The Challenge: Spies, Lies, & Allies might emerge as a decent season if the rookies get some much-needed wins.
The Challenge Season 37 Episode 2 was a disjointed affair, thanks largely to the show omitting that it was shut down due to COVID-19.
Seriously, players are dropping like flies, and it's disconcerting that the show is not addressing it. It makes you wonder what is really going on on the set of the series.
Maybe the producers feel like taking COVID-19 out of the mix will benefit the season's flow overall, but so far, the episodes are filled with scenes that don't really feel like they follow what came before.
We needed Amber B's arrival. If you watch The Challenge online, you know she and CT both won the previous season, so it was only fair that both winners got the chance to shine again.
Amber being partnered with Josh was the best way to save her game. Winners are typically big targets, but if Amber can get on the same page as the Big Brother alliance, she stands to make it much further in the game again.
It was a surprise that Amber was cut up about her former allies saying she was low on the totem pole, but when you think about it, that alliance is filled with people who have worked together on The Challenge for years.
You don't get to waltz in and automatically become the most protected person.
The vets working together are making for some fun scenes. These people are usually trying to get each other out of the house, but somewhere along the way, they realized the key to survival this time is to work together.
Who would have thought we'd have Devin and Josh in the same alliance? Devin has been so vocal about his hatred for people from Big Brother, but now he's actually building connections with them.
Will this alliance implode the moment the rookies are dealt with? There will come a time when they start targeting each other to get further.
Then again, these rookies are very good at the game. Many of them come from shows where you had to politic to survive, and that, coupled with the fact they are physical threats, is something.
The drama between Berna and Ashley came out of nowhere, but it's obvious Ashley is catching feelings for Nelson.
Many of these people have been stuck in quarantine for several weeks, only to begin the game and be thrown back into quarantine. It's been a long, drawn-out process, so of course emotions will be running high.
That being said, nothing good will come of Ashley and Nelson's hookups. Nelson appears to want to have fun and possibly go with more than one person, but Ashley will probably start to fall for him.
If anything, Ashley's outburst painted a target on herself. That, coupled with the fact that she's a former winner, will also cause some problems.
As long as the veterans keep winning, Ashley will make it far into the game. However, Hughie does not seem to be cut out for the series.
Maybe he needs a new partner, but he and Ashley are not performing up to par on the daily challenges, which is not a good sign.
Speaking of the daily challenge, it was fun and required these people to communicate. Fessy and Esther steamrolling the competition was a surprise, but it highlighted how well they worked together.
This season, Esther is quickly becoming one of my favorite cast members, but I was surprised Fessy didn't try to take out someone he crossed before, such as Nelson.
There's obviously bad blood between the two of them, but maybe Nelson will be able to see that Fessy could have taken a shot at him.
Josh saying that Kelz was making deals he couldn't keep was a typical Josh move. If previous seasons (and Big Brother!) have taught us anything, it's that Josh does not back down from any argument.
Kelz was put on the spot and set up as a big target, and while I hoped he remained in the game to get some revenge, I was happier Emy and Ed earner their way back into the house.
Emy is a firecracker who plays with a lot of emotion, and it will be fun if she manages to channel that into power to take out some of these bigger players.
Ed choosing Tori and Emy choosing Devin solidifies that the rookies will be aligning with vets to stay out of eliminations.
As a whole, "Bertha" was not my favorite installment of the series. With many events being kept away from the cameras, or even context as to why some of these players are getting the boot, it's hard to enjoy what's going on.
What did you think of everyone turning on Kelz?
Are you surprised we didn't learn why Lauren got the boot?
Did you want Emy to remain in the game?
Hit the comments.
The Challenge: Spies, Lies, & Allies airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on MTV.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.