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Hell's Kitchen 2 - Episode 2 Summary

'The Customers Leave, And So Do the Chefs - Voluntarily, or Not' By mysticwolf
Original Airdate: June 12, 2006

Okay. This premiere was supposed to be a 2-hr. episode, and should have been covered in a single recrap. But, let’s get real. This was obviously filmed as a separate episode. They went to great lengths to try to stitch the two together so that we wouldn’t notice. But, it’s hard not to notice something that bears more suture lines than Frankenstein’s Monster. (And, yes, I did steal my realization of this from Estee’s astute observations. Just as I evidently stole her CT’s. But, I’m keeping ‘em both. Pbbbbt.)

So, I don’t care what the network says, I’m covering this as either HK #2, Episode 1 - Part 2, or as HK #2, Episode #2. It’s your choice how you think of it. Doesn’t really matter. It’s still the 2nd hour of sweat, blood, tears, and curse-fired sulfur stench wafting through our living rooms. The fact that it all aired on the same night is my cross to bear, and yours to owe me for.

So, anyway, last week hour we got to meet all of our masochistic DAWs and learned that there’s only one actual cook chef among them. Our heroine, Heather, enters this hour on top. (You wanna know what I’m talkin’ about? Then go read Part One. I’m not recrapping my own recrap for you.)

Now, the thing is, what is she on top of? As the winner of the “Best of the Worst” award, she should be on top of the world. Or, at least the underworld. But, shortly we’ll see that she is on top of the garbage heap, along with everyone else.

With both teams having set a record of serving fewer people in more time than ever before, Ramsay decides to teach his first lesson about kitchen waste. To prove that this really is a separate episode, we start with a complete recrap of what just finished a mere commercial break ago. The narrator tries to make us believe differently by intoning: “And, now… The continuation, of Hell’s Kitchen.” Yeah, right. What.ever.

We open to the women kvetching and crying in CT, while the men exult in their victory. Frankly, instead of doing a CT I think I’d go to bed. The men only got 45 minutes of sleep last night, remember? Eventually, they do sleep. Exhausted, according to our narrator, after their experience in the kitchen. Sleep doesn’t last long though. Shortly, as we watch sleeping men drooling onto their pillows, a screaming Scott and Mary Ann charge into the bedrooms banging spoons against what appear to be large cowbells. Our DAWs react as if all Hell has broken loose. Which makes sense in Hell’s Kitchen.

It is 5:42 a.m. and our hapless DAWs are rousted to stand in the back courtyard in whatever clothing they managed to scramble into. Ramsay, impeccable in chef’s whites, greets them by telling them how badly they svcked last night and singles out Virginia and Larry to recap their faults. He wonders if any of them have any idea just how much food they wasted last night and orders them into the dumpsters to get the waste out. Tom, not sweating for a change, looks nauseated at the idea. But, everyone screams “Yes, Chef!” and races to climb into the dumpsters. Larry, our budding Pit Bull, CTs that he hasn’t felt well since he woke up, but that he must prove himself. We’ll see how that goes. They search through the mass of vegetables and waste to separate the wasted meat and fish amidst the sounds of retching. Giacomo, alone it seems, has no problem with this. He CTs that he lost his retainer at least 5 times in the High School trash bins, so he sees this as a walk in the park by comparison. Ramsay finally stops them before someone blows chunks and warns them that this kind of waste must never happen again. He tells them they stink and sends them to the showers. Tom realizes that everything is fair game in Hell’s Kitchen and feels grateful that he didn’t make them eat it. Dear Lord, why is he giving Ramsay ideas?

Freshly washed and assembled in the kitchen our DAWs lesson on waste continues. As the narrator points out (much calmer than Ramsay would do) waste can happen even before cooking begins. Ramsay strides into the kitchen bearing an entire, bone-in, top loin of beef. In a matter of seconds he has the loin carved from the bone and begins slicing “perfect” 10 oz. steaks. We know they are perfect because he says he can tell they are - just by looking.

Each of our DAWs will have 10 minutes to carve as many perfect 10 oz. sirloin steaks from their own chunk of cow that they can. The team that cuts the most acceptable steaks will win reward. To make the teams even he singles out Keith (Mouthbreather) to sit this one out. Keith’s ticked because, as a man, he knows all about carving meat. (Or was that pounding meat? No. Not a round steak competition, yet.)

When a teammate suggests that his steaks may be a little thin, Giacomo argues that his steaks are perfect 10 ozers. We’ll shortly see who better understands the size and weight of meat cuts. Men, or women?

First up are the women. Sara’s first cut is the dog’s dinner. The next 3 make it, the rest are gone. Heather disappoints – and Ramsay tells her so. She didn’t remove enough of the fat layer and only 2 of hers are deemed acceptable. Rachel gets 3, Virginia gets another 2. Marabel manages a final 2, bringing the women’s total to 12.

Men’s turn, with Gabe up first. He gets 3 and he’s never done this before. He CTs that he thinks each of the other guys should be able to get at least 3 apiece. An easy win in his mind. Garrett, our ex-con, is up next. Obviously, he was not incarcerated for anything having to do with a knife, as he only has 1 acceptable offering. Time for Giacomo and his perfect 10 ozers. Well, two of them pass, but the rest Ramsay pronounces as barely 4 oz.’s apiece. Guess we know who can’t measure his meat accurately, don’t we? Larry thinks this is his time to shine. And, as a fishmonger, you’d think the money would be on him. But, you’d be wrong. Holding up a tattered piece of what should be a delicious steak, Ramsay makes him admit that he did butcher it. Larry does not have a single acceptable piece of meat on his tray.

Faces fall, particularly Keith’s face, as the men realize that Tom, our schvetty stockbroker, is the only one left, and they need 6 perfect steaks in order to tie the women. They start to mentally tally the odds of Tom, TOM for heaven’s sake, being their savior. You can see them starting to wonder just what their “punishment” will be (other than becoming the laughingstock of all back-yard barbecue masters for losing a meat cutting contest to – horrors – women, of all things).

Ramsay calls Tom forth telling him it’s his chance to be a hero. Tom says he tried. In CT he tells us that he looked at his pile of meat and thought that maybe, just maybe, he has a chance. It doesn’t look too bad. Ramsay accepts the first 3 pieces and the women begin to worry. The next 2 pass, too, and Ramsay tells Rachel to begin sweating. Oh, the suspense. Will Tom get to be a hero to his team? The score is now 12 – 11 and the answer is… It’s time for a commercial.

And, big surprise to no one who has ever paid any attention to how a reality show is edited, Tom’s last 3 pieces of meat don’t pass muster. The women win, but Ramsay is impressed that Tom did so well on his first attempt at cutting meat.

Tom’s skill will come in handy, as the men must now cut all of the meat for this nights dinner. The women will dine with Gordon at a restaurant featuring a wild game menu. He tells them to hurry up as the helicopter is waiting. Now, I’ve ridden in helicopters before. The only one that I can think of that was large enough to haul around Gordon Ramsay and 5 women was the beheamoth we used to airlift a multi-ton air conditioning unit onto the roof of the plant where I worked. If they are all going to be on the same helicopter, and they’re all going to have actual seats (I sat on the floor in the open doorway), that’s gotta be one big chopper.

As the women high-five one another (acceptable this time), we share sour grapes with Tom who tells us that he didn’t come to Hell’s Kitchen to go on vacation. He came to win a position as an Executive Chef at a "billion dollar resort in a million dollar restaurant." They can have their fun. He’ll stay behind and hone his skills and eat some worms. So there.

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