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Three recaps in a row interrupted with a genuinely hilarious moment; this time around, it’s Chef who’s suffering. I can now see this going on as a continuing trend for pretty much the rest of the season, and if it does, I certainly won’t get tired of it.

Yet another episode that opens with a bathroom joke, and people waiting in line to get inside. Hmm…where have we seen this before?

Then we move into some more enjoyable all-guy interaction, very reminiscent of the Guys' alliances and Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot. Then we move into about a solid minute of Sam at his best. Swiping the cheese effortlessly from the trap only to step right into it moments after, memorizing how long it’s been since he’s played his last game, and so on. Sam’s definitely improving.

Enter Chris’s most epic look EVER. The white hair/tuxedo look that had been so thoroughly hyped up through the leaked concept art finally made its debut, and it wasn’t disappointing. I just wish that Chris really did look like this the whole season.

More Anne Maria/Jo flicting: Epic. And there goes stubborn and/or stupid Lightning refusing to admit that Jo’s a girl.

And thus enter the fourth cameo of the season: Lindsay. The new boots are a nice touch.

This is easily the first episode of the season that finally met my prediction of overkilling the radioactive/toxic/mutated aspect of the island. The entire scene with the various campers attempting to catch animals, only to face torture, was somewhat funny, but still too over-the-top. Scott’s scene with Fang was easily the best part.

Seeing as to how Sam was clearly the focus of the Rats earlier in the episode, Brick’s first major moment was a severe let-down. A duffel bag that is able to explode and automatically cover its target with clothes and various fashion accessories? Gasp! I never thought I’d say this, but…but…

…Did Brick just display some godplaying?

Dakota’s back. In my mind, this is the first episode since her elimination where she truly has a major plot and good amount of focus in the episode. And the furthering of her relationship with Sam was golden this time around; so well-written, so well-executed, the interaction was spot-on, and, in the end, it’s clear that this is no longer a one-sided relationship.

Anne Maria was a bit more in the background this time around, but still showing no signs of improving. At least we finally see an episode that contains both Anne Maria/Zoey flicting and Anne Maria/Jo flicting.

Lindsay’s…still here? Oh, right. She’s part of the challenge. A bad move on the creators’ part, in my mind. Up until now, the first three cameos were ideal, and just as I imagined they should be: Brief, funny, enjoyable, and not a major focus or big deal in the grand scheme of the overall episode. But now, finally, we have one of the original 24 contestants being used as part of the challenge, which more or less overkills that character.

The entire segment with the Rats displaying the Sasquatchinakwa was enjoyable, mostly because of Sam being all but broken in half while describing the outfit. The bit with Dakota was also good, and the Sasquatchinakwa was definitely in-character. It was refreshing to see this guy return after several seasons, and it’s also a relief to see him not mutated and still…normal (or, at least, what’s normal for him).

Considering how often legal/lawyer jokes were associated with “it-who-must-not-be-named” in the first three seasons, I was wary of any more “legal” jokes in the season, even if “it” wasn’t back. But Chris flipping out over the legal issue of Lindsay being kidnapped was thoroughly hilarious. And finally; more Chris/Lindsay hints.

Chris: What do you mean I’m liable if the yeti eats Lindsay? It’s not my fault she’s delicious!

Creepy, but funny.

Oh, and I thought Lindsay being a judge was bad. Now, on a very impromptu/last-minute decision by Chris, the entire second half of the challenge (with, ironically, no winner declared in the first part) involves RESCUING her? Great. Overkill. Better Lindsay than you-know-who.

NOW Sam’s getting even better. Seeing things digitalized due to video game-repression is definitely setting up for some epic Sam moments later in the episode.

Scott’s strategy is improving significantly now. It was already getting better with his devious removal of Dawn last episode, but now he’s already planning ahead to the merge, and working his amazing acting skills and lying abilities on rival teammate Zoey. Yep, he’s definitely showing the devious mind, clever planning, and other traits of a true antagonist. And he’s not throwing challenges anymore, so perhaps THIS could convince all of those Scott-haters that he’s not a horrible antagonist.

And there’s some more of the classic “death to all interns” gag. Chris’s cynicism is returning now in its true TDI-style glory.

The Sasquatchinakwa is definitely a major focus in this episode, arguably the most amount of focus it’s ever received since Are We There, Yeti? His voice sounds somewhat different, but if anything, it sounds a little more apelike and reminiscent of the real King Kong. I’m definitely liking him this time around.

While I am still in disapproval over Lindsay’s overkill, I must admit that she’s still very much in-character with that snowflake comment.

The moment I saw that scaffolding, I knew instantly where this was going. But I’ll come back to that in a moment.

We’re also seeing a very unusual, but very effective, character arc for Jo at this point in the episode. Now the seemingly unoriginal and pointless opening scene, and the fashion-flicting between Anne Maria and Zoey makes sense. It was all leading up to this climax, where Jo – the one female on the Maggots (and perhaps in the whole season) who doesn’t care at all about fashion and beauty – overcomes her pride and disgust for fashion so that she can step up and take one for the team. Definitely a meaningful arc, and this just might make this Jo’s best episode yet (who knew there was such a thing?).

Sure enough, Sam’s digitalized vision was setting up for this epic climax, and this very obvious and very shameless parody of “Jumpman.” Nevertheless, the real-life video game joke was absolutely epic in every way possible, as were the killer sound effects, cheesy music (which Sam hummed along to), and the subtle joke of Sam’s pupils turning square whenever he sees digital.

Chester’s back! And it’s about time, too. For the first time in the whole season, he does something in the challenge. Not only is it effective in helping their team, but it’s thoroughly hilarious to see Brick faint at the sight of Jo’s new look. The Jo/Mike bit at the end of the challenge was also hilarious.

“Game over.” I never expected that line to come from Brick or anyone else besides Sam, for that matter.

The moment the Rats were declared the losers, it was way too obvious who was going home. The only member of the Rats who had any real focus in the whole episode, and the only one who came close to winning the challenge. In this sense, this episode was the complete opposite of the previous episode, in the sense that this fulfills the cliché of overkilling the character who’s going home in the end, to the point where you KNOW that this person’s going home. Chris even failed miserably at setting up a legit bottom two; he claimed that it was Brick’s fault that their outfit for the Sasquatchinakwa was so horrible, when it was clearly Sam who came up with the outfit due to Dakota’s advice. Stupidity on Chris’s part, or the writers’ lame attempt at creating last-minute suspense?

At least Sam left with his head held high, and Brick also displayed some of that military courtesy even in the face of defeat. An improvement for both of them. And we see, once again, the return of Chef’s obsession with handheld games. But he could’ve at least spoken, right? Nope. Still the silent mountain of a man that he’s been since TDWT. And the third and final scene with Dakota for this episode is just as meaningful as the first between her and Sam. At long last, it’s officially established that this is, in fact, a mutual relationship between both of them. And Sam’s closing line, interrupted in true Total Drama style, just sealed the deal. The newest couple is Sam/Dakota.

While the suspense as far as the elimination goes was a fail, there was definitely a question mark over why the Maggots were present as well. Setting up for a double elimination? Nope. Yet ANOTHER team swap. And we thought Brick switching teams spiced things up. We’ve never seen such a dramatic mix-up of the teams in any season of Total Drama. Scott and Jo switching definitely heightens the drama, changes any predictions that may have been made before, and sets up for some brand new interactions, plotlines, and twists that we could’ve never seen coming.

So, overall, the episode definitely featured some ups and downs. The scene with the mutants, as I said before, wasn’t enough in the physical comedy department and too big on the overkill, while the climax more or less made up for the lack of pain through the epicness of its parody. The cameo in this episode was the first that truly disappointed me, although it wasn’t necessarily anything that Lindsay herself did. The Sam/Dakota interaction was perfect, and it wasn’t too one-sided or too brief like in past episodes. Scott is getting much better, just like the previous episode. He’s resorting to more dastardly, Heather-like tricks to further his schemes, and he’s demonstrating an epic evil laugh. The whole joke of Lightning refusing to admit that Jo's a guy, which was originally just a simple running gag, is now being developed into its own separate plotline, which may or may not be too enjoyable. There was a noticeable lack of focus on most characters in this episode (including Lightning, Brick, Cameron, and Mike), with minimal focus on others in brief moments (such as Zoey, Anne Maria, and Scott), with the only characters who really received any significant focus being Jo and Sam, to the point where they were overkilled. Sam was definitely overkilled to the point where it was obvious that he was going home, while Jo was big on development this time around. In my opinion, it was wasn’t overkill on her, and was actually very meaningful, but considering that it’s Jo, it probably won’t fly with most viewers. If I had to take two things away from this episode, it’d be: The perfect Sam/Dakota interaction and development, and the furthering of Scott’s strategy and role as an antagonist, both of which are significantly improving. I’d give this episode a 7/10.

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