Monday, June 06, 2005

Inferno II, Episode 13: Pimp My Room

Previously on Inferno II: Dan proved himself by winning in the first Inferno. He interviewed that he wished people weren’t surprised that he won. He beat Jon, people. I like Jon, but I could’ve kicked his butt. The Bad Asses won Time to Ride, upping their bank account to $70,000. Abram interviewed that he wanted his team to stay up. Tonya made me a happy recapper by beating Julie in the Inferno. Sadly, Julie has been rumored to be in the next Challenge. On the bright side, it just means somebody new can kick her butt. Derrick was happy that Tonya was back.

Nighttime at the Villa. Mike dramatically announces the start of a belly flop contest. Sure enough, the kids are outside, taking turns diving into the pool. A guy in a masked stumbled and dives. Tonya interviews that the boys thought it would be a good idea to hold the contest. Darrell dives in. Derrick takes his run, pulling his shorts below his butt before jumping. Abram demands to see redness on Mike’s stomach and chest, as well as “a lot of pain.” Mike dives, but his headfirst effort draws boos. “At this point,” Tonya interviews, “if I get one second to have fun in this game, I’m just gonna let loose.” The crowd chants her name, and she hits the water stomach and chest first. Considering her enhanced attributes, that had to hurt, but the players love it. “Just let loose,” Tonya adds. “Apparently, I do that really well.” The kids chant her name while she poses. Hey, it beats grubbing for approval from the likes of Rachel and Veronica.

Inside, CT wonders to Rachel and Veronica who they could send in to take out Dan. He figures that since the Good Guys have fewer players, they would have the advantage in the final mission. That didn’t help the undermanned Real World teams at the end of The Gauntlet and The Inferno. Or maybe he thinks the Good Guys are golden without Coral. Veronica feels that the Good Guys would rather get rid of a girl. CT interviews that there are too many people contributing to the team. “If the Good Guys team takes out Dan,” he continues, “I get a bigger cut. And I like money. Money’s good. It makes me feel good about myself.” Even in the wake of such an obvious revelation (dividing by a lesser number yields a greater result? Shock!), I’m laughing at the way CT says it. He tells Veronica that Dan would automatically want Darrell in the Inferno, and if the Bad Asses don’t back Dan, he’ll assume that they want him gone, causing drama and tension in the process. Veronica interviews that the last men’s Inferno is close, and Dan is more of an asset than CT because he cares about the team. On the other hand, CT stands to make a fortune selling all the Aztec Lifeshields he’s won. Rachel thinks that if her team wants to keep players, they wouldn’t choose Landon. She also doesn’t think Darrell would lose to Dan, so they should give Dan what he wants. CT feels that the team and Dan are breaking apart. “There’s no easy way to do it,” he tells the ladies. “People’s families are gonna get hurt no matter what you do.” CT gonna whack somebody? “Sorry, Dan,” CT interviews with little sincerity. “See ya later. Peace, honey. Thanks for the cash.”

Downstairs, Derrick and Dan have a similar conversation. Derrick thinks that CT is getting greedy, talking about people going home. Dan figures it’s his name out there losing in the Inferno. He interviews that he figured to be the last man in the Inferno, and CT would not mind one less person in the end. Derrick thinks Dan can beat a Good Guy, interviewing that Dan is seen as a weaker competitor, but he could take another guy out. “I like Infernos,” Dan tells Derrick. “I think they’re fun. But the thing is, Julie thought Infernos were fun too. Julie lost. It’s not that good a sign.”

Sponsor clue! Dan reads the message: meet Dave tomorrow at 11 a.m. at the Grand Bay Hotel, and wear team colors. He immediately thinks eating bugs will be involved. Mike asks if he’s sure of that. “I like bugs,” Dan replies. “I got crabs right now.” Not that funny, but eerily psychic.

Daytime. Mission site. We see a decorated room and two curtains. Dave welcomes the teams to today’s mission: If Memory Serves. Anybody else think of Chairman Kaga’s monologues on Iron Chef? He shows three rooms, one of them filled with sponsor products. The teams are given two minutes to study the room. The test is to mimic the room as closely as possible. Two referees reveal the center room. Landon expositions that the room is filled with 79 items. Mike adds that each team appoints a leader to go into the room to examine things, while the rest of the squad studies the room from afar. Landon continues that the teams have ten minutes to replicate the room. Dave yaddas that the team which comes closest to the room win $10,000. Tina interviews that the Good Guys are catching up in mission wins, and it’s not a comfortable lead. I know that the missions mean little as opposed to the Infernos, but I reckon that the Bad Asses need to put a whuppin’ on the Good Guys, like the men beating the women in Battle of the Sexes 2 and Road Rules pounding on Real World in The Inferno.

The Bad Asses huddle up. Veronica admits that her short term memory is shot. Make your own jokes, people. Dan gets picked, but he teams the team not to rely on him. Abram: “I’m like, ‘Okay, who should I rely on, then?’” Dan quips in an interview about how the team got the gay guy to help. “This is not hard,” he interviews. “The problem with these challenges are [sic] not that they’re difficult, it’s that we think that they are.” Over on the other side, Jamie volunteers to look in the room. She interviews that the Good Guys have three less sets of eyes, and there would be less confusion. Shavonda tells us that the strategy is for each player to look at a different section. As she moves on to the guys, we see Mike and Darrell stretch, while Landon performs push-ups. “I don’t know how well that pay attention to details,” Shavonda adds. “I don’t know if they even know what color their socks are in the morning.” Wow...Shavonda made me laugh on purpose. Freaky.

Dave calls for team leaders. Jamie and Dan step up for their respective groups. Jamie admits to freaking out, as well as being ashamed if she screwed up. Dave blows his whistle, giving the leaders two minutes to inspect the details up close. Dan interviews that it seems like a simple mission at first, but everything is so small. We get a montage of minutia, as Jamie and Dan look frustrated in slow-motion.

Back from commercials, Jamie brings us up to speed before instructing her team where to look. “I love this kind of stuff,” she interviews. “I’m super anal. I pay attention to detail.” Veronica tells Dan to look at a particular piece. He interviews that he figured to have enough to observe in order, saving the coffee table for last. To get a better view, Tonya is perched on Abram’s shoulders. Well, I hope that’s the reason. Abram interviews that he can’t tell what’s on the shelves, and that Dan will have to help the team with that. Dave blows his whistle again, shooing the players from the room.

The teams go to their starting positions. Dave gives them ten minutes, and he’ll be keeping time on a sponsored timer. Yes, he actually says the name. Tool. He blows the whistle, and the players open curtains to reveal piles of stuff, which they waste no time in assembling. Jamie interviews that Shavonda is kicking butt with her flawless shelf. Fast-forward assembling. Tonya interviews that things are different for the Bad Asses, since nobody is arguing, and everybody is following direction. More fast-forward. Mike interviews that they have to know details, like whether a container is opened or closed, or if it’s filled with orange or lemon drink. He knocks some glasses over. We see that there are less than four minutes left. Darrell asks Jamie about playing cards. She interviews that she can’t recall the arrangement on the table, adding that she remembers certain things, but she can’t remember everything. The Bad Asses rearrange stuff in their room. Dan and Abram differ over menus on shelves.

Dave gives the teams the two-minute warning. Mike tries to remember something on the table. He asks Jamie, but she doesn’t know the order. Dan interviews that he remembers pen colors and poker chips, but he’s drawing a blank on the coffee table. Dave gives the teams thirty seconds. The players arrange more stuff in fast motion. Cut to Dave waiting. More fast-mo. Cut to Dave grinning like an idiot. Fast-motion spilt screen...and Dave blows his whistle, ending the mission. It did look cool to do, but it’s not fun to watch or write about.

Both teams wait on the sidelines, as the referees reveal the rooms. The groups critiquing their rooms with what they had to base them on. A graphic shows the Bad Asses put a menu on the wrong shelf. Dan interviews that each team made mistakes. Cut to what his team got right, followed by the messed-up coffee table. This display is so bad, a rain of X’s falls from the sky. It’s funnier if you watch it. THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! THUNK! Jamie apologizes for her arrangement goods. Mike feels that the Good Guys had a disadvantage due to lack of numbers, but he hopes it’s enough to win. Jamie interviews that she and Dan did equally well with inspections, but there is only so much one person can do. Both sides wait out Dave, but we flame out into commercials. This is one padded episode, isn’t it?

Coming back, Dave announces that the Good Guys got 61 items right out of a possible 79. He says that the Bad Asses had a lot of people, and he thought they were a shoo-in to win...but they got 53 items. The Good Guys celebrate their win, and Dave hands the $10,000 check to Jamie. “We end up killing the Bad Asses,” Mike interviews. “Eat it. Hoo-rah, baby.” Nice to see Mike gracious in victory. Tina goes on about how the Good Guys are catching up, and I’m still thinking she wants to beat them down mentally, as opposed to fixating on meaningless mission wins. Abram snots about the Good Guys walking away with more money than him. Dave gives both teams thirty minutes to make their Inferno nominations. This time, it’s the fellas. He ends by joking about the Good Guys having only three men to choose from. Shut up, you BMX bozo.

Good Guys Deliberation Meeting. Landon and Darrell vote for Dan, while Mike votes for CT, because CT is his team’s best player. Darrell sees Dan as “more of a guaranteed victory.” Landon adds that Dan is clumsy and not that strong, and that his own team doesn’t want him in the final mission. Darrell interviews that he’d rather go with Dan to keep all three guys, and he questions aiming for a top gun in the final Inferno. Jamie laughs about how half the team is gone, and Mike just looks sad about it.

Bad Asses Deliberation Meeting. Derrick doesn’t want to vote for Mike again, and the girls agree with him. He adds that Mike has gotten stronger, while Landon has grown weaker. Aside from the mishap with the hot rod, I’m not seeing that. “Landon has changed a little bit since he took his haircut,” Abram interviews. “I don’t know what happened. Maybe he’s getting too much sin on that bald strip through the middle.” Insightful as always, dude. Oh, and “took his haircut”? CT thinks that if Landon goes, so do the Good Guys. Dan has no opinion, adding that everybody thought he’d lose in the first Inferno. Sure...when he was slated to face Mike. Dan adds that after four weeks, CT doesn’t think he can win. CT lifts his head, his face going, “Whaaaaa?” Dan continues, saying that he wasn’t scared in his first Inferno, he’s not scared now, and he’s the only one not scared. CT smirks, and I don’t think he’s scared. “I haven’t seen anyone take flight or shoot laser beams out of their eyeballs,” Dan interviews. “What I see are three guys who are getting desperate to win, and I’m not desperate. In the end, I just have to rely on myself.” The part of me that still hates Dan responds, “Oh, like that night in the movie theater?”

Announcement time. The Bad Asses make their pick, as Derrick declares that Landon is Inferno-bound. Abram interviews that Landon thought the Bad Asses would be afraid to send him in. He adds, “Well, it looks like we’re not too scared of you, buddy. Big bad Landon...we’re sending you in, motherfucker.” I just roll my eyes and wish Brad took him out when there was a chance. Landon responds by announcing Dan’s selection. Dave yaddas about the Aztec Lifeshield, which Dan doesn’t think he’ll need. The figurines are placed in the Mininferno, and most of the players applaud...except for Jamie, who appears downbeat. Dan: “Who knows what’s going to happen. It could be a challenge of who looks the most ridiculous with a hairstyle on their head, and I think I’d be a pretty good match. But you never know.” The guy could bring back his “Dan Of the Jungle” coif from Battle of the Sexes, and he’d still look more dignified than Landon.

Villa. Landon laughs about not wanting to be picked. Mike tells Landon that he has to win tomorrow, since they might lose a girl next. Landon puts his head down, as Mike tells him that he not to worry. Landon: “Tonight’s gonna suck!” Mike jokes about going through this three times. Landon reminds us that this is the last men’s Inferno before the final mission and the cut of the money. “I just want to be here,” he interviews. “I do not want to go home. I will fight tooth and nail right to the end.” He’s a dead man, isn’t he?

A flame segue brings us to Dan, Tonya and Jamie. Dan insists that he’s not upset, but he gets a little misty about his fifty percent chance of going home. Against Landon? More like eighty-five. Tonya stars to tear up, asking Jamie why the Good Guys picked him to go. “Dan is the biggest sweetheart I’ve ever met,” Jamie interviews, “but I don’t blame Landon or Darrell for picking Dan, because it’s their ass on the line. We are in survival mode. We need every single player on this team.” Dan says that this is happening exactly as he thought it would. Tonya interviews that she hates seeing Dan hurt, and he deserves to be here. Dan quips that he hasn’t been able to wear his “Captain America underwear.” Too much information, Dan. He gets all gooey over saying goodbye, and Tonya has to hug him. He interviews that there’s a distinct possibility he’ll be at a great disadvantage going into the Inferno, but he’s not ready to leave yet. “As much as I believe in myself,” he adds, “there’s just some things you can’t control, and you can’t help but think, ‘I don’t have a chance in hell’.” Cut to Dan arranging his stuff. “I mean, what am I going to do?” He examines his Cap undies, while Tonya holds him.

Next time: Dan tells CT that he’s selfish. CT yells at Dan. Dan: “CT is only worried about himself.” Gee, you think? At one point, CT does the fake startle thing, but Dan doesn’t react. I guess what works on drunks in Paris doesn’t intimidate others. The mission is called Crab Grab, and it involves burying players in the sand. And crabs. Tonya is buried up to her neck, and she cries while being pinched.

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