My apologies to the reader in advance if some of the references in this recap seem a little Dennis Millerish. It's just that, due to my usual poor luck in timing, the weekend I get picked to recap The Apprentice, is the big Christmas concert weekend for me, and, as such, the only time this weekend that I have to sit down and do this recap is between the dress rehearsal and performance of Messiah. As a result, I have a bit of a case of Handel on the brain, if you will. So I hope you'll bear with me in case I happen to, you know, throw the names (or approximations thereof) of eleven or so movements from that composition into the recap.
(Or, you can read that last sentence as an implied challenge. Up to you.)
Previously, the teams competed to see who could develop the neatest bottle of Pepsi. In the battle of school subjects, spelling won out over geography, and so Mosaic went to the Boardroom. There, Jennifer and Sandy screamed at each other so much Trump had to fire Andy. Poor Andy. He was despised.
In the usual accurate weekly forecast, team Apex speculates that Jennifer will be the one given the boot. Even they are by now used to being wrong, though, so it's not much of a shock when Jennifer accompanies Sandy back into the suite. When asked what happened, the ladies clam up. Yeah, saying that you screamed someone out of the competition isn't something I'd admit to, either.
The ladies of Mosaic retire to the couch to decompress, and begin to bond over the fact that it's just the two of them and without any icky boys to get in the way, things figure to run smoothly in tomorrow's, er, "next week"'s task.
The Golden Phone of Tasking is answered this week by Kelly, who is, by Apprentice tradition, shirtless. He is told the meeting place, a lobby of a Trump hotel. Then Rona hangs up before Kelly even says he got it. But Kelly apparently did get it. Sigh, so much comedy potential for that bit, none of it ever realized.
At the hotel, Trump is having a not-at-all staged conversation with the hotel manager, with Carolyn and George looking on. The candidates arrive, and just because he can, Trump shoos them into another room so he can finish his vital discussion of nothing with the guy who has nothing to do with the show.
Trump approaches the candidates, and welcomes them to Trump International Hotel and Towers. It's the "hottest hotel [and] apartment complex in the city", but they promise they'll have the air conditioning working by tomorrow at the latest.
Trump goes a mini-spiel about "quality", another one of those corporate terms devoided of meaning over the years, before revealing the "unfortunate" (his term) fact that he loves chocolate. Which segues into the task, which is working for candy giant M&M/Mars. They'll be creating a new bar called the "m-Azing Bar". To make this bar, the teams will have to hunt for clues which will ultimately direct them to the next checkpoint, where the last team to arrive will be eliminated.
No, actually the teams are going to have to make their own product on the assembly lines of M&M/Mars. Then they will show their work to a team of inspectors, and they shall purify the inventory by throwing out those that don't meet the standard. Then the teams will go out and sell what they make. Kind of a holistic task, if you will. Kelly, of course, is exempt, so his yoke is easy. His burden is light.
Ivana and Sandy are elected PMs, but there's going to be no boardroom choice, no immunity, and basically no reason to care.
The Trump Lesson of the Week, brought to you by M&M/Mars, is "Know Your Enemy". Put another way, don't get cocky. This is illustrated by Trump talking on the phone and telling someone to be a "hardass". Yeah, I don't get it either.
Apex arrives at M&M/Mars, suits up, and enters the factory. Kevin comments that he was expecting something out of Willy Wonka, and wants to know where the Oompa-Loompas are. But as we learned over the summer, they're actually off in Bariloche, Argentina. Kevin goes on to run down the manufacturing process, then we see the team at work, and Kevin making the obligatory Lucille Ball reference. We then see Kevin taking some kind of action to remedy some vaguely-defined manufacturing snarl, which leads Ivana to make the foreshadowing comment that Kevin is such an eager problem solver that he'll often take the stance of fix now, and ask permission later.
Over to Mosaic, where Sandy throws a nasty little barb at Jennifer saying that it's easy to be business-like, as opposed to personal, with Jennifer, because to do the latter you have to regard Jennifer as a person. Speaking of nasty, Carolyn inquires with the supervisor and notes that in 2 1/2 hours Mosaic has produced a total of ten bars. Of course, given the eventual results of this phase, that's a terribly misleading figure, but it does segue into a scene where an unattended conveyor belt slowly dumps its load into the trash as Carolyn looks on. (I'd mention Carolyn looked annoyed, but that's generally a given with her.) Oh, Mosaic. All they that see them laugh them to scorn: they shoot out their lips, and shake their heads, saying,
Enter the M-Azing Bar Inspection Squad of DOOM! "Let us break their bars asunder," they chant, "and cast away their rejects from us." They are taken aback at how few bars Mosaic has produced, but are generally pleased with the quality (whatever that means), and at the end of the day, Mosaic has 290 salable bars for tomorrow.
And now, the MABISoD! sets its sights upon Apex. One bar is dismissed as "a little dull", and is summarily snapped. You know, the one thing I thought might be neat about working at M&M/Mars would be the ability to eat one's mistakes, but apparently that doesn't actually happen, as we see the rejects get dumped summarily in the wastebin. And so it goes for the rejects: "Thou shalt break them with a hand of iron, thou shalt dash them in pieces, like a potter's vessel". At the wire, Apex has 323 bars which pass inspection, giving them a small edge, but nothing like the disparity Mosaic's earlier follies would have suggested.
Back at the suite, Mosaic is prepping its marketing strategy, involving having Sandy and Jennifer make themselves up as identically as possible and branding themselves the "M&M Sisters". Yes, it's the lemonade task from the very first week of Apprentice 1 all over again. They hop in the M-Azing Van and motor down to Wall Street where they'll try to trade candy bars for shares of Google.