" — two years in a row they've managed to work out a final pairing that has good battling evil, right battling wrong, darkness battling light. Last year, the bad guy, Piers Morgan, wiped the floor with the good guy, Trace Adkins. Would the Dark Side, this year in the form of Annie Duke, strangle the good, represented by Joan Rivers? Or, would Rivers be able to work some sort of Jedi mind trick on The Donald, convincing him that she was the stronger candidate?

My allegiances have been clear for a long time — I went with Piers and the Dark Side last year, and while I know that it's supposed to now forever dominate my destiny, I couldn't go with Annie this time out. A lot of people didn't like Piers, but to me he always seemed like a leader and an upfront person, Annie doesn't seem like either.

The teams for this task shaped up like this — Brande, Dennis, Tom went with Annie, whereas Joan got Herschel, Clint, and Melissa. Brande and Melissa were no big surprise, but Annie choosing Dennis and Tom seemed awfully risky. Okay, she was never going to take Melissa, but putting Tom and Dennis on the same team again was a recipe for disaster. Annie never actually got to see those two together from the inside, so I'm not sure she realized what she was getting into, but she should have.

On Joan's side, Clint didn't really look like he wanted to be a part of the task, which was something of an issue and I was surprised that Joan didn't rip into Clint for it. However, neither Tom nor Dennis was interested in doing anything for Annie… mostly because Annie was Annie and not interested in handing any responsibility to them and by the time she did, Tom wasn't horribly interested in working for her anymore.

Trump told us that the final criteria for selecting the winner wasn't going to be solely money raised, there was a VIP Party, a picture frame that had to have pretty pictures in it, and Cirque du Soleil tickets that had to be sold (at face value). Unless the cash numbers were close, there was just no way that all of that was going to matter. So, if Annie was going to be as a good a fundraiser for this task as she had been all season, Joan didn't stand much of a chance.

Perhaps the most awesome thing that happened during the episode was Joan and her party planner not getting along. Joan simply didn't like what he was trying to do with the party space, and I have to say that to me it sounded like she was right. His ideas sounded boring — I have no idea what Joan envisioned, but I can't fault her for not liking this guy's plans. He ended up quitting and the whole design firm pulled out — including the lady doing Annie's side.

Annie blamed Joan's lack of tact for the whole thing. What?!? Pot, meet kettle. However, I'm not even sure it's true — from what we saw Joan expressed concern with what she was getting from the designer and he got huffy and quit. Plus, why was Annie so pissed at Joan? It's not like Joan only got Annie's designer to disappear, they both left. Moreover, what happened to that poker-face Annie had been calmly exhibiting? Joan clearly rattled Annie and I felt great about that — if Annie can get rattled she can fall to pieces.

I'm not sure if Joan was rattled, but she was definitely acting weird — I'm relatively convinced that the point of a VIP party isn't to have VIP impersonators, but that's the way Joan went. It was funny to see all the celebrity impersonators, but I don't think they were allowed to bid with fake money which was a problem, at least she had some real celebs too. As for Joan's claiming in the boardroom that Annie had "mafia money," Joan was out of line there.

In the end, Joan raised $150,000 and change, Annie pulled down far more, over $465,000. How could Trump ever select Joan as the winner? How? Joan apparently won on three of the five other criteria during the last task, but the money, it just had to come down to the money — whether or not it came from Tony Soprano.

Never discount the Jedi mind trick… never. I didn't see Joan do the Ben Kenobi wave of the hand, but she must have. In the waning moments of the finale Trump fired Annie, declared Joan the victor, and paved the way for peace in the galaxy.

Score one for the good guys (and I loved how Annie totally thought Trump hired her at first)!

Bits and pieces:

  • I don't have a problem with Jim Cramer, but his little analysis of the candidates was horrible and cheesy in a bad way — wasn't it?
  • Herschel having all the Cirque du Soleil tickets bought by one person so they could give them away to folks on the street for free — genius! Pure genius!
  • Best moment of the night — Jesse and Dennis on the live show, it's just too bad Trump cut that short.

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews – you're not my father!

Posted by:Josh Lasser