Apprentice
The Razor's Edge

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: B+ | Grade It Now!
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"You Are Chaos And Disorganization!"

Brent officiously takes Stacy out of the room into the hall, and yells at her about how she has to stop interrupting him, because he's brilliant and she's nothing. She, of course, tries to get back into the room so she can get to work, instead of getting the finger in the face and the crazy unloading of a bunch of shit that really has nothing to do with her, and he won't let her back into the room. She finally ducks under his arm and asks for "some team support." On the one hand, this is a nice way of using the rest of the team's exasperation to get him out of her face, and it's kind of bitchy, because I'm sure he's had at least one good idea and hasn't been able to get it out, because they are kind of ignoring him out of habit at this point. But on the other hand: the fuck you're going to take me out of the room and lecture me about my interpersonal skills when you smell like cheese and everybody hates you. You want us all to play the roles in this thing you've set up where the whole world is against you because you're just this secretly wonderful Harry Potter wizard that requires only the magical touch of Donald Trump so everybody will recognize and bow down to your brilliance? I'll do the first part, motherfucker, but the rest is up to you. She tells them about the finger in the face and the fact that he got all up in her personal space, and then interviews that she wants him "out of here," totally pissed.

And I think a lot of us tuned out, at this point, because it's an old, old story. We've seen it on Big Brother and we've seen it on Real World a fucking billion times, and I think we've seen it on this show: "I was minding my own business and boom, I felt attacked, because I'm just a little girl and he's a big strong man, and he should get thrown out the house." But I don't see this as being part of that reality TV tradition, because it's a vastly different situation. Pepi, looking for a reason, asks her to confirm that they had a "confrontation." "I was confronted by Brent, and I feel threatened, yes."

Which is the heart of the division here, on how you read this episode. Is she saying "I will lever the fact that he has no social skills to our group advantage by playing the easy 'threatened' card, tossing drama and getting him benched"? Or is she saying, "What I don't need is a finger in my face and a giant guy screeching at me about nothing in the hallway, because we're supposedly all professionals here"? I tend to go with mostly the second one, because Threat Matrix drama or not: what part of that shit is okay, in business? He did invade her space, he did start with the finger, he did squeal impotently about nothing while blocking her exit, and he did single her out as a persecutor instead of analyzing the situation rationally, and took out his rage on her personally for no reason. There's a very strong vibe of "Stacy always treats me like this" going on here, and the fact is there is no "always," they just met last episode. The "always" is always a cliché of stuff getting attached to people that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with a painful history in a not-so-attractive set of luggage. It's not the sacred chivalry line he crossed, it's just the basic etiquette of business, and it's a neon sign he has no business being here. So semantically, I have concerns with this, but the spirit of it -- and this is where I think Stacy and I agree, and we'll see her having the ongoing battle with the semantics her own self -- is completely correct. Somebody who acts like that deserves to go home, without regard to the rest of it, the boy/girl of it, the physical intimidation of it. To the point where I almost feel like it's an any-means-necessary kind of deal. I wouldn't actually throw a fit if he got fired based on the lie of "threatening behavior," because it's shorthand for the fact that he doesn't know where the line is. I wouldn't personally do anything like that, because it's a pussy move, but as a viewer, I think it would cut through a lot of bullshit.

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Apprentice

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