The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies recap: Devin's gone power-mad
When even your own best friend can't defend you, it might be time to reassess some things. All season long, Devin's been in full control of The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies because of how he helped organize the veteran alliance and then because the Emerald cell had more players. But all that power has gone to his head, and even Kyle — half of "Dyle," a.k.a. Devin and Kyle — is over it. Tori's over it. Nelson's over it. Basically, all of Devin's friends and allies are over it. But that isn't stopping him from digging his hole even deeper. What I'm trying to say is the gaslighting continues this week. How fun for all of us! Let's get into it, shall we?
After Kyle's victory over Josh, Emanuel is feeling really cocky about how he managed to escape yet another elimination. Kyle made the right call in going against Josh, but it's wild how Emanuel has skated through this entire season so far as a rookie who should have been targeted a long time ago. There's no way his good luck keeps up until the final, right?
The next morning, CT pulls Emy aside for a secret Sapphire team meeting. CT thinks Kyle came to Sapphire either for safety or to sabotage them, and he hates both of those options. Somehow, Emy is now the one trying to convince CT to accept Kyle back as their teammate. I honestly don't know how we got here, but I can't stop laughing either way.
And then … the inmates finally get to leave the asylum! Everyone gets a respite from the game with a relaxing boat day, complete with a reprise of Amanda's Titanic pose — this time from Nelson and Emanuel with an assist from Emy. Despite the fun, Devin still can't stop moping around and blaming Tori's "betrayal" for his grumpy mood. I'm really not here for another week of Devin gaslighting Tori, but we've got to strap in for some more anyway.
After everyone returns to the house, Emy tries to play peacemaker with Kyle, but he's still hurt about CT claiming they're not friends. For now, he's okay to compete on the same team, but he's not looking to apologize or make up. Sapphire can work with that!
Things aren't going so well outside, either. Tori wants Devin to apologize for making her feel bad for playing for her team, but he says he can't respect someone who plays the game "blindly" and "really hard with no thought behind it." He's trying to make excuses that sound intelligent while still gaslighting her for not playing the game to his benefit. But let's all remember: they're not on the same team anymore. And Devin still refuses to acknowledge that.
Devin keeps saying that Tori is playing hard for "no reason" — but her reason is that she wants whatever team she is on to win in order to give herself the best chance at making the final and becoming a champion for the first time. It's really not that hard to understand, dude. But he refuses to apologize for hurting her feelings and calls Tori "irrational" for feeling hurt, which should tell you everything you should know about Devin. Tori ends up walking away looking defeated, but I love that this happened while she was wearing a hoodie that reads, "Your loss, babe."
Meanwhile, Big T decides to get serious about the game after Logan advises her to train to win, but at this point, it's too little too late. If you don't arrive to The Challenge house already trained for these dailies/eliminations, you're not going to have enough time to get in shape while you're competing!
I love Big T, and she brings so much entertainment to the show, but she's definitely in denial about her abilities and what it actually takes to do well in the competition. I feel bad for the way the other competitors treat her, but you can't blame them when $1 million dollars is on the line.
The Challenge: Million Dollar Heist
To really hammer home the point of the competition, TJ starts off the daily by showing everyone what $1 million dollars looks like. He opens a giant safe to reveal stacks of cash … are my eyes deceiving me, or does that look like a bunch of single dollar bills? The wind flipped a few up towards the camera and it definitely looks like dollar bills … but no matter the denomination, this is what they're all playing for.
Each cell must transfer all the bills, weighing 2,000 lbs., from their vault to SUVs at the end of the course using only two duffle bags for every trip. The team to transfer their money the fastest wins. This takes endurance, strength, and teamwork and feels like a mini-final — simple enough.
When the horn blows, Sapphire — at a disadvantage with only three people — takes an early lead in the run to the vault. Ruby takes off from the vault first with Emerald next, leaving Sapphire in last place. But Sapphire arrives first on the run back to the vault, proving their speed and endurance, which might help them overcome their lack of numbers. All three Sapphire members are strong and in shape, whereas the other two teams are only as fast as their weakest players.
Amanda turns out to be a big help on Emerald, and figures out how to pack the bags efficiently so they'll end up taking fewer trips. Meanwhile, Kyle is just sliding the money around, making a huge mess that eats up time while they clean it up. And Nany starts to realize it's Ruby that's actually doing the best so far, so Emerald picks up the pace.
It's a long challenge, and it's hard to tell who is actually doing the best until it gets close to the end. This is a marathon and it's going to take a long, long time with many trips back and forth. But on a wide shot, while Nany and Amanda are talking about Ruby being neck-and-neck with Emerald, it seems clear that — against all odds — Sapphire is actually in the lead? Not sure how that happened or if it's accurate, but I blame all the sudden cuts and heavy editing for the confusion here.
Devin and Big T both start to gas out on their teams. At one point, Big T even gets in the wrong car to help push the money in, so her team freaks out at her. But as Ruby heads out on their penultimate run, Emerald stuffs the last money of their money into their bags. Emerald racks up another victory, leaving Ruby without a single win this season. Brutal.
That also means the only three women eligible for elimination this week are Big T, Tori, and Emy. I think we all can see where this is going. But before we get there, Kyle celebrates his 29th birthday wearing a flannel as a makeshift kilt, baring his butt for the world to see (with a little MTV blurring, of course). As the celebration continues, Big T sits Tori down and reveals she's going to throw herself into the elimination because she knows Ruby lost because of her. She wants to feel like she deserves to be here, and the only way to do that is if she wins an elimination and earns her spot. It makes sense that she's feeling this way, especially since she literally shouldn't be here — she lost the last women's elimination and only got to stay because Ashley was kicked off the show.
Big T wants to go up against Emy because she's a rookie and thus has less experience — but let's not forget that Emy has already won three eliminations, while Tori's recent elimination track record is… not good.
The next day, Devin reminds the rest of Emerald that the last time they gave someone their wish to go into elimination, Amanda infiltrated their team and made them weaker. He doesn't want to allow someone else to threaten his position in this game, but that's really rich coming from the guy who was the worst one on his team during the last daily! Devin's ego has gotten way too big and it's making this season really painful to watch. But the team agrees that no matter what, Big T is getting called into the elimination, so they should vote in someone who can make sure Big T loses and doesn't come to their team. Amanda immediately wants to vote in Tori for obvious reasons, but what's more shocking is that Devin and everyone else agrees that it's their best option since Tori would win and then infiltrate Emerald, and that would only make their team stronger.
Devin tries to float that idea to Tori with the excuse of "everybody else in this game is playing a selfish game" so now it's okay for him to do so as well. Is he really that oblivious to how he's been playing the most selfish game of all so far?! Tori knows firsthand that anything can happen in eliminations, so she wants to avoid going in at all costs, but it doesn't look like Devin can be swayed here. Are we about to watch this friendship implode?
Emy kicks things off by reminding everyone of her three elimination wins this season and says she's ready to kill this one as well but would rather not risk it, so she doesn't want to go in. Big T, on the other hand, says she wants to go in and would infiltrate Emerald, which is a major strategic mistake because the last thing Emerald wants is to have her infiltrate. She should have lied and said she'll infiltrate Sapphire or stay on Ruby if she really wanted to be voted in.
And then Devin makes a snide remark about how this decision is no more personal than two cells teaming up against theirs, which is a really annoying dig at Tori. Tori's getting voted in by her former team and so-called "friends," so this is unnecessary. It's like kicking her while she's already down, and Kyle is disgusted at how his BFF has "gone power-mad" this season. Nelson gets in a nice jab at Devin while consoling Big T, saying Devin's biggest skill is using words as weapons. And then it turns into a fight between Devin and Nelson, and I've never been more impressed with Nelson when it comes to speaking. No "ordacity" or "needy greedy" here, just straight-up facts about how Devin almost died during this challenge, and the only reason why he's won so many times this season was because his team had more people on it. Nelson just earned a lot of points for this fight.
But it's a girl's week, so the guys finally shut up and let Tori speak her piece. She doesn't want to be used as a weapon to take out Big T, and so she says she won't go to Emerald if she wins. And if they don't vote her in, she says they'll keep an ally rather than make her their enemy. After a commercial break, we learn Emerald actually gave Big T her wish and voted her in, so Tori's threats worked.
At The Lair, Big T follows through on picking Emy because this elimination involves a puzzle — and we've got ourselves a competition.
Elimination challenge: License to Chill. Players must race to swim through freezing ice baths, ring a bell at the end, and then race back through the ice bath, climb out, and solve a square puzzle. But whenever TJ blows the horn, they must race through the ice bath again before continuing on with the puzzle. The first to solve the puzzle wins. Big T is smart and loves puzzles, but Emy has proven herself time and time again in eliminations, so the odds are solidly on Emy getting her fourth win tonight.
The horn blows and the women take off in the ice-cold water. From the sidelines, CT yells to Emy that he can help her solve it from where he's standing, and that's not an exaggeration. No one is trying to help Big T and it's painfully obvious. After another few plunges in the water, Big T gets upset hearing CT helping Emy, especially after they bonded together last season. Even with CT's help, Emy starts to get frustrated. While Big T stays calm, she gets stuck on her last piece, and Emy finally solves the puzzle first, winning her fourth elimination this season — and a solo puzzle challenge at that! After losing for a second time, Big T is finally sent home.
Emy stays on Sapphire because she'd never leave her Uncle CT. The teams are starting to look pretty equal, despite the numbers advantage Emerald has. If the final started now, it'd be a dog fight for sure, and I honestly don't know who'd come out on top. But there's at least one more male elimination to go before we get to that point, and the players seem to think that this was the final female elimination. It's been a long enough road to get here so I'd be fine with the final starting after next week's elimination. Let's get this show on the road!
Challenger of the week: It's starting to feel wrong bestowing this honor on Emy week after week, but you've got to give it to her once again for winning four eliminations in her rookie season. You can't deny this girl really is the rookie of the season.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.