Kid Nation
The Root Of All Evil

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: C+ | Grade It Now!
Micro Economics

Time to get ready for the Showdown. Anjay rallies his troops, and they're all excited. By contrast, Guylan stands before his team in the Red bunkhouse trying to motivate everyone, but it looks like he prepared them for the pep rally by giving them all a great deal of pot. "I'm pumped. So is my team," Guylan delusion-terviews, as we see Jared sitting in a chair reading his book while Guylan tries to cheerlead. "I'm just not showing it," Jared promises.

At the showdown field, Jonathan starts out by saying that the kids have been thinking about money. I never get tired of the way he always starts these sequences by telling them what they're thinking about. So here's how the Showdown ties into the theme. Jonathan holds up a gold-painted egg, and says that the teams will be collecting them. And how will they do that? Well, each team has a giant slingshot that they'll use to launch golden eggs into the air. Other members of each district will be positioned downrange holding giant cushions (about six feet in diameter, I'm guessing) with which to catch the eggs. Which, Jonathan demonstrates by smashing one on his hand, are real, raw, and fragile. Sound hard enough? Well, the ones with the hardest jobs will be the Council Leaders. They're going to be positioned on towers between their slingshot groups and their cushion groups. Since a high wall separates the two groups, only the Council leaders will be able to see what's happening on each side, and will be responsible for directing both groups within their teams. So no pressure or anything. Each caught egg needs to be collected in a wooden box. Whichever team catches the most eggs wins, and if they all catch a total of four dozen in fifteen minutes, the town wins the reward. Forty-eight eggs in fifteen minutes, fired blind and rescued intact from ballistic trajectories? The producers must not want to give out this reward.

So let's get to work on that dirty omelet. Things start pretty slowly, with the first several eggs on each team crashing into the ground and sending up gooey little plumes of dust. Jonathan reminds the Council Leaders that it's all up to them. Guylan flinches as an egg slams into the top of the wall right next to him. This is what it's like to get shelled (get it?). I should also mention that each Council Leader, cushion crew member, and egg runner is wearing a slammin' pair of World War I flying ace goggles for eye protection. Blue is the first team to successfully catch an egg. Nathan and Blaine are the Blue cushion crew, while Mallory is responsible for boxing them. "Blue has a system," Jonathan observes, and indeed, Anjay seems to have come up with some really clear hand signals. Which is good, since nobody ever listens to him when he talks. Greg is directing the firing of the slingshot, no doubt drawing on his extensive experience in besieging medieval castles. Yellow seems to be doing fairly well too, but Red and Green are sucking wind. Guylan admits that he didn't have a strategy, and Mike complains in an interview about Guylan's inscrutable, tarmac-inspired hand signals. Blue seems to be increasing its lead: "Mallory's running a marathon here!" Jonathan says, as Mallory trips over the hay bale border, but comes up with the egg in her hand still intact. Green gets its first egg with less than half the time left, and Red is even later. Note to self: if I'm ever expected to jump out the window of a burning building into a net below, carefully observe the colors being worn by the people holding the net. Red's last egg shatters against the edge of its cushion, and Jonathan calls time.

So it's time to count the eggs. Jonathan reminds them that they need four dozen to win the reward. Red gets counted first, and ends up with a pathetic five eggs. "That's amazingly...terrible," interviews DK. Green has six, but at least they aren't Laborers. "Still really, really far from the reward," Jonathan says. He asks Sophia if she thinks they'll win it. "No," she nods. Yellow did quite a bit better, with eighteen. So that means Blue needs nineteen to win the reward. As soon as Jonathan opens Blue's box, it's obvious that they made it. There are -- get this -- thirty-eight eggs in there. That is amazing. Blue is back in the Upper Class. Yellow is the Merchants, Green is the Cooks, and Red is Laborers.

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