Big Trek, Big Trouble, Big Surprise

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Reconstituted Beefcake

The teams scatter. Nakum arrives at its pile of provisions, and Brooke ("Law Student") interviews that they had some "mass chaos" over what to take along. Farmer Brandon cracks open some fruit or other for them to eat while they prepare for the hike. Margaret ("Nurse Practitioner" and "Rare Contestant Who Doesn't Suck") says that coming up with a strategy was a little difficult. They grab up some provisions and leave, as Farmer Brandon tells us that he last hiked eleven miles "never." Karma kicks him in the ass as he runs off to his tribe and immediately falls down. Oh, karma. You are the only player never to let me down.

Bobby Jon interviews that he was thrilled to be back on the show and have another shot. He says, however, that he wanted to get his team moving. "Because I guarantee you," he says, "Miss Stephenie's over there running things, and she won't take time. You drop it, you leave it, you go." I think he's scared of her, which is a little bit funny, considering how much they lost together. It doesn't diminish my great affection for her when I tell you that she would definitely win if there were ever a challenge revolving around propaganda.

At Yaxha, Steph is indeed urging the team to get moving. She interviews that while the team might view her experience as an asset, she also was a bit of "an outsider." True, that. A woman in a pink shirt announces to Steph that Steph is the reason she came on the show. As for Steph herself, she worries to us about both being a threat and not living up to inflated expectations, both of which are probably legitimate worries, which does a lot to make this more fair, as far as I'm concerned. She's got legitimate disadvantages compared to everyone else, as does Bobby Jon, and that makes it easier to accept the basic artificiality of all this. Stephenie's tribe takes off.

Monkey in a tree.

Nakum reviews its map and directions, which instruct the group to walk straight until they come to "the old archeological road," which is a mile and a quarter away. It makes sense, I guess, that they would have an old archeological road. Probably teeming with old archeologists. In order to move in a straight line, they devise a system in which Jim ("Retired Fire Captain") sends somebody up ahead to a spot that's exactly in the right direction, and then they all walk to that person. It's not a bad plan, actually, although as they acknowledge, it's slow.

In one of my favorite shots, a bunch of little bugs carry great big leaves around that are about twenty times as big as they are. That's just cool. Because seriously, who hasn't had that day? Yaxha (now listed as "Trailing") tromps through the jungle as well. They appear to be under the leadership of Gary, a tall gentleman with a gray buzzcut. Rafe ("Wilderness Guide") interviews that he wanted nothing to do with leadership, since it's a great way to put an early target on your back. There are exceptions, of course, but he's definitely got a point, especially if you cross the line from leading to bossing. And Gary, Rafe points out, was the clear leader. Partly because he was tall, which is awesomely funny, in this certain way. It's also true. (Hey, I don't make this stuff up. Read Blink.) As they walk, Gary is asked what he does for a living. "A little landscaping business," he answers.

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