Apprentice
Store Wars

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Lesson Eight: If There Is No "Try," You're All Screwed

The task is to create an "in-store interactive retail display" to promote both the DVD of Episode III and the related game, Battlefront II. Which looks fairly awesome, but I've only seen like five hundred commercials for it since I started typing this sentence. I don't own a video game system due to the Dance Dance Revolution incident of 2004, but I like the idea of a lot of video games. The "in-store interactive retail display" will be in a Best Buy store. The teams will have access to LucasArts's graphic designers, photographers and structural engineers (a.k.a. the people who invented money), and will be judged by a Best Buy and a LucasFilms exec. The instructions for this task are the most detailed of the season, but Trump forgot to explain what the hell he means by "interactive retail display," which will cause problems down the road. Randal is exempt, of course, because of his mutant power of sending out "I feel great" and "this is wonderful" pheromones that make you think he's the most perfect piece of perfection that ever perfected. Trump says, his lack of the irony hormone-producing gland in full effect, "Good luck, and may the force be with you." Everybody laughs nervously, and Carolyn is more beautiful than she's ever been, because to smile that affectionately at Donald Frigging Trump means you're either a full-on bodhidharma or you've had a lobotomy, especially after he says something so embarrassingly dorky.

Alla leads Capital Edge by the hand to the first order of business: choosing a PM. Clay feels that, "after the way [he] was treated yesterday," he "deserves this." This teaches us two very important things about Clay: number one, he honestly thinks like that. "Somebody was mean to me, so I should have ice cream and cookies after school." Not "Give me a chance to make up for last week's abominable performance, which is why everybody was mean to me," but simply, "For some mysterious reason, everybody was mean to me, so now I deserve a wonderful prize." The second thing is that he thinks everybody else is going to be down with that. Thing 2 is the really interesting one, I think. Felisha interviews that there was no vote, that "the PM picked himself," and whines that "none of [the teammates] really wanted Clay to be the PM, because Clay has some very bitter feelings toward the team," and basically fails to answer the question: Then why the hell did you agree to it? The answer to which is, clearly, "So he would stop bitching, and wouldn't totally undermine whoever ended up PM." Which I can appreciate.

In the meeting, Clay says that they want him off the team, according to them, and Alla says that's not true. And I think it's pretty hair-splitting to bring that stuff out of the Boardroom simulacrum -- where they are after all asked whom, out of them all, should go -- into real life, but on the other hand, they totally do actually hate him. Felisha again bottom-lines it, and again I'm glad she keeps stressing this: "Regardless of what happened, we're a team today." This is one of the positive things that Felisha shared with Kristi, even though Kristi actually meant it not at all, and I think Felisha does: "Just get over it. We're all robots here, right?"

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Apprentice

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