Apprentice
Down To The Wire, Part I

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Goodbye, young lovers

Troy interviews that when Assorama got the phone call, they all assumed it was something to do with the task. But when he asked her about the phone call, she refused to tell them what it was about. The problem is that it isn't clear that she even admitted that it was business-related, so if she's saying she received a phone call and won't talk about it, I'm not sure what you can do. I mean, if it were personal, you can't make her tell you about it just because you were sitting there when she received the call.

The next morning, we are still in Atlantic City. Team Kwame is hanging out in his room, eating breakfast. (Ah, room service. LOVE room service. For those of you going to Vegas, have the continental breakfast at the Aladdin. It's the best thirty dollars you will ever spend on coffee, juice, and three pastries as big as your head.) Assorama tells the group that "Jessica" arrives at midnight, and she thinks they should all be there to greet her. Kwame says he agrees. The phone rings in the room, and Assorama answers it. "Kwame Jackson's room, how may I help you?" Assorama says broadly, laughing her ass off at the sheer idea that she might be working for Kwame. Because ha, ha, ha. It's Diane on the other end of the line, and she asks for Kwame. Instead of handing over the phone, Assorama just keeps up the conversation. Diane explains that the van is still at the airport, and doesn't have the correct information for the people it's supposed to be picking up. Kwame interviews that indeed, this call was about "some wrinkle in the travel." He takes the phone in the hotel room, and Diane explains that the travel wasn't properly taken care of, despite the fact that she got in touch with Assorama during dinner. During a break for Diane to go off and do something, Kwame leans away from the phone and says to Assorama, "She says she tried to get in touch with you last night." Assorama's face says it all, and by "all," I mean, "Busted." Diane explains that the van is at the airport, but the arrangements are wrong and it doesn't have the right information about the band's arrival. Kwame double-checks with Diane that she's saying she called Assorama last night about this. Kwame hands the phone back to Assorama, who says she doesn't understand what the "misunderstanding" is. A frustrated Diane says that Assorama needs to find out about the flights and when people are arriving, and she needs to make sure that the right information gets to the right people. "I'll call you right back," says a cornered Assorama, and she hangs up.

When they get off the phone, Kwame presses Assorama. "What was the call about? Was the call about logistics?" Assorama begins to dance: "No, I called her before we ever went to dinner." "No, I'm talking about at Mark Anthony [the restaurant where they ate]," Kwame comes back. She momentarily freezes. "What do you mean?" she says, as she tries to think of something to say. "You got a call at Mark Anthony, at the table, she says that's when she called you and talked to you about something." "But I didn't get her when they called me at Mark Anthony, they just told me I needed to call back the office. She had already left." Troy and Kwame press her on why, then, she didn't tell them last night what the call was about. "The call was just to call her," Assorama insists. Kwame picks up the phone and calls back Diane. In an interview, he says, "I'm just used to dealing with really competent people, so if you say you're going to do something, it gets handled. And it's rare that, you know, in my experience, folks just totally drop the ball." In the hotel room, Kwame is on the phone with Diane, telling her that he apologizes for the problems. He explains in an interview, "If I'm running the show, I would fire people who weren't competent, and get competent people. But I didn't have the luxury of doing that." Back on the phone, he apologizes to Diane again, says, "Take care," and hangs up. As he turns away from the phone, he says to no one in particular, "That's just silly." And my feeling about that line was that in real life, she is so fired. I think he knows she fucked up, I think he knows she's lying to him, and I think in a real world situation, he would have cut her dead. Kwame strikes me as one of those guys who could shake your hand, tell you it's nothing personal, and fire you on the spot.

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