Antonia says that if Spike doesn't use the tomatoes tomorrow, he's going straight to hell. While frustrated by the degree to which Spike seems to enjoy screwing the competition, his outward focus leads her to believe that he hasn't actually spent much time thinking about his own dish. After he rattles off his short list of ingredients to the other six, Spike insists that it's nothing personal, before telling the camera, with the grin of a true douche, that it totally is. Andrew feels that Spike has chosen "the four most dumbed-down components on purpose" because everyone in the house is "stupid" (I was actually not aware that Andrew felt this way about his compatriots) and will now be forced to get creative with their dishes. With 30 minutes and $175, the rest of the group now gets to start its hunt and gather.
Spike's choices do screw with Stephanie, who says her original plan of chicken and smoked tomatoes won't work as she tentatively selects some butternut squash. Lisa, derailed from her simple sandwich and soup concept, changes her chicken and turkey order at the butcher counter to ground turkey only, and explains that she'll go with a shrimp stir fry (with ground turkey?). Richard's settled on a bok choy and tuna burrito, while Andrew parlays two years of studying nutrition into "walking around like a dart -- on point," selecting all manner of healthy ingredients, and asserting that Spike's evildoing will have no effect on his wizardry, because he's light years beyond. After some register-area bantering and vegetable close-ups, night becomes day, and it's time for the cookdown.
Stephanie explains that they'll be incorporating their ingredients into a box lunch that will be given to the police officers with instructions -- they'll have to heat them up all by themselves. Antonia elaborates -- two hours in the Top Chef kitchen to cook, then off to the police academy for lunch service. Great -- yet another cook and transport, catering-style challenge! She'll be toting a curried beef dish with jasmine and brown rice and a fresh berry fruit salad. After her Common Thread win, along with her practice of healthy home cooking, Antonia's confident in her ability to win. But she better watch out for Andrew's sushi roll -- he's so certain it's going to be the bomb that he's bound to win, right? Instead of rice, he's pulverizing parsnips and pine nuts together (gross), which he'll combine with vegetables and raw salmon (tartare style). Well, that does sound healthy, and rather unappetizing. He'd really like to win this one, so he can "show these people who is the man." Despite the presence of eight testicles (we can only assume), I'm not convinced that there are any "men" currently in the Top Chef kitchen. In fact, Stephanie thinks Andrew's choice of sushi is a bit girly -- not the kind of hearty fare that's going to satisfy hungry cops, much less her.