After the teams finally give in to the inexorable fate drawing Michael toward Gold Rush, where he has always belonged -- and evening up the teams after the Rushees' hundredth loss in a row -- Leslie gets her shot as the GR project manager. While Synergy PM Andrea annoys more in than some tasks but less than in most, it's Gold Rush's job to completely hand the task over to them for no reason. Which they do. The task: to promote the new 7-11 pizza sandwich, which involves two pieces of pizza smashed together to create a sandwich. So apparently stoners and frat boys are working in R&D these days, which is nice to know. So gobsmacked are the teams by the concept that anyone would buy food at a 7-11 that they lose all sense of scale and sell them for $4 (Synergy) and $8 (Gold Rush), with promotional items (Synergy has some lovely white baseball caps, GR has some nylon six-pack coolers) and pretty good 2-for-1 deals. Gold Rush adds a bunch of ancillary crap like trivia contests ("Who took the 'convenience' out of 'convenience store'?") and shady deals with sandwich purveyors, while Synergy screws around in an inspired loser edit. It's one of those weeks where the losing team's screw-ups get the lion's share of airtime, simply because the Boardroom would make no sense otherwise.
However, the proof is in the pudding, as Synergy raises their sales by around 900% to the Rush's 600%. Leslie brings back Lee, solely, on the basis of the fact that he nay-says and Markuses the team on every task as a strategy, but Trump is too busy trying to figure out why Mariah Carey in a blonde wig has shown up to the Boardroom to listen to what she's saying. Also too busy to listen: Lee, who enters talking and doesn't stop for the entire segment, getting louder and more annoying with every redoubled point. Basically, it comes down to the $8 price tag for something a child could make for him or herself, and while Lee was vocal about the price point, George feels he wasn't vocal enough. I like Leslie, but in this particular case we are shown more than enough footage of Lee complaining about it to justify her firing. This isn't a boutique sandwich we're talking about: it's disgusting microwaved slices of pizza, at 7-11. Trump accidentally calls Lee a tight-ass Jew, then fires Leslie. On her birthday. In a refreshing Crazy Taxi, Leslie is very light and funny about becoming PM, and getting fired, on her birthday, on a game show on TV, and promises to buy a lottery ticket just in case the stars are aligned for some reason.
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."