This is it! Last runway before the final runway! Ok, so it’s not IT it, but it’s like, the penultimate “it,” which is something! So yeah, this is something! For this final normal episode, the designers had to work triple duty. Some choked, some…chewed and swallowed? (Great analogy.) Anyway, point is, some people did well, some people did badly. Let’s discuss!

After the usual post-elimination aftermath chat where everyone has to pretend like they’re sad the person they hated got kicked off (like, seriously? You’re sad Bert’s gone? Riiiiight…), the final five head off to the runway for their last challenge. Once again, Heidi tells them a bridge-troll-from-Billygoat’s-Gruff-esque riddle about their challenge and sends them off to Tim for the whole scoop. However, in a twist, instead of meeting him in the workroom, they’re going to see him on Governor’s Island. Boat trip!

They all head off to the island, where Cindy and Kelly complain about having to brave the crappy weather and long boat ride for a stupid birthday party Alex is organizing Tim informs them that this week they’ll be designing using Governor’s Island as an inspiration, which is a horrible idea. Like, I’m sure it’s pretty and all, but it’s not exactly a place known for its landmarks and natural beauty. Or is it? I don’t know, I’ve never been there and live on the other side of the country. It just seemed weird. Further complicating things, the designers have to design not one but THREE individual looks. A mini collection!

After being given some time to explore the island for “inspiration” (“Ooh! Look at that gorgeous chain-link fence!”) everyone tugboats back to Manhattan and mosies on over to Mood to buy some fabrics, which is pretty uneventful, except for the fact that Kimberly says she needs “cantaloupe colored wool,” which just sounds awful.

Back to the workroom! Sketch sketch sew se-what’s that? Tim’s here? With the dreaded button bag? Uh oh… Just when the designers are about to claw their eyes out from anxiety, Tim explains that since everyone has to work triple duty, he’ll be bringing in reinforcements in the form of the past five eliminated designers, whom the finalists will choose based on the number they pick from the button bag! Surprise! Except not at all because they do this gimmick literally every single season. In any event, the pairs are chosen as follows: Kim picks Becky (WTF? Becky? Whatever, it’s your funeral, toots.), Viktor picks Olivier, Laura picks Anthony, Anya picks Bert, and Joshua picks Bryce. Now get to work!

Sew sew sew, sketch sketch sketch. The tension starts getting to everyone, particularly Joshua, who rants to Bryce about how much he thinks Anya doesn’t deserve to be here. He seriously won’t stop talking about it. Girl, simmer! You do you, let her do her. Olivier also complains, even though he’s just an assistant, saying he feels “like a slave.” Yes, a fabulous Singaporean Taiwanese British Ohioan slave. Laura also starts to break down, but in her case it’s through crying about how much she wants to win.

More sewing! Looks are starting to pull together and some are…not so great. Laura’s stencil fabric is looking a little loose and awkward, and Kimberly’s pants are in trouble because they don’t quite fit. Also, Joshua’s clothes are just looking a mess. Hopefully they’ll do ok!

Finish! Makeup! Hair! Everyone heads down to the Runway  where they are greeted by the usual judges along with guest judge Zoe Saldana, who apparently has some sort of fashion website she runs or something when she’s not busy mocapping blue aliens.

On with the show!

– Joshua’s first look is good from the front, but fits poorly in the back. His second has a cute t-shirt, but an AWFUL skirt, and his third dress with the heavy gray drape cape is just terrible. Seriously, I hated it.

– Kimberly’s clothes are all pretty well made, albeit a little slutty (especially her second one). Also, her final dress was totally cute. Turns out cantaloupe wool isn’t so terrible after all.

– Laura’s first outfit with the skirt and coat is cute, as is her second sweetheart dress, although that one could definitely fit better. Her final evening dress is gorgeous though.

– Anya’s outfits are all very modern and cool. A little on the simple side maybe, but cool nevertheless.

– Viktor’s clothes are all impeccably made but a little boring, as usual.

Judging time! Anya and Viktor both got mostly positive critiques, but overall things were a pretty mixed bag for most of the designers, with everyone having items the judges liked and didn’t like, making it hard to figure out who’s going home.

After a long deliberation, it’s announced that Anya, Viktor, Joshua, and Kimberly will be moving on, and unfortunately Laura will be going home, which, frankly, is bullshit. Sure, her clothes weren’t the best of the bunch, but sending her home over Joshua’s monstrosities? I should have known as soon as they gave her the whole “this is my dream” edit that they’d be sending her home. After 9 seasons you think I’d know better!

In any event, that’s it! The final 4! Next up are full collections and fashion week. I’m excited to see what everyone will do, especially Anya, who I’m sure will bang out some fierce looks now that she has some more time. Until next week!