They're off to The City to stand on the top floor of Tower 42 with the sunrise coming up behind them, gunfight music on the soundtrack and LdAlan hoving into view like a bladdy great hoving thing. Few things in history have been camper than this scene. The teams are going to go back to Boys vs Girls for a task about wheeling and/or dealing. Nick will be following Apollo 13 and this news makes Lizlocke beam with excitement because she's been paying attention to the Karren of Doom storyline so she'll be their team leader while, she assumes, the going's good. Jamie is Synergy's PM and tells them they're all going to "work our little butts off." He doesn't say "our cute, perky little butts" but you can see he's thinking it, about his own at least. They have to try and knock 70% off every sale price, see if they can get stuff for cost. Should they work out where they're all going first? Nah, just wander London aimlessly and see what happens. Runaround........ NAH! Incidentally Jamie is more likeable in this episode than he's been in weeks - given that at times he seems on the verge of physically assaulting people he's meant to be negotiating with, this should not necessarily be taken as a compliment. There's ten items on SrAlan's shopping list but we'll mainly be concentrating on the weirder ones or those that are likely to cause the biggest confusion so a load of boring old dinner plates can fack off. Although I'm surprised at how little screentime the chicken feet get. Ooh, they smell. That's all we're getting.
One of the items is Bluebook, the London Runs. Not a reference to diarrhoea in the capital but a book about The Knowledge (as in the bible for black cab drivers.) BallBaggs however gets a false lead about it being a rare magazine so he and Chris waste quite a lot of time on this while the girls quickly pick up the correct item. I can't really blame BallBaggs (fun though it might be) because I thought it was a magazine straight away (in retrospect I was probably thinking of RedBook) and although once you know it's The Knowledge the phrase "London Runs" makes sense, out of context I can see why you'd assume it was a print run. Especially since it turns out Bluebook was also a rare magazine and obscure collectables do sometimes crop up on these lists. As it starts to become apparent it's not so much hard to find as impossible, they finally hit on the correct definition and try to negotiate a price for it. This involves Chris spinning an elaborate sob story about his brother needing a copy urgently but oh we only have these magic beans with which to pay you. The shop manager is amused by this bullshit story 'cause he knows this is The Apprentice and he's gonna be on telly. Finally he lets them have a deal if they leave a quid for charity as well. (It's not explicitly stated this time but in past years they got fined if they paid the first price they were offered, leading to the Apprenti sometimes begging for discounts of as little as £1; this rule is obviously still present judging by how desperate they are to get even the tiniest discount but I guess since nobody ends up being fined for this the edit doesn't bother pursuing it.)
Meanwhile there's a Tikka to be bought, which they can tell is a piece of jewellery and the girls have already worked out it's a gold Indian headdress. They get theirs from Southall, the area that specialises in Asian jewellery, for £160. Jamie's just going to random jewellers instead, hoping he'll find someone who knows what the hell a Tikka is. It takes some time but someone finally knows; he gets it for £135 but not before some rather bullying negotiations that mainly consist of him saying "give it to me cheap or I'll go to Southall" and face it, if this wasn't getting him onto BBC1 the jeweller would say "so go to bloody Southall then." In addition Jamie's negotiations involve repeatedly threatening "£135. Shake on it? Shake on it? £135" then grabbing the man's hand and shaking it himself. "Ha! We shook hands! Nothing you can do now, you have to sell it to me at a loss, IT'S THE LAW, we shook hands!" Apparently if Jamie's touched you, he owns you. *shudder*
The girls get a sewing machine for £57 and Joanne/a bitches about Lizlocke's lack of negotiation skills; Jamie gets the same one for £35 and the episode's narrative starts to become apparent, where Synergy are running around like headless twats but getting cheaper prices at the end of it. A kitchen worktop is going to defeat Jamie though as he can't get one anywhere, while the girls ordered theirs in the morning and picked it up later in the day. There's some white truffles on the list and Stella's approach seems to involve phoning every chef she's ever seen on TV. "Hello, is that Marco Pierre White? How about Gordon Ramsey?" Laura thinks maybe this isn't the best plan but actually no, don't look at me, I have no opinion, nothing is my fault lolz! Meanwhile Jamie calls Chris, who is so bored by his moaning that he starts dialling the next number while he's still on the phone. Aw, Chris doesn't know how phones work. Karren's all like "ooh, they don't know what they're doing, I'm worried it might go a bit wrong for them! Plus I'm following them and everyone knows I'm a jinx." Chris does, however, continue his attempt to audition for Jackanory when it's time to buy some tartan, spinning another wondrous tale of poor orphans who had their wallet stolen by a dragon and need a kilt for the wedding of the Pixie King and Queen. He gets his discount and ooh, his imaginary nana will be so pleased!
Stella and Laura find a restaurant in Knightsbridge who'll happily sell them the truffles for twice what they're worth, bargain! It's nearly time to go back to the boardroom and the boys have only just remembered they're supposed to get truffles too - except they go straight to a supplier and get them for £100, half what the girls paid. The girls have bought all 10 items but incur a fine for arriving at the Boardroom late; the boys are on time but incur three fines for the items they didn't buy (all of them Jamie's responsibility; he only managed two items in total.) LdAlan arrives, the usual preamble, Lizlocke takes so much on board she's a bladdy container ship - tsk, rude, LdAlan. Apollo 13 spent £1094.40p but despite fines and the maximum price imposed for the three missing items, Synergy done spent £1020.50. After two joyless months, Nick has finally followed a bunch of losers and immediately comes, as if he's watching one of his special videos. The boys are sent to spend a
So, the bladdy women have lost! Back to the boardroom, where Stella is too corporate (that word's apparently back in vogue as an insult, chez Apprentice) because she's been working for a Japanese bank and they're a bit like that, innit. LdAlan somehow manages to avoid using the word "inscrutable" so small mercies. Stella and Laura join Lizlocke in the bottom 3, with Lizlocke going straight in for the rarely-seen technique of fessing up to what she done wrong. Stella then tries it as well but LdAlan's not bladdy impressed when she does it. Laura's survival technique is basically to just be a bit spooky and inexplicably make this all about Stuart BallBaggs, who is neither on their team, nor relevant (to anything in life.) Ew, does Laura fancy BallBaggs? She's 22! (But not 24, which is young. Really, after Junior Apprentice, can anyone really pull this "I'm so young" trick any more?) Then she says "When I was PM it was a shambles." Um, I'm not sure how this is helping, Laura. Both she and Lizlocke gang up on Stella, who gets a major fire-tease this week but no, Laura is fired. Because what, exactly, is the point of her? Plus liking Stuart shows a lack of judgement that just won't do in the cut'n'thrust of etc etc etc.
Back at the house, the boys are somehow there even though they were supposed to be in Paris and oh I don't know. Things kick off a bit when Lizlocke is all butthurt because Stella was MEAN TO HER in the Boardroom and Stella's all "whatevs bitch, haven't you ever seen the show before?" "Anyway," says Lizlocke, "it's a shame Laura's gone. She'll be missed." Stella's epic bitchface BEGS TO DIFFER!
Next week: Something something open-top bus tour.
¹it was meaningless bravado, and don't call me Shirley. This has been the Leslie Nielsen Memorial JokeTM.