Apprentice
Cruise Control

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Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Lesson Five: Zip It! How Many Times Do You Need To Hear This?

They start to pick out their diamonds, because nothing says "I now have money and prestige" better than loose diamonds. Allie jokes with the guy that "size matters" but he's just like, "Actually, there are four criteria by which..." because he's humorless and gets strip-searched twice daily by big men with guns. He pulls out a custom (and HIDEOUS) tiara, with a distinct Nike-logoness to it, these swoopy diagonal loops containing puce diamonds bigger than a housecat, and intones djinn-like that the diamonds are each between 30 and 50 CARATS, okay, and that the whole thing is worth around 40 or 50 million DOLLARS. I've never hated an object before. You know, conspicuous consumption doesn't bother me. I love Laguna Beach and all that. But does it have to be nasty-looking? Does Donatella really have to put gold-leaf angel heads sticking out of everything, looking at you like The House On Haunted Hill? Do you really need stuff written on your butt? Why does couture translate every time as "unlikely"? As the lady said, "I don't want more choices: I want better things," and never does that resonate with me as well as it does when I'm looking at a 50-pound tiara covered in diamonds the color of urine. The dude puts it on Roxanne's head, because she was Project Manager, and her smile at this point -- who doesn't want to be a pretty princess once or twice -- is when I really just put my faith in her for good. It's nice to rest and not be so paranoid about these jerks so much. She interviews some frippery about how their win was about "taking risks" and I guess since she's wearing the tiara we'll just let her think that. She vamps around and giggles. I like her a lot. Everybody on the team does too.

Night falls on Manhattan as Tarek -- with frankly huge arms, fratty casual wear, and floppy, un-gelled hair -- sits on a bed across the narrow space between him and Dan on the other side, wearing a tie. I'm fairly certain I...have seen this movie before. They talk about how Lenny and Lee are going to kill Dan dead in the Boardroom, and Dan brings up Lee's awful ass-kissing, and Tarek is like, "Doesn't he do that every time?" And they chat. Tarek interviews that the best approach would be to bring in Lenny and Lee, because it would be good to "release some of that dead weight," and he says that Dan's got a "big ally" in him, and that he will do "everything" to protect him in there. Instead of then making out, which is...I mean, one of them is obviously going home, which makes this whole loungy scene kind of a goodbye valentine to those who are into it, and why not just...whatever. I cannot make a decent case for it right now. Which makes me Dan's better, as we'll see in the BR. Tarek uses some very poor "wording techniques" at this juncture: "Keep in mind that you have zero friends," he says, and Dan is shocked. Should have just shut up and made out, dudes. Woulda saved us all a lot of heartache.

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Apprentice

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