There's really cool interstitial shots of NYC for once, artfully angled and kind of inspiring, and then Capital Edge introduces Levi to the execs. They include the dude we already saw, the Executive VP for XM, and the Program Director. Felisha is very good in the presentation, handing them a CD and talking about how much they love the dude and the organic roots of him and the feeling and his soul and his life and Passion Of The Kreiss-cakes. Adam chimes in perfectly about how Levi has this interesting story, and Levi backs him up about how Cap Edge "went to such an effort to understand what defines him," how he was "completely comfortable just letting go," and how he thinks they "nailed it." And to his credit, he does not once mention that he and Adam are in love with each other, a forever kind of love that will stand the test of time and adversity and inspire the homespun musicians, burgeoning politicians, and childlike accountants of the future to proudly declare the strength of their love against all enemies and haters.
Trump is mind-blowingly famous, and people take pictures of him leaving Trump Tower, and Whoopi screams about "oh my God, that's Donald Trump," and then XM plays Levi Kreisss as Trump listens inscrutably on his portable XM Radio product. Capital Edge dorks out in the studio in a way that makes me want to hug them until they are slack and lifeless. Carolyn and George sit in the studio looking patrician and impassive even with giant headphones on, and they do not dork out. They wouldn't know how; we thrash that out of our boys at Eton.
The Executive VP whispers to the Program Director that he can understand the words and that it tells a story, and she nods. Professionals evaluating creative efforts is a really thrilling thing to see, if you trust the professionals in question. Sales Meets Art doesn't have to be a bloodbath if everybody cares about the thing. Levi rocks out to his own song, always awkward, and everybody else rocks out, also awkward, and Adam acts gawky and weird because he's calculating royalties on this and simultaneously trying to remember the community property laws for New York state before the prenup. The first caller really likes the song, and wants it on XM Café rotation; the second caller thinks it's "awesome" and thinks Levi has "a ton of talent." Caller Jody is in Atlanta rush hour and this puts a smile on his or her face. Also Adam's, hugely, but nobody remembers that he's a nice Jewish boy from Atlanta, because that's such a painful memory for everyone. A caller asks for a copy of the CD, which is awesome. Felisha is still grooving, so pleased by the response it looks like she might cry. Aww, I love you for no reason! She interviews that this was her task: "I laid it all on the line...I knew the audience would love this song" because she liked it, and if anyone lives and breathes and eats focaccia and goat cheese at the XM Café, it's Felisha, for Pete's sake. Just when I think I couldn't be more pleased with her, the team bursts into applause and Felisha shouts, "It's all you, Levi! It's all you!" and Alla high-fives him.
Meanwhile: Excel. Rebecca begins to intensely introduce Jidé, all trademark karate chop and blazing eyes, and for the first time I wonder how much more violent she'd get without the ankle issue. Clay opens the door before the end of her second or third sentence, and I can't tell if he's smirking as he does it, or if it's just legitimately Clay fucking up and being unable to take the temperature of the room once again. The benefit of the doubt still goes to Rebecca, because even in just the footage we saw, this moment was a huge deal. She smiles like WTF? and her mouth hangs open as she's forced to trail off while Jidé shakes all the executive hands. It's a whole lot like Adam's nervous laugh face from the "Sex At Work" task. There's an edit of Clay smirking horribly at her as she gapes and clenches, but it looks pretty fake.