So far on Season 36 of The Challenge — and save for some untimely exits from the game — things have been status quo: No Purges, no Mercenaries, no game-ending spider bites.
Well, host TJ Lavin decided on tonight's episode that the waters had become placid enough and finally pulled the rug out from under the Double Agents. Now, the question remains: What is the Security Breach, and how will it affect the next few critical moments in The Crater?
After a commanding victory in “Black Sand Ops” (but a self-proclaimed bungling of the subsequent Crater vote), Gabby and Devin sought to lengthen their win streak in “Air Lift.” The game challenged partners to grab onto ropes that dangled from a moving helicopter, fall into a designated drop zone in the water below and swim to a target, at which point their time would stop.
TJ told players that the fastest time would win, and while the mission’s difficulty quickly killed Devin and Gabby’s chances of a back-to-back triumph, it made a hero out of Big T. Unexpectedly, she proved to be the day’s fastest swimmer, earning a second victory for CT and herself and the choice to either stay safe from The Crater or voluntarily compete for a Gold Skull.
“Don’t look at me -- I’m just as shocked as you are!” CT shouted in the wake of the improbable win. “I can’t believe how good you did!”
“That was quite marvelous, actually,” Big T quietly confirmed.
Quickly, Big T and CT, who’d successfully engineered Tori’s elimination weeks earlier, reassumed their roles as master strategists and sorted through the game’s cast in search of ideal Crater opponents. Convinced a men’s elimination day was coming up, CT said he was eager to steal Josh’s Gold Skull for himself and urged the house to vote accordingly.
“Give me ‘The Goof’ and that’s it!” CT joked-but-didn’t-really-joke. “I think he’s gonna be the easiest to beat.”
Unfortunately for CT, the Big Brother alliance — with a decisive swing vote courtesy of Amber B.’s partner Darrell — successfully protected Josh and, instead, sentenced Devin and Gabby to The Crater.
Still, CT was undeterred from earning his keep, even if it meant sending home Devin, one of few allies he had in the game.
Resigned to the idea that his days were likely numbered, and that it was only a matter of time before CT knocked him out of the game, Devin descended into the Crater like a deflated balloon once the elimination round was activated.
In an instant, though, everything changed. Before TJ could consult with Double Agents CT and Big T about how they planned to approach the looming duel, the Crater erupted into flashing lights and sirens, and the words “Security Breach” appeared across The Crater’s digital scoreboard.
And suddenly, all was quiet among the competitors. What did it mean? Who was at risk, and what were the stakes? What did it mean in the quest for Golden Skulls?
“Does that mean all the fellas are going down?” Cory wondered out loud. “Does that mean all the ladies are going down?”
All TJ was willing to concede was that “nothing is as it seems.”
Suffice it to say, change is coming, but the shape it takes is totally uncertain. Could this mean a reprieve for Gabby and Devin, or are they potentially in even deeper trouble? Could a double elimination be on the docket? Is a Purge on the horizon? Could Ashley join Double Agents for a third time? Share your thoughts, and be sure to check out the next Challenge episode Wednesday!