But, really. This is going to be amazing, but first we have to get through the small matter of a Quickfire.
The gangs starts out at Eric Ripert Le Bernardin, where they’re put to shame by New York’s fanciest fish butcher. For their challenge, they have to carve one cod and one fluke into Michelin star worthy portions. NBD.
Here’s where we separate the chefs from the chefs who can cut fish. And during the knife-filled montage, Marcel sneaks in a little anecdote about how handling fish used to give him a rash — until he willed himself to not be allergic to fish. Because he’s magic. Got it?. And everyone is still making fun of Jamie even though she’s gone.
But they’re not just cutting! After they’re narrowed down to a top 4 butchers, they’re told to make a dish out of the fish they carved — the unused part. Twist! Dale gets immunity for using a liver, which of course would please Anthony Bourdain. Immunity for you, sir.
So we knew restaurant wars was coming, but the contestants didn’t. And they’re almost as excited as we are. Dale gets to choose his opposing captain, and he chooses “Top Chef’s” go-to whipping boy, Marcel.
The boys divvy up the remaining contestants, and Marcel’s team quickly goes to pot. What is restaurant wars without drama?
And major awkwardness. After they’ve settled on themes and menus, Dale and Marcel go in completely opposite directions as team leaders. Marcel makes futile suggestions while secretly brewing one of his foams, while Dale reminds us that “he’s not here to make friends”/”this isn’t a personality contest.”
At his worst, Dale starts dropping f-bombs to his servers, much to the kindly Fabio‘s chagrin. If he didn’t have immunity and so much talent, he should have to go home.
During the service, Tiffany bombs as a hostess and crafty editing leads us to believe that no one is actually any good.
That is until the Judges’ Table, when we learn that Marcel’s Team Etch — Tiffany, Mike, Angelo, Antonia and himself — bombed with the guests. Only 17 out of 76 chose them as their favorite.
Mike gets straight street, selling Marcel out as a crumby leader. Tiffany tries to be a diplomat, but she should just shut up, because she really blew it tonight. And we love her.
No one’s going home yet, though. Because we still haven’t crowned a winner. Bring in the good team!
Dale’s Team Bodega — Richard, Tre, Fabio, Carla and Dale — gets an “A” for theme and execution. And as strong as Dale performed throughout the episode, someone saw him being a jerk on the tapes, because Richard gets the prize.
Alright, bring back the losers. “Should Tiffany go home for making one unsuccessful dish and having bad service?” Padma asks.
When you put it like that, yes. But it’s Marcel. He says he’s shocked, but his rehearsed exit speech for the judges leads us to believe otherwise.
Goodbye, Marcel. We understand how talented you are, and we really kind of like you, but you sure are obnoxious.