Saturday, April 02, 2005

Inferno 2, Episode 4: Down For The Count

Previously on Inferno II: Tonya dumped Beth’s clothes into the pool, because Beth had talked gossip about her to Robin. The Bad Asses won X Marks the Spot, giving them a total of $30,000 in their bank account, while the Good Guys had yet to win. Robin and Tina were nominated to go into the Inferno. Tina was pissed off at her team, since they didn’t think she would be nominated. Beth vowed to screw her own team over, adding that she was working for the Good Guys now. Like they would have her.

It’s daytime at the villa. Julie talks to Beth about being victimized by the Bad Asses. Beth interviews that Julie is one of her few friends in the house (birds of a feather and all that), and that she told her CT and Abram were going to throw the next mission. In case you never saw the original Inferno, I’ll spell it out for you: Tina has been nominated to go into the Inferno, and the only thing that can save her is the Aztec Lifeshield. The only way she gets it is if she performs better than anybody on her team in the mission. Once she gets the Lifeshield, she can designate any other girl to take her place. Anyway, Jamie notes that she wouldn’t want to be disowned by her team. Julie asks Beth about what she will do.

Flame segue! Beth cheers Mike with “Go, blue team!” and adding that she hates the color red. Brad and Mike are clearly liking this new development. Beth interviews that she doesn’t want people talking behind her back. She tells Abram about the rumor she heard. Naturally, Abram denies it. Beth starts to rage, while Abram says that he tried it once, and he “was as pissed as hell.” I’m sure he was angry as he rappelled down that building, blowing the mission and all but laughing in Katie’s face. What a liar. Beth retorts that she’s willing to throw missions as well, interviews that she doesn’t believe anything Abram says. “They’re not going to walk all over me,” she adds. “I know what’s up and I’m not a fool.” Well, not now. Veronica and Rachel walk off, and Beth calls her team “cowards.”

Night. Jamie reads the text message off the sponsor phone, but not before Mike reads off the sponsor name in full. The instructions: get ready to leave for the Isla de Navidad at 9 a.m., wear tennis shoes and team colors. Mike interviews that the Good Guys have to start winning missions. “We have a strong team,” he goes on. “We have great players and we’re playing together, we’re all getting along, but we’re just coming up short every damn time. What do we have to do?”

Elsewhere, Robin packs her bags, while Julie does a cheer. Julie interviews that her team has unity, and that is why Robin will kick butt. Robin interviews that she’s glad to go into the Inferno first, since she wants to set the precedent for her team. She adds that it would be great if she won the Lifeshield. Tina packs up for her potential departure as well, noting that she doesn’t figure to be leave.

We flame to a new day and the mission site. Dave welcomes everybody to today’s mission: Run For Your Money. “Here’s your chance to be a little bit greedy,” he quips, “and not feel so bad about it.” He points up to a helicopter hovering overhead, while laying out the exposition: there is $10,000 divided into ten bags. Seven bags hold $1,000 apiece in singles, three hold $1,000 in fives, and one holds $1,000 in twenties. The bags will be dropped randomly from the copter every two minutes. The teams have twenty minutes to collect as much money as possible. Julie laughs about how everybody fantasizes about raining money. My fantasy involves $1,000 in pennies getting dropped, just to see what happens. Dave adds that the players who collect the most dough for their teams win the Aztec Lifeshield, and the team with the most money gets the $10,000 check good for actual money. He adds that he’ll sound his air horn when time expires.

Robin interviews that she hopes to get the Lifeshield. Mike admits there isn’t much strategy, save for picking up the money. The Good Guys huddle up as Julie leads a group prayer. I cannot make this up, people. “Dear Lord,” she asks, “we know greed is a sin, but please help us be greedy today.” She interviews that her team needs a win for morale.

CT and Derrick sidle up to Tina, telling her that they will give all their money to her. Tina seems surprised over this development. Derrick adds that if she wins the Lifeshield, she’ll know who to put it her place. Later on, Tonya says that she’ll rig the mission to help Tina, since Beth is a weak competitor. “You gotta have heart, soul, compassion,” Tonya interviews. “You gotta have drive. And Beth, you do not have it.” What about a working set of marbles, Tonya? Beth probably has more than you right now. Cut to a closeup of Beth. “Sorry, girl. You’re going home.”

After commercials, the players get ready, all of them amped up. We’re treated to what sounds like a metal cover of “Flight of the Valkyries” as the helicopter hovers overhead and Dave waves a checkered flag. Wait, shouldn’t that be a green flag? Darrell interviews that the Bad Asses have a 10-9 advantage over his Good Guys team. He adds, “I’m thinking there’s no way in hell we can win this mission.” That’s the negative guy I know! Beth figures there will be catfights when the money drops. “When it comes to money,” she adds, “there people are greedy!” Dave blows the air horn, and the money gets dropped. Mike: “All hell breaks loose.”

The players scramble, push and claw while picking the bills up. Mike voiceovers that it’s pre mayhem. Abram and Julie fight for the dough. I find myself hoping Abram “accidently” harms Julie out of loyalty to Coral. Julie reminds her that $10,000 and an Aztec Lifeshield are on the line. She plucks a bill from a diving Abram. A few guys wrestle. Darrell interviews that the money is flying everywhere.

The guy in the copter drops more money. Landon interviews that his team is spread out. As the Bad Asses stuffs money down Tina’s shirt, he adds that her team is supporting her more than his team supports Robin. Speaking of Robin, she trash-talks Tina about how she’s scared to go into the Inferno. But in a twist, Robin asks Shavonda to give all the money to her. Shavonda tells us that she and Jamie are loading Robin with money because they don’t want to lose Robin. Mike has a different opinion. “The girls are trying to save her ass,” he interviews, as we see Jamie stuffing money into the back of Robin’s shorts. “I don’t mind her getting the Lifeshield, but get it on your own. That’s some crap right there.” Oh, like how you, CT and other Real World players gift-wrapped a mission for David in order to send Leah into the Inferno? Shut up, Mike.

More money gets dropped. Tonya crawls towards the bills, interviews that Darrell is chasing her. Sure enough, Darrell runs around her, snapping up bills. He interviews that he’ll force crawlers to go to a new spot. Cut to him ripping Tina off, followed by her cursing at him. “If I see anybody on their knees,” he huffs, “I’m taking their money. Get yo ass up and earn yo shit!”

More money dumped. More scrambling. Tonya reminds us yet again that the goal is to save Tina. Abram repeats that, then adds, “With this one, we can win this mission aaaaaaannd get rid of Beth!” Tonya: “Beth started a situation that never needed to occur. I want her gone.” Maybe she learned her lesson after you dumped her stuff in the pool. Beth calls her team “so lame,” knowing that she’s going to the inferno. Dave sounds the horn, ending the mission. Rachel crows about a “wildcard Inferno,” interviewing that it’s too good to be true.

As the players gather, Dave tells them that the mission is not over. Now they have five minutes to accurately count the money, roll it up into a wad, and write their total on the back. With this nugget of news, Tina’s jaw drops. Oh, and if the total does not match, the player is disqualified, and the total doesn’t get added to the team tally. Now, a small part of me thinks it’s unfair that Dave chose the middle of the mission to drop this bit of exposition. However, the rest of me is too busy laughing really hard. Tina looks down at her shirtload of money in disbelief. “You gotta be joking,” she interviews. “This is ridiculous. No way in hell I’m going to be able to pull this off.” Cut to her looking at the dough. “I am screwed.”

Dave blows his horn again. Robin and Tina start counting their money. Beth interviews that her goal is the help the Good Guys win as much as possible. Time out. Beth? Hi. Look, I know you’re probably still angry that Tonya wrecked your stuff, and everybody was too busy laughing and taking pictures. But here’s the thing: throwing missions solves nothing. Your goal is to stay in the game until the end. If you make it to the final mission, you get a share of the money, no questions asked. By hurting your own team, you’re risking another thrown mission to have you sent to the Inferno. Minimum, the Bad Asses would have three more chances to get the job done. It’s really hard for me to like you when you’re acting like pissed-off second-grader.

The players continue counting. Julie interviews that their greed is working against her team, and she wishes that she had not been so greedy. I guess Julie is blaming God for this. Dave gives both sides a one-minute warning. Robin and Jamie go through a big pile of money. Jamie tries to keep Robin steady, urging her to write her total on the board. While the players jot their sums down, Jodi is not sure about her total. More money is handed in. Dan asks Tina if she’s confident in her total. Tina feels okay with her result. Dan interviews that it all comes down to Tina. If she has her total right, the Bad Asses win; if she got it wrong, they lose. “It’s all our own fault,” Dan adds, “because we loaded her with too much.”

We get a quick look at the Good Guys’ board. Apparently, somebody named “Darrel” has zero points. First “Latterian,” then “Cyrus” and Jeremey,” now this. Jamie asks Robin if she counted accurately. Robin figures that she did, and she hopes Brad did not. Brad tells us that Robin saw his number was larger than hers, and that Darrell came up to him and called the team on it. “I really felt like that was disrespectful,” Brad adds, “and I’m getting mad as hell.” Darrell interviews that none of the guys knew the girls were trying to get Robin their money. He adds, “All they worried about is theyselves. They weren’t worried about this team as a whole unit.” I wonder: was the fix in to get Jodi? I mean, my dream involves Julie and mass humiliation, but Jodi did sit out the last mission and blew the one before it. Or maybe Jamie was willing to step into the Inferno in place of her ex-roommate.

Brad asks Robin if she thought the team threw the mission. Robin denies it, then tells him to chill. He tells her to watch her mouth, then spits on the ground. Classy! Robin interviews that she feels bad not having Brad watch her back, and she doesn’t see the big deal in Shavonda and Jamie helping her. Brad interviews that Robin is hurting. “Unfortunately,” he continues, “we don’t have an expendable player, so I don’t know exactly what she expected us to do.”

Elsewhere, Beth talks to Rachel, saying that the team told her they were playing it clean, which she does not buy. Beth interviews that she didn’t count the money right because she wanted to screw her team over. “They’re not gonna play fair?” she snipes in an interview. “Guess what? I’m not gonna play fair, either!”

We get a look at the Lifeshield and the Bad Asses’ board. Dave claims to have personally counted all the moolah. He awards the Good Guys’ Lifeshield to Mike, for collecting $350. Naturally, Mike does a little dance. Robin interviews that Brad didn’t get his total right, and she was off by $7, so she’s heading to the Inferno. Dave gets ready to announce the Bad Ass winner. Tense music plays, and our lucky winner is...Derrick, with $282. Tina interviews that she was $10 short. Rachel: “We’re so stupid. Because Tina didn’t count correctly, we still have Beth, and Tina is still in jeopardy of going home.” Cry me a river, Butterface.

Dave gets ready to announce which team won. Robin and Jodi are hoping for an overdue win. Jodi interviews that the Good Guys desperately need the money, since the Bad Asses won the first three missions. Dave announces the results: the Good Guys snagged $881. The Bad Asses got (loooooooong pause) $619. Of course, the Good Guys celebrate wildly. Landon interviews that he’s happy not to get shut out. A bouncing Robin grabs the $10,000 check, then tells Tina that she’ll see her in the Inferno. Shavonda dances with the check, while Dave tells everybody that he’ll see them in the Inferno. Robin playfully taunts Tina, and Tina wrestles her to the ground. Brad predicts that the Inferno will blow up tonight.

Nightime! Inferno! The players enter the arena’s second level, hooting and hollering. Dave welcomes everybody, then calls out Robin and Tina. Veronica interviews that it would be sad if Tina loses, because she loves her. Dave notes that since neither player won the Aztec Lifeshield, they’ll be going head-to-head. So I’m guessing that the Infernos are always alternated between genders, and the Lifeshield is useless if won by somebody of the opposite sex. Dave reveals tonight’s event: Shack Attack. The players will start at a padded wall, shackled by a chain around the waist. Robin expositions that she and Tina will be strapped to harnesses, pulling half their body weight through the sand. The object is to grab a key at the end and get unlocked from the harness. The winner returns to her team, the loser goes home. Tina interviews that she has this, and that she’s been training for this.

Dave bangs the gong to get the Inferno started, as Robin jumps out to an early lead. Both seem to jog in place as they struggle to go forward. Soon, Robin stalls out, while Tina bursts forth. Tina reaches the fence first, climbing it and hooking her legs while getting the key. All Robin can do is watch, as Tina unlocks herself as gets dragged back. Game Over, Tina wins, and she celebrates by pretending to check her makeup. Cut to Brad and Jamie, looking stunned. Robin high-fives Tina, interviewing that she could barely dig in the sand, and the weight was too heavy for her. Tina brags about sending a Good Guy home. “Too bad for y’all!” she snaps. “Don’t mess with my money!”

Dave makes with the denouement, congratulating Tina and sending her back to the Bas Asses. Karamo interviews that the team didn’t want to lose one of their stronger girls. Dave asks Robin to say some final words to her side. She tells her team that this was the best experience she’s had, because their attitudes were great. She advises them to the break apart because of what the Bad Asses say to them. Shavonda looks like she’s crying, but I don’t hate her bad enough to get joy from it. Robin concludes by saying she was proud to be a Good Guy and on a good team. Their attitudes might be nice, but come on...they’re 1-3 in missions, and 0-2 in Infernos. Not exactly Ulong-like in suckiness, but let’s be real.

The Good Guys head downstairs for their goodbyes. Mike hugs Robin through the cage, telling her it wasn’t her Inferno. She hugs Jamie, Shavonda and Brad, and there is much sadness. “I’m sad that I have to leave so early,” she interviews, “but I have full confidences in you guys. And to the Bad Assses...all you bitches who voted me into the Inferno, may your turn come.” Robin goes through the door, and it shuts behind her.

The players return to the Villa. Beth interviews that her team strategy was screwed up. “You wanna fuck me?” she snipes. “I’m gonna fuck you harder!” Now there’s a mental image I do not need. Sure enough, she trashes Veronica about telling the Good Guys to get rid of her and Tonya, adding that somebody else should win in the end. Beth? You’re 0-3 in the Challenges, and have been voted out twice. Veronica may suck as a human being, but she does have skills on the field. “The people that I’m dealing with are crazy,” Beth interviews, “especially Veronica, and I’m gonna really mess these people up.” Oh, I am so certain. Veronica and Beth trade verbal jabs. Beth restates her hope that anybody but Veronica wins, and that Veronica would sell her family up the river. The boys break into “Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!” Yeah, that’s original. Veronica: “Your fucking ugly face does not deserve this conversation.” Beth just dismisses her. “Beth has so much shadiness in here,” Veronica interviews, “that she has to point me out to everybody, so it would deter the attention away from her.” Irony...choking...can...barely...type. Beth smiles, while Mike shouts, “Welcome to The Inferno Part Two, bitches!” Shut up, Mike.

Next time: Brad thinks Beth talks a big game, but can’t back it up. My goodness, he does have a brain. The mission involves standing on a balance beam and passing stuff. Abram goes into a rant about how everybody thinks he’s in an alliance with Mike, then does a Rupert roar.

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