Apprentice
The Price Is Height

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The penthouse and the doghouse

Out in the lobby, Troy wonders aloud whether they should wrestle, and he and Kwame laugh. Trump calls to Robin to send them in, so in they go. "Big man?" says Kwame. "Boss?" says Troy, and they shake, and they hug, and they go in together. ["Sniffle." -- Sars] They sit at the table. "So Kwame," Trump says, "your friend screwed you." "Not at all," Kwame says confidently. "Well, I don't know," Trump says dubiously, recalling the look of the handshake. He asked Troy what his reason was for picking Kwame. Troy, reading off a steno pad, says that he picked Kwame because over all the tasks, Kwame has done a great job as a team player, but -- "Don't read notes," Trump interjects. "You don't need notes. I don't like notes." Troy agrees, and pushes the paper aside. He goes on to say that Bill has had some great ideas, but he thinks that Kwame has been a "steady Eddie" but not a leader. In his own defense, Kwame says that he agrees that he's been a steady performer, and reiterates that he's got a "great background." Trump points out, however, that as Troy says, Kwame hasn't been leading much. "I've led three times," Kwame says. "You've been a project manager three times," Carolyn says, "but I think what he's talking about is leading." Amen. That's one of the things I said early on -- some people lead naturally. Bill is like that, for good or for ill. He tends to be the second-in-command, even when he's not the leader. Planet Hollywood was like that, the ad campaign was like that...it's the same quality Amy has. She tends to step up even when she's not the PM, and Kwame tends to step back even when he is. It isn't necessarily good or bad, it's just different styles.

Troy says that he thinks it comes down to "instincts and guts," and he thinks that in the end, his instincts are better than Kwame's. Troy goes on to bring up the education thing, saying that education comes from places other than school, to which Trump points out that school isn't bad, either. We then go to what is always the weakest part of the show, which is that they always seem to have to edit in a voice-over from Trump that's pretty clearly inserted after the fact that sets up the firing. This one, unfortunately, is much longer than usual, so for looooong seconds, we are looking at Troy and Kwame's faces reacting to something other than the words we're hearing, which are Trump talking about how he's got a guy with a Harvard MBA but not a lot of leadership gusto, versus a guy with little education who'd been a good leader but can be a loose cannon. The Trump Voice says that "this is the toughest choice" yet. Trump tells Troy that in the end, the stakes are very high, and going with a high-risk/high-reward guy like Troy could be "costly and devastating." Thus...Troy is fired. Sniff.

Trump dismisses the fellas, and they go out to the lobby. Out there, they share another hug, and another shake, and more love. "We've been through the woods, baby," Troy says. "We have," Kwame agrees. "Love you, man," Kwame says from the elevator. "I love you too, boss," Troy calls back before the doors close. Over Troy's exit, Trump voices over that Troy is "a tremendous competitor," he's just kind of raw at this point. "That was tough," Trump says to Carolyn. "That was a tough one," she agrees. "Good for him for lasting this long," she adds, which I think is a recognition of the fact that they like Troy, and they feel bad about firing him, and they're sort of looking for the bright side, which is that he still did pretty damn well, considering that on paper, he was right when he said that his qualifications didn't look like they measured up to the rest of the folks very well.

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Apprentice

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