‘Great British Baking Show’ S8 finale recap: “Kiss Mr. Spoon”
It’s the finale of “The Great British Baking Show” and oh, what a ride it’s been! From Sura’s sabotage of Dave’s pineapple cakes, to Lottie proving once and for all that you can be a model and make meringue. From Linda’s story about milking cows as a young girl to every single goddamn thing about Rowan. It’s been an unpredictable season of chaos, calamity and British humor that we mostly don’t understand.
I’m Daniel Trainor and while I’ll miss all of my new friends, I take solace in the fact that Hermine is the true winner of this season and, therefore, gracefully conceded last week.
I’m Sam Stone and writing these recaps has been a complete joy, but I never need to hear the phrase “underbaked” again in my gay life.
For one last time, let’s get into it!
DT: This final group sort of feels like a really wacky March Madness, where there are a bunch of upsets (which is fun!) but then you’re left with a bunch of weird mediocrity in the Final Four (which isn’t, really!).
SS: I have famously never heard of sports, the month of March, or mediocrity. To celebrate the season finale, Prue has decided to dress up in Joseph’s coat of many colors.
DT: Dave and Peter are wearing matching magenta shorts, which isn’t necessarily important to the competition, but…just something to monitor.
SS: Peter says he’s been dreaming of reaching the “Baking Show” finale since he was “12 or 13,” so…last week?
DT: We love ellipses as much as Laura loves having emotional breakdowns! This episode basically boils down to whether or not Laura will have another exhaustive, catastrophic meltdown, and whether or not Peter’s cockiness will get the best of him.
SS: For the Showstopper Challenge, the bakers are asked to make 8 custard slices. Is a custard slice just pie? Only time will tell!
DT: I have absolutely no clue what a custard slice is, but I can tell you that in the British version of “American Pie,” Jason Biggs fucks a custard slice.
SS: Thrilled to report that I have never seen “American Pie.”
DT: Dave is revisiting his scorned mistress caramel for his custard slice. Dave and caramel are like me and the leftover cornbread stuffing currently in my parents’ fridge. I know I shouldn’t keep going back to it, but you can’t tell me what to do 🙂
SS: Both you and Dave need counseling.
DT: We simply cannot forget that Dave left his very pregnant wife at home in the middle of a global pandemic so he could make chantilly cream for strangers in a tent in the middle of the woods.
SS: The bakers all receive video messages from home and Dave’s wife has very “I cannot believe you left me here with this belly and this dog, but good luck with your CAKES” energy.
DT: Speaking of those video messages: Can I just say….Peter’s brother….what’s up? 😉
SS: These emojis are psychotic. Almost as deranged is Laura, who gets started on her yuzu custard slice by dumping Britain’s entire supply of yuzu into a bowl.
DT: As Peter works on his custard slices, Matt tells him that his life will be living hell once he returns to school. Are former “Baking Show” contestants major tabloid fodder in the UK? Are we three years away from Laura shaving her head and bashing a double decker bus with an umbrella?
SS: Yes, and Lottie is actually going to unseat the Queen and then, in turn, demolish the monarchy. (I have been watching “The Crown,” or as I call it “The Queen’s Gambit”)
DT: In a twist that absolutely nobody could have foreseen, Laura’s custard slices are a total fucking disaster.
SS: It’s almost like *whispers* she doesn’t deserve to be here.
DT: With some yuzu custard still stuck in her hair, Laura goes and sticks her head in the freezer for a nice cry. We’ve all been there, Laura! Well, not on international television. But we’ve all been there!
SS: Noel seems very invested in Laura’s success, which is sweet. I think he just wants to try one of her pizzas when this is all over.
DT: Peter’s custard slices looked like they’re topped by a Nature’s Valley bar which, as most of us would agree, sounds incredibly delicious. It also means Paul and Prue will be finding stray oats in random orifices for weeks.
SS: It’s Peter and Dave who receive strong feedback from the judges, while Laura is mostly just lucky she wasn’t kicked out of the tent.
DT: For the Technical Challenge, the bakers must make eight walnut whirls.
SS: Again, not sure what walnut whirls are, but they sound like some kind of Roald Dahl creation.
DT: All of the bakers seem to know what a “walnut whirl” is, which is funny because I’m fairly certain it was something the show’s producers made up to fuck with Americans. Apparently it’s something to do with marshmallows and chocolate and walnuts. And whirls.
SS: The tent is in the midst of another famous British heatwave, and the bakers have a tough time keeping their marshmallows from melting, and meet even more difficulties trying to temper chocolate.
DT: As the challenge begins, Laura says she positively hates everything about coffee, even the smell. Nobody hates the smell of coffee, Laura. Get your act together.
SS: This latest declaration from Laura begs the question: what DOES Laura like?
DT: Not only does Laura not like coffee, she doesn’t even know how it’s made. And now she’s fully just asking the cameraperson what she should do.
SS: Noel is really pushing his Mr. Spoon bit which is sort of cute, and sort of like…overly eroticised?
DT: Am I crazy or do Peter and Mr. Spoon have chemistry?
SS: Despite the harsh conditions, though, all three avoid complete disaster — even Laura got her whirls to set correctly.
DT: However, Laura, who really needed to come in first here to give herself any chance of winning the competition, comes in last. Dave’s are nearly perfect and he takes home the challenge. It’s a race.
SS: For the final challenge of the season, the bakers are asked to make a colossal dessert tower reflecting their own personal experience, — it’s times like this I desperately miss Linda who undoubtedly would have made something deranged about her brother who was eaten by a British crocodile.
DT: What would your tower look like, Sam? Mine would be a bunch of different cakes in the form of Cher’s character from “Burlesque.”
SS: Mine would look like my huge and intimidating ass.
DT: Peter describes his cake as being “a little bit random.” He’s so cRaaAzzY! Peter is the kind of guy who puts hot fudge and sprinkles on his ice cream and tells everybody he’s “being bad.”
SS: Dave is making a cake based on past failures, so I assume he’s serving a bowl of caramel.
DT: Laura is making a tower based on some schmaltzy quote about rainbows. I was hoping for a cake made out of PIZZA!
SS: God that joke is evergreen. Never gets old. Definitely don’t hate that one.
DT: Peter’s biscuit dough is meant to be “an American sugar cookie type thing,” which feels like an attack on my personal story as an American and as a cookie.
SS: Dave seems quietly confident, finishing his colossal dessert tower before everyone else, and casually eating raspberries while Laura and human calculator Peter rush to finish their bakes.
DT: Baking robot Peter starts to short-circuit during the challenge, as he struggles with the shape and texture of his biscuits. He’s moments away from spontaneously combusting. But he eventually rights the ship and remembers how to make a checkerboard design. He calls himself a “silly Billy.” Everything he says is like something out of a weird fairytale you’d find in the clearance section.
SS: Laura is committed to “just making herself proud” which is a nice way of saying she’s given up.
DT: All of the finished products look, dare I say, pretty underwhelming?
SS: I was whelmed!
DT: As per usual, Laura’s showstopper looks like a frazzled mess, but it tastes great. That’s about as well as Laura could have expected to fare, I’m afraid.
SS: Peter’s base-cake is dry, a cardinal sin. The rest of his sweets tower is passable, though, and our rosy cheeked king finishes “Baking Show” confident about his chances.
DT: Dave’s critique starts off very strong, but starts to fizzle when he gets dinged for some baking inconsistencies.
SS: The judges say the race between Peter and Dave is as close the show has ever seen, and it is rather gutting that the title might be decided by a babka being left in the oven for a minute too long.
DT: When all is said and done, Peter not only becomes the youngest finalist in the show’s history, he becomes the youngest winner. The human AI system squeaks out the victory and will return home to his fellow robots as a champion.
SS: This season has been filled with many ups and downs, lefts, and even, I’ll say it, rights. But I know that I have grown as a person, and I am more beautiful than ever. And that’s thanks to you guys (our listeners).
DT: To close things out, we’re treated to updates on all of the previously eliminated bakers. Rowan is making his own waistcoats (of course he is!) and dear sweet Linda spends all of her time at the beach, where I can only assume she routinely gets drunk and falls asleep.
SS: That’s it, folks. Peter is indeed the Greatest British Bake Off, and Daniel and I are now Thelma and Louising into the metaphorical sunset of unemployment. Good things to come! Watch this space! (This is a cry for help)