George now asks Danny why he didn't manage Michael better -- why he didn't basically throw Michael off the task. Which I think Danny would argue he tried to do by reducing Michael's responsibilities and telling him to shut up with the snotty comments. Danny argues, unwisely, that he "handled it like a gentleman." George points out that that isn't the function of a boss on a project, and I could not agree more. Bosses who insist on being polite and not hurting anyone's feelings let the assholes run roughshod over everyone else; that is totally true. ["I would point out, though, that George has asked this before, and it is still not clear to me how a PM is supposed to 'throw' anyone 'off' anything, or why they never tell George they didn't know they could do that. I would like to know the answers, but if we're not going to get them, George should stop posing that as an obvious alternative, and whoa, who's writing this recap? Sorry, going now." -- Sars] Danny claims that he tried to "stay focused on winning the task." Michael, still not knowing when to shut up, claims that Danny was obviously "lost," so how can he be claiming he was focused on winning? Trump asks Danny who he's going to bring to the final table. Danny says that he has a question, and Trump says he knows what it is. And the answer is yes, he can bring someone to the final table who's exempt. But as to whether a person who's exempt can be fired, he's basically not answering. Danny is going to have to decide whether to take that gamble.
Danny does choose to bring Michael, along with Stephanie, the only person he can place any responsibility on, other than himself. I think he's well aware that if he loses the gamble on Michael, it's going to be him, so I'd think he might have been better off to bring Erin, so they could at least have a united front.
Trump chats with George and Carolyn. Carolyn says that she thinks Danny has bad decision-making skills, including the decision to bring someone who's exempt to the final table. "Rules are rules; he's exempt," she says. George says he agrees, in that not only is Michael exempt, but he's not the reason they lost the task. "It's just a question of him and Stephanie," George opines. Trump says he agrees, and he's ready to bring the folks back in.
Robin sends the three final-table candidates back in. Trump starts with Michael, saying that the team was obviously totally dissatisfied with what he brought to the table. "Did you do badly because of the fact that you were exempt, and you figured, 'Why should I...' which is pretty terrible, or did you do badly because you're incompetent." Michael makes up an entirely new idiom when he says, "Neither or." He insists -- against all evidence -- that he did his best on the task. In fact, he gave the team a great idea, and now he thinks he shouldn't have shared his awesome ideas, because "they were not reciprocated." "Reciprocated"? Does he mean "used"? Shut up, ass. Michael argues that he was against the contract being signed, and the team argued it out for a long time. Trump brings up to Danny the fact that he apparently put the decision to a vote, or tried to. Danny says he knows that wasn't necessarily the greatest option, but that he wanted to get consensus on the team.