First things first: let's brainstorm how I can marry Ivanka Trump without her thinking it's related to her family? It would be rude to just promise her that her family is not why. Ivanka Trump is the smartest, prettiest, coolest, funniest, level-headedest, insightfullest, rockin'-awesomest lady on the planet. There's almost a "Carolyn Who?" vibe in the air. Too far? Anyway. Charmaine goes through all the stages of grief, from Shut Up Tarek to Chardonnay-Enhanced Weeping, after she learns of her part in Theresa's firing last week. She is PM for Gold Rush on the next task, of course, while Tammy takes point on Synergy. Kinda.
The task: design an eye-catching billboard for some kind of Grape-Nuts byproduct without letting Lenny or Brent drive you crazy. Successful: Nobody! While Brent continues to push weight loss, with himself as the spokesperson, the rest of Synergy shoots for reality -- but ends up at the longest slogan in the history of advertising. "Introducing the next generation of Grape Nuts -- Trial Mix Crunch Cereal from Post! Great Taste & Lighter Crunch! Finally, a cereal for Everybody!" This, on a billboard designed to kill motorists before they have a chance to try the product. Brent, unsurprisingly, immediately becomes convinced that Andrea and Tammy are trying to marginalize him, poison him, or feed him to a shark, but at least he doesn't mention massage. Both teams have a creepy time finding actors for their billboards by wandering up to strangers -- Gold Rush's Tarek in particular gives their young woman a very abductee feeling. Gold Rush's poster involves a woman chugging the cereal, but it looks really cool and not stupid like it sounds, like, there's this manic 40-Year-Old Virgin glow on the chugging. Synergy's poster involves mostly words, but also a "father and daughter," who end up appearing no more than five minutes apart in age once the team finishes their makeup. It's like Synergy took approximately seventeen good-to-played out ideas, loaded them into a tennis ball cannon, and then launched them at high speed toward the canvas. After forgetting what they were.
This is all Andrea's fault, and she should really be fired for it, but she's too much of a player to get fired this early, so BRENT gets the capricious dickwad firing I prayed for him for last week. Which is fantastic!
God, I love this season. It's such a train wreck. It's like if they finally figured out that American Idol has nothing to do with singing, and cast a bunch of circus freaks. (Wait, what did you say? I didn't quite catch that.) Anyway, last week, Theresa went nuts, and Trump was mean to the apparently overrated Tarek. Upstairs, Lee, Leslie (who?), and Charmaine talk about how it was the scariest Boardroom ever. And they weren't even there for the freakout! Lee opines that the admittedly terrifying "screaming" was not half as scary as the "divisions." How's that Kool-Aid taste? He then interviews in full-on little-brother mode that it was enough tension to "rip a family apart!" Dear Adam Rich: it's not a family, it's a game show. Trump's your momma now.
Lenny and Tarek return, and the three-person family of bitchers sigh and can't believe it, and then show up smiling fakely. Charmaine's, like, swallowing her gorge as she tells Tarek that she's glad he's back. Brent, of course, screams at the top of his lungs and congratulates them -- and of course is soundly ignored by everyone. Tarek tells us how he cannot go the Boardroom for a couple of weeks, or it's a "foregone conclusion" that he'll be fired. He tells his girlfriend Bryce that Theresa got fired because she didn't bring in Charmaine, and the full stages of grief happen right there in the well-appointed kitchen. Charmaine, overhearing this, first goes into denial mode, and gets angry with Tarek for saying such a dickish thing, like it's pointed at her. Very, "WTF, asshole?" She then tries to confirm and bargain her way out of the truth of it, asking several times if this isn't just a nightmare. Tarek elaborates that Trump mentioned in particular the whole comedian issue. You can see Charmaine's stomach go all cold and zero-g. It's sad. She then takes off into the bedroom to be depressed about it. Allie simperingly interviews that Gold Rush is really in trouble because they're so mean and bad or whatever. No group hugs. No, that's not fair to Allie, because she's right about that: they are an extremely backbitey and ambitious crew. The way she says it is a little irritating, but she's on target.
Charmaine lies down on the bed and cries, with a bunch of lipgloss and makeup on, and complains to some blonde woman -- Leslie? -- about how it's unbelievable and depressing that Theresa would be fired just because of her...and how scary it is that she would have been fired. I agree with Bill when he said that the actual problem was that Theresa tried to talk her way out of it, but I have no doubt that she would have been fired no matter what, and I am glad that things fell out this way, because I like Charmaine and I didn't like Theresa. Charmaine complains to Leslie that she doesn't feel a cohesion within the unit -- like it's "Tarek and Bryce versus everybody," and I can see that. Leslie comforts her by saying that it was surely not the entire reason Theresa was fired, which is true, and that they just have to saddle up and figure it out, which is the ultimate truth. Charmaine knows that, but just feels "so bad about it" and gives herself leave to cry it out. Normally, I don't like that, unless you do it in secret like this, but I am totally feeling Charmaine. To worry and worry for hours like that, upstairs, and then the survivor guilt and next-week suspense on top of it? I feel you, girl. I think Tarek would, too, since he's having most of the same doubts, but I don't know that they'll reach a rapprochement on that, because all he wants to do is hang out with Bryce.