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Episode 4: Think Outside the Lease

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a sale.

Josh Altman, get over here. You're grounded, buddy.

Don't play dumb, you know what you did. You agreed to list that CIRCLE HOUSE in Topanga. In the middle of one of the series' greatest selling droughts ever, you agreed to list a house with only circular rooms, made entirely out of naugahyde, shag, and ugly ovens. This is not what we need right now, Josh. For the past three episodes, things have been dire. The agents basically keep having to say things like, "It's not what I'd usually hope for, but right now we have someone who's willing to pay the seller $100 a month to lease the lease. That should allow them to buy a few snacks every now and then until next year, when maybe they'll be able to get people to half-lease this house." Hey, it's better than having to pay someone to buy your house.

(Check out photos from this week's properties.)

But let's leave the curious case of Josh Altman for a bit and move to Madison and Josh Flagg. Now, at first, they seem destined for disaster too. It all begins at Madison's Malibu open house. Things turn tragic almost immediately. Of course, I'm talking about Madison's watermelon dropping, which people across the globe are now calling "The Great Watermelon Fiasco of '11." He barely has time to rush out to the store to get some watermelon glue before the caravans holding the gaggles of drunken agents arrive — among them, Josh Flagg, who is in the midst of the infamous February Carsickness Crisis (yes, lots of historical moments here).

However, things manage to improve quickly. The open house is actually a big success (as always, providing food at these seems to be one of the most successful tactics ever), and Madison eventually gets a showing from it. The couple he shows it to have just had a baby — but they don't seem to be on top of their "baby knowing about" game. "How safe is that glass?" the woman asks about some doors. "Could a baby run through it?"

"You own a fast baby," says Madison, visibly sweating. Which seems like an odd way to phrase it, but the baby really is just some sort of bargaining chip for the couple. As the guy charmingly puts it, "She gave me a baby, so the deal is I have to give her a beach house."

Josh Flagg, meanwhile, has recovered from his dire car-illness disease, and begins to really use his assistants. That is to say, exploit them so that he will never have to work ever, ever again. He calls them 1 and 2, which seems a little insulting until you realize that naming practices probably aren't the same on the moon, where the twins are from (you can tell by their party outfits, which are clearly not Earth-made, and by their otherworldly floating). 

The twins pull off his idea for a twilight open house, and it is there that something of the utmost importance happens: Madison and Josh Altman show up, and it becomes clear that all three agents like each other. (Check out photos from the party.) I'm not being too naïve, right? Madison and Josh F. have always seemed to be buds, though last season this was overshadowed by the simmering tension whenever one of them ran into late lamented Chad. But now they're free! And I think Josh Altman is a part of it too — look at them, in gossipy circles, trying to set each other up with their assistants. I love it! And for now, I'm going to overlook those teaser clips where Madison and Josh A. seem to be having a little fight. Partly because I know they have nothing to worry about.. Right? Right?

I'm going to ride this wave of euphoria a little bit longer because guess what — at the end of the episode, MADISON SELLS HIS HOUSE. Things are looking up.

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