Hi, guys. As you may or may not know, RR ended 1 year ago in the first country it aired in; USA. In commemoration of such a great season, I will discuss something requested a long time ago, that being why I think the Ice Dancers in RR are such a groundbreaking and frankly perfect pair of characters. It's the best way for me to celebrate this 1 year anniversary. Jacques and Josee are probably not just the best characters of the entire show, but probably my favourite cartoon characters of all time. For too long, I have kept SILENT about what it is about these two that COMPELS me so. And don't even TRY to make some complaint about them because I can think of every possible rebuttal to them in any way being bad or sub-par characters. I honestly don't know where to start with them, but I guess I'll start from the beginning.
It's June of 2015. Fans of TD are thinking about RR every now and again, with it still being another few months till its released. People are praying it makes up for the DISSAPOINTMENT they've had two years prior with AS. People are finding flaws with PI and it's not holding up as well in the general view. It looks like another normal summer day. All of a sudden however... the fandom explodes. The theme song is leaked. We see a lot of heavy responses just to this 20 second theme song alone.
"Why did they bring LEONARD back of all the people they could make return???" "I love Noah even though he never does anything. Ew die Owen I hate toilet humour" "Carrie and Devin are OBVIOUSLY going to win" "Ryan and Stephanie are clearly going to be eliminated really early"
The fandom was essentially back on track.
Needless to say, everyone had now started to get really excited about this spin off, much more than we had generally been before. What caught MY eye when watching this theme song though was a light pink background square and a mysterious man and woman with matching outfits and embodying performers that coincidentally happened to look BEAUTIFUL. Even looking at these two mystery characters, I immediately knew they're performers of some kind. Their designs were also much more striking than others. While they weren't the only team with matching outfits (Sisters, Police Cadets, etc.) they did look the flashiest out of all the teams, and immediately caught my view, even despite the fact plenty of other teams appeared in the opening before them. Needless to say I was somewhat looking forward to this season at this stage.
Then the first episode leaked! And my mind just shattered. The introduction to the Ice Dancers clocks in at 15 seconds and they had immediately become one of my favourite teams just in the introduction alone. Don introduces them as they prance out a train door in elegance and they are labelled as Ice Dancers, a name with a real edge. Their designs look FANTASTIC as the combination of so many details makes them look so much more unique than any other. They then go into their introduction and in that short time span of 10 seconds, you already learn so much about them
- They are confident they'll win as they've won at everything.
- All they haven't won at is the olympics, where Jacques dropped Josee so they only got silver.
- This damages Jacques in particular, who runs off theatrically crying that he doesn't want to talk about it.
- 3/4 of this introduction is them having the most forced smiles imaginable.
That's the most you really learn about a character when it comes to all introductions. Regardless of your opinion on the Ice Dancers, it's clear that from the beginning they are created to be intriguing right from the get-go. From here, there's honestly no way I can construct this properly without going into all 26 episodes. This will be structured where I use the episode in question. I will then have it separated into 3 areas; 'Josee' 'Jacques' and 'The Team'. The first two sections will talk about what these particular characters do that appeal to me in the episode in question. The third section will be evaluating their dynamic as a team, which is just as, if not more important, because this teams dynamic <333333 . I will first start in alphabetical order with the second best character of all time; Jacques, then go into Josee, then how The Team dynamic plays out in the episode.
Join me for days of this ridiculously elaborate review, where we look at what these angels of ice have to offer. And trust me, something amazing is added EVERY episode to at least one of them. There's more. LOTS more! You will not regret this, my best blog ever! ...okay maybe you'll regret going through the length of this but otherwise you'll really enjoy. Longest wikia blog ever?
Ok, fine, Jacques, since you asked so nicely. Let's begin from the start!
Right from the beginning, we learn straight away so many characteristics about Jacques. He's confident his team know how to win, he caused his team to lose in the olympics, he's implied to have many faults that he can't overcome without his fans, not even denying when Josee says he has many, only questioning why she said the word in that way, acknowledging he's flawed.
So from this, I already know Jacques is vulnerable, slightly unaware of certain social cues by his partner, and determined to win RR, feeling beyond shamed he got SILVER at the olympics. I'm immediately invested in him as they've now presented him as someone who seems to be hiding some things, not even feeling comfortable talking about his failures. And I absolutely HAVE to mention his voice acting at this stage.
Oh my god, Jacques' voice is one of the best I've ever heard in this franchise, probably the best. He's voiced by Scott McCord, the same man who voices Owen and you could actually not even tell them apart besides them having the same scream. The way Jacques speaks and his speech pattern just isn't equated to by any other character. It has this fancy and sophisticated manner of talking that just speaks volume to his personality. Jacques is theatrical and likes to think of himself as suave and his voice just matches it so well. I mean, they put in specific DETAIL with how he said lines. A line like "I don't want to talk about it" sticks out much more for me if it's said like "I-don't want-to talk a-bout eet". It makes his tragic backstory more OTT but in a compelling way too with how much oomph his lines have.
Josee also is very interesting right from the beginning. She was the partner who was dropped by Jacques at the olympics. At first it looks like Jacques is much more humiliated about this than her, however, although her and Jacques have these show-ready smiles all the time, she seems to come across as more sly, digging into him in the confessional by saying that without their fans, Jacques would never overcome his many flaws. He asks why she says it in a sharp tone but she simply responds "You know why" while smiling. This immediately got me more interested in her, as she says such a confusingly slightly offputting thing to her partner but she retains this smile. This kind of attention to detail with having a character say stuff like this but holding themselves together is done in such a creepy but interesting way. She was being extremely passive aggressive to Jacques while also being aggressive, which is such a realistic and unsettling way to vent your anger. This way of her releasing herself in how she expresses emotions immediately stays in the viewer's mind, not just because by itself it makes Josee suddenly become so dynamic and interesting, but it's also something the show has never replicated before. It's such a small moment but the execution of it made me want to learn more about Josee because she's the only character ever to hide things about herself yet releases things too to get the audience invested. It's like I'm being taunted into becoming interested in her.
Even after this confessional it immediately cuts to Josee staring at the camera with this gritted smile while not makimg any eye contact with Jacques and handing a tip to him. I laughed so hard when I saw it and I even had it as an avatar on the wiki for a while. It's timed fantastically, and little did I know the Ice Dancers would have impeccable timing with their jokes, but I'll get to that later. This joke in particular though is so outlandish but hides itself as it's own minor moment due to the Ice Dancers' theme still playing. I knew Josee would be something for the rest of the season just based on how well they captivated just 30 seconds alone with her.
As a team, they're very interesting in their dynamic in the first episode. Right in their first moment, they synchronize jumping out of the train first at the exact same time and wave at the same time too. It captures your eye visually because it's two people with colorful matching sequence and outfit. Animation wise, their first moment in screen together excites a viewer due to how well they match. We also learn that Jacques dropped Josee on her head at the olympics, and like I said before, both characters are executed fantastically when it comes to how they react to this. They run the exact same way in the race, staring at the camera with their arms held high too.
When they reach Don they immediately wave both hands as some kind of instinct. They don't even think twice. They just wave at their fans right away. I didn't have to see the rest of the season to know that these two are very determined performers and performing is part of their life. Them waving at their fans despite nobody even being there and even doing it while racing shows this weird connection they have to what they're doing. It's again something you've never seen with a character. It's not even shoved in your face that the Ice Dancers have this connection to their occupation. Their obsessions are present on screen without it being forced into you. Even when they receive plane tickets they prance away from the counter, which is an example of what I mean of it not being forced into you. Victory music being played with a lingering shot of a confused flight attendant and this joke lasting 2 seconds is to make the viewer laugh without even having to think much. It was a weird connection I had with this team where I immediately was able to think things about them and I end up right later on. I was even the first user to predict they would end up 3rd in the end, which I should probably bring up at this point. If you were here July of 2015 then you may have known the fact that I predicted Ice Dancers would get 3rd and suddenly the whole internet had predicted it (some even said 4th lol). The fact they actually got 3rd in the end just goes to show that they were DESTINED to forever be my favourite characters.
Thoughts: Overall a really great opening to the Ice Dancers. What's shown to you is only somewhat major but the purpose of them in the first episode is to keep you interested about where they'll go. Are they gonna be villains because of their unsettling smiles almost all the time? Will they go bald in the end? Will Epic end up preferring them over Harold? Does Jacques not want to talk about it????
After it is revealed that Josee has a good luck charm she names Bun Bun that she believes is responsible for everything good in her life, Jacques politely asks if he can rub it while doing his trademark showboating smile, causing Josee to laugh but then sharpy reply "Of course you can't". This joke is hilarious from the perspective of Jacques due to them transitioning right away between a large smile and a confused frown.
Jacques is kind of a softie when it comes to how he reacts to Josee being EXTREMELY ANGER FILLED on the inside. He does not look angry or confused at her outburst over getting third place. He instead has a look of terror. The kind of terror where he hides in himself, his head not being perked up. Clearly lacking confidence and not feeling comfortable when he's in a tense environment. It's honestly an adorable piece of animation, but again another funny moment. He may not have been too prominent but he had cute moments that still had a lot of funny humour behind them.
In this episode, we learn of Josee's good luck charm, Bun Bun. Very intriguingly she casually denies being superstitious and chooses to believe this rabbit foot is responsible for everything good in her life. This is another highly unique aspect of her and once again makes me want to learn so much about her. Even most people who believe in good luck have admitted to being at least just a little superstitious. For the second episode in a row, Josee once again ends up being such a diverse and interesting character, much sooner than any other character would be.
And it doesn't end there!:D Upon performing a race against the Police Cadets for 2nd place, the Ice Dancers end up getting 3rd. Don congratulates them on a FANTASTIC placing, especially considering they had done better than five-sixths of the teams currently in the competition. But rather than being happy about this, Josee's eye twitches before it HILARIOUSLY transitions into her voice being heard with her throwing knives and cups and all other crazy sh** everywhere from offscreen at her own partner. Oh my god what an icon.
This is the first time you have now gotten to see at least a PORTION of Josee's inner personality. As I said before, the previous episode gets you to be interested in these two characters and wondering what they're really hiding considering the ambiguity surrounding some of their characteristics but it's this episode that delivers on that just for the time being. This hilarious and spontaneous moment delivers enough, not enough for you to understand everything about Josee, but enough to tide you over for what to expect in future episodes. From this iconic moment that only happens in her SECOND episode (<3333), you learn that Josee actually does have a high amount of anger held inside her and even though she previously held it in in a professional and passive way, if she's pushed enough, she'll explode to the highest possible level.
The INGENIOUS part about this moment is that they don't even show Josee's facial expression. Instead, like all decisions involving an Ice Dancer in this show, they do the best possible course of action with this moment. They have Josee engaging in an explosive and outward act that could harm anyone but they put her offscreen. This perfectly manages to make the viewer feel unnerved, hysterical with laughter, and also once again, make them wonder what's next. Its ambiguous but not as ambiguous as last time. It's framed to suggest that Josee's personality will envelope throughout the season slowly rather than just have her open up right in your face, which is.... um, the case for every other character ever? Dammit Josee. You won't stop teasing you with your non-ambiguous ambiguity! Make it stop! You're hurting me with your perfection! End it! You've made this section so long even though if I edgiced you in this episode, you'd probably just get a 2 or 3 visibility! Too amazing, my eyes are burning.
Like the first episode, the Ice Dancers continue to do synchronized moments that once again look BEAUTIFUL animation wise, especially with the aforementioned fantastic color scheme with their outfits. Even when riding a camel, they make the position of an ice dancing move. On a camel!! They make drinking simple spices look fun!
In this episode we get to watch more of their wonderful dynamic. Josee has a new good luck charm and if Jacques so much as ASKS to touch it, he just gets shut down. Ugh such an interesting dynamic, where will it go from here??? We also see Josee's first tantrum, in coming in 3rd, while Jacques cowers in a corner. These two are so funny together, give them a spin off, Fresh, you will get 1 billion viewers! Do it right now!
Thoughts: Like the previous episode, the Ice Dancers aren't kept too major, but they're still made interesting and just really funny. Their humour is honestly so original and meshes so well with them. We also get SLIGHTLY more of a major version of them, telling me that I would be getting more and more with each episode. The simple grace of them just pleases me, even when Josee gracefully throws a knife violently<3
In this episode, Jacques forgets to bring oars in order for him and Josee to paddle their cheese, causing the Police Cadets to overtake them in the paddling race to the finish line. As Josee passively aggressively yet still aggressively calls him out on this (<3), Jacques makes a desperate smile, hinting that he doesn't feel comfortable showing that he's done wrong and goes through this particular situation awkwardly.
Eventually, the Ice Dancers catch up to the Police Cadets. Missing paddles doesn't stop them. It even transpires that Jacques once got rabies from a squirrel but dressed as a St Bernard in a performance they won in, as they've won everywhere but the olympics. He done this just so foam coming from his mouth would make sense. In spite of any injury, he will STILL devote himself to what his job is. The great thing about this is that it shows that Jacques truly has been stuck with this really dedicated job. And considering we know by this point he cares about his fans a lot and he has been performing for so long, this dedication is beautiful and I know that he in particular is striving to make up for past failures by winning all the time. So this just really resonated me and it's the first time with a character that they used past context with the character in order to make their scene speak more volume. He charmed me in this episode just as much as Josee had previously. He was definitely a good complement to her as a partner. He may again not have done too much, but he continues to be fantastic regardless.
Oh, wow. Her lack of words gives me a million words with this episode!
Josee starts her first individual moment off with a bang. After sliding to a flight attendants counter, Josee asks for two tickets to Paris, asking if there's any free upgrades for olympians. The flight attendant swiftly responds they have that for all gold medal people, which again, is another fantastic callback to what we already know about her. They animate PERFECTLY Josee's reaction to this, by smiling with tensed eyebrows and grunting "Economy is fine!" without even opening her mouth and twitching her eye, not even like a cartoon character would, but specifically animated the same way a human would. Ugh she's such royalty.
Josee and Jacques later catch up to the Police Cadets to where the cheese floats are. Visibly not phased by MacArthur calling them the smiling silvertons, Josee gracefully raises her hands in the air and tiptoes to a pile of cheese floats and drops like 5 of them down with one kick, with the reasoning being that she hates silver!! SLAY ME OH MY GOODNESS.
Jacques jumps on the cheese float and Josee jumps gracefully onto balancing on his hands. This moment is the first time we see two things happen with Josee. The first is that she openly insults someone for the first time, chanting that the Cadets "stink worse than this cheese float!" It is great that this very small moment happened because it's meant to indicate once again that Josee has slowly cracked just a little.
The second thing we see for the first time is the first time Josee actually makes an angered face. Jacques forgets their oars and she glares down at him but then smiles and LOUDLY PASSIVE AGGRESSIVELY announces "Jaaaacques. You were supposed to get the OARS!" This is another high quality moment. They have Josee glare for just a SPLIT second but then immediately cut to her smiling, which gives the wonderful implication to the viewer once again of how Josee's emotions works and how she hides them, and what signs there are that she's angry. If she says nasty things while smiling, from what we've known in the past three episodes, it's like some kind of coping mechanism for her. If Josee feels angry, all she has to do is smile and say something snide and then she feels better. It's so interesting and complex and I still LOVE her.
In a final race to the carpet, Josee and her team only come in 2nd to the Police Cadets. MacArthur taunts her "Hear victory music? Probably because you didn't win!" This REALLY triggers Josee and they AMAZINGLY make her eye twitch, but twitch it more than she did at the airport. The subtlety of showing Josee starting to lose durability at unfortunate events is fantastic. And all of this still stems from her humiliation at the olympics. Having to not get on first class just because she never won gold, or have someone call her a smiling SILVERton and then lose to that person would DAMAGE someone like her who's so into what she does. Yeah she's still comedic and legendary in this episode but it is still honestly so tragic what we now know about her.
Oh, boy. Now this will be a long one. It's just so gush-worthy.
Early in the episode, teams depart from the carpet in the order they arrived. The Best Friends leave first, followed by the Police Cadets who manage to overtake them, followed by the Ice Dancers, who overtake both teams and still smile at the camera while performing this task. And then we end up... with a bombshell moment.
Josee explains that due to the Ice Dancers being 'sports heroes' they never know when the cameras will be on them meaning they have to smile all the time. Jacques chimes in in agreement, even admitting they do it in their sleep. Josee acknowledges how it's VERY painful. Wow.....
This moment is HILARIOUS and SAD. It's animated so hysterically, by having Josee stare at Jacques while smiling brightly as he talks about them sleeping in their sleep (!!!) and then ending it with Josee saying how it's very painful. And then they go to the nerve in this 22 minute episode slot, to have this lingering shot of them smiling at the camera. It is an ICONIC moment.
What makes this moment really funny is the timing of the whole scene. The Ice Dancers play out what they say so casually and naturally, yet what they're saying sounds HORRIFYING. The dragged out shot at the end is a necessity to make this scene funny and they did it. At this stage, just every joke involving these two chooses the exact right methods in order to make the jokes as funny as possible. To have a dragged out shot of the Ice Dancers smiling after saying such an out there line makes it correspond with them saying how much pain their general lives have. Wonderful scene that captures all the essence of a funny joke.
It's also a really sad moment too but the brilliant thing about it is that they play it off as a joke with the Ice Dancers smiling as they say all this. So rather than the viewer's spirits being brought down, they instead get to smile at this too with the Ice Dancers, due to the framing of the moment. Had it been the Ice Dancers frowning and noting how sad their lives are, the viewer would feel as though they must sympathise, but by doing it this way, it allows the viewer to understand but also relish in the joy of the moment. That doesn't mean it's not a detailed moment though. It is. To have your life be devoted to something where you're forced to just look happy all the time really makes me feel resonated. It's like a satirical look on how real celebrities live their lives, only it's exaggerated a little. It's again a PERFECT scene like everything else about this team.
Much later in the episode, Jacques and Josee catch up with the Police Cadets, and although they manage to get the lead at first, due to them not having oars, MacArthur and Sanders manage to overtake them. This seems like a simple thing of the Ice Dancers having to go back to get their oars, but no! Instead we get something much more whimsical.
The Ice Dancers, rather than waste time going back, paddle with their legs, mimicking that of a swan boat. Victory music plays and it just feels so warm. This music plays over Jacques laughing that missing paddles won't stop them! Josee adds that they competed in more dire circumstances like how Jacques dressed like a St Bernard when he got rabies just so the foam from his mouth could make sense. You may be confused why this moment is so powerful and strong with me but I'll explain.
At this point in the season, what do you actually know about the Ice Dancers? They have a tragic past of losing their streak of being on top when it comes to winning and that plaguing them ever since, colors like silver or bronze cause them panic and/or distress, they have grace in how they move, they tend to keep things in inside the self, and they really want to make their fans happy, even going so far as to smile all the time just for the cameras.
So to see this scene, of this set of characters losing something valuable for them in order for them to win, but to then PERSEVERE and STRIVE for to get 1st place, and have those fuzzy and cute smiles looking at the camera as they do that adorable paddle, and then to have their confessional be about how this has NEVER stopped them before, and no matter what circumstances, they would ALWAYS keep going. Lose your oars? Paddle in the water like your own boat. Get rabies before a performance? Dress like a dog. This whole scene even has this honestly dazzling music playing. The high tempo mixed with the melodic tune helps me to get invested. It helps immerse me in the Ice Dancers' point of view, and gets me to care because of how much the music cares and most importantly, how much they care.
I've never been the best at sport, but to have these two go above and beyond to complete a racing task speaks so much to me and inspires me so much to never give up so easily, and I haven't since then. This moment honestly brought a little tear to my eye. The Ice Dancers are just such delightfully quirky people who clearly have issues but endearingly hide it in them acting happy. I rooted for them so much in these early stages, and it's mostly down to this frankly groundbreaking part of the season that highly strengthened my opinion of them. The fact they didn't win against their now newly established rivals is inconsequential to me. If anything, it makes me root for them more just for how well done they've been. And they weren't even that main in this episode!
Thoughts: These episodes just keep getting better and better with these two. This episode was about expanding on things about the Ice Dancers, by making them do new things. This is the first time they open up about a flaw they have, it's the first time Josee gets onscreen angry and also insults more openly for the first time, and the Police Cadets are their first interaction and it's a sporty rivalry, which is once again a terrific idea, given the show's format.
Once again, not a very long section for Jacques. What I do see though is him admiring Josee's poise and elegance at getting a tip in shark-infested water. His smooth voice with his accent makes the animation of Josee performing these actions come across more visually appealing because of how Jacques builds the whole thing up. Him saying she makes all swans feel ugly before it cuts to a swan biting him is yet another clever joke about these two so it doesn't surprise me. The Ice Dancers finally end up winning in the episode, and while Josee never says anything, Jacques cheers as loud as he can that they're the best and they're champions of the world, kissing the camera. It's another example on why I love Jacques so much. His personality is just so stylized and hyperbolic that it manages to endear him so well due to his animated actions and voice. Him kissing the camera at the end after running back and forth is charming.
Josee has no lines in this episode but she still got me interested in her regardless. She dives into the water and performs such crowd-pleasing moves. This is with the context that she's doing all these try-hard amazing movements in order to not get eaten by a shark! She truly can make all threatening things fun. After getting 1st place, they animate Josee's reaction very well just like how they do everything with these two very well. While Jacques is celebrating to an excessive degree in the foreground, Josee is there behind him, waving her fists forward and then raising them up and down ravenously. She hams it up as much as him, but they make it clear she's slyer at holding it in, meaning she's REALLY dedicated to try and make herself come across the same as it is on TV. Even when Josee has no lines, she pulls me in anyways.
As a team dynamic, they were once again incredible and full of life. They start off by cutting in line right in front of the Police Cadets despite them having to leave after them. They're called out on this and stare angrily at the Police Cadets afterwards. But by this point, this team has already had a member of it call them smiling silvertons and taunt them upon them getting SILVER against them. So once again, we see both of them glare just for a split second. It's once again excellent foreshadowing on the animators part to showcase the Ice Dancers have slowly cracked under the pressure just a little. Another terrific small moment.
Jacques points out his appreciationJosee's swimming acument in the water in his own detailed way as she displays wonderful moves to complement this, proving once again how well combined they are as a team.
After building sandcastles and racing speedboats, the Ice Dancers end up getting 1st place for the first time. And it truly is a sight to behold. I'd defend them against people who call this god playing as they allegedly weren't shown doing the challenge, but that's saved for the overview portion of this analysis.
Point is though, this moment is really well done. The Ice Dancers had started off getting 3rd, then got very close to winning, but got 2nd, and now they've got 1st! It's allegedly indication of their gradual improvement. Because if the competition is getting tough, they're just bound to get tougher. They weren't even that visible in this episode, probably their least visible so far, yet they still prove to me how interesting and worth watching they are in their short time frame regardless.
Thoughts: This is another episode for the Ice Dancers where things happen for the first time. They got 1st place for the first time, they were more openly angry for the first time without hiding it at all, and they didn't sugar coat how they did at racing. They instead just self-desturcted and celebrated hard, feeling accomplished. It's another innovative episode with them where they're still doing something new. Can any of you name any character where something new was happening to them 4 episodes in a row? If so, I'd like to know because.... well the Ice Dancers put whoever that might be to shame anyways:)
Jacques once again doesn't do much in this episode but don't let that fool you into believing he's not worth analysing here because he definitely is. Jacques begins his first moment complementing Josee's line of how they've had a taste for gold by him saying how he loves the taste of gold in the morning in that distinguishable slick accent he possesses. After reaching the bus stop, Jacques suddenly panics because their bus hasn't arrived yet to pick them up, thus losing their lead. An important thing to note here is that Josee retains smiling regardless while Jacques panics. This use of subtlety once again reminds the viewer that Jacques finds it more difficult to not be reactive to things. Suddenly the Reality TV Pros, Police Cadets, Fashion Bloggers, Daters, and Father/Son catch up with them. Jacques immediately snaps that they shouldn't even think about getting on the bus before his team, which reveals yet another characteristic about Jacques that he can be just as angrily over reactive as Josee might be, challenging MacArthur on behalf of his team. He stands by trying to reclaim his 1st place lead. This is the most individual screentime Jacques gets at the very least, but it is still relevant either way, as you witness Jacques display his more angrier and competitive side, and is shown to be more open about this than Josee at this point.
Josee is just as interesting as Jacques is in this episode. Her team's first confessional begins with her being genuinely happy in her line delivery for a change. She's had positive lines before, but they always had some kind of twist to not make them completely optimistic. Her kicking cheese with a determined look is good but chanting "I hate silver!" hinders her. Here though, we get to see her finally display real human happiness about something. She also still subtly shows coping mechanisms in dealing with anger. Jacques panics about them possibly losing their lead due to a bus arriving late, while she still forces a smile. It reminds the audience that this is a committed woman who wants to try and prove to her fans that she is a bright person. She later recites Don's icelandic words. This is her only individual screentime and she still manages to make me feel resonated by her and how she fits with her surroundings. It's another superb job towards her.
Did you really think this would be a short one 😂?
The Ice Dancers have a wonderful team dynamic in this episode. This is once again another first time something happens to them. This time, for the first time, the Ice Dancers talk about how they're at "the top of the podium". As the season progresses, the word 'podium' will eventually become a significant word and probably one of the first words that would pop into your head when you think about this team. It's an odd framing of the line. Josee gleefully begins the confessional that them coming in 1st for the first time has given them a taste for gold and that they hope to be at the top of the podium from here on. Podium, in olympic terms, refers to a stand at the end of a ceremony that three olympians stand on to receive their respective rewards.
As we know from before, Jacques and Josee had claimed silver at the olympics; their first loss ever. We also know that this has completely tarnished their confidence. Now they've managed to be implied to have gotten 1st place for the first time ever since they had not won gold at the olympics. Just winning a random boat race has made both of them come out of their shells and be happy in a much more humane way than we had seen before.
The really interesting part about this moment is that Josee says that they hope to be at the top of the podium from "here on", meaning the only way they can truly stay satisfied is if they just keep winning every single episode. It's an unhealthy attribute but it actually makes perfect sense for well, ANY human to have this. They had won so much, then didn't win, and now they've unexpectedly won ever since last episode and they've immediately used the "olympian mindset" in order to stay motivated about this win. To them, just one episode of a competition show means the world to them. They're not used to losing, at all, and it's happened once in their entire lives. If these two ever lose again, they will inevitably TREMBLE. Then they get 3rd place in this episode alol.
Thoughts: It's another amazing episode once again for these two. The subtext behind their albeit miniscule lines combined with their poise in the episode is really bright. They did quite enamouring to look at animations, such as both raising their hands at the same time when Josee talked about their win, or them sliding through the ice in the caves with ease, or when Jacques raised Josee high as she held her arms out as they glided over a geyser as that iconic victory theme played they have. It's 5 episodes in now, and this team has already done something new every time and delivered so well with it. I have no doubt in my mind they'll do another new thing in the next episode, and I'm sure all of you think the same too.
After six episodes, Jacques manages to get more added to him. This episode is notably the first time he becomes more of a notorious comical character than he was before. He always had an outlandish personality, but starting with this episode, they've extended the range he's had when it comes to that. Jacques was funny in a more recognizable way this time around, such as when he chases Junior carrying a coconut only for Josee to fling it at his face. He also once again had some more really interesting lines that got me more immersed with him. An example would be when I dipped his hand into a bullet ant nest in order to get a tip, screaming that "It stinks like missing gold in Vancouver by half a point." This is another highly significant moment despite it only lasting two seconds. It turns out that although Jacques had dropped Josee on her head, they actually only lost by half a point, which implies to the viewer how try-hard Jacques and his team really are.
Definitely one of her best and most significant episodes so far, at least at this point in this season. For the SIXTH time in a row, Josee exhibits something new about herself, which is once again really impressive and hasn't been accomplished by any character other than her and Jacques. This is the first episode where you see Josee be more openly mad, and it's done for such a logical reason, which I'll go into much more detail with in "The Team" section. The point for now at least is that Josee is triggered because her and Jacques had won in South France, which gave them a huge confidence boost, but then didn't win in a place with ICE in it's name. We know how dedicated she in particular is, which is why it's so enthralling that because of this, it's made her open up more, which is so odd because this is how she DOESN'T want to come across, yet this overly competitive and borderline vicious person comes across as someone Josee is finding it easier to be. So how does she show off these characteristics? Pretty hilariously.
Josee's anger first pops up when she shares Jacques' disgruntlement over only coming 3rd in Iceland. Then when they run out of the plane, Josee finds out what Jacques has to do in the botch or watch; stick his hand in a nest of bullet ants. She shows absolute indifference to him in being pain, done to showcase how she has now become much more competitive. It's also really amusing to watch her wait impatiently as Jacques goes through suffering.
Her and Jacques later try to get coconuts open in order to get a tip. One of their coconuts accidentally open to Dwayne and Junior, a coconut which Josee immediately claims and pins Dwayne down for. Jacques chases Junior as the coconut is handed to him, while Josee decodes to fling a coconut to break it and just does not care who it hits. It knocks Jacques to the floor, as a tip opens. Josee cheers atop Jacques' disheveled body over her finding a tip. Just me describing this sounds so over the top but wow was it funny. After being questioned on what happened by Jacques, she immediately lies that a monkey jumped down from a tree, picked up a coconut, and threw it at him, going from frowning as she talks to making a sinister smile.
This range of emotions in this short timespan allows me to relate with Josee as I see her now become gradually more irrational. And you might believe this makes her be a character not to root for, but you're wrong. We already know about the downright humiliation Josee faced at the olympics. Her and Jacques got gold all their life up to that point. They lost for the first time as GROWN ADULTS. What's worse is that they gradually get a stronger placing in the earlier part of this season, winning four episodes in, but that liberty is taken away from them the episode straight after, losing in a country called Iceland no less.
For a person like Josee, who's trained for so long in her life and barely has ever lost to lose multiple times, then win but then immediately lose again is gonna mess with her mental stability. She's not entirely a bad person. I mean yes, she still damages Jacques in the episode and she kicks innocent teenagers like the Adversity Twins for absolutely no reason other than spite(<33333) but this is all from her confidence being increasingly pushed forward and backward. Even after all these crazy antics from her, they STILL show a human side with her. After crossing with a vine, Josee sniffs the air and joyfully proclaims that she can smell the gold. They make it clear that that's her main priority which avoids her from ever seeming too irrational or unrelatable. She's just such a legend and I was so happy when she won again because I know how much this means to them, but more detail for that is for the next section.
The team dynamic was at its strongest in this episode so far. The Ice Dancers were much more expressive in emotion than they had been prior. The reason for this is so well done and makes a lot of sense. You see, the Ice Dancers had already only ever lost once in their entire life, now being revealed as half a point. Now they've competed in a TV show FULL of athletics and stamina. And having just lost at the olympics, they really needed a confident boost. At first they only got close to winning two times in a row, but since they're so used to having to keep up this charade of them smiling for the cameras, they had to grin through what's clear humiliation for people like them. The episode after, they WIN due to another team getting a penalty. And since this is the first thing they've been rewarded with since only claiming silver at the olympics, naturally they both blew up with excitement and forgot completely about the cameras. The episode after, they get 3rd in a country that sounds similar to their occupation no less.
Naturally, in this episode, they're very bemused, not even smiling for the cameras now. This is terrific subtext to show that if pushed enough, these two just can't constantly be able to look good for the cameras. We see what they're finally really thinking. The past few episodes they've been trying their absolute hardest to look as consistently delighted and optimistic as possible. But now that something personal has happened to them, they've now almost completely forgotten about the cameras. The method of how they frame Ice Dancers' happiness but then to show how they get annoyed is done really well due to the diversity in it. When they're 'happy' it's to present a positive image of themselves. When they're GENUINELY happy, they speak naturally and get excited more easily. When they're 'angry' they smile but have fiercer eye contact with what's around them. When they're GENUINELY angry they feel frustrated with themselves and just get more competitive. It's so unique and this kind of thing just never happens with any other character. This is one of the key reasons the Ice Dancers are my favourite characters.
This real emotion of passionate competitiveness drives the Ice Dancers and gets the viewer invested. We finally get to see why exactly the Ice Dancers do really well in almost every episode. It's not because of the immediate jump to conclusion that they're 'godplayers' or whatever. It's simply that they try much harder and are much more focused than any other team. This fact is definitely relevant in this episode. The Ice Dancers do things at a much faster pace than other teams. While other teams get distracted through either chatting or fighting, the Ice Dancers never get their eye off the prize. This makes them particularly enjoyable in the episode due to how swift they try to perform. It inspires me to see people who have faced such humiliation in the past that's completely affected how to cope with life, and then for them to claim victory, but then to lose straight after, come out on top in the end and claim first place once again! And even though we now know that the Ice Dancers are very reactive and have pent up anger, they STILL feel like they need to try to make the cameras believe they're grinning celebrities who always look like they're having a good time. This is done right when they claim first place and it's such an unexpected turn of events. They expressed themselves through real emotions in the episode but regardless, still try to look as happy as possible so people get a good impression of them. It is so lovely and really makes me empathise with them. Such well written characters.
Thoughts: This episode is particularly significant. It showcases a new trait about this team that will now be relevant for the rest of the season; real emotions. After the varying finishes they've had, it's caused them to not associate this show with olympics as much. From this point on, we'll end up seeing a much more open and human side to the Ice Dancers, even if that human side is absolutely deranged lol. But the rest of the season will definitely be fun to do now that they've established SOME of the Ice Dancers true personaliy quirks. It's another victory in quality for them. They'd definitely get gold in that.
Jacques was amusing once again in this episode. He acted as a really funny reactor to actions that Josee was doing, and the only reason he was overshadowed by her was for them to elaborate more on her losing gold at the olympics and it was also her turn to do the Botch or Watch in this episode. Nevertheless he was enjoyable and a good foil to her. A great example is when his team learn that they're taking the same bus as all of the teams, meaning their first place finish last time is diminished. As Josee throws a dozen objects most likely belonging to the camera crew (<333), rather than simply coming across petrified or annoyed by her explosive display, Jacques simply nonchalantly doesn't worry about her, and that she'll rage herself to sleep. This is another spellbinding moment despite it being a small one. Jacques has worked with Josee for such a long time that he's not as shocked by her spontaneous personality as others would be. He's even right about such a specific action taken by her to speak angrily in her sleep.
Jacques also reacts in as complex and highly funny way to Josee's various digs towards him in the episode. After she pushes him roughly in a coffin as part of an All-In, he says in the confessional how he was worried he would get bruises. Josee simply snaps, making the implication to Jacques that the exact same thing happened when he dropped her on her head at the olympics. He simply reacts with a confused face, as if he's afraid to say anything. After Josee succeeds at the gymnastics, she makes the comparison of it to ice dancing, citing that the only difference is that in ice dancing you wear knives and instead of falling on soft padding, you fall on solid ice. Jacques theatrically gasps in a distinguishably angry way, ANNOUNCING that he said he was sorry.
It's also worth noting now this is the seventh episode in a row where something new is added to Jacques character. This time they've added how he reacts to Josee, but it's in a more vocal way than before. Before this episode he was just reacting on screen to her but now we get to hear his words about it.
Josee goes through such rapid emotions in this episode am I love for it. This also once again marks very well done innovation for her. This is the first episode where Josee has a more open tantrum, letting the viewer know how much lower her temper has gotten with each episode. After discovering her and Jacques are sharing a bus with all of the teams, we get a nice callback to her tantrum after getting 3rd in the second episode. A really interesting aspect about this is that Josee STILL walks offscreen to do this. Even after her knowing she's been openly angry, she STILL doesn't want a bad impression. I really have to admire that determination and commitment that she possesses. The funniest part of this moment is just how explosive Josee is now established to be. She has this forced smile almost all the time but when pushed, is the most violent character the show has ever had, much more destructive than Eva ever was. The transcript of this part is hilarious too.
Jacques: We, are, diss-a-point-ed. It seems all-the teams are-on the same bus!
Josee: ~flings items~ AAAAAAH! AH AH AAAAAAH!
The voice acting in having her do long screams before reverting to short shrieks by her is the funniest use of voice acting I've ever seen and it's perfect it kept being brought back in the season.
This moment also gets very good payoff, with Josee 'raging herself to sleep'; another new thing added to her, establishing a coping mechanism she may have for her anger. I don't need to go into detail on why Josee is so angry again since I already discussed it. I'll only really need to explain her rage if I absolutely have to.
The next moment involving Josee is another important one, and that is the elaboration on the conflict she in particular has with the Police Cadets. Up until this point, the Ice Dancers and Police Cadets have just had a rivalry due to this being a race competition. So I didn't need to actually bring it up until this point. However, here we get to see the actual answer to whether or not these two teams have a conflict. MacArthur cuts in front of Jacques and Josee. And considering Josee is the same person who has been TRAUMATISED for losing for the first time ever, she obviously still holds a grudge to MacArthur for her attitude in defeating her in previous legs of the race. Josee pushes Sanders, crashing her into the Father & Son. This is another innovative moment, as it's the first time Josee does something very harmful to another person that doesn't help her team like it would if she hurt Jacques for instance like in the last episode. This is ingenious because in this particular scene, Josee is in the lead but then they have this atmosphere of MacArthur being just as competitive. Someone like Josee, who's always out on top, just isn't used to that, so naturally she pushes Sanders down, albeit being unjustified on the base of things. It's still another really clever moment though.
After this, we get ANOTHER amazing moment with Josee with so much thought put behind it. Her and Jacques do an all-in where she must push him in a coffin. Naturally when you do this to your partner, they're going to land on their face. So it's completely obvious that Josee, doing this, would be reminded of the complete humiliation Jacques caused her at the olympics when he accidentally dropped her on her face. She pushes Jacques in a rough manner, not only being hasty and eager about placing 1st, but also doing this to cope with the embarrassment she faced at the olympics. The challenge completely coincided with Josee's personality and the struggles she's faced in life. And it's a challenge revolving pushing a coffin! She also gets a fantastic confessional which proves what my thought process behind this was, as she gets up close and personal with Jacques, and although she likes him, she felt accomplished in her injuring of him, as it felt like closure for her from the olympics.
And yet, despite what I'm saying making Josee sound like a crazy lunatic, albeit a complex and fascinating one, they STILL reel me in to root for her. The graceful music as she does gymnastics, kissing Bun Bun before doing outright beautiful moves that make her such a screen stealer just really made me happy. It felt like she was trying to outdo herself from the past, especially considering that was a trait we already knew about her. She then gets a hilarious confessional, explaining why she's good at gymnastics, and HEAVILY implying once again about Jacques dropping her. So everything I'm saying weighs up. Josee's crazy actions in this episode are justified by her huge past failure. I root for her and her team so much, especially after this episode. Yes she's crazy and yes she's an extreme loose cannon, but she just keeps things so endearing since they make it clear her justification is, making her a more fluid character that you can enjoy as she spirals out of control. And her team got 1st place due to her being a try hard in the end <333
The team dynamic was strong this episode, although most of what I'm going to say will kind of be a repeat of what I've already said. But these are the Ice Dancers, guys! They absolutely CAN'T just have something once!
Josee and Jacques are excited at first to be hitching a ride on a bus, believing it's them all to themselves, only for all of the teams to get on the same bus as them. Josee immediately rages but Jacques takes this in stride, asking the viewer not worry, as Josee will just rage herself to sleep. I already explained why this is a good moment from Jacques' perspective but it's also a valuable moment from the perspective of the team dynamic. With this moment the viewer is meant to be clued in that the Ice Dancers have faced so much disfunction in their career that they're able to cope with it properly. In the first episode, Josee had already been nonchalant about Jacques getting highly strung up over them missing silver, and in this episode, Jacques doesn't worry about Josee's anger problems. It's a little adorable to see how they know each other so well. This scene also does well at relating itself to the viewer, as Jacques talks to the camera on Josee's behalf, filling the viewer in on her personality traits.
This was easily the funniest their interaction had been in these first seven episodes. They bounce off each other in a much more emphasised way than before. Jacques reacts normally to Josee throwing a tantrum, they have fantastic contrast in having the whole coffin challenge match what happened to them at the olympics, and then Josee trying her best to passive aggressively call out Jacques on his blunder at the olympics, only to come off REALLY aggressive, and then he just has enough and throws his hands in the air and insists he's sorry. How animated these two are in the episode really tells me that people designing the show really focused on how these two specifically would slowly react to things.
Another thing I loved about the Ice Dancers' dynamic besides their funny interactions, is them achieving 1st. We get more insight on how them getting silver at the olympics has now affected how they view things in life around them. They push themselves much harder than other teams because of this, even despite them falling behind due to MacArthur pinning them down. Them being such a driven pair makes me very pleased they got 1st for the third time.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers were in top form in this episode. Their previous drop in quality at the olympics was encompassed more, which was important in making them more complex. It also made them funnier, as we get to see it affect them in an over the top way. The really weird thing is that I still root for them despite them having such a gimmicky view on life. Because I know how much they had been before. I must say, these two are just getting more and more perfect with each episode, and it's the seventh time in a row now where something new has been added to both of them. Such effort has went into them overall, and this episode is a good example of this.
This episode tells us for the first time how much focus Jacques possesses. We already knew how much Josee is dedicated to what she does through her persistence but in this episode we learn that Jacques is so focused he hasn't even washed his boxers since the race started, showing that he's as obsessive as Josee in the sense that he's not concentrated on anything other than the race.
Later in the episode, Josee loses her lucky rabbit foot Bun Bun. She panics but Jacques consoles her straight away calmly that they don't need a good luck charm, snowing that how he cares for her. Then she asks him to take off his lucky boxers causing him to flee away in panic lol<3
Jacques later manages to get the ring out and after a couple of tries, it looks like him and Josee will at least get silver, only for them to trip on a rock. Since we know how traumatised Jacques has been by silver, it's both really funny and sad to watch him sob over them doing better than 10 other teams
Her new arc in this episode<3
While in the first place donkey cart, the Ice Dancers, Sisters, and Reality TV Pros cart shakes upon colliding with a pile of rocks. As a result, Josee loses her lucky rabbit's foot Bun Bun. After leaving the airport Josee becomes frantic and worried about this, believing that this good luck charm was a huge key to her doing well.
After Jacques successfully gets a ring from underwater for him and Josee to advance, their team manages to get into first place. Josee excitedly runs to meet Jacques, doing a monologue that he could be right and she might not need Bun Bun after all. Suddenly however, she sees a peculiar shaped lava rock that looks like a trophy. She is blind to a native there saying that she can't bring it as a souvenir but she argues that they have a whole volcano of the rocks, running off impatiently.
This is a fantastic new plot point for her. See, we learned in the second episode that Josee said about Bun Bun that she "believe it's responsible for everything good in my life". At first to a person watching the season for the first time, would just think of this as no more than a funny throwaway line but like everything else that comes out of Jacques and Josee's line, that has a purpose. She truly DOES think it was responsible for everything good in her life, and now she's using a simple volcanic rock to compensate. It's a well done insight on Josee, revealing to the viewer that she's dedicated to things more than just competition. She's also dedicated to sticking to things and going by souvenirs. She has a childlike view of how competitions work due to how she was raised to always have to succeed, so as a result, she has this superstition. But not just any superstition. A REALLY big superstition that one good luck charm has helped her with everything in life. It shows that she actually only has an average opinion of herself, and has relied on external means to have better self esteem in how she does. It makes me sympathise with her even more than I already had since it proves she's not as golden or a perfectionist as she makes herself out to be. In fact, in how casual she is about this, she probably doesn't even know herself about her offputting self esteem issues.
It's HEAVILY implied that this lava rock will NOT bring good luck, as storm clouds surround Josee as she runs away with it, and her and Jacques trip on the way to the finish line, getting third, proving that even after all these self esteem issues we know about Josee, she still isn't rewarded, which is so disheartening but a great way of still making her team rootable.
Getting third is no surprise, a travesty for her and Jacques. Jacques reacted by sobbing while Josee screamed in anguish and then shrewdly announced that the "road to shame is paved with bronze". Clearly the quote of the century and something anyone can relate to.
We learn in this episode that the Ice Dancers have no time for fun and games and they aways stay focused on their goal, a trait which should inspire me considering I'm doing this really long blog on them instead of doing something worthwhile in real life.
Josee loses Bun Bun and panics and although Jacques consoles her by saying they don't need good luck, she challenges him by asking he take off his lucky boxers, making him pause but then run away as she hilariously yells "That's what I thought!" It shows to the viewer that they're both as obsessive and overly dedicated as each other, and stick to their guns at all times. It's something I can definitely relate to, which is keeping to what I think helps me regardless of whether it's right or wrong, and probably something others can relate to as well.
After many trial and error tries, the Ice Dancers finally are reaching the finish line but trip, causing them to get third. I've already individually brought up how funny their reactions are to this and it really is. These two are PASSIONATE, and not doing well in something is not just bad for them, but it's the ULTIMATE failure.
Thoughts: This episode marks the start of the beginning of what will be an interesting arc involving the Ice Dancers to do with luck. Normally I don't like those kinds of storylines in TD but the Ice Dancers have handled it with such tact and it'll clearly be taken advantage of due to their personalities. They themselves were again a barrel of laughs, with more nice callbacks, this time to the second episode again. Previously somewhat unimportant lines have now been proven to be important, which works in their favour for someone rewatching the season. Join me for the next few episodes where they go berserk over doing better than two-thirds of the other teams<333333.
After getting on the first flight to Dubai, Jacques and his partner witness the Surfer Dudes celebrating first place in a hot tub. He delightfully asks if they can get into it but he's immediately turned down by the attendant, angering him. He's perplexed on how they got third but once Josee shows her good luck charm, he feels hopeful, announcing proud that their luck is bound to improve before a dozen pieces of luggage falls over him as he casually says "Ow, zat iz dissappoint-ing". Such an icon. This is a great line because it shows that he has now become just as desperate as Josee, believing in luck confidently as that's all that's left for him to believe in with his self esteem SHATTERED in only getting a REASONABLY high placing.
Him and Josee must then compete in the tennis. Jacques hears chatter and demands it be silenced as he's trying to perform. Devin immediately doubts him and thinks Jacques has a better chance of hitting a beach ball.
lowers Devin 15 spots in ranks But Jacques hits it with a stunning push of intensity. This was another one of the many moments that resonated with me. Jacques felt like sh** after failing at the olympics. He really did. But then when a random person doubts him winning at something and he manages to succeed, it is so satisfying to see, because he's been thriving for succeeding for years. He even has and adorably cocky demeanor about it, asking Devin watch and that he might learn something. BURN!!!!!!
Josee tries her shot at hitting a tennis ball after it flies from the automatic tennis machine but she fails. As Devin SADISTICALLY taunts the Ice Dancers about this, Jacques doesn't even focus on coming up with a golden comeback like he always does. Instead, he immediately rushes to Josee's aid like the caring partner he is, speaking humanely that they'll never make podium by waiting in line for them to get another turn, asking they switch to windows, looking out for both their best interests. Josee promises to throw a massive tantrum after they presumably win like she thinks. Jacques then brings up how that runs in her family, as he was once late picking up Josee for practise and her mother attacked him with a lamp. Even after her mother's horrible treatment to him, he STILL took by Josee, thinking of them as a well combined team capable of achieving great things. It's so selfless and really makes me respect him as a person to an even higher degree. Then his team get 4th </3 </3 </3 . Ninth episode in a row where he does something new, this time being that his caringness and dedication to Josee is expanded on for the first time.
In this episode, Josee starts her first scene off immediately with a bang! Jacques rages in confusion about their team placing 3rd. Josee replies that her mother always said that bronze is the road to failure, before spitting the ground and then speaking "But momma, our luck is about to change." This is another excellent Josee moment, as it gives insight to how she was raised, particularly that her overly ambitious drive comes from her mother's influence, saying that her mother has always been the one to denounce bronze as a color of failure. This means if Josee was thinking of that color, it would immediately pop in her head that her mother hates it, pushing her in believing so. Even Josee spitting the ground seems like something she'd get from her parent as up to this point it would be unnatural for Josee herself to do that. The attention to detail in this small moment of time is just spellbinding and it capitalises on getting Josee to be empathised with.
After showing off her prized lava rock possession to Jacques, she notes descriptively "forged from lava, this stone embodies my determination to win" before she maniacally laughs. Jacques corrects her that she means their determination to win, puzzling her before she goes back to normal and says "Oh yeah, sure." This moment showcases that Josee's high belief of her need to come out on top has now consumed her due to her desperately getting this random lava rock she found. It shows how her personality has become more power hungry, not even through much fault of her own, but that this environment and the desperation it has caused has completely thrown her off.
Upon Jacques performing his task of hitting the automatic tennis ball using his racket with ease, Josee steps up to try, kissing her lava rock for luck only to obviously fail at it from a seagull landing on her face, followed by multiple tennis balls knocking her out. Jacques suggests they switch to the other either/or choice, which is wiping windows. She reluctantly agrees but replies "After we win, I am throwing a MASSIVE tantrum." Another stellar line as it shows that Josee has been so overtaken that she now will still be upset even if they end up winning this leg of the race, as she truly has reached that point of power hunger. Not that that's unlikable or anything. Like I explained, it still makes perfect sense.
After promising a tantrum, Jacques recalls when Josee's mother attacked him with a lamp when he was late picking up Josee for practise. For them to do another line about Josee's mother, and how them to say how tantrums run in her family, it proves my point that Josee gets her competitiveness mainly from her mother. She'll never be able to stop who she is due to what she's gotten from her mother's side. To live in an environment with someone prone to spontaneous violence and you're at at young age AND you're pushed to be a good performer and anything other than that is unacceptable is a tragic but fascinating trait of Josee, and it's so realistic and detailed yet it's not right there in the open for you to know straight away. Even Josee's mother saying how she hates bronze proves that Josee thinks that if you're not competitive, it's not just confusing to her, but it makes zero sense to her, which is such a unique trait and I'm sure not even (Lightning) would have a mindset as competitive as this.
After her and Jacques place 4th, not making the podium at all, Don reminds them there's no podium but Josee astutely and bluntly says "There is ALWAYS a podium". She then throws a tantrum, throwing many likely million dollar worth items around, while the Adversity Twins have a happy confessional over how well they did. It's a hilarious contrast between these weak little boys cheering over placing 3rd in what they think is a simple little game show, and then in the background you have this random crazy woman throwing expensive sh** everywhere. It ends PERFECTLY with one of the best Josee moments ever, as she yells "GARBAGE" in the background, interrupting the Adversity Twins confessional and flinging a genie lamp at the camera. Such a delightful mad woman. But you know what? Still endearing because of how she's raised. All these new revelations about Josee's past are to make sure the viewer laughs along with her reacting like a little girl rather than roll their eyes at her childishness. If this was, say, Courtney doing this for example, people would take that as just a natural competitive trait Courtney has. With Josee though, you've already learnt so much about her, making her tantrums last longer in your head, especially with how passionate she ends up getting.
The Ice Dancers begin the episode frustrated over not coming in 1st place and receiving a hot tub. Josee shows off her good luck charm to her partner however, as they share hope in them still doing well, showing that they now have an almost equally obsessive drive to win.
In the either/or between either playing automatic tennis or squeegeeing the windows, the Ice Dancers opt to do the tennis. Although Jacques succeeds, Josee fails miserably. Jacques rushes to her aid however, and believes they switch to squeegeeing. Josee accepts but promises to throw a massive tantrum. This is a cute little moment between the team, as it showcases more how casually they converse to each other, but in their own special Ice Dancer language. Jacques saying they'll never make podium waiting in line for example shows that they say things that only each other would really fully understand. It really does feel like a pair of hardworking performers who are still free to act in a normal way around each other. Jacques rushing to help Josee gain her strength back is also adorbs and shows how much she really means to him.
The Ice Dancers squeegee the windows and seem to be doing s great job. Suddenly, one window they squeegee is a local Dubai citizen. They awkwardly stare only for him to award them 6.0, making them smile as the tempo heightens in a graceful fashion to show how their spirits have been raised. Unlike other teams who squeegeed in a nonchalant way, the Ice Dancers did it with what they call "artistic integrity" with them believing that even if it's menial they should still perform it in that artistic way, with Josee adding that "the goal is to achieve greatness." This is another one of the hundreds of insights given to you about the Ice Dancers. It's not just about them plain winning. It's about how well they impress.
The Ice Dancers try their absolute hardest but unfortunately for them they do even worse than the last episode and get 4th for the first time, another new thing to happen to them. They are stunned in anguish about this, with Josee breaking a lot of objects worth high value. No doubt this has now pushed their storyline to a whole new level. Now that we know how they've been raised, and why they're not used to winning, it means them getting 4th to them means they're not even RECOGNISED as olympians now. Continuing to be interesting angels.
Thoughts: Since the last episode was the start of the arc about the Ice Dancers' bad luck, then this episode is the start of the heavy repercussions of them. Again, a lot of new things added to the Ice Dancers like both of their relationships with Josee's mom, equally as interesting interactions with her. A lot of spontaneous funny moments too. More things being done for the first time like Jacques caring nature, Josee's revelation of how she was raised, and their team getting their worst nightmare; missing a podium. Even when watching this season I was just getting increasingly excited with each episode just because of this team and this episode really shows it.
Jacques tries to land him and Josee in a Beijing stadium as they parachute out of a blimp. Unfortunately, the wind pushes him to crush against a billboard for donkeys. Josee notes how he always "trails behind" but is still an "asset to the team". Whether or not Josee was doing a sly dig at him is besides the point with the fact that he still smiles at this regardless and it's nice to see his failure still being rectified with his past achievements according to her. And this is the same moment in which he crashes into an ass's well, ass.
They try landing again and this is the point where I reach what I think is one of, if not the funniest Jacques quote ever. He lands with poise in the stadium but the gracious music suddenly scratches as he screeches "MY ANK-AL!" This made me laugh really hard and the fact that it was the clip that was the preview for the episode speaks so much. The timing is absolutely flawless like all jokes involving the Ice Dancers. We hear the traditional victory music of the Ice Dancers but then a sudden zoom in on his ankle gradually reaching the ground but suddenly twisting it. He yelps in terror as Josee raises her eyes at him in a scared look, which is detailed and hilarious to look at.
They even take the joke further by having him hop on one foot in the background in pain while Josee complains in the foreground confessional. The funniest thing about this, like most Jacques lines, is the voice acting. He yelps in horror "My ank-al!" which doesn't seem too funny just by me saying it, and if you heard someone like say, Duncan or Heather, or even a pain magnet like Tyler or Scott. The line wouldn't be funny on paper due to those character's particular voices. But because Jacques has this over dramatic flamboyant spring in his voice, it gives flavour to mildly funny lines. The way he delivers the line sounds a little intentionally phoned in even though he genuinely feels pain. As he says the last syllable of ankle for example, he stretches it out at the end, deliberately done to make it stick with the viewer. This is one small joke and it's one of the funniest I've ever seen in really any media.
Josee snaps Jacques out of the pain he's in, encouraging him to smile for his fans and he agrees straight away desperately, showing once again how much he wants to appease them.
After getting heavily injured by a scorpion and Josee punching him repeatedly to try and get rid of it, Jacques gets force fed the food, and proceeds to get carried by Josee by rickshaw.
They look like they're going to win the challenge with ease, but Josee trips in a banana peel, getting Jacques flung in the air, flying all the way to the entrance to the wall. No longer visible on screen he yells "My ank-al!" once aga-OH MY GOD. WHY IS HE INSPIRING MY SENSE OF HUMOUR SO MUCH.
This is just perfect in every way like everything else about the Ice Dancers. This joke already happened with Jacques and it happens about 5 minutes later into the episode, and you get the exact same preachy line delivery from it, but it's EQUALLY as funny because he yells it offscreen after being tossed forward really far. Usually in a running gag that lasts one episode in common media, they do the running gag a total of 3 times. But here, they kept this joke to the number of 2. And because it's such an abstract and unique joke, doing it twice was the right thing to do. Had it been 3 times this joke was utilised, the gag would lose its diversity within the confides of the episode. The humour with Jacques and by extension the Ice Dancers, is handled with tact and perfection, because there really is no way to make this joke any more funny than it already was. Him saying it in the same way despite being hurled in the air this time is so laughably stupid but really cleverly woven in.
After their map messes up their navigation in finding the chill zone, Jacques ANGRILY notes "This map is use-less!!" Such a god. In response, Josee lets luck decide once again, as they run forward. Unfortunately, as they see the Police Cadets and Surfer Dudes nearby, they realise they're going the wrong way and immediately turn around and sprint to the chillzone. As a result they get 4th again! Josee throws more precious objects in the confessional in anger, causing Jacques to give a desperate thumbs up to the camera with a forced smile. He knows they're screwed but is still trying to make them out to be doing really well. All for his fans. He also provides new things for the 10th time in a row as per usual, this time being him being a primary comic relief for the first time as before this he just had various moments that had somewhat well done effort in the humour.
Josee starts her team's first scene off by kissing her lava rock and rubbing it all over herself, speaking proudly that she "needs all the luck this Hawaiian lava rock can bring me." This is a really interesting moment because as she says this line, she's rubbing the lava rock all over herself. The animation corresponding with the line suggests she's getting what she believes to be the luck all over herself to heighten her chances. Her body language is fluid, using her good luck charm as some kind of comfort tool for her humiliation. She even aggressively rubs it against Jacques as she mentions how she refuses to be not below the podium and her team should tower above the others like the goddesses they are, hammering in the point of how this inanimate object has been the only thing comforting her, and a desperate substitute for Bun Bun.
After Jacques gets his ANK-AL injury, Josee talks to the camera about how she's confused at how clumsy he is, as he already crashed against a donkey billboard earlier. She requests viewers don't give him any sympathy, as that'll just encourage him. This capitalises on how Josee truly has reached a deeper end to how she already was. The corruption of power has already caused her to gain selfishness, not being fazed by Jacques injury and instead just wanting to get on with things. She immediately snaps at him, threatening him to snap out of it, that their fans are watching, and that he should "EAT THE PAIN! ...And smile!" This is an extraordinary line because it proves what I mean about Josee having to put on a smile for the cameras constantly because that's how she was raised and to please her fans. The way she says this line is some kind of motto that's been implanted in her head. She even smiles at the end of the line. If people are calling Josee a complex character, this is usually one of the first lines pointed to.
Josee's level of self-ambition recurs later in the episode, when a scorpion bites Jacques and he pleads she kills it. After numerous attempts of trying so only to injure Jacques further, he eventually can't even feel his face, which she finds opportunistic enough to force food down his throat and make him eat it. This is a stark contrast to how we seen her in the first few episodes but it's gradual and makes sense. A person like Josee, who's used to things being the same all the time, to not win on a regular basis and also have a good luck charm that she believes has helped her a lot to be taken away from, is going to have her head a little screwed. This makes moments like these intriguing, because it's a gradual leap to this out of control attitude she's now gained.
Josee pulls Jacques on a rickshaw to the Great Wall of China. Things like promising until Josee trips on a banana peel, flinging Jacques and getting him injured again. They later get lost and have a useless map, but Josee lets luck decide by kissing her lava rock and scratching the map, ending this routine by flinging it upwards so the wind points it to a direction. It points right, making Josee feel victorious in reaching the chill zone but the viewer gets clued in as the map flies the opposite direction.
After seeing other teams nearby, Josee and Jacques have no choice but to turn around to try and reach the chillzone but end up getting 4th again, making Josee have another classic tantrum. These get progressively funnier because this poor try hard woman has been trying her absolute hardest to be victorious, and then she gets so graceful and sure about it, and then she loses and breaks things like a 5 year old<3. This is why this particular running gag works really well in Josee's favour given her personality. Her new element added this episode is her becoming more ruthless in general and that being expanded on.
With each passing episode, the Ice Dancers' team dynamic is getting further tested. Jacques has become more accident prone and Josee has become the most competitive character of all time. Although in the past they've understood each other well, all these changes to their surroundings have plagued them. Josee is confused by Jacques getting injured on a more regular basis and Jacques is confused by her heightened competitiveness. They work through this though, as Josee demands Jacques snap out of whining about his injury and to just smile it off, as they wave simultaneously, which is a cute animation despite how OTT the moment is. Them repeatedly getting bad luck is also funny and they're the funniest choices to get bad luck too, as they try to make themselves out to be these angels buy they're absolutely ruining themselves and their reputation by even still being involved with the race. We didn't see too much complex interaction with them this time, but that's only because of these more quick-timed scenes for their comical moments, making them more enjoyable in this fast paced environment. This episode in particular is also simple when it comes to showing what the Ice Dancers' motivations are and then turning that into a funfare for the audience.
Thoughts: Another golden episode of this team. This time they delivered humour, one of the many things they're good at. Jacques became more of a comic relief role than before and Josee's ruthlessness has reached breaking point but it's not entirely her fault, making it really really interesting. The fast paced method the episode is known for being written also worked really well in this teams favour. All the humorous moments jumped and stuck with the viewer instantly. All the complex moments were immediately put inside your head. And that lava rock truly is hellish fyi. How dare it curse the best out there.
As Jacques and Josee prepare for the awful steam session, they groan in anguish, as they are wearing ice dancing suits, being well insulated as Jacques thinks. He raises Josee's lava rock, believing openly that her good luck charm must be broken. He's now reached enough reasons to not agree with her, and this will be more important later in the episode.
Jacques and his partner force themselves forward after essentially being burnt alive by a sauna to a crisp. Jacques speaks a very interesting line; "Must perse-vere. Great-ness a-waits." This was a really subtle and insightful callback and I was probably the only one who noticed it. See, back in Hello and Dubai we saw the Ice Dancers squeegee their windows very quickly but they also tried to be artistic also. It's revealed that they want to leave artistic impression just as much as simply winning, with Josee chiming that the goal is to achieve greatness. The particular word 'greatness' is reused, this time by Jacques, pushing forward with the idea in his mind that greatness awaits. You may think I'm over analysing this but the fact that we know that this was a frame of thought in his mind and this line is why he was pushing forward does prove what I mean.
Much later in the episode, Jacques attempts to do the Botch or watch of playing air guitar. It looks like he's about to do really well only to trip over a wire and get electrocuted. This leads to another really funny line by Jacques; "WHY are there even wir-es up 'ere?! This-is air gui-tar!" It's a hilarious line that mocks the plot convenience of Jacques just happening to trip on a wire. The acknowledging of this makes the viewer feel like they're in a more light hearted environment and him being genuinely furious is the icing on the cake.
Jacques finally succeeds only for his team to end up getting 4th. Much later, after the Goths complete the challenge they see the lava rock and inform the Ice Dancers that it's a hardcore curse. Jacques is taken aback by the fact that Josee has been responsible for their random bad luck, sarcastically saying in an angered tone "Well done, Josee!" His reaction to this was , like everything about the Ice Dancers, a stroke of genius. Jacques was responsible for his team getting silver at the world's most prestigious sporting event. But here, it's Josee who's caused repeated problems for the team. It's an excellent use of role reversal without being ham fisted. It's a great advantage for Jacques character because now he won't feel as worried about himself as much as say, the first episode. Before he'd feel afraid to say his own thoughts on things but here he gets naturally mad at his partner in a fluid and human way. It's not that Josee caused him to be afraid to say his opinions or anything. He just hated failing so much and had to try tot look perfect. So to see him get mad at her is a new thing for him.
Josee and Jacques must share a sauna with the Adversity Twins. A very painful experience due to their suits. Even though Jacques doubts Josee's good luck charm she still remains having faith in it, arguing with pride that their only competition is the "weakling twins" and that "the heat will destroy them." This is the first time you really see Josee speak openly badly about another contestant. I mean the closest she got to that at all was the time she rubbed her and Jacques' victory in the Vegan's face after they beat them in Brazil. Here though, her words are more scathing, and it's due to this so called good luck charm completely changing her way of how she sees the world. Everything had become different for her. She's repeatedly losing, she lost her good luck charm, she got a substitute item in desperation that was clearly bringing bad luck, and she's just been repeatedly humiliated. It's pushed toxidity on her. That's not really how she wants to be like, but these conditions have pushed the competitive personality she was raised with to a different level. I mean compare this to the Josee at the beginning of the season, who liked to always leave the best impression no matter what she was saying.
In the end her and Jacques get 4th the THIRD time in a row, making them cry in humiliation over beating only two-thirds of everyone<3. After the Goths narrowly escape elimination, they note that Josee's Hawaiian lava rock is a bad luck charm and has been cursing her team the whole time. I already explained why this is a great moment with Jacques and adds a new layer to his personality, but it does the same with Josee. For the longest time she became borderline bloodthirsty in winning gold, but in the past four episodes she's been the reason for her and Jacques screwing up. She's caused them to become increasingly embarrassed and furious with each passing episode at their placement. It shows she really isn't perfect, and has made a crushing mistake due to her desperate acts of searching for too much luck.
The Hawaiian lava rock has caused the Ice Dancers team dynamic to break more and more. Jacques doubts Josee's good luck charm while she still begrudgingly believes in it. And in spite of the horrible luck that has happened to them every episode, they're still persevering and crawl through the frozen ground after being burnt to a crisp. It's a small clip but it really demonstrates their willingness and their never-give-up attitude. It's another somewhat inspiring moment like most of what I see from them.
After a while, they manage to get 4th place, causing them to cry loudly in defeating anguish. However, they get informed by the Goths that their Hawaiian lava rock has caused them nothing but the worst of luck. Jacques is now mad at a vulnerable Josee, as if the roles have been reversed and it's so excellently done in a short timespan. In just the previous episode, Josee got very infuriated by Jacques' screams of pain in twisting his ankle, as their fans are watching but here, she's completely screwed them up and they have a problem on their hands because of her. Their boundaries have been tested and they have to work through it. Their last scene in the episode even ends in an interestingly ambiguous way. The only way for them to break the curse is by throwing the lava rock away in Hawai, which is so over the top but it works because the Ice Dancers have pushed themselves into this woeful predicament, and it really makes you wonder what they'll do next now that they're faced with this.
Thoughts: The following episode serves as a great device of opening up what's to come for the Ice Dancers. Their dynamics have been switched, the source of their problems has been revealed to them, and they got another horrible placing in the midst of all of this. After this is the next episode which will surely take a good 6 hours lmao.
Before I go into this, there's something I'll need to clarify. If you know this particular episode well enough, then you would know that it's one of the Ice Dancers more major appearances. So there will be a lot for me to discuss. With that said, the contents of their screentime in this episode is based around them as a team. They both still have fantastic development with more revelations about them, just that they get the same kind of development. So if I did them individually it would just be repetitive. So the first and possibly last time, this episode will only focus on them as a team. Don't worry, it'll still be way too long to read for all of you:):):):)
The Ice Dancers take their hastiness and anger out at an airport worker, trying to get their point across that they need to take the next flight to Hawaii but be there for 10 minutes and then fly to Zimbabwe. He's confused by what they're saying, and that it makes no sense. Josee accepts this but replies "Now stuff the opinion and give us our tickets!" This is a very interesting moment. The Ice Dancers are perfectly aware of how irrational they're acting but they're still willing to do anything to get themselves out of such a peculiar problem. It's another over the top moment but it's still so realistic given their predicament combined with their personalities.
This hilarious but intriguing moment is followed by the Ice Dancers' confessional. Josee frowns, saying that Jacques is mad at her. He simply folds his arms and asks for an apology. She asks why she should apologise as she didn't know it was bad luck at all, making him reply "Apolo-gy accept-ed" in a cheeky manner. Because RR is a continuous episode by episode season, the Ice Dancers are no longer able to make themselves come across as a perfect team to the cameras. Comical dynamic but again, an immersive one.
After trying as pushy as possible to get on a flight to Hawaii, the Ice Dancers finally depart. Upon reaching Hawaii, Josee decides right away to fling her lava rock away. Jacques abruptly stops her, believing they need some kind of ceremony, like an offering to the volcano. Josee reluctantly agrees. We then get this definitive gem.
After performing this iconic ritual, the volcano coughs, which gives the Ice Dancers hope; Josee seeing it as a sign of forgiveness. Jacques panics suddenly that they need to get back to the airport and "This game isn't going to win itself!" It's a quick line but another really detailed one. They still envision a world where they are the ultimate winners out there due to their upbringing and anything less than that is the worst. Unless you're not on the podium. Then you don't even have a negative title to your name.
On the plane to Zimbabwe, the Ice Dancers have shown their noticeably higher level of competitiveness, to the point where it's unhealthy. They burst open the door leading to the pilot flying, pushing him to fly faster. He snaps back that they're not allowed in here, giving Josee an opportunity to ask "Umm do you know who we are?" as Jacques poses. Even while panicking they try to look their most fabulous... that is until he brings up the olympics and it all ends there. Josee even pushes an innocent sky waitress do you see why they're my favourites at all?
The Ice Dancers finally have the opportunity to try out the first challenge in Zimbabwe. Unfortunately for them, they have no choice but to stop, as Dwayne is lying on the ground. This leads to a really insightful and important conversation that shows well done contrast between the Ice Dancers and Dwayne. Dwayne asks in a forlorn tone if they've seen his son. Josee swiftly responds they haven't and beeps at him (queen). Dwayne screams that he's lost Junior and that he's gone! Josee casually says in a moody tone "Wow your wife is go-ing to kill-you." The line delivery! Dwayne blames himself, asking what the #1 rule of parenting is. Josee guesses that it's not to let your child get in the way of you winning a gold medal. Dwayne argues back that it's actually that you shouldn't let your child get eaten by a lion while falling off a waterfall, asking what's so great about a "dumb medal". The Ice Dancers genuinely gasp and Josee asks if she can run him over now, to which Jacques replies "Please!" Teamwork makes a dreamwork<3. This moment is really great because it proves that victory and perfection truly is what's most important in Jacques and Josee's lives. They don't just have an aspect of their personalities be that they're perfectionists who want to win. They see it ALL over their daily life. Even when talking about kids for example, something to do with gold pops into their thought process. It's a great look into their psyche.
The Ice Dancers try the challenge of falling off a waterfall while taking a selfie. And even while they scream in anguish, Jacques still forces that smile<3. Their waterfall selfie and Josee's selfie atop a rhino are also the best selfies of the episode in my opinion. The first is a really funny transition from them screaming to them still posing for the cameras, and the other one has victory music despite Josee simply standing on an animal.
Jacques and Josee sprint towards the finish line, happy in them going to make it. Suddenly, Dwayne catches up extremely fast due to a rhino carrying him. He runs over Jacques and Josee due to the rhino and successfully beats them to the chill zone. However, from Jacques saying that he hates rhinos, all of a sudden it turns around and chases them. Them they actually beat a rhino in a fight as Josee yells "And stay down!" Stop being icons 24/7!
They're sadly informed that they are last place, making them saddened, but they are saved by this being a non-elimination, making them cheer. And then, things change.
Josee diabolically remarks that they're luck has changed, they're back and nothing will stop them now. They both announce proudly that everyone else is "Going down", as they end the episode laughing hysterically. This is probably one of the most well written moments of all of the Ice Dancers. This is the point at which they've become true villains, for multiple reasons. The two of them went through a lot of changes in their environment and doing things they're not used to. They repeatedly had what they believed to be the worst possible things happen to them. But they got a miraculous comeback due to it being a non-elimination round. This raised their confidence extremely highly, higher than its ever been. Why? Because it was lowered so much that being saved would actually make them more happy than any other team. They feel secure and accomplished, and now want to make up for these past failures. They repeatedly got humiliated as actual olympians and now they feel like taking it out. This is once again due to the dark way in which they were raised.
It's an intricate way of forming an antagonist, the best origin I've ever seen of antagonists and probably the most detailed one. Heather is an antagonist because she's used to having her overly social lifestyle in life along with being wealthy and having self esteem issues. Alejandro is an antagonist because of how he wants to represent himself and him being overshadowed by his brothers all his life. Scott was born in an unhealthy environment. Sugar has the pageant lifestyle, making her see life as one. Mal is awful. The Ice Dancers became antagonists because they're used to success but it repeatedly came crashing down on them. Unlike every other antagonist, we see this on screen. Excellent job, show.
The final thing worth noting is the Ice Dancers' reaction to getting last place. From what you know of them, you'd expect them to get highly hung up over it and lash out to an enormous degree at everything and everyone around them. Instead, they feel empty. Josee finds it hard to even formulate the words 'eliminated' and Jacques has a tremendous and heartbreaking line on behalf of both of them; "We just want o-ur fans, and our count-ry to know, that we tried our very best! And we wish--" before Don interrupts them to give them the good news. The line Jacques says speaks so much. Everything they do, the over-assertiveness, the try hard way of trying to look their best, them attempting to smile at all times, them going against anything below 1st place, and the general competitiveness. ALL of it is for their fans and their country. They represent their whole country in the olympics, and have to maintain a reputation. Every single action the Ice Dancers do, it's with a fan in mind. And me right here is an example of one.
Thoughts: A very fleshed out and masterful episode for the Ice Dancers. They've now reached villainhood and analysing their actions from here on out will be done in a different way. They really made this episode for me and my love just blew up even further for them. No matter what they did in this season, they would not stop impressing me.
After the Ice Dancers change their outfits to black, although Josee has a scathing approach to why they're wearing that color; "The black screams, 'Get out of our way!' " with Jacques chiming in "And, wash us with simi-lur col-ors." This shows how Jacques takes a more technical approach to how he presents himself in comparison to Josee's stronger and more upfront way of executing herself.
Jacques nods in agreement with Josee over them wanting to get the boomerang that makes another team repeat a challenge, showing how even though she's the spokesperson of the two of them, he still has a similar thought process.
After they luckily find a boomerang, Josee shoves Jacques out of excitement, showing once again his pain magnetness shining through and making him endearing in such a quick paced moment. And he's still the same level of excitement in the interview after, sharing Josee's hope in their boomerang. It's obvious that this takes place right after his short moment of injury, so it shows likable persistence.
While Josee gets overly cautious about her claustrophobia while being in a prison cell, and thinking there's a lack of air, Jacques tries calming her down. As per usual, this isn't some detached way of writing this. The way Jacques shows concern for Josee is human and feels real. In Hello and Dubai I'd say the same, though he was more concerned for her health than anything else, so that's a different approach but just as well executed. This is a great small moment though like everything he does because the way he's concerned for her is another way of someone saying "Listen, calm down. Relax. You're going to hurt yourself." Even though he has a melodramatic and out of control way of reacting, Jacques still is capable of conveying real human concern. And he even cheers for her when she busts open the cell and raises his arms in celebration. It shows that even if Josee does crazy things, he'll back her up fully. Even after Josee taunts MacArthur into saying something she'll regret and Josee struts away victorious, Jacques struts with her, believing in both of them as now ruthless people.
Later on in the episode, the Ice Dancers are about to reach the Don Box, only for the Police Cadets to stop them dead in their tracks. Josee and MacArthur pick a fight with each other but Josee pulls out a boomerang as a counter, instigating Sanders to pull her one out. As Sanders tries to calm down the situation, Jacques agrees with her that them boomeranging their opponents is a bad idea. This is a good way of showing another side of Jacques where, even though he shares a competitive and compulsive mindset like his partner, he's also capable of admitting where things aren't a good idea. This is why he thinks rationally. And then both teams end up boomeranged, so... at least you tried your best Jacques I guess...
After the two teams end up locked into one large cell, we get a pretty fascinating moment. Jacques considers them both having a 'temporary truce' just at least until they're free. He's a compromising thinker who tries to please all solutions. See, we already know he gets downright upset over not impressing fans, but in general, since he likes to present a good image of himself, when coming up with positive ideas, it would usually be ones that benefit everyone.
Eventually, when a way out in the ceiling is discovered and the four of them help each other up, Jacques is stopped in his tracks by MacArthur, warning him not to double cross them. Jacques scoffs that MacArthur doesn't scare her, until she gets close to him and threatens him that she'll break his limbs, tie him in a knot, and throw him off a cliff, making him feel genuinely scared, with hilarious line delivery of "Ah-kay that act-uu-all-y does scare-me." He even sounds nervous just saying that. I sure don't feel nervous talking about this blonde babe though.
Once the Ice Dancers change their outfits from purple to black, Josee points out in their team interview that the purple was too friendly, and that the black screams for people to get out of their way. She feels as though her former outfit made her look inferior and wants to rectify it. It's a smarmy and aggressive approach she has but one I completely get given what she's went through in this season. She wants her team to be on point with what they do. My point stands with her adamant reaction to Don announcing how teams may get a boomerang, saying strongly "I want one!"
Luckily for her team, Josee sees the boomerang and is so excited she tackles Jacques to the ground and cheers in delight over getting it, not noticing the pain he's in. This moment is only like 5 seconds but tells so much. Josee has a high drive for winning and this thing sounds like a dream come true, as using a boomerang would obviously make anyone feel on top. Like Hello and Dubai made clear. It's not just about winning for these two. It's about perfection for them. She has this device that makes her feel ultimate, supreme, in control, and self-important. Her tackling Jacques is meant as a joke, and it is, but it's also meant to showcase how winning is so important to her that it causes her to legitimately not even notice other surroundings if it pushes her enough, which is crazy! She already had the lack of dignity in getting 11th the previous episode, so anything even remotely positive will raise her spirits tremendously. It's actually a common human disorder. She's unhinged, but it's in such an endearing and realistic way. So I cheer when she slaps Jacques' face to the ground and cheers over holding a simple piece of paper, as weird as it sounds.
As soon as Jacques and Josee are stuck inside the prison cells, we learn of Josee's claustrophobia for the first time. She hyperventilates, it's stressed out, doesn't feel safe, thinks there's a lack of air, thinks part of prison is no air, etc. It's hilarious how paranoid she gets and it ends perfectly. Josee forms the adrenaline to bust open the cell door and does so with all her might while getting injured, sighing "Air" while raising her arms high as if she's won something. It captivates me because she still sees everything as a goal in life.
Upon escaping, the Ice Dancers hear Sanders plead them to help her and MacArthur escape, and that she'll owe them in return. Josee agrees she will in the condition that she wants to hear MacArthur say that ice dancing is the best sport in the world. Although MacArthur scoffs at Josee's belief of ice dancing being a sport, she reluctantly says those words, and groans before being asked who the best ice dancer is, and having to say Josee. Despite this, the Ice Dancers refuse to free them. Sanders is shocked and reminds them that they said they'd help them but Josee laughs "I am. I'm helping you go home."
It's a great moment and demonstrates how far Josee has come. The Josee in the first few episodes would simply smile through everything, but here she's taking this open control on things and is much more diabolical about things. Because of their previous failures in the last few episodes, the Ice Dancers want to compensate by making big moves and this right here is one. This all came from MacArthur's attitude towards them, but Josee has now taken it to a new level in order to make her and Jacques look more impressive. It's a complicated combination but it makes sense given these circumstances. Josee had even already escaped the cell yet she still decided to toy with the Cadet's emotions. It's her own revenge on the world around her and it's again, a reasonable thought process.
The next moment was one of Josee's best. Her and Jacques energetically reach the Don Box but Josee trips over and falls head first into mud. She makes a sad and vulnerable face beneath the mud but then hears MacArthur chuckle in amusement. Furious, Josee asks "Who laughed?!" Her body language here is really interesting. She goes from looking a little empty to clenching her fists in a defensive position. She fell on her head and considering everything in her mind has something to do with winning or gold, it seems clear this is about her falling on her head at the olympics. Even the way she asks who laughed is odd. She enunciated the 'Who'. No question about it. She's insecure in this scene and it's a little bit sad.
Now that the Cadets have clashed we get probably my favourite moment of the entire episode. Josee flings mud at MacArthur after MacArthur's mockery, leading to MacArthur picking a fight with her. Josee has no fears and enjoys what's about to come, aiming her boomerang at MacArthur. Sanders impulsively aims her boomerang to stop Josee dead in her tracks, as the Cadets had previously gotten a boomerang. Josee and Sanders threaten that both drop their boomerangs but won't give in. Sanders argues that neither team wants to go home today but then boomeranging each other isn't the best and Jacques agrees. Josee and Sanders both count to 3 for the other to drop their boomerang. But in a shocking turn of events neither drop their boomerang, as both were attempting to trap each other. Taking aim, Josee and Sanders release their boomerangs on the opposing teams, causing both the Ice Dancers and Police Cadets to have to go back to the cells.
Okay, wow. That's a lot to take in! But it's doable I think. The beginning of this scene is masterfully done, with intense slow zoom ins of Josee and Sanders, as they argue over what they'll do. They reach a stalemate where neither drop their weapons and then try and BOTH fake each other out by getting the other to drop their boomerang. Neither budge, leading to both boomeranging. This is also great character growth for Josee because she's trying out her own mind tricks for the first time. The scene has a lot of build up centered around it, and Josee's extreme passion and her mulling over what to do on screen feels so real. The music gets you riled up as well. Definitely one of the best overall scenes of the season.
Against their better judgement, after the two teams work together in escaping the cell and Sanders finds the exit, they all help each other up. But after that, it's a race all the way to the chill zone. With it being so close, Josee whacks the Cadets away with her paddle into the water, as her and Jacques survive. Even though they weren't cheering about their ranking, they were actually cheering to what they believed to be them getting the Police Cadets out. Josee, at this point, thinks nothing of the Police Cadets after the many bad things both teams have done to each other. So when you see her celebrate and then the Cadets survive by a non-elimination, it gets you excited for what she'll think of all this the next episode.
The Ice Dancers change the color of their outfits to a much more intimidating black so that teams can now know how they're going to go about things. This is terrific symbolism and it's a shame it gets overlooked. There's a reason the Ice Dancers only wore black for one episode. The color black represents darkness and decay. Throughout the season, the Ice Dancers have increasingly decayed themselves and now they have color symbolism to prove it. It was a bold and clever move by the people working on this to have them wear black in particular. The purple is a much more classy and finer color on them, and the one they'd do performances in. Now they've went rogue and want nobody to get in their way.
They are looking forward to the possibility of getting a boomerang and luckily for them it happens. In the excitement of all this, Josee knocks Jacques to the ground just to get the boomerang off him. She cheers loudly in proudness while he twitches his leg saying "Ow-o-how". This is where the name Epic comes from.
After this comes an interesting interview. Following them taking the boomerang, the Ice Dancers talk about how first for them is gold, then the boomerang, and then the power. It's an awesome little scene. This showcases how power hungry and tyrannical the Ice Dancers have now become due to losing so much credibility as olympians in their view. Their mindset put into words by them starts off casual but once they mention power, they get really excited over the word in and of itself. The word 'power' evokes seeking of that from them. I love this increased passion with each episode and it doesn't end.
The teams end up locked up in prison cells for the next all in. Jacques tries escaping while Josee panics and runs around frantically. He tries to calm her down as much as he can, but to no avail. She does open the cell however. This is a great team dynamic between the Ice Dancers. I already somewhat went into detail in both Jacques and Josee's sections on this but as a team itself it's worth noting. Josee is going through a lot of dysfunction yet Jacques is right there to give her his support. They seem like a real combined force who'll try their best to get the other out of tougher situations. Josee's overly worried attitude combined with Jacques trying to be a peacemaker is such a good combination due to how contrasting it is.
After escaping their cell, and after Josee messing with the Cadet's expectations, the Ice Dancers progress to the next Don Box, only for the entire Josee vs Police Cadets scene to occur. I will note this is an excellent way of showing their team dynamic, as Jacques is there to try and sway Josee's mind yet her way of thinking was also still perfectly valid. Either way they were going to have to repeat the challenge though lol.
Even though the two teams cannot stand each other, they compromise by working together to complete the challenge. This is a well done way of testing the waters with the Ice Dancers and Police Cadet's interactions. They're forced to work with each other and help each other get out. They had to get out of what their comfort zones were with each other just to succeed at a challenge. It shows that they're seen as adversaries towards each other, though probably adverseries that hate each other.
In the end, the Ice Dancers narrowly beat the Cadets because of Josee's violence. They celebrate over this, though moreso over them believing they have knocked the Cadets out of the race rather than them placing. It's here I should probably expand on the whole Ice Dancers vs Police Cadets conflict. In the past episodes it was pretty secondary and not to make much out of. Here though, you get loads. They plot against each other, they boomerang, they threaten, and actual violence happens.
It's one of my favourite conflicts ever and it certainly shows in these episodes. The Cadets vs Dancers conflict is so brilliant to watch because it's two ego filled teams who are trying desperately win. Sanders is calm but she does tend to have a big ego, so I'd count her too. When big egos clash, fireworks just happen. And it's genius how they went about all this. Their first run in was with the Cadets defeating them two legs in a row, and MacArthur even laughed that they didn't win in this episode. It started a grudge the Ice Dancers had, as they cut in line in episode 4, arousing the Cadets suspicion of them. Let's not forget Josee pushing Sanders off a hill. Point is, this conflict is bombastic and out of control. I love it and I love the Ice Dancers in this.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers were at their best as usual. This was their longest appearance yet, making up a quarter of the episode. Their conflict with the Police Cadets has been further delved into and we're still learning so much about each of them every episode and we're only half way there. They've become real villains now who want nobody to ever get in their way at all.
Jacques is the only team member to try out his team's all-in, which was to catch 10 bunnies per team that are ruining a farm by eating the crops, and if they get a white albino bunny they can immediately proceed to the next challenge. Him nurturing a bunny doesn't help and he gets hurt by it, and also can't get help from Josee, as she's too busy being mad at the Cadets. Even though she is mad at them for double-crossing her team and boomeranging them, Jacques takes full responsibility for it, adding that they boomeranged the Cadets too. He also doesn't agree with her view that she wants more than winning, and wants vengeance, as he thinks winning is enough but he gets yelled down to the ground for it. This shows that Jacques is more willing to own up to himself not being perfect than his partner, and he's settled moreso on winning. I may also add that it was hilarious when he thinks winning is enough but then immediately drops to the floor in a millisecond from Josee screaming.
After borrowing make up off Ennui for a plan she's doing, Jacques is confused by her plan, which is to sacrifice a rabbit they've already caught. He's the vice leader of their schemes. Not a sidekick or someone easily led on like people misinterpret. He's just someone not as forcing on things. Needed to clarify that. See, some assume that Jacques is actually a nice person who just reluctantly goes on with Josee's ideas but he really doesn't. This episode is an example of this. MacArthur is lead into chasing a fake albino bunny, crashing a tractor into the lake while trying to catch it. Jacques plays with Josee with their fake concern, even being the one who lied that MacArthur screamed "Help me Bro-dy." He takes joy in their sabotage actions, calling them evil. He has a fondness in what they're doing, and the really interesting thing is that this was really their first outright 'evil' action. So when Jacques said the line, Scott McCord did another brilliant job, making Jacques sound actually fascinated by the prospects of these actions. Jacques' sexiness in this episode pays off, as his team earn 1st again after such a long time.
Josee was once again perfect in this episode. It starts with Jacques being in complete pain but her being too busy glaring, as if it's something that gives her time constraints<3. She's glaring at MacArthur, due to her & her team boomeranging Josee's team. It's one of the hundreds of sensational moments of Josee. The consumption of trying to get on top has overpowered Josee due to the format of RR that has placings involved, and it's now pushed her to disregard other things in life other than victory and vengeance. This is why they intentionally don't have her reply to Jacques bringing up how her team boomeranged the Cadets because it's just not important to her at all. From her point of view, the Police Cadets are both horrible people who deserve horrible things to happen to them. And plus from her point of view, her team managed to actually eliminate the Police Cadets, only for this non elimination to be thrown into the work. Josee hasn't just been screwed over placing wise, but in general she's not getting her way. We see her complex and wonderful psyche much more with it. Her fist pound as she says "I want revenge" actually roasts my soul. And again, it was really funny to see her ultimately explode at Jacques when he thinks winning is enough. From the viewpoint from just her it's a charmingly hilarious moment because you see her anger gradually boil up as she talks about being boomeranged by the Cadets. And then Jacques is what finally sets her off with his "I think winning is enough", Which makes her EXPLODE. The timing is excellent in this regard.
Jacques is confused by Josee's plan of sabotaging the Cadets. The challenge involved trying to catch enough rabbit's on a farm to proceed. If you found the albino white rabbit, you could immediately skip to the next challenge. Jacques is puzzled as to how them giving up one of their own rabbits sabotages the others, but Josee asks he watch and learn, as she puts white makeup on one of their rabbits to make it look albino. Her "Watch. And learn" is actually iconic. For the 14th time in a row, something gets done woth both Ice Dancers, and in Josee's case this is her first villainous action and it's so immersive. We watch her confined rage in being boomerang'd, and then she plots her vengeance and it was just so electrifying. As I watch her receive makeup just based on her unitard and then for her to slow down the Cadets by having MacArthur drop all her rabbits while chasing what Josee made look like the albino rabbit is just... enthralling. The things Josee and by extension Jacques get themselves involved in is honestly like it's own Crime Comedy Netflix series tbh. And after her team leads the Surfers away from their bag, we finally we get her "Ooh look. We have our ten rabbits". Oh my god Josee you could not steal my soul any more.
As explained in the previous section, there was contrasting reactions to the aftermath of the Ice Dancers being boomeranged by the Police Cadets. From their point of view, they thought they truly eliminated the Police Cadets but the twist of a non elimination ruins what they were doing. Jacques just wants to get on with being boomeranged by them since they did but Josee wants revenge. Her yell "You're wrong!" was an equally funny moment on both sides, Josee with volatile behaviour and Jacques' immediate drop to the floor.
Honestly the best thing about the Ice Dancers in this episode is them trying out proper villainy for the first time. As mentioned in Jacques section briefly, they're actually fascinated about the whole 'evil' aspect. They sabotage the Police Cadets into losing their 10 bunnies and sabotage the Surfer Dudes into chasing the Cadets. And like every other animation frame of them, this whole thing is done so magically. Josee's overconfident "We have our ten rabbits" and Jacques' "Ooh so evil" shown spectacularly the fascination but also overconfidence in their actions. They feel empowered after 6 honestly terrible episodes for their reputation as performers. See, as established before, when the Ice Dancers feel up, they feel really up. And when they feel down, they feel really down. This of course comes from their overachieving nature established before and this episode is a great example of this. Anything good happening to them at this point just surges their confidence. Like, let's say it was Alejandro doing something like this. For him he'd just think it generally feels rewarding. But to them, they feel filled with power and perfection. They're taking so much pleasure in being evil because it's something they've never known. It's like a child getting away with doing something bad. I'm so enamoured by this because it's another new huge turning point in their characters. This episode was highly significant for the Ice Dancers. Because it pushed them as the villains they are. But it's not like Alejandro or Heather or Scott where they're villains from the start. No. We actually see over the course of 14 episodes their transition into this role. It warms my heart highly and they could only get better from here.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers weren't even main characters in this episode and I still had so much to say! Anyway, another 10/10 Episode as per usual. Again, we've still learnt something about the Ice Dancers individually and as a team with each episode, and this episode now marks more than half. Honestly when I first saw this episode it was probably the point of the season that pushed my excitement of seeing the Ice Dancers in episodes.
After the Ice Dancers leave from the carpet first having won first place, Jacques feels noticeably less responsible than he was in the previous episode. In Down and Outback, Jacques took responsibility for boomeranging the Cadets but here, having won first place after such a long time for him, he doesn't seem to care that his team faked an albino bunny and stole another teams' ones. Josee finishes his sentence about how they're finally back in the lead after 6 horrible finishes and he doesn't disagree with her at all, so it's clear he feels the same way. Like Josee in the previous episode, Jacques has made a deeply complex progression into his newfound villainhood, thinking it's fun and exciting because it's earned him 1st place. Cheating or unsportsmanship just won't register now as long as his team get first place. Jacques' more flamboyant and upbeat personality has clearly been intentionally dumbed down, as he describes the (H)Daters as "Maybe they're not as dumb as they look... maybe." He has a new more cynical approach to competition. Not cynical where he feels resentment. The kind of cynical where you have fun with resentment. It's a welcome change that adds more diversity to Jacques than there had been before.
And don't think this is just something I made up. His view of life in general has just changed. After him and Josee get first, he still isn't fully satisfied, jealous of her receiving foot rubs. He was also proud of having a so-called enemies list for the Best Friends, admitting that it's long. He knows for a fact that what his team are doing isn't okay but he doesn't really care. This development for Jacques was extraordinary and paced perfectly. Like I've said a few times now, compare a Jacques like this to the one in the first episode. The gradual way him and Josee change is unlike any character and Jacques captured this perfectly in this episode.
After leaving from her proud 1st place finish the previous leg, Josee finishes Jacques' sentence about their unsportmanslike behaviour with complete indifference with their actions; "Whatever" (<3). What follows is another really powerful and interesting line by her that would consistently follow for the rest of the season with not just her, but her team as a whole; her memory. After Jacques acknowledges their actions, Josee replies "After 6 horrible finishes, we're finally back in the lead!" It's such an oddly specific line. This pretty much means Josee was counting how many times her and Jacques weren't doing well, which means that now we know that losing isn't just something she hates, it's something she actually keeps track of. Even though we see this hilarious over the top horror from her team, the memory of losing sticks with her for a long period of time, pushing my viewpoint that this is why winning gives her & her team such an ego boost. And this is just a 3 second line! Oh and as a side note, the line "I can taste victory, and it is delicious. Mwahahahaha!" is another one of the hundred lines that gets me every time, and also pushes what I mean about how Josee's desires for winning fulfilling gives her a sudden really positive outlook.
Her positive outlook transcends to other teams too. As the Daters try to catch up to the Ice Dancers in reaching the train, Stephanie complains to what she calls 'ice nerds' that their 'frozen butts' are in her team's way. Now before I go any further, think of what the Josee in say, New Beijinging would say. She would probably say something along the lines of "Shut it! I'm trying to concentrate 😠😠😠!" This would of course come from her wanting to win being shattered. But here, she's had the confidence boost in finally getting 1st again, which is seen in her reply, where she owns Stephanie as Ryan would say that she "majors in the other cheek" after Stephanie points out frozen butts. Like every other ice dancer moment ever, I love this because it just makes me so proud. I've spent 14 episodes following this crazy woman who just wants to win and anyone else who does is a terrible person. But she's so deep and complex that I want her to succeed desperately. And after she finally does, it's already heartwarming enough, but then to see it cause her to have this completely epic pwnage of another team member just warms my ice cold heart.
The love of winning has pushed her self esteem as she causes Stephanie to scream "Wreeergh!😡". And then there was of course the line "The Haters would rather jump down to their possible deaths, then face us in a dance competition!😆" Her roasting for sure for shizzle shook me and Ryan.
My heart warmed further when Josee's team enter the dancing competition and win. Just looking at this from Josee's side, it really touched me. They perform this really aggressive routine to her team and she promptly replies "Yeah, ok. We got this😉" Then after they succeed she cheekily points out "Try it on skates sometime. Then it might actually be impressive. Come on, let's go be champiooons!" It lit up my life honestly. To her, she's been a notorious loser and is now making a dramatic comeback. And since we've seen her mindset, I experience this with her. Her tongue and cheek response to getting clapped isn't in any way unlikable for me because she's finally treated herself to victory. And her delivery of the word 'champiooons' indicates strongly that she's having so much fun with this newfound winning persona. It's as if it's a way to say "Let's show them how it's done!" Her mocking teams who got 2nd-4th is the icing on the cake, and once again isn't unlikable because to her, she finally feels enlightened.
Oh and it was also very funny timing after Carrie said her and Devin have a chance of winning only for it to immediately cut to Josee saying "Carrie and Devin have absolutely no chance of winning this". She needs to stop this slaying streak before she grills planet earth.
As mentioned in the two previous sections, the Ice Dancers gain some fascinating characterisations. They're unaffected by the possible repercussions of their actions as long as they win. Josee finishing Jacques' sentences also reminds the viewer of the unity that remains in them. It's relieving to know that not only are they doing a new dirty playing style of things, but they're in this together. They also still have the same funny comedy together, as they manage to get the first train and wave at Father & Son missing it, only for them to be distracted by whacking their faces off street posts.
The Ice Dancers pick jumping around over jumping down for the either/or and win the challenge easily of copying dancing moves due to their enhanced skill at the sport. And like I mentioned in Josee's section, this has notably brought out the best in them. As a team altogether on the other hand, it's greatly increased their functionality together. For the past few episodes, we've watched with them what's felt like them an all time low. They need to be the best and after achieving this twice in a row it was just lovely. This is even more effective than Down and Outback because this time they're not really doing any dirty tactics. They've just reignited what their good at at last. Their flamboyant and quirky personalities pull this effectiveness off spectacularly, as we watch them cheer expressively after Don announces them as winners the second time in a row.
It's just pretty awesome to see them finally achieve their goals and then just chillax on sunbeds as three teams arrive hours after them. It doesn't matter to me how bad of actions they've done in the previous episode or even overall because unlike the likes of, well, every other antagonist in the history of the show besides Justin, we see their mix of a positive and negative side. TDI Heather for example does bad actions but they make it clear she's a completely hypocritical and uptight person, clearly wanting you to root against her. But in this episode in particular the Ice Dancers have this easygoing approach after such a long time. They have no cares and no worries like they usually would. And it's clearly easy to notice that too because you already know so much about them. This episode did a great job of showing them as the fun kind of arrogant. Sort of like Lightning only more competent and act more humanlike than speaking in the first person. Though calling the Ice Dancers rootable is a topic due for lower down the line.
Thoughts: They may have won the challenge before the episode was even halfway over, but the Ice Dancers continued to deliver in the same lasting way with the viewer, this time seeing them have a much more casual outlook and approach. I enjoyed their more natural way of presenting their superiority complex. They acted more humanlike after all these confident boosts, especially winning 1st place two times in in a row again. It's equally as fun to watch the Ice Dancers enjoy being way ahead as much as it is seeing them try to overcome not being there. Their diversity and variation in role is splendid, fitting into any role really.
Jacques is once again off to a very interesting start. As mentioned in the previous episode, Josee isn't the only one who has this noticeably overly specific tracking of their placings, as Jacques does too, and this episode thankfully made that clear as soon as it could. As his team leave in first place for the second time, Jacques boasts in their interview that they have 2 wins in a row and 5 wins overall. Like Josee, getting 1st place means more than just delight for Jacques. Victory sticks with him because of how he was raised, as clarified earlier. He's sub consciously always been keeping track of how well his team have been doing.
In the botch or watch, it's Jacques turn to botch, as he rides a mechanical bull. He makes a confident smile to the camera at first only to face difficulty and have to hold on tight. He even screams after the ride has ended, showing his over reactive side back again, proving they still know plenty about his overall characterisation after giving him after giving him a new role
TAKE NOTES, NOAH There's not much to elaborate on in this moment other then it just being really funny based on timing and how long it lasts, similar to every other Ice dancer joke ever.
As the Ice Dancers crash into the Police Cadets, Josee yells "Eat our dust, wannabe coppers!". Her hate for the Police Cadets has filled up so much that she's now developed various nicknames for them at this point. She's also clearly still holding vengeance towards them for various things they've done that have frankly ticked her off.
After Jacques finally completes the botch or watch on the bull ride, Josee impatiently asks "Are you finished?" The pressure and stress of being surpassed by so many other teams has gotten to her, but her having won first twice in a row seems to not cause this to hurt her confidence as much. The whole reason she was mad in Hawaii was because she thought she was getting the highest placing only to get 3rd from unfortunate events. Here, she has nothing to expect in how useful her team does and also feels more in ease after her team's last two finishes. This again shows how events stick with her.
As the Ice Dancers depart from their first place lead a second time in a row, Don acknowledges them as "The King and Queen of Ridonculous Comebacks", meaning from the show's point of view, for all intents and purposes, the Ice Dancers are an ultimate comeback duo and the acknowledgement by the show that they're making a comeback thus strengthens this arc I've complimented a couple of times now of them gaining a winning edge.
After Jacques brags about their record of their amount of times won, he notes that not only are they back, but they're on fire. Josee chimes in that it's golden fire, and the competition is about to get burned, as they make sizzling noises to emphasise this. This is another fantastic moment, even though it's short lived. Not only has the Ice Dancers' confidence boosted, but it's also actually made them feel on top of the world. The emphasis is put on this by choosing to make them have sharper lines with words they use, like saying fire, golden fire, and sizzling. The delivery adds to this tremendously like every other ice dancer line, in order to show their casual yet fierce adamance.
On their way to reach their next stop, the Ice Dancers get overtaken by the Police Cadets. Thus they crash right into the Police Cadets with thirsty looks of determination on their face. The power has rushed to their head further, and have now switched to violent habits. We then end up with an amazing moment in which MacArthur takes revenge by crashing into their car and pushing both teams off a cliff. The way the moment was shot with the horrified look on their faces and the dramatic zoom in of MacArthur followed by the car falling off a cliff seems to be something that can only be explained in epic gif format
The Ice Dancers get slowed down by eating slimy beans and not being quick enough due to their disgust. A really interesting line happens, in which, even though they feel like getting sick, silver medals are still worse. So queenly and just once again shows their level of sheer dedication. They push themselves forward to complete this challenge simply by thinking "Hey, at least it's not the olympics". Just seeing them quake in their boots is a clear reference to the trauma they've been stuck with. The shakes on their faces is also priceless and the animation equates it magically too.
Thoughts: After having such glorious victorious episodes, it was the right decision to give the Ice Dancers a more middle of the road kind of approach. I don't know. Put them in any kind of situation and I'll do hundreds of thousands of bytes on them.
After Josee notices the Surfers as easy targets and brings up how there's only 7 teams left for her to crush with her mind, Jacques adds "Ding. Now serv-eeng, the Surf-ers" Jacques shows off his willingness in following up with what Josee's ideas are. However, the interesting contrast that appeals to me is that unlike Josee's ruthlessness, Jacques seems to more have fun with this new conniving approach they've went for. It's most likely because neither of them are really that experienced as antagonists, so they're just taking the whole thing at face value. Jacques makes this clear in this one casual line by himself and it was so suave which is what brought out the appeal.
Josee begins the episode lying to Owen that she 'read somewhere that 86% of small planes crash" pushing his fear of flying to hinder his endurance at it. Her reasoning for this is competitive spirit, that "When you're a professional ice dancer, you either learn how to play mind games, or you learn how to say 'I use to be an ice dancer'" Like every other episode ever of her, we learn that she's actually been known all this time to have a way with words, again probably trained through childhood, especially considering she uses her profession as the line. It also once again evokes humour and complexity, as it's not only a well functioning and interesting moment, but her casualty at fooling with people and her confidence in it is humorous and works based on her more out there personality. Owen also shrieks and strangles Noah, WHICH Josee causes.
Josee notices the Surfers are struggling, which pops an idea in her mind. It cuts to her interview saying "There are only 7 teams left for her to crush with "the power of my mind", referring to the Surfers. It's another amazing short moment because of the whole build in into it. Josee pans into shot with a nicely timed "Hmm...". She then gets this honestly slick line about the teams left to crush, bringing her mind into the mix, referring to it like it's its own separate being (<3). She hypes up her mind as a supreme force while feeling her brain. Truly resonating.
And like we've seen the past few episodes, Josee and Jacques both have a key observation towards numbers, this time with Josee. She points out how there's only "7 teams left to crush". Not only is it important in showing once again her assurance in winning, but this is the first line that combines her power-hunger, domination over others, and number obsession all rolled into one. The previous lines meant the Ice Dancers were keeping track of their placings from the beginning which is somewhat shocking though it still makes sense due to their reactions on low placings as it is. This line however is ultimate. It proves that Josee, and by extension, her team, have been keeping track of how many teams are left this entire time. It's not that she's obsessed with competition. She relishes in the ins and outs of it. It's huge for me and her "with the power of my mind" helps increase my involvement and excitement.
As the Ice Dancers approach Geoff to act out their plan, Josee notes in a lovably casually fake way "Oh heeeey are you two still here. I thought your partner was the weak link on your team. But maybe not". It's another completely new thing for Josee. This is her first time in strategically trying to manipulate people's views on things.
As Geoff struggles with the ring toss, Josee manages to finish and runs victoriously with Jacques, casually yelling back "Oh, hey, good luck. I hope you don't lose your best friend because you're so bad at this." Wow, what a line! Josee words this sentence in a way to get both Surfers distressed, as she knows both of them feel like weak links. So when she yells this, they're immediately going to think it's either of them and not their partner. It's also another funny moment due to her prancing around the place being this godlike demon who preys on the vulnerable, raising her hands high victoriously after ruining a friendship before snow mobiling away like a champ. And most importantly, she assures proudly that in the 'mind olympics (what a name)' she would definitely take the gold. Another fantastic line as it proves that she's still viewing all this as the olympics without really feeling like much things are of an everyday occurrence.
The Ice Dancers notice that the Surfers have caught up and as Jacques reminds the viewer about their seed of tension, Josee announces gleefully that now's the time to make it "Ka-bloom!" Her sheer passion in this line got me excited for what this whole kabloom thing is. Her voice actor really heightens up what would've just been a fairly okay line.
Josee hops over to Geoff and lies that Brody told Jacques that he thinks Geoff has been dragging him down. Geoff gasps, asking if its about a mistake Geoff made with a snow mobile. Josee answers "Very" and prances away. It's a short but spellbinding moment. Josee is committing an act of deception but she's prancing around like some sort of angel and it strangely works given how her team constantly try to present themselves to the cameras with their arms.
Unfortunately for Josee, all her plans backfire and the Surfers end up reconciling and beat all teams at the igloo making. Josee is completely shocked and yells out "I can't believe how badly that backfired! Rrrreeeerrr 😠" Now as I explained, defending Ice Dancers is saved for the end so I can't really defend against the claim made that she's a poor antagonist usually starting with this episode since its more suitable to say to the end so for now I'll just say the amazingness and brevity of it.
Josee spends the entire episode soaking up pulling off antagonistic moves for the first time and using "the power of her mind". The whole mind thing was awesome because it's clear she was just kind of thinking of some way to make herself look cool and went with that. She uses this for her first antagonist approach. She then makes the most functional and friendliest team currently left do a ~savage~ flip and be completely flummoxed on what's going on in their team. She hops around the place like a little bundle of joy and just feels like victory is upon her. She then unpredictably completely backfires and the Surfers end up getting along even better. She gets this huge ego boost only for it to have this sudden crash. It was deadly.
And theeen Josee gets 2nd place, and KILLS Chilly Billy, hammering in how huge of a force she was in this episode. It comes to a mighty mighty conclusion as she commits snowman murder in a hilariously sad moment, giggling as she walks away from her homicide. And after snatching my wig twice and decapitating me, she puts the head back together and be heads it again with her final line
As Jacques and Josee plan their assault on the Surfers, Josee hinting at going after them followed by Jacques bringing them up was another cool in-sync line for them to have. This continues in the scene after but in a more visual sense. After Josee taunts the Surfer Dudes after her and Jacques get a lead, she hops on their snow mobile as Jacques drives off. It's such a cool-timed moment. It was so slick as I witnessed her mess with their brains and then for Jacques to swiftly push them forward. It was strong and brought out more excitement from me due to this.
A really interesting moment happens with them after this, even though it's really really miniscule yet means so much. After going through such a carefree ride in this episode of feeling empowered in doing evil mind tricks for the first time, it's proven when it shows them impressed by the assumption that the Goths boomeranged the Daters when they see the Daters run back. It seems like just a lackluster line, but given the casualty and relaxed mannerisms by them, this moment was a huge step in showing this.
After the Ice Dancers only get 2nd place, as Josee walks over to Chilly Billy to force him to accept his fate, Jacques walks in sync with her. No matter what, these two are going to be responsible for bad actions together, no matter how nice. It's ruthless and lively.
'Thoughts: Although Josee carried her team entertainment wise in this episode, I still can say I loved all aspects of Jacques, Josee, and The Team in this episode. That said, man was she exceptional in this. But don't worry Jacques. Your time will come. Your time, will come.
After Josee has a screamed outburst that she'll destroy the Surfers, Jacques tries to calm her down, saying it was wrong for them to mess with the Surfers' minds because they have no minds to play with. This is a great moment because it illustrates that while Josee would calm her anger down by screaming her emotions out of herself, Jacques on the other hand takes a more ego boosting approach. In the past he would've just been crying or something about their low placing but by now he's managed to learn how to adapt to it, thinking to himself that his team are superior to the Surfers anyways so there's nothing to be hung up about. This would be different if it was say, the Police Cadets. It also is a great way of showing how he's able to calm Josee down in his soft spoken manner, which I always welcome because it shows how much he wants to keep her rationalised.
The All-In challenge involves packaging komodo dragon venom in its own tiny bottle. They're extremely volatile so it's difficult. Jacques is hinted by Josee to do the challenge by himself, most likely due to him being physically stronger than her. He tries running for the venom only to trip over some left. He's face to face with the komodo, narrowly avoiding death thanks to the Goths. The great thing about this moment is that right when Josee hints Jacques to perform the challenge, he does it without hesitation. He doesn't think about the danger he's in because he's trying things out for his team straight away and being selfless about it, which is again commendable for one of the two main villains.
Jacques later attempts retrieving venom once more, speaking to himself that he can handle a venomous reptile, on account of skating with Josee for years. It's crazy the amount of times an ice dancer delivers just one single moment that says so much. This implies Jacques has worked with a volatile person so long he's developed being able to withstand any pressure of it. It's used for comedic purposes like it should be, but for more acute viewers you once again learn a lot more about Jacques just in one single line.
Josee starts another episode loud and hilarious. As we watch the Surfer Dudes take the Ice Dancers' harshness as a blessing and make a carving for them of a swan as a present, it immediately cuts to Josee screaming in her interview "I WILL DESTROY THEM!" A pretty hilarious moment, especially given the evolution of Josee's character throughout the season. She began as being very poised and gracious about everything, with some minor altercations making her do some minor outbursts but now? The old Josee wouldn't act like this. But the pressure of things have pushed her to extremities more and more. And failing to eliminate the Surfers for an entire episode with her hopes being up only to fail and for them to also win? Yeah, if I had her background and her perfect evolution as a character I'd probably scream to destroy someone too. The timing is also once again hilarious, having the Surfers be all happy or whatever but then cut to Josee screaming while Jacques is smiling to ease the things. Comedy gold stuff while still evolving a character fantastically.
Her gradual breakdown continues to be for my eyes to dazzle in towards the end of the episode. After failing even harder at eliminating the Goths than they did Surfers, they also end up getting 2nd place to the team they targeted once again. And because Josee has gotten 2nd twice in a row, along with losing to a team she was actually trying to get rid of too, her anger is heightened double. She hilariously explodes that "This race is fixed!" before angrily waving a carpet used for the challenge as a weapon of some kind, accidentally injuring Jacques. Another one of Josee's really funny moments, using her character and her situations in order to make it as expressive and heated of a joke as possible. She goes through the failure of eliminating the Goths, then her team gets 2nd place to them and knowing Josee she just loses it hilariously, screaming "Aaah! Aaah! Aaah!" It then cuts to her team's final interview, in which Josee gains the face of some kind of predator, screaming "I can't believe those pasty faced freaks took gold! Oh I'll bet they're just loving it!"! I love wheh she looks like she's ready to kill someone. And who uses a carpet as a weapon 😂 Only you, Josee. Only you.
As the teams try to enter the last plane remaining to depart, as Narwals burst all the other ones as vengeance for rings being thrown on them, the Ice Dancers just don't really care, being more upset about how they 'got silver' but are 'stuck on a plane with losers.' But once a Narwals nearly bursts them too, they quickly surrender and sprint onto the plane. This is another great scene. Not just because it's flamboyant and funny but it gives us another one of the hundreds of character traits of the Ice Dancers. See, this time they were faced with a life threatening situation that would easily be solved just by running on a plane around 10 feet away. But the shame of not getting 1st has been a trait of them since their childhood, as already proven, so they simply make frowny faces since they're being stuck with people they consider losers. It doesn't sink in how their lives are in complete danger. It's clear competitiveness and pressure has overcome their sense of self-life saving, caring more about reputation at this point. It's so dark but this 18 Episode journey makes it understandable at this point.
As teams race to the Don Box from their planes, the Ice Dancers drive the cargo vans from the plane to take a lead. As Josee chants "Bye bye, see you at the finish line", the plane swiftly turns around in their direction like lightning, terrifying them and making them scream. This was a Top 5 moment of this team if I'm honest, at least humour-wise anyways. There's the expectation that the Ice Dancers are going to be way ahead of the other teams as Josee makes ahead of victorious pose, but then the sudden near death they have spontaneously out of nowhere. The timing is perfect from the way it catches the viewer off guard to have no other choice to laugh since a quick moment like that is going to be focused on by you.
After several failed attempts at getting komodo venom, the Ice Dancers reluctantly decide to focus on taking out the Goths instead, as they are in the lead. Thus the Ice Dancers try to sabotage the Goths mindsets into thinking that Loki must be terrified of the komodo dragons, who can easily gobble them up. But rather than being fooled, the Goths instead try spiritual connection with Loki for a different plan. The Ice Dancers mock this in their interview that there's no way Goths can win now. But once Loki's plan does work and he distracts a komodo for it to drool in a bucket, the Goths actually end up doing much better than they would have. Interestingly, as their plan fails for the second time, they don't really seem to mind anymore, thinking of failing to eliminate a team is natural because they still haven't done it. It's not like 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place finishes at the end of most episodes, where they need to maintain a high reputation. They haven't yet been able to eliminate a team and thus there's no reason to feel like any pride has been shattered. It's a more grounded and rational perspective of them that I really welcomed when I watched this.
Although the Ice Dancers' plan failed, they still manage to get their venom from the Goths bucket, knocking it over so no other team manages to get it. At this point that's just plain spite, since they know they're way ahead of 6 other teams. But since they're rookie villains it makes sense for them to try all this random and out of control stuff impulsively. It's a great way of making you understand why a villain would be irresponsible and not think straight. I'm looking at you, Mal!
Nevertheless the Ice Dancers still lose to the Goths and have now gained anger towards them. The really great thing about this is that it took 18 episodes for Ice Dancers to even make enemies with nearly all the Final 7. The format of RR matches them perfectly because it's fast paced, but also because it lets them get new important interactions, even much later into the season. It's not like Heather, who'd be on an island living with people so almost everyone would've had an opinion on her. The Ice Dancers may have interacted with Goths before but it's perfectly fine to flesh it out this late because the Ice Dancers have already done hundreds of other things beforehand. This is a great reminder of Josee's line in the episode before "There are only 7 teams left to crush, with the power of my mind". All that would be left now is the Sisters, which is ok because of what happens with them and the Ice Dancers later.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers were on top form again. Sure they were poor antagonists again but that adds to the appeal of their huge complexities. Their humour has also become much more clever with timing and the build up to their jokes. This is my least favourite RR episode but it's comforting to know it didn't stop this team from maintaining their golden status.
As the Ice Dancers choose to perform magic tricks as part of the either/or, Jacques wears a flashy assistant dress he likes, having a high opinion of himself, as he prances out of the changing room. This is a great small moment because it shows Jacques' self-loving shining through, which is notable since when we first met him he was so vulnerable about how he did at the olympics. So this two second moment allows you to get even more of an enjoyment of him.
Jacques has no problem being the assistant for the magic trick because when his team perform he's always the magician. Although Josee is confused he points out that he lifts her, carries her and twirls her around, mocking that all she needs to do is smile and not fall down. It's another really interesting moment, showing off how Jacques has actually always thought of himself as the real hard-worker of his team all along. It displays a thought process of Jacques' view on how he goes about his work that we haven't seen before. And he's speaking rationally too. It also shows off a cynical approach by him that is quite relatable. If you thought you were doing so much work, you may also have some open negativity about who you're doing it towards. It's surprisingly specific but works really well in showing off Jacques' thought process while still allowing some viewers to possibly relate.
After numerous attempts of Jacques and his team failing at a magic trick involving making Jacques face to face with a lion, instead resulting in Jacques being close to death, he's eventually asked what's with him. As his leg is being chewed on, he remarks that he can't help it because he's irresistible, victoriously sniffing his armpits. It's another hilarious yet fantastic moment from Jacques. Here he is close to death yet is still admiring and presenting adulation towards himself, using his looks as an excuse for any pain he is in. If you ask me, it's pretty respectable of a person to sniff their armpits in the middle of being in pain like a true champ. Rotney could never
The Ice Dancers end up finishing second last but Jacques looks on the bright side that they at least weren't last and that he got to keep the assistant's outfit. This is great character progression. Before, Jacques would be crying hysterically at even 4th place. But with the lowered amount of teams and with the amount of times he's there, unlike Josee he's grown positively as a person, not thinking 6th is a terrible placing anymore. It's respectful to say the least.
The Goths' interview in their taxi as frontrunners from the last round is interrupted by Josee crashing into their taxi with flaring eyes. This is a great way to start the viewer off for the bang she'll bring in this episode. The embarrassment of losing to yet another team she tried to eliminate has overpowered her sense of reality. It's intense but keeps you enthralled.
The next moment was an iconic one. The brink of the pressure of failure has pushed Josee to breaking point, thinking that losing to a team she hates is worse than not getting 1st, now suspecting the Goths more. This is a great callback to Lord of the Ring Toss, wherein both Ice Dancers were actually impressed by how the Goths were doing. But now she's onto them. They really do enjoy making her do callbacks. Josee decides to take the goths down with garlic and a wooden stake, hilariously not being able to tell the difference between goths and vampires, which is a hilarious mockery of modern-day culture, what with the garlic and stake, as if she's some kind of Super-Christian. Her violent temper has become outright animal-like, hissing like a volatile cat to get her point across against the Goths.
As Josee gets puzzled by Jacques opinion that he's the real magician in their act with a simple "Wow", and she "hopes" the trick goes right because she'd hate to watch him be EATEN BY A LION! It's an enamouring moment, showing off Josee's interest in being at the top causing her to bottle her emotions until she explodes vicariously. It's animated with so much charisma and her psyche is marvellous and hilarious. It's also a great way to show her skill at dominance against those whom challenge her beliefs, in this case Jacques as vengeance for mocking her.
After her team fails the first attempt and Jacques is close to death, Josee instead waits for the judge to approve or dissaprove before she reacts. The pressure of essentialy 19 episode olympics has made Josee no longer recognise the difference between competition and moral thinking. This is also evident when she groans in her interview that the worst part is they have to wait for other teams to try before they can perform. Josee has went through a natural progression into releasing symptoms of disorders such as mania, psychopathy, and OCD. Even Jacques was shook beyond belief. Josee has lost any control of herself whatsoever, laughing in the face of what she perceives to be animal death once Loki jumps into the mouth of a lion. After failing multiple times, Jacques begs Josee they switch either/ors. As Josee has developed into a raging volatile being who's lost the will to have self-control, she does her signature loud growl. Once her team get 6th place, she's annoyed the Goths have taken first again, even wishing she could've used her stake to strike the Goths, having urges for harm towards others over really... nothing. It's clear the approach they were going for with her in this episode and I was so self-involved.
After many attempts at failing to perfect their magic trick, the Ice Dancers reluctantly switch to dune buggies. This was so powerful but also hilarious, just like most of their moments. For the first time ever, the Ice Dancers have had to surrender. And their delightful smiles with victorious music while clearly being angry was an amazing animation edit. I laughed hard when I saw it. Because the music was clearly completely unfitting and just didn't match what was going on at all. The Ice Dancers were forcing to smile too after pretty much sacrificing their entire pride from their point of view. It's highly intriguing and highly hilarious.
In their new either/or challenge involving dune buggies, Josee makes it clear that Jacques control her buggy while she grabs the flags needed to proceed. She then has an interview while driving that grabbing flags is the most important part, not letting "Leggy McLion Food" do it. Meanwhile Jacques is quite surprised Josee is letting him be on top, considering his viewpoint that she enjoys looking down on people. This was a terrific contrast. The time in the competition has strained Jacques and Josee's relationship with each other. Josee has no care about the danger Jacques had been in with the lion and doesn't trust him with important work, and Jacques has a pessimistic view on her that she likes to patronize others. And both are pretty valid in being critical and insulting people. Because Jacques HAS screwed up and Josee HAS been selfish and patronizing. Powerful writing there.
Thoughts: It was a tremendous episode for the Ice Dancers. They have both grown hugely since the first episode. Jacques has become more mature and Josee's mind has warped and has now gained symptoms of various disorders while still being such a feisty and highly enjoyable character ~cough~MIKE~cough~ Their new conflict with the Goths has been just as delivering as their interactions with other teams. They were also HIGHLY rib-tickling hilarious.
As the Ice Dancers plan their sabotage against the Goths, Jacques attempts hilariously awkward small talk with them, asking if they like stuff, causing them to not really think so and call it mainstream. Jacques then blurts out "haha, haha hahaha. O. Gee-whiz, you're funn-y. Any-body ev-ar tell you that?" Swiftly replied with a "No." Jacques pretends to then trip and fall onto Ennui. This entire scene is perfect. Get the most charismatic and upbeat contestant of the season try be overtly friendly to the two least expressive contestants, all in an attempt of treachery, all resulting in Jacques successfully eliminating a team for the first time and having the Goths descend into panic. Jacques' really high-energy voice combined with the Goths having a voice that doesn't care was such a funny combination I remember so well from this episode and made for a delightful exchange, and I can't do that moment justice enough without you watching it.
As her team takes their travel tip, Josee mentions in their interview that there's no more of them underestimating their competition, remarking that the "gothic vampires" got lucky in Vegas. It's an excellent subtext use of showing how much more hard-shelled Josee has now become. She's not acting like she's high above everyone else anymore. I mean she wants to, but the Goths are stopping her from this. And the fact that they're the second team to win twice in a row against her despite all her plans still pushes her. There's also a nice callback to her still thinking they're vampires that is worth mentioning.
The Ice Dancers display their anger with the Goths. As Josee calls them lucky, Jacques adds that he hates them so much, causing her to swiftly reply he's interrupting, making him bite back "So I'm just supp-osed to stand 'ere and-be the prett-y one?" Josee argues back he support the pretty one, referring to herself. This is a pretty funny conversation. Both discuss their disdain with the Goths but then it just ends up with them arguing about which of them is prettier. Their combined egos make this moment enjoyable.
After the Ice Dancers manage to steal Loki from the Goths, they try out the next challenge, which involves one team member eats a hot member while the second dives. Jacques takes the former and Josee takes the latter. It is here we get another great scene. Although the Ice Dancers have committed manipulation and theft, we still get to see Josee gracefully dive into the water upon Jacques experiencing intense pain (lol), followed by Jacques clapping that she's perfection. It's a nice complementary scene to the beginning where they made digs at each other. They still have a gracious bond no matter what toxicity they've experienced and/or caused.
Although the Ice Dancers get a lead including Josee's epic line "Giddy up, fleabag!" they get slowed down by Loki scaring their burros they were riding to the chill zone away. Sanders arrives to the chill zone first but without a slowed down MacArthur. The Ice Dancers do however get karma for their theft, getting a 10 minute penalty and getting pushed to second place. They still eliminate the Goths however, with Loki staring them down and hinting they'll pay. The Goths hoping they'll get what they deserve and more is an awesome way to end the episode and get the viewer excited.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers finally eliminated a team after much perserverance. I admired their grace, poise and humour, ultimately ending in them finally reaching their goal. I did miss their really funny interaction with the Goths after this though :(
Jacques doesn't seem at all unhappy that his team got 2nd place, being more optimistic about the Goths being eliminated, taking credit for it. Unlike Josee's scornful attitude, Jacques is more suave about being a lovable hell-demon.
The superteam challenge involves 3 teams trying to catch catfish. Jacques is terrified about the prospect of this, not being able to stand fish because of how slimy and stinky they are, showing how much of a clean freak he really is. He even thinks worse than when he put his hand in a bullet ants' nest, comparing it to giving his grandma a foot rub. And this flaw and slowing down of Jacques that makes him fairly useless in the challenge only strengthens him much later in the episode. It was truly epic what came next.
After his superteam known as the Axis of Evil fail in their plan of sabotaging their opponent superteam and in fact fall behind, Jacques suddenly saves the day by spotting a branded catfish with a ridonculous race logo. If this was caught the superteam could advance right to the chill zone. And through being grossed out and super clean, Jacques suddenly saves the day. As he waves his hand calling for someone to catch this branded catfish, his waving with his glove that looks like bait attracts the catfish. He yelps it be taken off and manages to fling it in the air and catch it for his team! This was so remarkable. Jacques spends the episode being all creeped out by fish yet here he is securing his superteam the win with his waving bait at the catfish. And the best part? He doesn't take any credit! He's too busy looking all disgusted about the catfish. It was in fact a heroic moment that made him more multi-dimensional, as he saved 5 people from a high risk of leaving the race. The true main protagonist of RR. Police Cadets who?
Although Josee isn't happy about her team getting 2nd place the previous episode, she is happy about eliminating the Goths upon Jacques mentioning it, laughing that it's like they won a gold medal in treachery. The viewer is reminded that Josee relates everything to gold and competition, even including the most negative things like sabotage. This is her most well known way of relating pleasure in something. To her, gold is just another synonym of happiness. Josee's hunger for gold is also seen outweighing her hatred with working with the Police Cadets. As she says, she'll do anything to get it, even if it means helping her sworn enemies.
Josee fights with Jacques over the catfish noodling for him to help them, arguing "for the love of gold, this is just fish." She then screams "And take off those gloves! It's a pretty hilarious exchange based on delivery. Instead of saying for the love of god she replaces it with gold as if gold is her true divine saviour lmao. And then her "And take off those gloves! is a hefty and powerful finisher. Her voice creaks in her delivery which makes her all the more impactful.
The Ice Dancers, Cadets, and Daters work together. And as you'd probably expect, Josee and MacArthur fight instead of working on the challenge, such as Josee insulting MacArthur's face, personality and odor, and later MacArthur giving Josee a "fish slap!" using a fish Sanders earned. It's also as funny and charming as you might expect. After a good 4 episodes of no one-on-one interaction between them, Josee and MacArthur are back to their quick-witted ways, and it's cool to gaze my eyes on.
MacArthur and Josee descend into fighting and it takes Sanders to calm it down, showing how the opposing superteam are working together. As Josee witnesses this, she hesitates the words "They are, co...op-er-ating!" yelping that she "wasn't born with that gene." It was another remarkably interesting and funny moment. A natural likable thing for a person to do is seen as a gene by Josee, and just by me saying those words it already sounds hilarious. And it came right after her struggling to even say the words co-operation. The attention to detail was magnificent with her stuttering and calling a nice thing genetic (lol)
After reluctantly agreeing to Sanders asking them to work together, and after hearing Sanders wonder about what their strategy should be against the other team, Josee epic-ally comes up with her own idea, pointing to a crocodile and hinting to MacArthur "Sabotage, anyone?" as they evilly laugh together. They convince a visually impaired Devin to think a crocodile is a mega catfish, hinting that whoever could catch it would be an impressive man, thus slowing down the other superteam. This was awesome. After watching these two hate everything about the others' guts, they've been forced into working together. And they actually have a blast and succeed in their plans of having the crocodile eat the other superteams catchfish. All goes okay... well until the other team catch all the catfish anyways. (lol)
After her and MacArthur's plan fails, Josee growls "I co, op-er-ated, for nothing??!" That one line is hilarious all on its own. Even while mad and full of oomph, Josee is putting a lot of struggle in saying the word co-operation. You know she wants to get her point across but this word just doesn't come naturally to her, making it endearing and hilarious.
And in the end, once their superteam does advance right to the chill zone thanks to Jacques, the Axis of Evil tries forming an alliance, making Josee and MacArthur shake on it but still growl like engrossing foes. Pretty rad.
Although Josee is in no way thrilled in getting 2nd place, Jacques chimes in that he at least got a team eliminated, to which she swiftly replies "That's true. We did." It's a pretty cool way to start things off with them. They feel enlightenment in having the Goths eliminated yet are still subtly trying to take proper credit for it. I just love their interaction and this moment is a great example of it. Even while feeling happy, they'd still argue over credit based on an achievement. It just makes me ponder about how they'd be like whenever they'd win actual gold at something. Would they fight over credit there too? It's a small moment yet makes a ginormous impact, similar to most of their moments. Even their body language in the gif below gets you excited.
Thoughts: In this episode the Ice Dancers had a more casual approach, which is a nice balance to their last four episodes of just plain sabotage and spite. This time they were rootable and hilarious as individuals and as a team; the side of them just as fantastic to watch as their antagonistic side. Only one-third of the teams being left has worked really well in their favour and thus makes their perfection as characters stick out more to me.
The all-in challenge involves one team member being carried on a strap downwards by their other team member down to an underground cavern. Jacques thinks rationally in having Josee go to the bottom of the cavern while he holds her. As you see by his delivery in a more reserved yet elaborate way, if Jacques actually gets a chance to think about something, he can be quite smart in situations. He also has lovable care towards Josee, thinking humanely and recognizing the needs she has as per usual, which I'll get to later. His quick thinking and empathy is also evident when he quickly thinks of asking Josee to imagine doing something she loves. Ultimately, Jacques words of encouragement push Josee to succeed at cheating. He still retains being a fun and humorous character however, by rushing to the aid of his bathing suit after the Best Friends and Daters crash into it, while Josee plummets to possible death. He was balanced, but this episode proves he also works at being heroic and a good role model in encouraging people to achieve what they want to, in this case cheating xD
As Josee and her superteam board the plane, it turns out that the second flight doesn't leave for another 8 hours. Josee laughs that if the other teams miss that first flight, they're toast for sure. The pilot speaks too slow however before the doors can close, causing Josee to scream he close the doors already, screeching loudly, especially in the already part. She breathes a sigh of relief only for the Best Friends and Sisters to catch up and get on the plane, making Josee shudder loudly and angrily. The hilarious timing of the whole scene and its appeal can really only be summed up in gif format.
Although Josee has allied her team with the Cadets, she can't help but resist to shove MacArthur over and try to make it look like an accident, and later takes out a screw from the Cadets' ice yacht to slow them down, using the reasoning that they're riding her team's coattails too much, believing a push into last place is necessary. After bonds being formed, she just can't help but gravitate against her worst enemies. She's back to form once again conflict-wise and her clashing with MacArthur has restarted as fiery as ever.
After Emma and Kitty insult the Ice Dancers and their moves with Kitty arguing that nobody cares that they're ice dancers, Josee makes sure Kitty will never get out of that hole. This will be important later.
Josee reluctantly decides to go down to the cavern through Jacques' influence despite her claustrophobia As you might expect she screams over and over again for Jacques to pull her up. This is especially hilarious since Josee herself acts like a naturally born winner yet here she is acting like a helpless screechy woman feeling like she's about to reach untimely death. It's hilariously quick timed and still gets a giggle out of me. And this hilarious phase Josee goes through makes her punching Kitty's flashlight and stealing her tennis ball feel all the more rewarding, at least after you've seen her point of view anyways. I mean from her perspective, Kitty and Emma insulted what her and Jacques do as their living. And Josee suffers claustrophobia, is encouraged to face her fears and completely pwns Kitty and turns the tables. Aftr Kitty yells that it's not fair, Josee makes an amazing callback to what Kitty said earlier, using her own words against her by calling back "News flash, no one cares!" It was too hot to handle as per usual with Josee lines. Twisting what Kitty's said to make her feel powerless was so spicy and I was enamoured. Queen of being a dirty cheater everyone hates<3
The Ice Dancers bond at the beginning of the episode in how if they get a chance to eliminate the Sisters or Best Friends they'll take it, but if they get a chance to eliminate the Cadets they'll make it look like an accident, laughing maniacally together. It's cool to see them act all deranged and stuff.
Josee feels relieved in getting ahead of all the other teams by getting on the first flight, only for her hopes to be dashed momentarily. Jacques tries out teasing her over the announcer's slow voice and her sudden punch in his face is hilarious, as was the icing on the cake of Jacques simply replying "Oow-hoo", with a low volume voice as it zooms out to the plane. Again, the appeal of this moment can really only resonate visually.
After Josee shoves MacArthur and thinks a push into last place will help, Jacques giggles that he loves it when she talks evil. These two close performers are still bonding over being over-zealous and despicable people and I applaud them for being so open about who they are. "I love it when you talk evil" is still a line that immediately resonates.
The next moment was heartwarming however. After the Ice Dancers have caught up to the Sisters, they need to figure out who does the all-in challenge. Despite us seeing the Ice Dancers sabotage the Cadets and generally be negative forces, the next scene was about the Ice Dancers trying the external struggle of who should be strapped down into an underground cavern who should hold the strap. And rather than simply being a humorous moment of them just arguing, it instead truly warmed my frozen ice dancing heart. Jacques believes Josee should put the strap on even when she argues her claustrophobia but he reminds her that if he went down and she held him she'd never be able to carry him back up, as the cranking of lifting someone up and down requires upper body strength. She tries to speak again but he finishes her words by promising to pull her back up. And it was just so golden.
^^For both of the Ice Dancers this one small moment highly increases the appeal of them. In Josee's case, she's spent so much time in the season being merciless and narcissistic towards orders, prone to barking insults or even violence when provoked enough. She felt like a supreme character, taking no prisoners and if things didn't go her way she'd make it known. But here she is in a vulnerable position, feeling weak about the idea of claustrophobia. She may have hilarious outbursts later in the episode, but before that we're told that her fears are not just some laughing matter. She actually has genuine worry about herslef in small place evident here, a humanlike way of reacting to the prospect of having to go into the cavern.
In Jacques' cause, we see him forget all about competition and more about Josee's well being, making sure that even though she has no choice but to go down the cavern, he'll certainly be there for her and will pull her up if she ever wants to. His words sound sincere and down to earth, with his accent making it all the more gratifying as a result. There's no humor at all here from a comic relief like him. He just wants to care about Josee, her fears, and insecurities. He is a very impressive young man who I'm very pleased with as he'd slow down a challenge just so his partner can catch air. Selfless yet soul-filling.
And once the Daters and Best Friends catch up, Jacques encourages Josee to do something she loves, inspiring her to cheat and make the Sisters be her team's final enemies claimed, punching Kitty's flashlight and stealing her tennis ball like a true champ. It filled me with awe to see Jacques' encouragement thus push Josee to cheat, as they take control and absorb hatred together. They then rightfully win first place after a 30 minute penalty. A somewhat deserved win after them going through such emotional struggles and facing it head on. I love you two.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers had a bit of everything in this episode. They had the funny side, the villainous side, Josee's aggressive side, Jacques' flamboyantly aggressive side, and best of all they were in another heartwarming moment, which appeals so much since it's not too common for them to have those. And they do it really delivers. Ugh so happy they won in this episode.
After helping Josee cheat against the Sisters and be a fun backup who scorns teams who accuse him of cheating, she orders him to separate their train carriages so they're way ahead of all the other teams. As he hilariously struggles with separating the attachment to the carriages, it takes Josee reminding him for him to notice the lever to separate the carriages. He feels accomplished after moaning that he will give himself a hemorrhoid.
After the Ice Dancers try allying with the Cadets again but go too far with making jokes about Sanders incident with breaking her arm, they get stared down. Josee then has probably my favourite line ever in the history of the show in her team's interview, arguing that a broken arm is no excuse for failure, talking about injuries she faced in the middle of a performance yet won anyway. The casual yet controlled delivery she does makes this line all the more hilarious. The dialogue from her is so natural.
After the Cadets reject her team's proposal of going against the Sisters, Josee's team take it into their own hands to strike them, but are quickly found out. But Josee swiftly lies that are her and Jacques are actually just trying to cheat with them, lying further they're actually targeting the Daters, only to steal the Sisters leaves when they're not looking. After Jacques compliments her, she acknowledges how good she is, with the refined response "Sometimes I even impress myself". Ow that was too hot.
After allying with the Police Cadets against the Sisters fails, the Ice Dancers take matters into their own hands, distracting the Sisters to steal their leaves. The amazing thing here is that they followed what started the Ice Dancers' conflict with the Police Cadets the same way they've started the Sisters. Like the Cadets, the Sisters have said or done somewhat harsh things or words towards the Ice Dancers that really affects them, in this case insulting their profession. That was the point of the "News flash; no one cares" line. Now they feel vengeful against the Sisters, similar to the Cadets. It's not like Gwen and Heather where they just have a regular conflict that just gets gradually more severe. The conflict between the Ice Dancers and Sisters, and notably Police Cadets too, is one of a domino effect that was excellently written. Really impressive for something that happens 22 episodes into the season, huh? Emma's line "They tricked us by pretending they weren't tricking us" tells me so much about their lovable psychosis.
Against Don's best wishes, the Ice Dancers pass way ahead of the other teams in first place after they steal the Sisters' leaves, advancing to getting on the first train carriage while the others are behind. They immediately take issue with this, as the other teams could just run onto their carriage and cut their lead. But with Josee's plan of simply cutting the carriages and ordering Jacques, they manage to get very far ahead once he separates with a lever.
The Ice Dancers believe they're heading right for first place and it's all cheers for them... right until they get a 60 minute penalty for separating their trains. This highly infuriates them, with Josee wondering what Don has against them, imagining how he may think their team is too talented, attractive, or all of the above. This line suggests the Ice Dancers recognize how good looking or attractive they both are, which is pretty cute of them even though they're clearly frowning. I also still love their heightened confidence, not realizing how wrong they're acting at all.
Due to their penalty, the Ice Dancers fall right into second last against the Daters and just narrowly survive. The tension in this moment is pretty involving to me. RR's format works well with this, as we have three teams have their own individual finish, making the atmosphere simmer as the Ice Dancers are heading dangerously close to elimination. No question about it, they were awesome in this episode.
Thoughts: The Ice Dancers were hilarious iconic villains who performed vapid and quick-witted mind tricks on other teams and their cheating still pays off and they survive, which is pretty unique. They were probably the best team in this episode; though probably not a surprising thing for me to say. The challenge of just waiting on a train would've been pretty mundane, but them separating the trains made the teams have to go through a lot more obstacles, making it much more thrilling and exciting, completely thanks to them. The challenge would've sucked without this dirty cheating. We're nearing the end and they're just getting better and better as we go.
Before I start this particular episode, I need to make something very clear. Similar to my My Way or Zimbabwe analysis, the sections for this episode will not be the usual that I've done for a majority of the rest of the season. Instead, there will be a Josee section and a Jacques & The Team The reason for this is that Jacques' particular purpose in the episode mostly relates to just his team. And you'll see why when I reach him. Not that this diminishes my enjoyment of him though. It actually just increases it (oops spoiler ;) ). This is gonna be a BIG one.
Josee starts her episode off in a pretty chucklesome way by screaming in her taxi that if another team get an earlier flight she'll do something bad... VERY BAD, it turning out she was hinting about crushing planes with her mind. I always welcome her having no rationality and being completely unhinged as a human being. Her screaming that she'll do something bad, followed by emphasizing her "VERY BAD" makes it sweep me even more. This comical moment is balanced by Josee cheering from Jacques' actions later in the episode, cheering that he's her hero and everyone else's. A really adorable moment, and one worth mentioning later in this.
Jacques & The Team
After Josee screams while racing other teams in her taxi that if any of them get an earlier flight she'll do something very bad, Jacques intuitively suspects she's referring to crushing planes with her mind, which he turns out to be right on. He's so in-sync with his teammate that he can even sometimes sense what violent acts Josee might commit, despite how unpredictable she clearly is. Pretty considerate.
After the Ice Dancers race to the airport with the Cadets and get stuck in a line, the Sisters sabotage them into going to the back of the plane near the toilets for 24 hours straight, filling the Ice Dancers with vengeance. This will be very important later.
Before the Ice Dancers can unleash their lovably revenge-filled and demonic force, the next all-in challenge gets them happy, wherein teams try a traditional tango in front of a judge and can proceed to the next challenge if approved. The ice dancers are confident about how they'll do and end up acing it much to the judges' amusement and disamusement. Ok, this really was warm to watch.
The Ice Dancers have, for the last 24 episodes, been a team that has strictly been very up or down in their attitude towards the race. We've seen them achieve the heights of winning first 7 times already. We've seen their really interpersonal connection to each other. But we've also seen them struggle in confidence whenever they'd get a lower placing. We've seen them act unorthodox, provoked from them believing they've been made a fool out of.
But now?? Right on screen the two of them are making it known that in spite of anything that happened to them, they are at the end of the day, performers. Ice Dancers, or Dancers for short, who can make flamboyant and theatrical moves look as epic as possible. The other 3 teams may have been displeased but I sure wasn't. I was in awe as these two won a challenge quicker than almost all other ones, only being on par with Maori or Less, a great example of what I'm talking about here. But that episode was much earlier and this episode is much later. Thus it impacts me more as does the ballroom music to coincide with their honestly alluring moves.
The Ice Dancers reach the botch or watch next, wherein one team member rides on horseback and use a boleadora, a rope with weights attached, to tie up their team's respective emu that has their teams picture on it, before bringing the emu to the chill zone.
Before Jacques proceeds to try his botch or watch out, he sabotages the Sisters as vengenace for putting his team at the back of the plane next to the toilets, spilling vegetable oil all over their emu, making it near impossible for them to catch it. This moment was iconic. A common misconception about this team is that Josee is the much more evil member of the team who is responsible for their dysfunctionality. And I just could not disagree more. Jacques is arguably equally as unhinged as Josee is. He just hides it better and therefore comes across more rational. And this moment is a perfect example. It is Jacques and Jacques alone that is responsible for sabotaging the Sisters. His self-assured and patronizing delivery of "Oooops. I acci-dentally got vegetable-oyal all-over the Seester's em-u. I hooope that-doesn't make-the race hard-er for-them" that just really took me. He's contained this clear diabolical mindset very well and has now released it.
But suddenly... a plot twist. While laughing at his achievement against the Sisters, Jacques... slips! Thus, Jacques repeatedly fails at catching his boleadora despite being far ahead of the other teams. Oh, the horror!
The Sisters eventually discover that the Ice Dancers have oiled their emu, slowing them down a lot. The Ice Dancers make the reasoning that the Sisters did put them at the back of the plane, justifying their actions. But the Sisters argue back that it was karma for the Ice Dancers' actions against them. This conflict is just epic. I'm not really the biggest fans of the Sisters but this was probably my favorite storyline of theirs I actually liked. It's not just an interaction with the Ice Dancers. It's become this really enamouring revenge match, flying back and forth for the past few episodes now, and that's an easy way to see the appeal.
It is imperative to read the next paragraph.
Jacques tries to reel the emu in on horseback but the leftover vegetable oil on his polyester suit he fell on absorbs the oil and he gets roped in instead of the emu. He tries scraping it off but to no avail. His actions against the Sisters backfired on him and he has no choice but to rub the oil all over his hair as there's nowhere else it can really go. He thus announces with damage in his voice that his hands are dry. Josee can't believe what he's done but he shushes by saying "I-don't want to talk about eet". After his sacrifice, Jacques successfully flings his boleadora at the emu's legs. Josee rushes to him and screams proudly "You're my hero! You're everyone's hero!" After his team's achievement, they race against the Police Cadets to the chillzone in a dramatic finish and the Ice Dancers win for the 8th and final time.
...Ok, so A LOT to go over here. It's time I reveal that this entire paragraph sums up probably my favourite part of the entire series. For like, so many reasons. I'll start from the top. Jacques tried out being a villainous mastermind and although it worked and slowed the Sisters down, he's had to pay his consequences and needs to come up with a solution. Good villains get the job done. Great villains get the job done AND overcome themselves. Through rigorous attempts, Jacques just can't get rid of the oil. And there's only one thing he can do. Sacrifice one of the most reliable aspects of him; his beauty. I mean let's be honest here, Jacques IS a sexy beast.
But alas, here is Jacques sacrificing his hair in favor of this outdated greasy oil look he clearly hates. He is not some self-serving antagonist unlike well every other antagonist. And neither is Josee to an extent, but that's for some other time. Alejandro or Heather for example, would never sacrifice their hair for a challenge. Heather herself kicked a blade away that should shave her and suffered the consequences for it. Jacques on the other hand, will sacrifice his looks. One of my favorite things about the Ice Dancers is them being antagonists you can root for, which is more worth going into detail at the end. But for now I'll just say this moment made Jacques incredibly rootable, simply because he's a villain with a heart of gold on the inside. He will give up his own beauty in order to claim victory. It's not exactly helpful to any opponent, but it's the equivalent of someone in the war sacrificing their own limb for their country. As we know, Jacques and Josee do all of what they're doing for their fans. So when Jacques sacrifices his hair, he doesn't just have his looks on his mind. He also thinks about pleasing Josee, winning the entire competition, and making his fans adore him. And how do I know he thought of his fans...? Because of this...
Right there! See what he said at the end. "I don't want-to talk about eet". Remind you of anything...?
Right in his first moment ever, Jacques screams this alluded line after hearing that his team had gotten silver at the olympics due to him dropping Josee. Now, obviously sacrificing your hair and winning silver at the olympics are two completely different things, but think of the symbolism here. Jacques accidentally sacrificed his team's chances of winning the olympics, but now? He's sacrificed HIMSELF so his team could win. The fact that both clips included him interruping Josee is one thing. But in the first moment he screams out of humiliation. Here? He sounds defeated. He's took away something he loves about himself for the good of his team and his fans. And the line "My 'ands, are dry", secures Jacques as the title of a legend. He's a broken man, a shadow of himself. Yet he comes out of it more lovable then ever.
And then? He wins the botch or watch, first try! Josee had never been more happy for someone else.
Look at how lovely these two are to each other. We may have seen them be a dysfunctional team sometimes, but just as many times they've looked out for each other like true evil pals. And here Josee is being very thrilled that Jacques went to all this trouble just for her. He really was a gift to some, and a hero to many. Props to Josee too for proving she's not a completely selfish person who's only happy for herself. She knows Jacques went to so much trouble. And she doesn't provoke him to be further selfless. She doesn't scold him for sacrificing his good looks for their team. She just knows it was really kind-hearted for him to do.
And in the end, the Ice Dancers win the challenge after easily destroying a tango challenge and through Jacques sacrificing his looks. Selfless villains in fact who will not just DO anything to win, but will SACRIFICE anything to win too.
And now for some insight. This is my favourite episode of the Ice Dancers. Not because they were extremely prominent or anything. Everyone in this episode was getting fairly large screentime. And yes I did mention so many perfect things but still, why be my favorite episode?
On October 7 2015, Last Tango in Buenos Aires aired. But on October 7 2015, a different sad event occured; my dog died. It was a very tragic and unexpected day and I just felt empty from it. But, after watching this episode, and seeing Jacques be just as empty as me with his iconic "My 'ands, are dry" scene, watching him sacrifice something just for himself, and then his team to win? It just lightened me that there is a silver lining to what bad can happen. If something bad happens to you, you might just see something great just around the corner. This team winning the challenge after victoriously winning at dancing and through sacrifice and perseverance pushed it too. I'll forever be grateful for the Ice Dancers for this.
Thoughts: Marry me, Ice Dancers.
It seems almost redundant for me to continue with this blog. By now almost everything that's needed to be said has been said and just before this episode was the best one these two ever had IMO. But this is a 26-episode blog so onward and upward!
In their taxi to get to the Bahamas, the Ice Dancers initially express calmness despite being under pressure at being second last but once other teams pass them out, they threaten the driver to go faster, only for him to turn up his volume to quiet them. While blocking their ears, Jacques brings up how he's surprised it doesn't happen more often, showing interesting self-awareness as to who he is and while funny, does foreshadow his role later in the episode. Another example of him being aware of what's going on is when Josee reveals her fear of small spaces in her team's interview only for him to deadpan point out "I'm prett-ee sure they already-know -_-"
While Jacques encourages Josee to do the Botch or Watch in a small space underwater, she feels more encouraged to sabotage the Cadets. He halts her from this action however as a penalty almost had them sent home in India. Josee is indifferent to his worry, making him reveal that this is why he doesn't want to go pro with her anymore, shocking her with the claim that there are things he wants to do with his life that don't involve sequence and blade sharpeners. Though Josee is speechless he shoves her into the water to get her going. This was a pivotal turning point in Jacques' character, maybe even more important than when he sacrificed his hair just so his team could win in the previous episode. After spending almost an entire season with his team, it turns out that the Ice Dancers actually aren't as professional as before in ice dancing as a sport, or at least Jacques anyway. He has other goals in life which collide with Josee's vision. And Josee wanting to still play her team's dirty playing route is the final straw for him to make this shocking confession, both towards te audience and Josee herself.
Jacques also proves in this moment he can be just as irresponsibly reckless as Josee, shoving her into the water and his only justification being "She'd-dew the same!" And when Josee starts trying to motivate herself in a small-spaced cavern by calling herself a baby Jacques wants to let her be humiliated because he's taken her rage for 14 years. All 3 of these moments are very important for Jacques. While you initially see Jacques as a morale figure in his team who hates cheating, it's actually much more important later on in the episode, as is him shoving Josee in the water and deciding to let her embarass herself with her self-motivation, both moments showing he can be just as reckless as her.
After a long time of Josee struggling in the challenge, and after her finally being saved by MacArthur in the end, Jacques' team, the Cadets, and the Sisters do one final surge to the finish line. The Ice Dancers narrowly survive after Josee flings a coconut at MacArthur's face to pass her out, even after she saves her life. She aptly points out to Jacques they didn't get a penalty, but Jacques promptly replies "I nev-er said I-'ad a prob-lam weeth cheat-eeng... I 'ave-a prob-lam gett-eeng pen-all-ized for-eet." This might just be the most important Jacques line of the entire season, bar none. This entire season we were led to believe Josee was the more destructive and reckless one while Jacques simply went along with things. But this line has an effect on not just the season but even within this whole episode, of subverting your belief of who he is. Him talking down Josee about her sabotage was totally not him being some kind of moral speaker like you're led to believe. It was never "This action is-wrong, Josee!" It was always "I don't-wanna get-caught for-theese!" As proven earlier, Jacques shoving Josee in the water and letting her embarass herself with her weird self-motivation talk was not him being someone getting revenge on some kind of abuser. It was actually all along him proving he can be just as ruthless as Josee is but was just able to hide it better, considering it took nearly the whole season for this new character trait to be learned of him. Stellar writing once again for him and remarkable to see a twist in someone's characterization pretty late into the season while still seeming fresh.
Josee picks up the botch or watch and discovers she has to swim in tunnels and caves, being terrified about this. She admits in her interview she's not a fan of small spaces before we cut to a short montage of her anxiously screaming in terror about it multiple times throughout the season, completely downplaying her fear as "not a fan". <3 This is also a subtle reminder that Josee is still hiding who she really is when she doesn't express her fear that strongly when interviewed about it, even this late in the season after her true intentions have already been discovered.
After a clash against Jacques and being shoved into the water by him, Josee has no choice but to continue onward after being betrayed, but gasps in agony when her oxygen levels go down to 60% in the midst of her panic. But as MacArthur passes Josee out in the underwater cavern, it pushes her to go forward, inadvertedly being encouraged by MacArthur. This is pretty important, as it proves that even Josee's worst enemy can be a motivation for her to push to get victory more, as can be seen when she balances "I will RUIN you!" with "aaaah..." as she swims inside the tunnel.
Josee solemnly speaks in sadness to herself that she can't do it as she swims through the tunnel but her brief monologue is interrupted by a fish minding his own business, making her yell it down and making it swim away. This makes her realize that she needs to remember she's a winner and winners never quit. She starts talking to herself as encouragement, asking if she's a baby to give herself more spirit. While this is a hilarious example of how Josee's craziness and hostility it also interestingly shows that even on her own when pushed enough Josee's temper can get the better of her. It's a weird motivaional speech she gives to herself all in all but it does demonstrate how specific she is about being a possible failure, as though this speech is something she keeps in her mind when on the verge of not succeeding.
Nevertheless, Josee manages to take the gold treasure, wording it as "And Josee takes the gold" using olympic termonology once again, this time being particularly insightful into her personality as even when she's panicked for a long period of time, seeing something like gold removes all her frantic thinking almost instantly.
Josee's victory is interrupted by her oxygen being down to 2%, giving her no choice but to find a space to breathe air. MacArthur manages to surpass Josee while she's slowed down and gives her a quick taunt before leaving Josee where she has air levels. Despite this, MacArthur comes back to Josee a second time and she expects her to rub it in, but MacArthur is actually there to help Josee. She's shocked considering they hate each other and although MacArthur agrees she still is willing to help someone in need and also believes if anyone is taking Josee out of the race it's her. This is a great moment for MacArthur's character but it also proves to be a great one for Josee a couple minutes later.
The Ice Dancers, Cadets, and Sisters are neck and neck for second place. The Cadets get a lead but Josee picks up a coconut and flings it at MacArthur's face. Both the Sisters and the Cadets are shocked by her action since MacArthur had just saved her life, but Josee justifies that "just because she went all soft doesn't mean I have to." This is the second most crucial turning point in Josee's characterization, the first most being one we haven't reached yet. After committing so much to doing anything it takes to win, it's taken a hold of Josee's better judgement. Even after MacArthur rescues her from losing the game and maybe even her life, Josee betrays her regardless, seeing it as going soft. Like most of what the Ice Dancers go through in this episode, it subverts your expectations that MacArthur rescuing Josee will turn her over a new leaf, when really Josee is too far gone. It also serves as a nice prelude to the finale, making you wait in anticipation for the Ice Dancers to finally be eliminated after that, let's face it, iconic betrayal by Josee.
The Ice Dancers are about to get the first travel tip and are certain they'll win. They still keep track of how many times they've won and even factored in that they won more times than the rest of the Final 4 combined, proving once again how much they've been paying attention to the race and where their high-strung confidence is stemming from.
The Dancers laugh that the Sisters and Surfer Dudes would ever be able to beat them, but cringe after laughing about the Police Cadets beating them, showing that they actually are afraid of being beaten by them but break through it with laughter. This is a fantastic short moment, showing that as much as they hate the Cadets, the Ice Dancers genuinely see them as a scary opposition to win the season (which they do). But they break through this fear with pushed laughter that's probably fake judging by how that scene went. The threat is made clearer when they rush to the airport to catch a plane to the bahamas and threaten the ticket seller to put the rest of the teams on a later flight only for MacArthur to already be there with the others and taunt "'ice guys do finish last", making Josee toss out the airport's computer out of a window and break it along with other equipment, while Jacques erupts that they're so sick of the Cadets.
In their taxi to get to the Bahamas, the Ice Dancers confess that they have the ability to stay calm while under pressure as they're pushed into second last place only for this to immediately be proven wrong to the audience when they land in last place, proving that not only are they lying to the audience, but they're lying to themselves.
The Sisters arrive but seconds after getting out of their taxi are trampled upon by the Ice Dancers. Kitty explodes that they're the worst but the Ice Dancers quickly defend themselves in their interview, explaining that they're not "the worst" and are just, and I quote, "Dedicated competitors who will stop at nothing to win and are willing to ruin the lives of anyone who gets in our way." This is another brilliant piece of writing as per usual. For it to turn out the Ice Dancers have a comical self-awareness while still thinking they're not the worst is a lot different than what you'd get with the other antagonists in this show. Josee was interestingly specific with her wording on behalf of her team too.
Jacques and Josee clash when Jacques tries to encourage a terrified Josee to use her anger to conquer her fears. She misinterprets this as an invitation to sabotage the Cadets. As mentioned prior, he tries to prevent her from this and reveals how he has other interests besides going professional with her. While it is an interesting delve into his characterization, it also provides some real differences between the two of them, Jacques' betrayal making Josee lose trust in him and brushing off the several times he tries to encourage her to enter the tunnel, this lack of trust being important later.
While Josee embarasses herself as she yells through a speaker all the teams can hear that she's a pathetic baby, Jacques refuses to talk her down because he's been "taking her crud for 14 years." Now this left me in a loop. We learn here that Jacques and Josee have been ice dancing for fourteen years from this line alone. But check out the image below.
This image would mean that when they first began ice dancing, Jacques was 8 years old while Josee was 6! This one ten-second moment and this image perfectly sums up everything about the Ice Dancers at their core. Not only have they been dedicated performers to what they do, but it's even been the better part of their childhood. Many people were surprised to find out how young the Ice Dancers really are as they seem more like people in their early-mid 30s, some people even complaining about it. But based on the extremely high commitment they constantly possess, it actually makes perfect sense they be this young as it showcases why they're so committed to begin with and why they can be quite immature, similar to how a young adult may act. Josee starting her ice dancing career at six years old for example would explain why she throws child-like tantrums, similar to how a raging six year old would. Jacques starting at eight proves why he's the slightly more self-aware one of the two of them. This moment had me in a loop when I first watched it because it finally proved to me that this consistent attention to detail can never be replicated by a single contestant ever again.
Once Josee is finally rescued by MacArthur and her team races them to the finish line only for Josee to fling a coconut at MacArthur's face to knock her down so the Dancers can pass out, they narrowly survive against the Cadets and Sisters. And despite them clashing throughout the episode, the Ice Dancers reconcile over their towering egotism above the other teams after not receiving a penalty for Josee's coconut-throwing action. Josee asks "So... we're good?" and Jacques forgivingly replies "Oh yes... we're goood >:)" They've made up and might even go pro again but not before their epic defeat in the final episode<3.
Thoughts: Even though this episode in particular sometimes gets flack, the Ice Dancers were still on point regardless and I thought to have us still be learning loads of new things about them even in their penultimate episode felt very fresh and quite rare for prominent contestant(s) to have. To have them clash but make up demonstrated just how well they can team up together, but feels like an introduction to what they'll be getting themselves in for in the next episode.
So here it is at last; the finale. It's been a very long journey but we finally reach the last episode to go for, so let's do this one last time.
As the Ice Dancers race the other teams in their taxis, Josee orders Jacques speed up as they're in last place. He argues back with her about him knowing this but is startled at Josee's tone of voice. The Jacques in the first few episodes would never have been this expressive in his anger or panic. The competition's stressed him out enough that he's even getting mad at Josee now. You can tell by his eyes in certain scenes in this episode too that he's become much more vicious in the villainous actions he and Josee do, as does Josee but we'll touch on her later.
Minutes later, the Ice Dancers get stuck in traffic with Jacques announcing "We are in... A NEW YORK CITY TRAFFIC JAAAM!" I laughed so hard when he first said this, timed perfectly with the dramatic zoom-out of their taxi to reveal the cars surrounding them and Jacques tone of voice sells the scene for me as he does most of the time he speaks.
But much later, as we all know, the Ice Dancers are in the end defeated by the Cadets in one final dash to the chill zone between them. Jacques feels just as humiliated as Josee does but her anger, as we know, gets the better of her and she throws her biggest tantrum yet. A key element to why this was such a powerful scene was Jacques' involvement in it. He has to rush over and restrain Josee and announcing to her that they lost as they huddle together and cry. This was obviously a great moment fit for a The Team section, but it's also beneficial to Jacques' characterization too. Unlike Josee he accepts his defeat quicker but can only unload his emotions to her. While we saw her as mostly the closest thing to a leader on their team, for Jacques to be the one in the end to stop them from causing any more destruction displays great maturity in him.
Like I've said before, the Ice Dancers grew and developed over the course of the season. In most cases, this is for the worst, as their attitudes just get more malicious with each episode. But it's not all negative for them. In Jacques' case he becomes more self-aware and he's much less in denial of his failures than he was in the first episode ("I don't-want to talk-about-eet!" is a key example). But after scheming and plotting for numerous episodes he has no choice but to accept his loss and do the only thing he can; get Josee out of her destructive denial stage too. He grew so much as a character in just this short scene and it astounded me how much he bloomed in his attitude. Before he'd just be all over-emotional about his failures but now he's more accepting. And it's gradual too, especially in the two preceding episodes before this in which he sacrifices his hair just so he can succeed and then in Bahamarama where he's deadpan to Josee's panic despite it usually being the other way around. An amazing male contestant.
Josee is still perfection and every sole moment by her in this episode finally emulates this once and for all.
During the taxi race in the first few minutes of the episode, the Ice Dancers manage to pass out the other teams. Josee sticks her tongue out but accidentally spits all over her window, disgusting Jacques but causing Josee to reply "Oh grow up". Now at first glance this moment seems miniscule. A simply comedic one for the audience to laugh when Josee does something pretty gross and her partner reacting to it but her shrugging off his disgust. And yeah it's very funny and has a great dynamic to it. But I think what people are missing here, and in really all of Josee's moments, is that there's more to it than just the base stuff of it being comedic.
There's an irony to Josee spitting with her tongue out, Jacques being grossed out, and her telling him to grow up. She's in fact being the immature one but like their olympic failure, Josee is in denial of this and just shrugs off Jacques as being immature. It's a three second moment yet it accomplishes so much quite quickly. We always knew Josee had temper tantrums and a childlike look at the world and it being all about gold medals and her not caring about spitting at a taxi window confirms that the horrible tragic truth is that she simply hasn't matured yet. She's stuck in a limbo with her career where it's taken over how she developed in life. Let's remember how Bahamarama confirms Josee's been ice dancing since she was 6. And look at the effect its had on her. I laughed at this scene like I do with every Ice Dancer comedy moment but after a while if you look between the lines it has more of a meaning to it. A very simple moment but a valuable one.
In the end, Josee and Jacques are ultimately defeated against the Cadets when they race to the midway checkpoint with their travel tips. This may be shocking to hear but this is actually my favorite moment in the history of the Total Drama franchise, despite it being the elimination of my favorite characters. And the main reason for this is Josee herself.
As I've summed up before, Josee unravels herself to the viewer slightly more with each passing episode. She went from someone who's all smiles and waving for the cameras into a malicious and violent person, and it's pretty gradual. One thing we always knew about her was that she's prone to throw tantrums every few episodes when things don't go her way. But after multiple instances of either not winning like she grew up in getting used to, or not even "making the podium", it's twisted her brain and psyche further as a result.
So once you realize that Josee's team are the antagonists, it's interesting to imagine what Josee could do after losing. How strong would she react to this? This isn't Heather or Alejandro or Courtney where they're just used to being on top. This is someone who's entire life was built around NOT losing. In that sense it makes her elimination be the most anticipated I've ever been for one (though the dark side of me still wanted her team to win :P)
And when Josee loses against her worst enemies this is the final nail in the coffin for her. She's been humiliated dozens of times throughout the season even if she was to get 2nd place. And when the tides turn against you, just destroy everything surrounding you in sight<3333. okay so prepare for some gushing
OH MY GOODNESS JOSEE! Did you SEE her DEMOLISH that angel statue?!? Did you see the DECAPITATION of the statue and the wings being DRAGGED off???! Where did this alligator she throws even COME from what the WHAT?? I don't know how on earth the writers created such a morbidally beautiful specimen of a contestant bUT THEY DUNNIT. If your name doesn't end with ee, time to get out because Josee has torched you AND your dignity!
Ignoring how brilliantly shot and action-packed Josee's final tantrum is however, it is once again a remarkable feat within her. If say, Heather or Courtney or Eva were to be angry enough to do something like this it would be purely comical since they're villainous and/or are prone to anger. Josee on the other hand, while hilarious at it, also provides a double meaning to her tantrums, especially this one. The main thing you know about her is she hates losing. So when she does something this destructive, it resonates far more with me as a result.
The build-up and aftermath of her reaction is what really promotes the scene for me though. Don notices right away the Ice Dancers take their loss suspiciously well as they do their signature hand raise in victory with their signature theme song. But the dramatic zoom-in slow close-up of Josee's practically Disney-like smile really makes things tense. You know something's coming, as the music scratches as her eyes widen going crazy. You're brain is thinking "Oh no" and Jacques saying it too makes the moment more conventional, as what he says matches the audience's general reaction to Josee's mind cracking. She tries extremely hard at smiling to the point of it being so over the top it reaches nausea, especially for her. Her eyes twinkle but then she just EXPLODES right away, getting you excited after these seconds of build-up.
Josee needs calming down of Jacques after the way she destroys all this property. But once she does, in her farewell footage she actually feels ashamed of her actions. Speaking on a serious note, that's pretty sad. What does Josee, and by extension Jacques, NOT have in common with the other main villains; Heather, Alejandro, Courtney, Mal, Sugar? They are the ONLY two villains to actually feel bad about what they did, Josee especially. Let's remember her and her team only became villainous in the halfway point of the season as I touched on. So she was never really inherently a bad person, and this speech by her about her wanting to be a better person and not thinking she deserved to be a champion proves it. But you still get one last humorous moment where she shoves an old lady into a fountain, still feeling the need to try and remain on top, thus giving her a final redemption while still keeping her to her awful human being self.
Now although this whole scene of the Ice Dancers' elimination, as far as I know, is deservingly pretty popular, I think I may have been the only one to notice flat-out symbolism in it. This applies to Josee and also her team, so we'll touch on her first. Josee's tantrum, while impressive at showing how much the race has effected her, also shows how monstrous she becomes. The presentation she makes at the beginning of the season is painfully trying to be angelic with her smiles and waving and joyous attitude. And she gradually decays over the course of the season from this try-hard portrayal of being a motivational and positive person? And what does she destroy in the finale? An angel statue! If you really don't believe me that it's meant to be symbolism of even the smallest kind they even show her tear off a wing of the angel. And even if I'm what I'm saying is wrong, there's still impressive irony in seeing someone demonic act so harshly they destroy an angel statue. They clearly wanted to show off how awful Josee has become, even having the strength to hurl an alligator.
Her best moment of the entire season; bar none and we'll go into more on that in her overview.
The Ice Dancers are excited on their plane trip to New York, confident that they'll win and that either of the other teams thinking they can pull it off are kidding themselves, serving as creative irony that they'll be the ones who get eliminated later into the episode.
While racing against the other teams in taxis throughout New York, the Ice Dancers crash into the Surfers, labelling themselves as "sharks." If you needed any more evidence on my observation that the Ice Dancers decay over time, look no further than this scene. They have become the level of malicious to picture themselves as literal sharks against the Surfer Dudes. Interestingly they even make shark-like teeth as they crash into the Surfers' taxi.
Upon finally reaching the Empire State Building, the Ice Dancers run up the stairs to get to the top where they can get their travel tips. The stairs and the way the Ice Dancers run up them feels very reminiscent of the first episode. But instead of them being all smiles like the first episode, this time they feel arrogant in their chances to win. This confirms further what I mean of their attitudes worsening over time. The shot is framed exactly the same also, making it once again resonate more with me.
After getting their suitcase for the next part of the challenge, the Ice Dancers run back out of the building but see their taxi is gone, inadvertedly stolen by the Surfers but take the opportunity to steal the Cadets' one instead, only to get a flat tyre moments later.
Despite still driving, they get crashed into by the Cadets and due to the weakened tyre their taxi flies upside down. Josee screams in terror that she can't breathe because of claustrophobia and is dropped instead by Jacques. As many would agree, it's all a pretty funny sequence of events but check out the symbolism. When their taxi is turned upside down, property belnging to the Ice Dancers flies out of their pockets, including... their silver medals. Even though it haunts them they've STILL been carrying them around after the olympics the entire time. It's topped off by Jacques having to drop Josee on her head so they can proceed. Just like when they were in the olympics. No explanation needed for this remarkable writing.
As I stated prior, the elimination of the Ice Dancers was probably my favorite moment of the entire series, from the framing, the race between them and the Cadets, the build-up, and the payoff. From a team standpoint this is particularly evident.
They see the Cadets struggling as they lost their travel tip in a sewer they can't reach inside so race as fast as they can to catch up. But Sanders makes a sacrifice by her arm once again and receives the travel tip right as the Ice Dancers pass the Cadets out. MacArthur picks Sanders up and the two teams have one final race. But the injuries from their taxi being hurled over and the nervousness by the Ice Dancers slows them down and make it to the carpet last. They clearly lose and it's pretty evident they can see that because of how it takes them a couple seconds after the Cadets have already made it there but still do their signature hand raise of victory. It takes Don saying that the Cadets take 2nd place for the Ice Dancers to scream in agony at their loss. Don feels pleasure in finally announcing that they lost and it's taken so badly by them that they STILL raise their hands in victory, as if nothing happened. This is pretty important, as previously they would've done something violent or at least be really upset. Obviously it's about to happen anyhow but for them to STILL be dedicated to their profession even after this crippling loss does a great service of demonstrating how they've remained dedicated to who they are no matter what. Now granted Josee throws an *iconic* tantrum to break this but it still flows naturally for them to break away from their victorious pose instantly.
But even still the conflict between the Cadets and Ice Dancers was an exceptionally prominent aspect of RR and once they have this final showdown I really am on the edge of my seat because firstly, RR's format helps me enjoy this racing vibe more and secondly the two teams are just about fierce enough to keep me engaged.
The relationship between the Ice Dancers in this scene is what really sells it for me though as my favorite moment in the show. It takes Jacques to be the only person capable of restraining Josee from causing anymore havoc. That was a recurring trait of him but it's more evident here as he halts Josee's most destructive tantrum yet with his calming tone of voice. While it's comedic and admittedly deserving for the Ice Dancers to get third place, it also feels like a truly sad elimination at the same time. Though yes, the Ice Dancers are pretty bad people, the shame and anguish they receive from this karma is a real blow to them.
Now it's not an uncommon opinion by people that their karma should have been more severe but if you really take into account their actions overall, were they really that deplorable? The worst thing they ever did was arguably steal Loki from the Goths but that isn't that damaging because a) Loki isn't harmed, and B) They get Loki back anyway. Everything else they did was just dirty gameplay moves but that hardly harms people that much. Oh and I guess they ALMOST ran over Dwayne that one time but again, no damage to him whatsoever. This isn't Heather who would demean people about their personality and looks while putting herself above everything and always getting her way only to turn bald by something SHE caused herself which fits. This isn't Alejandro who messed with people's dignity and emotions and did a last minute fake-out where he turns against him, only for that same fake-out technique to be used on him by Heather. This isn't Scott who was incapable of caring how others felt only for that to be spun back on him and no contestant feeling remorse to a horrible pain inflicted on him.
The Ice Dancers' karma is the most severe for them BECAUSE it's the most severe for them as actual human beings. They lose against their mortal enemies despite several attempts of trying to eliminate them. Them getting 3rd is the worst possible thing to them because in their world, it's essentialy worse than what happened to them at the olympics, which, if people haven't guessed already, traumatized the both of them. They can never live this down. Even the subtext makes a lot of sense. They won gold in a load of different kind of ice skating games only to get silver in the olympics. Likewise in RR they get first place more times than all of the Final 4 combined but still go through losing in a location made mostly of ice, lose SIX times in a row after finishing first TWICE in a row, and lose against a team they try desperately to eliminate THREE times in a row (Surfers --> Goths --> Goths again). It ultimately culminates in an elimination wherein they try taking advantage one last time of the Cadets desperately trying to stay in the game, only for this advantage to fail against them once again and get 3rd despite it seeming to them like they could really beat them. Don't forget the Josee line "Almost. there."
For both of them to actually feel bad about their actions feels especially likeable for me however, proving what I meant about them not really being inherently evil. Jacques' "Ah Jo-say I-am-so-proud of you!" feels almost heartwarming.
Ultimately, the Ice Dancers score both teams in the finale a 0.0 and join together in glaring and being annoyed at what goes along surrounding them. This is sadly the last we see of the Ice Dancers but what a great way to end things with them being bitter af <3
Thoughts: A perfect send-off for a perfect team. Not much else to say. But we ain't finished yet. Join me for the OVERVIEW of them and their team next!