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Million Dollar Listing New York S3E04: Luis's Lament

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It's Season 3 of Million Dollar Listing New York, where three brokers, Fredrik Eklund, Luis Ortiz, and Ryan Serhant, show the world what it takes to sell high-priced New York City apartments. Check in each week for recaps by Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 4/23/2014.

The episode begins right where last week's cliffhanger left off, as Ryan Serhant saunters into Luis Ortiz's open house to stir up trouble. Well, it's not just any open house—it is THE gala event to kick off his exclusive on the property at 30 Lincoln Plaza. The stakes are high for Luis, and the night is going off without a hitch. Until Ryan enters…

Exhibiting the most self-restraint and class possible, Luis stays cool despite Ryan's straight-up racist remarks and disrespect, only losing his temper enough to throw Ryan's pocket square onto the ground. Ryan then picks up said pocket square and tries to shove it into Luis's mouth.

Luis is able to stand tall against Ryan's bullying and finally has him kicked out. See ya pretty boy, before I knock ya teeth out! Then a bunch of old dudes jump in a pool with all of their clothes on. Party time!

Luckily our favorite Swede, Fredrik, is on next to provide some comic relief. He has a "HUGE" listing opportunity in the heart of Tribeca, where real estate developer Zach Vella—one of Fredrik's best clients—is showing him his latest building, 11 North Moore Street, an 18-unit condo building where homes average 3,000 square feet.

With 16-foot ceilings, huge windows, and a top-floor penthouse, the place has Fredrik so excited, he might just give himself a concussion. But, as with any great New York City apartment, there is a catch (similarly, as with any great Million Dollar Listing plot line, there is also a catch). In this case, it's that the asking price per-square-foot for each unit is $2,600, about $600 more than the average for the neighborhood. A tricky endeavor indeed, especially considering the building isn't even close to completion. Fredrik's good, but he ain't that good.

Zach agrees to foot the bill for a large scale model of the building. And with up to $180M in potential sales for the entire building, Fredrik is looking at a $5.5M payout. High kicks for days!

When Ryan isn't out ruining other people's lives, he's busy wading around in a pool of too-low offers on the Milan property. The overpriced 3BR has an emotional seller attached to it, and she isn't willing to back down from the $6.5M asking price. Offers have come and gone, all sitting around $5.5M. Ryan knows the price needs to be dropped, but how can he convince Seller Sam to do it? He doesn't know, and his assistant sure as hell doesn't either.

Nice backhanded compliment, Freddie! Wait, can I call you Freddie?

Luis is moving on up in the world of real estate and has nabbed himself a new office right by his old pal Fredrik. Sure, they've had some "major issues" in the past, but that was sooo season 2. Despite trying to be a good person, Fredrik can't help but dig into the juicy gossip surrounding Ryan's appearance at Luis's party.

Finally, Ryan gets something right about women.

Ryan meets with Seller Sam to try and get her to lower her price from $6.5M. Upon arrival at Union Square Park, he awkwardly kisses her on the cheek in a way that seems like he's trying to subtly seduce her. Ryan tells her, "You have the highest price-per-square-foot three bedroom in all of Midtown East," but she still thinks he's wrong. When he suggests a price of $6.1M, she threatens with the Big R word again: Rent.

Fredrik receives the 3D model of the Tribeca building, and heads over to Zach's crib to store it. Now, I know what you're thinking, and I'm not going to make an obvious joke about the homely rich guy dating the smoking hot blonde. … …. ... Zach begrudgingly agrees to let Fredrik host the open house at his apartment, because, well, there's nowhere else to do it.

Luis is on top of the world as he head's to Janet's office to give her their first offer on the 30 Lincoln Plaza property. At $7.1M it's not full ask, but a damn good start. Right?

It seems that when Luis told Janet $7.8M, what he really meant was that it'd be somewhere around $7.8M. But Janet isn't just some regular ol' plebe that Luis is used to working with, and there is no negotiating her down: "It's not personal, it's business. Big business. And that's what you're involved in now." While Luis has come a long way, it still feels painful and voyeuristic to watch him squirm under the tutelage of Janet.

Always the entertainer, Fredrik has more than 150 brokers coming to the open house at Zach's. Foot traffic is heavy and the flow of champagne even heavier. Folks love looking at the building model, but they love getting drunk even more. Glass is breaking, brokers are commiserating in the bedroom, and people are having drunken heart-to-hearts in an empty bathtub. Fredrik wrangles everyone together before Zach has a coronary and manages to get in his best elevator pitch. Cheers! Now everybody GTFO.

Ryan meets with Broker Craig to discuss an offer on the Milan, and to have a contest to see who can act and look more smug. Straight-shooting Craig presents him with a $5.7M, all cash. Ryan knows it's a good deal, but he also knows that nothing besides full asking price will do.

The moment Sam has been dreading has finally come—an offer on an apartment she doesn't want to sell! She unsurprisingly refutes the initial bid, and when Ryan is able to counter with $6M, she still says no. "It's all becoming too real for me," says Sam. "I can't leave the apartment, I can't do it." When Ryan realizes that no amount of money can replace Sam's memories of her Midtown East pad, he retreats. He's mad, Craig is really mad, and the deal is down the tubes.

In between his countless apartment showings, Luis is getting a little bit of boxing in. The scene is heavy on the symbolism, as the coach keeps telling him "not to give up" and "the fight ain't over yet." Words for Luis to live by, as he keeps getting "knocked down" by clients who love the Lincoln Plaza apartment, but think it's just a biiit too high.

Fredrik and a team of real estate agents meet at Zach's house to start selling units at the Tribeca development. It's like a PBS telethon up in here: phone calls, white boards, money thermometers—the works. When all is said and done, his team of agents rack up $100M in apartment sales in just two hours.

It ain't easy for a real estate agent out there, and Ryan hardly has time to wallow in the misery of losing his listing before he has to meet his girlfriend, Emilia, at a cooking class. By the time he arrives, Emilia is already knee deep in a ball full of dough, clearly angry that he's late.

Ryan, don't be a loaf.

Silent treatment time! Who do you think is worse: Sam or Emilia? Ryan has had his dose of estrogen for the day and is ready to go home and play some Call of Duty in his boxers.

It's been an emotional roller coaster of an episode, culminating in a gripping final scene between Janet and Luis. There's only two months left in the exclusive, and Luis is giving her a status update. Despite many bites, he cannot get an offer in at his overzealous asking price.

I know this show has been criticized for its authenticity in the past, but the sadness and humiliation that comes over Luis's face when he realizes his defeat seems all too real. His eyes fill with tears as he asks Janet if she's disappointed in him: "I know you tried, and it didn't work out. I am disappointed in you."

That's okay, Luis. Rocky didn't win in his first match either.
· Official site: Million Dollar Listing [Bravo]
· All Million Dollar Listing recaps [Curbed]