Bigfoot Bounty, Episodes 4 & 5: Science Fiction Double Feature
February 3, 2014
So it turns out that this week and next week Spike has decided to schedule not one, but two episodes of 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty a week. This does not bode well for ratings. It does mean, however, a double dose of critical fun. Strap in, readers, it's going to be a long recap!
The episode begins, as always, with a brief recap and reaction segment before moving straight into the Field Test. In this episode, the hunters are out to capture something, but not Bigfoot. Instead, they're at Mosquito Lake, WA, looking for insects with DNA-carrying bloodmeal. The team who delivers the most DNA-bearing blood samples wins.
The highlight of the bug catch was when Mike of Team Odd Couple strips down to his underpants and perfumes himself in an effort to attract mosquitos. Poor Kat, whom I like more and more each episode, was of course mortified. "This is completely unneccessary," she said at one point, and I so, so agree. Later, Mike decides to do some calisthenics in his skivvies, hoping to attract even more biters. So, so unnecessary, especially when the cameraman graced us with an upshot of his jiggling ass. The things I watch for you people.
Even more unneccesary? Dan from Team Sweetgrass getting shirtless to catch some leeches. Oh, and Team Dudbro laughing about how they "got mosquito bit in the sack." Again, the things I watch for you people.
After the Test but before the results, we get an intermediary scene where Team Sweetgrass and Team Dudebro claim they heard some loud pounding near the camp last night. Stacey from Team Dudebro says he thinks it's a Bigfoot because -- I am not making this up -- he says that Bigfoot circling the camp and pounding is "typical Sasquatch behavior back home." Really, Stacey? If it's so typical, why wouldn't you be ready to record these things at a moment's notice? Or to whip out the recording equipment that's IN YOUR GEAR to catch it on tape the minute you recognized this "typical Sasquatch behavior"? No wonder Bigfoot never gets caught.
On the day of the Hunt, also at Mosqito Lake, they learn that no one caught a mosquito who'd bitten a Bigfoot, but that Team Dudebro brought in the most samples. Their advantage? Permission to build a fire in the woods.
It hadn't occurred to me before that we had not seen any of the teams building a fire on this show. And now we know why: it wasn't allowed, according to the rules. Why ban fire? Well, apart from this not being the 10 Million Dollar Wildfire Bounty, apparently one of the more popular theories out there is that Bigfoot is attracted to campfires. Because campers in the woods claim to have seen them a lot, I guess? Who knows anymore.
Anyway, Team Dudebro is excited about this. They are allowed to share their fire with another team, and they choose Team Camouflage. Not because they're looking for a romantic snuggle by firelight, but because -- and I wish I were making this up -- they want to use Team Camouflage as bait. Apparently, Bigfoot loves campfires, but the theory is that he REALLY loves campfires with women around them. No, seriously, that's their plan. At one point Team Dudebro suggests that women attract Bigfoot because Bigfoot "may be horny." That Bigfoot, he's smooth with the ladies.
Shaney herself is okay with the idea, saying, "I don't mind being bait [...] Hell, if he picks me up I might get some DNA evidence on me." Meanwhile, Justin suggests that Team Dudebro "is hopin' Kristen or Shaney might be raggin'." To which Ro adds, "Or ovulating."
Seriously, the things I watch for you people.
On a less comedic note: did none of them realize how stupid this theory is? Why on Earth would Bigfoot be attracted to a campfire in the first place? Is he part mosquito? [Aw, crap, I probably just inspired a new thread on a Bigfoot board somewhere.] Besides, Kristen and Shaney have been out in the woods during EVERY HUNT. If they were more likely to attract Bigfoot, wouldn't they have been doing it all along?
Wait a minute! Kat had a Bigfoot encounter! And she's a woman! There was no mention of it at the time, but is it possible she was raggin'? Or perhaps ovulating?
As the hunt begins, Team Crazy feels the pressure to "step it up." And I agree; they have been far too unamusing since the first episode. They begin their efforts by finding some impressively coal-black scat. Justin declares that it is Bigfoot scat "with 100% certainty" because, as he reminds us, he made a baby Sasquatch shit itself when he strangled it. Apparently it made him an expert ... though not enough of an expert to have properly identified all the OTHER scat samples Team Crazy has collected that were not actually Bigfoot scat.
Across the forest, it's time for one of the stupider theories we've heard so far: whale calls. Team MDG is playing recorded whale calls because, as their theory goes, Bigfoot might sometimes be near the shore of the ocean and thus recognize the calls and thus be attracted to them. They also leave marshmallows around the speaker because ... look, because they're idiots, okay? Or maybe they think Bigfoot is a hopeless romantic.
Single Hairy Sasquatch looking for perfect mate. Must enjoy long walks on the beach; appreciate whale calls and fine confections; and be able to successfully hide in the woods for an extended period of time. Raggin' by the campfire a plus.Meanwhile, Mike from Team Odd Couple breaks out his Ghillie suit to camouflage himself from Bigfoot. Why he waited this long to use what would seem to be an obvious wardrobe choice from the get-do escapes me. But hey, he's wearing it now and the producers were thankful for it.
Meanwhile, back at the campfire, Team Dudebro engages in some good ol' down home misogyny. "They don't know it, but Bigfoot ain't nothin' but a hairy ho woods pimp. And so we needed some hos out there, and that's what we did." Then they spend some time belittling the ladies before telling the audience that sadly neither of the women is on their periods and that therefore they have "no tampons." Excuse me while I retch in the corner a moment.
Not surprisingly, despite a couple of odd noises, they get no actual Bigfoot encounter that night. And there's a very good possibility that what they heard was Team MDG's whale call from across the lake.
To sum up the Evidence Review: there's nothing presented that we haven't seen before. The judges rightly mock both the Campfire Theory and the Whale Call Theory. At one point Justin actually tries to call Natalia out on her primate knowledge, because he's an asshole. Happily, he gets smacked down when his "100% certain" Bigfoot scat turns out to be, in Dr. Todd's words, "complete horseshit."
In the end, Team MDG gets the boot for their silly whale call trap. And they never even got a chance to shoot anything.
After the mind-reeling inanity of Episode 4, I wasn't sure if I could handle a second episode so soon. Luckily, Episode 5 turned out to be the weakest episode of the series so far.
With Team MDG out of the picture, it's time to move onto the next field test. This episode's Field Test is a cave dive. They're going to be exploring lava caves around Mount St. Helens, and they have the choice to rappel into deeper cavers if they choose. They're given two hours to collect as many samples as they can, with the winner getting a two hour hunt head start.
Team Odd Couple and Team Dudebro get to the two cave enterances first and they start scooping up samples. There's an effort being made by the editors to stress the competitive tension between these two teams. Meanwhile, some of the other teams have trouble even getting to and down into the cave. This was absolutely not Team Sweetgrass's challenge, and by the time they get to the cave they're the last ones in. Knowing this, they decided on a strategy -- to look at the ceiling in case "Bigfoot bumped his head" -- that could charitably be called "desperate." So, I guess new theory: Bigfoot doesn't duck?
Nothing much broadcast-worthy apparently happened in the caves because we're quickly cut to an after-Test meal scene where Mike from Team Odd Couple gets into it (deliberately) with Team Dudebro and (not deliberately) with Team Sweetgrass. There's smack-talk about Team Dudebro's unlikely Bigfoot theories and Team Odd Couple's bad run of evidence. There are raised voices. It's a typical reality TV drama moment.
The Hunt returns the hunters to Mount St. Helens. And I'm going to cut to the chase here: I really sympathize with the editors of this one. They were clearly lacking for anything interesting or funny to build this sequence around, and so instead they were left with trying to piece together what was there as best they could. The result is that there was really nothing to get excited over, or even really to mock. The highlights:
Team Odd Couple is declared the winner of the Field Test and they head off for their two hour head start. They use it to gather some deer remains. Later, Mike licks a banana slug because there's a theory out there that Bigfoot is smart enough to use natural medicines to heal itself and the slug's slime is supposedly a painkiller. Also, Mike probably just wanted to really lick a slug.
Team Dudebro finds a cave, as they're running with the theory that Bigfoot is a cave dweller this week. They find a bone that "very well could have been Bigfoot," because they need it to be for the cave theory to be correct. Later, they hear "something big" moving over a hillside, but they don't see anything. They do find a bone that looks for all the world like a giant spine bone at first glance, plus some other scattered bones.
Team Camouflage stumbles across the unusual remains of the hide of something -- all hair, mostly off-white, no bones or blood. They get excited and take a lot of samples.
Team Sweetgrass floats the theory that Bigfoot is a "nomadic hunter" because they come across a downed tree that they really, really want to be a temporary Bigfoot shelter. They also decide to head back to base camp because Dave's knee is killing him.
Team Crazy has a terribly boring hunt. I'm starting to get really, really disappointed in these two. Mike is far more amusing.
Perhaps sensing my displeasure, Justin decides after the Hunt to gift the remaining hunters with the most ridiculous theory so far: that Bigfoot knows how to say the words "oh fuck!" because that's what it hears whenever anyone sees it. He claims that people have actually heard Bigfoot say this. There is no way in Hell he buys into his own story, but the rest of the hunters seem to give it at least a bit of serious consideration.
I can't tell you how much I so, so want this theory to be real. Can you imagine the headlines?
In the Evidence Review, the various evidences are shot down one by one. Team Dudebro's weird spinal bone turns out to be a deer skull with its skullcap cut off -- something hunters do when they only want to keep the antlers as a trophy. Team Camouflage's big hair find turns out to be more hunting detritus, in this case deer hair that Dr. Todd says had clearly been sheared off. Team Crazy's best evidence turned out to be lynx scat [so much for Justin being a scat expert]. The "Bigfoot shelter" photographed by Team Sweetgrass is likely just a hunter's tree blind. I guess there's a lot of deer hunting around here.
During the review, Mike from Team Odd Couple steps up with another Bigfoot theory to justify bringing some deer remnants in: that Bigfoot has hunting dogs. Truly, there's nothing the Squatching community won't at least entertain as possible! Between that and the slug theory, Mike is batting a thousand this week. Natalia points out to him that his theories don't add up to much without evidence.
In the end, Team Sweetgrass's lack of physical evidence cost them the game. Given how much pain and exhaustion they were displaying this episode, it was probably a mercy elimination.
This was a pretty boring episode from a comedy standpoint. And a Bigfoot action standpoint. And really, from any standpoint. Let's hope things pick up again next episode. Team Crazy, I'm looking at you ...
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