Last week’s episode ended on the cliffhanger of a young inyala caught in a snare and the survivalists scampering and screaming around and across the lake. In my head, I heard the theme song to Benny Hill. Of course, by the time the buffoon brigade arrived, the inyala had snapped the branch and skittered back into the brush.
This week, I am in Los Angeles at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. The TCA meets twice each year and the broadcast and cable networks present their new series. It’s several weeks filled with panels, interviews, cocktail parties and lots of bacon. I’m here for the last 9 days of the tour, I’m watching this episode of Naked and Afraid XL in my hotel room and without my trusty sidekick and remote control holder, my husband Scott. We’ll see how this goes…
After the snare snaffoo, Darrin reminds the group that he’s a master hunter. Again. Ryan rolls his eyes and can’t wait to see Darrin put some meat where his mouth is.
In the morning, Jake proposes moving camp. Darrin wants to return to his old camp to hunt, and he and Steven decide to do on a multi-day hunting trip and return to the large group on Day 25. But before they leave camp, Darrin and Steven prepare their weapons and Darrin’s also added a feather to his hair which has moved beyond the greasy stage and is heading into dreadlock territory. As the two hopeful hunters leave camp, Chief Jake bestows this word of blessing: “May your spear kill everything it touches.”
But the folks left behind aren’t going to sit on their butts and wait for Darrin and Steven to return hoisting huge sides of meat. Jake is back on the net and some of the women harvest cattail tubers. Ryan’s on snare duty. But Jake’s net is empty, because he’s fishing from the exact same area where everyone always fishes. And Ryan sets snares in the exact same area that he always sets snares. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, is it not?
Back at Darrin and Kim’s initial camp in the Tsonga basin, Steven is excited to see large numbers of large game. He and Darrin choose blinds across the watering hole from each other and settle in an wait. And wait. And wait. Steven tries throwing the atlatl, and Darrin gets a few shots off with his bow, but the only thing they catch is sunburn.
Back at Camp Colossus, Ryan has lost his mind. He’s built himself a ridiculous headdress out of horns that is almost as asinine as Darrin’s feather.
After an unsuccessful day with the Atlatl, Steven asks Darrin to use use the bow on the next day’s hunt. Darrin refuses. because even if it’s not his, it’s his. Because it’s Kim’s. And Darrin has claimed Kim.
That night, the tension in the men’s camp is heightened by two lions who stalk them all night long. Steven sets the recorder for posterity and “in case we get our faces eaten off.”
Back in the Swati Valley, Tawny, Stacey, Alyssa and Kim sit around looking like dirty skeletons, while and Ryan and Phaedra check out the porcupine den that was Clarence’s undoing. But now it seems that the den has been taken over by a warthog, which is a much bigger (and less pokey) meal. But after sealing up den exits and filling it with lots of smoke, it’s evident that Pumbaa isn’t home. Phaedra and Ryan think that their group may have exhausted the resources of the camp and the mumblings to leave the Swati Valley grow.
Steven is still pissed that Darrin won’t share the bow and decides to take drastic measures. His new desperate plan is to simply smash a passing animal with a rock and tackle it. Steven is quick, but he’s not impala quick. And he’s barefoot, so he runs gingerly. After the hilarious fail, Steven wants to stay and hunt for another day. Darrin wants to return to the group because they’d but Darrin is a man of his word and returns to the larger group.
Darrin leaves Steven and returns to the large group. Steven stays behind — with the bow! — and looks forward to a big day of hunting. Poor Darrin is going to be turning right around, because the group wants to move to the Tsonga Basin. But before he makes the return trip, he throws Steven under the bus by telling the group that Steven called them “lazy.” Jake takes the comment personally, because he is the opposite of lazy. Do you remember Steven calling the group Lazy? I don’t have the benefit of a DVR in my hotel room; I hope that someone can help clarify.
Steven’s gleeful alone time is disrupted when a herd of massive Cape buffalo visit the watering hole. The massive beasts can weight up to one ton and kill over 200 people per year. I think a Cape buffalo was the bad guy in the latest Kung Fu Panda movie.
The group’s XLR has fallen from 7.6 to 6.4 out of 10. Other than the tubers (which they haven’t talked about since they picked them), they haven’t eaten in three days. So shouldn’t the score dip more? On the other hand, It seems like Tick Bite Fever isn’t part of this weeks conversation, which is a good thing.
Back to our solo-hunter who runs the risk of becoming a Steve-kebob. Eventually the beasts move on just as the large group arrives. Jake appoints himself the team’s mouthpiece and heads over to set Steven straight on not returning to camp and for calling his teammates lazy. But Steven insists that he didn’t use those words to describe everyone. He calls Darrin a liar and then storms off spend time alone to clear his head. Darrin warns, “He knows that a loner out here is a dead man.”
I was so confused about what was said by Steven that I called Scottie for clarification. Even with the use of a DVR, Scott was unclear of exactly what was said. I think that the producers of Naked and Afraid and N&A XL (A production company called Renegade 83) may have employed the technique of making a “FrankenBite.” When you make a FrankenBite, you take a quote out of context, chop it up, remove words and alter it in such a way that the quote used is dramatically different from what was originally said or intended.
Scott says that Steven used both the words “Lazy” and “Laziness,” but Scott felt that the words were aimed at Darrin and not at the group. And it’s not like the camera guys are going to let the survivalists watch the raw footage, so Darrin basically wanted to stir up trouble.
And why did Darrin leave to return to camp at 6:30am? He and Steven could have hunted in the morning and headed back to camp later in the day. That way, both men could have gotten what they wanted. It’s called compromise gents.
Primitive Survival Item. Each survivalist brought a blade each trio was given a cooking pot, and each of the dozen survivalists was allowed to bring one primitive survival item. I’m keeping track here:
Jake- Spool of snare wire (Learned in personal interview)
Stacey- Fishing hook and line (Learned in Episode 1)
Clarence- Unknown -left in Episode 2
Phaedra- Paracord? (Used in Episode 4)
Alyssa- Fire Starter (Learned in Preview Episode)
Tawny- Casting Net (Learned in Episode 2)
Kim- Bow & Arrow (Learned in Episode 1)
Carrie- Unknown -left in Episode 1
Darrin- Buck Skin (Learned in Preview Episode)
Angel- Unknown -left in Episode 3
Steven- Sling shot (Learned in Preview Episode)
Ryan- Spool of 100-lb. Fishing Line (Learned in Episode 1)
More Naked and Afraid XL
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 4 “Too Many Chiefs”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3 “Human Prey”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 2 “Man on Fire”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 1 “Lions at the Gate”
Naked and Afraid XL Season 2 preview
Interview With Jake Nodar
Jake Nodar’s 4 butt-kicking survival tips