Top Chef Recap, Episode 9: "Seven."
In the second or third most gruesome episode so far Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, and guest judge Ted Allen are forced to hunt down a serial killer who is murdering the remaining chefs in ways that invoke the Seven Deadly Sins while also promoting Kenmore and Toyota products. Whose severed head will be delivered in a box? You'll have to wait and see!
As if all the murders weren't enough, we start the episode by being forced to watch Elia being literally reborn. She's crying and covered in blood. Oh, and there's the placenta. Didn't need to see that! Well, the point is, after nearly being eliminated in the last challenge, she is vowing to take advantage of this second chance and really do her best.
We then see Michael, who represents both Sloth and Gluttony, creating a major dilemma for the killer. I didn't say anything in my last post (not because I'm too polite but simply because I forgot) but in interview segments in the episode before Christmas he really looked amazingly revolting. The image that comes to mind is the late Kenneth McMillan's portrayal of the Baron Vladimir Harkonnen in David Lynch's 1984 film Dune (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:McMillan_as_Harkonnen.jpg). Anyway, it turns out the poor guy had a very good reason for looking so crappy: he just had a wisdom tooth removed. They should have warned us about that before we had to look at him.
For the Quickfire Padma informs us that cooking is the only art form to use four of the five senses:
Padma: "Yeah, it uses space, time, and something called quarks."
Oh, so close.
The chefs have to make a dish based on a color. Michael wins with his salmon dish that magically turned from pink to orange when he cooked it. He also gets extra credit for cooking under the influence of medication, as though this weren't always the case. Good job! He doesn't win immunity.
What he does win is the completely worthless opportunity to switch his assigned theme for the next challenge with another chef. For the elimination challenge the chefs have to create dishes based on the Seven Deadly Sins for a dinner party at Debi Mazar's house. Michael, who drew the best sin, Lust, stupidly trades it for Marcel's possibly worst sin, Envy. Sam picks Anger, Betty picks Sloth, Elia picks Pride, Cliff picks Greed, and Ilan picks Gluttony. So, they get to Debi Mazar's house. Let the mayhem begin!
Padma arrives looking absolutely gorgeous in an elegant red dress. That's right, she looks fantastic! There; I said it and I'm glad! The killer immediately cuts off her nose and makes her commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills. Now that's just tragic. Well, at least she finally looked decent when she died. Ted Allen realizes she was killed for the sin of pride and that this is just the beginning but there is nothing he can do to stop the killing! He's distraught but decides not to let it keep him from enjoying his meal.
Sam makes a really good ceviche. Everyone likes it. Sam suddenly starts screaming at Marcel. Ted Allen, realizing that Sam is representing the sin of anger and knowing that the killer's plan is to have Sam kill Marcel knows there is only one thing he can do: he kills Sam with his own hands.
Betty makes some really crappy slooow-rooousted sooooop, which she says really slowly in order to represent sloth. She loses. She is strapped into a Toyota Rav4 and driven around Los Angeles until she dies from an overdose of "driving excitement" and environmental awareness.
Michael wanted to make a dish with a fake crab being envious of a real crab. I'm serious; that was the plan for his dish. But the store was out of crab so he made a dish with a trout being envious of a salmon. As stupid as that sounds, everyone likes his dish and he wins! He is then forced at gunpoint to eat all the rest of the food in the Kenmore kitchen pantry until his internal organs explode. You may have to cover your eyes at this point.
Cliff serves a really ridiculous "greedy seafood" dish and is killed with a Kenmore food processor.
Elia makes a "proud chicken" and is allowed to live.
Marcel, who has never had sex, tries to represent lust with a cherry desert but just can't, due to his lack of sex. Both Debi Mazar and Ilan helpfully point out that Marcel just needs to have sex. Some woman from The Sopranos tries to have sex with him but Marcel just doesn't know what he's doing. Because he's never had sex before. He's killed with a codpiece attached to one of his own beloved knives.
Ilan makes a disgusting desert that is supposed to represent gluttony. He blames Elia. He is also so jealous that he makes a snide comment to all the guests about Marcel's dish:
Ilan: "You know, cherries are actually not lustful at all but Marcel wouldn't know that because he's never had sex."
Wow. What a dick. Tom Colicchio saves some time and just kills Ilan himself.
Debi Mazar's head is delivered via UPS but the driver doesn't leave the box because there is no one left to sign for it.
Ted Allen solves the mystery. The killer is last season's Tiffany. He then has a cappuccino and goes home.