Having won their second consecutive elimination round, Richard and Mindi quietly head upstairs to announce their victory - the better to spy on the haters huddled in the bedroom. Meanwhile, the two other couples generally agree that they're not sure they can handle any more of the extreme life force that is Richard. So you can imagine their underwhelming response when they open the door to find out their worst nightmare has come true. Poor Mindi; she has the patience of a saint, as she is able to forgive Richard of his multitude of annoying sins and keeps trying to help him, as well as carry him through the challenges.
That Girl is Poison…
Richard is all “Operation Destroy Chuck is in full effect!” and wastes no time on mission number one, which is stealing Scarlet. First he tries to plant a kiss (woulda been his third!) on her, but she successfully dodges it and let's out a little "Ai!" of fear (disgust?). Undeterred, Richard smoothly suggests that the two of them hit the hot tub, even going so far as to call her “mi amor”.
Alas, Scarlet ends up soaking with Chuck, and we're treated to some uncomfortable night-vision footage of them cuddling in the jacuzzi... I'm pretty sure Scarlet even gave him a little kiss, one of those that are kind of just barely on the corner of the mouth, but almost on the cheek. You know, just enough to keep him on a string. She tells the camera later that Chuck is a nice guy and all, but he's just not her type. Interestingly, she also says she might be attracted to the fact that he's different. You know, just enough to keep us viewers on a string, too.
Dolla Dolla Bills Y’all
Next morning, they gather to hear what lies in store for the next challenge. Brian McFayden looks blankly at the group, struggles to trigger the synapse required for the job required of him, and eventually manages to get it out: there is an RV outside ready to take them to the location of the next challenge, but first they should go upstairs, pack a few things, and hit the road. They will have only one big challenge this week, and by virtue of there being only three teams remaining, the winning team will automatically have a 50 percent chance of winning $250,000. [I still haven’t figured out if the $250K is to be split across the team, or if they each get their own quarter-mil. Anyone?]
Upstairs, they find backpacks all set up with hiking and camping gear, to which they need to add anything else that they might need to get through the still-undefined challenge. Richard came very close to bringing only a band-aid and a pair of clean underwear (the mind boggles!), but changes his mind when Mindi tells him she is bringing ‘lots of clothes.’ Scarlet decides to take off the heels she is wearing, to Shawns’ approval. Chuck very seriously tells Caitilin that she should take off the bracelet she is wearing and Caitilin, the aspiring fashion expert, very seriously pouts while removing it.
Come Along and Ride on the Fantastic Voyage
In the RV there are idiots’ guides on camping and fishing and a note explaining the challenge: Follow the path to the pond, catch a fish, set up your tent and gather wood to start a fire. The first team to toast a marshmallow wins. (mmmmm...s'mores.....) Shawn the Eagle Scout couldn't be happier, as he has tons of outdoor experiences to draw upon. They arrive at their destination and the challenge begins. Shawn/Scarlet lead the race, with Richard/Mindi a close second, and I feel bad for all of them, because they have a serious up-hill hike ahead of them. Soon, Mindi starts feeling the effects of the intense climb and Richard ends up carrying her pack for the duration of the hike. Wow, who knew he had it in him? This is especially impressive when you remember all the clothes she brought along.
You Be Illin'
Shawn, perhaps having pushed too hard instead of pacing himself, is soon feeling lightheaded. It gets so bad that he has to stop and lie down for a while. Concerned, a medic checks him out and finds that Shawn’s blood pressure is 158 over 58 = not good. Shawn gracefully leans over and loses his lunch on the hillside. I wonder if he learned that in Boy Scouts? After a rest, Shawn decides to push on, and since Scarlet had to wait for him while he recuperated, they are now in last place. Meanwhile Chuck and Caitilin have taken a strong lead. Mindi falls, then Caitlin falls, but they both jump right back up and keep going. Scarlet runs ahead of Shawn, passes Mindi and Richard and reaches the pond just as Chuck and Caitilin do.
Let's Get it Started
Once at the pond, they each have to catch a fish. In this case, "catching" means reeling in a fish that is already hooked, in fact, already dead, and throwing it in a bucket. Instead of figuring out how to use a reel, most of them just pull the line in manually. Last to arrive to the pond, Shawn is rushed by a now frantic Scarlet to reel in his fish so that they can start on their tent. The scene in the tent area is hectic: Caitilin calls Chuck a ‘dumdum’, Scarlet (accidentally?) whacks Shawn with a pole, and Mindi does everything by herself. Chuck/Caitilin and Mindi/Richard are working on their fires, while Shawn/Scarlet are stumped with final finishing touches to their tent. Mindi sends Richard to get kindling for their fire (which he annoyingly calls kindle), and he brings back one stick. One. Little. Stick. This may be why Chuck/Caitilin end up roasting the first marshmallow, and thus guaranteeing a spot in the final challenge.
She’s a Super Freak
When Scarlet hears Caitlin's victory cry, she drops an F Bomb and says she feels like punching something or screaming. And you don’t want to make Scarlet mad. When Scarlet gets mad, bad things happen. [Scarlet clenches her fists, steam rises from her scalp, her muscles bulge and she turns a bright shade of red until she becomes…..] THE HOT TAMALE! Arrrrgggghhhh!
Are you scared? Because I was. Scarlet has a rampaging hissy fit that lasts the duration of the night, with tears a-flowin’, insults a-flingin’, and she cannot be comforted no matter how hard anyone tries. She blames Shawn (both behind his back and to his face) for giving up and being weak. Shawn receives a healthy dose of support from everyone else, fortunately, because the guy really couldn’t help what happened. Chuck dares to sit next to scary Scarlet and she storms off after flinging his hand from her back. Scarlet is so mad, she says she will sleep outside to avoid sharing a tent with Shawn. Caitilin in particular takes offense at how mean she is being to Shawn, and points out that Scarlet has not won a challenge yet, but he has never had a negative thing to say. Of course, this is NOT said to THE HOT TAMALES' face, because she is as scared as I am.
Get Yer Freak On
In spite of the drama, a bottle of champagne is uncorked, and glasses are clinked to friendship. Mindi, with fizzy little bubbles clouding her better judgment, runs over to Richard and gives him a quick peck. (Three! Awww yeah. He’s officially a playa, now.) When Caitilin tells Chuck that he's going to have to go somewhere else if he wants a kiss, he snubs Scarlet by giving a kiss to Shawn, who good naturedly returns the peck. Everyone freaks out a little that the two guys just kissed, and someone actually says “gross!” I wonder if it’s gross because two guys just had an innocent kiss, or if it’s because Shawn puked earlier and forgot to pack his toothbrush.
The Freaks Come Out at Night
The sun goes down, and Richard goes completely Mad Hatter, yelling "CHUUUUUUUUCK!" and banging pots together. It seems that Richard gets bored very easily, so he entertains himself by pacing, talking to himself, and invading the personal space of others. Chuck is especially bothered, since a camp fire is a “special time” for him (read: another chance to get a cuddle from Scarlet in the dark) and sensibly bans Richard from goofing off around the fire, although he speaks to him like a child while making the demand. The night goes on, and Chuck decides to attack Richard in front of everyone by telling him that he likely has ADD and should seek treatment. Everyone is appalled that Chuck implied that Richard has psychological problems in such a public forum. Chuck realizes that he was wrong to handle his concerns in that manner, and later apologizes to Richard privately.
Scarlet invites Shawn to go look for wood with her, and then tears into him again for giving up when they were so close. He rebuts that he did his best, he opted not to go to the emergency room, and he doesn't know what else he could have done. He asks Scarlet “Are you done?” which is infuriating when said by my husband, but hysterical coming from the mouth of this insecure guy who couldn’t even talk around pretty girls a couple of weeks ago. During this exchange, we learn that Miss Scarlet has quite a potty mouth.
Givin' Him Something He Can Feel
Next morning, they head back to the mansion to prepare for the elimination round by reading through their study materials, and everyone is tense. Scarlet is still raging mad, and reminds Shawn that he said he knew everything but he obviously didn't, so he’d better study hard. In an odd and random moment, Mindi gets stuck in the bathroom, and is instructing Richard to turn the doorknob counterclockwise to let her out. He takes a moment to figure out which way counterclockwise is, wiggles the knob, and decides it would be better for Mindi to just crawl through the bathroom window instead. As he goes outside to show her which window she should escape from, Chuck swoops in, opens the door, and successfully enrages Richard all over again.
To add insult to injury, Mindi later gets a foot massage in the hot tub from Chuck, while Shawn studies nearby and listens to her moan. Richard watches through the window and later raises a stink with Mindi for getting a foot massage from the enemy. Mindi is amazingly patient with Richard, and is still trying to help him analyze social situations and know when to dial it down a notch. Richard admits in confessional that he has a compulsion to keep on with the madness, even when he knows it's gone too far.
In their room, Caitilin cuts off her long fingernails while Chuck paces the room. He says he wishes he had some metaphorical nail-trimming to do, and using her blanket response to all big words, Caitilin simply says “huh?” Chuck goes off to wish Scarlet/Shawn good luck and ends up giving Shawn a loooooooooong hug. For the first 15 seconds of the embrace, Scarlet looks on and smiles. As the clinch goes on and on, Scarlet has to look away, and then nervously looks back to see that they still haven’t let go. Ultimately, her confused expression morph’s into something which clearly says: “You are girly men.”
Never Gonna Get It
And…it’s time for the elimination round. Ladies first:
Mindi - Placing food in a bag and hanging it from a tree is known as what?
Correct.Click to see Spoiler:Bear bagging.
Scarlet - What blows up the mountain during the day and down the mountain at night?That is incorrect: the answer isClick to see Spoiler:FireClick to see Spoiler:wind
Mindi - This instrument measures elevation by barometric pressure.Correct.Click to see Spoiler:Altimeter?
Scarlet - This item uses the earth’s magnetic field to plot and stay on a course, locate a landmark or find a destination.Correct.Click to see Spoiler:A Compass?
Mindi - This type of fire is best for quick lighting.Correct.Click to see Spoiler:A teepee fire?
Scarlet - In cold climates you should take steps to prevent the body from no longer being able to create its own heat, which is called what?Incorrect. The answer isClick to see Spoiler:hyperventilation? (This actually comes out of her mouth as “hyperventaluhluha” because she realizes at this very moment that she sucks at thisClick to see Spoiler:hypothermia
With the score 3-1, Mindi, it is now the guy’s turn. Brian tells Shawn that if he misses the first question and Richard answers his first question correctly, Richard and Mindi automatically advance to the finals. No pressure, though. Let’s see how the Boy Scout does:
Shawn – Two of the four most common diseases transmitted by ticks are?IncorrectClick to see Spoiler:Lyme Disease and Influenza?Click to see Spoiler:Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever would have been accepted
Richard - Poison Ivy and Poison Oak have how many leaflets per stem?Incorrect, the answer isClick to see Spoiler:2?Click to see Spoiler:three
Shawn – What is the most popular game fish in America?The correct answer isClick to see Spoiler:Trout?Click to see Spoiler:bass.
Doh! Poor Shawn has forgotten the face of his Boy Scout Master, which is sad for him, but I must admit I am glad to see the Scarlet Monster leaving. This means that next week Chuck/Caitilin and Richard/Mindi will be battling for the ultimate title of Beauty and the Geek.
Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fightin’
Next week, look forward to karate lessons, yoga and one-handed pushups. Oh, and one more thing: Ashton, if you are reading this, try harder not to let The WB give away the results of the show halfway through. We saw Chuck and Richard in their karate get up during a commercial break tonight, and you, like, totally ruined the surprise for me. Thanks for listening.
Hey all you McGyvers out there: what would YOU do with a band aid and a clean pair of underwear?…. hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org . Word.