The Apprentice 3, Episode 5 Extras: The Scapegoat Says, "Bleat"by Jenn Brasler -- 02/21/2005
Net Worth is waiting to see who will return from the boardroom. They're thrilled when Audrey and Tana return without Kristen. There's nothing new here, but Audrey gives her swear-filled speech about Kristen and warns that she shouldn't be crossed.
We rewind a little to see Magna before Erin, Bren, and Michael return from the boardroom. When they arrive, Kendra is excited that they didn't lose any team members. She thinks that the next task will be defining for the team. Thank goodness for the extra footage; otherwise, I'd completely forget who Kendra is. Michael goes on and on about being a mini-Trump and Erin interviews that Michael thinks he's "the best everything." Kendra reminds Michael that Trump blasted him the last time they were in the boardroom. Michael brushes this off, preferring to live in his fantasy.
Net Worth goes to see their trailer, where they brainstorm. Tara brings up the idea of a mobile casting director, which catches on. John says that Angie started guaranteeing that the idea would work. John, however, only guarantees death and taxes. Craig says that he, Chris, and John were wondering what the casting idea would entail, but the women were already all over it. Tana especially likes the idea of people in a line with money.
Back at the suite, Michael makes pizza while Erin works on the name for their business. We see my favorite Erin moment again, where she compares Michael to a five-year-old throwing a tantrum.
At the trailer, Bren talks to the technicians who are going to turn it into their business. They assure him that they'll stay and work as long as necessary. Bren asks if Magna is expected to cover dinner for them, but the workers say that it hasn't been discussed. Alex tells Bren that the others (meaning Michael, Stephanie, and Erin) are at Kinko's. Bren decides that it makes sense for them to pick up some food for the team and the technicians. He calls them and Michael argues that they have things to do, but Bren has stuff to do, too, and Project Manager trumps lackey. Michael gives Stephanie and Erin the news. They're not happy.
We see Net Worth (well, Angie) calling casting directors without much luck. Tara finally takes over and, with some help from John and Chris, lands one. We also get to hear Tana's "Uma Thurma" comment again.
Back to the Magna food discussion. Stephanie thinks that bringing food from Queens is ridiculous. Michael wonders why Bren couldn't find a restaurant closer to the trailer. As Betsy said in the episode recap, it can't be that hard to find a close restaurant in New York. I live in a D.C. suburb that's only two square miles, and there are dozens of restaurants around here. Why did Bren want food from that one particular restaurant? Stephanie complains about Bren's lack of leadership. In an interview, Erin says that Stephanie is busy trying to cover herself in case she winds up in the boardroom; this is all she ever does. When I watched this episode, I didn't find Stephanie as annoying as other people did, but now I get it. She's getting on my nerves more and more each week.
Stephanie, Michael, and Erin arrive at the trailer, where Bren recognizes that Stephanie is mad. She says that his decision about the food wasn't logical. Bren asks why she didn't make a decision for herself then. Stephanie asks why he didn't do it. Bren points out that he did - he asked them to do it. That's called delegating, Stephanie. I can't wait for Stephanie to be project manager to see how she handles it.
Kendra, who's being smart and staying out of this, says that Stephanie disrespected Bren for no valid reason. Her attitude, not her ability, is getting in the way. Stephanie tells Bren that she's not mad, but obviously she is. Bren denies that they're disorganized; Stephanie thinks they are, since they don't have a location for the task yet. In an interview, Bren says that Stephanie will never intimidate him - he puts "thugs" in jail and spends his days working with people much harsher than her. Stephanie asks Michael if he thinks they're disorganized. In possibly his first smart move, Michael keeps his mouth shut.
In an interview, Stephanie pulls out the mean words - she says that Bren is a wimp, he's two-faced, and he doesn't take risks. Her insults are really lame. "You non-risk-taker!" I'm sure Audrey can teach her a few words. Stephanie tells Bren that they needed a timeline for the task. He asks why she waited until now to say anything. Stephanie has no confidence in Bren and doesn't trust his leadership. Bren tells Stephanie to take care of things herself. In an interview, he says that Stephanie demoralizes everyone and only cares about herself.
Net Worth goes to Mikimoto for their reward. Tara is happy because she loves pearls, and Mikimoto is "the Rolls Royce of pearls." Hi, Tara! 'Bye, Tara! Net Worth sees the Miss Teen USA crown, which John says is worth $250,000. Tana tries it on and Miss USA tells her to wave like she's screwing in a light bulb. Since Tana is wearing the Miss Teen USA crown, she's between 14 and 18 right now.
Back at the suite, Magna gathers to discuss their loss. Michael says that they're getting demolished. The team talks about what they could have done differently. Bren points out that he has the most at stake. In an interview, he says that the loss has made him humble. He's giving his all, but it's not working, so he's frustrated. He's never been in the position of giving everything and having it still not be enough. The rest of the team still wants to talk about the loss, but Bren doesn't want to play Monday morning quarterback. He thinks that he did a good job as the project manager and the team gave a good performance.
Stephanie is frustrated that Magna keeps losing. She thinks that Michael needs to step up. The two of them talk quietly, agreeing that Bren will probably take them into the boardroom. Michael says that he's the scapegoat and he thinks Trump knows that. He can't trust his team members - "If you told me to give them a code to a nuclear bomb, I'd run the other way. I think they're all evil people." Who's giving Michael the code to a nuclear bomb? Stephanie says that if they're in the boardroom, she'll bring up the food discussion, which has now been named the Queens trip. Michael interviews that Stephanie brought everyone down, and if the person with the worst attitude is fired, she's gone.
On the balcony, Erin doesn't think that Michael will be fired, since Stephanie caused so many problems. Kendra says that Stephanie wasn't a team player. She'd rather have someone around who is lazy, and who everyone knows is lazy, than someone who talks bad about the other team members. Magna prepares for the boardroom. Bren says that he'll be vicious if he has to, since he needs to take someone else down and save himself. Michael is sick of being blamed, but he'll only bring out the big guns if someone else fires first.
Magna heads to the boardroom. Trump asks whose idea the spa service was. Michael takes responsibility and Trump asks why they went with the spa. Michael says that the other ideas didn't stick. Apparently one of the ideas was a paper-shredding business. Yes, I'm going to gather up my possibly confidential documents and wait for the Paper-Shredding Trailer to come around to my neighborhood. Though I guess people who are willing to pay for others to shred their papers get what they deserve.
Trump asks how Bren was as project manager. Erin says that originally she was disappointed, thanks to the Queens trip, but then she realized that it wasn't that big of a deal. This is why Erin is less annoying than Stephanie - she got over it. Trump asks Bren what the big mistake was in the task. Bren blames the team's failure on marketing.
Bren is willing to let go of Stephanie because she was the only person who didn't like the spa idea. That in itself didn't bother him, but she never told him why. Stephanie explains that she had two problems with a spa business - the task began at 8 a.m., an hour when people are rushing to get to work, and a massage takes a long time.
Trump asks Stephanie about Bren's leadership. She allows that he was "okay," but not so good with time management. Alex says that Bren did well and he's trusted him in the past because he always takes care of problems. He continues that Michael didn't do a good job and Trump asks if Alex thinks Michael is qualified to be there. Alex says that he is, because he's been successful with his business, but he's not used to working with a lot of people. He doesn't look for possible problems the way that Bren does. He finishes up that Stephanie is too negative.
Stephanie says that she would fire Bren because they win or lose as a team. In a complete non-sequitur, she thinks that team members should be able to discuss problems with the leader. Trump asks if Bren was too dictatorial. Stephanie says he wasn't, but he got defensive and she didn't want to argue with him. And, apparently, that's Bren's problem. Kendra puts in her two cents, but considering how much screen time she gets, I'm not sure Trump will actually consider her opinion. Michael again calls himself the team's scapegoat. Trump asks why the other team does better; Erin says it's because of their "fire" and ability to street hustle.
Bren chooses Stephanie and Michael to come back to the boardroom. We see Michael's weird kiss-up moment again and Trump blasts him for being phony. Because Trump would never surround himself with people who kiss up to him.
After Trump gets George and Jill's input, Michael, Stephanie, and Bren return to the boardroom. Trump asks Stephanie what she does for a living. She deals with customers who outsource their IT to her company's division. I think I understood one word of that - "to." She negotiates and works with executives on multi-million dollar contracts. Trump asks why she's not better on this show, then. Stephanie explains that her background isn't in sales, but she's learning. She thinks she did a great job. Of course she does. She thinks that Bren misinterpreted her honesty. I don't even know what that means. Stephanie would rather bring up problems as they occur so that they can fix them.
Michael tries to jump into the conversation by saying that everyone twists his pompous attitude, and it's disheartening. Trump points out that he keeps being brought back into the boardroom. Michael says yet again that he's the scapegoat. Got it. Michael = scapegoat. Let's move on. Stephanie thinks that her honesty has been taken personally. Shh, Stephanie, let Michael shoot himself in the foot. Michael says that Bren was the team's biggest problem on the task. Jill blasts him for his excuses for not doing well in the marketing portion.
Bren lays into Stephanie and Michael jumps in again. Trump tells him to let Bren attack Stephanie. Alas, Michael is too much trouble, so he's fired. Michael gives Trump his card and says to look him up if he's ever in Boston. Trump interior monologue: "Note to self - don't go to Boston."
Michael gives a rambling speech in the cab about everyone stabbing him in the back. Hey, Michael? Go watch the credits of the show. You know that part where it says, "It's not personal, it's business"? Do the math. Michael says that "dealing with idiots cultures" people. Sure, if you consider idiocy a culture. He was pretty sure he'd go into the boardroom, but he had a good idea. He claims that Bren didn't do anything. He adds that he was uncomfortable asking people if they wanted massages because people will attack you for that. Okay, Michael, whatever you say. He felt bad for Stephanie because Bren was picking on her.
Michael is now happy to be away from the "mental cases" of Magna; they didn't have any business ethics. They're a bunch of lawyers who don't know the business world. He thinks that Net Worth will win. He says again that Bren should have been liable for what happened, especially in the wake of last week's cucumber porn. He wishes his team good luck and says that he doesn't wish bad on any of them. Even though they're nutcases.
Next week: I really hope Carolyn is back.
Jenn Brasler is an aspiring writer from Falls Church, VA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She's trying to decide whether to use her powers for good…or evil.
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