I'm back folks! And so are 16 teams, ready to head to the South of France (they gave a specific location, but I have no idea how to properly spell it). Meanwhile, Gerry and Pete sail off into the Parisian night on a wheel of cheese...maybe that means Gerry saw the moon for the first time in 12 years!

Here comes some character updates for this episode. I've also got a little bit of how-I-would-have-done-it headcanon in mind based on this episode and its elimination, but I'll share that once the reviews are up! So stay tuned . . .

Tom and Jen: Tom fixes his hair as much as I do. Love how they channel Anne Maria with the spray tan. Naturally they meet a prince and score a yacht ride. Tom almost becomes shark-bait, and shrieks. PENALTY. For their yacht-ride. They give absolutely zero f***s, and give themselves props for their detour.

Chet and Lorenzo: Still arguing. They're getting quite a bit of use out of the push-push-tackle routine. Chet has a good point on the Botch and Watches - he's gotten the sour end of the stick so far. Fight over the boat wheel. That's about it. Not much screentime, but they did better than a lot of folks in that department. Still waiting for a friendly interaction between them. A smile, a high five, a hug? Eventually?

Dwayne and Junior: Junior's googly-eyes over Carrie was cute. Lucky undies - poor kid. His dad is sweet, but he has a way of embarassing him on the spot. Junior is proud of his dad for handling the shark swim. Then his dad punches out the camera man. Dwayne practically drowns, and yells hints for the next challenge from the water. Junior gives his dad props for his determination - early indications of their likely plot-line of the son coming to respect the father. I just hope that Senior comes to admit his mistakes as the game progresses - he's full of excuses, which is kind of a 'meh' trait. Poor Junior, with his 5-or-whatever-year-old self getting his bike dismantled. Junior also knows how to start the boat, which his dad seemed a bit challenged on. PENALTY. For reading the clue from the water. Tries to bribe Don with expired coupons, which was lol-worthy. Goes from first to fourth, so no harm done.

Emma and Kitty: Kitty is still precious. Emma is still hardcore. Kitty's selfie game is strong. Emma blindly follows the words of McArthur during the sand castle challenge, giving up their half-completed medium-size replica...why? Seems like bad strategy. Emma also says that she didn't want Kit in the water, not because she would be eaten, but because they'd be disqualified. At least she isn't abusive like Amy, but *come on* girl, she's your sister!! (Did anybody else notice the goof where they were building the castles, over-hearing McArthur's 'go big' strategy, and suddenly Emma was back in the water retrieving a clue?) Kitty sees Senior/Junior's model and Emma switches strategies. I think Emma needs to listen to her sister a bit more - sure, Kitty is younger, and a good bit more naive, but she's been right on more than one occasion, but continues to get shut down. I think they're setting Kitty up to eventually tell her sister off/get her to loosen up.

Mary and Ellody: THEY TALK. And it took 9 seconds for me to love them. Their in-sync road-mapping was precious. They don't care that they weren't popular in high school. Science electives > dates anyways, duh. They're banking on their knowledge to be their foundation in the game. DAT SCIENCE TALK. Props to them for thinking ahead on the challenge, even if it seems strange that they pulled a magnet out of nowhere at the perfect time. Distracted by over-planning. NO, THEIR DATA. Ellody freaks, because she doesn't know how to wing it. Her yelling brings back nightmares of an angry Courtney (even if Ellody's yells were out of concern, the voice is the same). Notices Brody acknowledge their low position, but get too caught up in the castle-building. They ultimately get cut for taking 6 hours to build a sand-castle, which feels a bit contrived to me, and is the reason (along with a little line from the episode description on OnDemand) for my little bit of how-I-would-have-done-it headcanon that follows the reviews.

Stephanie and Ryan: They had a quick lovey-dovey (gag-worthy) line of Stephanie eating a shark if it eats Ryan so that they'll be 'together forever' (or at least until she has to use the bathroom...) followed by a makeout. I think the writers are limiting them to one gag-worthy line per episode. No hints of conflict in the challenges though, so at least they're holding strong.

Crimson and Ennui: The girl scares sharks. I believe it. Unfortunately, no deadpan comedy gold this episode.

Jay and Mickey: Surprisingly absent of both lines AND pain.

Owen and Noah: After getting a good bit of focus in Paris, they surprisingly get a bit shafted here, although they still manage to come in second, and Owen crushes Noah with hugs.

Geoff and Brody: Acknowledges the others are smarter and bases strategy around it. Could be good, could be bad. Surfer-boy Brody channels Scott with some potential shark fear. Is high school different in Canada, because if not, Brody was in high school for 2 extra years... Also appreciate the little development, where Brody is afraid of bringing the team down by slipping on a Botch or Watch. Brody becomes shark food after an hour, but lives. Brody gets upset when their engine dies, but manages to get it working again by making his body a part of the circuit. Tyler vibes. Brody's body is charred, but they make it through, despite thinking they were last.

Taylor and Kelly: No lines I think? It showed them during the castle challenge, where Kelly unfortunately built her mini-model on a crab.

Devin and Carrie: Issues with a mime. Trent much? I officially ship Junior/Carrie more than I ship Devin/Carrie. 'Homie' thing is getting old. Devin compliments Josee, and Carrie surprisingly doesn't murder her. Their engine blows out on their boat. They think they're in trouble, but survive to see another day. Little heartwarming moment where Devin says they're 'a good team' and Carrie agrees. They have the feeling of a far-reaching team, but I still want to have them develop in a way that's not crush-based or Shellie-based. At least Carrie talked to Dwayne/Junior, and Devin said 2 words to Josee...that's something.

Sanders and McArthur: Cop status used effectively to score a ride. Even if it's...yknow, probably illegal. I love how McArthur goes from crazy aggressive to calm "got oooone!" so quickly. Aggression continues. Love her range of faces though. Car spin epicness, followed by giving a ticket...was that the same car she was driving though? 5 minutes, and they've gotten a lot of focus this episode. McArthur is still a bit pushy towards her teammate - future problem? She doesn't seem to take criticism well, but seems to get on Sanders' case pretty easily. Sanders has been cute, quiet, prim, and proper to this point, and it will be interesting to see if she breaks because of McArthur's little bit of hypocrisy that I mentioned.

Josee and Jacques: Try to steal the Cadet's thunder by leaving first, prompting a little bit more rivalry-yelling between the 2 teams. Josee shows off her skills in the water, including somehow vertically jumping out of it like, 10 feet into the air. Jacques disses swans, and one conveniently appears to nip at him - would've been funnier if it had flapped its wings and gone full-on tackle mode. Come in first, despite not reaching the mat first (future running gag? Never making it to the mat first, even when they win?) Jacques freaks out in the aftermath and runs laps in front of the camera-man before kissing the screen. Josee is all giddy and kisses her lucky rabbit foot from episode one (nice call-back. A small part of me is curious if she'll lose it at some point in the game?)

Rock and Spud: Rock's reason for competing is to give his parents some space, and move out of their basement. Reasonable. Spud remains silent. He buries himself in the sand, which is more than he's done in the last 2 episodes.

Laurie and Miles: Her shark moment was cute, up until the part where she almost died. Her confessional was one more moment where I shout out to the artists for upping their eye-emoting glasses-game.

Last episode, I used this little section for some character comparisons, and this time I'll use it for a little headcanon. This won't be the last time either - since I've spoiled myself on the next 2 episodes as well, I already have a headcanon from at least one of them that I'll share after it airs - another reason to keep coming back! (And quick shout-out to my readers, thanks for giving me the time! I got a good bit of comments yesterday, which felt great!)

Anyways, here we go! The OnDemand description mentioned this episode containing 'sabotage oh so planned,' or something along those lines. It screamed 'Josee and Jacques finally do something underhanded,' but the episode really didn't contain any shenanigans. A part of me expected a team to trample/alter the Geniuses' data to throw them off, but we didn't get any of that either. In the end, the Geniuses lost their data to a wave, so unless Mother Nature was the saboteur that the description gave heed to, we were left with a bit of a false implication. And that brings me to what I thought *could* have been. Now first, let me say that I *loved* the edit that the Geniuses got - they were sweet, and they were smart. Kind of like B(everly), except they actually got some lines in the end. But there's a small part of me that says, 'what if?' What if they hadn't been developed to be sweet? What if they had kept their data and quickly built a perfect sand model? What if THEY had been the ones to SABOTAGE the boats of Devin/Carrie (the slow engine) and Geoff/Brody (the one where a piece seemed to inexplicably be missing, and Brody's body 'filled the gap')? They're smart enough to memorize road-maps of Paris, and smart enough to get a shark off of their backs - sure, they'd know how to disrupt an engine. Back before Season 1, Noah was labeled 'The Schemer,' which set him up to be a bit of a know-it-all with some sketchy tendencies. And then he got cut third, which threw that potential out. With the Geniuses, their label gave them a lot of potential, but they were cut in the same kind of way. Knowledge is a powerful tool, and they easily could have used it to hinder some other teams. While I'm happy with the direction that they were taken, it's still a shame to see them go. Some more episodes of sweets/smarts would have been nice to see (this program could have been entertaining AND educational!). And I still saw potential of making them/keeping them around as silent antagonists/anti-heroes (you know, what Scarlett *should* have been instead of coming out as an evil psycho and getting booted in the same episode) if they had been written/edited differently. For now, we have to wonder what could have been. And as I said before, this won't be the last time that I say that - I have strong opinions about an upcoming episode and some plot points that could have been interesting, so stick around for a few of those!

But for today, that's all the thoughts I've got in my head! Were you as disappointed with the elimination as I was? How did your favorite characters fare? And do you guys have any interesting headcanons that you've developed through the first 4 episodes? Leave some comments, and come back tomorrow, when I update my ever-growing opinions!

~ TdrrTom

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