In Episode 7, the penultimate chapter of the season, the timeline is suddenly front and center. Our opening scene has the team meeting up for an al fresco dinner, where they discuss the final schedule for their flip project at 10 Madison Square West, #2D. It’s now September, and the goal is to have it listed by November. Fredrik wants it done even more quickly, as he believes the fall and the spring are the only good times to market a listing. James, Fredrik’s contractor, tells them there’s not much chance of him getting the place completed by November, but he thinks he can get it in shape to be listed. The team celebrates that good news with an introductory round from a hookah pipe.

bethenny and fredrik's apartment flip

Bethenny and Fredrik’s flip project is nearing completion at 10 Madison Square West.

After Bethenny leaves, the audience is told that Bethenny is occupied with a mysterious skin situation, Fredrik is left to meet Andrea, the closet designer, on his own. The sprawling closet is a sight to behold and Fredrik is appropriately wowed, estimating the added value to the place at $200,000. The space isn’t entirely finished, though. Andrea is still waiting on James to help her place the countertop. Feeling under the gun, Fredrik takes it upon himself to haul the slab across the apartment and heft it into place. Now we’re cooking with gas!

As it turns out, Bethenny’s issue was actually a basal cell carcinoma, which left her at home recovering with twelve stitches in her face. Situated at her apartment, Bethenny and her staffers are admiring the closet photos Fredrik’s team sent them when the doorbell rings with a floral delivery from her boyfriend Dennis. We learn that he’s told Bethenny he wants to marry her and, as she puts it, is at the “speak to Moishe, the diamond guy” level in their relationship. She has hesitations and wonders if the issues between them are fixable.

After Bethenny’s recovery is complete, she and Fredrik meet with Cheryl, his apartment-staging guru. “Interior designers design for a specific person. Stagers come in and they open the space for everyone,” Fredrik explains, by using “neutral palettes, and using the dimension of the room [to make] the space look bigger.”

He’s going for a light, bright and timeless look, and thinks Cheryl’s touch will help the property sell more quickly and for a higher price. She’s not even done talking them through her first suggestion, a complete wallpapering of the living room, before they’re balking. The lessons of the past six episodes seem to have failed to prepare our stars, as we learn they haven’t yet discussed the budget for staging. Cheryl’s ideas are ambitiously high-end — a modular sofa, chandelier, and wood-paneled wall — but Bethenny calls Fredrik out when he begins advocating for lighting under the bed. “We’re not shooting a pornographic love scene here,” she reminds him.

Fredrik wants the place furnished in nine days, which will require Cheryl and James to coordinate their efforts. When asked what he’s looking to spend, Fredrik tells Cheryl that “we want the best job you’ve ever done for the least money you’ve ever received.” Unswayed by that tactic, Cheryl throws out $125,000 as her price. In a somewhat baffling maneuver, the pair is able to rapidly get her down to $35,000 without seeming to do much. Given the directive to make it “so frickin’ amazing,” Cheryl is off to work.

Despite his meticulous attention to other areas of the apartment, it seems that Fredrik has forgotten about one crucial element, leading him to plumbing emporium Toto, where he and Bethenny must search for a toilet befitting a $5 million apartment. While Fredrik marvels at a $12,000 model, Bethenny provides her thoughts on that with characteristic candor. (“A toilet would have to have Ryan Gosling’s hand come out of it and pleasure me,” she says.) Fredrik turns Bethenny on to the superiority of the wall-hanging model, while she advocates for a heated seat (making no shortage of “hot ass” jokes as she goes).

A few days later, Cheryl unveils her work for Bethenny and Fredrik, who are on a tight timeline to get it photographed and listed. It’s far from finished, but Fredrik’s impressed by the wallpaper, lighting and window treatments, and believes things are shaping up nicely. Bethenny initially has some quibbles but is taken by the wood paneling and custom shelves. Now Cheryl has 22 hours to complete the finishing touches before next week’s finale and the dash to a sale. The pressure is on!

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