Queer Eye Season-Finale Recap: Five-Alarm Firemen

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Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
Queer Eye

Queer Eye

Hose Before Bros Season 1 Episode 8
Editor's Rating 5 stars

What a great way to end a surprisingly emotional and wonderful first season of the reiteration of Queer Eye. Oh, I guess the firefighters were nice, but I was talking about Karamo wearing every single satin bomber left in his closet and also mysteriously shaving off his beard at one point. I lost track of how many different bombers he wore in this episode. There was for sure a green one and a brown one and I think a print one too. He had to get them all out before the season ended.

And what happened to his beard? One day it was there, and then it was gone with no explanation. I think I find him even more attractive clean-shaven. He’s definitely a very handsome guy and this makes him look incredibly young and fresh-faced in a way that very interestingly contrasts with his tall and muscular frame. I might have to rethink my stance on Karamo after all.

It’s hard to make too much fun of the least effective of the Fab Five when they had such a wonderful last mission. They travel to the Covington Fire Department in Georgia to rescue one straight man in dire need of an update. His name is Jeremy and he is the most stand-up guy to be on the show. He doesn’t want a makeover just to look better or to improve his house — he wants Bobby to redo the firehouse so that all the guys can have a better place to work and relax in between saving lives. He also wants to look good for a fundraiser the station is having so he can go and train firefighters in areas where they can’t afford good training.

Jeremy talks about how he joined up at the fire department when he was 19 and needed a job, but found a place where he really fit in. What made it even better was when he actually started helping people. He talks about giving CPR to people who survive and it brought tears of joy to my eyes. Then he talks about giving CPR to the people who don’t make it and I have tears of sadness. Either way, I was just bawling listening to this dude who is not only a real-life hero, but doesn’t want any recognition for it. Later in the episode, I lost it again when he said, “With the political divide the way things are now, with one bit of love we can change all that.” Where are all the Jeremies out there in Trump country? We need them!

The firehouse is pretty sad, though. It’s like one giant man cave on steroids and probably smells like week-old socks and rotting toenail clippings. They have a “day room” that is a giant table surrounded by sad chairs and a battalion’s worth of La-Z-Boy–style recliners. And the kitchen, oh girl. There are nicer kitchen setups in abandoned insane asylums. The stove doesn’t work and neither does the oven, so they have to feed all of the firefighters using the microwave. Even Chef Boyardee is weeping.

Most of the time in the fire station isn’t spent making fun of Jeremy’s space or wardrobe, which is pretty ratty. (He’s the classic straight guy who wears baggy T-shirts, cargo shorts, and a pair of Crocs that are the color of mud made from the leaking contents of a Port-a-Potty into a field at the Iowa State Fair.) Instead, it’s the Fab Five getting a tour of the fire station, racing to see who can put on an entire fire suit correctly in under two minutes (Bobby is the only one who can) and flirting with all of the hunky firefighters.

The one they love the most is named Micah, but our boys take to calling him Superman because he is just muscles on top of muscles on top of a gorgeous smile. They get him to participate in a wet T-shirt contest, but then cut away before he takes his shirt off. Come on! Lusting after hunky firefighters is the only reason we’re here, people!

Jonathan gives Jeremy a nice haircut, but he also arranges for a spa day for all of the guys in the station. He makes them cocktails and foot baths and applies a homemade face mask made with egg whites and peaches that sort of looks like baby vomit. He also gives them essential oils to perk up their senses. Am I the only one that thinks essential oils are a scam perpetrated on us by GOOP and people who do too much yoga? No? Oh, thank God.

Karamo takes all the guys to a dance studio so that they can learn how to waltz. The point is that they’ll raffle off dances with firefighters at their fundraiser and, well, it’s actually a good idea. I hate when Karamo is right, but I will give it to him this time. However, he is all about being the partner for Superman and it’s a little creepy. There’s a point later where Karamo makes them sit together on a couch and you can tell just how uncomfortable Superman is. I almost felt a little bad for the guy.

However, the firefighters were incredibly game through the whole process. They danced, they took off their shirts, they crawled on the floor trying to be sexy strippers so that this gaggle of gays would have something to gag over. None of them seemed to be taking it too seriously and having a great time. I think they just enjoyed the attention and doing something wacky outside of their everyday lives.

Bobby actually does a really nice job with the firehouse kitchen, giving them a tasteful black backsplash — but more importantly, giving them a giant working stove, three refrigerators, four giant trash cans, two microwaves, and enough appliances to cook everything they might need. The day room ends up looking very masculine and sort of like a sports bar in Ronkonkoma complete with a blackboard wall, but it’s the nicest dang firehouse I’ve ever seen.

Tan gives Jeremy a good new wardrobe, getting him in a pair of jeans, a white oxford shirt, and a slimming rain coat that makes him look like a New York hedge-fund dude going to brunch. There is also a very tasteful blue suit that he can wear to conferences where he’s representing the fire department. It’s all very tasteful. I didn’t like the cardigan that he tried on at Banana Republic, though, which made him look like a guy waiting for his wife to finish getting her hair done at the salon.

This episode, I noticed that Antoni owns as many Strokes T-shirts as Karamo does satin bombers and I sadly had to fire him from being my imaginary lover. Antoni shows Jeremy how to grill hot dogs and put some fancy pickled condiments on them so that they can sell them for $5 at their fundraiser and make a bunch of money. At first I was like, “Yawn, this is dumb,” and then Antoni crunched up some Ruffles and put them on a hot dog and I want one right now and we just got married again and the baby is on the way. It’s a boy. I’m naming him Strokes.

The fundraiser goes pretty well, even if the crowd wasn’t huge and we never learn if they made their $3,000 goal, which makes me think they didn’t. That’s all right. I’ll send them a check. When I really start crying, however, is the very, very end. “We never would have thought to have a bunch of gays in our firehouse,” Jeremy says. “It’s sort of embarrassing to think that our way is the only way, and that’s just not true. I don’t say this lightly, but I love these guys.” Funny enough, as much fun as I’ve made of them over the last eight episode, I kind of do, too.

Queer Eye Season-Finale Recap: Five-Alarm Firemen