The Challenge: Double Agents Episode One Preview

Brian Batty
5 min readDec 8, 2020

The Challenge: Double Agents premieres tonight, and I’m here to give you a quick guide to the important things to watch for as the season takes it’s first steps towards hours of entertainment for us all. We’re going to call this segment…

What To Look For

It really was, Fessy, it really was.
  • Actual Gameplay and Strategy Again!

I find it hard to believe the producers had the foresight to know that their audience would be in quarantine when they came up with the idea to do a season in quarantine. But that’s the bumps and the breaks and it all turned out to be a smidge too real. One thing they did blow it on, though, was the game format itself. A show rich with political intrigue and layered strategy was dumbed down to everyone politely asking their turn to play like obedient fifth graders.

This time around, things will hopefully look more like this…

You can picture Leroy giving Jim’s confessional word for word…

“Devin revealed himself to be a double agent, at which point Wes felt comfortable revealing he also was a double agent. And then Nelson announced to everybody that, get this, he was a double agent.”

I’m just happy the gang will make their triumphant return to backstabbing, accusing each other of being fake, taking that dig as the most insulting thing a person can possibly say to you, and then proudly announcing on a confessional something like “they better hope I don’t come back, because I am coming for all of them!” Okay Nany, settle down.

  • Oh Champions, Where Art Thou?

It’ll be interesting to see if Bananas can make it two…wait a second. In that case, at least Jenny will be back to…Jenny’s not here either?!

We have a vacant title ladies and gentleman!

I honestly cannot remember the last time this happened. If it’s even ever happened. I can venture a guess that this was the situation prior to the first ever season of the show, but I can’t say for sure.

We’re even sparse on the returning champs. Ashley, CT, Darrell, Wes…and that’s it. This will probably put a huge target on the backs of Ashley and Wes, and work entirely to the advantage of CT and Darrell. There are plenty of rookies for Wes to gather, but it might be in his best interest to zag a bit when his main move has a giant spotlight on it. Ashley will settle in and latch onto the bumper of a strong alliance like she’s Marty McFly running late to school.

Wait a minute Doc?! Are you telling me that it’s 8:25!?!!

  • Olympians, and Wrestlers, and Amber’s! Oh My!

First they brought in the Are You The One kids, and it was like “Huh, who are these strange earthlings washing upon our shores?”. Then it was Big Brother, and then the UK, finally contestants from reality shows across the globe, and it was like “okay, they’re really tryin stuff now.” And then you excitedly check the cast for this season and OH MY GOD IS THAT LOLO FUCKING JONES?!

Look I’m going to be real. Bringing on a Terminator T-1000 sort of shatters the glass table on which suspension of disbelief has rested for 35 seasons. I’ve seen enough of this show to understand athleticism isn’t everything, but this kind of opens the door for almost anybody to be on this show now, right? Imagine Russell Westbrook and Serena Williams going against Kyle and Big T in an elimination five years from now.

Kyle: “I’m sorry Russell, I get on with ya mate, I like ya. I really do. But you’re a rookie, and it’s time you proved yourself.”

Russell Westbrook: “Aw bleep you Kyle! You’re a bleep bleep motherbleeper.”

Kyle stands up and walks over the table, standing over Russell Westbrook. Timothee Chalamet quickly jumps off the couch to evade trouble. They volley barbs back and forth until Bananas and The Miz finally break it up.

Russell Westbrook: “I don’t wanna hear it man, TJ let’s get to it I’m done with this bleep.”

Sasha Obama in confessional: “Kyle’s a snake. He’s been playing this game dirty for years. He bleeped over Rebel Wilson what they were partners on Exes 5, and now he’s bleeping over Russell Westbrook. You just can’t trust him.”

TJ: Alright!…Jesus, enough. Okay, Aneesa, it’s your vote.

What if the prize money was 10–20 million dollars and legitimate athletes had incentive to do it? How low until it becomes only Lolo’s and no Nany’s? Hopefully (probably) that day will never come, but sometimes the toothpaste doesn’t go back in the tube.

  • Passes to the Man, and Boom Goes the Dynamite

Last season had it’s share of problems, but the clear MVP was the pyrotechnic coordinator. There were enough gratuitous shots of explosions last season to make the mayor of Pompeii blush. Is there like a specific MTV explosion person? Or do the producers hire an explosion contractor depending on the country they’re in each season. Are explosions cheaper in The Czech Republic, which is what led to the copious amounts we were treated to?

We got 52 (unofficial, unsourced, based on nothing) nonsensical explosions last season. I’m a simple man. I enjoy watching things blow up because…well I don’t know why I just do. Shout out to the Total Madness pyro gal/guy. Let’s hope your Icelandic counterpart can fill your fiery shoes. Based on the trailer, we seem to be in good hands.

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Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions, from a fan’s perspective.