For the final time, we see a briefly interrupted recap. This joke was a nice bit of pain, and was quick, sharp, and hilarious all at once. It also briefly resurrected the idea of animosity between Chris and Chef, which undoubtedly hinted at the episode’s ending.
The opening with Lightning and Cameron was, at best, a more neutral filler scene. Yes, it was obviously just build-up for the intensity of their conflict. But it certainly wasn’t something we haven’t seen before. Most of the dialogue was simply a repetition of earlier banters between Cameron and Lightning, and even the bit with Cameron claiming it could be an intellectual challenge before someone else tells him it’s undoubtedly physical is a direct copy of the scene between him and Jo in Truth or Laser Shark. So it wasn’t horribly boring, but it was obviously nothing new. However, the whole “grape” joke was actually pretty clever and funny.
Just for the record, I feel that those first two confessionals did something that very few confessionals before have done: Both were of a rather decent length while still perfectly capturing the confession-ee’s character and personality. It was also amusing to see interaction from someone on the outside (like Lightning in Cameron’s confessional), as well as someone getting hurt while in the confessional (Lightning).
I liked the bit of banter relating to the ancient Romans. It was a nice touch, yet another example of Cameron’s extreme knowledge, and showed some classic “smart guy (Cameron) vs. dumb guy (Chris)” banter that we haven’t seen in quite a while.
Just when we thought the similarities to Survivor ended with the hidden immunity idol, we get to see yet another trait taken from that show: Getting to video-chat with loved ones due to making it so far. This was definitely a nice touch that, in my mind, did even more than the “video messages from home” for the TDI final five. Unlike that instance, here the contestants actually got to speak back and forth with their relatives/loved ones. It showed more of each of their characters and their lives at home, and gave a whole new layer to their respective personalities. And, as icing on the cake, each message gave them both more determination to win.
“The Chrisiseum.” Nice. And, to add to that bit of ego, the creators even threw in the tail wing of the Total Drama Jumbo Jet as the main portrait of Chris’s face.
For the second time since Eat, Puke and Be Wary, we’re seeing quite a bit of this season’s new batch of interns. Once again, they’re hilarious in the ways they’re both tormented by Chris and defiant to Chris at every opportunity they can be. Again, not as enjoyable as the original classics from TDI and TDA, but still fun to watch.
OK, that display towards Scott was just totally uncalled for. The dude’s freakin’ PARALYZED. You don’t need to laugh at him and show no remorse whatsoever, and not even bother to care about what he’s saying through his machine’s beeps. On top of all that, his single tear and sad expression darn near breaks your heart.
The challenge itself does make sense for a final duel: In true ancient Roman style, the two must duke it out in a brutal, all-out, hand-to-hand combat fight to the finish. It is perhaps one of the simplest, if not THE simplest, challenges in Total Drama history…yet it’s so fitting for a finale. I approve.
What else can I say about the entire finding-and-building scene after the pile of junk was dropped? Epic. Unlike the similar scene from Up, Up and Away, this scene actually fulfilled its role of dividing the screentime equally among both contestants and being full of nonstop, sudden, quick, and hilarious physical comedy. Whether it’s Lightning being hit by the recoil of a cannon, Cameron dropping an outboard motor on his legs, or Lightning hitting himself in the head repeatedly with a hammer just to get a pan on his head as a helmet, the whole scene was well-executed, evenly-paced, and was full of laughs. Once again, similarly to the confessional scene, this scene showed the two drastically different approaches that these two personalities take to the challenge: Cameron, with his slow, steady, and carefully planned-out intellectual approach, against Lightning’s crude, tough, and let’s-get-the-job-done approach.
Wow. Marvel had better not see this one.
The entire banter scene between Lightning and Cameron, once again, was a great dose of “smart vs. dumb” that is always fun to watch and listen to.
Wow…just…wow. What can I say about the challenge? I mean…it was amazing. Even though it was such a surprisingly simple concept, it still managed to keep me thoroughly entertained and on the edge of my seat the whole time. Physical comedy galore, constant in-character banter the whole time, and it was switching evenly back and forth between Lightning vs. Cameron and Cameron trying to save everyone else from the monsters. It kept both of them in-character and kept the action level at an all-time high. If I had to pick my absolute favorite moment from the challenge, it would definitely be Lightning landing on his crotch, with absolutely priceless reactions from both Chris and Lightning (with that hilarious squeal and killer facial expression).
And, against all odds, Cameron does it. He defeats the big, tough jock even after devoting half of his attention and determination to fighting off the monsters and saving his friends. Even with his mind only half-focused on the game, he still manages to pull off a win. And Lightning definitely got some of his karma in the form of ultimate irony: Lightning…being struck by lightning. Priceless. Absolutely brilliant. And the white hair was a nice touch, too.
As if Cameron’s win couldn’t go any better for his character, he goes and does the single nicest thing that a winner could ever do: He voluntarily decides to split the money with all the other contestants. That right there is pretty cool.
And the epicness just doesn’t end there. We see the culmination of Chris and Chef’s animosity, first hinted at in the recap, in the ultimate switch-a-roo. Even though I would’ve loved to hear Chef speak, his expression alone said it all.
And, to top it all off, to add the icing onto the cake, and to add insult to injury…Chris is now quarantined with the rest of the island, while the contestants and Chef all get away scot-free. Karma has finally caught up to Chris McLean. A perfect ending for a season.
So, overall, this episode definitely did something right to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat, eagerly awaiting what was going to happen next. I can hardly think of a simpler challenge that did such a good job keeping me entertained, making me actually laugh, and keeping the action at a very high and very exciting level. It definitely felt like a season finale, we had a decent dose of the entire group of eliminated contestants, with each and every one of them having at least one moment focusing on them, and each one having a line at some point in the episode except for B and Scott. The cameo, a very fitting cameo indeed, was rather quick and not overkilled, but fit in just right with the overall feel of the scene and the action happening both before and after it. Most of the banter between the final two was spot-on and captured both their personalities, as well as the intensity of the hatred between them, making this one of the most intense final two battles ever. In terms of where this ranks as a finale, I’d say this easily ties with the TDI finale as my favorite season finale of the entire series so far. 10/10.