This week, everyone stays pretty much the same except for Derek, who turns out to be a dick.
Later, he gets radiation poisoning in Ottawa and turns into a giant dick.
Upon their return from elimination, Erica says she feels “selfish” about nabbing Steele from Kym, who went home last week (thank GAWD), but didn’t feel a connection with anyone else but him. This phenomenon has been experienced by about half the women on the show thus far, three of whom have gone home because of it. Expect the first woman to say she’d like to test-drive Steele to be in contention for elimination later. Steele admits that he’s “intrigued” by Erica. Yeah, just wait until she starts talking about how much she wants to lock you down. You’ll be intrigued by the first ass that comes into your eyesight.
Yay, Miles and Heather! They’re both “pumped” about having been repartnered.
Reunited and it feels so good. For me, I mean, because most of the others are painful to watch.
They both jaw at the camera about how much chemistry they have and how they can “laugh together.” Wouldn’t it be fun to bring your boyfriend and go out for drinks with these two, plus Mike and Samantha? They’re all straight out of a commercial for The Keg.
At the bar, Derek tells a bunch of people, including his partner Jess, that he’s “thinking about mixing it up.” Way to crush the girl’s hopes, Derek. He whispers to all of them that he would have picked Samantha, who at the moment is sitting on Mike’s lap a few yards away. Jess, of course, is unpleasantly surprised, even though he “digs” her. Jess thinks this is a “pattern” with Derek. She says she really likes him. You know, if a guy treated me like one of two options, I’d stop liking him immediately. Theresa, the only one who seems concerned for others’ feelings, points out that Mike probably would have gone home if Derek had done this. Because none of the other girls would pair up with him to save him for Sam later? That’s not exactly thinking ahead, Theresa.
Theresa becomes the Caroline Pearce of Love in the Wild and relays what she just learned to Mike and Samantha. Mike immediately takes Derek for a walk. Oh, please, please let there be punching! He makes it very clear to Derek that he likes Samantha and wants him to respect that. Derek’s excuse: “I just think it’d be fun to do.” Well, I think sticking your head in the crocodile-infested river would be FUN, Derek, but also illegal. They shake hands, but don’t seem to have agreed on anything. Mike fears that if Derek gets into first place, he’ll take Samantha away. It is SO ON!!!
Derek is still in “having fun” mode and doesn’t really believe that Mike and Samantha lurve each other. What would it take to convince him? Forcing him to watch them make out? The entire cast getting into a flash mob in which they repeatedly sing “Mike and Samantha lurve each other!”? MacAussie slipping the message casually into his recitation of the game rules? I’ll take all of those. But, seriously, is he off his nut? As if Samantha would have any interest in a guy who intentionally, selfishly pulls her away from someone she genuinely likes. Just imagine her and Derek in a cabin together:
DEREK: “Sam! I’m really glad we have a chance to get to know each other.”
DEREK: “I mean, I know you and Mike have a thing, but you’re really pretty.”
DEREK: “Also, you know, you don’t want to miss out on other guys completely.”
DEREK: “So, uh, do you want to just go to bed, or maybe –”
SAMANTHA: “WILL YOU JUST DIE?!”
No, wait – that’s what I’d do. Followed by punching.
More Steele and Erica. They, they, they so excited to be together. Erica is interested in him because he comes in last during every challenge but still is first to go. That says less about his attractiveness than the unbelievable lack of foresight among this show’s women. Then they make out. Now, really, Erica, you don’t know where that mouth has been!
The next morning is Brandee’s birthday. Two days ago, it was Ben’s birthday. <sarcasm>Gee, what are the odds of that.</sarcasm> Ben piles unidentifiable food on a plate, as a token of appreciation for the birthday breakfast she made for him. And then he tells her he spit in it, calls himself sweet – which is kind of like calling me quiet – and says she’s “getting old as fuck.” She’s 26. I’d advise Ben not to look for any 17-year-olds, but they’d match him for maturity.
Brandee says she likes him because he’s acting like a kid who teases the girl he likes.
“Yesterday he pulled my ponytail really hard and put mud in my backpack. He is SOOOOO CUTE!”
If that’s what turns you on, Brandee, why not swap him for Jason? He’s childish, too. Then she orders him to get sugar for her coffee/tea/steamed swamp water. That’s better.
My point about Jason is proven when he brings Jessica a bunch of tropical flowers after she refuses to acknowledge how much he likes her. He says he wants to show her how much he likes her. OK, maybe he’s not childish so much as DUMB. Jessica comes out of the bathroom, swings her arm at him (her version of waving) and laughs at his flowers.
“Those flowers look emotionally supportive! LOCK THAT DOWN!”
I apologize. The CTV player’s endless Friends with Benefits trailers have permeated my caption-making. Also, Jessica looks more like Mila Kunis than any of the other women. Jason, having received neither hug nor cheek peck, thinks he came on too strong again (hee), which of course he didn’t want to do. Uh-huh. Jessica doesn’t like guys who are too open about their feelings and thinks Jason should know this. Remember how Skippy Squirrel said last week that men and women should understand their feelings for each other without words? Jessica should go for him. They’ll never, ever have a conversation.
Challenge time! The assignment: Each pair grabs a map and a ladder, which they will use to find another map with further instructions. Intriguing. MacAussie takes the requisite 15 seconds to go over the rules again, and adds that the winners of the challenge will win an “intimate fishing trip.” I know of only two people on Earth who would consider that romantic.
Heather is miffed because MacAussie’s instructions were “so vague” and they have no idea what’s coming. I believe that’s the point, sweetie. They all go off. Mike and Steele reach the same ladder at once; Steele is the first to abandon it for a new one. He realizes a few seconds later that he “had it!” And that’s why Steele always fails. He was probably looking for a six-footer made of . . . STEEL?
Jessica notes that Jason is especially enthusiastic about winning this challenge, so they can go to the Oasis together and he can “try to fall in love with” her. He’s already there, lady. She, on the other hand, wants to win so she can dump him. You had your chance last week, but thanks for the extra public humiliation!
Samantha also fears that Derek will win, choose her, and send Mike home. Can’t she just, I don’t know, TALK TO DEREK? He wouldn’t have much of a leg to stand on if she makes it clear that she’d rather give MacAussie a sponge bath than partner up with him.
Steele and Erica still can find nary a ladder or a map. Erica: “Why us?” Because your attraction blinded you to the fact that you’re the worst partnership this show has ever seen.
Jess is too hot. I can sympathize; temperatures here in Winnipeg have been in the early to mid-90s all week and we’re exhausted. Derek promises her a massage once they finish. He’ll probably regret that later.
More Jason and Jessica. He’s showering her with compliments and general talk. She hates that.
“I bet this water bottle would make an awesome blunt object.”
Ben is incredibly proud of himself for walking through the heat better than Brandee. They live two Southern states away; how different can their climates be? Miles and Heather move ahead of them; Miles says Heather’s competitive streak “means a lot.” Yeah, it means she wants to win, Miles. You really don’t need to dig for hints that she likes you. Calm down now.
Steele and Erica are STILL looking for the ladder. They’ve passed it at least twice. Finally Erica spots it, and Steele doesn’t even know what she spots until he’s inches away from it. To be fair, he might be nearsighted. Or maybe he’s just himself.
“OK, fine. The animatronics at Chuck E. Cheese are smarter than him. But at least he’s cute.”
Derek and Jess are the first to find Map #2. The instructions, recited by Jess with the speed of a roided-up gnat: 1. Put on a helmet and harness. 2. Carry your ladder into the cave ahead. 3. Use the ladder to get to the floor of the cave. 4. Follow the sound of the waterfall. 5. Pick up a “stone idol.” 6. Put it into your backpack. 7. Climb the bamboo ladder ahead of you to get out. Did you get all that? I had to watch this scene twice before I did.
They both love the cave. I’ve toured caves in South Dakota before and they are pretty awesome. Jason/Jessica, Miles/Heather, Ben/Brandee and Mike/Samantha join them. Samantha is nervous, but Mike has a “calming effect” on her. Does his cologne smell like pot? Skippy Squirrel and Theresa are next. Skippy finally understands that the point of the show is to try new experiences without being “timid.” Expect him to step into MacAussie’s study later for a full lecture on the subject.
Derek and Jess are still in first. Derek compliments her a lot and calls her “babe.” She wonders if there’s “something deeper.” No, he’s just a manipulative, self-centered jackass. Nothing deep about that. Their next task is to pick up a horse, which only one of them will ride, drop it off at the “horse drop-off area” (eloquent!), walk into town and meet MacAussie at a bar. That sounds like a very good place to meet after this. Derek and Jess find a white horse that they name “Freckles.” So it’s a ginger horse?
Steele and Erica finally get into the cave. Steele doesn’t know what an idol is. Well, at least he’s not going to hell, although not being this ignorant ought to be the 11th Commandment.
Ben and Brandee find a horse. Ben lectures Brandee how to ride: “The horse basically goes when you’re in charge, and if you’re not in charge, he’s not gonna follow you. It’s kind of like a woman.” Ben, a reminder: Women have fingernails and feet. Watch your mouth. Brandee just laughs. She says it’s important for her guy to be entertaining. OK, he’s nothing if not that.
She’s a specialist in not having any mental health.
Jason is leading Jessica on the horse. Not even the horse wants to follow him. Ben and Brandee pass by. Ben says Jessica looks pretty; Jason calls her “a little bit of a bitch.” HE SAID A BIG BOY WORD! HALLELUJAH! Jessica must be thrilled. He also says the horse needs to be punched. OK . . . now you’re scaring us.
Derek wants to be in first. Steele knows he and Erica are going to be in last. The horses have trouble crossing the river . . . with people.
Ben and Brandee spot the horse following theirs. Brandee wonders if Jessica fell off. HA! Jason and Jessica find it after traversing the river, which means they don’t completely fail this round. She finally tells Jason that she doesn’t think she can be with him. Actually, she knows she can’t be with him, but even she has her tactful moments.
Derek and Jess leave Freckles at the pen with his horse friends, Wartface and Psoriasis, and join MacAussie at the bar. He takes the idol off their hands.
They take their beers out of the bar (one of them is in a glass; won’t they have to return that?) and hop in a car en route to the Oasis. They are followed by Ben, Brandee and their idol.
Next are Miles and Heather.
OK, I’ll stop. Mike/Samantha (still scared), Jason/Jessica (still pissed) and Skippy Squirrel/Theresa (still boring) take their places and beers. Jason and Jessica both tell the camera that they don’t get along. At least they finally agree on something! Steele and Erica bypass the bar before they figure out that it’s the bar. It has “BAR” painted in giant letters on it. They hope other people will choose them just so they can stay alive, even though they like each other. Prediction: Someone else will choose Steele.
At their cabin that night, Mike and Samantha banter about why they lost. They don’t fight this time, so I guess mediocrity is fine for them as long as they’re together. Adorable, kinda. They both fear Derek. Guys? You know where to find the Oasis. Set him straight. Do it now. Of course, they don’t.
Derek and Jess eat dinner. Jess laments that they don’t have what Mikeantha has. Derek doesn’t know what that is. Here’s a hint: SOMETHING SHE WON’T GIVE YOU. Then they both launch into the standard she-likes-him-he-thinks-she’s-hot-but-he-doesn’t-know dance. You can attach this scene to any couple except Mikeantha and Heathiles and it would work.
Jason joins Ben and Brandee for dinner. They’re incredibly happy to see him.
He yammers at them about the flower fail from earlier. He tells us, “The real Jason Jackson’s here, but nobody wants some.” His voice breaks as he says this. And then he starts to sob. I’m not even making that up. He’s legit crying. And that’s why nobody wants some. But thanks for enabling us to do some serious social media stalking later, Jason! At least you’re good for something.
Jessica, Samantha and Theresa gather for a gab session about Jason. Guess what Jessica calls him?
a) “frost in the moss”
b) “cost in the toss”
c) “lost in the sauce”
That’ll be the name of the Love in the Wild spin-off show in which Jessica goes saucin’ for love. And guess who she’d like to partner with? That’s right: Steele. Break out the butter – this girl is toast.
Derek and Jess are in the tub gettin’ tipsy. He remembers afterward that he owes her a massage, which is difficult when she has her shirt on. She’s only too happy to remove it, of course. And then this happens.
15 minutes in, he called her Samantha, and she ripped out every one of his pubes at the roots with tweezers.
Erica fears that “the little tiny one,” Jessica, will pick Steele. How do they not know everyone’s names by now? Steele, wearing a hot pink towel, says it would all be part of the plan, and Erica needs to keep it going by snagging Ben from Brandee. Just their luck, Jessica does want to pick Steele, who is “no pressure, no stress, no dramatics.” Also, no brains. He’s also hot. That’s vital information.
Breakfast the next morning. Jessica does not hesitate to inform Steele that she’d choose him if she could. Even Steele has noticed that Derek has been radiated into a giant dick, though he describes his behavior as “wanting to mix it up.” Ah, a match made in douchebag heaven.
Derek and Jess arrive at the Fishin’ Hole of Romance and sit in their kayak like this.
Miles would be horrified.
Jess tells us about how compatible they are. Ah, yes, the standard post-coital delusions are in full force. And, of course, Derek breaks out the nonchalant “It is what it is” spiel. What it is, is a fateful match-up between starry-eyed cutie-pie Jess and a giant dick.
Back at the cabins, Ben pours drinks for the entire crew. He is a bartender in real life, after all. (And he does great things.) He also flirts with Erica, fulfilling Phase 2 of her and Steele’s Operation Save Our Losing Asses. Erica tells Ben that he has “layers” one needs to pull back. I’d compare him to an onion, but he’s too pathetic to make a girl cry or make a delicious soup. Miles and Heather take note of the flirting and giggle to themselves. I hope they’re not one of those holier-than-thou couples who thinks they’re more compatible and romantic than anyone else and ends up coming to fisticuffs when the road gets bumpy.
Ben and Erica call each other “intriguing” at least three times over the course of the conversation. This week’s episode of Love in the Wild was brought to you by the letter I, for intriguing, and D, for Derek/dick.
Heather helps Brandee pick out accessories for the evening ahead, then takes the gossip duties from Theresa and informs her that Ben and Erica were talking. TALKING?! The HARLOT!!! The second Ben and Brandee meet up in the cabin, she demands to know if he’s going to switch. If he wasn’t planning on it before, he probably is now. And what’s she so worried about? If she genuinely likes him, I’m writing her off. Completely.
Dressing montage time! Mike advises Samantha to wear something unattractive so Derek won’t pick her. He’s seen her in a tank top and shorts; it won’t help. For his part, Derek confesses that Jess is good to “kick back with,” but so are “a lot of girls.” He’s still seriously considering Samantha. If Jess is good to kick back with, Derek is good to kick in the back. Mike, get on that.
At elimination, MacAussie says “you guys know this already” before going over the rules AGAIN. The slow learners have left or are watching a better show. Give it a goddamn rest. Jess perkily tells MacAussie that she’d like to stay with Derek. The music gets dramatic as Derek prepares to make his choice. One of the following happens:
A) Derek picks Samantha, who freaks out, runs over to him and strangles him with her hair while Mike repeatedly beats him in the balls with a tiki torch and everyone else looks on with a mixture of horror and pure enjoyment. After about three minutes of this, MacAussie breaks it up and timidly agrees to waive the rules so Mike and Samantha can stay together. Jess joins Derek in the medivac. It is revealed later that he will never be able to conceive or breathe without assistance.
B) Derek picks Jess and ceases to be a giant dick.
As much as I would have liked A, it’s B! SWEET VICTORY!
“Enough of them, let’s talk about how happy we are!”
Now that the important part’s over, we come to Ben and Brandee. She wants to stay with him. He almost dumps her for the ever-intriguing Erica (please, I’ve met winter squash more intriguing than her) but ultimately “sticks it out” with Brandee for the third week in a row. Uh-oh. So much for Erica and Steele’s Super-Awesome Plan.
I would now like to take this time to remind you all that any browser is better than Internet Explorer. I just got a new computer and IE has been pissing me off all evening. Firefox FTW.
Next: Miles and Heather stay. Obviously. Mike and Samantha stay. Even more obviously. Jason and Jessica dump each other. Couldn’t get more obvious than that. Jessica does pick Steele, but now that the Super-Awesome Plan is dead, he snags the opportunity to stay with Erica. Jessica steps over to the unmatched area in shame.
Steele apologizes for leaving Jessica in the lurch. She waves him off. Frankly, I don’t think she’s too upset; she’ll risk going home just to get away from Jason. (That plane ride deserves a half-hour of its own.) With his options limited, Jason throws a Hail Mary and picks Theresa. DENIED! (Obviously.)
“The one moment I thought I was done with you forever . . .”
Skippy Squirrel and Theresa, from whom we didn’t hear much of anything this week, stay together. Because Steele and Erica are now pretty much safe from elimination, they stay together as well. Because she’s intriguing and he’s cute, just to clarify. That means Jason and Jessica are GONE! Oh, I’m going to enjoy these closing speeches so, so much.
Jessica: “I think Steele and Erica should have been together in the end. And even though it’s unfortunate that I had to go home, everything happens for a reason. It was not worth it to stay with Jason, because it wouldn’t be fair to him, it wouldn’t be fair to me. I think that he’s gonna get a phenomenal girl one day. I am just probably not the right breed for him.”
OK, Jessica was kind of a bitch, but she has a refreshing attitude for this show and I’ll kind of miss her. But enough of that. On with the tears!
Jason: “I definitely came on this adventure looking for, you know, that special girl. Unfortunately, I didn’t find her. I can’t say I got nothing out of this experience, but that’s what it feels like, ’cause I’m walking home empty-handed, and going back to my apartment and my plant, Bubba.”
I was disappointed with that outro up until he mentioned the plant. What, he’s too whiny for a cat?
Next week: Someone gets injured! If it’s not Steele, I’m going to be dismayed like nothing you’ve ever seen. Am I the only one who thinks this week’s episode was unusually awesome?