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The Apprentice: Martha Stewart - Episode 3 Summary

'Martha Takes Command' By zipperhead
Original Airdate: October 5, 2005

Alright, for all of those who were too busy watching decent programs last week, here is a summary of how things went down in Marthaland.

On the previous episode of Martha’s Apprentice... blah, blah, blah... stuff happened and Chuck got sent home with a nice little letter from Martha (we’ll talk more about those letters later).

Then we see various shots of the two teams, Primarius (the business team) and Matchstick (the creative team), making various comments of how they can improve their game. Really generic stuff.

The challenge of the week is to design a cake that is appealing to women who are going through one of the most emotionally and psychologically challenging times of their lives: their wedding. It is fair to say that no one really gives a damn what the wedding cake looks like. The real issue is whether it is going to stain the tux the groom has to return the next day, right?

Primarius designs a cake that looks lovely. Too lovely to cut into. So they throw it out and make one that doesn’t even look like a cake. It looks like a stack of wedding packages. “Rip those things open,” says I, “and let’s see who’s giving the bride the lingerie!” Anyway, they market their cake decently and make some sales.

In the middle of all of this, Jim gets a call from home. Apparently, the idiot agreed to go on a 12-week reality show contest while his wife was 8 months pregnant. Can you imagine what the conversation was like? “No, no that’s okay, dear. You go and spend some time with several young and attractive women who will do anything to get ahead in their careers,” says the expectant mom with veins a-bulging and eyes a-popping. “I’ll just stay here and spend the next 12 weeks trying not to think of ways to castrate you.”
“Gee honey, thanks!” says clueless husband.

Matchstick designs a cake that looks like it was ordered from the Barbie catalogue of totally unnecessary accessories (you know that Barbie is never getting married, so why buy her a wedding cake?). It is a monstrosity of pink ovals that are offset from what is normally the center in a stacked pastry. The only good thing it is good for is throwing. Unfortunately, Moe and Curly are not on this team, and Martha’s type of people are not the kind who engage in a food fight. No, Martha’s friends will shiv you in the bathroom.

Matchstick decides to market their cake at michael c. fina. Never heard of him, you? One of their biggest problems is that they don’t tell potential clients that they could have the cake in different colors. After all, if your wedding colors are a shade of purple, you don’t really want a pink cake (or so I am told).

So let’s review – weird cake, off-beat location, poor salesmanship. You can smell the smoke coming from Matchstick before we even reach the Board Room. Primarius had several sales; Matchstick had none. That’s right – a team in The Apprentice completed their task, but made no money off of it whatsoever.

For their reward, Primarius goes to dinner with The Donald and his trophy wife. Seriously, what do women like that see in men like him? Millions of dollars isn’t going to keep him from spitting when he talks, honey. And unless The Donald is very liberal in what he allows to go on in his bedroom, wrestling with that toupee every night can’t be fun.

After the reward dinner with The Donald, we go back to the boardroom. All is nice and civil and we are making progress to cutting David, who was largely responsible for the loss. However, we are sidetracked when Shawna confidently tells Martha that the marketing problem was not really a problem, because in her business (TV news) we “fake it until we make it”. Martha ages ten years on screen and the make-up people have already been overworked so they can do nothing for her.

Now, while Martha was in the Big House, there was a little initiation ritual where fresh meat like Martha was told to “fake it until you make it”. Martha did not make it through that initiation and she despises anyone who did. Shawna was obviously a “Debbie” who made all the inmates happy. Martha wants her out.

There is another twist, though. David, who was the Project Manager for this task, does not call Shawna back into the Board Room. Martha takes a moment to consider this when she breaks The Donald’s rules and Martha calls all of Matchstick back into the Board Room so that she can personally give Shawna a tongue-lashing. Twenty years ago, I may have paid someone to see Martha doing this, but now it is just icky. So, eventually, Martha tosses Shawna out on her can and tells her in a friendly little note to “fake it until she makes it” out on the street and see how far that will get her. 

Back to Martha’s notes. What the hell is this all about? Is Martha trying to impress the general public with her generosity and goodwill, or is Martha just trying to grab the last five minutes of air time that even The Donald is leaving to the defeated contestant on his show. We’ll have a poll here just as soon as the viewership gets above ten households. Grab your friends and make them watch, even if you have to do the Tivo thing, because odds are Martha goes ballistic sometime in the next few weeks and who wouldn’t want to see that?

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