Top Chef
Seven

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Hate the Sin, Love the Dinner

Marcel comes back to the kitchen and looks for help with serving, but everyone is chilling on the patio. He asks if they can help serve, and Ilan's all, "You want to apologize to Betty first, for barking at her?" I wonder if Sam apologized for screaming at Marcel before Marcel helped serve Sam's dish. I wonder if Ilan was planning on apologizing for all the "Fuck you, virgin!" bullying before he expected any help serving his shitty dessert. "Never snap at me again!" Betty, ironically, snaps. "Say 'I'm sorry' to Betty right now," Ilan demands. "I'm sorry, Betty," Marcel says, quite nicely. "Yeah, I really believe you," she snots back. Okay, so... Ilan demanded the apology by blackmailing Marcel with the ruining of dinner. And Marcel apologized perfectly nicely. And then Betty told him to go screw. You can just tell how the momentum is going here, that Ilan and Betty have no idea how this is going to come across. They're coasting on the idea that they're going to come off as the good guys, and Marcel as the villain, and that everyone's going to cheer every move they make to put him in his place. They have no idea, you can tell -- no idea -- that they're coming off like petty bullies, and that they're making at least some of us feel bad for Marcel, even if we normally can't stand Marcel. Because being know-it-all-y and having poor social skills is irritating, but it's not as bad as being a mean bully and ganging up on one guy to amuse yourself.

Marcel explains his dish to the diners, calling lust his favorite of the sins. I have to admit, I see the cherry foam, but I don't know what the gelee is. I have a feeling it's the other thing on the plate besides the chocolate sauce schmear. It's like Jell-O, right? Okay, then I get it. I don't like this kind of presentation, by the way, where things are painted on the plate. I find it too precious, and as soon as you start eating, you mess it up. Sopranos lady has a suggestion: Marcel should have fed them the cherries. So, because she's basically asking, he heads over. Not only does he feed her a cherry, but he then drizzles chocolate sauce into her mouth, which is pretty bold. Back in the kitchen, the rest of the cheftestants are watching through the doors, and you can tell there's a tiny part of Sam that can't help weirdly admiring this display, as much as he doesn't like Marcel. Like, you have to admit, the kid has something, as much of a little freak as he is. "Are they saying bad things?" Ilan says hopefully. "Come on," Sam redirects. "Let's go on your plates." See? Did you see that? Just for a second, Sam's humanity sneaked out, and he gained a tiny bit of perspective, and it made him impatient with Ilan's assy behavior. When Marcel gets to the kitchen, he's creeping around in exaggerated embarrassment, and Elia asks him if she actually just saw him pour chocolate down that lady's throat. He confirms that he did.

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