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Million Dollar Listing Recapped, Ep. 8: Loathing and Self-Loathing

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Last night's Episode 8 of Bravo's Million Dollar Listing brings us closer to next week's explosive season finale. We can't wait! In this episode, the writers finally get rid of the horrible real estate portion of the show and focus on the drama. Chad and Josh get in verbal fisticuffs! Madison hops on the gay train! America's swarthiest dentist, Dr. Sam, is attacked by a cougar! Best episode of the season by far.

In a continuation from last episode, Chad Rogers rushes to meet potential buyer Anna, who has placed a $50k deposit on a $5 million penthouse in the new W Hollywood Residences. She's wavering on the purchase, which has Chad worried. At a lunch meeting at Katana in WeHo, Chad convinces Anna that the purchase is the right move and she needs to pony up with another $450k to seal the deal. Later, he meets with the W's sales rep Maranda to discuss how wonderful his open house went and how wonderful he is and how Madison is a jealous bitch. Surprisingly, Anna and her invisible husband agree to purchase the penthouse. Chad takes home a $125,000 commission for his hard work. To celebrate the closing, Chad invites his girlfriend Victoria to spend a romantic weekend getaway at his parent's home in Malibu. While watching the sunset with Victoria, Chad takes a call from a potential client for a $5 million listing. The client wants to meet right away so Chad invites him over. We know this because Chad repeats everything said to him while still speaking to the person on the phone. That must be annoying for the person on the other end. Victoria is incensed and runs out, telling Chad she's going home and he shouldn't follow. This sets up next week's finale, where hopefully they will split Starla in two.
Josh Flagg, sitting in his bathrobe at his parents' home, receives a call from belly dancing real estate agent / aggressive cougar, Faye Bagheri. She had such a wonderful fake experience with Josh in episode 1, she wants to co-list a Santa Monica Canyon home with Josh to relive the total fakery.

The 5,362 sq. ft. home (located on Stassi Lane) features wood beamed ceilings, an open floor plan, 5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths. The home isn't much to look at from the outside, but the inside is airy and contemporary. Faye is listing the home at $3.595 million and giving Josh a 40 percent share of the commission. It's kind of generous considering how little he brings to the table. Josh arranges to show the home to his good friend and dentist, Dr. Sam. As you may recall, last episode Josh listed Dr. Sam's home in Beverly Hills. Faye is overcome with the wets when she sees Dr. Sam and leads him to the master bedroom to take a look at the view. Despite her come-ons and the cameras all up in his face, Dr. Sam decides the home is not for him. There is no sale by episode's end.

In the best confrontation and only redeeming moment of the entire season, all three brokers show up to the same open house in Malibu. Chad initially ignores Josh Flagg and instead turns his attention to Madison. Chad asks Madison if he's upset that he didn't get the listing at the W Hollywood. How passive aggressive! Chad implies that it was a fierce competition for the listing and that he won. Madison is irritated and denies that he even wanted the listing. Then Chad shows Madison his dog Starla and the dog's sweater which is embroidered with his "Talk is Cheap" catchphrase. He says he wants to remain on good terms with Madison. Later, Chad slams Madison for not wanting the W Hollywood listing.

Josh enters the fray and isn't taking Chad's nonsense, declaring: "Anytime he gets in front of us he clams up and just wants to prove he's a bigger and better broker." Josh confronts Chad on his "talk is cheap" schtick and Chad devolves into emotionally handicapped Chad-bot, deflecting the criticism to his dog. Josh teases Chad by threatening to throw the dog in the pool and Chad-bot goes haywire. "Oh, you know that's not nice to be mean to animals, Josh. That sucks." Chad leaves the scene, speeding away in his car after giving Starla a pep talk.

We're no psychologist, but we're starting to think that Chad is projecting his confused feelings onto his dog. Can somebody provide an armchair diagnosis for Chad's disorder? Next week's promos promise further fighting, however Bravo's promos have lied over and over this season, so we're not sure anything actually happens.

Finally, Madison Hildebrand gets a new listing for a home on Kanan Dume Road in Agoura Hills. The homeowners, having built the 7 bedroom/ 8 bathroom home on 5 acres, are very attached to the house, but now can't afford it. Terrible! After a survey of the house, Madison realizes he has his work cut out for him. The home is full of intricately placed stonework and some kind of ceiling water spout that empties into the bathtub. It's kind of nice but a bit over the top. The family agrees to list the home at $4.65 million. The initial showings generate a lot of attention but then nothing. In a move we've seen before, Madison is forced to confront his clients with a price chop that would take the home under $4 million. The husband tenses, the wife begins sobbing and Madison vacantly stares forward as he daydreams of puppies and flowers. In an aside, the homeowner says he wants to beat Madison's ass for suggesting such a pricechop but then cooler heads prevail and they start drinking. The couple reject Madison's advice and decide to sit at the $4.65 million price.

In a subplot, Madison is contacted by photographer Adam Bouska. Adam has invited Madison to appear in a photo for the NOH8 campaign. Madison is driven into an existential crisis about his sexuality. First he worries that the photos are too gay and then he worries that being featured in a gay ad might turn away clients. Finally, he agrees to do the photo-shoot and somewhere in between being pressed against a half naked man and woman and standing shirtless with three other men, Madison realizes he is a gay. Rainbows and unicorns appear.

Highlights:

Madison Hildebrand: Begins the episode in his white BMW, end it in his black BMW. Does the BMW color signal Madison's mood for the day?

Chad Rogers: Requests the best table at Katana in West Hollywood, which turns out to be the one on the patio where you can hear ambient traffic noise, including honking, car stereos and the rumbling of buses going by.

Madison Hildebrand: To his assistant upon seeing NOH8 pictures on his computer, emailed from Adam Bouska. "Do you think these pictures are gay... looking? Like, too gay?" Assistant: "No. they don't look gay. It's just different."

Madison Hildebrand: Speaking to Chad Rogers, "Oh my gosh, you really do bring your dog everywhere, huh?"

· Million Dollar Listing Recaps Archive: Episodes to Date [Curbed LA]