The remaining 16 home cooks are about to face their first MasterChef team challenge. As they wait in the middle of an empty field, two U.S. Marine Corps helicopters fly overhead. The servicemen, who will later emerge from the choppers, will be the lunch guests during the next competition.
Judges Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and Joe Bastianich arrive and tell the challengers that in two hours they will be ambushed by 201 Marines. The contestants' mission is to send them back to training with full stomachs.
To make it even more difficult, the competitors be preparing the food on location in the trenches. Every Marine will eat an entree from each team and line up behind the one they think is the best. The losing team will face their very first MasterChef pressure test.
Frank and David had the best dishes in the last challenge, so they are the team captains. David picks Becky, Josh, Mike, Helene, Ryan, Anna, and Monti for the Red Team. Frank chooses Felix, Scott, Stacey, Tali, Tania, and Michael for the Blue Team. Christine is the last pick and ends up on Frank's team.
Frank tells his group that they'll make an Italian chicken and pasta salad. David directs the Red Team to make an all-American classic: pork chops with a barbecue sauce and a side of potatoes.
With an hour to go, the Red Team struggles to get organized. Michael is also having trouble with his unseasoned mushrooms and onions on the Blue Team's grill. Forty-five minutes before the Marines finally arrive, the judges recommend that Frank take Michael off the station.
As the troops descend from all directions, Chef Ramsay discovers that the Red Team's pork is raw and tells David to get it back on the grill. The Blue Team, however, appears to have everything under control until Frank realizes that they might not have enough pasta.
The Red Team begins to serve their BBQ pork chops with coleslaw and potatoes, while blind contestant Christine loses confidence in herself when presented with the challenge of plating the Blue Team's grilled chicken with pasta salad.
After dishing out two scoops of pasta to each Marine, Frank realizes that his worst fear has come true: he doesn't have enough to serve the troops. But there's bad news for the Red Team as well when a piece of raw pork is uncovered. The mistake grinds the group's line to a halt. While David once again looses control, the women take charge. The Blue team prepares another batch of pasta, and both teams manage to get back on track.
After the hungry Marines finish their plates, it's time to choose a winning team. As the troops take two giant steps toward their pick, the Red Team takes the challenge by 16 votes. The Blue Team must return to the MasterChef kitchen, where they will face a Pressure Test - and at least one of them will be forced to leave the competition.
The judges present the challenge. Chef Ramsay announces that usually all the losing team's contestants compete in the Pressure Test, but in this case, one of them will be allowed to sit it out.
Team captain Frank gets to pick one person to get the pass and be saved from the challenge. He chooses Felix, because she had recommended making American food for the Marines. But she insists on competing. His next choice, Scott, also refuses to sit out the challenge. He finally picks Stacey, who takes the pass and joins the winning team on the balcony.
For the Pressure Test, the remaining cooks must bake an apple pie. They all have access to the basic ingredients as well as additional elements to set their dish apart. The chefs have an hour and 15 minutes to prepare their dessert. They'll be judged on the filling, crust, and overall baking technique of their apple pies.
Scott is feeling confident that he'll knock it out of the park. Christine is concerned because it's challenging for her to make a visually stunning dessert. And Michael fears that he's at a disadvantage as the dish is not a staple of Chinese cuisine; he adds a heavy layer of cheese to the top.
When time is up, the judges call Frank to the tasting table. Even though he's never made an apple pie before, he redeems himself. All three judges lavish him with praise.
Tanya's play on a caramel apple is a bit undercooked and over-seasoned. Chef Ramsay calls it the worst dish she's prepared in the competition so far.
While Tali's creation is lacking in apples, Michael's cheese-covered dessert is watery inside. Felix's pie is so beautiful that it looks like it was bought at a bakery, but the inside doesn't take it over the top.
And the once-confident Scott hangs his head as he approaches the judges. While the pastry is unsuccessful, the judges tell him the filling is great.
Last up is Christine, who feels she needs a miracle to survive. She admits to Chef Ramsay that she was flustered and that she thinks her pie looks like a pile of rubbish. She is surprised when he tells her it looks stunning and that the flavor is amazing. He begs her to believe in herself.
Frank, Christine, Felix, and Tali all have made pies good enough to send them to the next round. They join the Red Team in the balcony. Michael, Tanya, and Scott have made the judges' least favorite pies. In the end, they send Michael home.