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Million Dollar Listing New York S5E1: New Deals, New Beginnings

The men of Million Dollar Listing New York are back and better than ever

It's Season 5 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. Episode air date: 4/21/2016

When last we left the men of Million Dollar Listing New York, Luis had pledged to work on his loner tendencies while Ryan and Fredrik rode off into the sunset on beautiful clouds forged of relationships and family. But Season 5 starts on a whole new foot.

Luis has fired the team of "very qualified agents" slash makeshift friends he hired at the end of Season 4 due to unspecified differences. And so he returns to his loner ways for now, but it seems like assistant Ronita may have some tricks up her sleeve to win the broker some friends this season.

Ryan has expanded his growing real estate sales empire into an office in Soho where he can proudly display the plaque awarded to him by the Wall Street Journal for being one of New York City's top brokers. Ryan continues to show off the plaque throughout the episode, using his face as a display stand.

We find Fredrik aboard an emotional rollercoaster. 2015 brought him $1.1 billion (with a B) in sales, a stunning new apartment at 290 West Street, and a New York Times best seller. But 2015 also taketh away. We return to learn that Fredrik and husband Derek's dream-in-action of becoming fathers has been shattered as the pregnancy they strived for and finally attained in Season 4 has ended with a devastating miscarriage.

Disenchanted with the city after his loss, Fredrik pursues a lead in Tarrytown—exactly 32 minutes north of Manhattan by his count—on a huge in-development enclave of mansions. These are not normal mansions, they're the kinds of mansions that are 17,000 interior square feet and have 36-rooms including an indoor basketball court and are also, somehow, modeled after the neighborhood's famous homes from the Gilded Age.

The developer of said enclave Greystone on Hudson, a jovial looking guy named Andy, wants to "test drive" Fredrik's ability to sell the project by only tapping him to sell the single standing mansion, but that won't fly with Fredrik. He's past the point in his career where he's test driven, he tells Andy. They cut a deal that if Fredrik sells the house expediently, he'll be brought on for the remaining 20 houses. It's on.

Luis heads to the Metropolitan Tower on 57th Street where he meets a pal who's going to set him up with the listing for the refinished penthouse. Tensions flare as the guys don't see eye to eye over its asking price. The mysterious "partners" funding its overhaul are demanding $20 million, and Luis has to restrain his eyeballs from popping out of his head when he hears that. Luis says $12 to $14 million is reasonable, and they settle on an ask of $16 million right before said friend tells Luis that he wants to co-list the apartment. Luis agrees, only if he gets to choose the co-listing agent.

Ryan's been tapped by Joe Eisner and Steve Fergusen of Saddle Rock Equities to sell a nameless new six-unit condo project at 227 East 7th Street in the East Village, a neighborhood he likes to call "the Rocky of Manhattan" after its comeback. To sell the multimillion dollar condos, he decides the building needs an identity, it needs to be "a celebrity." After hours toiling over a name, he lands on Seven East Village and dreams up a marketing ploy that will get buyers and brokers alike to turn their attention to the "East, east, east" Village.

With a lot on the line, Fredrik throws the closest thing to a Gilded Age real estate party he can dream up in Manhattan for the Greystone on Hudson mansion, which is a finger food and champagne soiree at the Morgan Library. "It's just like my listing," Fredrik says of the space, while telling a guest that knights were known to roam around Tarrytown castles back in the day—he thinks.

Downtown, Serhant and his team are canvasing the neighborhood in "Seven East Village" stickers ahead of the big event. To lure people to the event, Ryan says he's giving away a Vespa by drawing. The open house is packed with a line out the door—460 people cycled through, he later says—which is good because Ryan now has to sell apartments to pay for the Vespa.

"We can stomach $1.5 million," they tell Ryan, who later quips that they've been "stomaching zero point zero dollars for months."

Just who Luis will invite to share the listing causes him tremendous amounts of stress, but Luis eventually decides to share it with his favorite frenemy, Ryan Serhant, after not seeing the "fuego" to move the apartment in other brokers he interviewed for the job. After some petty back-and-forth, the two decide to work together. But Ryan doesn't tell Luis that the same developer behind the penthouse revamp has also indicated that he'd like him to sell their Soho project. It's the makings of trouble in paradise.

Fredrik's on the grind trying to court stubborn Manhattanites to come visit Tarrytown. His efforts result in several showings, where he gets to sell the dream that the "ultimate goal in life is to have a huge, warm, beautiful kitchen" full of family. Someone finally—finally!—makes an offer but it is way too low to fly with now-not-so-jovial-looking Andy. Fredrik has brought the buyers agent and Andy to robber baron Jay Gould's Lyndhurst Mansion to negotiate the sale, naturally, and runs miles and floors (in knight's armor no less) between the two parties to secure a deal. The drama is palpable. Andy and the buyer eventually agree on a $9 million sale. Fredrik high kicks his way into commission heaven as Andy grants him the rest of the project.

Ryan has reemerged from the wild, wild night of showings to update the developers on the sales status of Seven East Village. He eases them into it, telling them that Penthouse A has sold for the full ask of $2.15M. Then he really hits them hard and tells them Penthouse B has sold over ask. In fact, five of the six units in the building have now sold at or above ask. Only one apartment remains, and there's a bid on it. But Joe and Steve are not impressed much.

They don't want to let the apartment go for less than its $1.55 million price tag. "We can stomach $1.5 million," they tell Ryan, who later quips that they've been "stomaching zero point zero dollars for months." Touché. After some charged texts (interspersed with some suggestive emojis from fiancé Emilia) Ryan and the buyer agree on $1.5 million. This, of course, gives Ryan another chance to show off his plaque during commentary.

Back to Luis, who is unhappy. After staging the Metropolitan Tower penthouse to a T, he has learned—online of all places—about Ryan's other deal with the developer. These frenemies turn into regular old enemies all over again. Luis somehow cannot believe that Ryan did not have the courtesy to call and tell him about the Soho listing, while Ryan's all like, Why would I tell you about a project before I'm sure I have it? Kthxbye.

So begins another season of Million Dollar Listing New York. The big questions surrounding this coming season: How does Ryan's gigantic Team Serhant cell phone case make him feel? Why does Luis have Ryan saved in his phone as Ryan Sherhant? Will Ryan learn how to hold a pen correctly? Will Fredrik find happiness? (He later told Curbed that he only decided to participate in Season 5 if he could let himself show his full range of emotions. Kudos.) Stay tuned for next week, when recapper Angela Bunt makes her epic comeback.