Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Inferno Episode 15: Penultimate Panic

Once again, the shit really starts to hit the fan. Worse Katie's subsequent tantrum would get cut and pasted one episode later. Given how Veronica treats her here, it would have made more sense not to screw with the timeline, even though putting it after Katie's triumph makes for "good television."

Meanwhile, in 2018, Challenge fans are bummed that Johnny didn't make the cut for Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. In my head, everybody dodges a bullet. Fans don't have to watch The Cleveland Show of CBS reality television, and Johnny wouldn't be stuck in close quarters with Omarosa Manigault-Newman. I wouldn't wish that even on the likes of him. I'll end it here, but I think it needs to be constantly repeated: OMAROSA IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST. I know, breaking news from 2004, and I dropped her name near the end of the recap, but it's not my fault she keeps sucking as a human being these days.

Airdate: May 10, 2004
Recap Published: May 16, 2004 

After the most heated Inferno yet, Coral and Veronica find themselves in the crosshairs. Can they dodge the final Inferno?
Previously on The Inferno: Mike and Kendal's romanced continued to flourish. Real World's scheme to dump Leah into the Inferno succeeded, as she was disqualified in Saturn Valet Ballet. Road Rules had a similar plan involving Katie, but Kendal didn't get the memo. She ended up with the Aztec Lifesaver, as well as a pissed-off Mike, threatening to throw a tantrum should she go into the Inferno for Timmy. Which she did, and according to Voiceover Lady, she was "enraging a drunken Mike." I know he wasn't drinking apple juice. Mike ranted and raved and acted like a total jerk. And if you thought you felt dirty last week, this episode is going to hurt a lot worse.

We're back to the Inferno, as Kendal and Leah continue to walk the plank and carry bricks. Mike: "When a girl lies to me, they will know about it, and everyone else in the whole [bleeping] world will know about it." He is so right. Right now, there's a group of Bangladeshi goat herders watching this show, and they are PISSED at Kendal's treachery. A graphic reveals that both players have carried 166 bricks. Mike blathers about how Kendal revealed her drunken side. Whatever, you drunkard. Kendal interviews that she channels her energy and hatred into carrying the bricks. She thanks Mike for giving her the drive to go on. "As long as that helps you," Mike snarls, "that makes me know what a worse person you are." Leah: "Miz is just torturing her, so it's definitely helping."

Time remaining: Two hours, seven minutes. Leah and Kendal have carried 224 bricks. Mike declares that the team will be going out when Leah wins. Sure, you and your buddies threw the mission to dump her into this mess, and now she's your friend. Shut up. He then ridicules Kendal's backside. She snaps at him for getting personal, as David holds him back. Kendal openly wonders why she ever kissed him. Mike: "Why would I kiss a liar?" Kendal: "'Cause I'm a good kisser!" I'm surprised she's cooing at him, rather than chucking a brick at his head. "Mike is drunk," Darrell interviews. "That boy is drunk, and Leah's pushin' my team's buttons."

Now Mike rips into Veronica for wearing so much makeup. The pitiful attempt to win me over by opposing the epitome of evil fails miserably. Katie interviews that Mike and Veronica trade insults, and then Veronica insults her. Surely Veronica isn't such a bitch that she would drag Katie into this? "Yeah," Veronica snipes at Mike, "because your girl Katie wearing waaaaaaay more than any of us!" Katie rightfully curses out Veronica and uses a four-letter word that I don't hear that often. Kendal interviews that Mike is screaming at the team, and Katie and Veronica are going fast, so she goes faster. Cut to an obviously edited sequence, where Kendal zips back and forth on the plank, while Leah goes at normal speed.

Time remaining: 1:15. The score: Leah 563, Kendal 608. Coral interviews that Leah is still in it, and anything can happen. And now it's time for CT to act like an ass. "Let's be honest," he jeers at Leah, "you need to step up. Enough with the free ride!" Leah calls him an a-hole. The former roommates bicker about stepping up versus shutting up. Leah interviews that Darrell is ignoring CT. Sure enough, there's Darrell sipping something. CT: "Don't get mad at me, sweetie!" Elsewhere, Christena asks Katie what's up between her and Veronica. Syrus: "It's going down! Ding ding!"

CT blathers to Leah about how he's been honest with her. Leah calls him an a-hole once again. Coral yells. Katie: "I'd rather [bleep] than [bleeping] touch that bitch Veronica!" Mike slurs for Coral to root for Leah. Katie: "She's a [bleep] and I called her out on it many times." Christena laughs Katie off in a condescending manner. Leah declares her need to hit CT when they get home. CT: "Whatever." Leah: "It's always 'whatever,' because you can't [bleeping] handle anything!" CT: "Whatever." Katie: "Scrawny lil [bleeping] J-Lo wannabe. I will knock your [bleeping] ass out before you can even blink!" I don't know if she means Veronica or Christena, but either one is fine by me. "It's outta control," CT interviews. "It's a good time."

Two seasons ago, we saw Aneesa go topless for no real reason. Last season, we got to see Matt dance like a total spaz. It's always fun to see familiar aspects of cast members. And now, for no real reason other than total insanity, David jumps between the planks, naked. You heard me: David. Naked. Revealing what he once called "the eighth roommate." That has to do something for the viewers. "I don't know what the hell is going on," Syrus interviews, as we see Abram rolling around. "These people just lost it. The Inferno does it to you."

Two minutes remaining. Score: Leah 816, Kendal 944. Leah interviews that she's down, but she'll going to go the whole three and a half hours. Coral tells Mike that it's over between him and Kendal. Mike can live with that. Coral: "That's all I need to know." Mike: "As long as I got you." Coral: “You'll always have me." Mike: “There we go." For God's sake, just kiss already! Jeez!

Dave bangs the gong, signaling the end of the Inferno, and another RW player taking the short boat home. Christena interviews that Kendal killed Leah, but that Kendal is not happy. "Someone she really cares about here," Christena continues, "just insulted her in front of everyone." Dave congratulates Kendal for her win. He adds, "The best thing about it is that you saved a man from the Inferno." Dave, why don't you just neuter Timmy while you’re at it? He tells Leah to pack her bags. "Leah got cut," CT interviews, "It has to be this way because we want $150K in the end, and we don't want her to be a part of the team because we don't think she'll win."

Villa. Leah voiceovers that she's not sure what will happen between her and Darrell. She goes off on him for not defending her. Darrell goes into a rant about his short temper, and how he'd end up swinging. If CT is the punching bag, I got no problem with that. Leah walks away, obviously unfulfilled. "I ain't gonna fight for you if nobody ain't hit you, simple as that," Darrell calls out. "You're a grown-ass woman." The moral of the story? Challenge romances never, ever work. Mizhelle, Mizdal, Leahrel... it all goes in the toilet in the end.

Pier of Shame. Leah is escorted by Coral and Katie. "I'm the only bitch left here," Coral interviews. "It's not a good situation for me, because the next Inferno is girls. It's not good." Leah sails away, waving and blowing kisses.

Back at the Villa, Kendal lies down, talking to Christena about Mike's hurtful words. "I saw the darkest side of somebody that I didn't think existed," she interviews. "I don't want to date a time bomb that's just waiting to go off, and I don't want to put myself back in a position to be disrespected once again. I don't know what I want to do." Personally, I'd run away and change my identity. That wasn't "The Miz" Mike displayed. Seriously, I don't see how Mike can get a girlfriend in the near future.

Back from commercials, it's daytime at the Villa. Mike lies down, telling Kendal that he feels like an a-hole. Kendal interviews that she's looking at the situation, and nothing feels good. She tells Mike that if she were talking to a friend, she'd recommend staying away from him. Mike calls her a great kisser, and she laughs. He continues, "I just have this charming personality, these boyish good looks that you get out of." Why isn't Kendal grabbing a pillow and suffocating him with it? Instead, she groans about how she wants to kiss him and stab him at the same time. She interviews that she's letting him off with a warning. "I made sure that he understands everything that he said," she continues, "how he made me feel. He's on trial, and he should be on his best behavior." Way to lay down the law. They snuggle in bed, and she kisses his forehead. Blech.

Nighttime. Dave has assembled everybody outside the Villa. Timmy explains that they're going straight into nominations, and they have to have a female Inferno to even things out. What? Seriously... what? I know that the genders alternate Infernos. The last Inferno was supposed to be all guys, between David and Timmy. But RW dumped Leah in there, and Kendal bailed Timmy out. So how hard is it to bring the guys back for the last Inferno? Better question: why do I expect any kind of logic from the producers? Spock's brain imploded five episodes ago.

Anyway, since Coral's the last RW girl left, she's going to the Inferno, no questions asked. Dave tells her she can win the Aztec Lifesaver, but she tells him not to worry. The females of the Axis of Ass (Christena, Holly, Veronica) grin evilly. Dave gives RR 30 minutes to nominate two women to the Inferno.

Christena voiceovers that everybody has "tasted the wrath of the Inferno." Or in her case, "tasted the wrath of listening to irritating sounds for two hours." Katie volunteers, interviews that she doesn't feel like arguing with the team. Come on, you already went! And you beat Julie! Veronica volunteers, since she hasn't gone yet. She interviews that RW won't choose her, since Coral doesn't want to risk going home.

Dave announces that Veronica and Katie have been nominated. He gives RW ten minutes to make their choice.

RW Meeting. CT interviews that since the beginning, the deal was to keep Katie in the game, since she hurts her team. At this point, you just have to shake your head and laugh bitterly. Dave comes to collect the plate. One of the guys puts down Veronica's plate, but Coral wants Katie. Mike and CT refuse to let Coral make her choice. Coral wants to put it to a vote. Mike points out that even if he sided with her, she'd still be outnumbered. Coral points out Syrus, who's on her side. Mike interviews that he has to make the deciding vote. Coral tells Mike that he loves him, and tells the team if they push her, they'll be sorry.

I know what you're thinking: how is Coral's situation any different from the one Julie went through? Both wanted to pick Katie, but met resistance. The thing is that Julie wasn't necessarily a lock to get picked by RR, since Leah was also nominated. Here, it's just Coral. She wanted a say, and Mike and CT tried to jerk that away from her. But I do have one problem with her picking Katie: should she lose, she would have to wear a bag over her head. And Julie would never, ever let her live it down.

Both teams go into their standoff position. Veronica holds the RW plate, as if we don't know who's going in. CT puts Veronica's plate up. She interviews that RW doesn't want Coral making a choice, and that RW thinks Katie would hurt RR in the final mission. At this point, does it matter? With the guys they’ve got, Katie can get knocked out and carried in the duration.

Back at the Villa, Christena tells Veronica that she's in the same situation as Coral, and that neither of them has been to the Inferno. Veronica figures she could win the Lifesaver, since she's done it before. Sure, when your teammates gift-wrapped it for you. Veronica adjusts herself while lying down, and you can see two pimples on her face. I guess Katie wasn't lying in her rant. Veronica interviews that she'll try her best to stay in the game.

Outside, Mike tells Kendal about the plan to keep Katie in the game, and how the vote came down to him. He's pissed that he lashed out at Kendal, and now he's gone against Coral. Speaking of which, Coral overhears the conversation and shouts at Mike for talking to Kendal and not her. Kendal senses drama and flees. Coral continues to snipe about not picking her opponent. Mike wants what’s best for the team. Coral: "Our strategy's not working, Mr. Forty Grand." Rather than call her "Mrs. Forty Grand," Mike figures the team might win $200,000 (current total plus mission win plus $150,000 win). They talk about things changing. Coral: "it's great to know where the [bleep] I stand, Mike. He interviews that Coral is scared to go into the Inferno. Coral: "You think you can win this without me? Might be true, but it's [bleeped] up, Mike. You don't think you can win against them without Katie? Who's scared? Me or you?" Mike brings up the Lifesaver, and even volunteers himself to go in her place. Coral interviews that Mike loses sight about the right thing to do when he gets competitive. Mike mentions the time he voted against Coral. Like I need to be reminded of that. "You know what?" Coral snaps. "You make a great point. You should lower my expectations." She stalks off. Holly tries to comfort her, but Coral blows by her. She interviews that she needs the Lifesaver.

Commercial. Thank you, MTV, for blowing next week's episode. But there is a bright side: Katie vs. Veronica. No more unpleasant interviews, no more backbiting. This is the full-on fight we've been waiting for. And to think I didn't like Katie when I first saw that clip. Kick her ass, Katie!

Daytime. Mission site. Darrell looks up at the tall building, which has ropes hanging down. Dave welcomes everybody to the last regular mission, Window Washing. Players start near the top of the building in window washing rigs. On the way down, they uncover six numbers on the windows. At the bottom is a combination lock, which can be opened using the numbers. Once unlocked, the players descend to the ground. Timmy explains that if a player doesn't remember the combination, they’re disqualified with the usual penalty: slowest time plus two minutes. As always, the team with the fastest average time wins $10,000. The players from each team with the fastest times not only win the Aztec Lifesaver, but also a Spring Break trip for two. Dave tells Coral and Veronica that this is their last chance to save themselves for the final mission. Christena tells Coral that she'll be praying for her RW teammates to fall. Coral: "At this point, I'm asking the devil for some help."

Heat One: Abram vs. David. David interviews that the objective is for the team to win, and for one of the guys to win the Lifesaver in order to "keep the core of our team." That sounded a lot like "keep Coral off the team," which is where closed captioning comes in handy. Dave blows his whistle to start things off. Abram drops, while David has problems with the mechanism, yelling at random production people. On the ground, Coral has a light chuckle. Abram goes down, unlocks, and finishes at two minutes, 25 seconds. David has problems with his lock, causing Coral to cackle. CT and David exchange pleasantries. David finally gets the lock open, finishing at 5:33, and kicks the ground in disgust, "Couldn't do it," he moans. "Couldn't get the lock. Maybe I'm a retard, then I might be."

Heat Two: Timmy vs, Mike. As Mike lurches down, he interviews that he doesn't want to win the Lifesaver, since Coral would expect him to bail her out. Mike lands at 2:22, Timmy at 2:40. "Gravity was the hardest part, man," Timmy jokes. "It's keeping me down. It's been keeping me down for years."

Heat Three: Christena vs. Syrus. Syrus interviews that he has issues with heights. Sure enough, he groans as he swings into the starting position. Christena finishes at 2:22. Syrus can't get his lock open and he quits, earning the disqualification.

Heat Four: Katie vs. CT. Katie interviews that she has to get the Lifesaver. "Veronica's ass is going in fast," she interviews. "Really, really fast." As both players go down, Veronica hangs over the balcony, almost like she's going to hock a loogie on Katie's head. She interviews that Katie is doing well, and she has to dig deeper for the strength. Miracle of miracles, Katie finishes at 1:56. Now that's a top-notch save-your-butt performance. CT lands at 2:12. Katie is obviously psyched by her performance.

Heat Five: Veronica vs. Coral. Coral interviews that she's praying to God for help in beating CT. Both drop down the rope, with Coral going faster. Katie looks up, while Mike and Syrus clap for Coral. Veronica finishes at 1:30, Coral at 1:34. Coral interviews that she's praying to get the Lifesaver.

Heat Six: Kendal. She drops down the rope and reads the numbers, interviewing that her lock is jammed. The clock shows her going past 11:14. Coral suggests she go back up the rope. Finally, Kendal unlocks and finishes at 14:41, interviewing that she thought her team would be pissed off at her. Actually, since Syrus was disqualified, his time is now 16:41. I'm surprised neither team ever thought of tanking in order to make their opponents' times worse.

Heat Seven: Darrell. Once again, he interviews about his fear of heights. "The drawers are up my ass," he says of the harness, "but I am gonna do my best because I wanna win the trip." He lands at 1:40, and he knows it wasn't good enough.

Heat Eight: Holly. With little light left, she drops, interviewing that her team will get the money if she doesn't DQ. She lands at 2:16.

Denouement. Dave announces the average times: RR 4:39, RW 5:59. And shocker of shockers, Road Rules wins yet again, upping their bank to $110,000. But I still hate them. Dave adds that he has to award the Aztec Lifesaver to the best RR player. Katie waits. Abram snickers. Dave awards it to Veronica. Coral celebrates, since she's basically off the hook. Man, shut up, Coral. Katie has the sourest look on her face. "I thought I won the mission," she snipes in an interview, "but lo and behold, that bitch Veronica beat me by a few seconds." Veronica goes into a cackling fit. Think she'll be gracious in victory? "Katie, [bleep] you," she interviews. "I got the Aztec Lifesaver, you're going to the Inferno, and I'm gonna stay."

I’ve got a question: is Veronica saving her own butt twice in the last two Challenges supposed to be karma balancing after she was booted off the two Challenges prior? Damn her. Seriously, I have seldom seen a more obnoxious bitch than Veronica. Sure, you can say "Jerri" or "Trish" or even "Omarosa." But have any of those women been on SIX shows? That's one season of Road Rules and five Challenges. Veronica is never going to change. She'll probably do yet another Challenge this summer, because the producers think she can stir the pot and make other people's lives miserable. I don't care if her teammates didn't help her out this time. I don't care if she deserved the win. Out of the menagerie of jerks, chumps and losers, Veronica is the worst of them all.

Now it's time for Dave to award a Lifesaver to the best player from RW. Coral crouches down. Dave awards it to Coral, who proceeds to celebrate, even jumping on Dave. Okay, that was funny. And if she blows the final mission, blame the guys. They could have beaten her and dumped her into the Inferno, but they couldn't pull it off. She interviews about winning and saving her butt. "Who will I send?" she purrs, clutching the Lifesaver. Cut to shots of David, CT, and Mike. Bet they're sorry that they crossed her.

Next week: Coral brags some more. Veronica: "I'm sending Katie because I want to." Tonight's Inferno: soaking in dead things. Katie: "I hate her. That sneaky bitch Verantula." Now I love Katie even more for the clever nickname. And finally, the fight of all fights: Katie vs. Veronica. Seriously... kick her ass, Katie!

Damn, nobody came off well this week. Except for Syrus. Please notice that when Coral was mulling over whom she'd send into the Inferno in her place, Syrus wasn't shown. Basically, he's like Blair on Battle Of The Sexes. He's everybody's friend.  Meanwhile, I really hated Christena. I did not see that coming. She and David were the best of Road Rules: South Pacific, she gets shipped into the show to replace Piggy, and she's a total bitch. Not Veronica-level, mind you, but bad enough.

And shit, how can ANYBODY like Veronica? Okay, you can make a case for liking her more than Beth, but that's really not saying much. As much as I want to believe that most of her persona was "for the cameras," she still sucks. And it was hella-weird being in the same venue as her when I attended the Dirty XXX premiere. I didn't vent towards her, going with the unwritten rule of TARCon; "Don't start none, won't be none." The funny thing about me going off on her for a paragraph was that she wasn't really heinous in Battle Of The Sexes 2. By the way, who was "Trish"? The Apprentice? I'm too lazy to check.

Next time: Katie finally explodes, and it is GLORIOUS.

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