When Lisa and Dayana come back from the Boardroom, Lisa says, “Yay, we did it,” in reference to getting Lou fired. Clay protests that Lou is stilled a person. Lisa tells Clay he doesn’t want to get into it with her, and he agrees. Aubrey, interviewed, complains about how much she can’t stand Clay and how happy she was that Lisa shut him up. Clay isn’t sure if Lisa’s attitude is a result of her continuing losses, or if the losses are a result of her bad attitude. Aubrey is really hoping that – since the teams are now unbalanced – Trump will break up the teams and separate Arsenio and Clay.
Teresa meets with Matthew, a boy benefiting from the research done by her charity, The NephCure Foundation, which works to find a cure for the potentially debilitating kidney disease known as FSGS and Nephrotic Syndrome. Having three children herself, she can’t imagine what it would be like to have them suffering from this disease. She is proud and happy to be able to present them with the check for $60,000.
Trump meets with everyone at FAO Schwarz in Manhattan. Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son, tells the celebrities the task will be creating two new “Miskreant” puppets for Henson’s adult puppet show “Stuffed and Unstrung.” First, he is going to move one member from Team Unanimous onto Team Forte, and he chooses to move Clay over. Lisa, interviewed, is curious if their earlier tiff will be a problem. Eric explains that they will be judged by Patrick Bristow, co-creator and director of “Stuffed and Unstrung,” on the following: puppet design, the quality of the puppeteering and improv, and their live performance. Lisa steps up as leader for the task, wanting to bring back money for her charity for once. Paul takes over as leader for Unanimous. Trump says he’s not a puppeteer, but Paul says he’s going to be.
In the Forte van, Clay explains that he does know how to puppeteer from church groups. Penn says that everyone who does puppets has done them in church. Dayana volunteers to do a Latina puppet. Lisa yes yeses her, but privately considers it insulting that Dayana thinks that she can do what they as trained performers can do. But in the van, she pushes for a whole task without fighting. Clay asks, what about the Boardroom? Lisa admits that will never happen. Back in the war room, they meet with Brian Henson and Patrick Bristow. Lisa is curious about how far they can push the adult humor, and Brian clarifies that, while this is an adult show, it’s always best to ride that line, remaining classy while still pushing the edge. Lisa feels like she knows exactly how that’s done.
In the other van, Teresa suggests a puppet that looks like Arsenio and one that looks like Aubrey. Aubrey is worried that she and Arsenio are the only real creative forces left on their team, and she’s afraid to speak up because everyone will get down on her for it. So she’s considering how to make her ideas happen without being too loud about them. And she wants to win. In the war room, Paul starts to worry about the fact that his back went out. Arsenio for his part is really impressed with how Aubrey has tamed herself and become a team player. Arsenio and Teresa will be the puppets; Aubrey will serve as host, and Paul will handle the backstage organization. Patrick Bristow and Brian Henson visit and give pointers on improv – namely that risk is important.
Because of Penn’s height, it’s decided that Penn will host, while Lisa and Clay will handle the puppets. Dayana gets upset when she’s not allowed to run a puppet. She gets further upset when Clay asks Lisa to do her Spanish character and she comes out with “ay, Papi” and “ay caramba!” – the cliches – but is not actually giving Dayana a specific task to perform. She’s convinced that Lisa’s giving her nothing so that when Lisa is in the Boardroom, she can accuse Dayana of having done nothing. Dayana imitates Lisa in the Boardroom saying this, interspersed with Lisa’s emoting, crying and claims of doing everything.
Paul gets frustrated with how long Teresa takes to name her puppet, until Arsenio just calls the puppet “Fabulina” and Teresa loves it. Aubrey thinks that Teresa is making tacky choices for her puppet and thinks that Paul is being particularly lax about giving them direction. While she’s trying to control her desire to take over, realizing from the past how that can backfire, she’s worried that they’re just spinning their wheels and that Paul is just not stepping up. In rehearsal, Teresa has a particularly tough time mastering the art of making the puppet’s mouth move with every syllable spoken. Meanwhile, Aubrey studies how to host. She’s a little worried having never done it before, but, she says, “I usually impress myself” and thinks it will go fine.
Clay and Lisa practice with their puppets. Clay thinks that they’re working really well together, and though he realizes Lisa can be difficult to work with, he’s optimistic so far that things are going well. They start to master the art of keeping their puppets at a certain level for the camera, and how to improv. Dayana meanwhile has fun making the puppets, and the Henson people say she’s so good they’d hire her. Penn -also building puppets – says he has yet to receive such offers. He doesn’t trust Lisa when she says Dayana is useless. When Eric visits, Dayana is very quiet as she focuses on her puppet, almost, he thinks, “in an awkward-type way.” He thinks the tension between Lisa and Dayana might be manifesting itself, and that she might be uncomfortable being on the team.
While Aubrey is talking about how the show should run, Ivanka stops by for a visit. While Paul praises Aubrey’s creativity, Ivanka points out that Aubrey isn’t saying anything. Ivanka realizes Aubrey’s internalized the criticism that she takes over too much and hopes this doesn’t hamper Aubrey’s contribution. The improv coach works with Teresa and Arsenio to give them improv tips. First off, don’t deny, always go with someone’s idea. If someone says your clothes are ugly, agree. If someone says you’re clumsy, trip. Arsenio says that learning someone’s art in one day is impossible, and they need to practice. Teresa is nervous, and Aubrey says “you can really feel the rolling of the eyes” whenever Teresa acts. She figures it’s her and Arsenio’s job to carry the show.
Forte prepares for their presentation. Clay says that had he been leader, he would have tried integrating Dayana more into the task, but since he’s new on the team and doesn’t fully understand the dynamic, he’s holding back his opinion. Dayana has little to do the night of rehearsal and wonders what she’ll have to do the next day. She thinks Lisa is just effectively sidelining her. Clay and Lisa start playing with their puppets and Penn is impressed with Clay’s improv skills.
While Team Forte is backstage preparing for the show, Clay and Dayana try to consider ways for her to be involved in the show. Lisa, insisting there not be drama, immediately escalates into a full-on assault on Dayana, accusing her of needing to be onstage – even though Dayana had suggested nothing of the sort – and in a torrent of abuse telling her nothing she does is worth anything. Clay asks her to bring it down, worried this will affect their performance. Dayana finally breaks down in tears and leaves. She says that Lisa has no decency or respect, and it’s disappointing. Lisa for her part gets emotional and teary in the break room and accuses Clay and Penn of just sitting there and doing nothing. Clay, “blown away,” thinks Lisa might just be jealous of Dayana, because Dayana is “stunning.”
Penn admits that when people get unpleasant, as Lisa did, he tends to pull away and go silent. He tells Lisa that he’ll go and talk to Dayana. He finds Dayana outside and says that maybe it’s best if she doesn’t help offstage. Dayana says it’s not about that, it’s about everything with Lisa, every time Dayana tries to contribute it’s the same. Penn for his part chooses just to listen; “sometimes not trying to solve things is the best way to solve things.” Penn asks if she wants to come back or avoid Lisa. She says she’ll come back since they’re still working.
Forte’s performance starts. The audience is into their Icelandic skit, and even into Clay’s Genghis Khan with an English accent. (Clay admits that he was trying to do an Asian accent but it just came out English, so Lisa ran with it and made a joke out of it.) Lisa thinks Penn is great as a host, but not as good about calling “black out” when it’s time to end a skit. During the infomercial skit, Clay says that their humor tends to run a little “blue,” and he worries that they might be going too far; but the audience seems to be enjoying themselves.
It’s time for Unanimous’ performance. Aubrey gets the audience pumped up and asks for suggestions for the first skit. When Arsenio hears the recommendations for Norwegian as a language and dentistry as a profession, he admits he’s nervous. But Aubrey says he does great with it, and the audience eats up his performance. Teresa has a harder time of it, breaking the first rule of improv by cutting off the different situations the other performers were trying to introduce. But Aubrey admits that eventually Teresa won over the crowd through her sheer cluelessness. Teresa says once the performance started she wasn’t nervous and thought the audience responded well. Aubrey thinks it was a good team effort and that they “won” even if they didn’t actually win.
Eric meets with Brian Henson and Patrick Bristow to get their thoughts about both teams. Brian says he was impressed with how much they accomplished in one day. In terms of Unanimous, they both agree that Aubrey had good instincts about when to cut off a sketch. They liked Arsenio and thought he was solid comedically. Teresa, they say, was breaking the rules, using questions and denials. As for Forte, they thought Lisa did great, as they expected, and they liked Clay as well. Brian did think that during the infomercial, they hit on the sexual stuff a little too directly, and that was a step too far. As for Penn, they thought he did a good job overall, but during the Genghis Khan sketch, he should have cut it off before he did. In the end, the winner is…
In the Boardroom, Trump wastes no time asking Dayana what she thought of Lisa as a project manager. She admits “not much.” Lisa gets upset, saying that Dayana was just upset to be behind the scenes. Trump asks Lisa why she and Clay were the puppeteers, and Lisa explains she has so much experience with it; Clay has a huge adaptability to improv, and Penn was made to host, being too tall to puppeteer. Clay thinks that he and Lisa had a good rapport and worked well. Ivanka say it seems like it was the right fit. Dayana says the point wasn’t her wanting to be onstage, it was just wanting to have anything to do at all. She also just has a problem with Lisa’s level of aggression and thinks it has no place in a partnership.
When Trump asks Lisa whom she would bring back, Lisa breaks down in tears and says she might not be bringing anyone back. She says she got into comedy to make people laugh, not to make girls cry. So if they lose, she might just bring herself in. Aubrey tells her she’s staying in. But Lisa, choked up, says no. Trump says that he understands and that he thinks she’ll come across as nicer because of showing the emotion. He asks Penn if you have to be tough to be a comedian. Penn thinks it’s the opposite. You need to act tough, but bravery isn’t the absence of fear, bravery is action in the face of fear. As a comedian, you have to have your heart broken constantly.
Trump asks Paul if he thinks Unanimous did well, and Paul says yes. If he has to bring back a player, he hates to say it but he would bring back Teresa, because she occasionally takes time to make up her mind. She admits that when it came to naming her puppet, she took a while. To her, names are important. Ivanka points out that Teresa named her daughter Milania after Trump’s wife Melania. Trump asks how he can possibly fire Teresa after knowing that. Ivanka tells Trump that Paul had actually blown out his back, and Paul says that he’s had a history of back problems. Aubrey says that Paul was hampered by the back problem and wasn’t even able to life his arm over his head. But Arsenio thinks that Paul is a trooper, and though he couldn’t do anything, he was an inspiration because he stuck with it.
Eric says that Brian and Patrick thought Penn did a great job as host. They loved Lisa and Clay and were happily surprised by how assertive they were. They really liked Dayana’s puppets and thought they were simple and clean and would even use them in their own show. (Dayana points out that Penn also worked on the puppets.) The negatives: Penn missed a couple of cues, and one sketch was a little too sexual. With Unanimous, Brian and Patrick really liked Arsenio and thought Aubrey was terrific as host. In terms of negatives, they thought the show was on the safe side; the puppets were too complicated and not versatile, and Teresa had some problems with the rules of improv. Ultimately, though they liked both performances, they thought Forte won. Trump congratulates Lisa and sends Forte out of the room.
In the suite, Lisa and Forte celebrate the win for her charity, the Gay Men’s Health Crisis. She’s also glad it ended positively in general. Dayana’s happy as well, but is wary of Lisa. In the Boardroom, Trump asks Paul what he thinks of the Henson’s conclusion that their puppets were too complicated. Arsenio says he understands and that his puppet, a rocker, was too specific. Trump asks if this means he thinks he should be fired, and he says no. He gave his all, and they wouldn’t have done as well as they did without him. Teresa thinks they all made the puppets, and the final call was Paul’s. Paul thinks that Arsenio and Teresa were responsible for their own puppets. Teresa considers Paul responsible, that Aubrey, Arsenio and she carried the task, and Paul should be fired.
Paul says that he didn’t get where he is sitting on his ass, but Trump points out that they’re only talking about this task. Teresa says that Paul was just saying “bleep this!” and “bleep that!” At first, he denies it, but Trump tells Paul he can imagine him saying it, and Paul admits that maybe he did. When Ivanka says that couldn’t have been too motivating for his team, Lisa mentions how classy Ivanka is and Clay says she’s “classy, and smart as !@#$… and pretty. That makes me mad.” Back in the Boardroom, Teresa and Paul have a bit of a back and forth. Aubrey thinks that Teresa has amazing heart and she puts her utmost into a task. But she thinks that this specific task, Teresa was not in her element with the improv. But Aubrey insists that everyone has value on their team.
Trump asks Arsenio who’s more valuable going forward. Arsenio answers that he would have to know the tasks, but considers Paul incredibly smart and a brilliant engineer. Trump asks Arsenio if Paul was a leader or a follower on this task. Arsenio thinks all he could do was lead, since he couldn’t move. Trump asks Paul who WON’T be coming back into the room. Paul says Arsenio; Arsenio has both entertainment and business chops. Trump sends them all out of the room. In the suite, Lisa thinks Paul should have brought back Arsenio, since Arsenio would have had Paul’s back, and they could have fired Teresa. Now no one will be on his side. Outside the Boardroom, the three sit in tense silence.
In the Boardroom, Trump asks Eric and Ivanka what they think. Ivanka thinks Paul is a little lackluster. When the three come back in, Trump asks Aubrey why Paul brought her back in. She says she’s going to play the Dayana card and say that there is no reason for her to be back in there. The executives complimented her; she worked really hard, and she didn’t do anything that was a negative. Trump asks Paul if he’s trying to protect Arsenio, since it’s true that the executives liked what Aubrey did more than Paul. Ivanka clarifies that the execs liked Arsenio’s performance but considered the puppet ill-designed. With Teresa, they considered her weak on the improv.
Aubrey thinks that Teresa’s ideas might not be the best, but she gives her all. Teresa protests, but Ivanka thinks this is a compliment “in a weird way.” Trump isn’t so sure. Aubrey says she would fire Paul. Teresa, she says, tried her best at something she wasn’t great at, but Paul wasn’t particularly passionate about leading on the task. Paul agrees with Trump that the firing comes down to a choice between him and Teresa. Trump asks Paul if it wasn’t his responsibility to sign off on everything on the task, and Paul agrees. Trump also points out that Paul should have brought Arsenio back, since Arsenio had at least somewhat more to do with their loss than Aubrey. “Paul,” Trump says, “you’re fired.” In the lobby, the ladies send him off with hugs, telling him he’s a class act. He leaves, all smiles.