Another roller coaster episode leaves blue team a man down as the contestants enter into what will most likely be the final team challenge of the season.
While last week focused on the implosion of the red team, this week saw blue team relapse into its self-destructive pattern.
For the third week in a row the meat of this episode was not in the challenges, but in the team interactions. Let's get the challenges out of the way first.
While trick shot challenges are always fun, this one was a bit of a snooze for me. The shots were challenging yes, but not terribly exciting to watch. Terry Vaughan's errant final shot on the soda bottles was probably the coolest, which is not to slight any of the other competitors, but in terms of pure entertainment value, that was the best.
I like that teams were forced to pick who would shoot what, because it adds an extra dimension of strategy, but it may have been better if there had been one more gun to throw into the mix. And is it just me or did this challenge just feel wrong without a revolver in the mix?
The elimination challenge again was fine, but it just emphasized what has been a fairly static season so far. What I mean to say is moving targets have not been the factor they seemed to be in season's past. The challenges just seemed too straightforward in this episode, although I did like that the William Bethards and Dylan Fletcher had to master two different pistols for this challenge.
To begin, I want to examine William Bethards, Mr. Hey Diddle Diddle. The practice session was rough for blue team, but there is one thing I don't understand that goes beyond his boastfulness. This is a shooting competition show, which is to say, contestants are there to shoot. We are always shown how jealous contestants are of those who are sent to elimination and get to shoot really cool weapons. The point I am trying to make is that if I was sent there to shoot, I would want to be shooting every weapon they put in front of me, regardless of whether I had shot it before, or if I was going to end up shooting it in the team challenge or not. The contestants always say this is a once in a lifetime experience, so why wouldn't Bethards want to take full advantage of it?
People are going to boast about their skill, and no, it isn't ever really a good idea to tell the expert how good of a shot you are, but what we are seeing, especially in the last two episodes, is how emotion is starting to creep into this contest. It's been there before, Greg Littlejohn came right out and said he didn't like Colin Gallagher, but last week and this week we have really seen it come into play and effect eliminations.
Where Bethards goes from here is hard to say, the guy can shoot no doubt, but if he makes it through to the individual portion of the contest, I'll be curious to see how (or if) he meshes with the remaining red team members.
Switching over from Bethards to his opponent in the elimination challenge, Dylan Fletcher, I have to admit, the guy won me over in the end. I've been hardest on Fletcher and his pal Littlejohn in these posts, but I can admit when I'm wrong. I made a lot of jokes about Fletcher, calling him Gun Fauxeri earlier in the season, but that's not really who he is, he's Uncle Joey from Full House, and I don't mean that in a bad way. (To complete the analogy, Littlejohn is Danny Tanner, Vaughan is Uncle Jessie, Kyle Supter is Michelle, Chee Kwan is Stephanie, and Gabby Franco is D.J.) He's just a guy trying to diffuse a tense situation by using a goofy voice, and mostly I think he was just trying to have some fun. I wish he could have stuck around for a few more episodes, but alas he left too soon.
Checking in on red team the most exciting thing to happen was Chee Kwan's new hat. Apparently Papa Bear told him to stop jacking his swag. (I wish that conversation was real) More importantly though, Kwan was pumped because he was finally going to get his chance to prove himself to his teammates...except his teammates proved themselves to him first, and Bethards proved that a gentle breeze can take down a big man with a gun. I hate to say it, but I do not want Kwan to win this competition, and it's terrible because it's through no fault of his own. Kwan simply has not participated in enough challenges this season to make me comfortable with the idea of him claiming the top prize. Blue team sat him for two challenges, and his own team's success, and blue team's failures inadvertently sat him for the trick shot challenge. You could see the frustration on his face when Colby told him he didn't even need to shoot this time around. It's a problem I brought up earlier with the B.A.R. challenge, contestants need to be able to participate in challenges. This is the ideal, but in reality this is likely too difficult to see happen.
We got to view a different side of Terry Vaughan this week. Vaughan finally started to get angry with his teammates. The guy has laughed off most of his frustration this season, so it was refreshing to see him start to get steamed up over Bethards' attitude.
Finally, who edited that episode, and how much is Greg Littlejohn paying them? Now, I know it's not fair to take it out on him, but man, how did last night turn into the Littlejohn show? He was almost the only blue team member featured in the one-on-one's during the team challenge. I mean somebody else on blue team had to have had something to say. Step your game up History.
What do you think? Did anyone else have a change of heart about Fletcher? Did I miss anything on my Full House analogy? And will Kwan have another new hat next week?
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