Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Top Shot Recap S4 E2 "Into the Trenches"

On Top Shot, bigger is almost always better, and idea proven once again by last night’s explosive episode.

Blue team came back from elimination and Littlejohn had the honor of nailing the first bull’s-eye to the wall, and continued to reveal himself as this season’s cocky s.o.b.

The first time out on the practice range, the contestants learned they would be shooting a weapon that changed the course of WWI, the Browning Automatic Rifle (B.A.R.).

This season continued to utilize the somewhat pointless expert pick, with Bethards getting the honors for blue team, and Cheng, who claimed he had never shot an automatic weapon before, for red.

The team challenge threw in this season’s first physical component. Each contestant would have to crawl under twenty yards of barbed wire, while explosions went off around them (of course) and dive into a trench where a loaded B.A.R. was waiting for them. There were seven targets each at a progressively farther distance that had to be shot in order. When the first person made their shot, the next teammate ran through the course, and so on to completition.

Blue team was down one member so they decided to sit Chee Kwan, which I will discuss more in my analysis of this episode. After getting out to an early lead, red team quickly fell behind. Terry Vaughan, despite having the pressure of having to contend with the competing advice of each of his teammates, locked up a win for the blue team.

At the house the red team’s pity party was fairly cut and dry, Keith and Kyle nominated themselves, and that how it went down on the range.

However, Keith and Kyle were treated to perhaps one of the best surprises Colby could possibly give them. Last week, the contestants faced a rotation of rifles and pistols, a not uncommon pattern on Top Shot. However another pattern that pops up on Top Shot is shooting an older weapon and throwing the contestants off-balance by forcing them to shoot an incredibly modern one. Enter the Milkor M32A1 grenade launcher.

Keith and Kyle shot what looked to be either paint or powder capsules, not actual exploding grenades. There was no clear advantage in the practice session, but both seemed to have a good handle on the weapon, especially after expert Craig Sawyer (who by now is a familiar face to the Top Shot scene) told them they should think of it like a revolver.

A brief trip back to the house clued the other contestants into what they would be missing out on, and the reactions were priceless.

The elimination challenge consisted of four targets, with each again placed at a progressively further distance. Kyle and Keith were forced to load the grenade launcher and then begin shooting. Again they were not shooting live rounds, something I was relieved by when I saw Keith aiming his weapon at his feet, but rather they were shooting at targets that would explode in a way that mimicked the grenade when hit. After an even start, it all came down to who had a better reload. Keith made a critical error, allowing Kyle to finish him off.

Old Papa Bear is proving that he can keep up with the young guns, but we’ll have to see what happens next week when the contest welcomes back our old friends the Benelli shotgun and Season 2 winner, Chris Reed.

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