Apologies for the delay. Part of it was that I was sidetracked writing an actual article, which will be published within the next few weeks (yay, me). Part of it was that this was an ug-lay episode, as Rachel would put it. I’m ticked at the Good Guys, I’m ticked at the Bad Asses, and I’m ticked at the producers. At least they can fill the dramatic void left by Coral, but they’re not nearly as witty.
Previously on Inferno II: The Bad Asses won Dodge Yer Balls, increasing their bank to $40,000 (twice as big as the Good Guys’ dough). Landon won the Aztec Lifeshield, and decided to take Mike’s place in the Inferno. He then beat ex-roommate Karamo, evening the sides to eight players apiece. Veronica was happy, since her team was stronger with Beth and Karamo gone. Happily, we don’t revisit CT’s gangster mentality, Mike feeling like a punk, or Dave Mirra trying to act hip.
Villa. Mansion. Whatever. Tonight, Mike has made a bet with Jodi, and she seems to be welching on it. He wants her to pay up, to see what kind of person she is. Hello, foreshadowing! Jodi interviews that it’s nice to have somebody can relate with, as well as stay up really late. Mike tells us that he was playing a card game with Jodi. She lost, so now she has to get naked and jump in the pool. Jodi gets behind a couch to take her clothes off. A Challenger showing modesty? Who is this chick? Mike gets all stern about it, wanting her buck naked. Jodi makes a dash to the pool, giving up a mere moment of pixleation. Mike holds a towel out, wanting her to come out to him. Jodi wants him closer, but he doesn’t want her splashing him. Jodi calls him an idiot, and he threatens to walk away. She relents, getting into the towel, then chasing Mike off.
In the Bad Ass girls’ room, Rachel pokes through Tonya’s photo album. Wait, why did Tonya bring that? Veronica critiques a photo, as well as Tonya’s legs. Tonya gets sensitive about jokes at her expense. “We are the least of your troubles,” Veronica blahs. “If you need to go to counseling, it’s because of everything else in your life!” Tonya weakly replies that the girls are mean, interviews that the other three girls are a team, and she is a joke to them. Maybe they’ll like her better if she threw their clothes into the pool.
Outside, Jodi, Derrick and Darrell have a smoke. Jodi interviews that she’s good friends with Derrick, but it’s hard to have a friend on the opposing team. They share a friendly kiss. Jodi: “Derrick’s my boy.” Derrick: “Jodi, that’s my girl. The only person who I feel I can just let my guard down around is Jodi.”
Sponsor clue! Landon reads the text message: meet at the Grand Bay Hotel, wear Speedo swimsuits and sneakers, get ready to leave by 10:30 a.m. Tina: “Tonya would love to be in a swimsuit again, so she can flash another nipple.” Tonya laughs, and Landon leaves with a smile.
New day. Random marketplace shots. Mission site. Dave welcomes everybody to today’s mission: Fill In The Gaps. The Good Guys whoop it up, even though they have no clue what’s going on. Dave shows two Plexiglass walls with holes in them. Behind each wall is a tank filled with 200 gallons of water. Hoses go from the tank to the holes. The goal: prevent water from getting out of the holes using body parts. Quick shot of the players examining the walls, and Tonya placing her breasts near the wall. Abram expositions that the team that loses the most water the quickest loses. Dave adds that time will stop when the water hits a mark on the tank. Abram explains to us that the teams will go in two heat. Dave ends it by saying the team with the longest combined time wins $10,000.
Heat One: Landon, Julie, Shavonda and Darrell vs. Dan, Rachel, Tina and Abram. Brad interviews that they’re going with guy/girl teams in order to keep things even. Dave blows his airhorn, and both sides run up to the walls. Landon puts his mouth over a hole, while Julie uses her head. She interviews that the mission with be short, and she just has to hang in there. Both sides get soaked while blocking. Tina interviews that this isn’t a physical mission, and it is anybody’s game. We see that the Good Guys have lost half of their tank, while the Bad Asses have only lost 35 percent.
Back from commercials, both teams continue getting soaked. Honestly, it’s a fun mission to play and watch, but it’s bad to write about. Abram interviews that he has to put his back to the wall, straining his muscles. “It’s really hurting my back,” he adds, “but you know the pain’s worth $10,000.” Dan gets doused as he jams a thumb in a hole. Good Guys’ tank: 85 percent empty. Bad Asses: 75 percent. Shavonda doesn’t feel like she’s doing enough. The Good Guys’ tank runs out of water at three minutes and 48 seconds. Tina interviews that she’s on the wall “like freakin’ bugs on a windshield,” and she’s getting cramps in her thighs and hips. Finally, the Bad Asses’ tank runs out at 4:10. Rachel expositions that all the second team has to do is win their heat. Mike interviews that his team is down by ten seconds (heh), and they have to make up time.
The Good Guys gather to strategize. Jodi interviews that the pressure is on, and they want to learn from the first heat. Veronica and Tonya map out their plans. CT thinks Tonya should stick her boobs on the wall. I’ll leave the snarking to Dan: “I realize that CT always thinks with his penis, but it’s amazing how completely non-sexual things somehow find their way back to CT thinking with his penis.” CT keeps insisting Tonya stick her breasts on the wall. Tonya interviews that others think she’s the joke of the team. If the big floppy shoes fit, girl. Mike interviews that he’s confident with his team, and he knows which holes to block.
Heat Two: Mike, Jodi, Jamie and Brad vs. CT, Tonya, Veronica and Derrick. They rush to the wall, as techno music plays for us. Jamie blocks as best as she can, interviews that it’s difficult to do, since the water is everywhere. Both sides block and occasionally switch holes. Brad interviews that it’s hard because they’re losing, and they don’t know if its their technique or their team is flawed. The Good Guys run out of water first, sealing the win for the Bad Asses. Final times: Good Guys 5:35, Bad Asses 6:11. Tonya: “I’m ecstatic because being able to perform and not be exploited and still just perform made me happy.” Mike interviews that the Bad Asses are almost taunting his team, and it sucks to see them happy. Don’t worry, Mike. Something tells me they’re not going to be happy for much longer.
Denouement. Dave awards the $10,000 check to the Bad Asses, which Tonya snaps up. He tells the Good Guys to step it up. It would’ve been funny if they told him to grow hair. Bad Asses now have $50,000 to the Good Guys’ $20,000. Dave gives both teams 30 minutes to choose who goes into the Inferno, then reminds the kids that it’s women today. Brad interviews that his team needs to turn things around. Cut to the Good Guys looking bummed, and Julie putting hair near her mouth.
Good Guys Deliberation Meeting. Jodi feels cool with Veronica or Tonya. Mike wonders about Rachel and Tina. Brad thinks that if Rachel wins the Aztec Lifeshield, she would bail Veronica out of the Inferno. Mike notes that if Veronica goes into the Inferno and loses, Rachel will be “pissed off and lonely.” And that’s supposed to be a bad thing? Brad doesn’t want to lose a player. Julie says that she’d vote for Veronica if she knew that she was going in. Volunteering to face down the girl she almost killed...is Julie brave or stupid? Jodi feels the same way Julie does. Jamie interviews that the group will vote for Tonya, but Julie has come up with a “brilliant idea”: whoever gets picked personally selects her opponent. Julie tells Jamie this would work if they pick after the Bad Asses. Jodi lays it out: if it’s her or Julie going in, Veronica gets picked. If Shavonda or Jamie get tabbed, Tonya goes in. So remember: this is Julie’s plan. Bear that in mind for the third act.
Bad Asses Deliberation Meeting. Rachel thinks that the Good Guys bank on Jodi to be strong, but she has not been that way. She adds that it would be a “whoa move” to pick Jodi. Rachel interviews that Jodi is ideal because she can be flustered in the Inferno. Derrick isn’t feeling happy about it, since Jodi is like a sister to him. He interviews that Jodi is his girl, but the team wants to throw a curveball at the Good Guys. “I just feel like I sort of betrayed her,” he adds, “by not pushing for her not to go in. Sorry I couldn’t keep you out of this one, Jod.”
Flame segue! Dave tells the teams to make their announcement, starting with the Bad Asses. This is weird, since the past two times, the team that lost a mission before the nomination ceremony made their pick first. Tina announces that the Bad Asses want Jodi in the Inferno. Now the Good Guys make their choice. Jodi interviews that she knows what to do. She announces that Veronica’s going in. Veronica looks shocked. Her team looks shocked. Cut to a slow-motion shot of Veronica making a bitchface, as the editor pipe in the Bionic Man sound effect.
Back from commercials, Veronica and Jodi stick their figurines in the Mininferno. Dave reminds them that they can win the Aztec Lifeshield by outperforming their respective teammates. Rachel tells us that she overheard Tonya being the pick if Shavonda or Jamie had been chosen “To me,” Rachel adds, “this is cheating.”
The Bad Asses gather to work themselves up into a foaming frenzy. Dan wants to kick Jodi’s ass. Rachel thinks it doesn’t matter, since “Vee” will beat Jodi in the Inferno. Veronica snaps that players aren’t allowed to change their vote at the last minute. Tina gets caught up on the details, and bursts out a “shut the fuck up!”
Flame segue! Rachel tells the Good Guys that she’s mad because they messed up the game, and Tina barks the same thing. Veronica: “The thing is, I’ve been on how many Challenges? Seven? If the fucking rules are gonna change, it needs to be spoken that it’s changed!” She interviews that she’s usually into the game and figuring out loopholes, adding, “They actually outsmarted me.” Good to see one Bad Ass throwing out some respect, even if she’d never say it to an opponent’s face.
Outside, a betrayed Derrick talks with Jodi, who insists didn’t do anything shady. Derrick proclaims that he didn’t vote for her. He interviews that this is not the Jodi he knows. Julie insists there was nothing in the rules against a switch. “I don’t care at all if I hurt anybody else’s feelings,” Jodi interviews. “But Derrick’s feelings, I care about. And the fact that he seems like he’s mad at me right now is killing me.” Derrick says that everybody was abiding by an unwritten rule the whole time, and the switch was dishonest.
As Derrick walks off, Julie tells Jodi that she didn’t do anything wrong. Once again: this was Julie’s plan. Julie. “This is how Veronica wins her Infernos,” Julie blahs, “because she’s weak physically, but she’d get into your head mentally.” Newsflash: Veronica has never done an Inferno. What planet does Julie live on, anyway? Jodi interviews that Derrick is like her brother, and she doesn’t care about anything else as long as she makes things all right. She adds that she’ll take the heat. Be careful what you wish for.
Inside, Jodi tells a stretching CT that Veronica should be flattered to be picked. Something tells me Jodi isn’t a good salesperson. Dan just glares at Jodi. “I’m just surprised,” he smugs, “because I thought I was the biggest bitch here, but I guess I was wrong.” Oh, Dan. You’re not even in the top five right now. But if it makes you feel better, you’re a bigger bitch than Jodi. CT responds with an “Ooooooh!” Jodi tells Dan that his team could have pulled off the switch. Dan snipes that the Good Guys cheated, that his team has been kicking ass playing fair, then pushes his arrogance dial to “ten.” Jodi insists she’s not manipulative. Dan: “Yes, you are. You got these big puppy-dog eyes, and you walk around crying all the time because Mike doesn’t like you enough.” Okay, I like Dan. He hasn’t done anything remotely evil in a long time. But if Jodi had hauled off and punched him in the face, that would’ve been fine by me. Mike looks on from the couch, totally useless. He interviews that the Bad Asses are intimidating Jodi and trying to make her cry, all because they got outstrategized.
Now it’s a big Bad Ass gang-up session, as Tina and Rachel lash out at Jodi. Tina interviews that Jodi can’t handle the pressure, and this plays into Bad Ass hands. “This is out chance to psychologically beat Jodi down,” she adds, “and to make her vulnerable to the Bad Ass team.” Very classy. Jodi explains that she to face a stronger competitor in Veronica. Dan tells her to shut up. Veronica is not bugged to be picked, but she didn’t like the switch. Tina: “It’s a shysty-ass move and it’s a punk-ass move, and y’all are little bitches trying to pull this shysty move! That’s what I think!” Nice that my vocabulary increases this week. Jodi interviews that chaos has erupted, as we see Tina and Dan point at her angrily. She says that she didn’t think it would come to this.
Cut to Jodi bent over against the wall. Here comes Mike and Shavonda to help her. Yeah, those are the two people I want to soothe my broken feelings. Jodi sobs that everybody is getting on her case, and she avoids confrontation. Shavonda thinks Jodi didn’t do anything wrong. Mike adds that this is what happens every time Veronica is voted into an Inferno. No, it doesn’t. It’s sad when a five-time Challenger can’t remember past seasons. Jodi cries that she avoids this sort of thing. Mike says the Bad Asses are mad because they got “pawned,” and the game hasn’t changed at all. He interviews that he Jodi didn’t do anything wrong, and she got a bad rap because everyone knew what was going on. Credits.
In case you didn’t know, Dan and Mike put out their own recaps of this episode. While both of them make convincing arguments, I think they’re full of crap. So who’s to blame for this snafu? I point the finger at the producers. Like I said before, standard operating procedure dictated that the Good Guys make their pick first. But I’m guessing that when the crew found out about the switch, they let the Bad Asses walk into the trap. In a weird way, this led in nicely to the latest episode of Survivor: Palau. There, host Jeff Probst basically talked the weakened Janu into quitting the game, as opposed to letting the others vote out Stephenie, a stronger player with a compelling backstory. What happened this episode reeks, since the season has actually been stronger than in the past. We got good missions and no time-limit endgames. So how come Jonathan Murray and his gang make things worse than before? Had to be for the drama. And I don’t know what stinks more: the Bad Asses ganging up on Jodi, or the Bad Asses not rolling Julie up and down the stairs. It was her idea after all.
Next time: Brad tells Jodi that he’s confident in her, but interviews she can buckle under pressure. The mission involves horizontal rope-climbing. CT interviews that Veronica is hoping that the team throws the mission for her. Rachel tells us that she’ll win the Aztec Lifeshield and take Veronica’s place. In other words, we’ll be getting an overrated rhymes-with-witch up for possible expulsion next week. Can’t wait! Go, Jodi!