Happy 2014, people! I hope you all got to eat some Hoppin’ John and some tasty collards with your loved ones. After a week off I feel like I need to get us back up to speed.
Justin has gone back to his little grocery store and his growing family. He did well to get this far in the competition, and I am very happy for him. More so there is a city that is still cheering him on, no matter what. That New Orleans; what a town. I hope Justin is smiling under that beard. He should be.
Phone calls from home start this episode. Stephanie's boyfriend has been tasked with getting her a fishing pole, and he has not followed through. She found him while looking around her kitchen. He was on the line and not playing hard to get. He even stuck with her after she got booted from last year’s first episode, which brings up a good relationship advisement: if someone leaves you after you fizzle out on reality television, they were not the person for you.
On to Captain Grumpypants, I mean Nick. He is sporting a yellow handkerchief in his back right pocket, which, golly, I just looked up the meaning of that and I hope this is just some oversight on his part. In some circles it means a love of watersports. I never saw that coming. But goddamn, he will retain his integrity, as opposed to that Carlos fellow, that no good, stealin', fish stinkin', knife stainin', guy in the bunk below him. I love that they are sleeping in bunkbeds, as this is the best way to whittle them down to tears, anger and utter hopelessness.
Nicholas really is the grumpiest gentleman at this stage of the season. It kind of is the next stage of his reality television personality arc. He has gone from utter chutzpah, to tears, to grumpy, to "doing pretty good so far." In his mind he is building a nice cabin out in the woods with a special writing room. He is starting a series of books entitled, The Most Serious Cook in the Room.