Gordon reminds them that they've beaten many worthy foes who would give anything to be standing where they are right now. "But don't take my word for it," Gordon says. "Take theirs." And with that, all our dead would-be cook friends appear! There's Jake and his goatee! Mike and his hats! Sharone and his sense of entitlement! And those other people we sort of met at one point. They get to stand in the balcony and watch David and Whitney cook for the next two hours. Next year, MasterChef producers, maybe you should spring for some chairs.
Three dishes, two hours, one winner -- start your cooking, kids. Joe describes this battle as one between a restaurant-style menu (David, presumably) and a home-cooked menu (definitely Whitney). "Home-style," Gordon says, "But done with a modern twist." Whatever helps you think you didn't send the wrong people packing, Gordon. Graham reminds us all to underestimate Whitney at our peril. Why, some day that young lady could grow up to help sink a major political party's presidential prospects! But if David can pull off his intricate menu, Gordon reminds everyone, he's going to mop the floor with Whitney. So it should be interesting to see how this pans out. "Should" is a very pivotal word in that sentence.
Let's talk appetizers. Gordon can't wait to taste David's scallop ceviche, because apparently tasting raw seafood as prepared by promising-though-still-amateur chefs is how he lives dangerously. As for Whitney's appetizer, Graham is impressed that she's taken what he dismisses as "low-country cuisine" and adding such apparently high-end touches as a black-eyed pea purée with turnip green pesto. Because apparently, they don't much cotton to purées down there in the holler. Joe wonders if she's bringing dishes that will grab the judges' attention. Hey, why start now?
The show then does that Goofus-and-Gallant thing it likes to fall back on, showing Whitney being all focused while David clowns around and plays to the peanut gallery. Gordon saunters over and suggests that he ignore everyone else for the time being. "[Whitney] hasn't said one word to anybody yet, and she's in the zone," Gordon tells David. "I need you to get in that zone." Goofus agrees to try. Gallant keeps making her black-eyed pea purée.
An hour's gone by, and the contestants move on to their desserts. Or, at least one of them is -- Whitney, in contrast, has apparently thrown caution and bread pudding to the wind to make a soufflé instead. Gordon wonders why she would change plans at the very last minute. Maybe because she's already sent one over-coiffed pretty-boy home on the strength of her soufflé prowess, so what's another soul for the cornfield? "Imagine the irony if the Pastry Princess were taken down by her dessert," Joe says. Yes, life is full of ironies for the stupid.