No Longer Just A Game

Episode Report Card
Joanna: B- | Grade It Now!
Gag Me With a Spoon(ing)

We cut to an ominous shot of rain clouds covering the sun, and then many, many shots of rain assaulting various wildlife. We get it -- it's raining. As we see the wranglers making the trek to Cowboy Camp, Colby tells us that the storm hit about ten minutes into the ride, and that the horse got startled. He says that it felt like hail, and, for a moment I thought all of the Rodger-falling-off-a-horse talk was just a Mark Burnett cover-up for Colby-falling-off-a-horse action. Colby tells us that it was the worst storm he's ever seen. Suddenly he's in bright, sunny daylight as he says he feels sorry for the others who had to go back to the "very wet Barramundi beach."

I think that the crew borrowed their editing techniques from those of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge, because the next thing we see is Colby's tribemates as they arrive at a rushing river three miles from camp, which wasn't rushing that way when they crossed earlier. After various exclamations on the part of Barramundi -- including Elisabeth's noting that it had been just a "puddle" earlier -- Keith tells the others, "Let's hope our riverbed didn't get flooded like this." Rodger says that he doubts that the "dry creek bed camp" is dry right now. The tribe has to wait a few hours until the creek goes down, so that they can cross. During this time, no one talked to each other, because they were thinking about what was happening at the camp. Thinking, in Barramundi world, prevents talking. An ominous chord plays, and we go to commercial. It sounds like their camp might have washed away. Do you think their camp washed away? I, for one, am not sure.

For the record, anybody who doesn't think Mark Burnett orchestrated this situation can now send their $5 donation to the Starving, One-legged, Homeless, Caffeine-addicted, Wart-covered Babies Foundation. Please make checks payable to "Joanna Hughes." He specifically chose this beach for them, and although they could have put the actual camp elsewhere, there was a pretty damn good chance they'd put it in the flat, dry space that just happened to be a flat, dry creek bed. There was probably some equally likely hazard waiting for them had they chosen the woods. And now we see shots of the flooding camp: it's pretty much the same shots and camera angles over and over again. But, oh no -- I just saw Rodger's orange and blue jacket wash away. We then see water rushing over the canister of rice, but it's not budging, so they pause the camera while a cameraman runs out and dislodges it so it can be carried away. And here's that poor widdle kangaroo caught in the river. Ominous music plays while said kangaroo scrapes and claws at the side of the shore and can't pull itself up; it keeps moving down the riverbank and then desperately trying again and again. I feel more for the kangaroo then I've felt for any of the competitors in either season; I feel ten times more sympathetic toward the kangaroo than I felt toward Jenna when she didn't get her video from home. Maybe that's because the kangaroo stands no chance of winning a million dollars. The kangaroo finally escapes. Whew.

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