After an outwardly mature but secretly very stressful dinner at Grand Central Station, the teams meet Trump, Bill and Carolyn, and some Microsoft executives at NASDAQ, which is apparently identical to Parker Posey's secret lair in Josie And The Pussycats. The task: create a one-minute promo for a Microsoft product called LiveMeeting (Just Like A Meeting, But On The Computer). Alla and Felisha fight over PM while pretending not to, get super-creepy super-fast, and Felisha finally becomes PM for the simple reason that Alla's in charge either way, so it's no skin off her ass. Contrast with the well-oiled machine that is Team Excel, who agree seemingly telepathically that Rebecca could use their obvious upcoming win more than Randal could.
Felisha and Alla then go so crazy you can't even keep track of what's going on -- Felisha's the director and Alla the actor, or the other way around, or both at once, or something, and for a while Felisha is the Secretary of the Treasury and Alla's the diplomat to the Lower East Side but then there's a coup and Jar-Jar Binks talks Amanda Woodward into taking a drug test or something, I don't know exactly, it was all a blur, but the point is this: a whole bunch of bullshit and hustle, and nothing really happening except Alla getting pretty frustrated at Felisha for not remembering her place and daring to have a correct opinion because "Alla Is Awesome."
They spend the shoot fighting so badly -- and pointlessly! -- that even their crew is eager to cobra both their mean blonde asses, and then in the editing bay learn they've produced something in excess of their mandate to the tune of like 250%, so Alla recreates the video from scratch. This results in something not unlike a gun pointed right at your head, firing over and over, only instead of bullets, it shoots words. The Microsoft execs, between trying to read the words zipping across the screen, getting more and more angry at Capital Edge, and feeling their time being wasted, are excellent.
In contrast, of course, we find Rebecca and Randal smoothly and effortlessly producing the same concept as Alla and Felisha, originally: a narrative where your life is on the verge of collapse until you learn about LiveMeeting. The only problem Excel has here is an actor who could never hope to match Rebecca's level of intensity, because who could, so they just do it themselves, because Randal and Rebecca can do anything, with a minimum of bullshit. Carolyn somewhat approvingly asks how long the video took them to accomplish, which causes Rebecca to get very damn intense until Randal tells her to chill. The Microsoft team is pretty nice about the video, but only really impressed by it in retrospect, once they've gotten a gander at the horrific graphic salad Alla came up with. Excel is pronounced the "clear winner."
Alla and Felisha have an ugly dinner while Excel enjoys their reward -- a trip around Manhattan on a schooner with Randal's wife (exactly as adorable and charming as you'd assume) and Rebecca's boyfriend (exactly as passive and smart as you'd think, and with a certain Napoleon Dynamite flair happening). Felisha weeps into her Waldorf about how hard her life has been, so apparently Felisha does not read The Smoking Gun, and this part is brilliant: Alla's doing her version of "sympathetic" -- nodding, looking bored, grunting -- inter-cut with interview footage in which she calls Felisha "pathetic" and says that she finds depression not only useless but also hilarious, and that she will use this information, just like everything else she's seen, to utterly destroy Felisha.
That night, Randal and Felisha -- maybe the two nicest people ever on this show -- sit down to talk about ways to be diplomatic about Alla's weaknesses in the Boardroom. Bad idea; again we cut back and forth against Alla laughing maniacally and sharpening her knives. In the Boardroom, Alla jumps on Felisha's throat within seconds of seating herself, throwing every single thing she's been saving directly -- Felisha's weakness, her inability to lead, et cetera -- onto the table. It's just like their commercial, only super-mean! After a pretty surreal Extra Bonus Footage moment that I highly recommend you view, in which Felisha causes not only Trump himself but Carolyn and possibly Bill to break into tears, Alla goes balls-out: openly lying about the facts, berating Felisha horrifically, and scaring even Donald Trump. It is awesome.
Trump finally fires Felisha, citing the fact that -- unlike Alla -- she has a heart, a soul, and the capacity for kindness that I guess spells failure in business. Alla gets very Boris and Natasha at this point, jumping up and trying to tiptoe out of the room without anyone seeing her. Trump actually earns my respect for once, barking, "Alla! Sit." Sheepishly, the not-so-stealthy Alla sits, is called a monstrous and unmanageable animal, and is also fired. The two ladies speak their piece in the Crazy Taxi, Felisha making more of her hilarious and cute faces, and then we end on the best Triumphant Return To The Suite footage ever: Donald Trump himself, striding down the hall in slo-mo, to notify Rebecca and Randal they've just gone from the Final Four to the Final Two.
Well, the most important thing here is the clip we see again in the previouslies, where Carolyn told Adam and Felisha, "There are five people remaining right now, and I think by far the two of you are the weakest," and Felisha's mind was blown. It's a sad but a very real character-revealing moment for Felisha, because it took her a relatively short amount of time to adjust to this information -- after she was done gasping and going "wow" -- but by the end of the exchange with Carolyn, she knew it was about setting her sights higher, and it was nice, and you know I like Felisha for this reason. I wish she wouldn't take it so personally, but that's a tough pill to swallow. You know Melissa, maybe even Kristi, would have been like, "Shut up! You are the weakest!" And I don't even know what Carolyn would do if you pulled that, but I don't ever want to find out.
Then there are credits, which are more interesting than ever, because of how you forget half these people ever existed, but also because next week, presumably, we'll get to see our guys have to manage these bastards, and -- hopefully -- the biggest train wrecks are the ones they'll have to deal with. Where are the ratings in telling Chris or James what to do? No, I want -- demand -- Markus, Josh, Kristi, Toral, Melissa! I love that part! I'm so excited just thinking about it! Oh God: Clay!
Purposeful snare drums get you all tense and warlike as we join this week's Corporate Weasel Death Watch: Alla's asking Randal and Rebecca which of her two teammates will be coming back, and they agree that the only person who would know that is her. There's an unspoken but agreed-upon point here, among the three of them, that she's really been the only true player on Capital Edge for weeks. Like it's these three actual players sitting around knowing they are the real competition, and not even having to talk about it. I like that. Alla interviews that, "on a personal level," she's more interested in seeing Felisha return to the suite. Frankly, me too. I think part of the irritation you get with a Markus or a Clay or Jennifer W. is, "There's no way this person is going to win, toss 'em out," and while both Felisha and Adam pretty much fall into that category, Felisha's still more interesting as a contender. Also interesting is how suddenly Rebecca and Randal don't even bother with speaking out loud anymore, they just send each other psychic messages using their eyeballs and massive brains. It's awesome.
Alla then does something really bizarre. Because she cannot handle the stress of waiting, she pulls this Cruel Intentions-esque chair out into the middle of the front living room so she can stare at the front door, and stare and stare, and maybe run Adam through with a fireplace poker if he's the one that comes back. Rebecca and Randal accompany her in this pursuit, even though it seems like they also find it kind of creepy. It reminds me of those lordships or whatever that spent the whole Black Plague sitting between giant bonfires so that no germs could get through, and all their visitors had to deal with the drama of that. Alla interviews how she "didn't let [her] friendship with Felisha affect" what was done in the Boardroom. Dude, we know. She does say that Felisha is the stronger player of the two, and cites this as another reason she would rather have Felisha back. I don't know if that's exactly a lie, but it's not really the truth either.