Apprentice
Hollywood Walk Of Shame

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Lesson Three: Finite & Infinite Games
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

Last week, we're told, Michelle's team turned against her. Specifically, we're shown, by Tim. Considering that Nicole and Frank give all indication of having wandered onto this show during a studio tour, and James and Stefani are actually nice people, he's about the only one left that matters. Wait, that's only six. Who am I missing? Aaron, that's right. How cruddy! He seems very nice. Maybe he's getting a boring Randal edit? Lord knows I never fully remembered he was alive either. Tim explained that in the absence of an "obvious screw-up," you go with the person you don't like. Which is neither professional nor strictly speaking all that intelligent -- although it's a good example of playing the game and not getting stuck in the lie of this show -- but in this particular case is crazy talk, because there was an obvious screw-up: Nicole gave no indication of having noticed that she was the PM, and let everybody else take charge. But if you're date-slumming to the degree where you would date Nicole in the first place, I guess there's all kinds of things you have to compartmentalize. Don't ask me to diagnose that kind of behavior, or frankly to acknowledge it beyond when the show demands that I do so. In the boardroom, Carey also blamed Michelle, because he is a whole other bag of nuts that A) we don't care about anymore, and B) we...saw. Nicole agreed with him that Michelle was the problem: when Carey railroaded everybody on the team with his horrible idea and she signed off on it because she is an idiot, all of these things were Michelle's fault. She really sabotaged them when she said that the suit was wrong and stupid, that she wasn't weighing in on anything she couldn't back up with research, and implied that Nicole should do her job. Man, what a bitch.

Back at Trump Trailer Park, Frank and Aaron are joking around about how "What if Johnny comes back," and James asks who they mean. Because it's a stupid joke and makes no sense, I see Frank having to explain it a lot more than you might have to about jokes that are closer to the reality of jokes: they call Michelle "Johnny," you see, because "she's just an annoying person." So there you go. Everything Frank says -- and I will grant that he's pretty awesome in this episode, and at least isn't acting out like an asshole -- is like this. "Frankie Suits" and "We call her Johnny because she's annoying." You want the explanation, except do you really? Do you really care? James is full of wonderment about the concept of Michelle coming back, and as Kinetic listens over the hedge, Frank laughs that she should have been nicer to everybody. Betraying the fact, once again, that he has no real idea what's going on. Nicole and Michelle round the corner and Michelle shouts out a hilariously fake, molasses-dripping "Hiiiiii!" with a crazy grin on her face. The outcasts always do that, like their hated existence is somehow vindication: "You hate me! That's awesome!" I don't get it. Tim interviews that everything is very awkward now, and notes that -- as she did last week -- Michelle's going to make some kind of "serious attempt" to fit in with the team, but that this is doomed to failure, because...I don't know. He doesn't like her, so she will never fit in, and that's just the way it is. I have this weird fear that if Michelle were a guy -- Brent, Martin, that douchebag with the champagne sword -- I would probably be on board, but I don't know about that exactly. I hated those guys in a Tim way because they...nope, she's another one of those guys. I am a total hypocrite. Oh well, this show is stupid and I don't actually care. If I met Michelle, I know I would like her, and I would write her passes for her weirdness, and there are plenty of people in real life that I do that for, guys too, so I think it's more an issue of the guys on this show that I want to bully being a queasy mix of weird but also that horrible thing inside that would make you want to be on this show. And as we'll see, Michelle is tied with Derek (and possibly Tim) for remembering that this show is bullshit, which makes me like her more. No, I'm not a hypocrite actually, and this episode explains why: Brent and the other loser, they never figured that one out, in life or on the show, that it's all a game. Play it.

While Michelle watches Arrow fawn all over Nicole, Heidi's coming into the mansion dining room, where Kinetic is having a lovely meal and going around the table and saying what they're thankful for. Mostly it's each other. Marisa's thankful that nobody has noticed the tiny doses of strychnine she's been putting in Heidi's coffee each day, but also for her teammates. Derek's thankful for his very cute orange-and-brown-striped polo; Angela is thankful for her dogs; Kristine is thankful for cover stick; I don't know what the rest of them are thankful for. Aimee and Muna are thankful for being adorable. Jenn is thankful the cameras are completely ignoring her for the third week in a row, because the one thing that was making her nervous about being on TV was the "being on TV" part. Everybody cheers when Heidi walks in, and she gives them a précis on the Carey boardroom: Michelle is the most disruptive, because she "asks too many questions"; Muna cracks that if that's their big worry, they wouldn't last a day on Kinetic, because everybody on Kinetic asks clarifying questions and uses "I" statements and everybody stops and counts to ten whenever their voices rise above a pleasant conversational tone. Everybody laughs and holds hands and frolics around and gives money to charity. Outside, Tim and Nicole are having a mean little meeting about how Michelle is still the problem, because she's "just insane" and "icy cold," and makes Tim "chilly" just by appearing in his mean little scenario. Michelle interviews that the whole Camp revolves around politicking and how you're either in or not. (It's a game: play it.) "You have to learn to play the game, in some weird way," she says. And that one, she's got covered. She plays the game weirder than anybody.

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