Have you ever seen a grown man shamed into head-hanging over the internal temperature of a strip of dead cow? Welcome to Part Two of the Hell’s Kitchen season premiere! Medusa broke Monday’s episode down for us, but in case you missed it, I should probably inform you that we started with 18 contestants and were left with 16 by the end of the hour, and I developed a healthy hatred right off the bat for that nasty, loudmouth who calls herself Elise. Also, I know I’m probably alone in this, but Young Tommy brings to mind an underage, low-rent Jake Gyllenhaal. Doesn’t he? Anyone? Yeah, mine is probably the only eye beholding that particular sight. Moving on.
We kick off the second episode with the all-male Blue Team lamenting their enormous failure of an opening night. Everyone is pissed at each other, especially Brendan and Paul, and they all go to bed nursing bruised egos. Gordon, being the awesome bitch he is, brings some amps, electric guitars, and a couple of enthusiastic young rockers into the living room to serve as a wake-up call. Since it was apropos to absolutely nothing else in the episode, I’m going to assume it was just a mean little garnish to add to the contestants’ plate full of disgruntlement. Love it. Unfortunately for Tommy, he is denied a chance to rock out, and instead is forced outside with everyone else to stand around in the yard in his underthings . Since it’s never too early for gawkin’ at some ladybits, Jonathon wastes no time scoping out the pj-clad Red Team.
Whatever pitches that tent, dude.
Guess which is which?
Gordon says that the contestants need to return to the basics in order to prove themselves, specifically they must show him they possess a mastery of meat temperatures. I guess if you’re going to run a steakhouse, you do sort of need this particular skill set, but what the hell do I know. Each team has 20 minutes to grill to perfection a medium-rare New York strip steak, a medium ribeye, a medium-well filet, and a well done burger. Sounds simple, right? Maybe not. They split into pairs, and for some reason Elise and Carrie are together. Since they spent most of the premiere episode acting openly hostile toward each other, I’m going to assume production paired them up for the inherent drama. Sure enough, Elise starts with the bitchy attitude right off the bat. She gripes, barks orders, and physically shoves Carrie out of the way so she can monopolize the grill, and Carrie sort of just takes it. This is why women have the reputation of being both bitches and pushovers.
Guess which is which?
Speaking of sexism, Jonathon and Brendan are tending their beef, fantasizing about beer, and rattling on about how the Y chromosome dominates the grill. Brendan credits caveman ancestry, and since these guys mostly appear to be only a few generations removed from actual cavemen, I’ll go ahead and let him have that. The pairs commence to work their meat, and Will, who didn’t have a partner, finishes way ahead of everybody else.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, readers: you’re on the edge of your seat, literally dying to know how these God-blessed steaks turned out! Have no fear, for I have recorded the results in great detail and will present them without additional bullshit fanfare. Amanda and Krupa pulled off four perfect cuts, while Brendan and Jonathon, the caveman grill masters themselves, failed at the NY strip and presented a burger so aesthetically FUBAR that Gordon refuses to even inspect it. He just informs them it looks like a “joke turd,” then tosses it aside and tells them to piss off. How the other contestants are able to not just collapse in a giggling heap I’ll never know, because I’d have been dying.
A girl after my own dark heart.
Next up are Carrie and Elise, who went right ahead and reinforced the “women can’t grill” stereotype by cooking exactly one of their four pieces of meat correctly. They blame each other, of course; Carrie says Elise cooked all the meat (and badly), and Elise says Carrie annoyed her, causing her to ruin everything. Then the bell rang and it was time for juice boxes and a nap. Seriously, are they done with the playground drama, or will it just escalate from here on out (please escalate)?
Chino and Tommy-Jake nail three out of four, as do Jamie and Natalie, while Paul and Monterray are split 50/50. Then the tension mounts, as the Red Team realizes that if the trio of Jennifer, Gina, and Elizabeth pull a perfect score, they’ll have the points to lock in the challenge win! Unfortunately, they only two pieces were done well (har har), giving Will the chance to win by a single point if his grill technique is as perfect as he claims. Long, unnecessarily suspenseful story short, it is, and the men win. Even though Will alone knew how to cook all four cuts, the rest of them celebrate like it was a warm and fuzzy team victory.
Don’t be too quick to pat yourself on the back there, Mr. Joke Turd.
Gordon agrees with the Red Team that Carrie and Elise screwed the women for the win, and he looks almost gleeful as he orders them to polish those grills to a sparkling finish while the men waddle off to ready themselves for their private jet trip to Palm Springs. Wait, what?? That’s what the men get for winning the paltry morning challenge?? Goddamn, I need to get my ass on that show. I’ll grill some meat but good, Gordy, just you wait.
Once they’re gone, Krupa (whose team was the only one other than Will to turn out a perfect score) lets out a string of fuck-words, and Elise immediately starts blaming Carrie for getting on her nerves and making her ruin the meat. It must be Carrie in particular who rubs her wrong, Elise claims, because she’s the type of person who “get(s) along with everybody.” Ah, I see how it is. Let’s speculate for a moment, shall we? Cash money says she’s one of those people who gets to act like a raving, psychotic, lunatic bitch whenever she wants, and she’s never been called out on it because none of her friends, relatives, or co-workers want to inherit the shitstorm that would surely follow such a confrontation. It’s easier to let her get away with it, so they grin and bear it, and she misinterprets their tolerance as a sign that she’s super popular and magnanimous. I may or may not know people just like that *shifty eyes*. In any case, either she’s lying or the cameras are, because I haven’t seen her getting along with ANYBODY, much less everybody. Anyway, Natalie confirms this, by informing us that Elise has done nothing but bring the whole team down with her rotten attitude, but of course she says it to the confessional camera and not to Elise, because yeah, shitstorm.
But she seems so sweet!
On the plane to Palm Springs, tough guy Paul gets woozy, but before that comes to anything, they land and take a cable car up a mountain, then proceed to lunch with Gordon and toast the grill-scrubbin’ ladies.
Back in LA, Chef Andi informs the women that their grill work won’t be going to waste, then proceeds to turn the cuts of meat into tall, frosty milkshakes. Um, ew? I think? I don’t know, maybe it’s just that I haven’t eaten lunch yet, but a steak flavored shake doesn’t sound like the worst thing ever. The texture would probably be enough to gag a bitch, but I’ll bet it’s not too tough on the taste buds. I’ll bet they’ve served up worse on Fear Factor. Yeah, I need to go make a sandwich or something.
Anyway, everyone is heaving except Carrie, who chugs hers like there’s a prize at the bottom, and Elise takes the joke where I was headed anyway, exclaiming that Carrie must have had plenty of meat in her mouth to be so comfortable with the shake. Hm. It was funnier in my head, I guess, because Elise just makes it sound mean and far too easy, ruining a perfectly good cock-chugging joke with her attitude. Chalk up another reason for me to dislike her.
OK, so the phrase “cock-chugging” in tandem with this image has sort of curbed my appetite, thanks.
While the ladies puke into garbage cans and dab at their pureed meat mustaches with elegant linen napkins, the men attempt to hollow out a nest in Gordon Ramsay’s duodenum. We learn that Monterray has a wife and six kids, and Will reveals he’s trying to “step up the family name,” by succeeding on a level above the previous generation (who I guess we can assume never made it beyond the Hardee’s prep station). He remarks that it’s nice to spend time with Gordon and see him as a normal human being, which sounds sweet, except we know it’s likely a ploy by Gordon to get the men all relaxed and off guard. That way it’ll smart all the more later on, when he flies, howling, up their collective asshole because someone placed two sprigs of parsley to the left of a pork tenderloin, when there should only be one sprig, and that placed to the right.
Brendan then goes on an overshare rampage about his family of overachievers, droning on at such length that his speech become a literal montage. The other guys start glancing at each other, and by the time Brendan’s done stroking himself, it’s a miracle there’s an open eye at the entire table. No one likes a blowhard, Brendan–didn’t your family of genius astrophysicists ever mention that?
"Then they taught me to play Patty-Cake!"
Back in Hell’s Kitchen, an entire cow carcass arrives on the loading dock, and the ladies are tasked with hauling that shit inside, which can’t be sanitary for them or the cow. I mean, come on: would you eat a steak that’s been draped over Jennifer’s rank, sweaty-ass shoulder? Even she calls it a clusterfuck, and speaking of nasty, unsanitary conditions, what in blue hell are Jamie’s shoes doing up on the work area?? She’s literally kneeling on the cutting surface as the team takes a hacksaw to the poor carcass, who’s probably hiding its mangled face in shame. Gordon would shit a pile of kittens if he walked in on this.
Let's MOOOOOVE this thing!
Later, they make use of their time by prepping the food for dinner service and quizzing each other about the menu and recipes. As much as losing sucked, it’s given them an advantage over the Blue Team, the members of which have done nothing but sit and drink and shoot the shit all the livelong day. The studious attitude continues after the men return, for everyone except Carrie, who inexplicably chooses to flirt with Brendan, then drags him to her bedroom to help her burn off calories. Ewwwwww. Really, Carrie, him? Not that any of those dudes are ready to strut the Hugo Boss runway, but if I had my pick, Brendan would be toward the bottom of the list based on personality alone, without sex appeal even being a factor.
I guess some ladies enjoy the scent of douche.
The next day, while everyone preps their kitchens, Jonathon informs us that the wolf pack is bringing its “aye gayme,” and we’re treated to a howl that makes all the inbred wolves of True Blood and Twilight combined hang their furry heads in shame. Oh Tennessee, the fodder you do provide. Please keep on keepin’ on, and say you’ll never leave me.
Meanwhile, Elise appoints herself taskmaster of the Red kitchen and starts barking orders, which goes over surprisingly well for the time being. They seem to have it together as a group, but we’ll see how it goes once the customers arrive.
That night, Gordon announces that they’ll be serving all Caesar salad and prime rib orders tableside. He puts Krupa and Monterray on rib detail and assigns Will and Carrie to deal with the salad carts. Dinner service begins, and Jennifer fucks up the brisket salad right out of the gate, while Chino earns the first reaming of the night for burning two batches of risotto in a row. Gordon threatens to drag him out of the kitchen himself if he overheats so much as a single grain of the next batch, and am I mean for wanting to see that happen?
Note to Chino: “teardrop” is not an acceptable flavor in the world of risotto.
On the Red side, they’ve gotten it together and food is actually being approved to leave the kitchen, but of course the girl with the easiest job is finding a way to bung things up. Carrie can’t seem to keep straight the dining room layout, and keeps bringing salad service to the wrong tables, so Gordon has to send Krupa out to pick up the slack. Chino, having had the fear of god injected into his quaking heart, manages to avoid screwing the risotto pooch a third time, and food starts leaving the blue kitchen, but then Brendan jumps the gun and starts cooking the fish course before Gordon tells him to. Doesn’t seem like too big a deal, but just wait–this is when the shit hits the fan.
About ten minutes later, Gordon calls for fish, and a piece of cooked fish appears just a leeetle too fast, arousing his suspicion. He asks Brendan if it’s a new piece, and Brendan says yes, but that dog has apparently chosen not to hunt, because Gordon immediately demands to see the piece that was cooked earlier. After making a show of digging through the trash, Brendan says he can’t find it. The fish has mysteriously vanished! Everyone sort of slows down and looks at Gordon, and I can’t blame them, because how often do you get to see volcanic smoke issue in vivid puffs from the nostrils of a living man? Not often, and Brendan is looking mighty nervous. Gordon threatens to tear the entire kitchen apart until he finds the fish, and you know he would, and gives Brendan a chance to fess up. Brendan finally admits that the fish he plated is the old piece, and that he lied. Gordon just throws the poor fish on the floor and let’s Brendan know that he will personally send him home right then, and to hell with the formal elimination, if he even considers fucking with him again. He’d do it, too; I know I believe him.
Do not lie to this face, for it will bite your throat out.
Despite smooth sailing in the Red kitchen, Elise’s style of leadership is grating on everyone’s nerves. Then Gordon asks her a question, and she not only POINTS AT HIM, like she’s his boss, but INTERRUPTS HIM. Lordy Lou. That’s a bad idea any night of the week, but it’s downright suicidal on the heels of the “fishy” situation (sorry). He stomps that BS right into the ground, telling her to keep her ego in check and her big fat mouth shut if she doesn’t want to be sent packing. In that moment, I love him almost as much as I love Natalie’s grin in the background during the whole ordeal.
The highlight of her night.
The Blue kitchen, meantime, is fast filling with various screams: Paul screaming at Tommy, Tommy screaming back, Gordon screaming that Tommy’s duck is overcooked, then Paul screaming at Tommy to make another chicken, and Gordon screaming at Paul that it’s a duck and at the entire team to get it together, because not one entree has left the Blue kitchen. Sad. The Red Team is rocking along half done, until Krupa, who’s been saving Carrie’s ass on the salad service til now, drops the “whole fucking rack” of prime rib on the floor. I love that Krupa has a trashmouth. Gordon looks like he’s seconds from an aneurysm when she tells him, and Brendan picks exactly the wrong time to biff his work at the fish station yet again. Gordon rips the Blue team a nice batch of shiny, new assholes, then kicks every one of them out and orders four of the women to take over that kitchen.
The hell, you say?
WOW. The guys were mad before, but the sight of all the estrogen and vaginal dewdrops wafting toward their personal man space is too much for them to handle. Paul completely loses his shit, equating having women comandeer his kitchen to being dick-slapped in the chin. That’s not exactly the metaphor I’d have chosen, but whatever works for him. I’m guessing he knows what it feels like to be dick-slapped, or he wouldn’t have gone there, so we’ll proceed on that assumption.
They throw a series of tantrums once upstairs, and accuse each other of not behaving like professionals. It’s always amusing when someone sporting neck tattoos starts squealing about professionalism. Jonathon, who is one of the only ones we didn’t see mess up this evening, says they’ve been made to look like a bunch of sissy-ass bitches, and Will falls apart entirely, yelling about how this is the only thing he’s good at (shocker) and spewing a totally profane and sexist rant about how shameful it is to have their asses handed to them by a bunch of chicks. That always does make the scrotum skin twitch a bit, doesn’t it, boys? The very idea that a woman is succeeding where he failed is a tough one to swallow for such a fine specimen of masculine dignity as Will.
Bitches ain't shit!
Meanwhile, the girls continue to kick ass and take names in both kitchens, so much so that they soothe the raw spots on Gordon’s chapped ass and get kudos from the man himself. Will continues to wail behind the scenes, accusing everyone of not communicating effectively (irony: its alive and well). Jonathon adds that special soupçon of Southern charm by knocking over a chair as they leave for elimination, keeping it suave and classy for the team.
Once they’re all lined up in front of Gordon, the men take a group reaming and proceed to throw Brendan and Chino under the bus. Then Chino takes issue with Jonathon, and the two of them cuss at each other for awhile until Chino points out that while the girls may not get along, they’re winning because they put their feelings aside and work together. Poor Tommy looks miserable, and Brendan looks like he’s trying to hold in a mouthful of nervous bile. Gordon calls Brendan and Chino forward and asks them what they have left to give to the competition. Brendan immediately starts going on about his inner self, how he’s got nothing but heart and character (which I guess makes you lie about seafood). Chino goes the other way, groveling and sucking up, which seems to be the safe route, because Gordon sends Brendan packing. His educated, successful,and well-heeled relations will not take kindly to this turn of events.
Should've taught him what happens to little boys who lie, I guess.
I’m actually not too surprised by this; I’m pretty sure he sealed his fate the second he let that fish trickery slip from his mouth, and at least he got some strange while in the house. Gordon then announces that there are too few men left, and one of the ladies must volunteer to defect to the blue team and help whip it into shape. HAHAHAHA! I guess too many dicks spoiled the soup, right fellows?
Then Monterray throws a big hell no wrench into the works by informing Gordon that they don’t want any Fallopian tubes tangling around their ankles, and the rest of the team immediately agrees. Gordon is all “thanks for the input–now shut the fuck up and do as I say.” Natalie opines that the men need to tuck their dongs away and admit they need help, and we close with Chino schmoozing with the Red team while Brendan’s headshot goes up in flames.
So, are you hooked yet? What do you guys think of our little group? Who’s next in line to smack Elise in the big fat mouth (since I call first dibs on that)? Next week, Medusa will let us know what happens when babies are unleashed on the Hell’s Kitchen dining room and everyone dog piles on Carrie, then I will return the following Tuesday. Stay tuned!