Halfway through, and somehow Beverly is still in the game. Miracles never cease. Nevertheless, onto another one.
The team makes it to their challenge in their car, as they can all fit in there now. Linda’s already going “okay, who’s bungee jumping and who’s not?” They’ve already gotten into a routine, which is great.
Okay, this is a really fun challenge, I believe taken from US S1- the team has to make it to a red flag on top of a hall, through a grassy plane with snakes and everything, and everyone will be equipped with paintball-guns in order to stop a series of snipers. Yeah, very similar to the US challenge, only this takes place out in the open, rather than in the middle of a city.
There’s a nice sequence of the team putting on excessive padding before they head out. Ben just takes off his shirt. Jan ends up putting on a padded bra, as someone (Alan, I presume), hums Shania Twain’s ‘Man! I Feel like a Woman’ in the background. Abby deadpans “gives you boobs you never knew ya had, eh Jan?”
Ben, to the camera: “…split up, get down on your knees, crawl, go bezerk? That’s the game plan.”
Grant, of course, throws a snag into the challenge: Firstly, the last person standing at the top of the hill, only if there aren’t any people left, will get an exemption. Annd….you can shoot each other. So, the malicious sides of some of the players can act out.
Bev, kind of obviously, is the first person eliminated, by the barrage of sniper fire coming from the overhead helicopter.
Also, some irony in the only person left with army experience getting shot while using actual army tactics. Poor Jan.
Ben, Abby and Alan make it towards the trees, at which point Ben is caught from behind during some big-time firepower. This challenge is a lot less fun without the walkie-talkie back-and-forths
Eventually it’s down to Alan, Abby and Linda, and Linda eventually gets ambushed by a sniper from behind, leaving Abby to gun down one herself. I’ll give Abby some credit- she’s gone from a serious mole suspect to one of the more refreshing characters in the game.
Abby’s literally about to grab the flag, and Alan literally stands up, ready to fire at her- and Abby sees this. I mean, a second later, the sniper gets her, but…still suspicious from Alan.
Of course, then Alan nabs both snipers and waltzes his way to the flag…and the exemption. I’m a little hesitant to call this a victory, because Abby was almost there and Alan almost sabotaged it himself, but…still.
For Challenge #2, which is preceded by some footage of the gang in the car pondering existential questions about the game, they have to divide into 2 groups of 3- Alan, Bev and Jan, and Ben, Linda and Abby.
Challenge #2 is fairly simple- both groups have to answer three brainteasers in an allotted amount of time- wrong answers equal deductions.
It’s weird- Alan, Jan and Bev are a bit more unfocused and take more time, and Ben, Linda and Abby are more into it…but Ben’s team gets the first wrong answer, and Alan’s team advances.
Bev, Alan and Jan end up completing all three of theirs, but they have to wait for Ben’s team, who are still on the ‘how many triangles’ question, and a bit unfocused (Ben’s cracking up a bit). They only get the correct answer to that one by…random guessing.
Ben’s team ends up running out the clock, and losing it for everybody, bringing my suspicions back up on him (because it can’t possibly be Linda the way she’s been ruling this game.)
The second Abby and Linda realize that the answer to question #2 was that the tide wasn’t change, because it’s a boat…they both start cracking up completely.
The third challenge of the day involves photographing wildlife- I mean, with the exception of the first one of the episode, not a lot of huge, thrilling stuff so far this episode.
Ben and Jan have to take theirs via boat.
Alan and Bev have the green LandRover.
Abby and Linda have the Orange LandRover
The second that Alan realizes he doesn’t have to take a boat, he cheers…and Ben groans.
This is actually an interesting idea- they have to photograph wildlife, and submit four photos to experts on Australian wildlife- if they get six out of everybody’s, they win money.
This is great- Abby and Linda will travel on quad bikes through the beaches- the instructor emphasizes that fifth gear is a traveling gear, not to be used often….and cut to both of them on fifth gear, scaring away all the wildlife they’re supposed to shoot. Classy stuff.
Even better- Abby and Linda walk over to the dunes, and all of the sudden, Abby trips on a lizard and shrieks. Both women just double over laughing as Abby tries taking the photo.
Linda: “…if it crawls up my leg, I swear to God…”
And when Linda and Abby go to look at the lizard photo…Abby forgot to take the lens cap off. At least this show isn’t short on genuine characters.
Not a lot of other stuff in this challenge other than Abby and Linda’s patheticness.
Eventually they do get it back to the expert, and Abby and Linda’s group is first.
Grant: “Those first two are the lens cap. Leslie, can you correctly identify that as the lens cap-”
Abby: ‘Oh, we don’t need to dwell on this…”
Grant: “Now, this is the only one with an image….that’s YOU, Abby.”
Abby’s completely cracking up. I doubt she’s the mole, because that’s some human stuff and I believe her over it.
Grant: “Moving onto four…”
Leslie: “Very good shot of alto-cumulus clouds, I’d say…”
Grant: “Annnnd five?”
Leslie: “Ah. Very good shot of Ocean Beach with a blob in it.”
Linda and Abby are laughing it off, but that was a pretty pathetic challenge display.
None of Alan and Bev’s show any animals, and Alan’s disagreeing with Bev over which ones were actually the choices.
Ben and Jan’s photos do get a few much-needed points, but they don’t get the full 6 due to some repeats. So…a failure, but at least the Linda and Abby stuff was hysterical to watch.
Pre-quiz, it’s a bit more divided- there are people, like Alan, Ben and Abby who I don’t think are going home for a while, and then there’s the rest…which is hard to tell. Look, this episode may have been Linda’s first slip-ups since she’s been here, and Bev in her confessionals was acting like this may be the end. Jan also might slip out.
Still, I think Bev finally goes home tonight- Linda and Jan following.
ABBY: GREEN. Yeah, this was the one where her gameplay SERIOUSLY amped it up, even more than the last few. She’ll be fine.
BEVERLY: GREEN. wow…I honestly thought she’d be going home. Maybe she’s a lot more focused on the quizzes than I give her credit for.
LINDA: GREEN. And Linda hangs in by the skin of her teeth.
BEN: RED. Whoa.
Honestly was not expecting him to go, even if he had a lower-key episode. This guy grew on me more than anybody else, and became a pretty suave, fun player to watch. A shame he’s fled the coop now, as have most of the good characters on the show.
Overall: A strong episode that took its time to find footing. A lot more emotional moments, the game’s first exemption, and a nice shift for one or two big characters going ahead.
Best Gameplayer: Abby, second week in a row, for proving herself and her intuition, while…still shooting with the lens cap on.
Best Character: This week, probably Alan, for a few nice lines throughout the episode.
Who do I think is the mole? It’s getting tough because there are people who could in no way be the mole, like Beverly and Linda, and people who I don’t think are the mole anymore, like Abby. And then there’s someone like Alan who sprung onto my radar this episode. It might be him.