Service starts and Kerry is already confused as expeditor. Quote #2 of the ep: "That's not a real ticket. That’s a fake." Apparently being expeditor has made Kerry severely paranoid.
The critics are seated, joined by Chef Chutima and her daughter. James Oseland is seriously channeling Mister Rogers with his odd red cardigan ensemble. Maybe he's trying to overcompensate, modesty-wise, for last week's greasy bohunk debacle. Chris is intimidated by returning critic Alan Sytsma, editor of Grubstreet (who has an eerie resemblance to "True Blood's" Steve Newlin).
Lorena makes a Venezuelan-inspired tom ka gai, and Chris prepares a sirloin steak larb tartar which looks to die for. The critics love Chris' dish even though Chef Chutima laughs it off as "very American."
As is always the case with these challenges, everyone in the dining room has been waiting way too long for every dish. Takashi presents yellow curry with crispy noodles. Art's dish is a cashew crusted chicken breast which looks a sad wedding buffet plate. The critics and guests agree.
Kerry takes too long to prep his dish, causing Patricia to have to toss her duck and start over. Cue the tension-laden guitar riffs! She can't finish in time and sends out what she has. Not surprisingly, James sends back his duck because it’s too raw and asks for another. Even with the duck being refired, all the critics are making stinky poopoo faces. On the flipside, Chef Chutima says Kerry's pork and taro dish was the closest to authentic Thai cuisine of all the chefs' efforts.
Back in the kitchen, Patricia wastes no time vocalizing loudly that if she goes home it's Kerry's fault. "I had to wait for HIM."
Commercial note: Omar coming! And he's shilling Ciroc vodka with P Diddy!
Interstitial is a peacekeeping lovefest between Patricia and Kerry. He apologizes, she clearly still blames him but pats him on the back good naturedly.
Curtis calls back the whole gang for critics' table. James points out that while many of the dishes were really good, most of them lacked the authentic Thai flavors they were hoping for.
Our winner is announced first: Chris takes the 10K and immunity with his sirloin tartar. His charity is the Michael J. Fox Foundation, which he's won 26K for so far, which is fantastic.
Lorena, Patricia and Art had the least favorite dishes. It's interesting to note that they picked two top dishes and three bottom ones, so they can really drag out the critical blow by blow.
The dissection of least favorite dishes begins. Quote #3 of the ep, from James Oseland about Art's chicken: "I liked that you threw some Southern jazz hands on this Thai dish."
Alan Sytsma calls Patricia out on her undercooked duck and she gracefully dodges the question by saying "there were reasons, but I won't go into it." She is in tears and refuses to throw Kerry under the bus in front of the critics.
You can see her working to keep it clean, but then Curtis has to be that guy and stoke the flame and basically tells Patricia she needs to tell them if anything caused her to not cook her duck properly. Patricia looks pleadingly at Kerry. Then he nods, and speaks up and explains what happened. Patricia heaves a huge sigh. It's genuinely painful to watch this exchange.
All the Patricia/Kerry drama was for naught, as Curtis announces that Art is going home. (Note: My actual reaction: "NO!") Southern jazz hands couldn't win it. He is grateful, gracious, and sweet in his departure. Lorena is in tears, she's clearly made a friend for life.
Next week: Sugar Ray Leonard (who clearly hails from the Dick Clark school of never aging) shows up to lead the chefs in a ringside skill head to head face-off. Ding ding ding!
Tom ka gai: great soup, or the GREATEST soup? Let me know on Twitter @operatornumber9.