The eighteen new candidates of the hit reality series meet their fierce, hand-picked competition and discover their teammates at the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey. The rigorous job interview begins with a bang as the new corporations, split on gender lines - Team Excel made up of all men and Capital Edge made up of all women, deal with the billion-dollar fitness business by creating a new class at Bally's Total Fitness Centers. Melissa clashes with the other women, one team's marketing scheme angers Carolyn, and Markus is insulted as Project Manager. Still, Excel is able to just barely squeak by with a win, giving them the prize of dinner with the Donald, but Markus is not granted the usual exemption for being the winning Project Manager because his team does not vote for him to receive the privillege. Capital Edge is sent to the boardroom, where, in an Apprentice first, PM Kristi chooses to bring back only one person, Melissa, who is fired for having a negative tone throughout the task.
Markus struggles to fit into his team and Marshawn faces criticism from some of her corporation members when she steps up to lead a task involving advertising for Lamborghini's. Excel Corporation's adoration for their advertisements clouds their vision to see some apparent faults, but with the help of Kristi, Alla, and Jennifer, the women of Capital Edge pull off an upset win, earning the opportunity to skate on the ice with a hockey team. Once there, Rebecca falls on the ice, and her future is uncertain with a serious ankle injury. In the boardroom, Excel Project Manager Chris takes a page from Kristi's book and chooses to bring in only one person, Markus, with him into the final boardroom. Trump, Carolyn, and George see this as a fatal mistake, and Chris is deservedly fired for it.
The teams take on the task of hosting a technology convention for senior citizens at a retirement home using items from Best Buy. Rebecca finds out her ankle is actually broken and thus is determined to prove she is still useful on the team. To show the other women, she decides to become Project Manager, but the task goes horribly wrong for her and for her team, Capital Edge. Rebecca refuses to bring Toral, who may have been the team's downfall, into the boardroom because of a friendship, and although Trump leans towards firing Rebecca, he eventually chooses to fire Jennifer W. for mismanaging the event.
The contestants work on creating a new promotional character for an ice cream drink. Capital Edge creates "Zip," while Excel creates "Ginny The Genie." Mark volunteers to wear the costume while everyone laughs at seeing him wear it. At Capital Edge, since Toral does not contribute anything, the team asks her to wear the costume, but she makes an excuse that she would be embarrassing her family. Excel wins again, sending Capital Edge to the boardroom, where Toral was fired for her ineffectiveness.
Excel and Capital Edge design a float for the Hollywood Holiday Parade to advertise the upcoming release of Zathura, Sony Picture's new science-fiction adventure movie. Capital Edge runs into leadership challenges when Jennifer has troubles keeping spitfire Kristi under control. Meanwhile, Excel overcomes the obstacles created by Markus, who won't pull his weight, and scores another victory. They are rewarded by spending time in the studio creating a new CD with rapper Wyclef Jean. Capital Edge again returns to the boardroom, Trump must determine if poor people skills or poor project management skills are more detrimental to team success, and when he finally makes his decision, he goes with the former and fires Kristi.
With the Donald away on business in Los Angeles, Carolyn fills in for him while Bill takes the place of the also-gone George. Due to Capital Edge's ineffectiveness, Carolyn orders a corporate restructuring, telling the Project Manager on each team to pick three of their current teammates who have contributed the least to be moved over to the other team. Thus, the teams are shaken up, and Capital Edge Project Manager Alla is left with Felisha, Adam, Markus, Randal, and Clay, while Excel team leader Josh is forced to lead Jennifer M, Rebecca, Mark, James, Brian, and Marshawn. The teams are then given the responsibiity of designing a display and event for Dick's sporting goods to move merchandise in a specific product category. Capital Edge picks golf and Excel selects baseball, but when the events begin, Excel forgets that their primary focus is supposed to be on sales, not event planning. The result? The biggest loss in the history of The Apprentice. When it comes time for the boardroom, Trump is so dissapointed with Excel that he fires four team members who contributed next to nothing to selling items, Josh, Jennifer M., James, and Mark.
The candidates venture back into their high school years in order to achieve success at the latest assignment. Derogatory comments hamper one team's progress, and another player is fired in the boardroom.
The players undertake one of the coolest tasks ever on The Apprentice - the marketing of the DVD for the latest installment in the movie franchise Star Wars using posters. Excel hits trouble when they miss their meeting with high-power executives due to a judgement error from Project Manager Brian. Later, Marshawn bails out on her team when she backs out of doing the presentation, forcing Rebecca to make up for her slack in under an hour. Although Rebecca pulls through with an understandably mediocre presentation, Excel loses the task and are sent to the boardroom, where they square off with each other in a figurative lightsaber battle. Because of their mistakes, a disappointed Trump fires both Brian and Marshawn.
The hopeful apprentices write and produce an original song to be performed on XM satellite radio, live. Capital Edge works well together as a team and finds an artist with a song that truly embodies the cafe feeling that the XM executives are looking for, while Excel Corporation struggles with Clay, who distracts the team from its objective, finding a great alternative rock song. In the end, Capital Edge dominates and is rewarded with a helicopter ride around New York City, accompanied by Donald Trump. Excel, however, is sent to the boardroom, where all three teammates are interrogated about what they personally did wrong on the task. Ultimately, Trump is forced to rely on the candidates' histories, deciding to keep Randal and Rebecca based on their former success, while firing Clay, who has caused one too many arguments.
Clips of Season Four are shown.
When the players are given a high-stakes reward and a tough task, to get as many New Yorkers to call a 1-800 number in order to receive a free sample of Shania Twain's new fragrance, the competitiors get nasty, with Excel's two-man team sabotaging Capital Edge's Alla, Adam, and Felisha by buying their already-held megaphones. During the task, the teams devise very similar strategies to sell, hiring laborers to inform the city of New York about Shania's perfume by "wrapping" them in promotional posters, and the results come out very close. In fact, the megaphones may have made the difference between a win and a loss, seeing as how Excel only beats Capital Edge by five phone calls. While Rebecca and Randal enjoy a horseback ride and dinner with Shania Twain herself, the others face off in the boardroom, where Carolyn clearly voices her opinions about Felisha and Adam, naming them as the weakest left standing. Trump sends Project Manager Alla back up to the suite (an Apprentice first) and eventually fires Adam for wasting much of the budget on an ill-conceived idea.
The final four are given the assignment to create a 30-second advertisement for a new Microsoft Office program, and while Rebecca and Randal work cohesively together, former friends Alla and Felisha begin to create a rift when Alla fails to recognize Project Manager Felisha's authority as team leader. During the team's presentations, the Microsoft executives are pleased with Excel's actors (Randal and Rebecca themselves) and the commercial's storyline approach. However, they are less than thrilled with Capital Edge's ad, which uses too much text and becomes confusing and hard-to-look-at. By a longshot, Excel wins the task and is rewarded with visits from loved ones on a boat. Meanwhile, Felisha breaks down in the boardroom after being trampled on by Alla, and Trump fires both women for two opposite reasons - Felisha for being too nice for New York, and Alla for being not nice enough.
Trump greets Randal and Rebecca up at their suite, and gives them instructions to have breakfast with George and Carolyn at a nice restaurant. There, the two battle it out when they pick employees for the final tasks, and after some compromises, Rebecca chooses Toral, Chris, and James, and Randal picks Mark, Marshawn, and Josh. Later, Trump introduces the new "bosses" to their jobs: for Randal - host a celebrity baseball game sponsored by Outback Steakhouse for the Autism Speaks charity; for Rebecca - plan a comedy night sponsored by Yahoo for the Elisabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation. Both are given unwanted surprises when bad weather looms for Randal and Rebecca's MC cancels on her. How will the players cope with these setbacks? And who will be The Apprentice? Find out Thursday, December 15th!
The final tasks continue, with Rebecca recovering from her emcee quitting on her by hiring Pete Dominic, a comedian from the New York area. Randal, meanwhile, is forced to move his event indoors and call off the baseball game, replacing it with a celebrity auction, putting several items up for bid. Later in the boardroom, Rebecca receives criticism for not directly asking audience members of her comedy show to make donations to her charity, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, but Rebecca support her decision, saying that it is what the Yahoo executives specifically asked for. Rebecca, however, is praised for her excellent event plans, with excellent Yahoo and Elizabeth Glaser signage throughout the room. Randal gets some flak for his poorly-run event, for not checking the weather forecast, and for not having a Plan "B," but is rewarded for raising awareness for the Autism Speaks chairty and raising ,000. With the final tasks over, Rebecca and Randal discuss their journey on the show, and prepare for the live finale.
In the conclusion, Trump is faced with the incredibly difficult decision with who to hire and who to fire since both Randal and Rebecca are stars in their own right. In the live final boardroom, Rebecca asserts her examples of leadership and why she deserves to win, but Randal's proclamations that a 1-2 record (Rebecca's) is far worse than a 3-0 record (Randal's) seem to be heard more than what Rebecca has to say, as the Donald considers his options and chooses Randal as the better of the two for his great education, outstanding leadership, and incredible likeability. After the hiring, Trump asks his new employee for advice, in front of everyone: should he hire Rebecca as well? Randal shoots that idea down with a shotgun, saying that he was picked as The Apprentice, and that there shouldn't be "Apprentii." The audience, including rebecca are dismayed but Trumph agrees with his new employee.