The Challenge: Double Agents recap: Lies and blindsides
Who was eliminated in season 36, episode 2, "Dive Another Day?"
It may have taken a couple of episodes but some players are finally taking The Challenge: Double Agents seriously. And based on how this week's episode, "Dive Another Day," ended, we're only just getting started. Let's get right into it!
Last week's premiere ended on a cliffhanger, with Natalie deciding who her partner is going to be after winning the first elimination. And we pick up right where things left off with Wes looking pissed and Natalie looking gleeful. But there's "no question" for her: she keeps Wes as her partner. That makes CT an agent without a partner, a.k.a. a rogue agent, and he's still in the game, which is not what Leroy and Kam want to hear after trying to make a big move against him and Wes. But TJ says the next elimination will determine CT’s new partner, so things aren’t necessarily looking too bad for him. However, he is starting to regret not partnering up with Kam because of how it landed him in the Crater. And of course, Josh is now pushing the narrative that CT is coming for him when in actuality, he’s not even on CT’s radar. Classic Josh.
But most importantly, Wes and CT now know who their enemies are, and that they need to team up against them all. If this season ends up being the champs against everyone else with the champs dominating, I wouldn't hate it!
Big T’s partner Joseph has an interesting (read: normal, non-Challenge winner) workout regime that has all the vets laughing in the house, and Big T isn’t feeling too great about having him as her partner. Nany also isn’t feeling too happy about having Kyle as her partner, and she wants someone who’s more serious about playing the game. There’s also a whole segment about Nam being hot. Thank you for that, Challenge producers!
The Challenge: Ice Spy
This week's daily challenge is a cold one. Teams must swim out into glacial water and grab a 70 lb. block of ice and bring it back to shore. Using an ice pick, they'll smash the ice block and free the "kill" capsule inside of it. They can then place that kill in an enemy’s station. Once a team has three kills in their station, they’re out. The last team standing wins. CT is the rogue agent which means he cannot play, but it also means he’s safe from elimination this week.
Challenge analysis: This involves a lot of swimming (sorry Leroy!) in freezing water, so some of the rookies are going to finally realize how serious this competition really is. It will also reveal who's working with/against who, since teams have to target specific people. Get ready for some drama.
Challenge winners: Aneesa and Fessy... because everyone literally let them win. Yeah. I know. Boring.
When the challenge begins, the freezing cold water is an immediate shock to all the players. But they waste no time getting out to the boat, and Wes, Fessy, Mechie, and Jay are the first ones there. Natalie and Wes are the first team with their ice block heading back to shore. Gabby and Lio struggle in the first swim and are in last place for quite a while. Theresa and Jay put their first kill in Gabby and Lio’s station so as not to make any early enemies. Wes and Natalie are the first team eliminated with three kills placed in their station, despite Wes trying to block Cory from killing them. It's clear they're still the target here. Leroy puts another kill in Wes and Natalie’s station even though they’re already out, essentially wasting all his efforts. Idiot!
Amber M. and Nelson are the next team eliminated, and Nelson’s pissed. He also thinks it’s super suspicious that no one is targeting Fessy and Aneesa after they were literally the top agents last week — it’s the first inkling Nelson has that Fessy’s Big Brother alliance is serving only Fessy and none of Fessy’s "friends." Nany and Kyle are eliminated next. Wes then screams out that Mechie needs a medic; the freezing water is getting to him. Mechie can’t move his limbs or catch his breath, and he's helped back to shore. Kam and Josh are eliminated next, with Big T and Joseph falling soon after. Nicole and Devin are eliminated next after getting in a fight about it, and Natalie is next to notice that Fessy and Aneesa still have no kills in their station. At all.
Lolo and Nam are eliminated next. All the players left in the game have kills in their hands, standing around onshore, and no one makes a move. With everyone standing right there, they’re all afraid to have the target put on them if they place their kill in a station. But if they’re smart, they’ll all just target Fessy and Aneesa and knock them out in one round! Why aren’t they doing it?
Theresa and Jay are then eliminated, with Gabby and Lio targeted next. Amber B. and Darrell and Kaycee and Leroy and Tori and Cory fall next, making Aneesa and Fessy winners again. That was so frustrating to watch; everyone just hands them another win. Even TJ calls it out, wondering if he should just write Fessy and Aneesa’s names on the million dollar check now because everyone just let them win.
Back at the house, Joseph says he’s going to nominate himself for elimination and he wants to go against Wes. That’s… so dumb. Is the theme of this week "be as dumb as you can possibly be"?! CT is ready to get a "weak," "scrub" girl as his partner no matter who goes home; he wants to get people off his back by having a bad partner. Wes tries to plead his case with Fessy and all the other vet guys to let him be the "janitor" (or the guy in charge) of their alliance, and CT decides to distance himself from the "drowning man" that is Wes this season. This is just getting messy. Why don't all the targeted players get together and start targeting someone like, hmmm... I don't know, just throwing this out there, but how about Fessy?!
That night, all the players let loose — including Fessy, who keeps unbuttoning his shirt. That, according to Theresa, is the only time he has a personality. Theresa! She’s not wrong, but I am loving the shade. Nany pitches her case to Fessy about potentially becoming partners, and he says he’s open to it. But he reveals in a talking head that he’s just saying yes to anyone who says they want to partner with him because it means they’ll want to keep him around. It’s a smart move, and Fessy really is doing the most right now to win this season. And Nam’s washboard abs have his partner Lolo hunting for her bible due to the temptation, but she goes in for the kiss anyway.
Later that night, Devin and Kyle have a meeting of the minds, deciding to team up and get the house to vote in Joseph for elimination, knowing that Fessy and Aneesa will just put Wes in again. Wes will win easily, come back with Natalie, and have Big T partnered with CT, giving them two strong teams on their side against the Fessy/Big Brother group. It’s a smart play and builds a new, major alliance against this "Fessy controls the game" nonsense that's becoming clear. Meanwhile, Big T is looking to get a "divorce" from her "bad marriage" with partner Joseph and is all-in with getting Joseph to be the house vote. That is a partnership that won’t last long.
When the house gathers for public deliberation, Joseph speaks up first. He wants to go against Wes in the elimination but wants Wes as the house vote. He also talks a lot of trash. And then "mastermind Wes" gives a great pitch for why the house should actually vote in Joseph and make Fessy vote for Wes again: then Wes will only be going after Fessy instead of the rest of the house. And Natalie backs it up, clearly stating why Joseph should be the house vote — because he already said he wanted to go in. It was a rookie mistake on his part.
After voting, Kyle and Tori tell Fessy and Aneesa they voted for Wes, not knowing that the top agents actually see who everyone voted for (it's a secret that's staying with Aneesa and Fessy since they're still the only ones to have won a daily challenge). In the Chamber, Aneesa and Fessy are disappointed to see that Big T and Joseph are the compromised agents instead of Wes and Natalie, despite all their hard work telling their alliance to vote in Natalie and Wes.
As for who went against their plan? A lot of their friends/alliances! Nany, Kyle, CT, Josh, Devin, Nicole, Wes, Natalie, Amber M., Nam, Darrell, Amber B., Lio, Leroy, Kaycee, Liv, and Mechie. "I’m kind of insulted right now," Fessy says with absolute shock on his face. He then says he might not want to put Wes into elimination now to do the house’s dirty work like they’re trying to force him to do. But that’s what he wanted in the first place: he was just trying to get the house to do his dirty work for him! They might make a deal with Wes now, using their secret information, which is smart on their part. But who are they going to throw in instead?
In the Crater, Big T and Joseph are revealed to be the compromised agents, and Fessy passes on going against Joseph in elimination, which disappoints TJ and the other players. It's clearly a physical elimination based on the ring sitting in the center of the sand, and that's what Fessy says he always wants! But then Fessy shocks everyone by saying Wes owes him one and he votes for Kyle and Nany instead. Aneesa votes for Kyle and Nany as well, and Kyle is straight up pissed off. Kyle isn’t the only one who lied about who he voted for, but he’s paying for it now!
Elimination challenge: Ring of Spies
It’s a male elimination week (duh), so only Kyle and Joseph are playing. They start in the middle of the Crater, holding onto a large metal ring, which they have to wrestle away from their opponent and put on their post. First to two points wins, earns a gold skull, and returns to the game.
Elimination analysis: This is a headbanger, and Fessy is already massively regretting not going in himself. It was clear that this was a headbanger from the set up when they walked in, so Fessy really did this to himself. Meanwhile, Joseph is literally licking from a Tupperware of mustard he had in his coat pocket to fend off any cramps he might get. Whatever works for ya, dude.
It’s a brutal fight from the start, and everyone on the sidelines is yelling things like "smell blood!" and "destroy him!" so Joseph finally starts to understand what this game is really like. Kyle gets the first point, literally dragging Joseph over to his pole. In the second round, Joseph gets one good flip in, but Kyle gets up and drags him back to the pole again, getting his second point and winning in a an absolute massacre.
But then Kyle drops to the ground and starts puking up blood. No wait, it’s not blood, it’s just his dinner. He was competing hungover. Thanks to this season's trailer that massively hyperbolized that moment! Kyle is fine, and TJ gives him major props for messing up Fessy and Aneesa’s plans. Then Fessy tries to say he regrets not going down into elimination himself before Kyle cuts him off and tells him to just shut up. Kyle calls him out for always saying that and playing scared because they all knew it was going to be a physical elimination based on the set up. He then drops another bomb and decides to steal Kam as his partner, because he now knows he’s not in the majority house alliance, and becoming partners with one the ringleaders ensures his safety.
So now Josh is pissed, and he blames Fessy and Aneesa for losing Kam as his partner. Kyle is hugging a speechless, laughing Kam. This is pure chaos! Now Josh gets to pick between Nany and Big T as his partner, and he obviously picks Nany, who’s excited to be with who she calls her best friend. And this now means CT is partnered with Big T, which is what he wanted all along (at least for this episode). CT says that in Big T, he sees a partner with heart who's willing to throw a body in harm’s way for a million dollars. He’s got big plans to turn her into a warrior, and I can't wait to see that happen.
Challenger of the week: Kyle for turning lemons into (vodka) lemonade and coming out the other end of a blindside in the best possible position. Take that, Fessy and Aneesa.