Avast me hearties! Brave be ye for certain, treadin' the dangerous waters of this recap. But don't ye be worryin' ye little scurvy-head, Cat o' the Sun is here to lead ye through. Take me paw and let's begin...
Parrot? Well, I ate her. With some fava beans and a nice chianti. Arrrrgh!
So we begin this show with a full moon, and small boat going across the water on a foggy night, delivering students to their first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Wait, wait, on closer inspector, it's a bunch of people rowing towards the tall ship, Picton Castle. They get on board, and out comes host Cameron Daddo, and my first impression is, "Why is he wearing a shirt? I'd like to shiver his timbers, aye." As he's telling everyone that this is a working vessel, that they'll pull their weight or "there will be consequences", the camera is scanning our contestants. They've all been outfitted like extras in a pirate movie, wearing sashes, wenchy-vests and whatnot. I'm not used to my reality-tv shows having costumes, and this throws me a bit.
Cameron points out four of them to grab one rope, the remainder to grab another, and then instructs them to "heave away!" They heave, and heave, and heave some more, then a treasure chest is lifted out of the water, and we are introduced to our first contestant, Louie. Louie is the most Rupert-esque person I have ever seen, I wouldn't be surprised if this really is Rupert, minus the tie-dye. Louie is a fishing dock operator, and says "I think I want me some of that." Ladies and gentleman, pirate number one. Cameron says "Behold, the chest of Zanzibar!" He goes on to talk about the legend of Captain Henry Steel, who was quite the looter back in 1726. He divided his treasure up into 14 parts, for him and his crew, because he was also a mystic, who knew that someday that number would coincide beautifully with a 13-episode reality-tv show. Ah okay, back to the real story. Steel and his crew all went ashore and buried that treasure, coming back with two maps to each location. Steel then put those maps....into the chest of Zanzibar! "And that" says Cameron, "is the reason you are all here." All the treasure is now worth a million dollars, and any treasure they find is their's to keep and take with them when their voyage ends. Here we meet pirate two, Jay, an auto parts salesman with an unfortunate soul patch, who says "We're all here for the loot." Prolific, he is.
Cameron, wait, did I mention his ultra-sexy Australian accent? And the fact he's still got his shirt on? And that his IMDB profile says he was in "Big Momma's House 2"? Accomplished AND hot. Lethal. Cameron tells them, "Your voyage will only last as long as your fellow pirates deem you worthy." Then he mentions that they've all been trained in sailing, they will sail for the island of Dominica at dawn, where they'll open the first compartment of the Chest of Zanzibar! I can hardly wait. Pirate three comes to us in the form of Ben, a young smiley musician who says there's no place he'd rather be. The pirates are socializing, drinking some grog or something, and Louie finds a BIG pirate and asks him how much he weighs. Honestly, who does that? So the big pirate is Christian, who happens to weigh 270, and used to play for the Kansas City Chiefs where he was known as the Nigerian Nightmare. That's kind of a good pirate name already, isn't it? Pirate Cheryl is a deputy district attorney and plans not to tell anyone what she does for a living, because she feels she has a special insight into the pirate gameplay, having dealt with criminals.
Next some girls are being entertained/terrified by a complete freak of nature named John, who is a scientist/exotic dancer. Whatever. John tells one girl "my horoscope told me to watch out for red-haired foxes." Oooh, he's a smooth one. [/sarcasm] John accompanies this with a psychopath's stare that's ever so charming, and flails his hands about wildly. If he's doing that for a Captain Jack Sparrow flavor, it's failing miserably. Our next pirate Joy, a receptionist, tells him to sleep far, far on the other side. John tells us that he's a geek, and personally I doubt that geeks actually want to claim him.
A New Dawn Rises...
Louie's waking people up, and on deck a bunch of peolpe are climbing the rope-y things (actual ship term) to the sails while others look on. Sails are hoisted, and we meet another pirate, Sean, who is a bartender. He grew up on boats, and isn't looking half-bad in his vest. He approaches Joy, who looks less than joyful, to find she is sea-sick. She says she feels like she needs to throw up, then right on cue, she runs to add some chum to the sea. They drop anchor at Dominica, and we meet pirate Joe Don, who is a fire fighter. Interesting fact about Joe Don, he was supposed to be on Survivor Guatemala, but broke his ankle a few weeks before he was supposed to leave. Joe Don says he has a knack for taking over, and was in the Navy for two years. Cameron calls the pirates to the wheel house, and opens the first compartment in the chest of Zanzibar! It holds two maps, and two compasses, so he says they'll have to (surprise!) pick two crews. Joy walks forward to draw a marble, and gets a red one, then collects a red sash. Joe Don goes forth and gets black, with a matching sash. Jay's on red, Louie's on black. Since we haven't met them all yet, let's just say they're divided up, and I'll name them as I see them. The first crew to discover the treasure will keep all the gold in it. Each crew grabs their gear and heads to their long boats.
Cameron's voice-over tells us that from the first map, the pirates will discover that they must paddle up the mouth of the Indian River and make a critical left at the fork, to find a dead man's tree. Heading east on foot, they must find three buried keys, which will unlock and lower a skeleton cage, which holds their next map. Crews are starting out from opposite sides of the ship. Cameron shoots his pirate-y gun into the air, and they're off. The red crew paddles like crazy, but don't realize they have a rudder, and go way off course. The black crew finds dead man's tree, and take off on foot. Some of them manage to jump into a big deep pit of mud, and Ben loses his shoe. He refuses to be a one-shoed pirate, and digs around in the mud until he finally finds it. They find their skeleton cage, and dig underneath, quickly finding the three keys. Ben starts on the lock, then Joe Don, as the red team gets to their skeleton cage. Joe Don steps back for someone else to try the lock, and John steps up and unlocks it. Their skeleton cage lowers, and they retrieve their next map and key.
Cameron's voice-over says "With their new map in hand, the crews must continue to paddle up river. When they see the sword and skull along the way, the leading crew can sabotage the crew that follows and slow them down. Then it's on to the crocodile's lair, the location of the sunken treasure, attached to two croc's heads."
The red crew is getting their next map and key, while the black crew moves ahead to the sabotage point, cutting a rope that lowers a net to block the red crew. The black crew reaches the Croc's Lair, and jump in the water to look for the treasure. The red crew reaches the net, and get out and pull the boat under it. Everyone's in the water, In confessional John says that he knows that crocodiles live under mango trees, and on cue, there's footage of him diving near a mango tree and bringing up the treasure. Black crew wins! They open the chest, to find some teeny crabs who are saying "what the heck, get us OUT of here already!" as well as lots of gold pieces. In confessional John says "I pulled the treasure out, I won it for the team, I pulled them through the whole thing. I really expected a lot out of the people that I was crewing with, and somehow I found myself far and above the only one that was able to do it." Humble much?
Everyone gets back to the ship, and the red crew go below to vent. Among the losers are Jay, Sean, Joy, Christian, the blonde dread-locked guy (Azmyth), and three girls named Christa, Laurel and Nessa. On deck with the booty are John, Joe Don, Ben, Louie, Cheryl, red-haired Alexis, bead-headed Kendra, and Jupiter with the dots by her eyes. And I just now figure out that each team has four males and four females. Sheesh.
They open up the treasure in front of Cameron, who tells them that the largest gold pieces are worth $500, the medium ones worth $100, and the smaller ones worth $20. He then tells them to count their gold. It's $40,000 worth. Cameron then tells them to elect a captain RIGHT NOW, and John nods, smiles and raises his eyebrows. So everyone says "J.D." (Joe Don) which is sort of convenient as how he's standing front and center with Cameron in a position of authority, while most everyone else is kneeling. Cosmic! In confessional Cheryl says that Joe Don was the natural choice as he's calm and bright, and had a gameplan to be a leader. Cameron asks if it's agreed then, and everyone raises their hands but John, who's shaking his head. Cameron declares Joe Don the captain, then tells him that according to pirate law that the captain gets half the treasure. Woohoo, $20 grand for Joe Don! Cameron tells him that he can keep it, share it or make deals with it. John is still shaking his head. Then Joe Don is told to pick two officers, so he picks Cheryl and Ben. They get to share in half of what is left, splitting $10,000. The rest of the crew splits the remainder, getting $2,000 each. Cameron then tells the non-officers that they've been demoted, and that they black crew no longer exists. He says that from now on they've got to obey their captain's orders, and to take their money and get downstairs. They do as told, and tell the red crew what happened. We finally met Alexis, who's a fashion publicist, and she akins Joe Don to Grizzly Adams. John is still astounded that he's not captain, and tells them all that he did everything for them.
On deck, Cameron gives coats to Cheryl and Ben, and a coat and hat to Joe Don, along with keys to the captain's quarters. Captain Joe Don takes his officers down below, tells the crew that things are going to change a whole lot, then opens the captain's quarters. The captain's quarters consists of a four-poster bed, two bunks, and all-around spiffy accomodations. In confessional, Captain Joe Don says that he was in the military, and he thinks there is a need for order right off the bat. Cheryl and Ben go on deck and tell the crew that they all have to do what they're supposed to do, or ....there will be consequences! There's that ominous word again. Louie mouths off all over the place that he's working to get Joe Don gone.
Cameron goes into the captain's quarters, still wearing a shirt, to my dismay. He tells Captain Joe Don and officers that tonight is Pirate's court. Captain Joe Don has to choose three pirates, mark them with a black spot, and tonight those three will have an opportunity to defend themselves before their fellow pirates cast a ballot, and one of those three will be cut adrift. What? No walking the plank? Boooo!! But wait, if the fellow pirates rise up as one and mutiny against Captain Joe Don, and his officers agree, Joe Don will be cut adrift. (What if the pirates rise up, but the officers don't agree? I have no idea.) Cameron leaves them with 13 letters, 3 of which are marked with a black spot. Joe Don, Cheryl and Ben sit down, and right away Joe Don says that he wants John off the ship. Ben mentions Louie wanting to mutinity, so they choose him so he won't have a vote. Then Joe Don says they need to select someone who won't get voted off to fill out the three, and maybe it should be a female. Ben and Cheryl both say Joy, because she's well-liked.
Ben and Cheryl go to the deck and explain to the crew what's about to happen. They hand out the letters. When Louie gets his he says he knew it was coming. Joy's hurt, but her black spot earns her a full-body hug from Sean, and that's not such a bad thing. John gets up and pockets both compasses, saying in confessional that they're key in the remainder of the million dollars. He then goes to Joy and whispers "Honestly, I have a way to keep both of us safe." Joy tells him "I want you to do what you feel you have to do." In other words "Get away from me, freakshow." Then in confessional John declares that he has control now over all navigation, and that any crew he's on from now on, wins.
Nightime and it's raining, so Cameron is wearing a shirt and a jacket, what the hell? He calls the pirates, and moves the marked pirates to the front. He thens on them to defend themselves to their fellow pirates.
Louie: He loves everybody, knows they love him, too. He'd miss them.
Joy: She's not ready to go, and doesn't think they're ready for her to go.
John: Gives a speech as long as my whole recap. Says Joe Don is defensive. Whips out compasses and says he's taking the toys since no one will play with him. Whips out his black spot letter and waves it around. Goes on and on until I'm begging for someone to shoot him.
As my eyes glaze over, Cameron states that John is calling for a mutiny, and asks Joe Don how that makes him feel. "Great, Cameron, I love when people want to take me down!" Okay, no he says some stuff about finding the north star using the big dipper, and finding your direction on land by using the sun and a shadow from a stick. Then he tells John to take the compasses and shove them, and that he doesn't need him. John counters by ripping open a compass and asking which way is north. Joe Don scans the sky, and replies that he has no idea because they may be further south than they can see at this time, but in the daytime it's simple.
Ballot time. The voting crew have four cards each, representing each of the marked crew members, and a mutiny card. They are to go up one by one and place their ballot on a upstanding dagger. I'd pay CBS to show someone impale themselves while doing so, but it doesn't happen. Cameron says all dramatically, "Ten pirates, ten ballots. Let's see what you've done." He looks through them and says "You've made a very clear decision" then sends Joy back to join the crew. Then he sends Louie to rejoin the crew. Cameron says "This decision was unanimous. John, your voyage has ended, you will be cut adrift." Why not a hanging? C'mon! John hops over on a little raft and Captain Joe Don cuts him adrift, sending him out into the vast sea, for several......feet, until a production boat picks him up three minutes later.
So that's it, our first journey into our summer entertainment from CBS. My little girl, age 7, wrote her own part to help me out, and I promised her I would include it, so I'll end with it. "Ahoy matey! Ye be an odd dolphin to set sail on the seven seas." Arrrrrgh.
Taking submissions for a new parrot. Must come pre-marinated. Contact me here.