LAST EDITED ON 04-10-02 AT 08:59 AM (EST)
(Sorry to be a day late from the original scheduled posting, but I got caught up watching Iron Chef and Morimoto opening his new restaurant. I guess you can understand that I find Iron Chef more exciting… they’re using REAL weapons there.)
The previews have promised us an shocking finish as 5-0 Bravo takes on 0-5 Charlie. MB foreshadowing? or MB misdirection? You’ll make the call as we enter this, the sixth sad summary of Combat Missions.
Okay, if the paragraph above sounded exciting, good. Because that’s about as exciting as this show gets.
This episode is brought to you by… oh, sorry, Sesame Street has threatened to send “Evil Bert” after me if I keep embarrassing them by putting their theme lines in Combat Missions summaries. I’ll defer to “Evil Bert”, last seen (no, I am not making this up!) on an Osama Bin Laden poster during a rally. See this link for the proof.
Evolution 11 – Bravo (5-0) vs. Charlie (0-5)
Well, maybe I should skip the boring parts about the squads falling in—no, wait! Something new happens: The Lady Major SPEAKS! Her name is T.J. Myers, but the initials “B.J.” seem so much more appropriate for her , and as she tells us that the loser goes home, all the guys are looking at her as if they’d like for their next mission to be having her on her knees in front of them, proving that those initials are appropriate…
Back to the show: Charlie is saying that Bravo isn’t THAT good. “They aren’t THAT good.” says Cade Courtley, the hapless leader of the more hapless Team Upchuck. Cade: “It would svck if Bravo came in undefeated then had to leave after losing. That would svck!” (Still thinking of Major B.J. Myers, Cade?)
Bravo is confident. Heather the Medic Babe gets her airtime as she notices one of the Bravos is sporting Dr. Seuss boxers. Well, we’ve seen it all now… Dr. Seuss underwear. What more could happen on this show? (This wouldn’t be foreshadowing, would it? Me? Are you kidding?)
Exercise 1, Weapons assembly. The excitement reaches a crescendo as the Old Man From LA SWAT stands in FRONT of Charlie as they assemble weapons, but then our anticipation dwindles as he moves back to one side. Bravo’s Fletcher struggles with an M-9 pistol (that’s a Beretta 92FS to you and me; I know because I keep Beretta in business ) but finally gets it to fire. Fletcher! Try putting this little thing called AMMO into the pistol and it WILL fire! Trust me!
Charlie’s Greaves can’t put together a semiautomatic weapon, however, so Bravo catches up and WINS. Charlie whines and asks for a weapons check. A very fat Weapons Master comes out, picks up the gun, jiggles it, and fires it! “Nothing wrong with that weapon, you just don’t know what the heck you’re doing trying to put it together.” says the Old Man. Cade whines “Another chapter in the history of ‘Bad Luck Chuck’.” Er, Cade, it’s another chapter in the stupidity of Team Upchuck. (Moonbaby, you will never know just HOW grateful I am for that little name you came up with… but I’d like to express that gratitude, maybe over a drink, some music…) * ahem * sorry about that, what was I saying? Oh, Team Upchuck and Stupidity. Words that go together like Green Eggs and Ham (a little Dr. Seuss reference, there).
We get to see an interlude that Byers and Courtley were in the same unit together, deployed together in many places around the world. Courtley says what a great guy Byers is. Byers secretly says how grateful he is that Courtley is on Charlie and not Bravo with him (Byers). For her making the personnel arrangements, Byers wants to show Maj. Myers his gratitude, maybe over a drink, some music…) * ahem * but I digress…
Exercise 2, the criss-cross gauntlet grid. Bravo has never done this before, Charlie has. So you’d guess Charlie has an advantage, right? * smirk* You must not know MB very well, then…. Sirker, labeled as the weak link, and Fletcher sit out. Survivor Sean has already told us that brothers don’t swim much, so I guess that’s why Fletcher is on the sidelines and not in the water. Meanwhile, two Charlies have one Bravo left, but Claggett refuses to go into the water. They punch him in the head over and over and over, but Claggett won’t go down! He calls himself the human piņata, I call him just a stupid rockhead who doesn’t know any better. Finally, Sgt. Maj. Voiceover calls a stalemate (in a voice over, no less), and they reset. This time Bravo easily dispatches Charlie, though Claggett finally goes into the water. He wasn’t hit, he was just dizzy from being punch-drunk.
Bravo wins 50 points. “We really could’ve used those points.” says Charlie’s Weber. DUH!
Sgt. Maj. Voiceover, ever the bastion of neutrality, praises Bravo. “Good job! Kick ass!” cries the Sgt. Major (in voiceover, even though we see his lips move).
Cade: “If we were to win and get in the finals, well, movies are made about stuff like that.” Unfortunately for you, Cade, only a lousy TV show is being made of stuff like this, and there’s not much hope of a miracle for you and your lousy bunch of whiners.
Move to a shot of a camo net hanging somewhere over Camp Brainstorm. I’d want to disguise this lousy show, too, if I were MB. We get to see Dexter Fletcher play his flute and talk about being on Miami-Dade SWAT.
Finally, we get to the Mission Briefing. We’re told that it’s a “police action.” Yeah, I’ve heard about those. Survivor Sean will tell you all about them, I’m sure . This one is entitled “METH LAB”, proving once again the intelligence level of MB’s crack title-writing staff, also employed for Survivor episodes. The mission is to recon the drug lord “Santa Hernia-Daze”. Only MB would make Santa into an evil drug lord. “Evil Bert” would be proud of MB. They’re supposed to take pics, get evidence, just watch. Cade: “This can’t BE a better mission for a 4 man team. I’m sure they’re going to make us arrest him before it’s over.”
Y’know Cade, you’d make a pretty good MB spoiler. Come on and join us here, Cade. Come into the light….
They go through the routine of the MILES laser gear and the points system. Nothing new there. The location looks like the same location as the POW Rescue/Truck 13/23 ambush a few episodes ago. So Charlie should be familiar with the terrain, right? This is not Team Charlie, this is Team Upchuck, remember?!?!
Bravo goes first. As soon as they confirm Santa is on the site, they’re ordered to take him alive for questioning. Then a product-placement Chevy Avalanche comes barreling in with the real Santa. “Your new mission is to change the Chevy Avalanche into a truck from an SUV!” says the radio, “Oh, and arrest Santos, too.”
Fletcher is hit, a guy moving behind the squad gets blindsided by a Bravo, and they move in and secure the site, taking Hernia-Daze into custody. The time is 27 minutes.
Charlie heads out to the mission. They try to do their best. They fan out as best they can, take the pics, spot Santa’s fat twin brother Rudolph, and are ordered to make the arrest. The Chevy Avalanche comes in again with the real Santa. The Charlie’s slowly get closer, and are promptly noticed by the perimeter guards, who promptly start shooting the Charlies. Is this a pathetic excuse for a military squad, or what? How many times has this happened to Charlie, being caught with their pants down by the OPFOR? I say again, being caught with their pants down by the OPFOR? (Foreshadowing? Me? Never!)
Young and Courtely are killed. One of the guards does a HUGE dive, a real Acadamy Award (or Blowie Award) winner, but Santa runs out into the desert to escape. The trick is on him as MB lets him get lost and he’s never seen again… oh, just wishful thinking, sorry about that.
The Old Man comes out and tells Charlie they arrested the wrong man. He even puts a picture next to the guy. Charlie whines until one guy says “what he’s trying to tell you is that you arrested the wrong man.” Geez, what excitement! The Sgt. Major rubs it in by saying that if they’d stuck to their plan, Santa would’ve run right into them.
The Sgt. Major doesn’t mention that Santa might just figure out to go in whatever direction the Charlies are NOT coming from, so this is really cheap salt he’s rubbing into the Charlie wound.
Cade goes off onto a whining spree that would make ex-Bravo Jody Taylor proud. Hell, this would even make Survivor Sean happy. “We arrested Santos’ twin brother. You have to make your own breaks, and we can’t get any.”
Okay, Cade, if you haven’t figured it out, we pause for station identification. This is a Mark Burnett show. If you didn’t figure it out in the last mission, when Bravo beat you by 10 points because MB rigged the timekeeping, then maybe you can figure out this: This mission was carefully selected so that 4 men cannot possibly cover all the exits, therefore enabling the target to escape. This is to ensure that you don’t upset the mighty Bravo squad (timekeeping notwithstanding), because nobody wants to see your sorry butts continue on this show. Let me say that again: Nobody wants to see your sorry butts continue on this show. (Is this foreshadowing? Me? Do tell…)
They file in for Mission Results. Col. Rudy says “Do the math.” then realizes that would be too much for the Sgt. Major. So the voice over tells us that Bravo started with 1075, lost 50 for one man dead, lost 135 for the time and a final score of 890. Charlie started with 1000, lost 100 for two dead, lost 250 for Santa getting away, and lost 125 for their time. Total is a paltry 525. If you do the math, that is a bit more than a 10 point difference.
C packs and Cade says that Charlie is a great group of people. They’re a bunch of sorry losers, but on this show you can’t really tell the difference. We’re treated to a showing of the original Charlies, also total Upchucks, i.e. failures. But Cade promises an ending that is “fun to watch.” We’ll see about that.
As the troops fall in, Charlie throws purple smoke, then appear out of that smoke… in their Tilley Hats and jock straps, fully showing their sorry asses to the world, and with no little nudity circles to save us! Maj. “B.J.” Myers looks on longingly as the rest of the squads can’t stop laughing. Sgt. Maj. Voiceover is unfazed as he turns and salutes Col. Rudy. Col. Rudy, however, is speechless, and can hardly get the words out, but they sounded something like this: “My friend Dicque from Survivor would enjoy this, I’m sure, but you’re still dismissed. Get your sorry (bare) asses out of here.” The Charlies run off and get into the product placement Chevy Avalanches, which haul their sorry (bare) asses outta there.
As promised, a shocking ending.
Evolution 12 – Delta (4-1) vs. Alpha (1-4)
Can we skip the falling in ceremony? Nope, something new! You may remember that Estadt of Delta had sprained his ankle last time. Col. Rudy tells us that Estadt’s ankle is not sprained, it’s broken! Estadt unbelievably went on a full mission with that broken ankle! I’m very impressed, about the first time this whole series. Give Estadt the Purple Butt for his wound and valor in driving on for his team’s sake.
Estadt’s replacement is William Nissan, a Viet Nam veteran who looks as old as the hills, and probably feels that way too now that he’s trapped on this show. Col. Rudy warns that he’s keeping an eye on Helvenston, then the squads are dismissed.
Delta commiserates over losing Estadt. Helvenston is doing pushups, each time saying “Spicer kiss my ass… Spicer kiss my ass… Spicer kiss my ass.” Which leads to…
Exercise One – the single line gauntlet.
Helvenston takes his place as last in line, trash talking from the rear behind his buddies. We’re shown Col. Rudy saying “Helvenston still has a big mouth.” Col. Rudy is becoming known for his power of understatement.
Delta is on offense first. Helvenston still takes up the very last position in his normal cowardly fashion. Spicer puts two Deltas in the water, including Winn. In confessionals, Helvenston complains that Winn is not putting out a full effort. Winn whines that he got a knee to the thigh and was competing hurt. Nutter saves the day by ripping through three Alphas.
Then the Alpha’s are on offense. Oates takes out the first three, leaving Helvenston exposed, then jumps into the water, allowing Spicer to take Helvenston. In the most enjoyable Combat Missions moment to date, Spicer administers an ass-whipping to Helventon before pushing him into the drink. That Alpha just won 50 points is of little consequence. The Alpha’s celebrate. Spicer calls Helvenston a “vanilla wafer”, implying “I just made Helvenston my b!tch!”, as his teammates congratulate him. Helvenston, shown wet, looks like he’s about to cry, then says that losing Estadt is the reason for his failure.
Er, Scottie, how about the fact that you’re a loser who cannot walk the talk being the reason for your failure? How about the fact that Spicer just made you his b!tch being the reason? The time came to put up or shut up, Scottie. And you failed to put up, didn't you, "Spicer's B!tch"?!?! MOOHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Winn and Helvenston exchange some words, bad blood beginning to brew between them. Foreshadowing? MB? Do I even NEED to answer that for you? Helvenston says “I’m tired of the jawing, followed by the lack of performance.” He’s talking about Winn, but of course “H” stands for “hypocrite.” (sorry, Evil Bert.)
In the tent, Helvenston is yelling while Winn and the others are outside talking about Helvenston. Ciganik calls the tension “the ‘Garth’ factor”, blaming poor Estadt for the bad blood. The poor man breaks his ankle, goes one for the team, then is treated to being blamed for the bad blood? Man, that’s COLD (as the commercial says). Now that Charlie is gone, I guess Delta is the Whiner Boys squad. Nutter tries to ease the tension with humor, but MB doesn’t want that, so we see more tension. Winn says he’ll talk face to face with Scott, but Helvenston, in his typically cowardly fashion, says he won’t talk to Winn.
An interlude to introduce Nissan, complete with Viet Nam era pics. Meanwhile, focus on Winn thinking ahead to the individual championship, forgetting the “TEAM” concept. “There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’” says Winn, “but there’s only one ‘I’ in ‘WINNER’.” So Winn is glad to have Nissan, who he perceives as weak and no threat to the tribal alliance… er, winning chances. Winn also shown saying “pace yourself”… hmmm, MB wouldn’t be showing the black man as lazy yet again, would he? MB? * I’ll just whistle to myself and walk away at this point *
Cue the Sgt. Major trying to drum up an iota of drama by saying that Alpha could pull this mission out with just 4 men. Yeah, right. And Helvenston is going to keep his mouth shut the rest of the show. I’ll hold my breath… (and hopefully pass out so I won’t have to watch this trash show any more!!!)
Enough foreshadowing, time now for the mission. You know, that part of the show we tuned in to see that turns out to only last five minutes? Delta goes first. Winn is killed, Baz is waxed, Nutter goes into the camo tent and gets ambushed and killed. The OPFOR does their John Wayne escapades, and the Deltas STILL can’t hit them! Finally, they get it cleared up and arrest the correct man.
Alpha talks about how Jackson always gets killed on the missions. Spicer assures us: “Jackson WILL survive this mission… because we’re leaving him at the Insert Point!” On the mission, however, it’s Spicer who gets killed, along with Oates. They move in, Santa runs into the desert again (not having learned his lesson the day before, when MB left him out there all night). Jackson lived, but Alpha failed.
Mission results: Delta 1000 – 150 for three men gone, - 120 for time. 730 points. Alpha 1050 – 100 – 250 for mission failure – 140 for time. 560 points total. To really rub it in, the Sgt. Major voices over “Alpha, pack your bags one last time, you’re going home!”
As the squads line up and Col. Rudy executes the squad… er, executes the Salute Of Death, we’re treated to shots of the Alphas failing in their past missions. They are driven off by the product-placement Chevy Avalanches, losers to the very end.
Meanwhile, I hit “rewind”, then re-watch the scenes of Spicer whipping Helvenston over and over. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Play. Helvenston being made Spicer’s b!tch again and again and again. It’s just as fun to watch, every single time. Maybe there IS just a bit of redemption in this show, after all…
*** Contradictions don't exist. If you are faced with a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged