Episode 18 of Double Agents 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 18th episode. These will be integral storylines that the 18th episode focused on, and I’ll breakdown why they matter. Also, if you prefer a traditional Summary, the YouTube Podcast breakdown is above, and the Spotify/Apple Version below.
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A Podcast Covering Reality TV and Culture with a general focus on MTV's the Challenge A Podcast Covering Reality TV and…
10 The House Scene
The first ten minutes of this episode were scenes of the partnerships hyping themselves up for the final. MTV tried to sell us on any of the duos being able to win, and in all honesty, this is one of the few finals ever where I actually believed it. Kam and Cory have both on the precipice of grabbing the brass ring with multiple finals appearances each and are at the top of their games. Leroy and Nany have the best story, where a win from them would have the world universally happy. Fessy and Kaycee are two athletes playing the villain role for this final, similar to Team San Diego on Battle of the Seasons. Amber is the only player never to run a final, while CT has been to a record 9 finals and is the only former champion in the final, and stats say, players who have won a Final in the past against those who have never won are highly likely to win. Ashley on Invasion and Turbo on WOTW 1 did buck this trend in recent years.
9 Seriously, Why a Purge?
All season they reiterated the idea that you need to win a Gold Skull to run TJ’s final. Now that these players have earned their spots here, they find out if they come in 4th in Day 1, they will get purged. Not only that, but the 3rd Place overall team goes home with nothing in a final that has a million-dollar prize pool. Third place getting no many made sense of Rivals 1 when you had three male and female pairs running the final with a prize pool of 300k dollars. It is insulting that these players can’t get 25k at least. Third place should split 100k, second place should split 200k, and the winners 700k.
8 Leroy’s last’s episodes
I know Leroy has been saying since Day 1 that it’s his last season, but it did not fully hit me until TJ announced they were having a purge, and my heart began to race. My first season of the Challenge was Rivals 1, and since I had seen Real World Las Vegas, Leroy instantly became one of my favorite players. I do not want to watch my favorite player end his Challenge career in a purge — that is not the way Leroy deserves to go out. As someone with way too much Challenge knowledge in my brain, my nerves became amplified once realizing that Leroy on both Rivals 1 and Exes 2 started in last place by a significant margin (pre-purge era), then, of course, his purge on War of the Worlds 2.
Nobody deserves a Challenge Championship for simply being an outstanding human more than Leroy.
7 Killer Cardio and a Breathtaking Final
Many of the daily challenges this season have been visually stellar, yet, because the stakes were not the highest and not all players were giving 110%, we could not fully appreciate them. With the stakes at their highest, we get maybe the most visually stunning scenery of the season. Watching the players running through rocky terrains at the tail of a hurricane enhances the final in a way that we will remember for a long time. I am generally not a fan of body-cam footage, but for this final, being able to watch the players as they carefully tiptoe from rock to rock makes you feel as though you were with them.
With the altitude, the wind, and the terrain, the opening 3-mile run probably felt more like 7 or 8 miles. It was abundantly clear from the jump that Nany is the 8th best runner in this group, and while she has the cardio to run a final, the problem is, so can the other women, and those women can go at a slightly faster pace. Nany might be able to sustain a certain pace for a longer amount of time than them, except there is a Purge, meaning Nany has to go much faster. Likewise, Fessy pushed Kaycee (a solid runner) too fast because he wanted to make a statement and be the first place the entire time. Last season, he was in first place from the jump, and then Cory passed him up, and eventually, so did everyone else. CT found out that he might have to worry more about himself keeping up with Amber. Meanwhile, Cory and Kam kept a good pace together and were only a few steps behind Kaycee/Fessy despite Fessy forcing Kaycee to go at a speed she was not comfortable with.
6 Awesome Callback and Interesting Twist
MTV threw an interesting curveball after the initial run. They had the players compete individually in the same daily challenge they opened the season with (a cool callback). While Fessy won this challenge the first time, CT was not going to jump into a dogpile with Jay, Mechie, Josh, and Devin on the first daily challenge of the season. With the final on the line, CT pulled out all the stops and was ready to use his brain and get physical, beating Fessy in the process.
The women’s heat was not as physical (Amber did get squashed at one point), though the winds hitting them at full blast made up for it. In the end, Amber came out of nowhere to pull out the win. Beating Kaycee and Nany in something mental is not too crazy — I will say, I was disappointed in Kam. Kam is someone who prioritizes accuracy over speed in almost any challenge she takes on, and sometimes it bites her in the ass. As the overall winner, Amber got to pick a new partner, and she chose to stay with CT since they were both killing it together. Had Fessy or Kaycee won, they probably stick together. I believe Cory and CT would have stayed with their female partners. With Leroy in 4th place after the initial run with Nany, I think he and Kam would consider partnering to keep him from getting purged on his last season. If Nany had won, I could envision her seeing herself as a weak link, taking Cory as a partner, and letting Leroy have Kam to help her best friend have a better shot at winning.
5 Fessy has no introspection
During the second running checkpoint, Fessy pushed Kaycee to her limit, and on the rocky terrain, Kaycee slips, and her leg/foot goes in a direction that your body should not go. Kaycee immediately knows it is a severe injury; when Cory and Kam run past her, they yell for a medic and then keep running because they cannot stop.
Instead of holding Kaycee’s hand and assuring her she was going to be okay and that he’s proud of her, he sat on a rock and shook his head. At no point did Fessy ask himself, “Wait, did get Kaycee maybe slip because I was pushing her too hard?” Seriously, what a fucking selfish prick. Maybe if you were running the final with someone you dislike, you could get a pass, but this is supposed to be your #1 ally and best friend in the house.
4 Serious Eating and Puking
As someone who grew up in Southern California going to random Latin and Asian markets/restaurants, I have tried some weird meats in my life, and because of that, the food on the Challenge usually does not gross me out. Not this time, the food they were eating looked putrid. Sheep’s heart, face, and ram testicles do not look fun to eat. Looking at how large the ram testicles were made me thankful that it was in the dark when they ate them earlier in the season. The liter of blood in the giant mug did look aesthetically cool. CT and Amber killed this challenge, and I don’t fully believe that CT enjoys eating this food; he just knows that if he plays the role of a guy having fun devouring gross foods, it will de-incentivize his opponents and will have him looking fantastic in the edit. If you don’t believe CT cares about his edit after all his cute gestures towards Big T after breaking her heart, I don’t know what to say to you. Amber looked like the hottest Walking Dead Zombie with blood all over her face as she ate those organs. They won the portion and have the opportunity to sabotage a team — it will likely be Cory & Kam as they are in 2nd place.
Cory has perfected the eat and puke method; Kam can eat anything — sadly, she is a slow eater. Leroy is a great eater, and Nany is trying her absolute best because she does not want to disappoint Leroy. With Kaycee’s injury and CT/Amber potentially sabotaging Cory/Kam, Leroy/Nany might jump from 4th to 2nd place in one heat. Although, the gap between them and CT/Amber is looking quite big as it stands.
3 Kaycee is a Boss, and Fessy is Bitch
How they allowed Kaycee to go down the mountain and not medically DQ her after her fall is one of the most baffling production choices ever. It is in vogue right now to hate the Big Brother players, especially Fessy and Josh, for rightful reasons, and because of that, they will celebrate Kaycee’s injury as it hurts Fessy. Yet, I can’t help feeling bad for Kaycee. She has objectively been the best female competitor this season; she won 5 daily challenges (next most by any female was 3), dominated a top player in Theresa in elimination, and was the only player on the right side of every single vote this season. Kaycee dominated physically, politically, and socially, and to lose the final based on this is tragic.
Her taking a big ass bite of a ram testicle with only one good leg was one of the most badass moments in Challenge history. I gained so much respect for Kaycee at that moment. Simultaneously, Fessy seeing his best friend continue to push through with one leg and deciding that eating wasn’t worth it because they were not going to win is one of the lamest moments ever. We have learned in this season that Fessy is a bad teammate, friend, boyfriend, and probably a difficult substitute teacher based on his handwriting and reading ability.
2 Who is this Amber?
Has Amber been holding back this entire season? Suddenly in the final, she becomes the best runner, puzzle person, and eater. Amber did not have any impressive daily challenges performances this season and was not even Top 5 in the mini final when partnered with maybe the best final runner in Challenge history (Darrell). Nelson and Ashley on Invasion are the only two players in Challenge history where their finals performances were dramatically better than anything they had done prior to that in their Challenge career, and even then, they had more impressive accomplishments than Amber currently. Johnny Reilly on Free Agents might be the comparison point for Amber.
Coming into the final, the question was, can CT carry Amber? Now it is looking like, can Kam keep up with Amber? Which is something I never expected in a million years. I do want to note; production did Amber dirty by putting in a confessional say she hopes Kaycee/Fessy lose that was clearly filmed before Kaycee’s injury. In no world does Amber say that after Kaycee’s leg has snapped in half.
1 Next Week On The Challenge
MTV keeps dragging this season out, yet, I can’t help feeling part one of the final for Double Agents might have been one of the best episodes of this season. It is a legitimately fun final to watch with good twists and surprises thus far. I will be burning some sage for Leroy in hopes that he can pull it out. Also, at the bottom of this, if you are interested in the Season 37 cast of the Challenge, I made a video giving some instant reactions and information about the projected cast. Along with that, while I have seen Episode 3 of Challenge All Stars, my recap will not be out till Friday or Saturday as I am under embargo till then.