Previously on The Apprentice: Martha Stewart - the two teams had to sell coffee-makers. Yes, coffee-makers. Sure, you could spill milk in there and call it a mocha but, really - it was just a coffee maker. Marcela took the role of project manager for Matchstick and she couldn’t get the team to do what she wanted. Primarius kicked Matchstick’s butt by selling a billion more of these coffee-makers. Before Matchstick went to the Conference Room, Jim gave encouragement to Marcela. This was particularly odd since he wasn’t on her team. Although Marcela has the leadership skills of a bag of rice, Martha thought that Amanda was responsible for bringing Matchstick down and she was sent home.
After Marcela and Ryan return from the Conference Room, Jim brags to Dawna that he was entirely responsible for Marcela surviving the Conference Room. His reasoning is that he wants to face the weakest competition at the end. Dawna states her preference to face and beat the strongest competition. Jim talks about himself in the third person and claims to be a master of strategy. He goes so far as to quote that old Chinese guy who wrote a lot of things about winning battles. Since there aren’t many bridges or cities named after this old guy, he may not have known all that much about winning battles.
The next morning, Leslie answers the phone when Martha calls and mistakenly thinks that Martha wants everyone to come to her house on Turkey Hill Road. In truth, Martha just wanted to …um …spend some “girl time” with Leslie. Martha is not pleased when she sees that all of the others have tagged along.
Martha introduces the teams to some of GM’s executive types who are going to judge the marketing effort that the teams put together to highlight GM’s new car - the Buick Lucerne. Martha quote of the night: “ I hope you put as much work into your showrooms as I do into my gardens.”
Leslie takes the lead as project manager for Matchstick. While they are brainstorming, Ryan comes up with the idea that they should market the car as a member of the family. Marcela thinks it’s a great idea, Leslie is not so sure.
Dawna is the project manager for Primarius. She states that this could be her third consecutive win as manager. Bethenny comes up with the tag line “Driven by Elegance” and says that they shouldn’t try to spend too much time working on an idea. As we all know, some of the most effective marketing comes from the lamest ideas. In the showroom, Jim gets completely naked and waxes the car with his sleazy body. Once he is done, he has a cigarette and the Lucerne idles quietly. “Very tactile,” he says lovingly.
Back with Matchstick, Ryan describes the vision he has for the video: take the car to a nice restaurant and then back to his place for dessert. In other words, he wants to have the kind of evening with the car that he is too emotionally unattached to have with a woman.
On Primarius’ team, Jim and Bethenny have a sort of marital spat. For Jim, of course, this is just a game. You want to see a real marital spat? Go watch the video of Jim returning home to his wife who gave birth weeks ago and had to take care of a newborn while he was cavorting with a late model Buick. Jim puffs himself up again by saying that Bethenny sucks at doing anything conceptual and that she should not challenge him at all.
Back to Matchstick. Leslie decides on her own that her teammates’ ideas are not good enough and she blows a wad on a PR person who gives Leslie an entirely different idea over the phone. Leslie runs with it and her teammates, especially Ryan, are not happy. Leslie says that she needed another Leslie on her team. Uh, no. You need someone with a brain on your team.
The GM people go to the showrooms to see what the teams have done. Primarius gives a brief but focused presentation for the judges that highlights their concept of “driven by elegance”. Dawna compliments Bethenny on her ideas. Jim is unusually quiet.
Matchstick has a disjointed presentation. Leslie doesn’t speak very well and the video presentation she had them put together really had nothing to do with the fact that the car was “sitting” at a table. The GM guy mumbled something that sounded suspiciously like “you suck”. And Matchstick thanked him for saying it. Of course, Leslie gives the obligatory “we are going to hit this out of the park” speech. Either she does not know what that means or she really deluded herself into thinking that her suckass presentation was that good.
Martha takes the call from the GM execs while she is waiting on a plane. She sounds a little miffed because she is about to take off. Unlike Trump, or Bill Clinton, she is not important enough to shut down a whole airport. When they tell her that Matchstick had the car sitting at a table, she laughs. You know right then who she is going to be meeting in the Conference Room. Then the execs gush over what Primarius had done. They were so impressed that they said that they are going to force 2700 Buick dealerships to adopt the exact same showroom presentation for the new Lucerne. Will Jim, Bethenny and Dawna be getting any royalties from this marketing idea? Doubt it. Martha is still hurting in the old checkbook from paying back her debt to society, y’know. The reward for Primarius is having dinner with Charles and with Martha Stewart Living CEO Susan Light. Then Martha’s plane takes off and she is sent rolling down the aisle into the toilet.
At the dinner, Jim makes a complete ass of himself. He calls himself a super-villain, he says that they’re just playing a game (Martha has repeatedly insisted that this is an interview) and he says that he has no scruples. Dawna and Bethenny describe themselves more positively.
The next day, Ryan and Marcela talk about what they need to do to make Leslie look bad in the Conference Room. Meanwhile, Leslie talks to Bethenny about what she is going to do to make herself look bad in the Conference Room. Yes, this is one of those eliminations that you can see coming from a mile away. The best facial expression of the show: Bethenny gives Leslie a look that screams, “Just shut the hell up. You’re stupid and you’re going home today.” It is such a good look that Leslie sputters through a laugh and then shuts right up.
In the Conference Room, Martha leads off by asking Leslie why they lost. Leslie honestly responds that Matchstick sucks wind and couldn’t find their collective asses with a road map and flashing neon signs. As Leslie talks, she exhibits classic signs of Valium abuse. Not saying that she uses Valium, but she sure was smiling a lot for someone who was about to be publicly humiliated. Martha tries to get her daughter involved in the discussion and her daughter says, “I dunno - talk to them” and she takes another gulp of her gin and lime soda. Ryan and Marcela argue that the original video was changed by Leslie and that’s why it made no sense. Martha brings up the fact that Ryan has won two challenges as PM and that both Marcela and Leslie have lost two. Somehow, Martha makes this out to be a bad thing for Ryan. She’s a b!tch, plain and simple folks. Marcela had looked like she had gone several weeks without enough sleep. Then Leslie blamed her for the loss and Marcela came to life. Martha stopped the two of them when Leslie started making pathetic comments about Marcela playing on the internet.
Matchstick is sent out of the Conference Room so that Martha and friends can discuss how many tails they are going to put on the whip for Leslie. When the kids come back into the room, Martha tells Ryan that he needs to stick to his ideas more. Marcela is literally told to sit up in her chair. Then Martha asks Leslie, “How can you invite a car to a table that looked that bad? Don’t you know that we’re into autumn colors now? Your tableware was white, fer cryin’ out loud.” Leslie’s eyes pop out and she damned near jumps the table to scratch Martha‘s eyes out. That would have boosted ratings. After getting the okay from Charles, Martha dismisses Leslie. Alexis has nodded off and fallen to the floor. Martha’s letter to Leslie suggests that if she had come to Martha’s house alone, then everything would have been much better.
Next week - the final five join the Mile High Club. Oh, and Jim acts like an idiot.