Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Toad in a Hole: Sam I Am Keyser Söze

We were intrigued by the Gals' provocative post at Top Chef 2. They Cook, We Dish on Sam Talbot as Jack Sparrow, since we had also been having cinema-related thoughts about Sam. Only we had a completely different movie in mind.

For a few weeks now, the combination of Sam's greasy hair, brown-flowered shirt, odd, pseudo-gimpy (for lack of a more politically correct word) affect when speaking, and slyly treacherous behavior all the while appearing to be harmless, have been reminding us of someone we'd seen.

Then someone mentioned a Baudelaire quote, and we had it.

Of course! Sam Talbot was Keyser Söze, the devilishly treacherous mastermind played by Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects. They even have the exact same flowered shirt in shades of brown (we tried to get a photo, but we're useless at things like screen caps and the like, so if you've got a photo of Sam during the on-camera interviews in that shirt, please e-mail us and we promise we'll say nice things about you and how well you dress).

Sam originally came on the show as "the hot diabetic." (However, hotness in this case decidedly seems to be more in the eye of the beheld than in the eye of the beholder, and we find it increasingly difficult to control our urge to wash his greasy hair.) He was the harmless, Yankee-sounding Carolina boy, the Bono wannabe, the greasy, emo chef-boy in a culinary version The Outsiders. (May Coppola and Matt Dillon forgive us.)

But then the Keyser Söze began to come out. He threw the cat among the pigeons by launching accusations of cheating and squeeze bottles of olive oil without substantiation. He then tried the most Keyser Söze move of all, trying to eliminate a rival by having him killed by a drunk hothead with DeNiro delusions, i.e., inciting El Bully to go after Marcel for having moved his toiletries. (We found that super manly, by the way, threatening grievous bodily harm because your make-up bag got moved).

The episodes have become a fascinating game of Watch Sammy Run His Mouth.The attempted slurs against our beloved Miss Elia Aboumrad in this last episode were particularly amusing. He tried to get her in trouble for having used frozen waffles in her winning dish (interesting that he didn't go after his henchman, El Bully, for having used pre-made pie crusts). Now let's take a look at Sam's own dish. Ignore the cat-sick and the strawberry in the middle, and what do you have? Why, it's a bagel. And we certainly didn't see Sammy making any bagels on the beach. In other words, a very Keyser Söze move.

The quote from The Usual Suspects that jogged our memory was, "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he didn't exist." And it seems to us that the greatest trick Sam Talbot ever pulled was convincing us that he was harmless fun. However, it's clear that Sam I Am Keyser Söze has his eye on the ball. As he told The Boston Globe about being on Top Chef, "I have the mind of a chef and the soul of a chef. It's also a great way to win $100,000. HA! "

Somewhere on the streets of San Pedro, Kevin Spacey is straightening his limp.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

here is flower shirt sam:


i still find him pretty harmless personality-wise, though, and one of the best chefs this season aside from that pesto brainfart. then again, michael is now probably my favorite so maybe i just have bad taste? oh well.