Previously on Inferno II: Twenty BMP alumni came to Isla Navidad to compete for money and that sweet, sweet camera time. The teams were spilt into “Good Guys” and “Bad Asses.” The Bad Asses won the Surf Torture mission, winning $10,000 for their bank. The BAs decided to nominate Good Guys’ top dog Mike for the Inferno, while the GGs wanted the weaker Dan. Mike ranted like the loon that he was, about Dan never being able to “be Miz” and whatnot. With Mike in every other teaser shot in the extended teaser and Dan nowhere to be seen, as well as the commercial with Mike and Dan going into the Inferno, this season might not be off to a good start.
Party! Everybody drinks, dances and hot tubs their night away. Been there, done that, and I’m getting bored with it. Julie’s on the sidelines, chatting on a cell phone. She interviews that she has spent the last year getting in touch with her spirituality. Along the way, she got married. Yeah, but did her wedding make an ABC special like Kelley and Scott Wolf? I think not. Karamo’s in the hot tub, telling Jamie that he wants to hook up with her. He’s probably joking, but I can’t really read into him half of the time. He also says something about telling Nick it’ll be the one time. Who’s Nick? Jamie’s boyfriend? Karamo’s? The nice guy from RR: X-Treme?
One guy pukes. Abram interviews that everybody is drunk, and they’re getting carried away. We see Derrick and Landon scrap with each other. I hope the production people hid the knives. Brad interviews that the wrestling is going down on concrete, two stories above the ground, and that he’s trying to keep the situation under control. Derrick seems to start something with Mike, but Darrell carries the little scrapper off. Landon walks away with blood dripping down his arm. Jon voiceovers that the others are about partying and sleeping around. Cut to him next to Julie. “We just want everybody to know,” he adds, “that’s not all there is, and there are some people out there that are trying to represent God, love, and what Jesus did for all of us.” Yikes. Jon means well, but his sense of perspective is a little skewed. Also, Julie is next to him while he’s saying this, which doesn’t work for anybody.
It’s time for the sponsor phone clue. Jon reads it off for his team: wear team colors and tennis shoes. Beth adds that the players must be ready to leave at 1 p.m. Derrick interviews that the tempo has been set, and the best thing is for the Bad Asses to keep winning. Mike high-fives Jamie, and she smacks his butt. He interviews that he’s excited to be taking out one of the other players in the Inferno. Dan tells Mike that he’s ready to go “balls out” and wear war paint. Mike says that he wears war paint. Dan: “Of course you do. Why wouldn’t you have war paint?” Heh. Dan thinks that he can beat Mike. “There’s really not that big of a difference between Mike and I,” he adds, “other than, like, 200 pounds of muscle. [eyeroll and sigh] But what’s that?” I sigh, trying to treasure the brief time I have left with Dan.
It’s a new day. Dave welcomes the players to today’s mission: Juice It Up. He gestures to some nearby trees, with grapefruit dangling from ropes. The objective: grab the fruit, run across the field, and squeeze the juice into a container. Once the juice reaches a line, the time will be stopped. Dave adds that the fastest average time wins $10,000. Also, each player from the winning team wins an MP3 player. The catch? The players will be running on stilts. Darrell: “What the hell is a stilt?” Turns out that “stilt” refers to something I thought of as “sproingy shoe.” Cut to the players squeezing into the stilts and trying to walk in them. Jodi expositions that if a player falls, two teammates can pick that person back up. Also, if the container is tipped over, the player has to start over. Dave adds that the players with the fastest individual times on each team will win the Aztec Lifeshield, which can save somebody or a teammate from the Inferno. Mike reminds us that he can protect himself by winning it. Dan advises Karamo to always keep moving in the stilts. He says the same thing Mike says, then bounces around on the stilts. Landon interviews that his team has to bounce back, since they’re down one mission.
Abram and Julie get strapped into their stilts. Julie interviews that there’s no question her team will win, since they’re still pissed off about losing last time. Rachel tells us that her team isn’t called “Bad Asses” for nothing, and that they’ll win. Abram wants to win the Lifeshield so he wouldn’t have to save Dan. Remind me again how Dan and Abram can be on the same team. Julie interviews that she wants to be Abram, since she doesn’t like the guy.
After commercials, Julie and Abram go off in the first heat. Both make it to the tree and pluck the grapefruit. Abram interviews that there is a collective average time, and one person can blow it. Mmmm...the sweet smell of foreshadowing. Julie stuffs fruit in her shirt, and both players squeeze their goods into the containers. Julie tears into the fruit with all 572 of her teeth, while Abram stumbles. Dave blows the airhorn, signaling Julie’s victory. Abram finishes up, and a graphic shows that the Good Guys have a 21 second lead. Apparently, we’re not getting individual times.
Heat Two: Brad vs. Veronica. Brad interviews that his team was impressed by Julie’s performance, and he hopes to keep it up. Brad stuffs fruit in his shirt, while Veronica falls. Brad wins the heat, and the clock goes into fast-forward, stopping at 1:10. Brad interviews that he feels confident his team will take the mission
Heat Three: Jon vs. Rachel. She interviews that she’ll try to keep steady and not be a hero today. He interviews that his strategy is not to pay attention to his opponent. Rachel manages to run on the stilts while Jon stumbles. He gets helped up, while Mike yells that he can still beat Rachel. Jon still stumbles, but he gets to the container. The editors then pipe in gospel music. Because Jon is down with the Lord, you see. Jon wins the heat, putting his team up by 1:15. I think the win had less to do with divine intervention than, say, Rachel’s mediocrity in missions. CT interviews that he feels confident the Bad Asses will make up for lost time.
Heat Four: Landon beats Derrick, pushing the clock to 1:19. Heat Five: Darrell vs. Karamo. This time, a Bad Ass wins, as Karamo pushes time back to 0:58, and triggering a huge team celebration. Heat Six: Shavonda vs. Tonya. This is another BA win, as Tonya kicks the time back to 0:41. Heat Seven: Robin vs. Beth. Of course, Robin wins this round, giving her team a 1:18 edge. Beth interviews that Robin didn’t beat her by much. She beat you by 37 seconds! Beth does spit out a seed, so that was funny.
Heat Eight: Jamie vs. Dan. Dave reminds Dan that this is his last chance to save himself. Naturally, Dan doesn’t take this seriously. Dave expositions that Karamo has the fastest BA time with 1:37. “I don’t feel any pressure right now,” Dan interviews, “because if I pressure myself, I can probably fall flat on my face. So lets get this over with, shall we?” He manages to squeeze out a win. Jamie ends up gnawing on a grapefruit, stopping the time at 1:01. Dan jumps up and down in happiness, interviewing that he’s glad to show the others that he can play this game.
Heat Nine: Jodi vs. Tina. As we see Jodi high-five Jon, she interviews that she’s glad her team is in front, and she has no doubts about beating Tina. Both players pluck fruit. While Jodi gets to squeezing, Tina falls down. It looks like a cakewalk for Jodi, until she knocks her glass over. Julie grimaces, while Abram whoops it up. “I was praying for somebody on their team to screw something up,” he interviews, “and Jodi just completely screws it up!” Tonya obnoxiously sing-songs that Jodi has to start over. Jodi gets propped up by Landon and Mike, while Jamie looks unhappy. “This kills us,” she says in an interview.
As Tina gnaws on a grapefruit, Jodi seems to have recovered by filling her glass up quick before realizing she has no more fruit. Haven’t we all had days like this? As Jodi goes back to the tree, Tina finishes up, and the clock starts moving backwards. Jodi stumbles, and I see a grapefruit bounce away from her. Either she did have one after all, or the editors are screwing with us. Jodi finally finishes up, and the clock stops at 0:37 ... in the Bad Asses’ favor. Of course, the BA s are thrilled over this turn of events. “I killed this bitch!” Tina boasts in an interview. “Her team is looking at her like she’s a disgrace.” I think Tina has a high opinion of herself. Meanwhile, Jodi takes to sobbing away from the group. There’s no crying on the Challenge! Oh, wait, there is. Carry on.
Final Heat: Mike vs. CT. Mike interviews that not only does he have to win the Lifeshield, but he’s going up against CT. Mike gets to the fruit first, but ends up falling on his face. We get a slow-motion show of the fruit jiggling under Mike’s shirt. It’s a little frightening, to be honest. He interviews that he makes up time by pulling out a grapefruit and “[making] that sucker bleed.” Both players squeeze, as they’re urged on by their teammates. Mike gets the win, but it’s a pyrrhic victory, as CT stops the clock at 0:18. CT interviews that he didn’t know what Mike did to his grapefruit. Mike celebrates, interviewing that he doesn’t know if he beat Landon’s time (1:22).
Denouement. Dave congratulates the Bad Asses on their win, and awards them a check for $10,000, double their bank account. Jodi looks sad in particular. Veronica is wearing a “Future MILF” t-shirt. Did you know she and Rachel are in the business of selling slogan t-shirts? Bleh. Now it’s time for Dave to award the Aztec Lifeshields. Tense music plays, as the camera scans Mike and Dan. For the Bad Asses, Dave awards the AL to CT, for his time of 1:24. CT bust out a victory dance. If you go back to the original Inferno, that’s his fourth individual mission win. Dan doesn’t have much of an expression on his face.
Next, Dave awards the Good Guys’ AL to Mike, for his time of 1:05.Suddenly, anything is possible, and Dan isn’t as doomed as I had originally feared. MTV snookered me with their commercial, and I actually liked being used this time. Naturally, Mike goes nuts over the news. Dave notes that he’ll ask the AL winners what they’ll do at the Inferno. Jon interviews that Mike cannot go into the Inferno, and he has to pick another guy to take his place. At first, I was put off by this, since we had two cases of cross-gender shoving in the first Inferno (David putting in Leah, Coral putting in David). Upon further reflection, this does see to stem the tide of targeting women to bite the bullet. Also, it becomes harder for players to dodge their infernal date, and there are some folks who are long overdue in competing in an endgame (Darrell, Rachel and Veronica come to mind). Dan reminds us that Mike can’t go. “What a pansy ass!” he jokes. “If he was a man, he would have slowed down and purposely faced me off. He’s scared! He was running scared!” Dave ends things by telling the kids he’ll be seeing them in the Inferno at nightfall.
As the players depart, the camera lingers towards Jon. He interviews that he’s done a lot of thinking. “Just as Jesus sacrificed himself for all of us,” he continues, “maybe this is the chance to do that for my team. The Inferno could be like the hell, and I could step up and take the place of somebody like Christ did for us on the cross.” Oh, man. He’s actually drawing a parallel between himself and Jesus Christ. Sometimes, even the nice guys go insane. Mike interviews that Jon proposed taking his place, and that he feels good about it. Jon tells the team, interviews that it’s the best thing to do for his team.
Jon talks to Julie, asking that she not be mad at him. Dude, did you see her in past seasons? Why are you talking with her? She’s like Beth and Tami squared! Julie figures that it’s noble of him to sacrifice himself, but she feels selfish in wanting him to stay, and it would be hard to be motivated if he’s gone. Jon praises Julie’s efforts in both missions. She says that it’s about wanting to be here. She adds, “You’re the only person where that’s got any kind of morals.” Think that’s an admission of being a little loose herself?
Inferno! The players file into the set, winding up on the second level. Dave welcomes them to the first Inferno of the season. He introduces the Bad Ass representative, “Dirty Dan.” The door slides to the side, and Dan stands with hands on hips. He walks out, gagging a little on the smoke, and flexing for his teammates. Next, Dave calls out “Mike the Miz.” The Bad Asses boo as Mike stomps out, his teammates chanting “Miz! Miz! Miz!” People, he’s not doing anything tonight!
Once the smoke clears, Dave asks CT if he plans on using his Aztec Lifeshield to save Dan. Since Dan is not his good buddy David, CT passes. Dave asks Mike who he picked to take his place in the Inferno. Mike notes that there was a team meeting, and that Jon is going to fill in. Brad interviews that he’s impressed with Jon stepping up. “He’s got a very strong mind,” Brad adds, “and he’s got a very strong concept of being a team player.” Mike interviews that he really thinks Jon can win it, adding that he has God on his side.
One harp segue later, Dave goes over tonight’s Inferno, which is called Hang Tough. He motions to monkey bars, which are thirty feet above the ground. The objective: go up a ladder, hang onto the bars and engage in what Dave calls a “good old fashioned chicken fight.” Last man hanging stays in the game, while the loser goes home. The ladders get dropped, and the players are helped into their harnesses. Jon interviews that he weighs 225 lbs., and Dan doesn’t have to hold up that much weight. Dan interviews that he can’t think of his opponent, but rather what he is capable of.
Dave bangs a gong to start the party. Jon and Dan climb the ladders and climb on the monkey bars. They start kicking out, trying to get their legs up. Soon, Dan wraps his legs around Jon’s waist, and forces Jon to let go. Game Over, and I am flippin’ ecstatic that Dan gets to stay. The Bad Asses celebrate, as Dan hugs Jon on the way down. I’d take either one of those old-schoolers over Eric Nies any day. “I just wish people weren’t so surprised that I won,” Dan interviews. “If it was Mike up there, I would’ve dropped his butt down on the ground too!” Keep dreaming, Renzi. “When it comes to this stuff, I still bring it! And I can do it again!”
Dave congratulates Dan, then lets him rejoin his team. Tina interviews about how the team didn’t vote him into the Inferno. “When you come back to your team,” she adds, “you know that your team wants you there.” Sure enough, the entire team of Bad Asses mob Dan in joy. I get misty remembering the time Dan came back to Battle of the Sexes, and all the women hugged him. Tina: “Dan comes in to warm hugs and kisses, and we got our baby back.”
And now for the sad part. Dave tells Jon that it was big of him to volunteer himself. The guys shake hands as the Good Guys cheer. Beth looks on, and I think she’s crying. “Jon is like one of the greatest people I’ve ever met in my life,” she interviews of her former roommate. “There’s nobody that even comes close to Jon. Most of these people are just crazy and out of their minds, and I’m very sad to see him go.” I cannot believe Beth just said something that didn’t make my eyes roll. I don’t think Vegas would have taken bets on that.
Jon tells his team to win, as he shakes hands through the iron bars. Jamie notes that it’s sad that the team can’t even hug him. Jon interviews that he is all about the sacrifice, and both teams know what he stands for. He tries to hug Julie, who is not happy. Cut to an interview of her crying. Yes, I do get joy from this. “Jon just sacrificed himself for all the guys on the team,” she sobs, “and any of those guys could have stepped in and freakin’ done that better. It just pisses me off that they let him go.” Slow-motion shot of Jon shaking hands. “The world needs more Jons. The world need more people that are willing to save other people in their own way. A lot of what Jon believes in and the reasons why he does things just gets lost on these people, like they don’t even know, they don’t even understand the symbolism of it.” Wow. Coral alone couldn’t make Julie cry. Melissa couldn’t make Julie cry. But Jon leaving does the trick. By the way? IT’S A FREAKIN’ REALITY SHOW! Get a grip, girl. Jon walks out the door. Julie looks on. The door shuts behind Jon. Cut to credits
Next time: we got people dropping into the water, trying to go through targets. Robin calls Tonya a whore. Tonya asks Beth what she said to Robin. Tonya whips out Beth’s clothes and throws them into the pool. This might be the best Challenge season ever.