Death to Traitors? (Episode 5-12)

If Donald Trump’s business credo for this week’s Apprentice, “Death to Traitors,” was accurate, Roxanne or Allie would’ve been fired. But the title was misleading, as Tammy took the fall, despite her teammates’ mutiny.

Microsoft and Wal-Mart teamed up to give teams the task of promoting the Xbox 360 by setting up an interactive display inside one of the latter mega-corporation’s stores. After avoiding Wal-Mart for some seven years, I was glad to see that it still looked just as crappy as the last time I gave them any of my money.

The men of Gold Rush took it easy, having outsourced most of their design to two printers. One printer worked on the walls of the display, which would attach to a printed floor and ceiling that were being generated by another printer, Adrien. Sean and Lee had plenty of time to relax and express love for one another over fries and noodles.

The boys were finally spurred to action when Adrien revealed that he’d underestimated the project completion time by more than seven hours. As the task’s deadline approached, they had a floor and walls, but no ceiling from which the walls could hang. Lee taped the walls to anything he could, and Gold Rush was left with a sad, sagging display.

Fortunately for them, their concept was good. It incorporated a variety of products available at Wal-Mart that worked with the various facets of the Xbox 360. And everything was priced clearly.

Soon after the company executives were done judging the display, Adrien arrived with the ceiling. Sean is currently awaiting trial for Adrien’s murder.

On Synergy, Allie and Roxanne unconsciously sabotaged Tammy the Project Manager’s plan, once they decided they didn’t like it. Tammy envisioned a red carpet lounge where shoppers could experience the different entertainment features of the Xbox 360.

Allie and Roxanne checked out mentally and spent more time playing with hula hoops than contributing to the project. As Tammy explained the concept to Viceroy Bill Rancic, Allie rolled her eyes at him to indicate her displeasure.

When Tammy confronted her team members about the frequent eye-rolls, Allie and Roxanne feigned shock. They clarified that their facial expressions were eyebrow raises, not eye rolls. Hoping to motivate her team, Tammy said she really wanted them to help her win the task for herself, a statement that Allie and Roxanne filed away for boardroom ammunition.

Given the task of designing the signs, Roxanne put forth minimal effort, reasoning that she just needed to carry out Tammy’s orders as written, and the blame would fall on Tammy for bad design. The signs wound up being too small, making the whole display look amateurish.

Despite their incomplete execution, their focus on accessories and pricing earned Sean and Lee a victory. For their reward, they were flown to DreamWorks’ Studios in California, where they were allowed to read for bit parts in the animated film, Over the Hedge.

They both made the film’s final cut. Lee made his film debut as Lunch Table Larry, with compelling lines like, “Look out!” Sean seemed to have found his true calling, thanks to his reading of a man tending a grill: “I truly believed in my soul that I was Barbeque Barry!”

When Synergy took their seats in the boardroom, Trump said their display “looked like a cheap, third-rate liquor lounge.” The pitch and volume of Tammy’s voice got higher and higher as she defended her display, contesting that no one offered any other ideas.

Roxanne went on the attack against Tammy’s bad design and selfish attitude, invoking her prior “It’s all about me” comment. Allie stayed mute until Ivanka and Bill called her out for her eye-rolling. She apologized to Bill and Tammy, although Tammy said she would’ve appreciated the apology more when she initially asked for it, during the task.

While Roxanne and Allie were criticized for giving a half-hearted effort, and Trump said he hated traitors earlier in the episode, he fired Tammy because she couldn’t command the respect of her team. In effect, he rewarded Roxanne and Allie for being quitters.

Next week, the show returns to its regular timeslot, and the two teams face off in a fashion show showdown. On Gold Rush, Lee’s and Sean’s brains take a vacation when confronted with a room full of models.