Episode 1: Coming Out Swinging
Episode 2: Making Waves
Episode 3: On Thin Ice
Episode 4: Blind Sided
Episode 5: In the Crosshairs
Episode 6: Climbing the Walls
Episode 7: The Gauntlet
Episode 8: The Grand Finale
Episode 4: Blind Sided
Grammar Nazi’s Note: “Blind Sided” is bad. “Blindsided” works. “Blind-Sided” works. “Blind Sided” does not. *sigh* This could only happen in Obama’s America.
2:29-2:53 – Congratulations, gang. You got Sebastian out of the house. The black guy is out. Raucous celebration is in. Awkward. Can we nickname the remaining contestants the “Little Rock Nine”? No? Why are you giving me dirty looks?
3:19 – Rachel: “I’m a little worried the guys are going to start targeting the girls mainly because they have really strong friendships and they see the girls as weaker.” Welcome to the history of the human species, Rachel.
4:05 – Kat and Vanessa make up. In sixty seconds. Wonderful. Sums up the show pretty well. The season opener built that rivalry as the subplot for the season opener. Their kiss-and-make-up moment is the first time any of this season’s contestants have seemed genuinely likable. Don’t expect the show to mention this moment ever again.
5:09 – Justin: “I see an obstacle course. I’m just hoping I don’t have to drive. Because I do not know how to drive at all.” So let’s see: He doesn’t know how to swim. He doesn’t know how to drive. Justin Wong is the worst Grand Theft Auto character ever.
5:20 – Hannah: “The game is Forza Motorsport 3.” Ugh. Simulation driving games. Nothing is more exciting than mastery of a virtual stick shift. Yeah. Uh huh.
6:03 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
6:06 – “Inside is a small monitor behind the steering wheel. That eight-inch monitor is the only view you’ll have of the course ahead. So you’ll be driving just like you would in a video game.” Wow, that’s actually pretty cool. Context? In my video game reality show?
6:28 – Cut-outs? Of the contestants? In my obstacle course? Epic. Months back, Jay Leno featured a similar event on his show. Rush Limbaugh was the driver. The obstacles included a cut-out of Al Gore. Rush did not miss. Arguably the only funny moment in the last decade of Jay Leno comedy.
6:42 – Hannah: “Before you step in the car, each one of you will tell me which fellow gamer you would like to hit along the way. If you manage to hit that person’s cut-out, we’ll take fifteen seconds off your time.” Psychology and incentive. Inventive.
6:57 – “But the gamer that gets called out the most will have a one-minute penalty added to their time.” Eh. Every awesome racing experience needs its Blue Shell.
FUCK THE BLUE SHELL FUCK.
7:25 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
9:02 – Faye: “I hit [the cutout of] Ryan, and I’m just like, Asian female driver, watch out!” You’re right. You’re an Asian female driver. But that’s not how it works. You were in an empty parking lot. Therefore, you hit something. It just happened to be the cut-out of Ryan. Targeting the cut-out of Ryan would have resulted in the car slamming into the 74th floor of the Empire State Building.
9:22 – Hey, Justin. Don’t know how to drive? Whatever. You don’t know how to operate a seat-belt, either. That’s kind of bad.
Way to go, Justin!
9:41 – Kat: “Oh, [Justin] doesn’t drive.”
9:42-9:53 – Michael Bay has competition. God damn. I didn’t know modern video editing software could handle that many camera cuts in ten seconds. If anyone actually watched this show, we would be talking about the American sendoff to the Pokémon episode that causes seizures.
10:35 – Epic head-scratch right there. Toshiro Mifune would not have been disappointed.
10:41 – Justin: “I don’t know if that counted as a penalty because I hit it after the finish line.”
11:38 – Caesar: “Whos that?”
Justin: “Jake. Jake just ran you over.”
11:54 – Jake: “I just picked the easiest strategic target.” Wow. Gamers took complete advantage of the rule set. Am I supposed to be surprised?
12:21 – Ryan: “I couldn’t be more confident about winning the real-life challenge because I drive professionally.” Spoiler: Out of males (that is, non-woman drivers) who have driven a car before, you finished last in this competition. Good work.
13:11-13:52 – What happened? Did the production team take a sick day? Did they film the episode on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day and let the little girl film the show? This is bizarro-land. This is a thousand times more entertaining than anything this show has ever done.
14:55 – Faye: “I feel very frustrated right now knowing that I did step it up, I got second place overall, but because of the penalty I got [REDACTED].” You now know how every skilled gamer to play Mario Kart since 1996 feels!
15:26 – It’s okay, ladies and gentlemen. You know how well everyone did on the obstacle course. You don’t need to pretend that you did not know Yaz whooped all of your asses.
18:52 – A bunch of guys volunteering to wear eyeliner. Yup. Nothin’ emo about this. What does this have to do with video games again?
18:55 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
19:09 – Caesar: “Lookin’ mad fresh. And people sense the freshness.” God dammit so much.
19:59-20:40 – Yeah. Ryan is a douche. But that’s good. In professional wrestling, Ryan is what we call a “heel”. He is the bad guy. You will continue watching. You want to see him get his come-uppance. That’s good. Really good.
22:54 – Justin: “When you’re driving you sense fear, because ‘Oh, if I crash, the injuries might be bad.’ But the driving game is like, ‘Crash all you want!'” You heard it: Crashing in the video game will encourage you to crash cars in real-life! Who said first-person shooters are the only murder simulators in the medium?
25:18 – Vanessa is up for elimination. Have I made a “woman driver” joke yet? When does the National Organization for Women start boycotting my blog?
25:55 – Conclusive evidence women cannot drive: The real-life results. The pecking order: Male, female (Faye was bumped out of second only due to a penalty), male, male, female, female, male who openly admits he can’t drive, female.
26:26 – Who cares whether people lied about their times? I don’t know if the household alliance (Justin, Jake, Yaz, Caesar, Ryan) is that douchey (in that they’re perpetuating ridiculous narratives to convince themselves others need to be eliminated) or simply proving that gamers have too much time on their hands, that “OMG U LIEDZ TOO ME I THOT WE WUR FRIEND’S!1”
28:36 – I thought these people wanted to play video games for a living? I thought this was something that they wanted to make their profession? Why would you ever go into an elimination phase thinking that you will not be chosen? Why would you forfeit that practice time when it is obvious you will be revisiting previous genres later in the competition?
31:32 – Yes, Rachel. You’re the next contestant on “Get Owned, Biggums”. You may now walk to the podium. No, your mother was not shot. You don’t have to act distraught about this.
32:49 – Kat: “What car are you using?”
Kat: “Didn’t you already crash one of those in real life?” I’m worried. I don’t know whether they’re alluding to the real-life challenge.
33:43 – Kat: “So I made sure to try and help with little Cheez-Its as to how to kinda take turns…” Oh. I understand. Vanessa, you are fucked.
34:01 – Caesar, making a comment that probably sounds better if you know the nuances of Forza: “The key to this turn right here is to stay on the road.”
36:23, 36:24, 36:52 – THE SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT DETECTION ROBOT HAS DETECTED SAMSUNG AD PLACEMENT.
37:01 – God damn, Hannah. Hair gel goes in the hair. You could grate cheese on those eyebrows.
38:49 – So Rachel starts second? Vanessa finished last in the Isolation Challenge™. This competition is rigged.
40:54 – Well, this is already over. Even Joel has forfeited the pretense.
41:24 – When you’re half a lap down, just…give it up. Let it go. It’s over, man. Game over.
42:02 – Joel: “Rachel’s taking it easy, not risking anything as she goes around the turn…” Man, Joel is saying this is in the bag. That happens? You just got owned, Walter Mondale style. (Sorry. I have a quota on political and current-events references. This entry just filled it for eight years.)
Well, that’s that. No, the crowd is not cheering for Rachel. They’re cheering that two women drivers went at it and nobody died.
Conclusion: This was the most entertaining episode in the history of the series. It will be taught in schools, lecture halls, and on The History Channel. I give it my highest rating ever:
Two Jakes out of five. Good work, cable television. You finally delivered.
Continue to Episode 5: In the Crosshairs