Apprentice: Martha
Don’t Touch That Dial

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Up Your Nose with a Retractable Hose
Sorry, you guys. No Keckler this week means no Kocktail, although I can tell you that Apprentice Martha goes surprisingly well with a cold Labatt Blue. Previously: Sarah had no ideas, Carrie had spreadsheets, Ryan was adorable, and Jim and Bethenny were annoying as hell, on purpose. Martha fired one ineffective blonde at regular price and then got to fire the next ineffective blonde for free.

Credits. I absolutely love the graphic they have of Martha at the very end, when it goes all black-and-white and Warholian. First off, she's smiling, because she's the kinder, gentler Donald. But she's got her arms crossed, so you know she means business. But she's sort of leaning toward the audience, ever so slightly, like she's one of the background orphans in Annie, or possibly waiting for the punch line to a randy one-liner on Laugh-In. The punch line, as always, is Jim.

Up in the loft, the (im)Clones (yeah, not even going to try and come up with my own term for these folks -- Keckler nailed it) await Primarius's return from the conference room. Jim is regaling Matchstick with tales of how much Martha hated them. Oh, and he uses the word "botchery," which I was totally going to call him on, because that's not a word. Except it is. Jim: 1, Joe: 0. Oh, but look: bitchery is a real word, too! Jim: 1, Joe: 1. Marcela asks why Jim was sent back, and he explains that Martha asked Sarah who the strongest player on the team was. Then Leslie earns the first of many brownie points with me this week when she says, "And YOU walk out." There are equal parts disbelief and scorn in that statement, although I'm guessing there was enough of a jokey undertone involved, too, because Jim manages a good-natured (for him), "Well, I'm not as weak as you think." Still: go Leslie!

Howie and Bethenny walk through the door, and the reactions range from shock (Marcela) that both Sarah and Carrie are gone, to happiness (Ryan) that Bethenny and, particularly, Howie are back. It should be noted that throughout this scene, Ryan is sporting a backwards baseball cap and a wifebeater, and has wrapped himself in a blanket. It's all very "fireman's calendar shut-in," and yet: foxy. Bethenny immediately starts explaining that the Buzzkill Spinsters were fired because "they both lied through their teeth," which, not so much. Pretty clearly, Sarah was fired for being a horrible leader and Carrie for being a complete waste of space, but Bethenny seems determined to cast herself and Sarah in this morality play of her own making, and no one really feels like arguing with the Queen of the Damned anyway, so whatev. As the (im)Clones start to wind down, Bethenny and Jim get into their booze and do that routine they do where they're both loud and obnoxious. They really could take that show on the road. HINT! They joke with Howie about how the three of them are the boisterous screw-ups, and then Jim interviews, of course, that this mixture of repulsiveness and ineptitude will surely work to their advantage, because Matchstick will underestimate them. Like the slaughter underestimates the lamb, Twitchy. As Matchstick looks on in exasperation, Bethenny shows some self-awareness, joking that the next task will be to stay silent for 24 hours, and "see who will win: the team with Ryan and Marcela, or the team with Jim, Bethenny, and Howie." Aw, 24 hours with Ryan and Marcela. I think I could enjoy that. What the hell kind of Apprentice is this, anyway? Dawna explains how she's never worked with Jim or Bethenny and how that's not really regret you hear when she says that. "I would definitely not want us working together." After Dawna says this, she takes a bite of her apple, saunters on over to Fate, offers him a taste, and admires the lovely garden they both have.The next morning, as the (im)Clones follow Julia's directive to meet Martha at 9 AM, we see Martha, Koppelman, and Alexis having one of those faked-up meetings that Mark Burnett seems to think we're so easily fooled by. In this case, Martha is expositioning about how we're down to eight candidates, five Matchstick and three Primarius. As Martha addresses the teams, she makes this same observation, and rubs some more salt in Primarius's embarrassing defeat in the Tide task. She figures they could use some help, at which point Jim makes a face and sort of scoffs. Dude -- Trump would have slashed you from stem to stern and had Carolyn and George feast on your entrails for that one. Actually, first he would have made a remark like, "You're very sarcastic, Jim. You're a very sarcastic person." And then he'd have made Jim do the entire task knowing he was toast, and then he'd have eviscerated him in the boardroom (and probably asked him if he'd ever had sex in the process), and THEN he'd have fired him. With a real catch phrase. Anyway. Martha asks who on Matchstick has the best PM record thus far. And, as she so helpfully reminded us last week, it's Dawna! So she gets shunted over to Primarius and silently curses her bad luck. Meanwhile, Fate stands in the corner, makes the finger guns at Dawna, and says, "Back atcha, babe!" Martha then directs the teams to take a look at all the pretty patio furniture that is on display for them, and it's all nice umbrella tables and chaise lounges and such, which is interesting considering the products the teams eventually choose to sell. So the task is to choose one of Martha's "outdoor products" and sell them on QVC. There are oohs and ahhs when QVC is mentioned, which…it's QVC. I think it's been established by now that, with the exception of Nip/Tuck, everything that Joan Rivers touches becomes socially unacceptable, right? That's why her daughter never even had a chance. And, yes, we've been here before. With a much taller Dawna. Also of note? This is a revenue-based task, not a units-moved task. It's all about the money, honey. Martha takes another minute to brag about how many books she's sold on QVC (Jim: "That's you, though."), before sending them on their way.

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Apprentice: Martha

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