Previously on Top Chef: The chefs were tortured for the second time this season by being made to stay up all night on the theory that barbecue can only be accomplished if the food's preparers are seeing double by the time it's served. Sarah wound up going to the hospital suffering from heat exhaustion at one point and nearly went home. And, in the end, Chris The Pretty was sent packing for having misused a sugary soda drink and making an "inedible" sauce.
Hey all. You know how each season's Restaurant Wars episode is supposed to be the most anticipated episode each season? Well, around this household the opposite is true. Mostly because it always ends up with one (or sometimes, two) teams screwing things up royally since, oh, I don't know, because it's insane to suggest anyone can realistically take a restaurant from concept to execution in five hours and deliver great service and great food. We are always treated to Padma and Tom complaining about not being greeted or served and most every time we lose a pretty decent chef before his or her time.
And for some reason, Tom seems proud of this fact.
So, not only do we not get any later-that-evening footage of people moaning that they're down one more chef, nor do we get shots of the chefs in various states of undress the next morning, but this time we don't even get a Quickfire Challenge.
Nope, this week, the chefs walk right into an empty space where Grayson properly guesses that it's time for the Restaurant Wars ...
It's a very cutting edge concept.
Hence, we have Ty-Lör, Paul, Edward and "Chef Phil McCracken" (aka Chris) facing off against Beverly, Sarah, Lindsay and Grayson, Queen Of "Awesome."
What this means is that the forced storyline of Edward The Dickish vs. Sarah The SuperTexan will have to take a back seat this week while we develop "whole. new. rivalries," or so promised the Bravo production squad.
So, within seconds of the challenge being announced, we jump right into said new rivalry. And we discover that now that HeatherHag's gone, her bestie, Sarah has absorbed her douchey energy and is going full-bore at Beverly. Even accounting for the new villain edit, it's pretty clear that, once again, Beverly is making attempts to put forth her ideas for her contribution to a team challenge and Sarah and Lindsey are shooting them down one by one.
At one point, Bev, perhaps a mite passive-agressively, complains that she has to do something, and Sarah turns on the charm. And by "charm" we mean she starts speaking to Beverly like she was a slow third-grader having trouble understanding what the time-out corner means.
It lasts all episode.
Meanwhile, the annual Top Chef Restaurant Wars Goofus vs. Gallant hijinks ensue.
The men are seen convivially collaborating to deliver a great experience with their restaurant, curiously named Canteen. And the women are seen bickering with each other (read: telling Beverly to finish all her veggies or she won't get to stay up and watch iCarly). Oh, and their restaurant will be called Half Bushel because that's what's Lindsey wants and you'll like it, missie!
They shop and Edward manages to get a few nasty digs in at the women in interviews. Finally, it's night one and the men, having lost the coin flip, will be serving first. Edward, who has experience running restaurants for collections of blurry-faced patrons before, will be handling the front-of-house duties.
The patrons arrive and the judges follow close behind. At first, service seems to be going well. But we quickly see that the provided servers (who all are conveniently incompetent for your amusement) start a domino effect of crisis in the kitchen. First, Ty-Lör jumps out from the kitchen to expedite. Later, Paul does the same.
The judges, of course, see this all and are generally pleased with themselves that they've managed to "throw them in the deep end," meaning "effectively set them up to fail so perfectly." Oh, and the food's just fair, if the judges' table-side comments are to be believed.
As part of this "battle of the sexes" twist, this time the opposing team gets to experience their competitors' restaurant as patrons. In this case, we simply learn that when she's not in uniform, Our Dear Grayson is, shall we say "sartorially challenged"?
Once that's over, they all head back to Casa Cuisine (Austin Branch) and the men bemoan how badly they did and hope that the women screw up even worse.
The next night it's the women's team, and Sarah is in rare form. She whines about Beverly and ShrimpGate (again, channeling The Hag) and even tosses a few snide comments Grayson's way for kicks.
Lindsey, meanwhile, will be running the front of the house in her best beige schmata. And, since she won't be able to prepare her own fish dish, she'll (reluctantly) have to have that awful Beverly do it for her on account of Beverly being a total goldbrick and only doing one dish ... as if she can be trusted to even do that right.
Lindsey's thought bubble: Honestly, why didn't we give that one up for adoption again, Sarah? I forget.
Beverly tells us that the way Lindsey wants her fish prepared isn't the way she'd do it, but, since it's not her dish she'll do her best to follow Lindsey's perfect instructions with the few brain cells she has.
Come time for service, we see the usual service crisis footage with Tom and Padma having to cool their heels while Lindsey is back in the kitchen preparing a dunce cap and stool for Beverly. Eventually, Linds arrives and lazily points the judges at their table before disappearing again to go back into the kitchen to help Sarah smack Beverly's knuckles with a ruler.
Service concludes and it's time for the long knives. Anticipating being on the losing end of things, Sarah and Lindsey continue their Mean Girls bit and go so far as to try to take credit for Beverly's dish (which was a hit), since everyone knows that Beverly couldn't find her mouth with a spoon without their help.
Finally, Beverly does manage to fight back for once, calmly pointing out that she came up with each of the dish's elements on her own, thank you very much.
And, as luck (and the Bravo Magical Elves) would have it, once at ...
This, naturally, galls Sarah and Lindsey soooo much that, once back in the kitchen, Sarah suggests that they all bow down and kiss Linsey's feet for actually having been responsible for the win. (If I have to concoct a way that that makes a lick of sense, I can only imagine that she was suggesting that Lindsey deserves credit for, unlike the men's team, having had the foresight to hide the kitchen from the judges' view so they couldn't see the raging bitchfest that was happening back there.)
So, then it's time for the men to take their lumps.
Chef Seymour Butz (aka Chris) gets it for not having done more than make one dish, one which got mixed reviews. The rest get slammed for less-than-stellar food and for the visible crisis in the kitchen. But, in the end, it's My Ty who get's kicked to the curb.
I haz the sadz.
And this is where The Big Whaaaaa? happens. It seems that not only does Nyesha have a justified grudge against The Gorgon Heather for how she acted, but she is also harboring a serious resentment of Ty-Lör for some unknown reason. (We see a clip of him having said some random thing much, much earlier, but not only does it seem mild, it's not even clear if it's directed at her.)
The two will have to make a dessert and will have to pick from The Peanut Gallery for a sous chef who will either help them or conceptualize the dish for them, depending whom they pick.
Here is where Nyesha proves herself a serious reality show competitor. See, she doesn't just want to win by picking the best colleague. She wants to make it hard for Ty-Lör. Hence, she picks Hag because, not only is she a pastry chef, she's Ty-Lör's friend and Nyesha knew he would have picked her first, if he had had the chance.
Ty is flummoxed by this but soldiers on, picking Pretty Chris as his helper.
The guys work on Ty's dessert idea while Heather all but takes over entirely for Nyesha and conceptualizes the entire dish. Nyesha helps Heather ably.
When Tom finishes tasting both dishes, he admits that they were both pretty amazing. But the winner will be ... Nysesha who is one step closer to being eliminated by another chef just shy of returning to the competition. And won't that make for dramatic Internet-only television?
Next time on Top Chef: Charlize Theron wants to eat a still-beating heart. Or at least, I think that's what she said.