Brother Vs Brother: Ranch Houses

This episode saw a very tight race between the two teams.

To start, Team Jonathan lost the mini-challenge, giving Team Drew a day with a subcontractor and putting themselves further behind. As they only have 2 team members left to Team Drew's 3, they really could have used that day with a subcontractor.

They are given 3 days and $35,000 dollars per team to work with, while Team Jonathan must pay for Team Drew's day with the subcontractor out of their budget.

Team Jonathan:
If it seems like I'm partial to Team Jonathan, it's because I am. They have better communication, work together well and don't talk behind each others' backs nearly as much as Drew's sharks do.

After evaluating their ranch, they decide to redesign the kitchen and laundry room.

Peggy's taking the budget for this episode, telling Jonathan it was her turn. Apparently Team Jonathan has been rotating through who takes the budget in a nice display of teamwork we haven't seen on Team Drew.

Jonathan is lending a hand in the demolition stage to get this done in 3 days, and all of them hoped they wouldn't find any structural issues behind the wall they're taking down. Their budget can't take it.

Unfortunately for them, it turns out that the walls they wanted to take out are load-bearing, so they have to keep the beams. Jonathan is the one who discovers this, and his frustration with his small, slow-moving team mounts during Day 1, but Day 2 sees a turnarond.

Peggy puts everyone to shame with her budgeting and is able to get some contractors in as well as a drywaller, and the pair of them come up with a creative solution to the load-bearing beams problem.

Adi still has some plumbing problems, and gets clearly nervous about his position as favorite child in Jonathan's eyes.

Day 3 sees Peggy try to impress Jonathan with bold paint choices, not realizing that she's already impressed him a ton with her work ethic, budgeting and ability to learn quickly. I liked it; it made me think of palm trees and lounge chairs, but he isn't wrong; the color is bold and might not be to everyone's taste.

Jonathan pitches in with some of the finishing work and it doesn't come a moment too soon. They finish just in time, but the key is that they finish, unlike last week.

Team Drew:
Team Drew is also focusing on the kitchen, but instead of focusing on the laundry room as well they're going after the living room and the eat-in area. Melissa is taking on the budget again, and if it's anything like last time, they're going to crash and burn.

Rick is taking this one challenge at a time, which to me spells trouble for him.

Drew kept him around and gave him the benefit of the doubt last time, but his vague affection for Melissa and Eric doesn't extend to his newest team member.

At least the tension between him and Eric has gone down a notch.

Team Drew actually ends up with extra money in the budget -- Melissa has apparently learned her lesson about money management -- and Rick takes it to add some decorative tile to the base of the fireplace.

While the tile is nice, he has an issue with the transition piece around the edge of the hearth and Drew calls him on it, calling it sloppy.

Rick is not pleased, giving that fussy, tight little smile that shows up so often on his face now that he's changed teams.

Eric's stressing over the kitchen paid off. He added quartz countertops and a fancy little metallic backsplash, but left the flooring as-is, saving the team loads of money. We don't get to see as much of Team Drew this episode because they've got less stress to deal with this time around than Team Jonathan.

Aside from a nice little glass explosion that no one could have seen coming, things run pretty smoothly for them.

The one stumbling block here will be that they were all generally working on the same general area and Melissa and Eric have formed a nice little clique, refusing to keep Rick in the loop on a lot of their design choices.

It prevents their design from flowing smoothly from one area into the next and is what I think will actually keep them from winning the final challenge.

Who won?
Christina and Tarek El Moussa come back to judge (don't you guys have a show of your own to film?) and Drew gets off to a great start. Tarek and Christina love the openness of Eric's redesigned kitchen, the addition of the bar and the drywalling in of the fireplace but are unimpressed by aspects of each. Melissa's color palette is once again deemed too "out there," Rick's tile job isn't impressive or distinctive enough (he likes to play it safe and it shows) and there is no eye-catching point to Eric's kitchen upon entering.

And, sadly, Christina does not think anything looks expensive. I miss your catchphrase, Christina. It's ridiculous and yet perfect.

Over at Team Jonathan's house, Peggy's paint choices are shamed. Christina and Tarek really are not risk-takers when it comes to colors if you watch their shows.

They like whites, tans, and sometimes an accent color, so I'm not surprised this is too much for them.

Jonathan goes to bat for Peggy, and directs Christina and Tarek's attention away from the color to the kitchen redesign. They get props from Christina and Tarek for adding space, but forgot to add backsplash behind the stove.

Christina gives Eric serious props for the backsplash and countertop, and indeed, it looks like something she would have chosen herself on Flip or Flop.

She does go after both him and Melissa for paint choice colors, and both of them share a little smirk at her judgment. Maybe they don't agree, but that strikes me as remarkably disrespectful.

Tarek takes on the living room, and Rick gets loads of praise for his built-ins and work on the fireplace, but taken down a notch for his tile work on the base.

In the end, their house is valued at $49,000 more than previously.

Tarek goes after Peggy for the paint choice, and she takes his criticism with grace, probably because she already heard the same from Jonathan earlier in the day.

Christina compliments them on their opening up of the kitchen, adding cabinetry and moving the plumbing. Drew takes them to task over forgetting the backsplash behind the stove, a pretty basic mistake.

Their house is now valued $43,000 more than before. While surprising, they did start with the higher-valued house. It's difficult to add dramatic value to a house that is already in pretty good shape to start and they suffered for that.

What's the verdict?
Peggy and Adi both make cases for keeping each of them without throwing the other under the bus.

Jonathan has to pick between them and while Adi doesn't have a strong a design style as Peggy, he has the trade skills to stay.

I'd like to see Peggy come back in a surprise round, and I'm sure Adi and Jonathan would, too. They're both really disappointed it came down to this and so am I. It was fantastic to see a woman of color making it this far, particularly in a business that doesn't see a lot of women.

Peggy came from behind and amazed me with her progress from the first episode, where she spent three days tiling a small fireplace.

While Jonathan's goal is to win, I think she could have done so, given the growth she showed us over the past few challenges.

Peggy, you will be missed.