The Tester 3 – Episode 2 Recap: Clown Show


Synopsis: After RealityPalez and krystipryde, two of this season’s most level-headed (read: employable) contestants, face off in an epic Twisted Metal boss battle, the contestants must split up and endure the bane of every corporate retreat since 1981—out-of-the-box team building! Dressed up like refugees from a drunken Zor Shrine reunion, two teams try to build an ice cream truck out of parts and bolts and haul it through a makeshift shooting range. Only one figures out that you can’t pound a large screw into a small hole. Where the hell is Bob Villa when you need him?

Dopey reality-show trope: Actually, episode two features two: The first is a stab at the ever-popular (and ever-ineffective) “alliance,” as the abrasive Suzkaiden cozies up to the seemingly teflon RealityPalez, who’s already pegged her as panel fodder. Then there’s the manufactured shouting match: After their team flames out the build-a-car challenge in embarrassing and spectacular fashion, Asuukaa, burnNibelheim and krystipryde try to pin the whole mess on Suzkaiden…who’s sitting less than ten feet away. Passive-aggressiveness ensues, even if it can’t touch the epic season-two bickering between War Princess and Big Fazeek (what can?). By the way, there’s a better chance that Mitt Romney takes a job as a fry cook at the local BK next week than any of the contestants involved in the shoutfest win the competition.

Jaw-dropping quote: “She’s talking in Spanish. I don’t understand Spanish.”—Asuukaa, trying to pin the blame for her team’s failure on her new mortal enemy. Guest judge David Jaffe’s stunned reaction says it all—there’s no backing out of this one.

Close second goes to ninjanomyx, who actually uttered the phrase, “I’m ready like Betty’s spaghetti.” Ugh. Where’s the freaking mute button?

OK, not bad, actually: If you’ve watched either of the first two seasons, you know that the killer metric the judges are looking for in the team-building exercises is leadership, and if you don’t show it, you’re basically screwed. (Anyone remember Luge?) burnNibelheim tells us, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to win the challenge.” Great, since that apparently means assigning yourself the role as the team’s dead weight, then failing to step up and stop the careening car wreck that was Suzkaiden and Asuukaa’s mad construction catastrophe. The only thing that saves her from immolating herself off the show is Asuukaa’s ad hominem rage.

Careful viewers could have seen this one coming like Adele’s Grammy sweep. In our first real look at Asuukaa, we see her storming out of last week’s panel, bitching about the injustice of the judges giving Egoraptor the chance to talk himself out of getting tossed. (Maybe she should have been bitching about being saddled with a gamertag with two useless extra vowels). As any supervisor can tell you, being consumed with everyone else’s shortcomings rather than taking responsibility for your own is a red flag bigger than Sony’s PS3 install base. Buh-bye.

Leader in the Clubhouse: It’s still RealityPalez, who has yet to even lose a challenge, much less the sheen off his perfect ivory teeth. But like the Miami Heat when LeBron and Bosh first hit town, his level of cockiness has already sent the overconfidence meter deep into the red zone. Dude, has no one told you that pride goeth before the judges’ panel smackdown? Mark my words—it’s coming.

On the Precipice: Yep, it’s Suzkaiden, who manages to alienate all but a scant few of her housemates in the span of a single day’s worth of expletives. Jaffe likes her passion, but she’s gonna run out of sacrificial cows to toss before too many more episodes. burnNibelheim better watch her back.

Next week: Ladies and gentlemen, Nolan North! It’s also back out to one of the series’ classic standby environments—the military testing range, to do some Uncharted: Golden Abyss themed antics. It seems that nobody’s taken the time to learn how to properly work a slingshot—quelle d’ommage. Given that the trailer shows snippets of no less than four female contestants crying, you can bet the drama quotient’s through the roof. Or that ninjanomyx farted.

Image credit: Tester-Season 3-Episode 2 – Twisted Teamwork

About the Author

Aaron R. Conklin has been writing about games and games culture for more than 15 years. A former contributor to Computer Games Magazine and Massive Magazine, his writing has appeared on and in newspapers and alt-weeklies across the country. Conklin's an unapologetic Minnesota sports fan living in Madison, Wisconsin, home of the Midwest's most underrated gaming vibe.