You know how much I used to hate Nicole? And then it went away for five seconds? Here's the thing about moments of extremity: they are revealing. Etiquette and common courtesy are for the worst days, not the best ones: you don't get to wait around until everything's perfect before you start trying to be a good person. You start writing yourself that pass on a jellyfish bite, next thing you know you're standing in your Blahniks and Wendy's is out of ketchup, and therefore you get to be a bitch to a person who makes $5.15 an hour. The fact is that James is very clear and upfront about his -- while personally troubling, managerially it is the right call -- decision, and Nicole not only completely ignores the actual words coming out of his mouth but then reloads the resulting silence with a bunch of martyrrific hoo-hah. It's like she's being handed the opportunity to be an asshole, so she takes it. And the thing that really stings is that -- as her reasons for freaking out change dramatically like three times throughout the episode -- it really just comes down to Tim, and that's gross in a whole other way.
James drunkenly interviews that it was the right decision (it was) and that you have to think about business before people's feelings (you do, kind of) which ties into the theme of the entire episode, which is itself that it's okay to write yourself the pass to be an asshole as long as it's something Trump would say is okay. Which is rampantly bullshit, but that's obvious anyway. Trump has no moral compass, he has money and the authority it brings with it instead. But you're dealing with a group of people who mostly aren't interested in doing what they should do, but in fact whatever they can do, so it would be asking a lot of them to even suggest that maybe having some kind of honor or interest in people other than themselves might be something to look into. Frank and Stef are like, "Whoa," and everybody stares at the floor and won't look at James's eyes. If they could, they'd see his intense need to get this validated for him, but they're all too busy with their own intense need for validation. James has to remind Tim to go "spend alone time" with Nicole, and he's like, "Right, right. Yeah." He dumbly claps her on the shoulder; she ignores him while she packs, silently rehearsing her retarded exit speech. Downstairs, James paces nervously, wondering what will happen if nobody tells him he did the right thing before tomorrow morning, when Trump will surely tell him he did the right thing. Or, but what if he doesn't?