Instead he surprised them with a visit from their families and friends to boost their spirits. "Because we had a very good service I decided to give you all a break and not eliminate someone," he explained. "Well done. Take this time out and enjoy."
The episode opened with a taste challenge which saw the chefs given 45 minutes to recreate a dish cooked by Gordon based only on their senses of smell, taste and sight. Russell and Nona thought it was a veal dish, while Jillian and Trev opted for pork. Everybody chose a chicken stock based sauce, although Trev thought he tasted a sweetness and added port wine to his version. He was also the only chef to choose a carrot purée (although he forgot to plate it) as the others thought it was yam purée. Everybody plated their dish with cabbage, although Russell added bacon to his and Nona sprinkled pancetta on hers.
Gordon was disappointed that Trev forgot to plate his purée when he was the only one who correctly guessed the carrot base, although both he and Jillian were wrong in choosing pork as the actual dish was veal. He said that both Nona and Russell had recreated the dish well but Nona had the winning edge because she chose pancetta over bacon. "I finally won a challenge!" she said in private. "I am so excited!" Her prize was a pampering day at a Beverly Hills spa and she chose to take Russell with her much to the disappointment of Jillian, who privately admitted she was annoyed by the decision. Nona later explained that although she wanted to take Jillian it had been strategical selecting Russell because it removed her from his target list. Jillian and Trev were left behind to wash, iron and starch all the table clothes.
Later that day Gordon requested to speak to Jillian in private before the dinner service, which alarmed her because of what happened in the previous service. "To get sent home now would be a straight kick in the face," she admitted. However, Gordon just wanted to give her a pep talk to boost her confidence after seeing her struggle in recent services. "You are a strong determined girl with a great future but you have to stop beating yourself up at the first mistake and learn to fight back and find that inner strength," he said. He added that she could be just as good as anyone on Hell's Kitchen if she bounced back. Jillian privately said the talk had been just what she needed: "To hear him say that you are good and just need to focus means the world to me. Tonight is my night. He's chosen me to be here for a reason and I have to show him why."
The talk appeared to work as Jillian impressed with her first scallops and Gordon joked that he was nervous because they'd never started a service so well. Unfortunately, an over-prepared risotto and raw scallops from Russell briefly halted their good work although they soon got back on track to finish the appetizers. The pressure was then placed on Trev (manning the meat station) with an influx of Beef Wellington orders, prompting Gordon to give him a brief lesson on the dish. However, he soon thought Trev was becoming flustered and told him to leave the kitchen for 30 seconds to calm down and take deep breaths. He was later sent out for another breather after becoming confused about order numbers although Gordon said his Wellingtons were "cooked perfectly". Russell was the next to make a mistake after serving two different coloured halibuts and then a raw halibut but again they managed to recover quickly. As the service wound to an end, tensions arose between Russell and Trev when timings for their stations became mixed up and Gordon was unhappy with Nona's final risotto which was lacking colour and flavour. However, her next attempt was well-received and the service was finished for the night.
Gordon gathered the chefs at the end of the night and said it had been an important dinner service following the previous episode's disappointment. "I desperately needed a comeback and that's exactly what I got," he said. "It wasn't perfect but it was bloody good. For the first time in a long time I am happy." He then sent them upstairs to discuss their nominations.
Jillian said she'd had a good night while Trev also thought he had been a success and wanted to nominate Russell and Nona. Nona thought she had been good and suggested Trev and Russell, which Jillian agreed with, much to the surprise of Trev who thought they'd agreed to vote on Russell and Nona during their laundry stint together. Russell wanted to nominate Trev and warned him he wouldn't take any more "attitude" from him in the future.
Back downstairs the group told Gordon that the nominees were Trev (lack of communication) and Russell (fish station mistakes). Gordon told Russell he was "concerned when arrogance outshines talent" and said Trev panicked and "worked too fast for his own good". In the end, he decided against eliminating anyone because of the dinner service success and instead surprised them all by revealing their families waiting next door. He left them with the promise that there were "lots more surprises" to come.
Hell's Kitchen continues next Wednesday at 9/8c on Fox