Richard and crew are next -- when Colicchio asks what element they have, Richard replies, "Water -- you can tell by the blue aprons." Bien sur, replies Colicchio, with a slight grin that fades immediately into annoyance. Extolling the importance of "a rapport with Tom," Richard lays on the charm, as he explains the dish and wonders aloud, "Who poaches fish anymore?" Colicchio looks confused. "Three chefs in blue aprons." Blank. "We do have Jacuzzi." Slightly incredulous. Acknowledging that he is digging himself a watery grave, Richard laments that "the Richard Blaise charm has just worn off." Yes, Richard, yes it has. God, that was satisfying to watch.
While we don't see Colicchio speaking with the Air-yans, he does offer a to-the-camera assessment of his walk through -- "they didn't really seem to have a clear idea of that dish just yet," which, with an hour left to go, could be a problem. He hopes Team Fire's shrimp won't be too spicy and "ruin everybody's palate for the rest of the meal," while he feels that Team Water seems "a little overconfident, really cocky." That's certainly one way to put it. No words on his impressions of Team Earth.
As the clock ticks, general mayhem envelops the kitchen -- Lisa's cutting her block of bacon, so it looks like things worked out in the end. Zoi wishes there was more time to refine their dish, and says, as she's transferring her sautéed mushrooms from pan to tray, "it's not my restaurant, it's not my plate," and chokes -- I mean, chalks -- it up to an ongoing series of compromises. Her weeks-old bad attitude has gotten pretty stale -- she's definitely dating up.
It's October of 2007, according to the sign announcing the party, in case anyone cares -- lots of white people sit around tables enjoying wine. Gail, returning a judge this week, looks particularly busty in an eggplant dress. As the other teams begin plating their dishes, Team Water's lagging. Andrew and Mark check with Richard to see what they should do, Richard's nervous and looks like he's struggling with the salmon. Mark inquires whether the fish should be served skin up or skin down, and when Richard throws the question back at Mark, he replies "we should have already decided that" before wondering if Richard has the mettle to plate an intricate dish for 80. To make matters worse, they notice the presence of scales on pieces of fish, an error Andrew likens to leaving "a fish head on if you cook a fish," a pointless comparison since leaving on fish heads is done quite frequently.