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The Apprentice, Episode 2: Steak vs. SizzlePage 4
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Sam collapses dramatically on his bed. Troy comes to his rescue and tries to calm him down. He has Sam sit on the bed and take a deep breath. Troy commands Sam to leave the city behind and imagine himself in the country, relaxing, fishing, and kicking back. Troy puts a cowboy hat on Sam’s head and says, “Relax. Be the country kid. Be the hat.” This is the second time Troy has tried to help out Sam – Troy must be the nicest guy on the planet. As Sam continues to sit with his eyes closed and hat on, Jason says that he is just fine with the idea of Sam getting fired. Troy walks by and sees Sam still “in the country.” As the guys head off to face their fate, they talk about how they really regret not calling the client.
The men line up in the board room in front of Trump, George, and Carolyn. Trump asks Jason what went wrong. Jason says that they came up with a great package, but it wasn’t what the client wanted. Troy and Nick tell Trump that Jason did an excellent job as their Project Manager. Trump asks Nick if he’s being so loyal to Jason so that Jason won’t pick him for potential elimination, and Nick says no.
Trump asks Sam if he thought Jason was a good leader or a terrible one. Sam says he was neither. Trump says that with a response like that, Sam might be one of the ones Jason chooses. Sam says, “I am confident that he will choose me.”
Kwame mentions Jason’s decision not to meet with the client as a mistake. Troy agrees that they should have done so, but that Jason made the final decision not to. Trump says, “I think it was a terrible decision.” He says that if they had bothered to meet with the client, they would have known that they were looking for a flashier presentation.
Trump asks Jason which two other men were most responsible for their failure. He picks Sam, mentioning that he fell asleep on the job. He has trouble picking a second man, saying, “Sam was the easy one, guys.” Finally, he selects Nick. He says it was a tough decision. Trump asks Nick if he’s sorry he was so loyal to Jason. Nick says he’s not, that he stands by what he said. Trump sends the other men back to the penthouse and directs Jason, Sam, and Nick to wait outside for the decision.
No sooner does the door close than George says that he cannot imagine Sam was president of one of Trump’s companies. Trump says the same thing he said about Sam last week – he’d either be a disaster, or he’d be great. Trump says that he’s made his decision, and sends the men back into the room. Happily, Sam does not opt to crawl into the room this time.
Nick walks into the room looking angry. He asks Trump if he can have a moment to defend himself. He says that he has no idea why he was chosen. He points out that just before the presentation, he gave Kwame some tips on public speaking. If he were so inept, why would Jason have given him such an important task? All Jason can say is a meek, “It had to be someone.” Trump tells Jason that he has been disloyal to Nick, who defended him. He tells Nick to relax; he is not going home.
Trump now focuses on the other two. Sam pipes up with, “Jason is showing a high capacity for making mistakes.” Trump snorts, “Didn’t you sleep through most of it?” Jason tells Trump that Sam actually curled up in a fetal position on the floor and went to sleep. Sam denies it, and we see Nick trying desperately not to laugh. Sam gets serious and says, “I don’t think I’m fighting for my life, Mr. Trump.” Carolyn and Trump disagree. Sam was given one job, and he fell asleep. He tells Sam that he’s “sort of a disaster.” Trump tells Sam that everybody hates him and that he gets no respect from the rest of the team. Nevertheless, Trump says that Jason made a colossal mistake by not calling the client. He is fired.
The three men leave the room, and Sam, little toady that he is, says, “Have a good evening, all three of you.” Shut up, Sam. As Jason gets in his cab home, Trump says simply, “Jason was fired for not dealing with the boss.”
There has been a great deal of discussion among RNO writers on this outcome. Jason made one (admittedly big) mistake. Donny still thought they came up with a good product, so it wasn’t a complete disaster. Sam, on the other hand, actually fell asleep on the job, grounds for dismissal at just about any place a person could work. So why did Jason get fired instead of Sam? Well, you can be cynical and say that Trump was advised to keep Sam on for a while longer, since he makes for such entertaining TV. That may be a factor. But more importantly, Jason was fired because he chose Nick to face Trump with him and couldn’t offer a reason why. Either Jason was ready to dispose of a good and loyal partner, or he so desperately wanted to get rid of Sam that he had to pick someone else that Trump couldn’t possibly dismiss. Neither reason makes Jason look like a direct, forthright manager.
Next week, The Apprentice moves to its regular night and time: Wednesday at 8:00 Eastern. We think NBC really means it this time. Omarosa and Ereka fight again! The guys pick Sam as their Project Manager. Did they do it to sabotage him? Will it work?
Betsy can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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