We begin in the loft, where a just-returned Dawna is fielding questions from the Matchstickians about the conference room. She says it was "horrible," at which point everyone else's ears perk up because they want the dish. Even Ryan is like "girl, spill it!" She hates going into the conference room, you guys. She can't even begin to describe it. As it turns out, Dawna is one of that special breed of reality show contestant who rejects the basic premise of the show they're on. Like the Survivor contestant who doesn't like to vote people off or the Big Brother houseguest who won't fuck someone else on camera because s/he has a boyfriend, Dawna doesn't really enjoy the whole "talking bad about someone so they get fired" part of the competition. Maybe she just wanted to be on a show where she shills for random products like Wishbone salad dressing? Anyway, Dawna tearfully interviews that she thinks she "really hurt" Bethenny with her comments. Personally, I think this is because Dawna has only been to two Boardrooms before. I can almost guarantee that if she'd been on Matchstick and got to cut her teeth on folks like Shawn or Jeff or Dawn, she'd have been cured of her little smack-talk phobia real quick.
Bethenny and Jim return to the loft with a couple of stone faces. Not that they're mad, I don't think, but because they kind of liked Howie and weren't overjoyed to see him go. Someone (Bethenny? Marcela?) makes the observation that Howie went home. Amanda parrots, "Howie went home," sort of like how Rob Schnieder would say "makin' copies!" Dawna -- who totally thought Bethenny was done for -- tearfully hugs the victim of her vicious, vicious comments. Bethenny reassures her that it's fine. Amanda quietly observes to her fellow Matchstickians that Jim is still there. Which is deeply disturbing, I will grant her. As she interviews about how she's completely unsure what Martha is looking for in an Apprentice (uh, stock tips?), Amanda tells her team that if Martha likes Jim, she's clearly not going to like her. Because they're sooooo different. Except in terms of my esteem. This was pretty much the same thing Dawna said to and about Bethenny last week, although it's a bit more ironic here because Amanda sucks. Oh, and this is interesting: Amanda tells her team that she thinks she'll "just screw off tomorrow." Which is a...protest against Jim's continuing existence in the competition? Not like I can't relate, but come on. Marcela, somewhat disbelievingly, asks if Amanda really wants to go to the conference room tomorrow. Amanda reiterates her inability to conjure what Martha is looking for. So she'll chuck the challenge as a test for Martha, then? I mean, clearly this could be read as a purely facetious conversation on Amanda's part. Provided she doesn't actually screw off tomorrow. But what are the chances of that?Morning rises on the (im)Clone loft in time for the cameras to catch calisthenics hour, featuring Leslie standing on her head and Bethenny doing some downward-facing-dog yoga cult worship activity thing. A towel-clad Marcela answers the phone, and Julia instructs the teams to be waiting by the monitor in the loft for the "Captain Picard to bridge" task instructions. As the teams assemble for instructions, everyone's in their business attire except Ryan, who's got the grey t-shirt, camo shorts, and flip-flops that have become all the rage in corporate America. Seriously, the anthropomorphized concept of Casual Fridays is all "You are ruining this for everyone!" Clearly, Ryan is 100% invested in the task at hand. That task, as Martha explains from her Overlord Video Monitor, is to sell the Tassimo Hot Beverage System, which is a space-aged coffee maker that can brew the exact type of coffee you want by scanning your brain waves, or something. Each team gets $40,000 to set up a retail store in which they'll sell the Tassimo, and the team with the highest gross sales will win. The losing team will face the dread conference room, where one of them will have their body sacrificed to the science of brewing a better cup of java.