Apprentice L.A.: Episode 11

Tim didn’t know it, but the minute this week’s Apprentice started, he was already dead. And it was all thanks to his girlfriend, Nicole.

As she was exiting the Boardroom after Angela’s firing, Nicole asked Trump to give Tim the option of joining her on team Kinetic. She was curious to see which team Tim would choose.

James, who’d been sitting in on the Boardroom as the winning Project Manager, was curious, too. As soon as he returned to the mansion, he gathered the members of team Arrow for a discussion about loyalty.

Instead of playing it smart and telling his teammates that he was loyal to them first (whether it was true or not), Tim foolishly tried to be honest. He said he would work hard for Arrow, but couldn’t turn off his feelings for Nicole.

Of course, all that Frank, James, and Stephani heard was "Nicole." In the event that they failed in the next task, they would have no problem blaming the loss entirely on Tim, regardless of whether the loss was his fault or not.

Arrow gave Tim plenty of opportunities to fail. They gave him sole creative responsibility for designing a mouthwash ad that would appear as a circular in the Sunday L.A. Times, and then stepped aside to let the whole project fall apart.

In their defense, Stefani and Frank did go to Pink’s Hot Dogs to recruit average folks to model for their ad; I’m not sure what James did besides "lead." But Frank’s attempt at directing the photo shoot was so bad that Tim had to step in and provide his own, mostly-useless attempt at directing.

Only after the photographers and models had left did Frank voice his objections to the ad’s concept. When his teammates didn’t automatically say, "You’re right, Frank. Let’s start over from the beginning," he childishly sulked. 

Ultimately, the crappy, folded-piece-of-paper-looking ad featured a bunch of people in their pajamas covering their mouths and looking sleepy — instead of looking like they had bad breath. There was a free-floating insert which contained a bunch of scientific facts about bad breath, but no connection to the sleepy people in the main ad.

It’s a wonder that none of them noticed how amatuerish the ad looked as it was being designed. I’m assuming that the graphic designer working with the team only did what he was told, without offering any input. (I can imagine Frank destroying a designer’s soul by making creative suggestions: "We should use Comic Sans. It just looks so FUN!")

Appropriately, Arrow got their asses kicked by the babes of Kinetic, who featured sultry pics of themselves in an ad shaped like a couple bottles of mouthwash. For their reward, they were visited by Nicole’s mom, Heidi’s mom, and Kristine’s chef husband, who cooked them dinner.

In the Boardroom, everyone ganged up on Tim, blaming their loss on the distraction caused by his relationship with Nicole. So that’s it! Stefani, James, and Frank couldn’t come up with any ad ideas of their own because they were so busy thinking about Tim and Nicole. That explains why their ad looked like garbage.

Tim was doomed anyway because of Trump’s goofy ideas about loyalty — which are all the more hilarious in the context of a game where it’s also considered appropriate to do whatever it takes to get yourself to the top. But Tim didn’t go out without a fight.

Tim targeted Frank’s arguably more distracting last-minute indecision as the real source of the team’s problems. Then he called Frank out for being what he is — an errand boy. Frank hasn’t been a leader, and he’s not an "idea guy," so his role has been to carry out the tasks he’s assigned.

When Frank went schoolyard-bully on Stefani and James and demanded that they defend him (the same dumb move that got Muna fired), the best James could offer was something like, "Frank is an errand boy, but he’s a really good errand boy."

Tim was fired, but at least he gave Trump a new target on the way out. Time to "step up" and "give it 110%," Frankie.

Next week, Trump doesn’t just fire someone; he FIRES someone.