Last week on the Apprentice, the marble mouthed Markus was ejected from the boardroom. Adam and Clay return to the suite. Clay thrusts open the front door and forcefully strides past Alla, Felisha and Randal. Adam receives hugs of congratulations from Alla and Felisha. Both women pull Adam aside to debrief and decide to exclude the testy Clay. They all feel that Clay is out for himself and will sacrifice the whole team to get his own way.
The next morning, Randal answers the suite phone and receives word to meet the Donald in the boardroom at 8 o’clock sharp because Mr. Trump is very busy. I wonder why we have to go through this exercise each week… it is unnecessary.
The candidate ready themselves at the suite and meet Donald in the boardroom. Clay has not lost his arrogant attitude after a good night’s sleep. Donald welcomes everyone to week 8 of the 13-week interview process. He tells the group that Bill Rancic will be replacing George this week. He then says to “roll the tape”. The screen shows footage from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Donald explains that Star Wars is probably the most successful movie franchise ever. It has spawned action figures, video games, and books. It has grossed over 13 billion dollars in sales and retail merchandising. The task this week is to design an in-store, interactive retail display to feature the DVD of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as well as the video game Battlefront II. The displays will be constructed at a Best Buy store and will have access to Lucas Film graphic designers, photographers and structural engineers. The team that does the best display as judged by Best Buy and Lucas Film executives will win. Donald reminds the teams that Randal is exempt should his team lose from being the winning PM last week. Donald wishes everyone good luck and may the force be with them.
Capital Edge meets to discuss who will be the PM. Clay says that he feels that after the way he was treated yesterday that he deserves to be the PM. Alla and Felisha try to reassure Clay that they are all about teamwork. Clay says that all 3 of them want Clay out and that he has to figure out a way that he can trust them again. Clay is planning to work harder than anyone else on this task so that if they lose, he can turn it around and point the fingers away from himself… what a team player. Clay asks if anyone else wants to be the PM. Adam says that he absolutely does not want to be PM. Alla asks that Clay treat everyone with respect. Clay doesn’t answer her but just stares her down. Clay reveals in the confessional that his master plan is to get rid of the strongest players and that list begins with Alla. However, he must keep some strong players so that they will win tasks. The team shakes hands and fake smiles rule.
Excel Corporation is also discussing who should be the PM. Brian asks who is familiar with the Star Wars movies. Randal considers himself a Star Wars junkie. He has seen all the films and had the collector’s mugs, toys and action figures. Brian wonders if they need to know much about the films. Randal says that it wouldn’t hurt to know some facts. Randal gives the team a brief rundown on Star Wars. Brian is concerned that Randal is the only one with a working knowledge of Star Wars but he is exempt. Brian reluctantly steps up as the PM but he says that he needs a lot of help on the details from Randal.
Capital Edge leaves the suite and goes to the studio where they meet two executives from Best Buy and Lucas Films. Clay says that they were both phenomenal and ready to work with them. It is explained to the team that this film is the last ever Star Wars movie. There will not be anymore Star Wars movies. One of the important parts of Star Wars is Darth Vader, who is one of the most famous villains of all times. The viewing audience wants to know how Darth Vader came to be so dastardly. This movie answers that question. Alla feels that just meeting with these two men and hearing what they had to offer gave her insight on exactly what needed to be done to make this task a winner.
Randal sets up a morning meeting with the executives from Best Buy and Lucas Films for 10:15. Brian informs the team that they must leave the suite at 10 to make the meeting. Marshawn is a bit concerned about allowing enough time but Brian is from New York and should know these things. The team is running late and Rebecca does not like cutting meetings close. The team leaves the suite just a bit after 10 and has trouble securing a cab. The mood is tense during the cab ride. Brian calls the executives to tell them that they will be late arriving because they are stuck in traffic. Brian had no idea that traffic would be so brutal.
Donald’s Word of the Week: LOYALTY
Donald is speaking in what appears to be the large lobby of one of his hotels and there is a huge of children and adults listening to him share some of his business savvy. He shares that he was interviewing a man recently and during the final interview process begins to talk negatively about his former boss. Prior to this last interview, Donald had decided he was going to hire this man. Donald said that this showed disloyalty and he decided immediately that he would not hire this individual. Never hire someone that is not loyal because it will destroy business and companies fast. Get rid of anyone that is disloyal because they are no good, will never be good and there is nothing worse than disloyalty.
Meanwhile, back in the cab it is 10:30 and Brian calls the executives to inform then they are just a few blocks away. The team finally arrives at 10:45, a full half and hour late for the meeting. The executives welcome the team to the conference room and tell them that they will not be able to meet with them because they have another meeting to attend. The faces of the Excel teams collectively drop. Rebecca knows that this does not send a very good message to the people that will be judging them to be late for the meeting. Brian says that they are screwed.
Capital Edge is reviewing the meeting with the executives. Clay asks Alla what she got from the meeting. Alla says that it was repeated several times that Darth Vader was the key to the entire movie. Darth Vader must be the center of their display. Clay says that the photo shoot will be really important to capture Darth Vader well. Clay wants Alla and Felisha and himself to be at the shoot. At the photo shoot, Darth Vader is present and they want to shoot him in every possible angle. Alla starts to direct the photographer and Clay senses that she has a grasp on this part of the task and hightails it out of there. Alla is mad that Clay takes off and lets her take control. They take more pictures of Darth, Chewbacca and other characters. Meanwhile, Clay is off flirting with one of the men working at the shoot. Alla feels abandoned.
Excel has missed their opportunity to meet with the executives that they are going to rely on Randal’s immense knowledge of Star Wars. They are all glad that Randal is there, but they know that they have blown a huge chance to hear from the executives. They decide to focus on the theme of good and evil. They will make a display that has light on one side and darkness on the other side. They are feeling really behind on their task. Rebecca feels that the choice of characters is key to this display. Marshawn and Randal butt heads on which characters to feature. Marshawn feels that it will draw more people in to use new characters instead of the well-known ones. Randal completely disagrees and Marshawn says that she will defer to Randal.
Alla and Felisha regret making Clay the PM because he has brought nothing to the table. Felisha feels that Alla is the PM. She is taking charge of every aspect of the design and the game.
The morning of the presentation, Alla and Clay go to Best Buy to set up the cut out figures. Bill Rancic joins them and sees who is running the show… Alla. At every turn, Clay is asking Alla where they are to position the cutouts. Bill feels that Clay is way out of his league and is not leading at all.
Marshawn has been asked to be the presenter for Excel. Marshawn is not pleased with the display and she wants to get someone else to do the presentation. Carolyn also feels that the display is average and doesn’t even have any lights to draw people in. She feels that if Excel wins, it will be because of the presentation. At the last minute, Marshawn tells Brian that she feels that he should do the presentation because he has more passion for it than she does. Rebecca is floored that Marshawn would do this at the last minute. Rebecca steps in and says that she will do the presentation.
Capital Edge meets with the two executives as well as Carolyn and Bill. Clay welcomes everyone to his or her display and Alla knows right away that Clay is ready to take all the credit for this creation. As Clay continues his pitch, Alla takes every pause from Clay to interject other aspects of the display and it’s concept. Felisha is also upset that Alla is not the PM on this task because she conceptualized the whole display. Every time Alla makes a comment, Clay responds by discounting her input. He says in the confessional, that he was trying to shut her down and it was apparent.
It is now Excel’s turn to see if the force is with them. Right away, it looks a bit pitiful. The display doesn’t look nearly as impressive as Capital Edge’s. Rebecca is front and center on her crutches and Brian, Marshawn and Randal all look like they want to throw up. Rebecca does her best with only 30 minutes of preparation to verbalize the concept of light and dark. The executives ask if the team ever thought to present Darth Vader more prominently in the display. Rebecca replies that Darth Vader is too ominous of a figure and would detract from the entire display. Another question was why the merchandise was located at a place where it could be blocked from view as people look at the display. Brian countered quickly that now that this was mentioned, they could place the merchandise in a different location. The executives smile politely and thank the team for their efforts. Rebecca feels that she didn’t do her best work but that she stepped up when Marshawn bugged out.
Donald meets with the two executives in the boardroom as the two teams wait outside. The executives say that both teams did a good job but one team was a clear winner. As the teams wait, they can hear muffled voices of the Donald and the execs. The execs are thanked for their judging and leave. The executives thank the teams on their way out as the teams are invited back into see Donald. Donald asks Clay how his team did and he says he was pleased with their presentation. Donald asks Brian and he says that their display was impressive. Carolyn is asked how Capital Edge did, she says that the executives thought that they nailed the tag line, “Watch it, Play it, Own them Both”. Bill is asked about Excel and he states that the executives were impressed how they made the product accessible. Donald says that they were disappointed that Excel did not feature Darth Vader prominently at all in their display since he is such a pivotal character. Donald says that it wasn’t even close and the executives preferred the Capital Edge display. Donald tells Clay that the team will now vote to see if Clay should be exempt. Everyone votes to NOT give Clay the exemption. Clay can’t believe his ears. Alla says that she did 90% of the task and she should have been the project manager. Donald doesn’t bat an eye and says that Clay is not exempt from firing next week.
Donald says that this task was all about winning and there is no one better to learn from than Bill Rancic. They will go to White Plains, New York and visit Trump Tower and learn all about construction and sales aspects. They are to spend time with Bill and learn how he won and how it is to be Donald’s apprentice. Excel will meet with Donald in the boardroom and with the exception of Randal, one of them will be fired.
The Capital Edge team puts on hard hats and sees the construction happening at Trump Towers. Bill imparts to the team his words of wisdom about winning. The team is ignited to get back into the game and win not just as a team but as individuals. Bill encourages them to stand out because they are on the radar screen and to start being bold in their game playing.
Back at the suite, Randal is fixing a snack and Brian tells him that he hates him because he doesn’t have to pack. Randal is concerned for Brian because the other team had better creativity and ideas. Brian feels that Marshawn dropped the ball as far as the presentation. Brian feels that he doesn’t feel he deserves the blame on this task failure.
The team awaits Donald’s arrival to the boardroom. Donald arrives and asks Brian what the theme of the display. Brian explains the concept of good and evil. Donald asks who came up with this concept and he says that Randal did. Randal says that there were two issues; the concept and the presentation of the display and he feels that they had a good concept. Donald says that he heard something disturbing. Is it true that the team didn’t show up for a meeting with the executives? The team looks contrite. Randal says that it was Brian’s decision to leave 15 minutes before the meeting. Donald gives Brian a tongue lashing for living in Manhattan and not knowing how long it takes to get around in New York at anytime of day. Brian says that he realizes that he made a mistake and thought that it was important to do more research because not everyone was familiar with the Star Wars characters. Donald says that they didn’t even know from their research that Darth Vader was a key part of the movie. Randal says that the only way they would have known what characters to focus on was if they had more time with the executives. Brian says that they lost the task because they didn’t get the gist of the task. Carolyn says that they would have gotten the gist because they missed important information from meeting with the executives. Donald says that he has been very disappointed in Brian because he hasn’t stepped up for weeks. He asks if Marshawn agrees. Marshawn says that she feels that Brian’s heart is no longer on this game. Donald asks if Brian would like to go home, which is only 30 miles away? Carolyn and Donald want to know why Marshawn did not present. Donald said that he heard that Rebecca did an excellent job considering that she only had moments to prepare. Marshawn says that she felt that Brian would be a better presenter. Donald and Brian both agree that Brian is not a great presenter. Marshawn says that she did not abandon the presenting at the last minute. She says that there was 2 hours left but the team says that there was 30 minutes left. The people at the table all agree that she left the presenting fall to whoever would do it at the last minute. Rebecca says that she stepped in because she didn’t want to waste any more time. Marshawn says that Rebecca asked to present and she let her. Donald and Carolyn want to know the real reason that Marshawn didn’t present. Marshawn sticks to her story that she thought Brian would be a better presenter.
Bill asks Marshawn why she didn’t step up during this task especially since this was one of the bigger tasks. She says that she realizes that she should have stepped up but she thought that Brian would do a better job. Donald, Carolyn and Bill can’t get over the fact that Marshawn would do this to her own team. Marshawn disagrees that she did anything to the team. Donald says that he hates what Marshawn did to her team by shunning her responsibility to present. He then tells Brian that he is a terrible leader and that it was inexcusable that he missed a meeting for the wrong reasons. Brian, you’re fired! And Marshawn, you’re fired too! Donald tells Marshawn that he hates what she did to their team. Marshawn twists her mouth up and Randal is shocked and Rebecca just hangs her head. Donald tells them to get out and to go.
Donald said the Brian never stepped up and Marshawn disappointed him because she has great potential. Carolyn agrees that Brian should have been fired and Bill feels that Marshawn abandoned her teammates. Donald says that only the best can work here. Marshawn and Brian share a cab. Marshawn sits straight in her seat while Brian slumps in the corner. Marshawn says that Brian made some bad decisions and didn’t rely on his resources. He relied on one person. She respects him as a person but he made some strong decisions that he shouldn’t have made. She feels that he was on the hot seat and that she was the easiest target. Brian just sits flabbergasted and stunned.
The candidates are dropping like flies. It is time to pray for exemptions but no one is exempt next week…should be interesting. Next week, we are down to the final six and the candidates are writing songs. It may be time to stock up on earplugs. Should be another exciting episode…let’s see if the multiple firing trend continues.
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