The Apprentice 03/25/07 Recap – Absence Makes The Heart Grow Ruthless
Spring is in the air, and springtime is the time for young love. Ah, love…there’s nothing like it, especially when it’s done Trump-style. Instead of romping through meadows and feeding each other strawberries dipped in chocolate, our young lovers vow to destroy each other in a corporate shark-fight and exchange angry words through a garden hedge. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, doesn’t it? Well, no matter if it doesn’t – the Donald is getting off on it, and if you still don’t get it, here it is for the last time already – that’s ALL that counts.
The fourth musketeer delivers a sword through the heart
A dejected Kinetic arrives back at camp after Muna’s ejection from the competition, and although Muna was no Miss Congeniality, Team Glamazon has been dealt a harsh blow. They’re down to three, and Kristine, the bullet-dodging project manager, admits that she never thought Arrow would completely decimate their team. Who ever thought a pack of beer-guzzling underdog slobs would prevail? I mean, Heidi knows how to put up a tent, for God’s sake. It’s hard to argue with that kind of accomplishment.
At Arrow, the mood is considerably lighter. Nicole, Tim and Frank declare themselves the “Three Musketeers” – apparently Frank has insinuated himself as the official third wheel in this ménage à trois. They declare themselves the final three, and joke about trash-talking each other – with the utmost respect, naturally – when it comes down to that final boardroom. If you haven’t as yet met our old friend Mr. Foreshadowing, then please allow me to introduce him at this juncture – you just may find that you run into him a time or ten this episode. Remember, subtlety is not Trump’s strong suit.
The phone rings, and winning PM James answers the call from The Hair. In brief, Trump tells him that since Kinetic sucks James will have to send over one of his teammates to the loser’s camp - now. James is obviously caught off guard, but recovers nicely and tells Donald that he’ll ask for a volunteer first. Trump is kept waiting on the line while James relays the news – not surprisingly, James’ request is met with scowls from the Arrow members. James manages to fob off Trump temporarily, and Donald reminds him that he needs to make a decision PDQ.
Time to show some of those leadership qualities, and James rises to the challenge. He tells the team he can’t lose Frank’s “hands” (insert your own off-color joke here) nor Stefani’s organizational skills. He feels that he’s a creative force, and since both Tim and Nicole are also creative-types, one of them will have to go. It’s a no-brainer, and everyone but Nicole seems to know it. The obviously unpopular decision is met with stony silence, and James apologizes to Nicole but is surprisingly firm. Actually, James is a pleasant surprise throughout this whole process – he’s decisive and gives a completely reasonable explanation for dispatching Nicole to Kinetic, and is smart enough to not mention even in confessional that he’s wisely chosen to break up a couple. You don’t think it’s wise? Then you’ve never heard the word “Romber”.
Tim and Nicole tearfully hug goodbye, and Tim, via confessional, admits that his entire experience has been defined by his relationship with Nicole. Wrong show, wrong network, Tim – The Bachelor doesn’t start for weeks yet. James tries to make nice with Nicole, but she’s having none of it, and tells the camera that she would give an arm to win the next challenge and then ensure James is fired. Bitter much? Or more likely, it’s seeping through that big Barbie mane of hair that she’s the weakest link on Arrow.
Reality supastar, that is what you are – uh-huh
Trump alights from his limo in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre with Ivanka – who’s been stitched into a skin-tight blue dress – to meet the new teams. Donald questions James about his decision, and takes a shot at Nicole, asking James if she’s the weakest member of the team. There’s no right answer to that, but Trump doesn’t much care anyway, preferring to tease Tim and Nicole about their relationship. I’m beginning to see why none of the Trump offspring are married – it would be just too embarrassing to bring anyone home to meet Dad. But why talk about Tim and Nicole when Donald could talk about himself? He lets the Apprenti know that he’s got the number one show on TV (ratings, shmatings) and that he’s the Biggest. Star. Ever. Hey, don’t roll your eyes – hearing him say that was funnier than this week’s entire episode of Family Guy.
Ivanka, loyal daughter that she is, doesn’t laugh aloud, but instead gives the candidates their task – they’re to sell passes at Universal Studios Hollywood theme park, using something called “Adwalker”, and whomever makes the most money wins. I smell blood in the water, and it’s not from that mechanical Jaws show at Universal.
Olympic gold medalist Angela is finally getting her turn as Kinetic’s PM, and she knows it’s her big chance to distinguish herself. And nothing says “distinguished” like roller skates. Nicole, arms akimbo and hair flying, convinces Angela that four cute girls on roller skates is the way to sell theme park passes. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and a laughing Angela agrees with Nicole – plus, you know she can skate up a storm. Nicole is confident that she knows exactly what Arrow is going to do and is determined to do the exact opposite – not necessarily a bad thing, unless the opposite is a really, really bad idea. And let’s face it – girls selling things while wearing roller skates went out with car hops and poodle skirts. Unless you count what Heather Graham was selling on skates in Boogie Nights.
Tim, unfettered by his relationship woes, comes up with the idea of selling passes in a kiosk, saying that the creation of a “station” will give them credibility with the customers. The Arrow team discusses the difficulties of both teams being on the same turf, and James fears the competition is about to take an ugly turn. Tim, who is slowly revealing his capacity for duplicity, tells the confessional that he hates not having Nicole on the team, but among his teammates, expresses the desire to beat her – he doesn’t care how they win, and he’s ready to play dirty. Mr. McDreamy, it appears, is turning into Mr. McSeamy.
Over the hills and far away…the Apprenti come to play
Arrow is first to arrive at Universal Studios and don their “Adwalkers”. What is an Adwalker, you ask? Well, according to their website, they are wearable media solutions. In reality, they are enormous vests with TV screens on them, and the Apprentice candidates are transformed into (slightly) more erudite Teletubbies. The ladies of Kinetic, admittedly, have better legs than Tinky-Winky, but look no less ridiculous. Nicole, however, thinks the look is downright fierce, since she’s all for using the team’s “assets”. Eh-oh, Nicole…
It gets even uglier when James decides that the best way to defeat the rollergirls is to lie and talk smack about them to the tourists. He uses a megaphone to announce that their kiosk is giving away free bottles of water, and Tim’s inspired to tell the customers that Arrow prices for passes are lower than Kinetic’s. The Kinetic women are incensed – Kristine calls Arrow “slimy”, and Nicole is throwing tantrums left and right. Ivanka arrives in the middle of the meleé, and Angela holds her temper in check but tells daughter Trump that Arrow is low-balling them and not playing nice. Ivanka, obviously not willing to call the other team off-side, looks unconcerned at the news. The teams continue to squabble in front of the customers, and Nicole says she’d like to “smash (Arrow’s) faces in the dirt”. Careful, Tim…she’s got Angela on her side now, and I’m pretty sure she can take you.
The teams troop into the boardroom for the results, and both PMs are supremely confident. Trump expresses surprise that Nicole was jettisoned from Arrow – guess she looks the best in a short skirt and roller skates – and hopes Kinetic wins. Alas, it is not to be – Ivanka reveals that Kinetic sold $24,440.37 worth of passes, while Arrow raked in $31,366.65. It’s a solid win, and Tim – one of the few men who would rather be right than get any – gloatingly tells the Donald he may have to re-evaluate who his “stars” are. Angela speaks up, claiming that if it was a “qualitative” task, then Kinetic would have won…plus, Arrow is a pack of lying SOBs. Trump scoffs - but gently, since Angela is his pet Olympian – and says it just sounds like some hard-nosed selling and there’s nothing wrong with that. In the end, it’s the numbers that matter, and Arrow wins a helicopter tour of Los Angeles.
Love means never having to say you’re sorry
Nicole is more devastated by Tim’s treachery than by the loss. She claims to be in shock, and can’t talk. The inability to speak lasts only a few seconds, unfortunately, and she tells the camera that she’s terribly hurt that Tim didn’t stand up for her when James sent her over to Kinetic. For his part, Tim admits he’s aware of the potential “upsetting consequences” of his action (or rather, inaction). The duo meets on opposing sides of the garden hedge, and argue through what’s become a very large hole in the shrubbery. The women of Kinetic back up Nicole, and anyone who’s had a fight with their junior-high boyfriend knows exactly how important it is for your girls to be present and on your side when you’ve been done wrong. Tim tries to defend himself but he’s no match for four self-righteous women, and he finally slinks away to drink beer with the Arrow guys (Stefani is AWOL as usual – what does she do with her spare time? Practice balancing her glasses on the edge of her nose?). The boys commiserate, and James says he’ll never understand women. Well, that’s just what you guys deserve for thinking that Budweiser dispenses life lessons – it’s not always easier to beg for forgiveness, is it?
There’s a brief respite from the Dr. Phil House drama, as Arrow boards “one of the world’s largest helicopters”, according to James. Impressive, but what’s really surprising is that the name “Trump” isn’t emblazoned across it. The ‘copter flies just under the smog and gives the team a bird’s eye view of L.A., and Stefani finally speaks, saying that Arrow is like a family, and gloats over the annihilation of Kinetic.
Over at Kinetic, Angela tells Kristine she plans to take Nicole to the boardroom. She doesn’t have much choice, as the roller-skating idea was Nicole’s – Angela calls it a “flawed concept” – and plans to hammer on the perception that Nicole is the weakest candidate remaining, as she was the Arrow castoff.
In the mansion kitchen, James discusses the upcoming boardroom – he knows it’s going to be hard to be objective, but he plans to go after whomever dreamed up the roller-skating scheme. Stefani snarkily notes that they’re not here to develop relationships, and they have to keep their eye on the prize and concentrate on crushing the competition. It’s all too much for Tim, and he hurries off to the hedge to
suck up warn Nicole about James’ boardroom strategy. Frank sees Tim whispering to Nicole, and correctly guesses that he’s giving away Arrow’s plans. Tim shuffles back into the kitchen, and claims he was just wishing Nicole good luck in the boardroom. Frank isn’t buying it and attacks Tim, but only gets him to admit that he wouldn’t be able to go after Nicole in the boardroom. May as well put a fork in poor old Tim, Frank…he’s done.
It almost seems a foregone conclusion that Nicole is also a goner, as Kinetic files into the boardroom. Trump demands to know what the problem is with Kinetic, and how Angela will explain the 23% loss. Angela gives the flawed-concept excuse, and lays blame at Nicole’s feet, saying that Kinetic was carried away by Nicole’s energy and enthusiasm. Nicole doesn’t argue, but says she thought it was a great idea, and points out that she correctly predicted Arrow’s strategy for the challenge.
Unfortunately for Nicole, Trump is easily bored today and telling Nicole he’s “just curious”, wants to know if she’s in love with Tim. More and more, Donald is reminding me of a pervy drunk uncle at a family wedding who comes up to you and your new boyfriend, elbowing you in the ribs and winking lasciviously whenever he catches your eye. Not that anything like that has ever happened to me. Nicole giggles helplessly, and I’m torn between feeling sorry for her and thinking she deserves Trump’s scrutiny for not keeping her hormones in check at least until the season was over. Donald chuckles that Tim is completely smitten, but then delivers a cross-check to Nicole, reminding her that he allowed her to be thrown off the Arrow team.
Angela attempts to bring the game back onside (and no, I’m not nearly done with the hockey metaphors) and tells Trump the Kinetic team is so wonderful, she doesn’t feel the need to micro-manage them. Ivanka comments that Arrow created “legitimacy” by using a kiosk to sell the passes, and James naturally agrees. Angela sends a slapshot James’ way, claiming the method of obtaining the win was “immoral”, but James easily blocks it, saying that’s just an excuse. Trump asks Kristine if Angela was a great leader, and Kristine responds by saying Angela is a great team player. Heidi says the operation itself was flawed, and therefore believes Angela deserves to be fired. Trump. seemingly surprised that Kinetic is throwing Angela to the wolves, notes that although he may listen to other people, he really doesn’t care what they tell him. Looks like there’s going to be a season 7 for The Apprentice, folks.
Ivanka urges Angela to make a stronger case for herself, but it’s second overtime and Angela’s heart isn’t in it. Maybe if she put her skates on…? Her weak defense comes to no avail, and Angela is fired.
Nicole’s ability to speak has returned in full force, and as Kinetic leaves the boardroom, she asks Trump for a favor. Donald is in a foul mood, having dismissed his champion, and snaps at her for being stupid enough to talk. Not only stupid enough to talk, but stupid enough to be a smart-ass, Nicole wants Trump to ask Tim to come over to Kinetic, just because she’d like to hear his answer. Two minutes for being a dumbass, Nicole.
There’s tears and hugs as Kinetic bids Angela farewell. As expected, she makes a classy exit, saying that it hurts to lose but that she’s learned and grown more from losing in the past and values the experience. I’d be disappointed in her leaving, if she wasn’t far too good for Lord Trump and his name-branded fiefdom. Go get yourself an endorsement deal with Nike and a real job, Angela.
Spring isn’t only the season of love, it’s playoff season as well – there’s only four more weeks of The Apprentice remaining. Yeah, the best team doesn’t always make the finals, but it’s still fun to drink beer and cheer from the sidelines, isn’t it?
PM me with your NHL playoff pool picks.