Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Quest episode 2: "Tournament for the Queen"

Last time on “The Quest”: twelve people were chosen to live in an RPG video game. Destined heroes? Check. Evil guy who wants to rule the world? Check. Magic women who brought you here from the “real” world? Check. Evil vizier? Check. Everyone is really into it, playing their characters and interacting with the actors and basically buying into this idea that one of them is the One True Hero. This is continued into the part where they’re nice to each other and play “honorably” for lack of a better word. Teams of three try to launch arrows over a wall and hit scarecrows. When the winning team is asked to choose one winner they quickly pick Bonnie and don’t argue about it. The losing team must complete a challenge put forth by the Fates, which basically is to shoot arrows at dummies and hope your dummy has the fewest arrows. Then there is a public vote, which was prefaced by a rational discussion of everyone’s strengths and the idea that maybe getting rid of threats like you would in “Survivor” is not how this show works. Maybe you should keep the strong people around to help you later. Katie was the first person sent home, or technically she went to “meet her fate”. Which means she walked through an archway and “melted” into smoke. (click for more)

You guys, it is so great to talk about a show I LIKE. It is so nice.

Do we need the same three minutes talking about how this show is different from all other reality shows? I’m thinking no.

Some random guy wakes everyone up and says Queen Ralia the 23rd wants to see them. I guess it should be Ralia XXIII. Once everyone is dressed, Crio tells them to take a knee and not to speak unless they’re spoken to. This throne room they’re in is really small. The queen comes in and welcomes the paladins. Bonnie is glad she seems to be on their side. The Grand Vizier acts shady about their rooms, but Ansgar backs him up by saying they’ve got better rooms than the soldiers. The queen says they’re honored guests. Then some guy busts into the room, all bloody and out of breath, to say the front lines will fall in a few days. The queen bails and then everyone picks the guy up and looks worried about a random wounded soldier. Ansgar makes the paladins promise to do whatever it takes, and then they head to the field to learn to ride. There was no point to that scene except to set the story for today. It’s fun.

It looks like everyone at least can stay on a horse. I haven’t ridden a horse in a long time but they look like they know what they’re doing? As they’re all just standing around, someone says “piece check”. Jim tells us that they’ve been doing this all day. So when someone says “piece check” you make sure you have your piece of the Sunspear. Leticia has managed to lose her piece. For some reason she hung it off her saddle? She’s patting the horse’s neck like that’s where it was attached. So now she has to look for a six-inch piece of wood, in a brown leather pouch, in a field. Sigh. What happens if it’s gone forever? I mean…do they mysteriously “find” it? It’s a good question both in and out of the story. More importantly is she immediately disqualified?

Everyone runs over to another part of the field where they’ve set up a pavilion for the queen and various nobles. When they get there Ansgar says they have a problem and holds up Leticia’s Sunspear piece. She seems more worried about getting in trouble, than relieved he found it. She hesitates before admitting it’s hers. He asks how this happened, and she says she doesn’t know. When Ansgar says she should, Leticia says the string gave way. “I don’t care if the string gave way!” Well then don’t ask how it happened. Come on. He yells a little more and then gives the pouch back to her. So that answers that question: they’ll find it for you and you will not get disqualified.

The challenge is to get on horses and then do several things: shoot three arrows, throw a spear, joust, and use a big hammer to smash a skull. The things are worth different numbers of points. The arrows and spear have targets with scores, and then I think the joust and hammer are just you did it or you missed. Luckily you don’t have to do the arrows or spears while moving. Jasmine glows from Ansgar’s praise. She does pretty well, scoring 91 points. Ashley is a horse trainer so they’re expecting a lot from her, but her arrows don’t stick in the target and the spear is terrible. 32 points. Leticia’s horse is not really helping her and someone has to hold it for her. The vizier makes snarky comments. She scores 83 though. Adria complains that because she’s ambidextrous, she can’t know what hand to use to do anything. Then she decides to shout “For Everealm!” and misses the hammer. Oops. 56. A bunch of people go, but Ashley is still the low score. Jim only scores 35 though. Andrew gets 91 and is told to “show some respect to the queen”. He greets her as “my lady” and she tells him good job. Then SHIT GETS REAL because you can’t refer to the Queen as “my lady”. Andrew says his heart sank and the queen smirks and giggles about it to the vizier and Crio. I love it. This is a throw-away line, which has nothing to do with anything, but the contestant is worried he screwed himself and the actors commented on it. They commented on it while no one was around. This is why I like this show.

Bonnie’s helmet looks like it’s covering her eyes. As she goes for the joust the horse just keeps on running. They make it look like she might get hurt but she’s fine in the end. Only 40 points. She is about to cry as she interviews that she really wanted to make him proud. Adria says they all know Bonnie is not physically the best but she really has heart and goodness in her heart and she belongs here. Shondo goes on about he wants to get “the dub”, the Win. He destroys the challenge and gets 183 points. Christian is all ready to go, but then he fails. Like, fails hardcore. Plus the vizier calls him a woman. Actually he says “is the horse riding the woman or is the woman riding the horse?” so is he saying Christian looks like a woman AND a horse? Harsh. Christian’s excuse for sucking is that the horse wouldn’t turn the right way, so he had to shoot at a weird angle or something. Or he just sucks. He’s been bragging about how he does this for a living or whatever and telling everyone how to throw the spear. The spear falls out of the target so that is not the same excuse as the arrows. He ends up with 30 points which is the absolute lowest score. Shondo wins and says all he sees is Dubs. Hee. Jim, Ashley, and Christian are the bottom three.

Back at the castle, Jim and Leticia tell Jasmine she did great, and the girls tell Jim he needs to get it together. He should believe in himself. Ashley says Christian is really “talented” and that he’s smart about being friends with people. I don’t know if he’s talented in anything, but he certainly is being friends with everyone. He is very confident he’s the one. This scheming is so weird.

Ashley is convinced the boys will get all the votes if it comes down to that. The paladins look up finally in the temple and see Katie’s disembodied head floating in one of the empty windows. Nice. Crio says they lack focus, so they will have to try again. So the challenge is: take one of five horseshoes from the fire, hammer out “the lead” which seems to be some different metal attached, cool the horseshoe in the water, then use six nails per horseshoe to attach it to a big wooden wheel. Jim says they were supposed to wear gloves and aprons for safety. As Jim discovers, the pegs on the wheel are different sizes. Christian decides he doesn’t need an apron for some reason and also that he’ll throw things into water. He’s kind of freaking out. I have to say this challenge is totally an Amazing Race Roadblock. And those things are already contrived so why not put everyone in costume and make it part of a story? Ashley is freaking out and starts screwing up her nails. Jim finishes first, but she keeps on going in case he’s screwed up. Ashley and Christian finish at the same time, but it doesn’t matter because Jim did it properly and is safe from banishment.

No one really knows what to do or how to vote. Christian kind of rushed today, but Ashley should have done better. But Christian did well for not riding before. Shondo says Ashley is actually good at the things she said she was good at, as opposed to Christian. Good point. They seem to be thinking about who will be best under pressure. Today they vote one at a time instead of in bunches. Shondo, Adria, Leticia, and Patrick vote for Ashley, 4 for Christian. Andrew is the last person. Christian is his roommate but Ashley really helped him. In the end he votes for Christian. Sigh. I think Shondo had an excellent point about Christian not actually being good at the things he’s been claiming to be good at. Christian claims to understand how much he owes everyone. Ashley is upset and disappointed.

Back in the castle everyone hangs out and relaxes. Jim is relieved to have won the Fates’ challenge. Shondo calls him “Jimbo Slice” which is awesome. He thinks no one else gets into it as much as Jim. Andrew reveals everyone has decided this is Christian’s last chance. If he’s up again, they won’t save him again. Supposedly everyone’s told him this point blank. Bonnie says Ashley shouldn’t have gone home but Christian had the “highest skill set”. Where is this magic skill set he supposedly has? He says something to Jim and Shondo about why he lost or something, I don’t know. Shondo has an interview where he says men of honor don’t have excuses, they just do it and if they die they die honorably. Can you imagine if this guy was on “Survivor”? I would constantly mock him and yell at the TV that honor has no place on a game show. But it might on THIS show. And because of the storyline I am totally fine with everyone being overly concerned about honor and using that criteria to vote. Plus I love Shondo.  Christian thinks Andrew will have his back no matter what.

Out in the courtyard, the paladins head for a long table in a gazebo. Ansgar and Crio greet them and tell to dig into dinner. Crio starts to tell a story about Ansgar but is interrupted by the Queen’s arrival. Crio offers the queen wine, which is served by some random extra. The queen says she and her brother used to play in the castle, which hasn’t seen this much life in a while. Crio’s father found then hiding out from riding lessons. Crio is the Royal Steward, which is better than him just being some random guy the Fates found. Then the queen says her brother died in a plague, which squashes my new theory that Verlox is her brother somehow. Hey, I can’t be the only one who thought of that. She muses that maybe if her brother had become king instead of her then maybe Verlox wouldn’t have become powerful. The queen toasts the paladins and then chokes and falls over. Oo, poison! No one knows what to do. The vizier tastes the dregs and declares poison, while Bonnie starts saying “no no no no” and Crio orders everyone to stay where they are. The show ends with a shot of Ashley’s image in the Fates’ temple.

Next time: find an antidote and hope it works.

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