As a natural-born Madison fan, this was an especially chilling installment of Million Dollar Listing, one that shook me to my very foundation. Why? Because our hero gets... sort of... mean.
Who is this Dark Madison, and what has he done with the walking beam of sunlight that usually moves in his space? It was enough to jar loose a tear or two. But luckily, I'm not the only one. A ton of people cry in this episode. Well, pretty much… you don't always see the tears. But as a life-long teary guy, I know the signs of people who want to cry. (Luckily, there was a kid in my grade who cried even more often than I did, so he was considered the official crybaby. I was thought of more as the sensitive wimp.)
But we've got to deal with this Madison business immediately — and the Joshes are going to have to take the backseat this week. Things actually start out pretty well for Madison. He quickly gets an offer on his co-listing with Lydia. At $775,000, it's 25 percent lower than the asking price, and even less than that house Chad sold last season that was basically one room full of dead rats. But it's a start.
(What do you think? Rate all of this week's properties.)
However, it does mean he has to go talk to Scary Julian. He and Lydia strategize about how to do it without having Julian turn into a ball of angry fire. Realizing this is impossible, they slip on their flame-retardant suits and head out to the conference room. Julian is waiting there, talking on his phone – presumably with angry banks. They break the news to him and...
He almost starts to cry. Don't worry — he still gets pissed and starts making the kinds of threats that might otherwise inspire a police investigation. But his voice quivers a little, he can barely maintain eye contact, and he starts involuntarily tapping away at the table. He screams over the phone at the agent bringing the offer, telling her not to let her "cheap ass buyer" make any more offers, and to instead go live "down in the rat hole" of central LA.
Which reminds me: LA is kind of ugly, right? When people are being shown houses with views of the city, like, "And you also have this amazing view of the city," I always expect them to say, "Okay, well, clearly we're going to have to erect a massive wall so we don’t see any of this."
The deal is off, it seems – the buyer won't go to Julian's number and he storms out. Now it's Lydia's turn to cry. But there are scarier Madison-related things yet to come.
This whole season, we've been seeing the teasers where Madison confronts Josh Altman for being "the one behind all this." It's been clear for a while that this was somehow about Heather, but in this episode we find out exactly what it is: Heather wants to stop being Madison's assistant and start working as a Realtor in West Hollywood. She doesn't want to stop working with Madison — she'll still be with his "Malibu Life" brand, she just wants to expand it.
She goes to talk about this with Josh A. – since their date, they've continued to hang out, and it's clear they like one another. Josh tells her to go for it. It seems pretty reasonable. Heather has her realtor's license, she's been Madison's assistant for two years, and she has a long commute from West Hollywood to Malibu every day. I'm not so sure about the brand extension part – "The Malibu and Also Some West Hollywood Life" doesn't sound all that nice – but Heather can't be an assistant forever.
Okay, now for the scary part. Heather tells Madison about it…and he is not pleased. He says things like, "I'm really thrown off," "I'm pissed off that Heather just sprung this on me," and "She's kind of given me an ultimatum – I'm not happy about that."
(Check out shots from this week's most memorable Million Dollar moments.)
I've never seen Madison like this! It feels like this is in middle school, when there's a really cool, nice teacher, and one day they're in a terrible mood and give everyone in class a detention. "I hear your message and what you're saying," he says to Heather at the end of the episode, "We'll figure it out." But the idea doesn't seem to appeal to him at all. And Heather seems crushed.
So what's going to happen? Agh, I don't know! I've been obsessively checking Heather's, Madison's, and Josh's tweets to look for clues but haven't found any. Madison! Look what you're doing to me! You're turning me into a stalker! Don't be Dark Madison for too much longer!
Sadly, my new stalkerly duties left little room for the Joshes this week. However, I must give Josh Flagg props for bringing back his wonderful grandmother. I must also give him anti-props for agreeing to sell that yellow dollhouse made out of shoeboxes. Josh Altman, the house you're trying to sell has eighteen bathrooms. That's a lot of... well, I'd better just leave it at that.