Apprentice
Season Finale

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Lesson Thirteen: People Aren't Metaphors

Oh but first, could I ask you something? It'll just take a second.

Trump screams his name, the winner's name, several times: "Randal! Randal! Randal!" The music stops. The hugging stops. Josh stops. Rebecca's still sitting at the fake Boardroom table. Trump wants to ask Randal his opinion about something.

"What did you think about Rebecca?" No skin off his ass now, right, so he's like, "Mr. Trump, Rebecca has done an outstanding job throughout this interview process. I think she has much to be proud of -- I think there's a lot of supporters for Rebecca. I can't say enough positive things about her."

"Let me ask you a question," says Trump, a man who has called Randal "lazy" in the media, a man who reportedly would rather have "guys in yarmulkes" than "black guys" counting his money, a man who has signed off on the crazy black people and the not-crazy black people being treated like they were crazy, a man who wanted a black winner so bad that he found one who is like an entire Darwinian leap up the ladder from the rest of these goons and picked a token genius, this man says to Randal: "And you, I really respect. And I really respect your opinion," says this man Trump. This man who just said you were outstanding, the most amazing leader he's maybe ever seen, and certainly in the context of this contest, this Trump says, "If you were me," wait for it, "would you hire Rebecca also?"

Fucking blowgun time, I'm telling you. I'm so glad I wasn't there. Because nothing matters, now: The damage is done, the show is broken, the entire arc is bullshit, because Trump would like to ask you, Letters A - T and all the ones at the end I left off, whether you'd like to share with this woman, whom you have just bested, just for giggles, on live television. Say no, and I will be pissed, because I love Rebecca. Say yes, and you just sold out an entire alphabet, because the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover featuring a woman of color on her own, without the stabilizing influence of a blonde chick, was less than ten years ago, and "sharing" = "marginalizing" when you're talking firsts. Say yes, and the story stops being "First African-American Apprentice" and starts being "First Double Apprentice Hiring!" Say no, and the story stops being "First African-American Apprentice" and starts being "Randal Is A Dick...Or A Badass!" Even if Trump clarified and said, "Not hired hired, just given a job, because she's awesome," even if Randal clarified and said, "Not on a level commensurate with mine," or even "Not tonight, please," even if Rebecca clarified and said, "Let's discuss it tomorrow," because the damage is done and Trump did the damage, and the damage was this: "Are you going to be an asshole and not share this with the crippled girl, though it costs you nothing?" Because what it costs you is a fucking alphabet.

But the thing about nerds is that they can't read a room. Randal's better than most, but -- even in the hero edit at the auction, half the crowd shots were of terrible boredom -- he's still a nerd. And there may be something to ignoring the eyebrows and the nudging of Trump, who wants to somehow get credit for hiring a black Apprentice while still blowing minds with a double-hire to go with his multiple-firings all season, or forcing Randal into an impossible situation, or whatever the hell he's trying to do, which Randal's not really picking up on. Because Trump's clearly got a story in his head where if Randal okays the double-hiring, it doesn't take away from the progressive precedent, it'll be yooge, nobody loses, because Trump's weltanschauung is tingling now, wakeful, some might say tumescent, and extends not quite past his belly button, because he is ego personified, and his universe is Trump-sized.

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Apprentice

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