The Task: to redecorate a common room in the Boys & Girls Club in partnership with Ace Hardware, in order to promote the Club's re-branding and give the eponymous Boys and Girls an awesome place to hang out. What a great task, in theory, but in practice it involves, basically, redecorating a room only three executives will ever see, and nobody much cares about one way or the other. Which I like, because it means the only people who benefit are children -- and they love both rooms! On Synergy's side, PM Michael screws around, can't make a decision, and shows his desire to FUTR in both his professional and private lives. Andrea acts like an insane person, but for once I think I'm not the only one who identifies with her, whilst still finding her obnoxious. Sean, Roxanne, and Allie continue to go all Big Love on each other. Meanwhile, Gold Rush is having an intense and ongoing meltdown which basically resolves down to the fact that Charmaine's accent is too difficult, and too irritating, for Lenny to handle, so he continues to tell her to shut up whenever she speaks, just like every other task. The editing's fairly even-handed, showing both Lenny's mental blocks with the language and Charmaine's inability to negotiate them, but she does end up irritating almost everybody.
The task begins with an apocalyptically bad meeting with the project executives, in which Lenny stares spookily at them for ten minutes while the rest of the team (Charmaine) tries desperately to comfort them and redirect the seeming hostility. During the task, Charmaine's unbelievably numerous suggestions, hints, questions, doubts, fears, concerns, ideas, concepts, and lack of crying jags send Lenny running for the hills, during which time Charmaine, Tarek, and somebody else get the room together. While both rooms look pretty fantastic, the more engaging Synergy room gets the kids' and executives' vote, and Gold Rush goes to the Boardroom, where Lenny makes such a scary mess of himself that Trump fires him out of hand. Which is sad, because Lenny is a pretty cool guy, but is also right, because he should have identified and dealt with the communication issues between himself and Charmaine instead of assuming that she was an idiot -- she was vying with all-out ass-kisser and personal friend Lee, to be his best ally, but ended up really throwing him off his game. Goodbye, Lenny -- I'll actually miss you a lot.
Okay, is Deal Or No Deal actually sweeping the nation? I find it so hard to believe that. I can't remember the last time I just watched TV, just checked out what was on. I know it's been years. It occurs to me that, like, JAG could be fuckin' awesome and I would never know. I'm going to stick with my current strategy. So on the tail end of the aforementioned game show, apparently there is yelling and a shadowy figure on the phone, and Howie Mandel is awful, but...what is the point of this? This is like football. Everybody seems to know what's going on, but all I see are yelling white people. Next time on the show, though, there are Miss USA contestants doing things with suitcases, which is very Trump, so he'll be here in spirit even though there's no episode on Monday. That's nice.
Last week, Trump fired Bryce for the reason that Bryce did nothing that made any sense at any point, and told Lenny he was "on thin ice." Upstairs, Leslie weeps, because that's the Gold Rush way, and she and Charmaine discuss how Boardroom is "so hard" because you'll lose, as Leslie, says, not only a teammate, but also a friend. Or, in the case last week, a psychopathic wannabe cult leader. Charmaine throws out a few tears for old times' sake and notes how it's only getting harder from here. Oh, yes. Lee makes a "sad" face as Trump bitches about how Bryce shouldn't have brought him in. Better than anybody, Lee uses what he's got: in this case, a real talent for pathos.
Lee and Lenny finally return, and Tarek's arms are on alert as Lenny calls out thickly, "Anybody home?" Leslie darts her eyes at Andrea as she commiserates with Tarek. "He's our...good friend. Right?" Charmaine embraces Lenny. I've heard a lot about how he's the sweetest guy for real, and I was starting to believe it, but now I really do. We don't see them choose him as GR's next PM, but it's implied by the "thin ice" stuff. Lenny tells us they're going to "bury Team Synergy in their graves." See? Sweet guy.
Trump introduces the teams to some execs from Ace Hardware and then admits that some of them are not actually from Ace Hardware. I heard that Bill's building is still being held up, sixteen years later, because the mayor of Chicago thinks Trump is an asshole. Is that true? No wonder Bill's got so much time to spare. All the candidates are wearing their anti-Omarosa hardhats so they don't get attacked by plaster, but at least Trump doesn't mention that for the thirty-seventh time. He tells them they're on the 59th floor of the Trump Building at 40 Wall Street, which he bought for $1M, but which is worth today "hundreds of millions of dollars." I don't know why, considering it's unfinished and looks fairly early in the construction process. Is this one of those "I own the earth beneath it" kind of deals, and he saw a good land deal, or what? Why so much now? "Now a great company," Trump segues, "is Ace Hardware." The other person not from Ace is from the Boys & Girls Club of America. The Ace Hardware "New Faces For Helpful Places" program is about doing community service by handling building projects for non-profits, I think. The task: renovate a common room in two B&GCs "with a wonderful theme for children." They'll be judged on creativity, functionality (angle on Allie), and how well the upgrades appeal (Roxanne) to these executives. Someone (Lee) will be fired from the losing team.
The execs shows them the crappy current B&GC rec rooms, which are all torn carpet and emptiness, because they've been cleared for the renovation, so all you see is the bare walls and marks and nastiness on everything. Kids are gross. Lenny deadpans that this is a "beautiful room," and they all laugh, but the whole thing is so depressing. Purple carpet. It looks like a crack den for children. Lee interviews that Lenny has "stepped up to being Project Manager" and that it's huge for him, because "if he delivers a victory this week he's going to be the man." Lee doesn't offer that "the man" in this case means "the man on thin ice, who didn't get fired," because he doesn't really believe that Lenny could get fired, because he seems to have convinced them both that Lenny is his real dad.