pass any judgment on them—especially because I hear there's an assistants fight club in episode five—but I have high hopes for some good weirdness out of the bunch.
This episode also features the best sneaky insult I've ever heard: when Madison's friend Shelly realizes he doesn't like the guy she's trying to set him up with, she says, "Okay, I don't know him that well, and I think he's great... but I think he’s worth one date." He's great BUT he's worth one date? Absolutely outstanding.
Now – the Nasty Crack Den Award. This episode's Nasty Crack Den Award will be shared by two properties – Madison's beachfront in Malibu and Josh F.'s listing with Elizabeth and Farshad. Madison's listing is fine inside but looks like a stack of dirty Styrofoam cups outside. Josh F.'s looks like it was decorated by Delia's. And both have descriptions, like the "drawbridge to the beach" (aka trash hatch for convenient ocean disposal) and "imported Italian kitchen." Better luck next time, my boys.