Hell's Kitchen recap: Matt Finish
After the two teams merge, the service is as bad as ever, and Matt goes even crazier, finally causing Gordon Ramsay to give him the boot
Good evening, my little Cha Cha Chickens (no, really, that’s what I had for dinner tonight), and welcome to the continuation of Hell’s Kitchen, during which our two teams of cheflings merged and one of them lost his mind. Or what was left of it. Watching Matt go down was a little like seeing someone get rescued from a parachute tangled in a tree: He’d been dangling upside down for weeks now; someone just needed to cut the strings.
The episode opened with the ladies trying to work out a truce — the announcement that Jen would be back with Corey and Christina made no one happy, especially since Corey and Louross were so close. (Sir Fauxhawk, you’ll recall, took his leave last week.) Meanwhile, the men were no more thrilled about the return of Matt, as indicated by Petrozza’s calling him a ”f—ing hemorrhoid.” But the uncomfortable teams didn’t last, since after a 6 a.m. wakeup — and one gratuitous Corey underpants shot — the cheflings found themselves blindfolded and kidnapped to the roof of what will someday become Chef Ramsay’s new L.A. restaurant. There they received their new black chef jackets, got a glimpse at $250,000 (courtesy of two dudes who I’m certain have been looking for work since The Sopranos went off the air), and had a chance to tour the bones of the ”extraordinary” space where Gordon has chosen to carve out the winner’s eventual place of semi-employment. Bobby called this moment ”bases loaded, bottom of the ninth.” I guess he’s into extra innings, because this sucker — much to my Tuesday-night personal-life dismay — is far from over.
Tonight’s challenge — the first individual one of the season — was for each chef to make a unique dish out of the central ingredient they were assigned. ”Make it work!” bellowed Ramsay, like Tim Gunn’s evil twin, and they were off. Weirdly, this group of seeming incompetents, when left to their own devices, all managed to cook decent food: Matt made a ”nice” roasted veal, Christina a ”fascinating” sea bass with tarragon; Petrozza’s prosciutto-stuffed chicken was ”well done” (”I’ve never seen one individual do so much to a breast,” yukked Ramsay); Jen sliced a rib eye thin, apparently a huge risk, but pulled it off. Only Corey and Bobby failed slightly, the former for not using her whole lobster and the latter for drying out his duck. It came down to Jen vs. Christina, and as the Big Baby stood there crying her eyes out (from ”nervousness,” although Corey thought she was faking), she was declared the winner. The big prize? Her dish was added to the menu, and she won the obligatory trip to Vegas. Her chosen companion? Corey. Uh, Corey? ”It’s like the cobra and the mongoose hanging out,” said Matt, in his final moment of televised sanity.
NEXT: Matt can’t deliver
So as the cobra and the mongoose trotted off to the Green Giant Hidden Valley Ranch and Gaming Parlor for some platitudes courtesy of ”Chef Rock” (still alive!), the rest of the cheflings stayed home to deal with deliveries. Back and forth they ran, shuttling herbs and ice and Sysco products. (Hmm. I spent a couple summers working in an industrial kitchen, and our Sysco man happily brought the stuff in himself….) Christina smartly delegated, but Matt was having none of it. Whining, moaning, every third word needing a bleep, he did not take well to the pithy little culinary-school student’s leadership. ”He’s crazy, man,” said Petrozza. ”F— all you guys,” said Matt. ”He’s like Full Metal Jacket,” said General Bobby, though with his black and white jacket and silly black headband, I thought Matt looked a bit more Kung Fu Panda. His later comments on Christina’s alleged cellulite notwithstanding, he certainly has the figure for it.
Whee! The pandamonium didn’t stop, not even once Corey and BBJ returned from Vegas. Christina explained that Sam the Eagle had gone crazy, and to demonstrate ”crazy,” Matt slapped himself in the head a couple times. ”That boy snapped,” Christina said. ”Something inside of him broke. And I don’t think it’s gonna be fixed before dinner service.” Matt, of course, in the defense that has served crazy people well for thousands of years, insisted he was just ”blowing off steam.” Yeah, so was Ted Bundy, dear. But hey, you can threaten Christina all you want — doesn’t change the fact that the two of you are on the meat station together come dinnertime. (”Now I have to watch this guy who’s like twice my age f— meat up all night,” moaned Christina.)
Just when you think service in Hell’s Kitchen can’t get worse, it does. A short but by no means complete list of the sins committed this evening: Matt set a pan on fire. Petrozza got the plates filthy. Jen oversalted the risotto. Matt lost his ability to comprehend English. Corey cried about the garnish. Christina cooked chicken and beef in the same pan. Bobby cooked salmon and scallops in the same pan. BBJ possibly lied about how long it took to cook her rib eye, and it came back from the dining room raw. Corey set herself on fire and refused to go see the medic. Matt ate half the food in the kitchen. Bobby stayed consistent, if by ”consistent” you mean ”blockheaded and cocky.”
Then Matt got a migraine, and once he started muttering ”send me home” and ”I’m sick of getting yelled at,” Ramsey’d had enough. ”You guys are a f—ing bunch of losers,” he said, to no one in particular, then took Matt by his (reportedly numb) hand and dragged him upstairs. ”Get out!” he yelled. Then Christina noticed a pot of rice Jen had left burning over on the meat station, and Ramsay kicked Jen out of the kitchen for burning rice (”Get out!”) and Christina out of the kitchen for not noticing the burning rice. (”Get out!”) And then… ”Get out!” he yelled at everyone, which, along with ”It’s raw!” appears to have replaced ”Shut-tit down!” and ”You donkey!” in this season’s lexicon.
NEXT: Christina stands up to Ramsay
The whole sucky group was tasked with nominating two people tonight, but before they could retire to the dorms, Matt asked for a moment with Chef Ramsay alone. He whined a bit more about his migraine and asked if he should give up. Although the Chef Ramsay that lives in my mind would have kicked him in the teeth and sent him home right then and there, the Chef Ramsay of reality just said he’d like to see a little more ”manliness” out of Matt and sent him back upstairs. This, of course, contributed to Matt’s sense of deep entitlement, and when he discovered everyone had already decided to nominate him, he threw out another ”Kiss my f—ing ass already” and bellowed, ”Anyone who wants to put me up there, it’s gonna be a waste of f—ing time.” Sigh. I agreed with Bobby: ”Matt deserves to get kicked off the universe.”
The eventual noms went to Matt and Christina (for botching the meats so badly), though Corey successfully nominated herself as well, crying a bit more about her burn and her emotions. ”I’m not Dr. Phil,” responded Ramsay, then he turned to Christina, who he called ”the girl who’s only been cooking for three years.” And then came the moment that sold me on Christina forever more. ”No, chef,” she said, looking him straight in the eye. ”I’ve only been cooking professionally for three years.” Woo! The girl’s got moxie! Sure, she then started crying again — ladies, pull yourselves together already! — but that one moment of confidence was worth a thousand pithy comments put together.
In the end, Matt was given the hook (”for all the right reasons,” whatever that means; I’d have preferred an itemized list), and Petrozza got a classic last word in: ”I’ll be relieved when Matt’s in a different state,” he answered when asked if he was relieved Sam the Kung Fu Panda was gone. ”Make sure you lock the door behind that guy.” My only complaint with tonight’s dismissal? I don’t think the guy quite deserved a limerick.
What did you think, Cha Chas? Is this the season that won’t die, or what? Why can’t the women turn off the waterworks? Did Rock seem happy or trapped? How much does next week’s parade of boobs make you not want to tune in? And who’s your pick in Lakers vs. Celtics? I’m with Al Gore: Let’s go green!