The Challenge: Double Agents finale recap: A big decision results in a new champion
Who ended up winning season 36? Follow along with EW's season finale recap, "The World Is Not Enough."
The Challenge: Double Agents has been one of the most unpredictable seasons yet, with numerous partner swaps, medical DQs, and the constant targeting of previous winners in the bid to try to get a new champion crowned. Did that dream come true for the seven non-champions vying for the top prize? Did Leroy finally get his win before retiring? Or did three-time winner CT get his long-coveted fourth title? Let's find out!
After last week's part one of the finale, CT and Amber B., currently in first place, have "a $900,000 decision" to make about who to sabotage with another plate of nasty food. All the teams are doing their best to throw the other teams under the bus while CT laughs because all three teams have screwed him over this season. Since Amber B. isn't chiming in, the decision is fully on him and he makes the right call and gives the extra plate to Kam and Cory since they're in second place. This continues to further CT and Amber B.'s lead.
CT and Amber B. take off for the next leg while the other teams struggle to finish eating. I'm glad they still have to finish their plates even though a team already finished the checkpoint — I was worried it meant that entire checkpoint was over for everyone. But we're going by classic Challenge rules and I love it. Leroy and Nany eventually finish and take off, now in second place.
CT and Amber B. make it to the third checkpoint still without having wiped all the blood off their faces, making them look even more intimidating. It's gross and I bet they regret not wiping their mouths on their sleeves. This checkpoint is kayaking to retrieve puzzle pieces and then solving the totem pole puzzle on the shore. Leroy and Nany get in their kayak while Kam and Cory finish their sabotage plate, and with one last bloody barf, they take off too.
Meanwhile, Fessy still has yet to take a single bite of food while Kaycee's been chowing down and is already halfway through her liter of animal blood. She refuses to give up while Fessy makes a piss poor show of pretending to take a bite and then roaring while spitting it out as if he's throwing up. But really, he's just bitching out. Classic Fessy.
Out on the water, CT and Amber B. bicker about how to paddle while Leroy and Nany can't figure out how to turn their kayak and end up going the wrong way, giving Kam and Cory time to catch up. CT and Amber B. get all their puzzle pieces first and get back into their kayak. Eventually, Leroy and Nany flip their kayak but get back in.
Meanwhile, back at the eating checkpoint, TJ has to confront a pouting Fessy, who's now just sitting on a rock as Kaycee desperately houses the rest of her food. TJ talks to Fessy like he's a child (because that's how he's acting!), and Fessy says he wants to continue, but actions speak louder than words, dude. He finally takes one bite, yells some more, and walks away, continuing to stare at the food. It's so pathetic. Kaycee is literally carrying this team on one leg, and my heart is breaking for her. But this is the partner she wanted!
On the water, CT and Amber B. keep on arguing with each other. Leroy and Nany get all their puzzle pieces and hope to catch up, and they might have a shot because out of nowhere, Amber B. screams and accidentally flips the kayak, knocking CT out. He gets back in, but tensions are running high. Meanwhile, Cory and Kam are communicating well and making good time, getting their puzzle pieces and hurrying back into their kayak.
Now that Cory and Kam have retrieved all their puzzle pieces, TJ officially calls the game for Fessy and Kaycee because they've "timed out" and won't be able to catch up. "Karma Chameleon" playing during this scene was perfect! I feel for Kaycee, but also, she wanted Fessy as a partner over Leroy, so some of the blame rests on her for hitching her cart to this dumb horse. The final performance failure is all on Fessy, though, despite Kaycee's injury. He keeps going on about how all season he's been "held back" and hasn't "been able to compete" because of his partners, but when it mattered, he held his own partner back. That's not stopping him from blaming Kaycee, though: "I worked so hard to get here, and this is how my season ends because my partner blew out her knee." No, your season ended because you don't have what it takes to be a true Challenge competitor. You refused to eat (for the second time this season!). You had a temper tantrum. You pouted when you should have been completing the checkpoint. This is all on you. Fessy has now failed in two straight finals. Nice try "coming for the crown!" And yet he still thinks he's "gonna win this one day." Sure, Fessy. Sure.
But on to the three remaining teams of actual champion contenders! CT and Amber B. work on their puzzle on the shore but struggle with it so much that Leroy and Nany actually make it to the shore and have a chance to catch up. Eventually, CT and Amber B. figure out their puzzle and run off, still in first. Kam and Cory make it to shore while Leroy and Nany solve their puzzle and move on. But Kam and Cory make quick work of their puzzle and are hot on their tail.
Amber B. impresses CT with her running endurance, and they make it to checkpoint four (a long math equation inside a cave), and CT solves it in no time at all. Finally, Leroy and Nany make it to the cave, with Kam and Cory not far behind. The two teams furiously compete to finish the math first while CT just holds a mug underneath a melting icicle, getting some fresh glacial water while he watches. Cory, Kam, and Leroy all call for a check but are wrong. Nany gets hers right, with Kam next. TJ calls it a night now that one member from each team has solved the equation and reveals to the teams that Fessy and Kaycee "timed out" on the eating and have been eliminated. Cory absolutely hits the nail on the head when he says Fessy will never own anything that led to his elimination. Cory repeats Fessy's whole excuse word-for-word and bless the producers for showing Fessy's post-game interview in which he blames Kaycee for him not eating and says he was "the favorite to win this whole thing." I love Cory for his speech about how certain things make you a vet, and Fessy, despite making the final both of his two seasons, still hasn't earned his stripes.
Meanwhile, since CT solved his equation first, he gets the choice to switch partners for what will be the last switch-up of the season. "God damn it if I'm f---ing stupid but I'm going to keep her," CT says. It's absolutely the right call, they've been killing it this whole time. If it ain't broke, why fix it?
Then the long night in the cold, wet, glacier cave begins. There are three different sleeping arrangements for the night, with first place (CT/Amber B.) getting a geothermal, waterproof sleeping bag, second place (Leroy/Nany) getting a duvet with a waterproof cover, and third place (Cory/Kam) having to suffer with just a blanket. But that's not all! One partner must be holding a heavy capsule while the other gets some sleep, and when they want to switch, they have to dunk their face in freezing glacier water before swapping places to make it that much harder to get some sleep after. "I hate me too!" TJ gleefully tells the teams as he leaves.
The clock starts right after 8 p.m., and the three players who stay up first — Cory, CT, and Nany — pass the time doing my favorite activity: talking s--- about Fessy. Leroy and Kam keep warm by talking about how excited they are to start their new life together, and it's really sweet to see how far they've come in their relationship over the years. And eventually, Leroy confesses that this is his last season. Cory's shocked, and CT is excited, saying that he knew it from the way Leroy's been playing. I'm just shocked Leroy managed to keep it a secret this whole time!
The long night continues with tons of ice baths as the temperature drops to 15 degrees Fahrenheit until finally, the sun rises and TJ arrives at 7 a.m. to begin the last leg of the race. Teams will run up a steep glacier to get pickaxes, run back down and use the pickaxes to break open a block of ice to free a capsule. CT and Amber B. get a five-minute head start because they finished in first on day one, with Leroy and Nany getting a two-minute head start on Cory and Kam. And those leads are everything, with Kam lagging behind Cory in last place. CT and Amber B. free their capsule before Cory and Kam arrive, and Cory and Kam actually make up some time, closing in on the lead behind Leroy and Nany.
CT and Amber B. make it to checkpoint six and continue their hike uphill. Amber B. clearly has a lot of gas left in the tank because she starts running up the steep incline while CT lumbers behind her. She's really impressing everyone here! They have to decode a word puzzle at the top of the hill but realize they have to use their capsule they dropped at the bottom of the hill as the decoder key. That means they have to run back, check the key, and then run back up, losing some of their lead, but no teams have caught up to them yet. Leroy and Nany and Cory and Kam know to immediately memorize the code before dropping their capsule, which was smart. But CT still ends up cracking the code ("infiltrate") and they move on before the other teams arrive.
Leroy and Nany crack their code ("encryption") right before Cory, and Kam get theirs ("classified"), and those teams are neck-and-neck as they move on. But CT and Amber B.'s lead must still be huge because the other teams still can't even see them. They arrive at checkpoint seven, another puzzle, and to CT's delight, it's a tangram. Step aside, Amber B., and let the expert do his thing. They move on quickly, and Amber B. tries to get CT to do a light jog, but he's totally out of gas. As he huffs and puffs, he tells her how good she is, and you can tell that CT never in a million years expected her to outperform him like this on the final overall. She'd be lost without his checkpoint skills, but as a team, they're really well balanced. She's the best partner he's had all season, and at this point, I'll be shocked if any team catches up to them.
Leroy and Nany and Cory and Kam make it to the tangram, with Kam still lagging behind in third, but they finish before Leroy and Nany and take second place for a split second. CT and Amber B. meanwhile miss an arrow and end up going the wrong way, so they lose more of their lead and have to turn around to get back on the right path.
But once CT and Amber B. make it up the steepest hill yet, they see TJ smiling at the top. That's right, it's the finish line, and they just won! CT runs over to TJ and gives him the biggest bear hug, and Amber B. joins in. CT finally got his fourth win despite the entire house working against him from the first day, cementing his place as one of the best Challengers of all time. And Amber B. is most definitely rookie of the year in the very exclusive club of rookies who won their first season of The Challenge. The smiles and relief on their faces as they fall on the ground are incredible.
As for second and third place, both teams are running together to the finish line in an all-out sprint. Leroy's already feeling disappointed that he never got his Challenge win, but he still gives it everything he has to touch TJ before Cory. But Kam is ahead of Nany and cements second place with the $100,000 prize split with Cory (which CT hilariously points out is more money than he made for his first win). Nany finally finishes, meaning she and Leroy get third place and leave with no prize money. My heart is breaking for Leroy right now. But he's holding his head high knowing that he did everything he possibly could to get the win this season, so he's satisfied. And Kam's confessional is also heartbreaking because she was fighting for something bigger this season. But Leroy's final interview, where he talks about how much The Challenge has changed his life for the better, is so sweet and inspiring. I'm really going to miss him!
But wait, the finale isn't over yet. Twenty-four hours later, TJ enters a dark room, opens up a laptop… and activates a new Challenge. For the first time ever, we're getting a new season teased at the end of the finale. But what does it mean?! Hopefully we'll get some more information on that in the reunion episode next week. Until then, thanks for sticking around for the longest season of The Challenge ever. Are you happy with the winners? I know I am.