Apprentice: Martha
The Coffee Achievers

Episode Report Card
Joe R: C- | Grade It Now!
Coffee Is For Closers

Primarius huddles as Dawna observes that, with only three of them left, they all have to pull their weight, no matter what spastic buffoon is project manager. On a completely unrelated note, Jim is project manager. He observes that Marcela is PM for Matchstick, and whenever he and Marcela do the PM throw-down, he wins. Which is a smug and obnoxious comment, to be sure, but on Jim's own sliding scale, it actually registers as humble. After all, he didn't predict he'd thresh Marcela with his scythe of tenacity or anything. Bethenny suggests to Jim that they "definitely get a publicist" to help them out, so just remember whose idea that was. Dawna finds a PR firm online who apparently handle nothing but "pop-up retail" shops, and Dawna interviews that with such a big task and only three team members, hiring the firm -- Lime Public Relations -- to help them out was the best course to take. Bethenny asks Dawna if Lime has ever done anything coffee-related before, which seems a little dumb to me, because it's not like coffee is this exotic niche product that requires extensive experience with it in order to sell properly. It's coffee. Dawna agrees, saying it's not about the coffee, it's about the display and the PR. And also about people dressed up as cups of coffee, but we'll get to that later.

Over on Matchstick's side of the loft, the delicate web of project manager undermining is already being weaved. We jump into what sounds like Marcela asking Ryan to draft a list of questions to ask...someone. A Tassimo executive? Some other sort of coffee expert? Whatever. The point is that Ryan snaps at her, all, "Can I wait for the computer to load up, first?" And she immediately fires back with a "What is your problem?" response, and I hate this whole scene. First of all, we're jumping into the middle of whatever this thing between Marcela and Ryan is, because clearly there is some problem between them that we haven't seen before. It's almost as if there had to have been an argument over who was going to be the PM, because the tone of that exchange was Ryan being exasperated with Marcela and Marcela wishing he could cut it the fuck out already, and that doesn't all arise out of one request to make a list. Of course, the other side of that coin is that Marcela did a poor job of managing the team on the doggie auction task, Ryan and Amanda don't want to take it upon themselves to win this task and let Marcela skate by another week, and they woke up with the intention of cutting Marcela off at the knees so she'd get fired. But I really, really don't want to believe that Ryan would do that. Amanda? Oh, she'd totally do that. She interviews that she "wants to defer" to Marcela, but doesn't "feel comfortable" doing so, which is horseshit, because it's not like Amanda "felt comfortable" deferring to Ryan last week, either. The difference is that Ryan was a strong leader, while Marcela is not. She just doesn't seem like she has it in her.

She tries to take Amanda and Ryan aside and confirm that they're 100% with her, because she's in possession of her senses and can thus detect the unsubtle attitude they're throwing at her. Ryan turns away from her and sighs a big "right," and it's just so ugly. He is so not 100% with her, and it's painfully obvious, but Marcela is powerless to do anything about it, and the entire task was lost for them right there, and everyone is at fault for it. They were so likeable last week! Why do I have to hate them now? Marcela interviews that she thinks her team was setting her up for failure, and she's mostly right, but unless it was an actual plot devised and carried out by Ryan and Amanda before the project even began, I don't think it was something that couldn't have been remedied by a clear project vision and a swift kick in the ass on her part.

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Apprentice: Martha




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