Now that Michael and Ralph were the only two players in the game, their personalities suddenly became much more apparent than they were originally. It seemed as if they were specifically chosen as foils to one another, with Ralph as the more hot-headed and Michael as the more calm and soft-spoken. Each had its advantages, but the real turning point for Michael was when he started being more assertive with his teammates, who thus far had not been acting much like a team. Interestingly, Michael at one point broke the fourth wall when he scolded Jessica by telling her she'd been in the game for "months," implying that the game has been going on a lot longer than you can tell just by watching the episode.
I have to wonder now if I misjudged Michael a little bit. At first I had thought he already had an established career as a chef but this episode he was treated as a sort of young upstart by both Ralph and Gordon Ramsay. Maybe he was an underdog we were supposed to root for all along, and I just didn't notice. He was also more sympathetic this episode than I remember him being all season, but on the other hand, maybe I just didn't know what I was missing--he seems like an absolute saint compared to some of the guys from later seasons of the show! I also couldn't help but notice a lot of comments on the video noting that the contestants in this season appeared much nicer to one another than the contestants from later seasons, which seems pretty funny.