Welcome back Takers. We had yet another solid episode — this season is killing it — that ended on a major cliffhanger. Along the way the cast got muddy in the daily, won by Logan and Nany. Josh threw a temper tantrum, as he is wont to do. And in the Lair, house nominees Cory and Bettina staged a huge comeback to send home the Agency’s selection of Jeremiah and reigning champ Amber.
Question 1: Do you think they’re down there playing patty-cake?
TD: This was the question Cory posed to Josh after Josh whined about Cory playing nice with rookie Jeremiah during the daily. I really think it was more about Josh pitching a fit that he didn’t win. To answer the question: no. But it is time for people to start worrying less about alliances and more about just trying to win every damn time. That’s the only way to certain safety.
Blaine: There was a moment, too, where Cory inquires something to the effect of “Do you think I’m just going to hand it to you?” But this was just after he’d handed the ball to someone so that he would win. The drama, though, is delectable!
Adam: Josh got wrecked and is just mad that the social game he’s very proud of means nothing at the end. We’re only halfway through, if that, and it’s already getting real. Cory absolutely destroyed him with the initial tackle in the pit, but the point about how many Finals Josh has made (0) definitely hurt more. Hilarious!
Question 2: Did the daily remind anyone else of those wildlife videos from an African watering hole?
TD: Absolutely. Watching them slog around in the mud — especially towards the end — made me think of a zebra stuck in the mud before BAM, they’re croc food. I liked the daily, although it could’ve used some more collisions or wrestling. Thought for sure we were gonna see CT out-muscle those other four dudes in the first round.
Blaine: The crocodile needed to be Kyle, right? That’s the only way this analogy works. Speaking of everyone’s favorite set of chompers, Kyle’s heat with Cory is a storyline that’s worth seeing more of. But with Kyle, he tends to get angry and then never mention it again. We’ll see.
Adam: Oh yeah. Primal stuff. I fully expected CT to do something epic here, but he’s playing smarter these days and may have seen the writing on the wall. It was a nice return to the days of yore, with physical contact, a healthy dose of strategy, and mud wrestling. I like dailies at this point in the season that can force alliances to come to the surface, and we got a little bit of that.
Question 3: Would you have taken Logan’s deal?
TD: I’d be hesitant to make any deal that involved me letting someone else win. Especially in the moment when the adrenaline is pumping, it’s hard not to just take the ball and run.
Blaine: I predicted this would be a question. I feel like this part of the game must include deals of some sort. I’d take the deal knowing that it is ephemeral; I hadn’t made a buddy but merely a compromise for one day.
Adam: Yes. That would have been a long war of attrition to find a winner competitively, and the alliance web isn’t tangled enough at this point to make it all that complicated. I’d trust Logan because he isn’t really in any block voting group; the last thing he wants to do is go back on his word and acquire a target, and his partner Nany usually plays fairly straight up.
Question 4: Was Kyle’s confessional — where he said “I’m sick of being treated like a snake, because at the end of the day everyone in here is a snake, everyone lies, I just admit it!” — the most truthful thing ever said on The Challenge?
TD: It’s no secret that Kyle is a favorite around these parts, mostly for his sense of humor and self-awareness. But every now and then he drops a gem like this, and yes, he’s 100% correct. I get being upset at someone double-crossing you or whatever, but at the end of the day this is a competition and there is a lot of money up for grabs.
Blaine: The sooner everyone looks at everyone else as a crooked sumbitch, the better his/her game play will be. Alliances will fade quicker than Kyle’s wrinkles will appear once he quits his Botox. Don’t change, you snake!
Adam: Yep. It’s an evergreen confessional, but I have to think it was shot shortly after his tense exchange with Cory on the porch following deliberation. Kyle really showed the artistic possibilities of cursing during that chat, and I don’t think Cory appreciated the British national art form. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I kind of gained some respect back for Tori, a former favorite of mine. She has handled the start of the “Vet War” as well as anyone. Is it the ability to be absurd and entertaining yet still self aware that we crave on this show?
Question 5: So, about that cliffhanger: what do you think T.J.’s bombshell will be?
TD: It’s gotta be either teams are now locked in place, or it’s an individual competition going forward.
Blaine: If you got to watch the teaser for next week, it’s hard to imagine anything but the game becoming a solo endeavor.
Adam: If partners are locked in place, they’ll need to tidy up Tori’s missing partner. Do new folks show up? Does it go back to guy/girl/guy/girl single eliminations from week to week, with a rogue agent? If Mister TJ tells them they are essentially playing Free Agents right after Amber is sent home, I’m going to be pissed.