The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies recap: 'CT wins everything'

·12 min read

Well, The Challenge has officially made it to 500 episodes. But did this week's episode feel worthy of the milestone? Not really — aside from everyone treating CT like the true veteran king he is, it was actually quite boring and resulted in another rookie vs. rookie elimination showdown. I'm ready to see the vets finally duke it out! But let's recap "500," shall we?

Back at the house, Nelson immediately attacks Kyle for taking his spot on Sapphire — even though Kyle made the best move for his game and didn't break any agreements. Nelson's just salty he's now on Ruby and is dealing with it like a child. Eventually, Cory leads Nelson away from the people watching and gives him another one of his team leader speeches, getting Nelson fired up to be on Ruby. But upstairs, Kyle is speaking the truth to Big T, saying he doesn't really care about what just happened because now he can run a final with CT, and "CT wins everything." That's all well and good... but only if Kyle can stay on CT's team until the very end, and if the final is going to be run in teams. That's a lot of ifs. Then CT comes in, saying, "I'm a better ally than an enemy, and people are starting to catch on." And you know what? He's right. It's about time that he got this kind of respect!

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

The next day, we get a classic Challenge montage of people intensely working out while Big T... is doing a face mask and eating food while lounging on a flamingo floatie in the pool. That may not be the way to win a Challenge but it's definitely how I'd want to spend my time! Meanwhile, CT puts on his "Uncle CT" mentor hat and tries to convince Emy to go into elimination, win, and then swap to his team since he's not feeling jazzed about Amanda and Bettina — although I'm relieved to hear Ashley is also finally getting the respect she deserves when CT says she's "obviously strong."

Upstairs, Josh asks Amanda and Ashley what the plan should be for this week's female elimination, and Bettina overhears Amanda revealing that Emy wants her gone. So they decide to orchestrate an Emy vs. Bettina elimination to keep all the vets safe. Cory does his best to cheer Bettina up, and his whole Ruby cell leader schtick is growing on me. If The Challenge doesn't work out for him and he never wins, he should seriously look into coaching. He's got a real talent for it!

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

The Challenge: Brush Contact

Before the daily, TJ announces to the players that it's the 500th episode, and then everyone breaks the fourth wall to thank us all for watching. It's a little weird, and while I've been hating watching Jeff Probst do this on Survivor this season, I'll let it slide here because it's quick and actually kind of sweet. But enough niceties, it's time for a good old-fashioned headbanger! And Nelson, please stop saying you're "coming for that ass" in reference to Kyle. I don't think that means what you think it means.

Played in three randomly-selected rounds, the men from one cell must transfer as many heavy bags of cash to the safe zone as possible, where the women will be waiting to carry those bags the rest of the way to the end zone. Meanwhile, one cell will be playing defense and using any means necessary to stop them. Each bag has a different amount of cash in it, and the cell with the most money at the end of the challenge wins. This is mostly going to require speed and aggression, favoring bigger, stronger players. For something like this, Kyle was right to be on CT's team... but having fewer members on their team is going to be a huge disadvantage regardless.

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

The first round has Emerald on offense with Sapphire on defense, and while Emerald knows that CT and Kyle are a tough duo in this challenge, they also have them outnumbered in men. Meanwhile, Kyle is apologizing to CT for taking Ed and Nelson off his team, and Ashley, Amanda, and Bettina are doing a cheer that's basically, "Let's have fun today," so this is quite the mixed bag! And to really set the mood, the skies open up and it starts pouring out of nowhere.

As soon as the horn blows, Josh takes off and stiff-arms Kyle in the throat, which embarrasses Kyle and has everyone laughing. Literally, no one saw that coming. And then Emanuel and Devin run at the same time, giving CT and Kyle no time to regroup, and all three make it to the safe zone with zero collisions. Boo! Being outnumbered in this challenge is really going to kill Sapphire. Kaycee and Tori make it to the end with no problem, but Nany gets bodied by Amanda and Ashley, so the rest of the women run in to make it a full dog pile, complete with smoke bombs obscuring everything. The smoke is so thick, in fact, that Nany can't see the boundary of the field and steps out of bounds, DQing herself. It's really no question who the weak link of the Emerald team is, but they finish the round with $8,000 out of $10,000. And that's going to be hard to beat.

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

The next round is Sapphire on offense and Ruby on defense. Since the Sapphire guys are still outnumbered, CT decides to pull off a literal smokescreen, setting off all the smoke bombs before booking it, but Nelson and Logan push him out of bounds so he DQs. But after Kyle faces off with Cory, he actually makes it to the safe zone! For the women, Bettina is the only one to make it across at first as Emy takes down Amanda and Big T shockingly tackles Ashley, so Bettina runs back in to help Amanda with Emy and gets a swift kick to the throat for her troubles. Emy eventually steals the bag, and Amanda and Bettina don't notice that Ashley needs help until it's too late and Big T pushes her out of bounds. So Sapphire ends up with only $3,000, which is not enough to win over Emerald. And as soon as the round ends, Ashley somehow ends up yelling at Bettina even though Bettina was the only one to finish, so I'm proud of Bettina for sticking up for herself in the face of Meltdown Mitchell. It's a lot to take on!

The final round is Ruby on offense and Emerald on defense, and Cory and Nelson easily outrun the Emerald guys to the safe zone. All that's left is Logan with the big bag and he throws it to Cory as he runs across the finish line. It was a beautiful play... but Cory caught the bag in the safe zone and didn't actually run it across, so it doesn't count. Brutal! At this point, they can only finish with $7,000, so there's no way they can beat Emerald, but we still watch it play out anyways. And while Emy and Big T give it their best shot, they're outnumbered and outgunned. Emy gets double-teamed by Nany and Tori, and Big T gets thrown around by Kaycee. Plus, they forgot to try to run an entire bag, so Ruby ends up with $0. You can tell this loss is hitting self-appointed Ruby captain Cory hard.

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

So once again, Emerald wins. This is getting boring, y'all! Back at the house, Bettina asks Tori to make her the Agency vote so she can pick her own opponent, rather than getting chosen as Emy's. It's a brave, strategic move, and Bettina sweetens the deal by promising to go back to Sapphire if she wins instead of infiltrating Emerald. But can she trust Tori to make good on that deal when we haven't seen Tori be trustworthy with any rookie this season?

That night, out at the bar, Kyle apologizes to Nelson for taking his spot on Sapphire, and Nelson forgives him. Snooze. This whole fight is ridiculous because Kyle made the right move for his own individual game, and Nelson's making it personal. At this point, Kyle is just saying whatever Nelson wants to hear to make sure he's not making a new enemy. Can we move on to more interesting things, like Bettina telling Amanda that if the elimination is a puzzle, she'll pick Emy, but if it's physical, she'll pick Big T? Because Amanda's not buying it and thinks Bettina is going to pick her as her opponent, so she goes right to Emy to tell her everything to rile her up against Bettina. It works because Emy and Bettina immediately get into a fight in the middle of the bar. And when Bettina walks off, Emy goes into a full meltdown.

The next morning, Amanda continues her political manipulation by telling Devin that if Bettina is voted in, she might pick Amanda, and if Amanda loses, Bettina would infiltrate Emerald. Amanda is putting in the work to make sure Emy is voted in because she knows Emy will pick Bettina, and then Amanda will be safe. This is some grade-A politicking! But Devin doesn't "negotiate with terrorists or devils." So Emerald sits down with Emy and tries to convince her to go in and pick Bettina, but Emy is afraid of it being a puzzle. And while Tori and Nany want Emy to pick Bettina, Devin rightly points out Emy can have her pick of any opponent, and then once she wins, she can go to Sapphire to be with Uncle CT. Finally, Emy decides she wants to be voted in, just in time for...

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The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

Nominations

Bettina immediately asks to be voted in so she can pick her own opponent, promising to go back to Sapphire if she wins. Meanwhile, Amanda says she can't promise she'd go back to Sapphire if she gets called out, which makes Emerald hesitate on voting in Bettina since she could call out Amanda. At this point, all Emerald wants to do is make sure no one infiltrates their team, and they'll do whatever it takes to make that happen. Then Emy asks to go in because she wants to infiltrate Sapphire. And when Nelson tries to say something about how CT would leave her team just as quickly as she joins it, CT drops this gem: "I'm not Oprah. I can't just give away finals. You're going to have to earn it. You can't weasel your way into a championship." Facts!

So Emerald finally votes, and Emy is the compromised agent. Tori tries to do damage control with Bettina but at this point, if anyone is making a deal with Tori, they deserve to get betrayed. Has Tori kept even one single deal that she's made all season? She's not earning any trust and it's not a cute look.

Meanwhile, Uncle CT educates Emy some more by explaining that if she doesn't pick Bettina, there's another female rookie to target, thereby securing her own safety moving forward. And then once again, CT throws Big T under the bus and says she's probably the best option for a physical elimination. CT is really saying RIP to their Double Agents alliance! But will Emy listen?

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

Elimination

In the Lair, Emy does what she thinks is "fair" and calls out Bettina as her opponent, since they are the only two female rookies left. So after all that, we're still left with a rookie-rookie elimination. Sigh.

Elimination challenge: Bombs Away. This is a newer twist on an old elimination where players must use a rope to maneuver a heavy log/rocket to take out five different targets. Whoever knocks out all their targets first, wins. It requires some strength but mostly precision and strategy, so it's kind of an even playing field for these two. The only difference is Bettina is already feeling defeated while Emy is fired up. And sometimes that's all it takes.

When the elimination begins, both women try to get a feel for how the rocket swings, but eventually Emy gets her first target and takes the lead. And Bettina can't keep her rocket swinging high enough before she starts to get tired. The people on the sidelines start to think that Bettina has given up while Emy keeps taking out her targets, eventually winning the elimination.

The Challenge
The Challenge

MTV 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies'

With that, we say goodbye to Bettina and her... unique laugh. Emy makes her dream come true and returns to Uncle CT by infiltrating the Sapphire cell and sending Amanda to Ruby. And even though Emerald got their wish to not be infiltrated, they're only now realizing they made a huge mistake by allowing Sapphire to become CT, Ashley, Kyle, and Emy. Because even though they're the smallest cell, they're now looking like the strongest team. And I hope they finally end Emerald's winning streak next week.

Challenger of the week: Emy for really securing her rookie of the season title by winning yet another elimination. But now she's the only female rookie left... she should have taken Uncle CT's advice and left Bettina as a target.

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