Hi Creative Home readers, Shira here, bringing you this week’s Home Free on Fox episode 2 recap. There is so much to write about this week but before I dig into all the literal dirt that’s flying around on this episode, I wanted to share my thoughts on last week’s premiere episode.
Episode 1: Highlights
First of all, who doesn’t love Tim Tebow! I’m thrilled he has joined Mike Holmes as co-host of this season. He’s a great yin to Mike Holmes yang and while he can’t wield a hammer like he can throw a football, he’s got the coaching part down pat.
When they forklifted in all of those boxes of Mohawk hardwood flooring and revealed that the challenge was to measure the home and determine how many boxes were needed, I knew it was going to be difficult. Proper measurements are critical when you’re doing any home renovation and I know, I have a wall unit that’s 5 centimeters too long for my living room (and I’m married to an architect, go figure!). I just knew someone was going to get a Red Tag on that challenge, it’s a shame that Brian was the one to get picked.
I literally cried like a baby when Mike and Tim revealed that no matter what happens during each episode, every single hero would win a brand new home. It was the Oprah “you get a car” moment for all of these folks, and was by far the best part of the episode. Kevin walking his mother-in-law through her new home was a close second for me!
Episode 2: Rustic Ranch
This week’s episode starts with insights from the Yellow Team and the show’s comic relief: James. With his ZZ Topps looks and Southern drawl, we learn that James is competing for a dream home for his parents and specifically his Momma, who worked multiple jobs when he was a child and then lost everything they had. James is hoping to win this dream home for his parents, and well, you just can’t help but root for him when you hear his backstory!
Let’s chat about this Gold Tag for a minute, which someone will win during the upcoming Drill Down Challenge. It has the ability to either send someone to the final arena or save someone from the arena. Last week, Patrick decided to use his Gold Tag to save himself from the final elimination challenge, which did not win him any fans from the rest of his teammates on the Orange Team.
Drill Down Challenge
“Some Assembly Required” had the two teams building birdhouses on an assembly line. And just when James boasted how easy it was going to be, pieces of birdhouses were literally falling off the assembly line into a heap on the floor. The Orange Team worked well together and quickly edged out the Yellow Team to take home the win, frustrating Maggie on the Yellow Team the most. Valerie, this week’s team leader for the Orange Team, took home the Gold Tag. James was chosen as team leader for the Yellow Team.
Maggie, once again, has something negative to say about her team and their inability to be leaders. Back at the bunkhouses, Maggie voices her concern about their inability to show consistency as a team and James wonders if her ambition will get in the way of his winning the ultimate Dream Home for his parents.
Next up: Work Order for the Yellow Team
The challenge is to sort and deliver lumber off of three trucks and to the rustic ranch house in 30 minutes. James, as team leader, doles out orders to a moping Maggie, who can’t seem to figure out how to work with her team leader. The team fails to complete their challenge in 30 minutes and while Mike threatened to give all four Red Tags to each member of the team, no was tagged and they all walked away with a warning. This team needs to figure out how to work together, or they just won’t succeed!
Tim Tebow’s Heart-to-Heart Moment
Tim takes Maggie aside to hear out her complaints about working with James. She confesses that it’s not good enough to give her brother (her hero) house #7 or house #9, she’s competing for the ultimate Dream Home. Her drive is clear, and her determination and grit shows through in the way she competes, but will it be enough to get her to the final house on Home Free Boulevard?
Maggie decides to go behind her team’s back to form an alliance with Nick on the Orange Team, where they promise to fill each other in on what’s going on in their respective houses. They think this will keep them one step ahead of the rest of the competition, but really it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Given that these people are all trying to win that Dream Home for their personal heroes, who are all just really good, deserving folks, this alliance was in poor spirit and made me really start to dislike Maggie!
Next Up: Work Order for Both Teams
Faced with 200 nails in a row on a 4×4, the fastest team to nail all 200 won’t get a Red Tag. James came out swinging that hammer and the Yellow Team had a strong lead that was lost when Brian, the executive recruiter, used two hands to nail down his 25. Once again, the Orange Team was victorious!
Back Talk: Don’t Sass Mike Holmes!
Mike Holmes gives Brian a Red Tag for the slowest time, and he talks back for getting tagged. Bad move, Brian! Don’t sass the co-host! Mike Holmes threatens to give Brian another Red Tag for the back talk and Brian walks away defeated. But here comes in Coach Tim Tebow, stepping in to give Brian a pep talk that keeps his fighting spirit up. Well played, Tebow!!
Ugh, more Backstabbing
Back at the bunkhouses, James goes behind his team’s back to talk to Gold Tag holder Valerie on the Orange Team, to ask her to put Maggie into the final cut challenge. Valerie contemplates it but wonders if he’s trust worthy, and then tells her teammates.
OK – so, here we are only two episodes in, and the backstabbing is getting intense. Now, Valerie doesn’t know about the Nick-Maggie alliance and sure enough, Nick runs right over to Maggie to tell her to watch her back because no one on her team is trustworthy. Personally, I wish they’d stop with all the backstabbing and get back to building some gorgeous houses! Next thing we know, Maggie calls a meeting and calls out James for trying to backstab her, without revealing Nick as her source. James, being the absolute good guy that he is deep down, gets down on one knee and begs Maggie to forgive him for letting $100,000 cloud his judgment. Maggie forgives but won’t forget and vows to keep James at arms length.
Can we get back to building these houses now, please???
Next Up: Work Order Orange Team
The Orange Team is up with a work order to paint a room with one condition, no paint can go on the ceiling. Well, that’s not that easy to do when you have a time clock ticking down! In the end, Ben, Patrick and Carre were all Red Tagged for getting paint on the ceiling, and all three of them will compete in the Final Cut Challenge. The Orange Team tries to convince Valerie to think strategically with her Gold Tag and save Carre the Architect, instead of putting Maggie from the Yellow Team into the challenge. You can just see the weight of this decision on Valerie’s shoulders as the teams work together to bring in all the furnishings to the Rustic Ranch style house.
Final Cut Challenge:
Surprise! Valerie immediately uses the Gold Tag to save Carre, confident that Patrick and Ben can team up and beat Brian. The plant challenge is to correctly identify five plants and bring them back to their arena before the time is up. But, of course, there’s a twist! There’s a cheat sheet hidden in a giant pile of mulch, and the contestants have to crawl through an obstacle course and sift through mulch to find it. Brian is at a disadvantage once Ben and Patrick work together to find all five plants and, sure enough, Brian is cut from the competition.
The Final Reveal:
FINALLY, the best part of the show is here! Brian’s hero was a stranger who donated her kidney to his Father, who would have died without a new kidney. Jennifer felt badly that Brian lost the competition but was shocked to learn she was now the proud new owner of this beautiful Rustic Ranch style house complete with Mohawk’s laminate Cottage Villa flooring with #ArmorMax finish in Cheyenne Rock Oak.
I loved when Brian walked her through the home! There were so many things I loved about this home, from the tri-colored plank walls to the barn doors that opened into the yard. The fireplace off the kitchen was a nice touch, and I thought all of the rustic home accents were tastefully done.
But, best of all, I loved how happy Brian was to give this home to his hero. Even though he lost his shot at the Dream Home and $100,000, Brian was a good guy who presented his hero with a tribute that will last a lifetime.
Is the Orange Team going for a third strong showing, or will they trip up in Episode 3? Make sure you tune in to #HomeFree next week, 9:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET/PST, only on Fox!
Tune in next week!