Top Chef
Guilty Pleasures

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Keckler: B | Grade It Now!
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Cold Stone Chillin'

"I'm just learning about all this," Casey interrupts. "I didn't know that this was even going on." At first, I thought that she was defending Sara N. here because as expeditor, she would have known if Sara N. was falling down on the job. But then she adds, "I don't know why we didn't have every patty on the grill." Govind notes that none of them were communicating, and Padma wonders why Casey didn't take more control. Casey repeats that had she known it was a problem, she would have jumped on the grill and helped out. Another leader-type person to blame is CJ, so Govind asks why he didn't step in and fix things. CJ says, "By the time I realized there was an issue...I just don't think that me going up there would have made that a better situation." Sara N. announces that this is all a surprise to her, because no one vocalized it at all. She adds that her and Howie's personalities don't work well in the kitchen and cites how her food suggestions were overruled out of hand.

The thing with Howie is, he isn't a team player. Yes, I know that's been covered, but beyond that, he is someone who sees a problem and doesn't bother to fix it. He keeps his head down and attempts to protect his own ass, maybe grumbling passive-aggressively about the problem but doing absolutely nothing to fix it for the good of the team. He gives the originator of the problem enough rope to hang themselves and only steps in at Judges' Table to be vocal. That's the ONLY time we see Howie as a communicator: when it's time to sell someone else out to make sure he's protected. Colicchio comes down on Sara N. for not asserting herself and forcing them to accept her ideas. Sara N. admits she should have done that, but Howie is the type of chef she's worked with before. Sara N. knows they are stubborn and inflexible about doing everything their way and only their way. Howie then decides to attack Sara N. personally: "You're the baby of the team. You're the baby of the house. Everything needs to be done for you and you know what --" "I think that's a little extreme," CJ interrupts calmly and decidedly. LOVE him. Howie goes on that if Sara N. is going to call him out and say he's the reason for no carrying her weight -- "All right, that's enough," Sara N. interrupts. Howie keeps talking. "That's enough!" Sara N. repeats. "What's enough?" Howie retorts. "You!" Sara N. tells him and grabs at her eyes to press back tears. Padma excuses them. It's almost like the timing here is, "All right -- we've done our part to rile you up, now go in the back and keep fighting."

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