Sunday, October 25, 2009

Recaps 10/20-10/25

Top Chef 6 - Las Vegas:

This week the guest judge was Rick Moonan who competed on Top Chef Masters and is all about "sustainable foods."

The Quickfire involved everyone drawing knives. 6 were blank. 1 said "first choice," and 1 said "second choice." Jen drew 1st choice and they were told to pick people for teams so she chose Kevin, then MIke I, then Laurine. Brother Michael had "second choice" so he chose his brother bryan, then Eli and got stuck with Robin. For the quickfire, they had to see how well they could be a team by having 1 chef start a dish and work on it for 10 minutes while the other 3 were blindfolded (so they couldn't see what was going on) and NO TALKING was allowed. After 10 minutes, the second chef would whip off their blindfold, and then try to continue the dish and so on down the line. Both teams put their weakest 2nd as that was the easiest to fix with the final 2 chefs. Jen's team went Jen, Laurine, Mike I, then Kevin. Michael's team went Bryan, Robin, Eli and finally Michael. Rick liked both dishes, and although Jen oddly called her fish Trout, although it was Sablefish...which she SHOULD know since SHE was the one who got it since SHE went first and CHOSE the ingredient...her team won. By winning, they got a $10,000 chip which they could split 4 ways ($2,500 each,) or "let it ride" and if her team won the Elimination Challenge, they each would win $10,000! They decided to gamble, and put the chip on the line.

The Elimination Challenge was the much loved "Restaurant Wars!" This time it was different. usually, each team is given a small space side by side that they have to create a restaurant from scratch, including decor. This time, they were able to take over Rick's 2 story restaurant in Vegas, because each floor had its own kitchen and decor. Jen's team took the top floor which was more "fine dining" and their restaurant plan was supposed to fit that more. Michael's team got the first floor which had a more casual look. So, instead of decor and food, they split up to get food and restaurant equipment and odds and ends not at Whole Foods. The 4 good chefs, Bryan, Michael, Kevin and Jen, all went for the food while the other 4 went to get the other stuff.

The judges went to Michael's restuarant first, which they named Revolt as in Robin, Eli, and the Voltaggio brothers. But of course, the judges instantly thought "Revolting" which isn't a good pairing with food. Eli was the "front of the house" guy, but in another twist, he HAD to come up with 1 dish. He and Michael did first courses, Michael and Bryan did second courses, and Bryan and Robin did desserts. The judges LOVED the food. They weren't especially fond of Eli's dish (which was incorrectly labeled on screen as someone else's (I think Bryan.) Bu they really loved Michael's first course chicken, and also his second course a fish dish. Robin's dessert also got high marks, although she and Michael fought in the back because he was trying to improve it while she took it as him messing with her dish. Bryan had to step in and settle them both down. They also loved Bryan's beef dish and mostly loved his dessert. While Eli's dish was the weakest of all the dishes, it was passable and his hosting was very good.

Jen's team was fail. Laurine was terrible as a hostess. She put out food and then walked away without explaining the dishes. It wasn't until the 2nd course that Padma had to stop her and ask her to tell them what they were having and who made what. She also seemed to disappear for long periods of time. The food did not go over well. For some reason, instead of having the chefs cook 1 dish per course, they had them do both dishes per course. First course were both Mike I's dishes. They were so so, but they got the highest marks for this team. Second course were 2 seafood dishes from Jen, and for reasons unknown, she cooked shellfish to order....which is dumb, time consuming, and easily undercooked. Finally, Kevin had a beef dish and also had to finish Laurine's Lamb dish that she prepped all the way up to the actual cooking process.

Needless to say, Michael's team won. That meant that his team now got the $10,000 chip that Jen's team had "let ride." Michael offered to split it 4 ways, but when they got to the back, Bryan told him to keep his portion. He felt that (a) Michael had won it, and (b) Michael was such a jerk in the kitchen that his bad behavior shouldn't be rewarded.

Jen's team had all decided to NOT make a dessert because they said in past seasons, the team who made desserts lost. The judges pounced on them for no dessert. In the end, Laurine got the boot even though her dish was undercooked by Kevin. Laurine had told Tom that SHE would send back ANY dish not made properly, but then said that because there was such a long wait in between the 1st and 2nd courses (due to Jen cooking the clams and such to order) that she just tried to get the food out. So, she went due to that and due to her poor front of the house performance. While Tom has said time and again that each chef is ONLY judged by THAT week's elimination, I don't think that is what happened. Jen made 2 terrible dishes. Both were called out for how bad they were. Had she precooked the clams, oysters, and etc, and maybe made one as the first course and 1 as the second, she might have been able to stay on top of them. Same with all the chefs and their dishes on her team.

For me though, it SHOULD have been Jen because it was her team, and BOTH of her dishes were terrible. Afterwards, Kevin was pissed and wouldn't talk about it. I wonder if it was guilt for undercooking Laurine's dish and her going home, or because he felt that Jen was given a pass due to her prior good performances. Once again, Jen's dour, pouty, poor self esteem caught up with her. She really is her own worst enemy.

This was a great week in tv! Many shows had some of their best episodes ever!


Chief Russell passed out at the reward challenge and at one point had "cold dead eyes." Jeff stopped the challenge, and then cancelled it outright and sent the tribes back to their camps. he had announced that reward was for pizza, but that BOTH tribes would go to tribal where the winning tribe would eat in front of the losing tribe, but BOTH tribes would vote off someone. Snake bitten Foa Foa looked to be about to win when Chief Russell faceplanted on Galu's puzzle table. Russell's heart rate dropped from like 98 bpm to 67 bpm, so they pulled him from the game. Russell was pissed and reading interviews with him now, he was a jerk to medical and the Survivor people. He didn't realize how bad it was as he was out of it. He just thought he was dehydrated and passed out and would have been fine after some water. Watching it with his wife, he said seeing his cold dead eyes would haunt him his whole life and made his wife breakdown next to him. She thought that she had just seen him die before coming back. Thankfully, this has apparently brought them closer together. Jeff blogged that it was about 45 minutes before Russell was fully conscious and aware. He also responded to comments on his blog and said that both tribes got pizza because of what had happened. Neither tribe voted anyone out so Galu now has 8 and Foa Foa still has 5.


I thought that this was one of the best episodes of Smallville in a LOOOONG time.
It was kind of like that Michael Douglas movie "The Game" where he's a rich guy and for his birthday gift he is thrust into a "game" where his life and lifestyle are put to risk. That happens to Oliver who is on a self destructive binge, and essentially tried to kill himself last week when he stepped off the Toyman's bomb platform, not knowing that it was a fake.
He is at a gambling house when an Asian woman with a dragon tattoo offers him some "real fun." She give him a pill and he wakes up in a coffin. he gets out and finds himself in a room with another coffin, this one locked and someone inside pounding to get out. On the top of the coffin it says, "Alexander Luthor" who Ollie believes he killed last season. Ollie opens it and it's just speakers. He's then taunted by the game makers.

He escapes to a car, that gets hit by a semi. He wakes up on the ground and makes his way back to the gambling place where he finds the scared Asian woman. She tells him that her life is in danger too, and they both get attacked and she gets shot. Cops show up and taser Ollie. He wakes up handcuffed to a table and a cop yelling at him. An FBI agent comes in, and tells Ollie that they've been tracking this group and that they raid his accounts. He gives Oliver a laptop, and Ollie checks his accounts. He has over $3 billion, but it's all there. The FBI agent leaves the room, and suddenly the money disappears. Clark busts in, and takes him to see Chloe.

Chole is shocked at Oliver's appearance. Ollie tries to get to the bottom of it, while Chloe sends Clark to see Jor El as they find out that nearly 100 Kandorians have arrived on earth, and 1 was at the event where Oliver was standing on the "bomb" platform. Clark later returns to say that Jor El recognized the symbol as a house from Kandor and that her presence there means big trouble.

Oliver goes back to the gambling place and finds a bound Lois in the Asian woman's dress. Lois saw the footage of Ollie stepping off the platform, and was made that Clark both hid it from her and lied that Ollie was ok. She found Oliver's lambo, and the Asian woman was in possession of it. She and Lois fought until Asian woman (now known as Roulette,) pulled a gun on her. Roulette told Ollie that he had a choice, save Lois from the fire she was about to start, or try to stop her. She knocked out Lois (actually, it seemed quite lame,) and as she left, the fire caused an explosion in the other room. Ollie left Lois to save a trapped Roulette, telling her that despite all that she's done, he won't leave her to burn alive. Suddenly, she gets up and all the fires go out. It was all a set up. She tells Ollie that she kept asking him, "Who did he destroy?" Suddenly mirrors appear and the answer is obvious...Ollie "destroyed" himself.

Ollie confronts Chloe. He figured out that only SHE could have put it all together and used the League to prevent him from serious harm. Chloe admitted it, and said that Clark and Lois only became involved by accident. She knew he was still a good man and a hero, but had lost sight of it after what he did to Lex. Oliver now was "reborn" and the episode ended with him and Clark on a rooftop, looking to stop crime together.


Dollhouse told how Sierra (born Priya) was an artist found by a brilliant Noble nominated doctor. He used the Dollhouse to throw her an art gallery showing mixed with real art people and Dolls. He wanted her to be with him, but she fell for "Victor." It was then that he used his pull to have her drugged with psychotics and committed to a mental institution. He then arranged for her to be picked up by the Dollhouse and made into a Doll...where she would become his unknowing personal sex slave as she was programmed to be his "girlfriend."

Acting on a tip from Echo, Topher looked into it and found out that the Dollhouse had been had. DeWitt was NOT amused and told him that they would no longer be sending her to him. he told her that as a major contributor to the Rossum Foundation, HE not she called the shots. Sure enough, her job and life were threatened by her higher ups to make Sierra PERMANENTLY his girlfriend.

Topher instead gave her back her real mind, and she ended up killing him. She called Topher who came to help her and they'd BOTH have to run away. Until Langton showed up with a plan. He had followed Topher and sent him to his car for some tools and acid. Topher had to cut up the loser's body in the tub, and fill the tub with the acid. Priya then came back with them and knew that she had to go back to being Sierra again. She saw Victor, and realized that somehoe, the 2 of them were in love. She told Topher that if she were to be returned to Priya again, to restore her to where she was when he woke her up, without any knowledge of what has happened and what she did.

By all accounts from fans and reviewers, this was one of the best episodes ever!

Other shows that were really good this week include Spectacular Spiderman which saw a battle between 3 crimelords and then Spiderman, only to find that the Green Goblin had returned and had set the whole thing in motion. Batman the Brave & the Bold also was surprisingly good. It was a musical, with Neil Patrick Harris in the role of the Music Meister, a villain who can control minds with his singing. Good guys and bad all end up doing his bidding while Black Canary and others sing his twisted songs. Very interesting songs, and especially the Black Canary pining for Batman song.

Other shows:

Sanctuary was pretty decent, but I STILL want to know why they killed off Ashley and replaced her with a new character. Stargate:Universe is much more like BSG than Star Trek:Voyager, and NOTHING like the other Stargates. Medium was a good episode on the whole, but I HATE episodes where they make Allison look crazy.

In other news, it was my birthday on Friday (10/23.) Not a good day on the whole, but could have been worse.

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