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I enjoyed the breaking-of-the-fourth-wall joke utilized by Chris in the recap, which emphasized his ego, and was not only used once, but TWICE. It was funny the first time, and it was even funnier the second time.

And the episode opens up with the one major story from the last episode that carried over into this one: Lighting’s animosity towards Cameron. This also brings Lighting’s character into a full transition: From the mascot of jocks with over-inflated egos to a full-on bully jock. This makes him even worse than before. Heck, I might actually start missing the old, stupid, “sha-this, “sha-that” Lightning.

From one character transition to the next, the writers just couldn’t resist rubbing Izzy 2.0 in our faces again. She’s STILL wearing the headband and facepaint? Seriously? THAT is just overkill. That was obviously supposed to be just for the challenge. And now she’s turning a FORK into a deadly weapon. Good God, I miss the old Zoey. But at least she and Cameron are teaming up now, against the greater evil.

OK, THAT was pretty funny. From failing at keeping his pants up, to destroying the confessional; that was a nice dose of the old Lightning.

And, once again, we’re faced with a challenge that is pure overkill of the radioactive/mutant theme. I mean, really. This puts Runaway Model and Treasure Island of Dr. McLean to shame. This is the truly definitive example of a radioactive overkill.

Case-in-point: The moment Lightning walked up and turned his back to that obviously-placed and too suspicious yellow flower, I knew it was going to come alive and attack him.

I loved the banter scene between the final three, with snide jokes between Cameron and Lightning, more of Cameron’s infinite knowledge of scientific names, and Zoey’s intervention.

And yet another intern joke. Although, on a side note, I will note that I’m pretty sure that intern, that boom rod, and that walk cycle, are all the exact same as when that same intern, and that same boom rod, were hit by Lightning’s flaming pan in the previous episode. I can spot these recycled animations easily, and to see one as blatantly obvious as that in a Total Drama episode is pretty sad.

Cameron and the doll. Best. Confessional. Ever.

And yet another dose of the idiot Lightning: Thinking that he’ll actually see a giant X where Larry is. Genius. And that’s followed soon after by putting the pieces together in the wrong order, and not even thinking to rearrange them. Lindsay could teach this guy how to be smarter.

And, finally, for the first time in the season…Lightning can’t finish his “Sha.” It’s about time. I think that was the writers way of hinting that the joke just MIGHT be a bit overused.

While the scene with Chris reminiscing about “Larry” was obviously a filler scene, and a little over-the-top, Chef’s joke at the end in the confessional was a nice finish to it.

And then, SUDDENLY, we’re faced with an absolute twist: Ezekiel emerging from the old mine…only for idiot Lightning to knock him back down. And then it’s over. Seems like a total filler to me, and just another chance for the writers to bash Zeke. But it was nice to at least hear his voice again as he screamed.

That seemed like a bit of stupidity for Zoey to ask how they could reach the flower…when there’s clearly a line of stepping stones for them to use to get to it. That seemed like yet another bit of filler dialogue, just to emphasize the issue with Cameron saying “We” and Zoey saying “I.” Also, the moment I saw that larger, rounder “stone,” I knew it was the back of a turtle. Yet another obvious cliché.

The bit with showing Zoey’s hamster and cat at home was a rather sudden and unusually fresh style of joke. It took a brief break from the show to show something in the real world. In this season, I truly expected a ton of jokes like that, mostly for the cameos of the original contestants (I.e., they’d be watching the new season from their homes, etc.), and yet the ridiculousness and/or epicness of some of the cameos was so good, I forgot about ever seeing that kind of joke until now.

That climax was ultimately not as exciting as the previous challenge, mostly depending on constant banter between Cameron and Zoey rather than the action itself. But the twist of Larry suddenly rising up and walking away was a nice touch.

Also, I honestly never imagined that they would actually use the word “Yoink” on Total Drama. But they did. And boy, was it funny. I’ve always loved the word yoink, and thought it would only be fair to use it at least once. And not only did they use it once, but twice.

More with the Chris and Larry joke. Now it’s not just pathetic and an obvious attempt at a filler, it’s just plain weird.

However, despite the…at best, averageness, of the challenge, the elimination was, once again, pretty well set-up. Like last time, you truly had no idea which one would go. Would it really be Cameron, in retaliation for winning over Lighting last time? Would it be Zoey, for being such a powerful threat in challenges, and finally break the cliché of a male vs. female final two? However, Cameron’s amazing goodbye speech obviously set up for Lightning to throw a curveball and vote for Zoey, for a surprisingly good reason: She’s more of a threat than Cameron. And Lightning’s extremely ominous line to Cameron at the end was so well-done, and the lighting matched the scene so well, that it actually made him seem pretty bad-a$$.

Plus, that final joke with Chef was pretty funny.

So, overall, as a follow-up to the previous episode, it wasn’t as epic or amazing, but it was OK. The challenge was pretty decent, but still overkill of the radioactive theme. The banter between the contestants was good at times, but was obviously just a substitute for actual action. Other filler scenes, like Chris and Larry, were even worse. And the writers trying to bring Zoey back to what she was before was a pretty sad about-face that shows that they might be regretting what happened to her in the first place. Newsflash for them: It’s too late. But besides that, the elimination was really good, and this builds up for what will surely be an exciting finale. I’ll give it a 7/10.

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