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They each cook a sample menu for Gordon to taste, and right at the deadline, Clemenza burns the crostini, stinking up the kitchen. He’s allegedly Italian, so this crostini ruining business should never have happened. Of course, we’ve been watching this show all season, and we all know what happens when Clemenza messes up—he starts to unravel. Sure enough, you can see the sweat beads forming.
Gordon thinks one of Justin’s dishes is too salty, and another one has a snotty texture, but he likes the ribeye and tells him to stop trying to be clever and focus on the dishes. Justin tweaks his menu and tells us he’s going to win. Gordon likes Christina’s food and suggests a couple improvements with the servings and presentations. They all get final approval, and they gather for the pep talks. Christina emphasizes that she needs all of them to give their all, work as a team, and ask her if they have questions. Justin talks a lot about how this is a big night for him and he needs them to do what they do. Bad idea, Justin—have you seen your team? Much of what they know how to do involves perspiring, cracking jokes, and ruining everything on which they lay their hands. James opens the door, and Hell’s Kitchen’s 140th service begins.
Right away, there’s a hitch in Justin’s kitchen, and guess who’s behind it? Clemenza has about a ten second lag on his response time, I guess because his brain is hooked to a dial-up modem (“A what?” –All readers under age 30). As per usual, he seems like he has a time delay on his life. Christina reminds Robyn to be honest when calling her times, and Robyn gets cranky.
Meanwhile, Royce is repeatedly ruining the crabcakes, first serving them cold in the middle, then all nasty and dried out. Justin is starting to realize the error of his team-picking strategy.
Royce says being reprimanded isn’t helping. Nothing will, Royce. Royce finally cranks out something edible and acts like he’s the man. Rolls Royce my ass.
Christina is yelling at Dana about scallops, which she sent up burnt on one side. Then Robyn’s risotto gets rejected, and she blames it on Dana. If Dana hadn’t taken too long with the scallops, Robyn’s risotto wouldn’t have had to sit there and get all runny. At least her behavior is consistent, even if her food isn’t. They redo that order and conclude their appetizer service.
Meanwhile, Clemenza is predictably falling apart, stress and bitterness cascading to the tiles around him in a trail of perspiration. He sends up some RAWR salmon, bringing Justin to the verge of an aneurysm. Even Gordon yells at Clemenza to get his shit together and stop acting like a saboteur. Clemenza admits to us he’s having trouble taking a backseat to and taking orders from Justin. Well, since your performance in the kitchen all season has been as fraught with screw-ups as your performance in the current service, is it any wonder he made the top two and you didn’t? Stop acting like people should be applauding your mistakes, dude.