The two teams are sent into an abandoned mine, where one contestant takes charge of her team, and someone's disorder gets more out of hand. Someone throws the challenge to save his old team, leading to his elimination. Meanwhile, an old contestant falls in love with a new contestant, and gives her a special reward, which leads to her quitting the competition, and a former intern returns to the quitter's former team to take her place as a contestant.
The camera first pans to Brick and Lightning working out by lifting a log. Lightning shows off his muscles by using only one arm, compared to Brick using two. Jo, in the confessional, says that no matter how hard Chris tries, he can't break her. She points out that, since she is on the Toxic Rats, she has the girls' side of the cabin to herself, allowing her to work out just like the ancient Olympians did: naked. Her shadow is then seen in the cabin, causing a bird to vomit at the sight of her in the nude. At breakfast, Chef is missing and breakfast has not been made. The group goes into the kitchen for food only to find that the cupboards are bare. Chef then pops up outside the kitchen window and says to search in the walk-in freezer, but it turns out to be a refrigerated van which Chef drives to the challenge. He opens a slot to the back to tell the contestants that he's taking them to the challenge, laughs and hits his thumb closing the slot.
At the challenge, Chris sends everyone into a mine to find a Gilded Chris Award of their team's color. However, it's radioactive, and each contestant is given a Geiger detector with a 30 minute timer, and that if they don't get out of the mine in time, bad things will happen. He uses Dakota as an example, who was in there for over 40 minutes and lost all of her hair, but was otherwise unharmed. The scene momentarily switches to an angry Dakota, who exclaimed that Chris is a dead man. Chris also gives them all heavy backpacks they have to wear in the mine until he says to drop them, and not allowed to look inside of them either. Lightning and the Rats make it to the mine shaft elevator first, but Lightning shouts and causes a localized cave-in on his team. The Mutant Maggots pick up the flashlights in the shaft. Sadly, the elevator crashes at the bottom, which forces the Rats to shimmy down the cables. Brick goes first, and Jo throws him the jar of fireflies. Brick catches the jar with both hands, and begins to fall swiftly down the shaft. He is able to slow himself by using his legs, but Jo and Lightning land on him, allowing the fireflies to escape. Jo and Lightning chase after them, leaving Brick alone in the dark.
Meanwhile, the Maggots explore the caves, and Mike picks up a hat from the ground. He puts the hat on and instantly channels Manitoba Smith, his adventurous alter-ego. He quickly searches the areas and finds rodent leavings which he licks to find which path they should take. He leads his team through the mine, eventually coming to a couple of mine carts. Mike and Cameron get in the first one, while Scott, Anne Maria and Zoey ride in the second. Meanwhile Jo and Lightning continue chasing the fireflies, which Jo manages to capture by trapping them in the jar over Lightning's head.
Back at the entrance, Brick hasn't moved far in the dark, but finds a leftover flashlight. When it turns on, he sees a giant mutant gopher that chases him through the mine. Back on the maggots team, the carts split, sending the first one ahead, while the rear cart ends up in a pool. In the pool, a shady figure grabs Anne Maria and takes her farther into the cave. Nearby, Mike is knocked out and Cameron tries to act like Jo to make him regain consciousness, which makes him revert back into himself. Brick is still being pursued by the gopher, until he crashes into a rock. The gopher smells Brick and reacts to his smelly boots, which Brick uses to his advantage. The camera then comes back to Anne Maria, who is surrounded by giant mutant gophers and the shady figure that captured her. He then reveals himself to her as Ezekiel, still in his feral state, and appears to be attracted to her. Brick then catches up to his team, he thinks he is safe as he chased away the gopher, until three other gophers catch all three of the Rats and pull them down into the ground.
Anne Maria is then seen on top of a pile of things Ezekiel brings to her as gifts. The rest of the Maggots find each other and they hear a cheerful scream from her nearby. Then follow the sound into Ezekiel's lair where Ezekiel has captured the Rats and has impressed Anne Maria by giving her a giant "diamond". Jo then releases the fireflies to go into the gophers faces, which makes the Rats free again. Lightning then goes for their statue, but Ezekiel stops them. Chris then announces its time to drop the backpacks which reveals to have bombs in them. Mike originally grabs his team's statue, but gives it to Scott to help stop a gopher from attacking Cameron and Zoey. Scott then tries to get rid of it, but it lands in Anne Maria's hair and she is too distracted by the "diamond" to care or notice. Lightning strangles Ezekiel to get his statue again and they all get on mine carts. Mike struggles while trying to free Zoey and Cameron from the gopher, so Brick takes pity on his old team and breaks their statue on the gopher to knock him out. They then all get on the mine carts and ride out before their Geiger detector's timer ends.
Back above ground, the carts are seen crashing out of the exit, and the Maggots Chris statue lands in front of Chris, declaring the Maggots as the winners. Chris then blows up the bombs sealing off the toxic waste coming from it, which also got the federals off their back. After that, Chef then uses a powerful hose to wash off any waste. Later that night, Cameron asks Mike if he has Multiple Personality Disorder. Mike fesses up, but Cameron makes a deal to help him control it if he helps him get rid of Scott, since he doesn't trust him. Mike quickly agrees to his plan.
At the campfire ceremony, Jo and Lightning are the first ones to be safe. The Toxic Marshmallow of Loserdom then goes to Brick, for going against his team and costing the win for them. His old team salutes him before he takes off. However before he is hurled, Anne Maria runs over and hops into the Hurl of Shame and quits, since she received a large "diamond" that will make her rich. Chris then tells her the "diamond" is actually cubic zirconium, which is practically worthless. He then hurls them both, just as Anne Maria tries to change her mind. Since the Maggots lost a player, Chris decides to fire Dakota for being an intern and brings her back into the game, as Anne Maria's replacement.
|Athena Karkanis||Anne Maria|
|Clé Bennett||Chef Hatchet|
- Ezekiel appears, but he has no lines other than making animal noises.
- Several interns appear, but they have no lines.
- A male in a helicopter speaks; however, it is unknown who voiced him.
- This is the second of only two episodes of the season in which the final marshmallow is seen being handed out, as the Marshmallow of Toxic Loserdom is usually handed out instead. The first episode in which this occurs is Truth or Laser Shark.
- Not counting when a shower is being taken, this is the first episode in the series where a female contestant shows full nudity, albeit via shadow silhouette.
- This is the only episode of the season to feature a double elimination.
- The statues that the teams had to locate are the Gilded Chris Awards from Total Drama Action with different colored bases (red and green).
- This is the the sixth double elimination of the series thus far. The others are in Alien Resurr-eggtion with Geoff and Bridgette, Top Dog with Courtney and Owen, Jamaica Me Sweat with Izzy and DJ, Chinese Fake-Out with Courtney and Blaineley, and Hawaiian Punch with Cody and Alejandro or Heather.
- Anne Maria is the first and only contestant of the new cast to quit the show and the fourth overall.
- This is the first episode of the season in which Scott does not play any role in the elimination, as this is the first episode that someone not on Scott's team is eliminated.
- Someone from Scott's team did leave in this episode, but they quit the show instead of being eliminated.
- This is the first episode of the season in which a member of the Mutant Maggots is eliminated.
- The way Ezekiel pounced on Lightning is similar to how he pounced on Heather and Chris (Alejandro's ending) or Heather (Heather's ending) in Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles and Hawaiian Punch respectively.
- Among the things found in Ezekiel's lair is a signed picture of himself before his transformation. This was also shown in Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special during his interview.
- This is also the first time Ezekiel's human state is shown since the Easter Island head of him in Rapa Phooey!.
- Anne Maria calls Ezekiel the "Creepy Stowaway Kid from last season" referring to Ezekiel's numerous cameo appearances throughout the previous season.
- This is the third episode in a row where a member of Team Victory makes a cameo appearance.
- This is the second time that a member of the winning team quits. The first is in Total Drama Action, when DJ quit.
- Mike's fourth alternate personality, Manitoba Smith, debuts in this episode.
- It is revealed that Ezekiel had kept the million dollars from Total Drama World Tour, as he offered it to Anne Maria. However, while the briefcase survived the lava, the money inside it had turned to ashes.
- This is the third time that the player who gets eliminated isn't on the losing team. The other times it happens are in The Sand Witch Project with DJ and in Jamaica Me Sweat with Izzy. It would happen again in Mo Monkey Mo Problems with Ella.
- The title of this episode refers to the famous slogan of the United Negro College Fund: A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
- Ezekiel's resemblance to Gollum remains, but his actions in this episode more resemble the being's behaviors and actions as found in The Hobbit where he was a creature who lived in the moist underground and who kept "his precious" as one of his treasures.
- Ezekiel's actions in this episode also resemble that of Marvel Comics villain, Mole Man, who was a strange man shunned by society and forced to live underground, where he became its master and gained control of the riches and denizens who lived beneath the surface.
- Lightning mentions wanting to earn the Super Bowl ring, the award that comes with winning the championship football game, the Super Bowl.
- Scott repeatedly disappears and reappears at the beginning of the episode. When all of the contestants entered the main lodge for breakfast, Scott was noticeably absent. He was seen running into the walk-in freezer with the others, but when it showed all of the contestants trapped in the back of the truck, he was gone once again along with Brick.
- As Chris explains the challenge, Scott is standing with the Toxic Rats. However, he previously switched teams, and should have been standing with the Mutant Maggots.
- As Chef threw out backpacks to the contestants, several red ones were seen inside. However, the backpacks that were used were a darker orange color.
- When Ezekiel showed the million dollar case to Anne Maria, his teeth were normal instead of jagged.
- Chris said that if anyone removed their backpacks, their entire team would be disqualified. However, Anne Maria removed her backpack when she was captured by Ezekiel, but Chris didn't count the Maggots as disqualified.
- When Jo and Lightning talk through the mine and the detectors are changed to orange, Jo's detector was on her right arm when it should be on her left arm.
- When the contestants get out of the mine, the Maggots' statue wasn't in Anne Maria's hair.
- On iTunes, this episode is called "A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Waste", which is the famous quote the title is based on.
- When the federals appear and when Chris begins to say Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, Dakota's shirt is black instead of red.
- When Lightning is being attacked by Ezekiel, his detector is missing.
- When everybody falls and the Mutant Maggots win, Jo's detector is clearly seen to be green, rather than red.
- When Cameron points out that Anne Maria's detector turned orange, he accidentally calls her "Anna Marie".
|Total Drama: Revenge of the Island episodes|
|Pre-merge||Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er! | Truth or Laser Shark | Ice Ice Baby | Finders Creepers | Backstabbers Ahoy! | Runaway Model | A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste | The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean|
|Post-merge||Grand Chef Auto | Up, Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon | Eat, Puke and Be Wary | The Enchanted Franken-Forest | Brain vs. Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown|