Apprentice
Summer Of Sam's

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Jacob Clifton: A | Grade It Now!
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Lesson One: Competence Is Only Skin Deep

Carolyn confirms they get the bag either way, just for showing up, and then inspects the ugly things. Carolyn makes Tarek say out loud that they are "gift bags" without "gifts" inside them. Making them "bags." Also making them "more useless crap to deal with right now on top of this 18-pound box of Frosted Mini-Wheats I'm juggling while my baby attempts to turn her clothing inside out while still wearing it. Thanks." Then: Lee is awesome! "Mensa. Okay. But we don't have that big idea, that huge thing? It's this 'Big Day At Sam's Club,' but...what's the big thing?" Theresa -- with the sharp, darting movements of a truly calming psychologist -- says that she and Lee and Leslie were "crushing it," and that she rocks because she has "more of an excitement level," which is "exciting" -- cut to some customers, not sure if they're just irritated or should attempt to flee the scene, manic Theresa, scary Theresa, yelling about "percentages" at old people. I think I like her, though. So far. I think the meltdown when she's PM should be bastard good television. Theresa explains to us about how Lee was wearing a suit and talking in terms of "business consulting," and I really like that, the semiotics of that and the basic distraction of it, too. It's a smart move. She says that -- I'm guessing this is "with suit" only, since he looks about 19 -- he "commands," and that people were looking to him for information. "We were a force to be reckoned with! We were going to win this competition!" They all agree at length on how awesome they are, and do the whole hands-in, screaming "Gold Rush!" If you've seen this show, you know what automatically happens next.

Into the Boardroom! Trump asks Lee why he's not wearing the same thing as everybody else -- both teams are color-coordinated, so Lee sticks out even to Trump's rheumy eye -- but Lee explains that it was because he was giving "business analysis advice to the customers." Lee might be the sleeper this year: he's not only stood out with his team, but he's stood out both visually and task-wise in front of Trump himself. And the Boardroom is just beginning! Trump asks whether the team is down with the whole "You do your thing, I'll do mine" of Lee's getup, and Tarek -- proud manager vibe, lots of teeth, patronizing and paternalistic and unearned -- says he looks "very handsome."

Trump turns to Synergy. (Marvel, if you will, at how many times I've mentioned that word without going to the Jem place. I'm impressed, so should you be. But I can't hold out much longer.) Allie tells him she thinks they "did fantastic," and that the other team, and the Trump/Viceroy department, will be shocked at how well they did. Dan worries cutely, sitting at Tarek's hand. Summer's "fun" hair has gone even crazier, just this sloppy, blowsy bird-nest on her overly made-up face, but she's speaking wisdom: "It went rather well...there were things I would have changed." Tarek's shock and horror are so unbelievable and absolute that I want to stick a fork in his hand. Fucking deal with yourself, Tarek. Please. Saying it could have gone better is not a personal attack on you. The only person, in fact, lame enough to engage in personal attacks is: You. In five minutes, and at two-second intervals thereafter.

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Apprentice

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