Total Drama Review Week 12: X-Treme Torture
By: Justin Cummings
This is the episode that reminded the world that Total Drama is rated PG for a reason. We’ll get to the moment that made everyone wonder how Cartoon Network approved of it later on, but there’s actually a lot to tackle in this episode. For starters, poor Trent. Like I mentioned two episodes ago, Trent seems to have become the unfortunate victim of every accident on this show. First he got a concussion, then he was poisoned, and now he seems to have broken every bone in his body. Don’t worry though, I’m sure, as always, he’ll make a full recovery.
Apart from the continuation of Trent’s bad luck streak, this episode does a lot of things right, and I’d argue is the best use of the three part challenge structure. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the structure, and I think it works even better here than in “Who Can You Trust.” The B-plot of the love letters keeps things moving well between each challenges, and also gives some much needed screen time for Bridgette and Gwen as friends. Every single contestant of the remaining eleven get their moment of glory in this episode, ranging from Duncan and Lindsey’s showdown, to Geoff’s stink that forced him to spend the elimination ceremony in a tree with a skunk. No one gets left out, and it reminds us why all of these characters are still around. This episode has exactly half of the original cast left, and so it’s cools seeing how much has changed in the first half of this competition. From here on out we also get to see a post-Courtney Duncan, which has always been one of my favorite stretches of episodes for him. Finally, before we get to the big moment, Chris was wearing a rebel fighter helmet from Star wars, that is all.
So, the reason everyone remembers this episode is the utter insanity of the last five minutes. Heather tries to sabotage Harold, who is about to pick up yet another win for the Killer Bass, and in doing so she gets her top ripped off. This distracts Harold, causing him to crash, causes Heather to be blurred out, and after Leshawna finds out Harold was the one crushing on her, gets Heather in hot water with Leshawna. Now this wasn’t the first blurred nudity in the show, but up until now it had always been, A: male nudity, and B: not talked about after the scene was over. Think about, stuff like the Owen sleepwalking bit was never talked about when it wasn’t happening. Same goes for Harold’s nude moment, albeit that was the end of the episode. This shouldn’t have been a huge deal, but it was for a lot of people. Although we’d see a few more blurred nudity moments this season, starting with season two it happened a lot less, and some people think it stems from the reaction to this episode.
Now here we are with our final ten: Gwen, Trent, Heather, Lindsey, Owen, and Leshawna for the Screaming Gophers, and Duncan, Bridgette, DJ, and Geoff for the Killer Bass. Beginning with next episode everything changes. So join me next week as we head into the back half of Total Drama Island, with “The Brunch of Disgustingness.”
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