The Challenge: Double Agents recap: Injuries and an elimination upset
Who was eliminated in season 36, episode 3, "Enemy of the State?"
Things are shaking up on The Challenge: Double Agents! After all the last-minute partner-swapping on last week's episode, Kyle is now with Nany, Kam's with Josh, and CT and Big T (a.k.a. "Big CT") are now the purest, most adorable underdog team on the roster, complete with adorable nicknames. Who will ultimately end up benefitting from those switches? Honestly, not really anyone in this week's episode. But there are other some massively shifted partnerships as a result of this week's elimination. Let's get into it!
Kyle's eyes are totally open now after getting screwed by Fessy, and so he gathers a bunch of the other veteran guys to say if it happened to him, it could happen to any of them too. It's time to watch your back from everyone's "ally" Fessy. And then while Kyle's basking in his post-win glow, CT brings him back down to earth by pointing out his opponent "showed up with no pants and was eating mustard." Facts!
Meanwhile CT and Big T are getting reacquainted as new partners. She wants to "put some sparkle" into his veteran old school game, and he's learning how to open himself back up to all the new, young people in the game thanks to her social ways. Big T gives him some pointers on his smile, says he needs to learn everyone's names, they're giving each other cute nicknames, and it's official: I am rooting for them to win this whole thing. CT's legacy and experience mixed with Big T's social game? Team Hawk and Fuzzy Bunny will be unstoppable!
Later on in the guys' room, Fessy finally reveals that the double agents who win daily challenges get to see who everyone votes for. The "secret" vote is in fact not secret at all, and that's why Fessy voted Kyle in. The flabbergasted looks on everyone's faces are priceless. And then Kyle just starts dropping truth bombs in front of everyone because if his game is being blown up, then so should everyone else's. He exposes Cory, Nelson, and the whole "stupid brigade" — a.k.a. Team Young Buck — for trying to target Wes and Natalie, and when Fessy tries to put Kyle back on the spot, Kyle absolutely lights him up for not going into the elimination himself. "You knew it was a physical elimination and you didn't go in. You're a f---ing p---y," Kyle yells at Fessy, in front of everyone. Yes, louder for the people in the back! Kyle publicly proclaims he's now picking a side, and he's sticking with Wes. The line has been drawn in the sand. Then Kam enters the conversation to diffuse the tension, knowing that Kyle is now attached to her and she doesn't want any trouble falling back on her. Smart.
Then Cory confronts Fessy about not knowing the double agent information; he's hurt that he was one of the last people in the house to find out even though he thought he was working with Fessy. Cory's been "completely exposed by this vote" after doing Fessy's dirty work, and he's pissed. Because he knows that Wes is now going to come after himself and Nelson. He's going to end up as the collateral damage in Fessy's "shady" game.
The Challenge: Road Kill
Off in the distance, the Challengers see a gigantic semi truck with a headbanger setup on top, as explosions go off around it. Jay puts it perfectly: "I love my life." TJ pops out of the truck and simply says, "As you know, I love physical challenges. And this is one of them." Let's. Go!
In this challenge, two randomly selected teams face off on top of the truck as it goes 50 miles per hour. The goal is to push the other team off the truck as fast as you can. The agent who stays on the longest, wins. And for a Challenge first: No one wears a harness. There are nets to catch players on the sides of the truck but the back is open, so if they fall off, there's nothing to catch them.
Challenge analysis: This really is a crazy headbanger! And they're all going to have to get down and dirty. I'm ready to see some carnage. As for the no harness thing, The Challenge always takes safety very seriously so I doubt there's any real risk here. But taking away the only level of comfort they ever have on these extreme challenges means the players will need to take their fearlessness to new heights. This is going to take a lot of guts.
Challenge winners: The win is based on which teams successfully completed the mission; having both partners throw their opponents off the truck. Lolo and Nam, Leroy and Kaycee, and Wes and Natalie were the only three teams to complete it, but Leroy and Kaycee did it the fastest. Leroy and Kaycee are now the double agents, finally ending Fessy and Aneesa's double agent reign (of terror).
The first battle is Devin and Nicole vs. Kam and Kyle, and Nicole makes Kam stop after wrestling for a bit because her "arm popped," while Kam keeps trying to get her to compete. Nicole continues with one arm, and both teams time out without knocking their opponent off. Nicole needs a medic because you can literally see how her shoulder bone is not in the socket through her thick shirt, and she's taken away in an ambulance. Honestly, that did not look good. That might be a season-ending injury.
Next up is Natalie and Wes vs. Nany and Josh, and I'm ready to see some real action now! It's a dogfight from the beginning, with Natalie manhandling Nany and Josh trying to choke Wes with his own shirt until he falls, but Wes brings Josh down with him. After a hard wrestling fight on the ground, Natalie finally pushes Nany off but Nany bear hugs her on the way down, making them both hit the net. After the round, both teams argue about whose feet left the platform last, i.e. who they think won. The replay shows Wes' foot was last on the platform for the guys, and then the judges call Wes and Natalie the winners of their round.
Next up is Darrell and Amber B. vs. Gabby and Lio. Time to see Lio's wrestling moves put to work against Darrell, who isn't scared but "respects" what Lio can do. Gabby knocks off Amber B. while Darrell and Lio time out. In Nam and Lolo vs. Theresa and Jay, Theresa actually manages to slam Lolo to the ground before getting thrown off, and Jay holds his own against Nam for a while until he's thrown off. In Tori and Cory vs. Liv and Mechie, Cory knocks Mechie off and goes with him, with Mechie's foot being the last to touch the platform. Tori throws Liv off but Liv injures her arm on the fall, requiring a second ambulance to take away a competitor. There's a lot of injuries happening in this challenge!
In Amber M. and Nelson vs. Kaycee and Leroy, it's Kaycee and Leroy who toss their opponents off, and pretty quickly too. And in the final round, it's the matchup we all want to see: CT and Big T vs. Fessy and Aneesa. For the guys, it's old school tank vs. new school tank. Are we finally going to see who's better (even though we all know it's CT)? Aneesa wins over Big T, but the guys just keep wrestling (and even at one point tried taking each other's shirts off?!) and eventually time out with neither knocking the other off. Sigh. That's a battle we'll have to keep on waiting for to find out who would actually reign supreme. But CT brings the laughs by immediately asking Fessy, "Did we just become best friends?" after their round ends. And then when Big T talks about how she'd never been in a physical fight before today, CT just smirks and says, "Wish I could say the same." I'm living for comedian CT! Keep it coming, sir.
Back at the house, the Challengers are shocked to find Nicole's things missing already. Turns out her injury was serious and she had to leave. Now it makes sense why some of her talking head interviews showed her in a sling. Everyone's feeling sorry for Devin for losing his partner, but to his credit, all he can say is how awful he feels for Nicole because she wanted the win so bad. And Nam, bless his heart, tells Devin he now has to fight twice as hard, because he's doing this for Nicole now too. Awww. Nam is the personification of that big-eyes-welling-up-with-tears emoji on top of a Greek god's body. Meanwhile Liv returns to the house, also in a sling, but she's sticking around for now. The doctors are going over her X-rays to find out the extent of her injury so she's waiting to hear back in a day to see if she can still compete.
Take a deep breath and buckle in, folks, because here's where things get messy. In the kitchen that night, CT and Kaycee somehow start arguing over who was cooking their pizza or egg quesadillas first, and Josh says he doesn't want to get involved but then... he gets involved. And makes it so much worse. This whole episode is peak Josh, and I do not mean that in a good way.
The argument had ended already (because it was a stupid non-fight about nothing) but Josh goes to find CT after he left the kitchen, and Josh instigates a new fight. "Stop, it was between me and her," CT tells him, and Josh says he doesn't want to "have a falling out" with him. Josh, this doesn't concern you! As soon as Josh says that Kacyee is crying in the kitchen, CT immediately leaves to go apologize to Kaycee and Josh just keeps following him. CT kisses Kaycee on the cheek and she says it wasn't even that big of a deal and they're totally fine and she wasn't crying. And then Josh says he never said Kaycee was crying, just that "she was upset," even though there's footage of him telling CT that Kaycee was "literally crying in the kitchen" from just a minute earlier.
So now CT and Josh start screaming at each other and it turns into that scene in Anchorman where Brick yells, "I don't know what we're yelling about!" CT and Big T are laughing and Josh just keeps getting madder and louder until security steps in. Big T successfully gets CT to leave him alone, once again proving their sugar and spice attitudes are already a winning combo. And then Devin jokingly shouts out, "Big Brother sucks!" which then sets Kaycee off even though he clearly didn't say it in a serious way. And then as he's walking out the door, he shouts, "Eat my ass!" which is the perfect button to this whole stupid scenario. I just laughed for a solid five minutes straight. I love The Challenge.
But wait, there's more! Devin, being the pot-stirrer that he is, shouts "Big Brother sucks!" again, and Josh puffs out his chest and comes at him outside while being held back by security. I think there's no more perfect screenshot to accurately describe life and reality TV in 2020 than Josh being held back by his cast members, with none of them wearing masks because they're in a COVID-safe bubble created for production, while the security guard holding him back less than a foot from his face, wearing a mask. Weird times, huh? So Devin's being led away from the crowd, yelling stupid things at Josh like simple math equations that he knows Josh can't do and "if he's just jealous of his sweat suit all he had to do is ask to borrow it," while Josh is still raging, swearing, and foaming at the mouth, very seriously ready to have an aneurysm.
Here's the thing: Devin is very clearly just poking Josh with a stick for fun. It's what he does. It's who he is. And Josh just can't realize he's being made to look like an even bigger fool than he already is, trying to attack Devin like this is somehow a real fight. Josh is emotional and always on the edge of a mental breakdown, but I can't tell if he's doing this to be the center of attention for an episode or if he really can't tell that Devin's doing this on purpose over nothing. Devin's literally smoking a cigarette and smiling while Josh is trying to rush him! Devin knows the target on his back couldn't be any bigger now that he's lost Nicole and he's one of the smallest guys in the house, so he's just pushing Josh's buttons for fun. He's got nothing to lose and it's just. So. Easy. To make Josh a blubbering rage monster.
Josh starts punching walls and kicking over lawn chairs before Kaycee and Jay can calm him down in another room, and that's the end of the excitement for the night. The next morning, Devin thinks he'll be targeted because of what happened but Wes wants to campaign for the house to vote in Cory and Tori for elimination because Cory had worked with Fessy to target Wes and lied about it. Can he make it happen in time?
When the cast finally gathers to deliberate, everyone's wondering if the elimination schedule will be affected by Nicole leaving since it should be a girl elimination next. But Devin immediately throws out Cory and Tori's names anyways and Wes backs him up with a great explanation of why Cory's being targeted for this vote. And then Josh tries to trash talk Devin while Devin just keeps talking over Josh to push his buttons even more. The mess continues!
The votes end up being split between Devin and Cory/Tori, with Kyle throwing a rogue vote on Fessy and Aneesa. Leroy and Kaycee find out Devin is the compromised agent, and he was nominated by Cory, Tori, Mechie, Kam, Nelson, Amber M., Big T, CT, Lolo, Aneesa, Fessy, Darrell, Amber B., Josh, Nany, Lio, Gabby, Theresa, and Jay. But Kaycee and Leroy don't trust each other as partners so they don't even talk about how to use this info to their advantage. Meanwhile, "mastermind" Wes immediately gets to work to try and cut a deal with Leroy and Kam, but while Kam doesn't trust Wes, Leroy is unsure. For what reasons, I have no idea, because Wes has never done anything to Leroy to make him question their alliance.
At The Crater, the players find out immediately that Devin is the compromised agent, and TJ tells him that Nicole was deemed medically unfit to continue so he's without a partner. But it doesn't matter for tonight because Devin will be competing, as it's a men's elimination. That makes two male eliminations in a row! Unless I'm remembering things incorrectly, The Challenge has never changed up the men's and women's competition schedule to make it random, so this is really going to throw everyone off not knowing which kind of elimination is coming next.
And even though this elimination is stacked in Leroy's favor (it looks like a physical elimination from the setup in The Crater), he gives up the chance to face off with Devin. That might be the stupidest move of this entire episode (which is saying something based on all the Devin and Josh BS that went down earlier). There is no better player for you to go against, Leroy, especially in something so physical! This was his shot at getting a gold skull. Everyone's reactions show they're all thinking the same thing: What an idiot. After this, the guys will only have three more eliminations to get their skulls. Take your chance when you can!
Instead, Leroy and Kaycee send Wes in against Devin. Wes says he's frustrated because he's known Leroy for 15 years and has never done anything against him, but they're looking at this all wrong: Leroy is basically handing Wes a skull on a silver platter, right? There's no way he'll lose to Devin.
Elimination challenge: Snapping Point. Players will be harnessed together by a rope and must zigzag through the poles to reach their button at the opposite end of The Crater to detonate their station. Whoever detonates their station first, wins.
Elimination analysis: This isn't a headbanger per se, but it is completely physical and all strength and endurance. Devin is the first person to admit he won't win any competition involving feats of strength, so this really is Wes' to lose.
Winner: Proving you can never actually predict what happens on The Challenge, Devin pulls off the upset against Wes! I'll admit it: I was completely wrong. And I'm downright shocked.
From the jump, Wes and Devin are neck-and-neck, so Wes digs into the sand to give him some kind of leverage to hold on. It's a brutal fight for the final few feet, with Natalie shouting encouragement at Wes from the sidelines. After a certain point, it's clear Devin is closer than Wes, and the way Wes is talking in his interviews shows that his head just wasn't in the game for this elimination. Mentally he was already checked out. Devin gains that last inch and wins. It's a jaw-dropping outcome to what was supposed to be a sure thing, and Wes says even he doesn't know what happened out there. But he admits his feelings were hurt from being blindsided by his best friend and made to go against his other best friend, and he wanted the win for Devin more than for himself. This is a Wes I am not used to seeing, and I kind of do not like it. (And I'm not just saying that because Wes is on my Challenge fantasy draft team.) Meanwhile Devin's crying, talking about how proud he is of himself, and how bad he wants this but how bad he also feels for taking Wes out of the game. This is surprisingly emotional!
And then as Wes is leaving, he makes a speech to the whole cast about how he's won a few times and never had to lie to or vote in his own friends to do it, and they can win that way too. Them winning won't feel as good if they can't be proud of how they got the win. He walks out on that sobering mic drop.
As for Devin's big choice of who his new partner will be, he surprisingly doesn't take Natalie. He instead opts for cold revenge and takes Tori from Cory. She is... not enthused, to say the least. Meanwhile Cory gets Natalie! (*Whispers* Cory traded up.)
Challenger of the week: Even though I'm not always going to use this space to call out whoever gets a skull, I've got to go with Devin this week. Losing his partner due to an injury and still coming out on top is an incredible change of fortune. And then he pulled off the upset of the season, impressing the hell out of me. Plus, he made Josh cry. That's always a win.