The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 4 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 4 of Spies, Lies & Allies 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 4th episode. These will be integral storylines that the 4th 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 So Much Foreshadowing and So Much Pay-Off
Sometimes Challenge editing can be a bit too on the nose, or it could become too keyed in on one storyline for an entire episode. This week’s episode had so many different storylines, from displaying cracks in the Big Brother alliance, to continuing and showing off new showmances and portraying inter-player relationships. Some of the storylines were interconnected, others were more distant, and almost all gave immediate pay-offs. There is something about simple continuity that pleases my peanut-sized brain.
*Editors note: I wrote the whole recap, and I did not mention Hughie’s work-out session with CT or him being terrified in the daily challenge, both which were episode highlights. Hughie is the definition of 0 to 100. He couldn’t balance himself on an exercise ball. Ten seconds later, he is seamlessly jumping rope while maintaining a conversation and talking as fast as he does. Jumping rope is the most underrated hard exercise. Last week, he was afraid to jump off a cliff, and then ended up being a killer swimmer. Hughie is an entertaining enigma.
9 Dash, Dot, Dot, Dash
The era of visually astonishing daily challenges that are less than stellar in execution continues. Watching the players hang upside and navigate their way through the panels (some with ease, others had no clue what they were doing) and then memorize a simple Morse code they would transfer over to their partners would have made for a great daily challenge alone. Unfortunately, it had to be a little too convoluted. They added a sabotage element to the game and separated them by heats, allowing the vet alliance to collude and learn the best strategy to win based on the first heat. This game already has a house vote; the social/political game should not affect daily challenge performances drastically. Even though Corey L performed terribly for him and Michele, the fact is, they never had a shot at winning this daily challenge based on its format.
I also want to note Berna’s complaint about the translation being Dash and Dot versus Line and Point (what she is used to). Personally, I think she got a bit too in her head with that, probably due to the doubt of her English abilities. In reality, if she had said line and point, CT would have been smart enough to figure out what she meant. Along with that, Dash/Dot for the memorization pattern made more sense than numbers or letters because then we get into more significant translation issues.
8 Highlight Daily Challenge Performances
Amber killed this daily challenge. She was zooming through the panels and was communicative with Josh. Josh/Amber killed the first heat, and I believe they were the only team in their heat to get more than one code done. Josh’s choice to knock out Big T/Jeremiah instead of Corey/Michele seconds before Big T unlocked the first code was a critical detail that spokes volumes of the totem pole of the vet alliance. I’m going to defend Josh because if he knocks out Corey/Michele, there is a decent shot that Big T could’ve knocked him out right then and there as her biggest threat to winning the challenge. Sidenote, Jeremiah had a blink and you’ll miss it impressive navigation of the panels in this challenge.
Heat 2 was much more fun, as there were three stand-out pairs. Amanda realized the walk-a-talkies weren’t a help, decided to adapt to the game, and yelled out the codes from the sky to Kyle. Why other teams did not listen to Amanda baffles me; regardless, she wanted to compete and played the game her style, and it would have ended up a win for them if Kyle’s memory was bigger than a goldfish. Devin and Emy were doing well until Kyle came from nowhere to sabotage them, and then, of course, our winning team was Fessy & Esther, who are now 2 for 4 in daily challenges this season, which is quite impressive.
I thought MTV was trying to give me nightmares last week when they gave us Nelson’s “come back to daddy” confessional. Now I’m convinced they are a straight-up sci-fi horror channel because Devin and Kyle’s mixed face image will be my sleep paralysis demon. My friend messaged me to say Dyle looks like Russell Crowe, which I think is pretty spot-on, although my instant reaction was that Dyle looked like Johnny Bananas with a smaller forehead.
In terms of actual events between these two in this episode, they talk about being best friends inside and out of the game. We get an awkward look at Devin’s crotch as well during a conversation the two share. So when Kyle sabotages Devin in the daily challenge, it is shocking, as they seem legitimately close. Rightfully, Devin is upset, not only because they are friends but because he and Emy were doing well in the challenge and had a solid shot of winning. I think Kyle’s move made sense in that by not going after Fessy, the trust in the overall veteran alliance should become greater on paper. Not to mention, Amanda and Esther are much more logical people to have in power than the emotionally erratic Emy Alupei. Except Kyle did not explain himself well, and it looked like the guy everyone thought was a snake just snaked his so-called best friend.Devin likely would have acted angrier at Kyle had Emy not acted as if she’d been shot down by a sniper rifle, rather than just taken out of a daily challenge.
Luckily, Dyle made up by the end of the episode.
6 Romance is in the Air
Before we talk about this episode, let’s take a quick hook-up/showmance count. We got: Fessy & Amanda, Nelson & Ashley (done), Kaycee & Nany, Tori & Kelz (done), Emanuel & Michele, and Nelson & Berna. Guess what? We got more this episode!
For starters, let’s talk Big T and Logan. It seems more like a friendship with Big T making her move, and Logan is entertaining the idea. It is tough to tell what is going on between them because Logan does not show much emotion. All I know from Logan is that he is in love with himself, and if Big T is in love with him, he is likely a fan of her.
An actual hook-up we saw was Amber and Jeremiah making out at the “club.” Watching the two make-out made sense in my head because they can relate to one another, both being from the South. Of course, there is also the fact they are each crazy hot and look even hotter when together. When already gorgeous people have compatible vibes, their attractiveness level skyrockets. I feel similarly about Michele and Emanuel. They have moved on from the cute glances and cuddles to full-on making out on the dance floor. Michele is obviously attracted to Emanuel’s charisma and smoothness, and he sees her for the complete badass babe she is. The Challenge is my favorite dating show is my television right now.
5 Partying and Plotting
Club scenes are a highlight every week because not only do we see players having fun and maybe hooking up, but it is when the real competitors do their plotting and try to pitch their plans. Corey L saw the club as his opportunity to cut a deal with Fessy, where if Fessy gave him Hughie in elimination, Corey would have his back going forward. Fessy saw this as an excellent opportunity to latch Hughie onto Amber and potentially knock out an enemy, a rookie, and have a new alliance with two solid players (Corey and Michele). On paper, it made sense. Again though, what’s on paper and what happens, in reality, are two different things.
The scene between Josh and Devin at the club where Devin says he wants Josh in the final because he’s one of the only people Devin could be there had me dying laughing. Devin meant it as a compliment or something, and it did not come out the way he intended. Luckily for him, Josh was in a friendly mood.
4 Disastrous Deliberation
Another deliberation that should have gone completely chalk that devolved into madness. Corey and Michele acknowledged they should be the house vote, and rather than everyone being quiet and voting, we got a conversation of who should be their opponents. In the process, they threw people like Bettina, Priscilla, and Hughie under the bus. Of these, Hughie cracked under pressure and admitted that he had put a burn vote on him and Ashley the previous week, which hadAshley fuming and the rest of the vets slobbering their chops. Ashley was upset because she knows that once the Double Rookie teams are gone, people will vote Rookie/Vet teams in, and if her partner is willing to vote them in, everyone else should too.
Their reconciliation conversation after the deliberation was even funnier. Nany raced out of her bed when Hughie sat down next to Ashley because she didn’t want to be there for a potential car crash. During their conversation, Ashley hit Hughie with one of the most aggressive eye-rolls I’ve ever seen; she went full Undertaker (her eye roll also reminded me of something else, but I’m keeping this recap PG). When they got to the Arena, Hughie got called into elimination by Fessy and Esther.
3 Blown-Up Big Brother Alliance
Since Amber entered the game, we have been building to this moment. Before we all shit on Fessy, I want to say, his mindset of throwing in Amber is not entirely wrong because, as he explained to Josh earlier in the episode, Amber will have the back of most veterans before him. They also are clearly not on good terms despite any previous apologies. If you are going to strike, you might as well do it first.
However, Fessy is the first person to go against the Vet alliance. While Amber might be at the bottom of this alliance for coming into the game later than everyone else, the truce has, at this point, is broken (or at least within the Big Brother alliance). To which, Josh and Amber were right to curse out Fessy as he voted her into elimination (with a painfully unnecessarily long speech). You could tell watching Josh curse out Fessy that it wasn’t as much so that he cared a ton about Amber; it was that his so-called “best friend” in the game continues to play with no regard for him or the others he is supposed to care about. The best part of this fight/argument goes to TJ Lavin, as he sees where things are going and decides he is going to tune out and check his phone. I wonder if TJ was screening texts or scrolling through Instagram.TJ refusing to watch a Josh/Fessy fight maybe makes him the ultimate Challenge fan. When Amber did finally get called down, she went in swinging. Amber called Fessy a snake and made sure to throw a hair flip to signify she was ready to compete.
2 Explosive Elimination: Hughie & Amber vs. Corey & Michele
The elimination was simple and effective. Two partners working their way handcuffed through a maze together. They needed to think on their feet, communicate well, and be flexible. Corey L learned about the duality of challenge elimination skill-sets this season. During the opening elimination of the season, being the biggest guy was an asset as he was able to carry three people on his back. This elimination, that size, and strength were detrimental to him and Michele, as he was not flexible, and the massive height difference made going through many obstacles exponentially harder. Meanwhile, Hughie and Amber were around the same height and were both flexible.
Making this elimination even better was the trash-talk going on during. Hughie was cursing out Corey during and after the elimination and showed a fire I wish everyone had. When Hughie dropped the key needed to win the elimination, I thought we were going to see one of the most boneheaded losses in this show’s history. Then he completely redeems himself by hitting a full left split to sweep the key over to him and Amber. The crowd reaction to Hughie at that moment sold how impressive what he was doing. In the end, they pull off a massive upset win against two strong competitors. Right after, Hughie pulls a Laurel and starts talking shit, like a fucking boss. Corey pushes him, which I thought wasn’t too aggressive and fair in the heated moment.
TJ was a total buzzkill for reprimanding the two because, in all honesty, it was two people showing a ton of passion towards competing and the game. Hughie acted with such excitement because he felt like he won the Super Bowl. If Wes and CT acted that way after an elimination, I don’t think he would talk that way to them. These are the explosive Reality TV moments the Challenge has been missing in recent years. My heart went out to Michele; this was her first time getting eliminated from a Reality TV competition. Michele has been a killer presence this season; she’s shown moxie as a personality, strength as a competitor, and brought the heat with a showmance. I think she is a lock for Season 38, granted she wants to do it. MTV should bring back Corey as well. He is physically fit, extremely charismatic, and has the passion you want for this show.
Amber yelling “Fuck Big Brother” after pulling off a decently big upset elimination win probably makes her most Challenge fans favorite Big Brother player ever. Kudos to Amber; they put her in with Hughie thinking he would bring her down. Instead, they both brought it and kicked ass. Tonight was probably my favorite Amber episode ever. She killed the daily challenge, won an elimination, got into a fight with Fessy, and had a hook-up. That’s a grand slam! Notice, I didn’t even call her Amber B this entire article either!
Hughie picks Nany as his new partner, and it is an excellent pick because people love Nany, and she will never be the house vote. The same goes for Amber taking Devin; then again, since Devin has been stolen 3 out of 4 weeks, the math says she won’t have him for long. Josh gets Ashley, and that team should be as emotionally volatile as Ashley/Hughie, except not as entertaining. The big takeaway is that Gabo and Emy are now a pair. They will be the House Vote next episode unless they win the daily challenge, which means they will be going into elimination next week because they aren’t winning that challenge.
The only way I see a veteran going into elimination next week is if Fessy or Amber wins the daily challenge; in that case, they would throw one another into elimination.