The Good: Sean, sitting with Omarosa, chanting "TRUMP! TRUMP!" That made my day. Kristine and Heidi telling Trump to suck their ovaries and getting applause for it. James getting smacked down for being a sleazy suck-up. Angela, Stefani, Heidi and Kristine looking twice as hot as ever; Tim and Aaron looking exactly as hot as ever, only with a little bloat; Surya (!) and Nicole having had total hotness makeovers. James's cute family. Ivanka and Don being totally awesome throughout. Stefani offering Trump the opportunity to hire her, so that she can hire James in turn, then telling Trump off for being rude in the sweetest way imaginable.
The Bad: The criminally Claude Raines amount of Derek and Jenn. Wheeling George out for no reason and barely letting him talk. ...And that's it.
It was fairly good, actually: after a whirlwind through the season, and a promotion of this year's two jobs (Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic and Trump Towers Atlanta), Trump fires Frankie and Nicole without much pain or fanfare, inciting her family to a scary riot. Then we see video biographies of the Final Two (Stefani does karate and defends against liability torts and worker's comp claimants; James still can't explain what the fuck he does for a living beyond "be creative" and has daughters), and then Ivanka and Don spend a while asking really interesting and incisive questions of them. Stefani manages to turn every response into a new spotlight on one more awesome thing about herself, while James continues to explain nothing while using the word "creative" every two seconds. The cobra'd are not called upon nearly as often as we'd like, but their answers are disrespectful to the process in the extreme, which is fantastic. Then Trump praises Stefani for being awesome and James for being nebulously fabulous, and he chooses Stefani! Because James is creepy! It's like the ultimate finale, given the cruddy crappy nature of the season, and everybody actually -- no drama, no lost minds, no Frankie Screaming -- comes off nice and professional for once. What a way to end things.
And we're live at the Hollywood Bowl, which is an outdoor theater, even though the forecast for rain couldn't be more sure of itself. There's a really troubling number of people and they're all shouting, "TRUMP! TRUMP! TRUMP!" Which would be like totally off-putting, to the point that maybe they've each been paid $50 in methadone or the cash equivalent, except for there's Sean! Sitting with Omarosa! Who's chanting! This night just got awesome. Trump and his children come out onto the stage with smoke everywhere, but I bet it's not as scary when they're so tiny and far away. Ivanka's looking totally cute, with a weird science-fiction-adjacent Alla collar, and then there are fireworks -- what's with the fireworks this year? -- and some fist pumps from the man himself. The boardroom table on the fake boardroom stage is about sixteen yards long. The cheering is unending and ridiculous; it's like late afternoon in LA while this crap is going down. I wish it were like the other seasons and there was something to be excited about. Not only was the scale of the final task completely thrown off, but also: we already know what's going on, because we've already seen the final product. It's like, there's no cliffhanger about how it's going to rain, even, because look up: it's raining. And you don't have to worry about whether or not the Z-List Joe Piscopo celebrity is going to show, because he's not, because there was no final task. And so instead, a rock concert, starring Donald Trump, with some lady out in the audience holding a sign intended to show support for Frankie Suits. I ask you.
"How great is this?" Trump states/asks, unconsciously signaling his final choice in an hour. He's talking about the Hollywood Bowl, the fireworks, horrible Sinatra sang here a million years ago, the Beatles sang here once, and now he's on this same stage. Which is all very weird, because the whole point of LA is how the past doesn't exist, so like, who cares who sang on this stage? It didn't count. This isn't the Ed Sullivan show, it's some crappy outdoor theatre, built by the corrupt, for the exhausted. It was built in 1922, for Pete's sake. George already had grandchildren in 1922. No history, no future. Since 2003 it's been a visual mashup of every style ever applied to it: Allied Architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry. "I love it!" he says, and for a second it's kind of heartwarming, until you remember how last week he totally bought Rosie's bondage underwear from Exit To Eden in order to prove some kind of point, and then your heart once again goes dead. Ivanka, though, is wearing a totally gorgeous smile, and Don's dressed better than he ever has. Six months in fast-forward has been wildly kind to them both.