A Dose of Reality: The Restaurant - Episode 2-3
by Dan Weltin
Published: May 11, 2004
At the end of the last episode, Jeffrey gave Rocco an ultimatum and said there'd be a phone call at six o'clock. Tonight, the resolution to such a shocking climax. Cue intro.
And with that, it's been another successful day of the restaurant. The staff hangs out after work discussing how they don't like Jeffrey showing up after a six-month absence and acting like he's the sole owner. But on the other hand, they don't like Rocco either. They're Mama backers. They talk about how great it is that she doe all this work. Well, maybe they should get off their butt and help clean up. The whole conversation has been interspersed with shots of mops and people wiping down counters. Who's doing all this?
Rise and shine for Rocco. He gets dressed for work while moaning his concerns to his girlfriend. He doesn't want to just pull out of the restaurant and give in to Jeffrey because he has so much invested in it - namely his mother. He says "my mom's here dedicating her life to this restaurant." So you're on board just because of your mommy? Do you have an opinion on anything?
Jeffrey cruises around in his limo talking abut Ralph, a potential replacement for Rocco.
Over at Mama's apartment, Rocco watches his graduation tape from the Culinary Institute of America. The young Rocco is pretty gawky looking. Definitely wasn't one of the cool kids. Rocco continues his whining to Mama, but she has some advice. All of a sudden all is well with the world. Rocco goes out and immediately calls Jeffrey to kiss and make up.
But Jeffrey can't pick up the phone because he's too busy interviewing Ralph, who likes to put on a show when cooking. Did Jeffrey find this guy or did Mark Burnett scope him out. The whole interview process sounded like an 'Apprentice' boardroom debate.
Back at the restaurant, Jeffrey's Corporate Chef, Luke, is trying to convert all of Rocco's people into becoming Jeffrey followers. The cameraman zooms in on Tony's hands. That's like the second hand shot in the first 15 minutes. What's up with that?
Alright, showdown time. It's 6:00. Time for the hyped phone call. To add to the drama, Rocco lets it rings a few times before he picks up. Ooooh, the suspense. Rocco is happy to talk until Jeffrey decides to do just that. Jeffrey tires to get some ideas across, but it seems Rocco didn't think Jeffrey was serious about talking. Rocco quickly interrupts and keeps rattling on to make sure Jeffrey can't get anymore of his two cents in.
After the commercial break, Rocco heads to the Culinary Institute where he's giving this year's commencement speech. The kids must be thrilled. Well, they are asking for autographs. Shows what I know. Rocco meets some of his teachers and is given a knife from his mentor who received it from his mentor. Good thing Rocco is also here to find a new line cook.
Meanwhile, back at the restaurant, Jeffrey has called a meeting to go over the mundane aspects of silverware and uniforms. At the mentioning of silverware, Tony picks up a fork and studies it so he can follow along, I guess. You'd think he'd be familiar with it by now. Mama is upset about Jeffrey's changes. I thought she told Rocco not to worry?
Jump over to the institute. Rocco tries out some kids to be his new line cook. Jeffrey is looking for experience, while Rocco wants young blood fresh from school. Hmm. All the kids make mistakes, but Justin can at least name Rocco's two restaurants, so he gets the job. At the graduation ceremony, Rocco makes a joke about how his chef's hat keeps falling off. We quickly pan to the restaurant's kitchen where no one is wearing a hat or even a hairnet. Isn't that a law or something?
Whew! It's rush hour at the restaurant. Emily, the maitre de is being a bitch and Mama receives a painting of her on a plate of meatballs. I'm not kidding. Emily's helper, Amanda, has a breakdown and can't handle Emily's harsh directions. She wants a change of job. More on this later.
Ralph comes in to cook for Jeffrey and his crew. Everyone loves it, even his meatballs. I guess they're looking to replace Mama, too.
Rocco gives a quaint little speech at the CIA about finding your own voice. He then gets an award. He looks so happy, but wait, there's another award to give out. This one's for Mama! Rocco looks less than thrilled about being in Mama's shadow once again. Start finding that voice, buddy.
Now, back to Emily and Amanda. Emily confronts Amanda about her lack of enthusiasm. But Amanda thinks she has plenty of it and perceives negativity from Emily. Emily simply doesn't like to be interrupted. Case closed.
Jeffrey brings Ralph in for dinner. All the girls get in a frenzy. The waitress can't even talk straight. What is this, high school?
At the end of the night, Rocco meets with his cronies to go over the recent meeting he failed to attend. Restraining orders are mentioned as a possible good idea. Jeffrey and his crew meet as well to talk about silverware and uniforms … again. We go back and forth between the groups. The whole thing reminds me of that scene in the Great Muppet Caper where the Muppets are going over their list of rubber rafts and wax lips versus Charles Grodin and his glass cutter and harpoon gun.
Since Rocco's 22 Street is in so much turmoil, Rocco decides to take Justin to his other restaurant. It will be a better setting to start at. Rocco says he likes it so much better here. Yeah, because everyone is just like you, no one is working very hard.
The turmoil does continue at Rocco's however. Jeanine, the waitress in training, is having more problems. Tonight she doesn't know how to open a bottle of wine and she's accused of taking a shot with customers. They take her in back, which apparently is lit by blacklights, and fire her. So what does Jeanine decide to do? Well, the sensible thing. And that means throwing a bunch of bananas on the floor and stopping on them. That showed me! This is even more ridiculous than the painting of Mama.
Rocco finally decides he better get over to his restaurant, but before he goes in, he stops outside to gaze through the windows. There's Mama wearing her medal and laughing it up. Rocco must feel left out cause a lone tear falls down his cheek. Sniff. Sniff.
For more Restaurant News, Links, Interesting Tidbits check out these sites:
NBC's Official The Restaurant Page | Sirlinksalot's Restaurant Page
You want to talk about The Restaurant? Well come to our
Reality TV Forum