First the shopping network task is missed out in an odd-numbered series, now the last two tasks have been swapped around, what madness is this! Because this week's Apprentice
task does have the feel of a final about it, what with a project being launched from scratch and launched to an invited group of "experts."
But first Natasha makes breakfast for the other girls in the house, to provide special ZOMGIRONY! in a few minutes' time when she'll be claiming she never cooks. As he grabs a final point in Phone Wars Jim has failed to realise, as everyone watching realised years ago, that the voice of NotFrances is in fact a recording so trying to ask it questions won't get him very far. Also, the question he wants to ask is what they should wear, so if NotFrances had
been real she'd only have replied "who am I, your mum?"
CITY OF THAT LONDON! Where they're in a skyscraper, LdAlan is going up in a lift, the Apprenti are going down, Nick'n'Karren are going sideways and it's all VERY DRAMATIC! He's asked them here to the financial heart of That London because it has bugger all to do with the task, which is to launch a fast food chain in two days; but it has lots of big windows and shiny elevators which make LdAlan look important when you film him at an angle and put ominous music over the top. On Venture, Jim announces he'll be PM and they decide on Mexican food as their theme. Logic is now made up of only The Actor Michael Sheen and the now-tarnished Queen Helen. The latter previously worked for Greggs the bakers so will of course be PM, The Actor Michael Sheen ducking out once again in what could really be his downfall; has there ever been a finalist before (ooh, spoilers!) who's only ever PMd one task, and not too enthusiastically at that? Anyway Greggs the bakers show their influence again in the choice of fast food: Pies, because apparently nowhere does pie and mash. Except for pie and mash shops.
Over on Venture, Natasha's hospitality degree gets brought up as a reason she should put the menu together, but apparently she avoided any actual food-related stuff in her food-related degree, concentrating instead on those elements of hospitality that involve pasting one strand of hair across her face like an out-of-position combover, yeah? Seriously though, what the hell is that? Anyway she's going to be doing branding instead, teaming up with Susan - they hate each other, so this'll go well. Jim's on his own putting the dishes together. On Logic The Actor Michael Sheen convinces Helen to tackle the food side of things and let him do the branding, since those are actually their relevant skillsets. He could
have brought up the biscuit task and said LdAlan thinks the PM should make sure the product doesn't look and taste like vomit but what's the point? We know LdAlan, he's as likely to change his mind and decide it doesn't matter if the food's "toot" so long as you get people to eat it, such is his consistency. Anyway Helen goes off somewhere or other to put the meals together with NotHeston Blumenthal. I mean, presumably there was a useable kitchen within a couple of blocks of each of the two shops, but if they didn't ship off half the team to Swansea or something we wouldn't get LOLarious miscommunication errors, would we? They try out pie fillings: Steak and red wine, chicken and mushroom, and spinach, broccoli and cheddar. Immediately we hear that the "cheese and onion" filling is too cheesy. I'd be more concerned that they weren't supposed to be making that flavour in the first place. I can only assume the spinach was too spinachy and the broccoli too broccoli-ey, so they got replaced with the more traditional onion. Which is less original but hey, so long as it's not too oniony. Meanwhile, because they'll be doing miniature pies, The Actor Michael Sheen is researching the branding in a... baby clothes shop? For miniature people? Somehow out of this and misreading a poster he comes up with their brand name, MyPy. Careful The Actor Michael Sheen, you'll have Justin Timberlake suing you. (TOPICAL HUMOUR!)
Now we have one of the most excruciating "the Apprenti never went to bladdy school" sequences EVARZ, starting with Natasha and Susan's branding around Mexican... stuff, which seems to have a lot of the word "el" in it, doesn't it? What does the word "el" mean, exactly? *facepalm* Jim, busy in the PM's job of making sure the food doesn't look and taste like vomit (he's failed,) suggests something to do with caracas, or does he mean maracas? He does mean maracas, but they think they'll go with caracas anyway. They think that might be a word as well but HEY HO, let's use it anyway. I mean it might
mean something like "food that gives you the squits" but no need to check. Who knows, it could even
be the name of the capital of Venezuela, but that are verra, verra unlikely. Caraca's it is then - I don't know whether this implies the existence of a Mr Caraca or just a bad case of grocer's apo'strophe from Jim but I have my suspicions.
Venture having established that they don't understand geography, Logic now fail to understand British history as they try to name their pies after British icons and end up with... Christopher Drake? And... Columbus? (presumably Sir Francis Columbus.) You know, he discovered the potato. Probably. Well, it's likely enough that they can call it Columbus Mash. And he was definitely
British, right? Back in the apprent-mobile The Actor Michael Sheen says it's either going to turn out to be utter madness - insert knowing look to camera, oh The Actor Michael Sheen you've just gone and broken the fourth wall! - or genius. The next day, to make up for the imbalance in manpower, Venture only get one person to help them in the kitchen, while Logic get two young guys. Excuse for me for a moment while I readjust myself. They rehearse what they're going to do when customers come in, and one of the young guys asks the "customer" (Helen) "Have you eaten 100% British before?" NO HOT YOUNG GUY BUT IF YOU'RE OFFERING I'D BE HAPPY TO *ahem* meanwhile on Venture they're so busy putting sombreros on cacti that the woman who's been hired to help has to come out of the kitchen and remind Jim he's supposed to be organising some actual cooking in there, or they'll be serving cold sick to people later, instead of warmed-up sick as is the plan. Finally the hungry masses are allowed through the doors. Team Caraca's, never having been in a fast food store before, are offering waitress service (well, Susan service,) and quickly run out of seating. I mean, tables might become available if the people sitting there ever got their food, but this doesn't happen. Meanwhile things at MyPy are going a lot more smoothly, the edit having given up long ago on making it look like this is any kind of real contest.
They have feedback forms from the trial run customers; MyPy's are largely positive, Caraca's' are largely threatening. It's a bit late to fix the fact that their food looks like sick so instead they focus on the feedback about the "crazy waitress," and yes, despite having known her for 11 tasks now, this is what it takes for Jim and Natasha to realise that the public should never be exposed to Susan. No waitress service tomorrow. Well there wasn't much waitress service today either, but you know what I mean. Tomorrow's already here! LdAlan is first to arrive, followed by fast food experts who'll be marking them out of 10. How will they do? A clue: Yes, it does still look like sick. As does Jim in the Q&A afterwards about the viability of Caraca's as a business. It'll all be fine because if everyone spends £7 that'll translate to 400 million billion squids, until someone points out to him it actually comes in at about two groats and some pocket fluff, and they'd go under by the end of the day. D'oh! On Logic meanwhile, apart from the fact that the British theme encompasses Christopher Columbus, who invented the potato with his friends Shakespeare and Byron (who were apparently contemporaries; well they were born in the same millennium, that's close enough,) the only problem seems to be that the MyPy plastic trays are a bit small to hold both Py and GraVy.
Boardroom! Venture done had many problems, but Karren praises Susan for being the one to spot the serving problem (or put another way, she was
the serving problem.) I'm assuming at this point by the way that Nick Hewer is manipulating a Karren voodoo doll to make her defend his precious fragile Susie. Until now by the way it hasn't actually been confirmed that the experts' scoring will determine the result, for all we know LdAlan might have overruled them like he usually does on the advertising task. Maybe he was waiting to see if he agreed with them, but the fact that he's been up all night with a case of the flaming carracas has probably made the decision for him. And d'you know what? It came out looking the same as it did going in! The "doom" music starts playing as the scores are announced so yep, looks like they do count: Venture 4/10, Logic 7/10. Helen and The Actor Michael Sheen are in the final! They look confused, like... are all the rest fired? No, sadly. They go back to the house and - what no treat? The other three get to sit at Loser Cafe, which has a big poster for pies outside it. Irony! Pie irony! PIERONY!
Back in the boardroom Venture get attacked for having no business plan beyond "Banjos! Sombreros! Moustaches!" and for not covering their costs. Natasha's reminded she hath committed a food-related degree, but she says that was a long time ago, and in another country, and besides, the wench is dead. We find out that both Natasha and Jim think the word "inclination" means the same as "inkling," that Natasha is Apathy and Despair of the Endless, and that Jim has a dark underside. EEW. Both Natasha and Susan pick Jim as the one who should be fired, which he really should be based on the shitstorm of this week; and maybe he would be, if Natasha wasn't so
fired that LdAlan nearly sent her home last week despite her actually winning that task. Susan is fire-teased but actually - psyche! - he's putting her through to the final. LdAlan likes Jim's "spirit" so it's, obviously, Natasha what done got fired. And this also means there's now two men and two bladdy women in the final, which is a nice balance.
Natasha cries in the waiting room; in the cab she claims she's not willing to scrap and lose her dignity, I'm not sure what she thinks she was just doing a moment ago in the boardroom. Speaking of scrapping, Jim and Susan are still at it in the car back to the house. They seem to make up long enough to pretend only one person has come back, giving The Actor Michael Sheen false hope that they don't have to go up against Jedi Jim in the final - no chance! For he is there, and the final is now interviews, which means Dame Margaret of Mountford, yay! And in a way this does
make sense now that the goalposts have moved, as the interview stage also means they get to reveal the business plans they hope to start with LdAlan. I hope they're all fucking mental. "My business plan is: Cats!" "What? Bladdy cat food? Bladdy cat clothes? Bladdy toy cats?" "Just cats! Cats! Aaaaaargh! Cats!"