The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 4 Recap — Winners & Losers

Brian Batty
11 min readSep 2, 2021

Welcome back! After an episode full of intrigue, making out, and emotional outbursts, I’m here to help us make sense of it all. Inside this week: Logan admits his deepest darkest secret, Nelson’s a bad babysitter, Emy hears a Who, and much much more…

Loser: Sunglasses At Inappropriate Times

I was that guy.

At this point in life, I don’t mind admitting it. But I used to be that guy who wore sunglasses inside and/or at night.

Calling it an anxiety thing would only be a half truth. While it’s true that now later in life, doing small things like wearing sunglasses can help ease my general social anxiety. And I’ve now learned the value in doing small things like that to help you get through the day.

But back then I was just a jackass. Wearing your sunglasses while going underwater? Well, now we’re just talking about a whole different thing.

(I initially had this all lined up. Make fun of myself to soften the blow of giving Fessy shit for no reason other than to get a stupid joke off. But when I went back to do editing I slowly realized that maybe this is just a hole in my game. I don’t spend much time around pools, all things geographically considered. In Chicago only rich people and young people living well above their means in River North just to flex on Instagram have access to pools. And I am decidedly neither of those. So maybe those of us living in areas where pools are in abundance see going underwater with sunglasses on as a completely normal thing to do. Or maybe I should just get this show on the road.)

Loser: Logan’s Words

One could argue that there has never been something in the world less consequential than what Logan was actually saying to Big T while they were sitting in that cabana. She was willing to listen to anything.

“Big T, I’ve never felt comfortable telling anyone else this, but one time I blew up a children’s hospital. Over 500 kids died, which actually wasn’t that many compared to my goal of 1,200. Best part is, most of them had a really good chance of getting out and living fulfilling lives! But alas, I set off that bomb and it’s now all over for them and their families. I also set up a system that periodically e-mails pictures of the aftermath to the families of the hospital staff that were working that day. Sort of like a beat a dead horse type scenario. Only this time it’s with hospital workers and children instead of a horse. Get it?”

“Mmmmmmm, Logan. Yum.”

Winner: Narrow Corridors

Winner: Devin’s Fit


Winner: Devin’s Other Fit

Even Swaggier. No, no. Not Chris. Just saying, like, he looks cool.

Back off George, I know you’re going to say something!

Winner: Devin’s Ideology

I’m at the age where slowly one by one my friends are going to start getting blown off the face of the earth by a pregnancy. I will say the same thing to them as Devin does here, I’ll most likely be wearing pants though.

“This is the last season I’m going to trust you.”

“You mean like weather season? Like when it’s fall you won’t trust me?”

“No, like season of a TV show.”

“TV show? What the hell are you talking about. We’re out to lunch?”

“Oh right….uh…wanna split some nachobitchass?”

“Some what?

Loser: Dramatic Kaycee

1000%? Really? That seems high.

Is nobody else gonna say it? Am I gonna have to be the one to say it? Fine.

Just shut up, Kaycee.

I mean, why? Seriously, why? She’s reaching out to you. What’s there not to trust? What could she have said and done to earn that in a season where she said and did nothing besides win? She didn’t put that rock in that one specific place in the Final last season. She doesn’t skate for Team X Blades. She’s not Val. What’s there not to trust? She’s just asking you to just be nice.

I get that you understand that giving soundbites like that gets a ton of play around these parts, but like, at least say something of substance. Not much blows my buzz like a poorly-used Challenge platitude.

Winner: The Producer’s Understanding Of Television

You know, when a prospective Challenger isn’t psyched about heights, then lets everyone else in the world know they aren’t psyched about heights, the natural reaction is to say, “then why’d you sign up, dude?”

And that’s true. Nobody who’s afraid of heights or can’t swim or hasn’t eaten ram testicles should sign up for The Challenge. Look I get it, they called and you answered. Sometimes it’s as simple as that.

But I’m on the other side. The producers know people like Hughie are afraid of heights, and cast him anyways because when the phobia is harmless like ketchup or heights, it’s hilarious to watch someone melt down while staring down their biggest fear.

I once had to go inside while at the top of the Rockefeller Center in New York because my knees were going to give out, so Hughie, I’m right there with ya brother.

Winner: The Sun

“Uh, what happened there Hughie?”

“Oh I fell asleep at the pool wearing sunglasses for a couple of hours.”

“Did you fall asleep? Or did you pass out?”

Loser: Berna’s Adaptability

While there may be more to it than meets the eye, I wouldn’t know I’m just sitting on my couch eating lasagna, but I feel like CT would also understand points and lines. Who really knows though, maybe the Massachusetts Public School system sucks.

Winner: Hughie Getting Existential

You mean this specific Challenge? Or, like, Earth? Because man, honestly, been asking that second one for years.

Winner: The Other 6,000 People Esther Went To High School With

“Suck it Tiffany! I’m smarter than you and I’m gonna call you all out about in on American TV.” — Esther to her academic rival, Tiffany…probably.

Loser: Nelson’s Ability To Get A Child To Eat Something They Don’t Want

I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be an airplane, but I don’t have kids so what do I know?

Winner: Sleep

Kyle’s tired.

I don’t think he put the canister on Devin and Emy’s name on purpose. I don’t even think he did it because he’s shady. I just think he needs to rest.

He’s on his seven hundred and thirteenth Challenge since 2019, he’s got a kid on the way in real life, and just like the rest of us he’s been going through all this nonsense for the last year and a half.

Devin doesn’t need to give Kyle any shit, he needs to give him some melatonin.

Winner: Kitchen Priority

Esther won more than just the daily challenge this episode. Her entrance into the house first also gave her first dibs in the pantry. Something that Cory taught us last season is incredibly important.

Remember when Kaycee and CT got into a drunken argument over stove-top burner etiquette? When people like Bananas say The Challenge is 90% mental, these are the kinds of things he’s talking about.

Loser: Escaped Citizens of Whoville

I mean…Emy…I love Christmas movies too. But not on vacation in Croatia. Does Croatia even have Christmas? If they didn’t before, now that the citizens of Whoville have invaded, they certainly do now. Christmas is like a mint plant. Grows like a weed and impossible to get rid of.

Loser: The Last Sentence I Just Wrote

That was a really stupid joke, I’m sorry. I don’t apologize for the Dr. Seuss reference, just the bad Christmas/mint joke. And now I’m apologizing for making you read my apology. Speaking of…

Loser: Cory and Kyle

Either I would have changed or argued until I was navy blue in the face that the other one should change their shirt.

Don’t care what anyone says, one homie cannot go out wearing something similar to another homie (the one exception being a black t-shirt) on club night. It’s just in the rules. Like internalizing standard pickup basketball game rules and leaving an empty urinal in between you and the other guy in the bathroom. It’s code.

Winner: Drunk and Hot Girls

“CTTTTTT, let’s do a shot!!”

“For sure Esther, what should we do? Tequila? Fireball?”

You’re all I ever waaanntteeeedd…

“Esther stop singing and pay attention.”

“Let’s do shots!!!”

“Ugh…Two shots of Fireball please.”

Loser: Couple’s Stamina

Nobody gets tired quicker at a bar than two people in a couple. Kaycee and Nany isolating themselves in a distant corner is both a sad and predictable outcome of their fresh (or at least openly fresh) relationship. I miss the real Nany, and I was hoping she would rub off on Kaycee and some poor decision making would be flying around from all angles. But it’s become as clear as day that Kaycee the one rubbing off on her.

Winner: The Color Blue

Again, she couldn’t have stood somewhere else?

Winner: Emanuel’s Game

I’m not gonna lie, that’s definitely my move. Real recognizes real. Shout out to neck tattoos. Glory to Romania.

Loser: Spam E-mails

Chances are that when TJ checked his phone that the only notifications he had were bullshit e-mails with some coupons he’s never gonna use from some company he forgot he even gave his e-mail address to.

Winner: Amber M.

Even though she’s not around, the other Amber still looms large.

Josh and Fessy continuing to call her Amber B., despite only one Amber being in the house, must bring a lot of joy to Amber M. sitting on her couch back at home.

Loser: Kyle

I don’t think Kyle knows what the splits are. I don’t even think Kyle knows where he is right now. Seriously, nobody needs a nap more than him.

Winner: Amber

3–0 in eliminations now. Seems pretty good. Plus not only that we finally got to learn about her as a person….oh wait, still nothing? Copy that.

Loser: Michele

I mean, you didn’t lose a million dollars. You just didn’t win it. Let’s chill on the “lost a million dollars” thing. Technically that means I also lost a million dollars when MTV decided not to call me. God damnit, why doesn’t some handsome mustachioed Romanian man with scary tattoos care that I lost a million dollars?!?

Winner: Us

If I can’t get Ashley and Hughie for a few more weeks, Nany and Hughie is exactly what I would have wanted otherwise. I know they didn’t form this pairing just for me, but part of me feels like they did.

Winner: Us, Again

Or wait…..ah, shit, they’re the only rookies left together. Maybe that should say loser…Hold on, let me gather myself, I can fix that…

Loser: Us

Does this mean we’re gonna lose Gabo and Emy next week?! I don’t know if on an emotional level that I have the capacity to handle that without finally succumbing to my rapidly encroaching mental breakdown.

Good god, I guess nothing gold really can stay.

Thanks for reading!!! And as always…Hold on…

(Bonus) Winner: Leather

You thought I wasn’t going to notice? We had seven instances of people wearing leather in last night’s episodes. Should we rank them? Sure, let’s rank them.

7) Nany’s Shirt

6) Josh’s Small Picture In Amber’s Confessionals

5) Berna at the Club

4) Hologram Josh

3) Corey L. Confessional Jacket

2) Kyle’s Confessional Jacket

1) Emanuel’s Confessional Jacket

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check back on Sunday for my updated Power Rankings. And as always, Happy Challenge Watching!!!



Brian Batty

Writing about MTV’s The Challenge, one of America’s great institutions