At the Routine Fireside, Tim is lying on Nicole's ass, and Surya is telling everybody about how he's such a huge Lakers fan, it's like his career, so nobody else can love the Lakers as much as he does, don't even try it. No, wait, that was Tim talking, so whatever. Lose the Surya joke. Or keep it, actually, because he sucks. Stefani welcomes him to "the wonderful world of boardroom anticipation," and he drinks deeply of his personal drama. I cannot effing wait until his ass gets canned.
There's a weird echo on the crow of the cock as morning dawns; Frank cooks as James explains to him how he's going to have to "think about a lot today," because tonight he'll be fighting for his life. Aaron is...boring. James tells us how the boardroom is kill or be killed, you have to "go in fighting" and be "fierce" and "proactive" and Aaron's going to have to "go for the kill" and he also, per James, needs to kill the kill-kill killer kill of killing. Aaron and Tim look unbearably hot through this whole part, I should say. Aaron tells Tim that at least Surya is coming back for sure, because of the whole "I'm all about branding" part of his behavior. And I completely agree. By setting himself up as the expert and then refusing to say anything of worth, Surya has created a lose/lose situation for everybody, because he's going to feel like his ideas were unheard (when what they were, were not ideas) and thus he was not responsible for anything, while Aaron correctly feels like Surya claimed ownership of that part of the task, and then didn't perform. Now, this is all inside the box of Aaron's poor management, but it's a more even choice than they have been. Both Aaron and Surya deserve to be fired this week.
Actually, you know what? No. Frankly, Tim and Nicole screwed them. It was a sales task and they ran off. They meant to help, it didn't end up helping, but either way they lost manpower. Marketing was not at issue here: once you're in the store, your marketing is restricted to traffic, basically, barring outside signage (which we don't know if they had that) or off-site marketing (which neither team did, as far as we know) -- it becomes about salesmanship at that point. And now, again, this is inside the box of Aaron's poor leadership. So Aaron deserves to go home, which we already know he's going to, but for the wrong reason -- his quietness in the BR last week -- which pisses me off, especially since on the purely surface level we're losing someone who is AWESOME to look at in favor somebody that grows more annoying with each passing second, and whom even the show seems to kind of hate.
Nicole horses around about how it's Surya's first boardroom, like he needs the encouragement to dwell in the drama, and he interviews that it's a "complete unknown," which is not really true, and Nicole thinks that she, Tim, and Surya are under the heaviest fire. Which she's right about, and which is also correct as to the assignment of blame. Surya immediately starts complaining about how Aaron did such a shitty job and that while he's charismatic, he has a lack of leadership, and basically winding himself up into a self-aggrandizing tizzy, which is so ugly to watch a person do. He interviews the good old "popularity contest" defense, that they're going to gang up on him because they gel as a group and he's an outsider -- which is not only not a problem, and pertains to the actual real world as a fact you need to get right with, but is also in this case entirely his doing -- and explains this worry to Derek. "You think they're going to sell you out?" Well, that and the fact that you sabotaged the task and wasted a bunch of time showing off in the mistaken delusion that people would be impressed. "It was Aaron's fault!" he insists, and sends Derek over to tell Aimee about the impending possible team-up. Which is like, I hate any conversation or concept that goes through that many filters, because it's really loss-y, especially when Surya has a vested interest in his own blamelessness. So basically we're three or four neurotic layers away from whatever actually happened, but everybody's going to behave as though their personal understanding of it were correct, which is going to lead Surya to act like a complete jackass crybaby, and Aimee to act like a dickwad in front of God and everybody. "I will be fair, but I won't let them ambush him because they're tight as a team," she says distractedly: "I will not let him go down." A laudable sentiment, to be sure, but why is she addressing it to a half-full glass of fruit juice on which she's drawn a crude representation of a human face?