Apprentice
A Slice Of Heaven

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Jacob Clifton: C+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Eight: Horatio Alger Is Mother Goose For Weasels
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Props to ghettofabman, for two things. First of all, this, because it made me laugh, and also this, because it made me beat up ghettofabman. But I shouldn't have clicked on it anyway. I knew better.

So while Lenny is downstairs getting fired, Allie and Roxanne call Michael into a baroque, nasty parlor, where they are sharing a bedsheet on a fainting couch, so that Andrea can tell him to go eat a bug: his was a shitty leader, he has poor leadership abilities, and everybody on the team busted ass to make up for the fact that he couldn't make a decision. "That's what happened." Michael stares and gapes and gets very active with his mucus in preparation for weeping. "...That's not true," he whispers. It's heartrending. Roxanne is awesome, with that way she has of seeming to be leveling with you even as she's calling you out. It's all on the table. I wish Andrea would learn some communication skills from her. "Yeah [it is true] -- you are lucky we won this task." Roxanne tells him that they should have lost, and that this is completely his fault. All true! Allie, of course, delivers the killing blow: "Everybody can see it. It's...unfortunate." Michael stands up unsteadily and leaves to have a good cry. This is devastating. When the whole time is like "No, seriously. You suck. Sorry." There's not a bunch of places you can go with that. Except to Crazytown: "The team is turning on me...as The Outsider." So I think I've located the weirdness of Mr. Michael: he talks like a Stan Lee comic book from the 1960s. So whatever, it hurts, and I get that. Especially if you can't hear the facts they're saying about how sometimes you actually do have to make a decision. He sneaks off to his lair, where he spends the night staring into the mirror and thinking about "This man...this monster...which am I?" and shit like that.

Lee comes back, almost in tears, because who will call him Lazy Jew now that Lenny is gone, and everybody who can count spends some time figuring out that Lenny got fired. Andrea hugs him awkwardly, and Sean hugs him, and Sean's ass is on fire. I had no idea. Not to get all Clay on you or whatever, but dude. I am much, much unhappy about knowing that. Lee sits around puling and whining and crying and pissing himself or whatever, and his voice cracks as he tells us how he had "one person" that he could trust...and that person was Lenny...and now Lenny is gone... Does he know that Lenny got fired? That this didn't actually happen to him? He sits in a bedroom and listens to them toasting Lenny, and wonders how long it will take for them to realize he's not there, and get worried, and come looking for him, and ask him if he's okay. Which...Charmaine does. He thinks. For a second. And then she starts in on him, and it's gorgeous, because you can see on his face that he's predisposed to think that she's just a dumb girl, and it takes him a while to understand that she's not only saying true stuff, but mean stuff even. The fucking Portnoy neurosis of this kid. I hate predictability. I hate youngsters who are clichés. Stop being such a fucking type. "This is the first time in the whole process that you have actually shown your age," she says. Which would get my hackles up for sure, but that's Charmaine: true things, inelegantly stated. They have a conversation that goes like this:

Charmaine: "There is no friendship in this dojo."

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