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It's down to the last three chefs, and the fate of who will make it to the final episode lies in the hands of crazy Austrian genius Wolfgang Puck. No one is safe, and someone will be thrown in the gulag—sorry, I meant goulash.
When the chefs enter into some kitchen in the Bahamas, they are greeted by Padma (wearing a radioactive banana pee)l and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck, who is sort of like a talking bust of Bach, Beethoven (not the dog), or Brahms.
"Listen up, assholes," Padma says. "We couldn't be bothered to think up a new challenge so you're going to have to pick one of these challenges from an old show and assign it to another contestant. Mike, since you are the fattest fuck here, you get to pick first."
Mike is somehow convinced that Richard is the best chef and he wants to beat him in the finals so he wants to make life as tough as he can for this flickering spirit that has been haunting them since the first episode. Her name is Antonia and she is a ghost. He assigns her to cook with only canned goods. Antonia makes Richard cook something with hot dogs (little does she know that Richard, being a shy dorky guy is a master at manipulating his hot dogs), and Richard picks the "one pot" challenge for Mike, because he knows how much Mike likes lots of pot, so only giving him one pot means he won't be squinty-eyed enough to cook well.
Cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, wait...what's that? Oh, Padma is back with her Chernobyl Chiquita dress. "I fucking hate you bitches. This is way too easy. There's more challenges! One of you can't use any more utensils, one of you has to cook with one hand, and one of you has to work with this rabid owl that I found lying in the gutter outside of the Atlantis resort."
Richard chooses Mike to cook with no knives, Antonia the friendly ghost chooses Richard to cook with one hand, and she gets to cook with Carla, Princess of the Owl Clan of Yosemite. It is a glorious reunion. Princess Carla kicks her feet in the air, flaps her wings up and down, and cranes her neck in the celebratory dance of her people. Antonia tells her to close her eyes, relax, and clear her mind. The specter sails up into the sky, and then crashes into Princess Carla's body, possessing her completely. Carla opens her eyes and they are solid white with no pupils. "Hootie," she says in her own voice, and then the voice of Antonia takes over and answers, "Boo." "Hootie-Boo. Hootie-Boo. Hootie-Boo!" they say in tandem. They are now moving as one body, but with the power of two. It's like Voltron, except all the cats are pink.
In the end Mike Isabella, the second coming of Pizza the Hutt, wins again. Again! This is so fucking disgusting. Something with a Body Mass Index higher than the gross national product of the Asian country he imported his bride from should not be winning this competition.
Padma takes everyone outside where she is standing with some friends. "Hey dickwads, over here. Here are three famous chefs that I'm going to execute in two days because they wouldn't blurb my cook book. But before they go, you're going to cook them their last meal. Since the fat one won the first challenge, he gets to assign which chef gets which chef. Oh, fuck you. You know what I mean. Pick already!"
Mike picks Michelle Bernstein and assigns Richard to Wolfgang Puck and sticks Antonia with chef Morimoto, because he thinks its going to be the hardest. And he is right. Morimoto is not a chef, he is a samurai assassin. But he's not a fierce samurai assassin from a Hong Kong action movie that kicks ass, he's like a sad samurai assassin from a Kurosawa movie who is growing older and regretting the sins of his past life and spends the whole movie sitting in a hut and meditating. The spirit of Antonia flies over to him and asks what he would like for his final meal. He puts a flat palm in front of his sternum, punches it with his other fist and bows deeply. Then he turns on his heels and walks away. That is what Antonia has to make for him: a ceremonial bow.
Richard talks to Wolfgang Puck and he says that he wants Richard to make goulash and apple strudel for his final meal. Mike goes and sits on a fountain with Michelle Bernstein. It's sort of like his first date with Tiffani Antonazzi in the 8th grade when they went to the Paramus Park Mall and he bought her a "Life's a Bitch and So Am I" pin at Spencer's gifts with the $2.74 he had in his pocket. They sat down on the edge of the fountain and he pinned it on her denim jacket with the fringe down the back, and he was so proud that he had something that was his, something that would love him. And when he pulled his fat sausage fingers away from pinning her gift she blew a big bubble gum bubble and snapped it back into her mouth, like some strange species of fish displaying and retracting the inside of her mouth. "What the fuck is this? You think I'm a bitch? Fuck you!" she screamed, pushing him into the fountain and storming off toward the Chess King next to the food court where Bobby Terlato worked.
Anyway, it was just like that, except Michelle was like, "I want fried chicken and biscuits before I die." And Mike said, "Oh, are you from the south?" "No, I'm a Latin Jew. Hahahaha." Whatever.
When they get back to the house, Antonia is a bit mad because she knows that Mike is intentionally trying to make her life hard. OK, I'm not going to say that any of the chefs on Top Chefs are misogynists, they just—well, the boys always think of the other boys first. When the boys talk about who their competition is, it's never "Oh, Carla is really good," or "You better watch out for Antonia," even though the two consistently won or were in the top in the challenges. It's always "Dale is good. Richard is good. Spike is good. Stephen with his fat ties and fatter faces is good. Wait, are there girls here?" They're just always thinking that the guys are better and the girls are just around to give Padma someone to feel superior too. And Mike's reason for wanting Antonia gone—because Richard is the best and he wants to beat the best—is completely stupid. It just plays into this misconception. What he should want to do is defeat either of them. They've both made it this far, won a number of challenges, and proved that they belong in the finals (which Mike, with his neck fat and gappy teeth barely has). Richard is not any better because he's a boy, but of course the boys on this show think that. It's really fucking sad and the fierce ladies of Top Chef deserve better than that. Alright, ranting over.
Cook, cook, cook; boring, boring, boring. It's time for dinner. Padma escorts her prisoners into dinner. Michelle Bernstein is wearing a gorgeous asymmetrical dress, Wolfgang Puck is wearing one of the left over costumes from the Bahamas Community Players production of Amadeus, and Morimoto is wearing ceremonial Japanese robes, white socks, and those wooden sandal things. See, I fucking told you that he was a sad old samurai. Padma looses the shackles on their hands, but their ankles are all still bound together so that they can't escape.
First, Antonia flutters in with her interpretation of a ceremonial bow: a bento box and miso soup. The soup is salty. She's done for. Next Mike serves his fried chicken and, instead of a biscuit it's an empanada with an egg yolk inside. He serves it up and Michelle says, "I'm a Latin Jew. Hahahahaha." I think she has Stockholm Syndrome or something. Then Richard comes out and serves his goulash. Everyone's raving, he's clearly the winner.
Tom Cohostio pushes his chair away from the table. "Where are you going?" Padma shouts.
"Well, we're done eating, it's time for judges table," Tom replies.
"Sit the fuck down. I have all these prisoners that I have to execute in an hour, and I'm not hauling them all the way to some sound studio and then all the way back to the gallows on this part of town. And do you know how fucking annoying it is to talk to the PAs to make them unlock their shackles and then hear them fucking shuffle and clank as they walk everywhere. God, it's more grating than Gail's voice after she's had two glasses of wine. No, sit the fuck down. We're going to do motherfucking judges table right motherfucking here."
They call everyone in and Richard wins. Richard is very nice and seems like a wonderful person and a great chef, but he's really like a nicely browned piece of toast—delicious, ubiquitous, totally forgettable, and completely boring. I'm rooting for Richard to win, but I can't think of anything funny or interesting to say about him. He's just really good toast.
Padma says, "I'm about to kill some fucking punk ass chefs, so I'm going to give you two a bit of a reprieve. Whoever can cook the best bite of food will go on to the final. Whoever fails will be executed with the rest of my prisoners."
They rush back into the kitchen and the flutter of Antonia whips around the kitchen like a will o' the whips or a jack in the box or a pig in a blanket or some shit. She's windy and bright and making some grouper and packs it with as many flavors as she can.
Mike is lumbering through the kitchen like the cankle that he is and he is just going to stack seven things on top of each other and call it a bite. For him, it's a bite. For any normal human it's like a large order of tortellini from the Cheesecake Factory.
They present their bites to the prisoners, who are starting to get a little nervous about their fate at this point. Wolfgang Puck is sweating and tapping his feet. Michelle Bernstein is sobbing and saying, "I'm a Latin Jew. I'm a Latin Jew. Sob sob sob sob sob." Morimoto is sitting there with steely resolve in his eyes and his head held high. He is attempting seppuku under the table with a butter knife, but it's not working.
They go around the table and three people choose Mike as the winner and three people, including Padma, choose Antonia. It's all down to Wolfgang Puck to break the tie. He swallows hard and announces that he chooses the winner to be: Mike. "That's it, asshole," Padma says. "I'm killing you first."
That means it's time for Antonia to go. Going is always the hardest thing for a ghost, because like a drunk sorority girl on Mardi Gras, they should have left a long time ago, but they're just sticking around, trying to fulfill some unspecified quest—to get that little bit of closure where they can finally be at rest.
A great white light fills the sky and starts to envelope everyone. There are shadows on the other side of the light, with their hands stretched out to Antonia. She starts to cry. She doesn't want to go. She wants to stay. She wants to win. This is even harder than dying the first time, because then she could still hang around and blow the wind and cause a stir. Now she will be a nothing, a void, an obscurity that will be vaguely remembered for cooking food and being invisible. Yes, this is permanent and she's sad. She turns to look at the two remaining contestants. Mike is laughing and his fat is rippling down his whole body, but Richard is struggling to wipe away a tear. "Go," he says. "Really. Go. It's OK. I got this. Go."
She takes a tentative step forward with her head still looking back, but then she turns around and sees them. They're not shadows at all, they're all her friends. There is Carla, the Owl Princess of Yosemite and lesbian Jamie who can only make scallop soup. There is broken toe Marcel and smug dildo battery Dale. There's Tre flexing his muscles and Angelo trying to cop a feel. Fabio is holding out a steaming plate of gnocci and Spike is wearing some ridiculous hat. There's Stephîn and gay Dale and both Black and White Tiffanies. They're all there, waiting for her in the light. She shakes her head quickly and firms her hair into place with both hands and starts walking toward them. And as she gets closer she realizes they're not beckoning. She gets closer and closer, and they're all there. They're all there applauding.