Episode 96: Saving Private Leechball
Premise: The contestants go to war with each other. Jo takes control of her team, Duncan takes a leech for Gwen, and a team switch occurs.
Challenge Based On: Full Metal Drama and Paintball Deer Hunter
Challenge: Get paintball weaponry and shoot people from the opposite teams
Winner(s): Heroic Hamsters
Eliminated: Jo, for her bad aim and losing the challenge for her team.
My Favorite Part: "Bunking with the Bickersons is driving me bonkers!"
It's amazing that this is a 22-minute episode because it really feels like a 15-minute episode. There's a lot of padding in this episode and not much contribution to any on-going plotlines at all. The actual challenge pretty much lasts only for 5 minutes. I was thinking to myself, "Wow...that's it? I was expecting a lot more than just that." There is a lot of filler in this episode and the thing is: a lot of it was very pointless. I mean, you have several scenes of Sam being just a lame pain gag and it's not funny at all and just implies the fact that he has nothing going for him this season. And then you have Jo, Heather, and Alejandro trying to form an alliance with Gwen. And the thing is, they mention it about twice in this episode and they DO NOT attempt to put it in action. They mention it and forget about it for the rest of the episode. Writers, if you have contestants talk about certain things that can form potentially good plotlines, you have to make them have a purpose. You can't just mention it once or twice and not talk about it again. It's like Alejandro weirdly flirting with Gwen to form an alliance with her in one scene and then not doing so again. Does the term "Big Lipped Alligator Moment" sound familiar? But I digress. Some of the characters seemed to act kind of strange and OOC. Gwen definitely feels like a different character here. Although her line above made me chuckle a little, it doesn't feel like a "Gwen line". Also, apparently, she starts craving teamwork? ....Why?? Back in TDI, she didn't really give a hoot about teamwork. She was pretty much the loner goth girl who took a lot of time to come out of her shell. I get that people change overtime, but there could have been better build-up to this. In addition, Duncan clearly liked Gwen in World Tour. But in this episode, he doesn't seem to care much about her when Courtney glares at her and he even calls her accidental moves against Courtney "cold". That doesn't really make her feel any better. Isn't he supposed to stick up to her like a good boyfriend should? And why does he care so much about getting Courtney's attention? That being said, it was nice seeing him take a leech for her. Speaking of Courtney, it seemed very out of character for her to hide from Jo like that. She's supposed to be the "overachieving perfectionist" who's in it to win it. I mean look at her overachieving attitude in TDI and TDA. Why abandon it and make her a coward? Also, let me add on that she should have been on the villains' team originally. After all, she was a VILLAIN in TDA. Gwen literally did nothing wrong and should have been on the heroes' team. Or at least be switched to the heroes' team at the end of the episode, but I'll get to that later. Also, apparently Zoey has super powers, can do flips on trees, and can shoot just like Katniss Everdeen? Isn't that a Commando Zoey thing? And how come she didn't show off those skills when she was her normal self? That doesn't really make any sense imo. And let's talk about the first "evil" thing that Mal does: break stuff! In this case, Sam's game-guy. Oooooo, how demented! But that's only a small scene that I kind of shrugged off. Hopefully the next scene of him will be better. Now let's talk about Sierra's obsession with Cameron. I did laugh a little when Sierra gave Cameron a foot rub and when she calls Cameron "Cody", but it's so weird that hallucinations would take over her mind like that. And honestly, they could have been good friends. But ehhh, I still love Sierra though. I wasn't a big fan of the team switch though. Yes, Duncan did a heroic deed by joining the Heroes' team, but it doesn't really make any sense, considering all the villainous deeds that he did in the past. And yet again, Chris still calls Gwen evil for unintentionally hurting Courtney (which is not funny at all) and makes her feel any worse. It just reminds me of how much I've grown to hate Chris. There were a few things that I liked about this episode though, like Sierra calling the leeches "Codys", Chef shooting leeches at Scott, Scott hurting himself on the bed, the butler shushing the owl, Jo regretting getting rid of Lightning and Lightning appearing on videochat, her nicknames for her teammates ("Count Gwenula", "Skuncan", "Shark Bait", "Old Heather", "Ale-handwalker"), and Mike shooting a leech at Heather's hair. But sadly, this episode has a lot of continuity problems and OOC moments. On top of that, the episode is not structured well at all. As I said above, it's full of unnecessary padding, with potential plotlines going nowhere (example: Jo and Duncan's friendship, Jo/Heather/Alejandro's alliance with Gwen, etc.), and a really rushed challenge. And there's not that much build-up to anything. On top of that, the episode doesn't have that much comedy going for it and it's pretty dull as well. Sorry guys, but this episode is going in the BAD pile for those reasons. If it had more jokes and was better structured, it would have been at least a meh.
One last thing, in loving memory of Jo's time in the game, let's sing the Gray Sweatpants anthem:
Oh, say can you see? By Camp Wawanakwa
What so proudly we hail'd at the Villain's last gleaming
Whose broad elastic and polyester do people stare at in awe,
O'er the stretchy and baggy quality, were so gallanty streaming?
The sweatpants floating in the air as all the jealous people stare
Gave proof thro' the night that her pants are still there
O say, does that Joooooo's gray sweatpants yet wave,
O'er the pants of the freeeeeee, and the Jo of the brave?
Thank you for everything, Jo. You will be missed.