: In Part Two of the two-part Hell's Kitchen
Season Three Finale, the two finalists, Bonnie Muirhead
and Rock Harper
, have their final service with their mainly hand-selected kitchen crew. The teams are neatly divided once again by gender. While there is some comfort in working with chefs the finalists are familiar with, some of those chefs have baggage. Whether it's resentment for their elimination or the lack of skills that got them eliminated in the first place, some of the returning chefs give Bonnie and Rock headaches in the kitchen. Chef Gordon Ramsay
is watching how they handle these stumbling blocks to determine who will get the grand prize.
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After another recap of this season of Hell's Kitchen and a quick review of last episode, we pick up this week as Bonnie and Rock lead their new teams back to the apartment to plan for the service.
Some professor of gender studies somewhere is watching this episode and finding an easy example of sex-based differences in leadership styles to show students. Bonnie focuses on a warm and fuzzy meeting with the women to make sure everyone is feeling good. They're feeling okay, but Julia Williams isn't feeling so thrilled to be back. She seems a little unable to move past being eliminated, and even if she could, her heart's not in a Bonnie win as she was rooting for Rock.
Rock seems to jump right past feelings and right into delegating and organizing the plan for the kitchen. It seems like he has some willing soldiers, though; Brad Miller seems loyal to Rock and committed to winning.
Bonnie's sort of amorphous leadership-style continues as she talks to her team about the menu. She doesn't exactly have one. Melissa Firpo is a little worried – after all, she, Julia and Jen Yemola would be completely new to these recipes tonight no matter what, but if even Bonnie, their leader, isn't totally sure of what she's doing, the team could falter.
During their prep time, some initial issues start to boil up. When Bonnie directs Julia, Julia bristles, and says with only the thinnest veneer of joking, “Treating me like an idiot.” Bonnie also has quality control problems with Melissa, who repeatedly overcooks her shrimp. And on Rock's side, Josh Wahler is already creating some delays.
There are problem outside the kitchen as well. Bonnie's construction foreman informs her that they do not have enough wallpaper to finish the job. As she inspects what they have done, she notices the wallpaper that is there is bubbling. Despite the dramatic music, though, of all the potential problems, this seems relatively minor and Bonnie seems to take it in stride.
Chef Ramsay reviews each chef's menu and décor. He likes Bonnie's, saying her cuisine (goat cheese salad, fettuccine and chocolate truffles) is dainty and well-balanced, and her décor is homey and down-to-earth. He does think the shrimp in her fettuccine is overcooked (and so does she, thanks, Melissa!) but her dessert is too simple and she needs to dress it up.
Ramsay thinks Rock's food is masculine contrast to Bonnie's. His crab cake starter, surf and turf entrée, and vanilla milkshake with cookie dessert are robust. He also thinks, though, that Rock's dessert could use some refinement. His décor, though, is plenty refined, and Ramsay calls it “elegant.”
Before the service starts, it's time for one last inspirational chat with Chef Ramsay. He reminds the chefs to keep control of their crews, saying if they don't run the kitchen, it will run them. Bonnie and Rock return to their kitchens and give their crews essentially the same pep talk: be honest. They both want to know of any issues with timing or quality ASAP.
Service starts and the chefs start to encounter their first challenges even as they successfully get out their first appetizers simultaneously. In Bonnie's kitchen, her team's lack of communication might speak to a larger underlying issue: do they truly respect her as a leader? Julia doesn't seem so, and admits in interview that she really just wanted to get the whole thing over with.
Rock's problems can be summed up in one word: Josh. For some unknown reason, Josh is on the appetizer station and he is up to his usual tricks. When spoken to, he looks like he was freshly clubbed on the head, and he's performing like that too. He is messing up the starters and slower down the entire crew. Rock argues with him but doesn't quite take the leadership role one would imagine Ramsay would.
Josh makes Rock's team fall behind, while Bonnie gets out dishes successfully despite the communication issues on her team. However, she starts to encounter some challenges as well. The team runs out of fettuccine for her main dish. She has to substitute boxed spaghetti – which pains her to do. Then her shrimp runs out, just as some shrimp is returned to the kitchen as undercooked.
Rock continues to have issues with Josh. Ramsay even takes Rock aside and tells him to deal with it, but their team has to get a half hour behind before Rock finally pulls Josh and puts Vinnie Fama on the station. After this, the team starts to catch up.
As Bonnie and her team head into the final leg and move onto dessert, she encounters more rebellious attitude from Julia. She attempts to assert herself to Julia but it's ineffective, and Bonnie makes the disastrous choice to…well, whine about it to Ramsay, who points out to her that it's her kitchen. She should not be tolerating the back-talk.
Despite the challenges, all the diners are served and service ends. Rock gets a surprise visit from his family, while Bonnie does not. Interesting.
Ramsay brings the chefs together and asks them to talk about what they would do differently. Rock wishes he had won the tasting challenge, so he could have had first dibs on the returning chefs. He says he would have picked Jen Yemola so he wouldn't get stuck with Josh. She's surprised and flattered that Rock noticed her and thought that well of her. Josh is, obviously, not very flattered by this.
Bonnie admits she could have done a much better job of checking portions and quantities so that they wouldn't have run out of food.
Ramsay teases them with the possibility of a decision, but it's not to be just yet – he has to check the customer comment cards. This gives Rock and Bonnie the chance to worry some more back in the apartment. Rock is feeling like maybe Bonnie really pulled it out and won.
Ramsay calls them back, and congratulates them both on the service and their growth as chefs. But only one can win, and it's the chef whose door to the restaurant opens. They put their hands on the handles, and Ramsay counts to three…
It's Rock! He joins his family and the other chefs to celebrate his win. Bonnie is gracious in the loss, and says she thinks Chef Ramsay made the right call.
So there we have it, Season Three of Hell's Kitchen is now complete. What did you think of the outcome? Leave your comments below!
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of TVGuide.com)