The Tester 3 – Episode 8 Recap: Filler Up


Some people click and download episodes of Sony’s The Tester to watch a bunch of gamers who may or may not be anything like them (in the case of Ninjanomyx, we’re very much hoping for the latter) compete in challenges both pixelated and physical. Others groove on the interaction between the contestants, the social stuff that erupts when you cram a bunch of gamers into a tricked out compound and see what kind of mayhem results.

This season has been decidedly lacking in the latter category, in part because the show got smacked by Hurricane Suzkaiden, a Level-5 interpersonal phenomenon that claimed the badges of at least three contestants and put several others at extreme risk before fizzling out on a teeny tower of wooden blocks two weeks ago. That makes this week’s episode like FEMA descending on the aftermath of the destruction of New Orleans (heckuva job, Meredith). Stringing together outtakes and unused footage from the previous seven weeks with some new interview segments, we’re given a new, filler-tastic look at the season. And left with the following impressions:
Ashichan, Asuukaa and BurnNibelHeim, three of this season’s first four victims, weren’t even interesting enough to bring back for a second helping. That’s the equivalent of receiving an expired box of Rice-a-Roni as your parting gift, when everyone else got signed copies of Starhawk. Feel the burn. Or in this case, don’t.

In addition to having some righteous dance moves, SkyD1ddy’s a vodka hound. Interesting to note how the editors de-emphasize the fact that the Tester Compound has a fully stocked bar, even though it’s clear the contestants are free to imbibe, even when the cameras are on. Remember Doc’s Beerios breakfast from season one?
Astoundingly, the skeezy sequence in which Ninjanomyx creeps on everything with a pulse from episode one was only the tip of an icktacular iceberg. We’re treated to nearly three minutes of him ticking, Snoop Dogg style, through his impressions of the sexual appeal of the female cast members. Including BurnNibelHeim, of whom he notes, “I don’t too much remember her name.” Not sure whether to be happy or sorry for her.

Ninjanomyx isn’t the only sexual harassment suit stalking The Tester set. Judge Adrianne Curry drops a didn’t–make-the-cut question on SkyD1ddy that’d result in a six-figure judgment if the HR types at any Fortune 500 company asked it of an actual job applicant. Dial 1-800-LAWYERS now.

Apparently, shaving or combing one’s hair wasn’t a requirement for the post-production interviews. Let’s agree for the record that it should have been. It’s not even remotely surprising to learn that Egoraptor sleeps in adult-size dinosaur onesie PJs. It is, however, somewhat remotely surprising that his castmates didn’t beat him unconscious with their PlayStation Vitas the first time he broke them out.

Hey, look: Judges can be snarky, too. Guess we can see how it was prudent to wait to air footage of their whispered middle-school asides until after the final three had been selected. Not that we mean that in a disrespectful way or anything.

Only one of the also-ran vignette/interview sequences sheds new light on a cast-off contestant’s personality. That’d be Kwajamonster, who’s revealed as an insect lover and a practical joker. This actually helps explain Brent Gocke’s comment that she’s “popular in the house” as he yanked her badge a few weeks back. The vision the show’s editors originally gave us could be summed up in four words: Strident, weepy and silent farts.

It’s no less embarrassing or awkward when a male contestant (J-Tight) compares meeting a game-industry celeb to sexual intercourse than when a female contestant (Suzkaiden) did it in episode four. Dude, you have kids. You know they’re going to see this, right? Any street cred they might have scored at school from your 15 minutes of fame just went sailing out the window. Feel free to hand over your “cool dad” badge now. Like, right now.

From the Department of Reassuring: Adult gaming professionals are as susceptible to fart jokes as third graders are.

Further proof, if any were needed, that the concept of the “alliance” fits this show’s length and format like an oversized pair of Zubas. We’re finally shown the third mystery player in the RealityPalez-Suzkaiden Axis of Whatever. The fact that it qualifies as an outtake shows you just how integral it was to the season’s plot arc.

Come back next week and we’ll wrap it all up!

Image credit: Tester-Season 3-Episode 8 – Cast-Offs Return!

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.