Challenge Total Madness Episode 4 Recap: Ten Biggest Takeaways

Episode 4 is in the books. You probably have some thoughts, so let’s compare. Instead of giving a simple summary, I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the fourth episode. These will be integral storylines that the fourth episode focused on, and I’ll breakdown why they matter for the season.

10 Bears lights a fire with a fire extinguisher

MTV decided to go guns blazing to start this week’s episode. We got an advancement of the Kailah and Bear storyline. Instead of Bear masturbating in his confessionals to the thought of Kailah, he is now actually conversing with her. A little notable thing about this season is Kailah’s voice has been much raspier than usual, like close to laryngitis levels of non-existent. It could be part of the reason she hasn’t gotten many confessionals thus far.

Bear decided to catch her interest by shooting a fire extinguisher in a bedroom filled with people. Shooting an extinguisher in a cramped space is a massive fine in most places, and it got reported by Vevmo that Bear got heavily fined for this action (it maybe should have been a DQ, but MTV values Bear). Bear’s move angered many in the house and the two who got the hit the most were Ashley and Nany. Ashley then spits in Bear’s face. She should not have spit in his face, but considering Bear virtually spat a toxic material into her mouth, I exempt her a tad bit.

9 Fire Extinguisher PT 2: Mattie vs. Ashley vs. Nany

It devolved into a Mattie vs. Ashley battle, because Mattie, a southern girl, views spitting as the ultimate sign of disrespect (and was ready to fight Ashley despite a prior alliance). However, Nany jumped in at one point to yell at Mattie, “you weren’t there!” It’s an essential aspect to it all because some people see someone get shot with a fire extinguisher on a TV show and think it’s no big deal, as it is often a comedic spot for a laugh. It’s not, I mean, visually it looks fucking hilarious, but to get shot with toxic fumes sucks, and as you saw from the footage, the room itself needed to be evacuated out of until the dust settles and they have time to clean.

Mattie and Ashley’s fight became very weird as Mattie took a shot at some Ashley’s physical endeavors with the opposite sex; Ashley then took a pop shot at the fact Mattie had gotten arrested for a DUI a couple of months before filming Total Madness. Mattie called Ashley a hussy, and then Ashley said Mattie sucked every dick in the house (which isn’t true but was weirdly funny because of how not true it was).

Then Nany and Mattie get into it, and the funniest part about Nany/Mattie’s squabble is the fact Bear tries to separate them as a mediator, which has to be one of the most underrated funny moments in Challenge history. Also super underrated is the fact Ashley had a tight pink top and skirt on with heels. She looks smoking hot throughout this fight, which will favor her when they replay this moment on Season 69 of the Challenge. Did I slip in a 69 joke like I’m twelve years old? Yeah, I did.

8 All-Time Unsafe Daily Challenge

Any time players need to wear hypothermia blankets, and one is sent away in an ambulance, it’s a sign the daily challenge is not safe. Part of me thinks that after Dee, Kailah, and Nelson went, they slightly edited this daily challenge, similar to the challenge from Vendettas, where players jumped from car to car. All I could think while watching the first round was that Jordan and Swaggy dropping ice into the pool was going to make it colder for when their team went next. The next round seemed way colder, and I don’t think MTV figured that out until after the trio almost died, that maybe the daily challenge as set-up was too dangerous. Then again, Nelson can barely swim, Kailah is a suspect swimmer, and Dee barely learned how to swim two seasons ago, so they weren’t going to do well regardless.

Also, I can’t believe TJ got mad at Cory, Kyle, and Bayleigh for quitting when a player had already been sent away on an ambulance in the same daily challenge. At the same time, respect goes out to Nelson. We all know Nelson isn’t a good swimmer, but the fact is, he unhooked a couple of pieces and was putting his life on the line in something that he wasn’t going to win is brave. The same goes for Dee and Kailah.

7 Five Person Tribunal and MTV always give the women the short stick

MTV gets increasingly lazy when it comes to the girl elimination days/challenges. Is it fair for Rogan, Fessy, and Josh to win a daily challenge and then have a voting majority on a female elimination day? No. Likewise, the two females eliminations have paled in comparison to what the men have gotten.

There is a significant portion of the fan-based who are more interested in the female side of the game, and the fact MTV doesn’t put as much effort into the challenges/eliminations when they are up for elimination blows.

6 Tori and Jordan are unsuccessful yet again

I feel like Tori and Jordan are a little too much in their heads about how they will go about earning a Red Skull. It’s almost like they’d be more successful if they played the game out naturally.

Jordan not helping Dee, Kailah, and Nany as a diver was wildly selfish when he’s one of the best swimmers on the cast. Then again, he also doesn’t have ten fingers and unhooking some of the carribeeners may have been impossible. Except, he cut a confessional about only helping a team win if it’s Tori’s, and to me, that’s ridiculous. If he goes out and kills the daily challenges, then maybe his teammates will allow him to pick Tori for elimination.

5 Big T is the Ultimate “YES, YES, NO, NO, YES, NO!” Player

Big T is an absolute delight. She is hilarious and brings such a good nature attitude to the show. Big T wants to play the game, she wants a Red Skull, and she wants to win a million dollars. Sadly, she is easily manipulable and doesn’t fully grasp what’s going on in the house. Watching Bananas send her down a wrong path where she thinks she’s cutting power deals with everyone was both hilarious and a bit cringe. I felt terrible watching her talk to Nany, Jenna, and Kailah in succession mostly because those are three girls who aligned together and would never have Big T’s back! If she had Jenny, Kaycee, and Mattie as the three girls she was talking to, then that would make sense, but ugh, it hurt watching Big T try to play politics and watching people humor her.

At the same time, she’s a fun presence to have around. I’m going to be sad when she gets eliminated.

4 Aneesa has been fantastic all season.

Huge congrats to Aneesa. She killed this daily challenge all-around as one of the divers and as the person taking the lead on the puzzle. In Aneesa’s 17 year history on this show, this might have been her best daily challenge performance ever. Really cool to see, and as a whole, she’s brought a new sense of self-awareness and has been humorous throughout. Aneesa has been in contention for female MVP through 4 episodes.

I feel like so many of the people on the cast have the potential to be great, and they disappoint us. Meanwhile, Aneesa isn’t going to be an elite player suddenly, but she’s a known commodity providing excellent content for us. Wendy’s isn’t anything special, but a baked potato and a chocolate frosty never hurt anyone.

3 Bananas is at the top of his game

Bananas was stellar in this challenge as well. He is very good at untying knots historically. It’s a small thing that makes a considerable difference consistently in daily challenges/finals. Johnny also ensured that his two biggest female enemies (Dee and Ashley) went into elimination. Anytime you can get both the house vote and tribunal vote going your direction, then you’re in the power position. As much I’ve disliked Bananas in recent years, we are currently getting a vintage performance out of him.

The next move for Bananas has to be to get Tori and Jordan out of the house. It is a dangerous move, but if he wants to win, it is necessary.

2 The Wes and Dee relationship is an all-time Challenge Relationship

Wes and Dee are almost like father and daughter. She is following in his footsteps incredibly well. Have a strong rookie season, followed up by a Challenge Championship your second, and then take the most attention your 3rd season while having a massive target on your back and becoming divisive figure for fans.

They are playing separate political games currently, but Wes, at his very core, will always throw a life vest out for Dee. Dee is living in Kansas City during quarantine because Wes is her American family. Regardless of how you feel about them as individuals, it’s cute to see.

I thought it was funny that Ashley thought her friendship would take priority over Wes and Dee’s friendship. That’s like if Kyle got mad at Amanda for helping Ashley in an elimination. Overall, the elimination was a bit of crapshoot, and I’m happy Dee won because she is more likely going to succeed going on from this point. In contrast, Ashley would have probably gone into every elimination unless she won the daily challenge(s). Bananas noting that Dee is the more dangerous player because she learned from Wes, is like Bananas finally fully conceding that Wes is a Challenge icon.

1 Ashley’s best season since Invasion

I know she was only on for four episodes this season, but from an entertainment perspective, Ashley was on the top of her game this season. Final Reckoning was a bit of a weird experience as it’s mostly her and Hunter bickering. War of the Worlds 1, she was out too quick, and War of the Worlds 2, she was able to go through the game without a ton of drama (hilarious confessionals though(. There was something about her presence this season that you know she wasn’t lasting long, but she makes the most out of every minute of it. If it was baseball, she left the game in the 5th inning but was only a double away from hitting for the cycle. The only thing missing from her this season was a hook-up. I also think she needed this season to do better for the future, similar to Wes losing on Battle of the Seasons/Exes 1.

Ashley got dealt a hand where almost all the people she aligned with the previous season were now gone. She had the holy trinity of Kailah, Jenna, and Nany, who do not trust her spreading the word to others not to trust Ashley. You have a rotten Bananas scornful towards hee taking advantage of the fact; the numbers aren’t really on her side. Ashley somewhat buried herself by not being a diver as she is a decent swimmer and is great at puzzles. Potentially, she could have flipped the game on its head and thrown an enemy of hers into elimination.

The elimination she lost was like a Mario Party luck based game. There was no rhyme or reason to which pots had the right symbols on them. Maybe Dee was faster at running to the vases and smashing them, but there’s a world where Ashley gets all 5 of her tokens in her first 5 hits, and then she wins. It sucks that these two female champions didn’t get to face off in a real elimination.

I have an interview with Ashley coming out on Friday. Let me tell you this; she was an absolute delight!



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Allan Aguirre

26 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.