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The Complex - Episode 3 Summary

'Those Classy Vertical Blinds' By MTW1961
Original Airdate: September 10, 2004

Hello and welcome to week three of Fox’s latest reality show offering, The Complex. The drama is real, and the tension is mounting, as is our supply of custom-made bricks, handcrafted by Volsfan to contour perfectly to the human hand. Indeed, they are perfectly crafted for hurling at the most annoying couple in reality TV history – Barney and Rose.

What’s in store for the viewing audience in week 3? Will Barney and Rose finally try to unleash their design tastes on their Malibu apartment? If so, does trendy Southern California have enough “Velvet Elvis” paintings for them to succeed? Will Brad and Lew create a wall unit with hand crafted mother-of-pearl shelves made by the direct descendants of an ancient Mayan culture and imported from Mexico via Federal Express from one of Brad’s former lovers? Will Steve and Nicole take drastic steps to avoid last place again? Will they stray from their Wal-Mart design studio inspiration? Will they dare to scrap their “off-white” strategy, instead pushing the limit with a daring light beige décor?

The couples head back from the lumberyard to The Complex. Upper complex dwellers find a farewell cartoon from Jayna and Eric that basically calls them a bunch of losers. They are insulted, but honestly, it’s hard to argue with the premise. Sometimes the truth just hurts. Next we go head down to lower complex where Brad/Lew and Kim/Carl are celebrating their bittersweet victory. It’s a well-deserved celebration in my book. Meanwhile, in apartment 4, Dave comments that they are so good they can’t even lose on purpose. That is just wrong on so many levels. Dave, you’re so BAD you can’t even lose on purpose! I turn around and see Volsfan’s stack of bricks next to me. On the other side of my chair is some fresh mortar. I think I will sling mortar instead of bricks. The bricks may come in handy later. The first spray of mortar hits Dave squarely in the back!

Barney/Rose are glad the evil Kim is finally gone. Mission accomplished as far as they’re concerned. And for once Kim and Carl seem to be on the same page as Barney/Rose, as they cheerfully head to the Upper Complex, promising to turn around upper complex’s losing streak.

Next task for the apartment dwellers: Remodel the second bedroom in four days with $8,000 plus residual funds from their previous rooms. Shockingly, Kim volunteers to be the project manager for her new team, saying she thinks it’s probably better since she knows the judges. Personally, I was all set to hoot and howl with laughter at her masochistic desire to put herself on the chopping block again, but after thinking about it, this may be a wise decision for Kim and Carl. First of all, she didn’t insult the other teams by the way she approached them with the idea. Second, there are three couples left on their team, meaning the lack of Kim’s vote really won’t play into the outcome. To keep from being chosen for eviction, they must convince one of the two strongly-allied couples they are now teamed up with to break their existing alliance. Third, since their necks are likely the ones that will be on the line anyway, maybe it’s better to have a little more control over the situation. It might be easier to crack the alliance with Kim as PM, since they will be able to orchestrate more bonding time with one of the teams. This does not excuse her from last week’s terrible decision to take on the task again.

While the mood is fairly upbeat upstairs, the mood downstairs is decidedly different. Brad and Lew are not very happy. They suggest that Ana take the property manager job, and ask the other couples to leave them alone to do their thing in apartment 3 while the other two couples do apartment 4 – oh, and if you need help just let us know.

Upper Complex – Scotty and Sam are pleased with Kim’s skills as a property manager. Sam especially likes that Kim is anal retentive like her. Kim seems to have good ideas and is well organized. Steve on the other hand worries that Kim’s plans are too complex. Well, yeah, we’ve already established pretty much anything that involves more than rearranging the furniture is too complex for you, Steve! Their team has decided to turn one of the second bedrooms into an office. Steve wonders why they would want shelves in an office, and Sam explains to him that some people might want to put books in an office! Steve wants to keep things simple, a strategy that has been successful for them so far (where are the /sarcasm tags???).

Brad and Lew have apartment 3 under control. I think they are planning a tile wall made of specially crafted porcelain tiles that they found in a small boutique in a rural coastal town just north of Santa Monica. Each tile is unique and has been hand-painted by a small tribe of Indians who only use natural pigments. Also, they know a Laotian family of expert tile craftsmen that has just arrived in America. They will work 18 hours a day for just $1.40 an hour, and they don’t take breaks.

In apartment 4, Barney and Rose are going crazy. They think a really cool futon would go well in their room. Building on that, Dave suggests a “really cool fish bowl with two goldfish in it – like in those big fishbowls.” Yes, he really said that!

Rose decides they should "do what they know", which means we can expect to see extensive use of laminate countertops and vinyl flooring this week. Coincidentally, Formica and Congoleum are expected to be feature sponsors of this week’s show. Rose also takes this opportunity to insist on those classy vertical blinds she’s been dying to put up. Apparently no home is complete without them. For his part, Dave thinks a trip to the dollar store for some smart looking hardcover books is in order. Hey, nothing says Malibu and “value-added” like the dollar store! Knock yourself out big guy!

Meanwhile, in the upper complex, Steve And Nicole confess they don’t know what the judges are looking for. Separately, Kim/Carl and Scotty/Sam agree that Steve and Nicole don’t have the skills necessary to win. Carl makes the astute observation that if they can get rid of Steve and Nicole, they’ll have a better shot at winning. Nice to see those paint fumes haven’t clouded your thinking there, Carl!

Kim and Sam are shopping at Sears now. Kim is trying to figure out how to approach Sam about changing her allegiance away from the incompetent Steve and Nicole. In case there was any doubt, we are treated to countless clips of S/N’s incompetence, from fouling up the hardwood floors, to screwing up the baseboard trim. Steve confides that if you keep losing and losing and losing, you start to feel like a loser. He’s learning!

Back downstairs, the Brad/Lew express is rolling along. They are building a three-dimensional wall unit. From the upstairs complex, Scotty hears the nail gun and asks what they’re building. After Brad tells him, he retorts that it must be nice to have that kind of time. Hey Scotty, don’t both teams have the same amount of time? And you have TWO couples doing your room!

For her part, Rose is making sure Ana doesn’t know how much money they’ve spent by pretending she doesn’t know how much they’ve spent so far. Of course, she knows, but doesn’t want to spend it all. She doesn’t want Ana to buy something stupid. Ana is suspicious and it sounds like trouble is brewing. This sounds like an excellent time to fling some more mortar. Sling, whap, and there’s mortar all over Roses’s face, though she hardly feels it.

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