Hello HGTV fans! Thank you for stopping by to see what happens when the fifth season of Good Bones gets to the finals next week. I’m Megan Fernandez, Editor for Indianapolis Monthly, and design smarties John Cox and Kristin Sims are also here.
This episode, “The Cottage Catastrophe,” focuses on an empty old Southside house that HGTV describes as “crispy”. It starts in the White River Gardens at the Indianapolis Zoo, which is full of butterflies. Of course, Karen shows up wearing a butterfly cloak. Is that a harbinger? Will she find dead butterflies in the house and do taxidermy art?
Josh: Baby Jack distracted me too much to notice that cloak, but I’m not surprised.
Kristin: Who has a butterfly cloak? Just in case you visit the zoo? Maybe just Karen. Jack’s “hoo, hoo” was great. I just want to eat him up.
Megan: Then they go to a house that most people would tear down. But Mina and Karen like the character of the external details and are really happy to save those things.
Josh: What is the faux finish product on the outside of the original cottage?
Kristin: I think it’s an old type of asphalt clapboard.
Megan: It’s a stinker inside and the floor is muddy. As soon as I started typing, “Not much crap for Karen to sift through,” she says to Mina, “Oh, here’s a hat for you!” I sighed and started to step back, then I looked up and saw that it was a lampshade.
Kristin: I’m surprised they didn’t keep the mantelpiece, which I thought was cool to reuse. Maybe they did. Let’s check it out in future episodes.
Megan: The foundation looks like the result of drunk jenga with bricks. No mortar. Mina can take it apart with her bare hands. Poor house.
Kristin: I was surprised the house had stood for so long when she started pulling out bricks.
Megan: But then Mina looks happy in the backhoe and rips off the back of the house. Oops, her mom is inside! Close one.
Kristin: Mina is a boss with the excavator. Trees, no problem. House, no problem.
Megan: We learn that Mina’s nickname Little T is for Little Tornado. Never mind if you see them on the Culture Trail or in line at Milktooth. Tad is at a music festival –
Josh: Which festival? My first thought was Coachella because it would literally charm the crocheted pants of these festival goers. In reality, I wonder if he was in Lollapalooza in Chicago or maybe in Forecastle in Louisville.
Megan: I was excited to search Tad’s Instagram for you. He was in Bonnaroo last year. Either way, that creates more screen time for Austin, who we love too. He and Karen go to explore the garage. I love Austin’s optimism – he really believes the freezer they find could be empty and not gross. A few minutes later, he compares the smell to “sportswear on the bottom of the locker”.
Kristin: It gets worse on Talbott Street. Mina swings past Karen and says, “Get in, there’s a problem.” On the way to the property, Mina half laughs, half cries, but doesn’t spill the beans. When the truck pulls up, we see Karen with a shock on her face and she says: “It’s all gone.” Cut to advertising. We spend the break wondering, hmm, vandalism? Fire? We discover that it is again a collapsed property.
Josh: Or was it an angry group of garbage pandas raging over their lost rotten frozen meat? Whatever, this house really was a metaphor for anyone with big plans for 2020.
Kristin: For another $ 30,000, they can redraw plans, pour new foundations and still be able to finish with three bedrooms larger than the original design.
Megan: There is the theme of butterfly metamorphosis. Tad – who’s back in town! – is so proud of himself that he created space for another full bath on the main level by moving the mechanics from this room to the place for the closet on the first floor.
Kristin: Great idea but I lived in a house with no closet on the first floor. It’s no fun.
Megan: Me too, so I had the same thought. I think we kept the vacuum in the basement. But these are little potatoes compared to what Mina and Steve see when they return to their fertility doctor’s office.
Josh: You can see the fear in Mina’s eyes as you enter the building. You find the heartbeat and Mina is overwhelmed by emotions in the most controlled way possible.
Megan: Then Mina drops the news into a conversation with Tad, and that’s how he finds out! This is so cute. He cries more than Mina. I cant stop seeing it.
Josh: Tad’s answer reduced me to tears, so much so that our dogs woke up from their couch sleep and gave me funny looks.
Kristin: Possibly my favorite all season scene. I think it’s great that they saved that for the camera. I had to grab a handkerchief myself.
Megan: Did the house move you to tears too?
Josh: When they first talked about changing the entire design direction for a potential buyer, I became genuinely concerned, especially because of their track record with buyers this season. Fortunately, this super-fast version of the modern country was a success.
Kristin: It’s great for the buyer to have a new build. But while the original house was a little creepy, I found that exterior looked a little pale, especially when compared to Two Chicks’ cute robin-egg-blue-and-shake clapboard act just a few doors down. But finally a house with some space! Space for two sofas, a real dining area and lots of cupboards.
Josh: All the natural light on the first floor makes me dream of which plants I could create my dream greenhouse with. Damn the barn doors to hell. When will it end? Was someone stressed out and wondering where they would put the laundry detergent and dryer sheets for the washer and dryer right in the back door?
Kristin: They would fit in a closet.
Megan: Josh, a laundry basket, and laundry detergent will definitely live on the bench under the window. Or they go around the corner on the double-decker shelves Karen made to fill a kitchen niche, using the consoles they saved from the outside in the process. Josh, did you know Kristin has a lumber shop like Karen in her house?
Josh: I did not. Do the Timber Twins visit you too? Can I come to you if I need made-to-measure woodwork?
Kristin: I wish the Timber boys would visit us. I have a lot of projects for her. Folks, if you’re reading this give me a call. And Josh, my chop saw is your chop saw.
Megan: Next week is the season finale and we all wonder …
Josh: … Will we see Mina Karen say she is pregnant?