The Reality TV Guru

The persevering No Limits Team find their way through the marketplace in tonight's final episode (photo courtesy of ABC)

After a grueling series of expeditions that has seen nine other teams fall by the wayside, we are left with four teams competing in this final stage of Expedition Impossible. They are the Gypsies, the Fab 3, the Football Players, and No Limits.

Will Ike of the No Limits team be able to literally stand up to the rigors of this final stage of hiking and challenges? Will the Gypsies continue to dominate the competition? Will the Fab 3 put aside their quarrels and focus on the tasks ahead of them? Will the Football Players come up a final drive in the last minutes of the fourth quarter? The winner takes all tonight!

The episode starts at the dinner table outside at the camp. The food looks like nutritious local fare with a few bottles of what appears to be wine. They eat heartily and exchange a round of cheers.

The four teams gather the next morning for the final stage. They will all start at the same time, but one team will be eliminated on the course. Teams head down to local fishing boats nearby and row their boats across the water to the first checkpoint. Each boat comes with two pairs of oars. Some teams take off quickly in the boats, but the Fab 3 are already having trouble with one guy each using one oar and Kari using an oar as a rudder. Meanwhile, the Football players are taking on water in their boat and the back edge looks awful close to the water. Later on, they seem to get it right by rearranging themselves on the boat to redistribute the weight and have one of them row with two oars.

The Gypsies arrive at the checkpoint first. From there, they go downhill nearby where one team member shovels stones through a seive in order to find two stones that are valuable amethyst crystals. The Fab 3 are running in second and join the Gypsies shoveling stones. The No Limits team arrives third to the stone shoveling site.

Being the first team to find two amethyst crystals, the Gypsies trade those for horses that they ride 3.5 miles to the next checkpoint. There a helicopter sits in waiting and the last time to arrive at that checkpoint will be evacuated. Off go the Gypsies and the Fab 3 are next, but they initially have troubles with one horse going down and then they are on their way too. No Limits are the third team to mount horses (a concern for Erik, who says animals can throw you off a little bit!).

The Gypsies are the first team to arrive at the finish line in what appears to have been a fairly short stage. The Fab 3 arrive in second, with the No Limits team running in third. The Football Players have even more trouble with the horses than they did the boats. Akbar is thrown from his horse and takes a hard fall flat on the ground. He’s in a lot of pain. He stays off the horse and the team walks their horses along the path. The No Limits team arrives in third place at the finish line, leaving the Football Players as the last team to cross the finish line. After a day of miscues, the Football Players are flown out.

Now it comes down to the final three teams. They will be finishing their expedition in the ancient city of Marrakech. To get there, they’ll drive SUV’s to the city where the next checkpoint is located at a crossroads in the marketplace. {Cue Ford Explorer commercial that the Expedition Impossible teams are using.} All three teams begin the next stage at the same time. What? The Gypsies, who had a big lead, got gypped! Once again, it’s anybody’s race.

The teams end up going in a caravan in the same order they had earlier finished. We get a camera shot of some of Ford Explorer’s extra feature options like “Mud, Rut Mode Active”. The teams have to park their SUV’s outside and run into the market crossroads area, which appears to be a prohibited area for vehicles. The Fab 3 reach the next checkpoint with instructions first, with the Gypsies right behind them.

The teams run through the Marakkech souk (marketplace) and look for the location of their next checkpoint, the Saadian Tombs, which is written in Arabic instead of English. This calls for getting some help from the locals who can read the location in the instructions and point them in the right direction. Meanwhile, we get some shots of some snake charmers playing their flutes with heads-up cobras coiled on the pavement.

The Gypsies and Fab 3 run one behind the other and they reach the Saadian Tombs checkpoint at the same time. From there, they wander through a maze a narrow streets and walks to the next checkpoint. To guide them, they’ll be looking for numbered doors with designs on them that match up with the designs printed on their maps. The Gypsies and Fab 3 are running together as they pass by the first identified door, a diamond #1. Meanwhile, the No Limits team begins their weave their way through the souk, well behind the other teams. It’s amazing Erik just doesn’t run smack dab into someone, as crowded as it is!

Having split up along the way, the Gypsies and Fab 3 are both asking locals to help guide them to the door locations on their maps. But the Gypsies find themselve getting lost. One of them says, “I’m lost. Don’t tell any of the teams following us.” And the Fab 3 on their tail. So it’s the blind leading the blind, with a team with a blind guy trailing further behind them in third!

The Gypsies ask some uniformed guys at what appears to be a secure area for directions and the Fab 3 realize the Gypsies are lost as they are. They take this opportunity to try to split from the Gypsies and look on their own, but the Gypsies catch up with them. As they Fab 3 ask for directions from a police officer, both teams realize they’ve wandered far off the track, now outside the main walls of the city. Oops. This might buy No Limits some badly needed time.

Now we see the Fab 3 well outside the city walls where they should be wandering through some narrow alleys somewhere inside them. For all they know, they’re going further and further away from where they want to be. The Fab 3 realize now that they have to find their way to the original checkpoint and start over. At this point, we don’t see the Gypsies with them. The Gypsies, instead, backtracked and found the original diamond-symbol #1 door, so they’re back on track again. They find the archway they need to pass under and then pass by the other doors on their map successively (and successfully!).

No Limits ends up having the same trouble the other teams did in not finding the next door, but at least they don’t wander off outside the city walls. They ask some locals if they know where the doors are and a little girl tells them she knows where that door is! Like an angel from above, she guides them right under the archway and to the door they’re looking for. Meanwhile, the Gypsies manage to find their way to the last door, realize they have to go in, wondering if they aren’t in somebody’s house. They go up some stairs and then down some ladders to reach the next checkpoint.

The next task is to go through some subterranean tunnels and look for a special kind of box. They’ll need to figure out how to open the box which contains a “key to victory” they need to open a lock on the way to the finish line. The Gypsies methodically search the tunnels and quickly find the box.

Meanwhile, No Limits finds their way past the remaining doors, climbs the steps, reaches the ladders to go down and… there’s the Gypsies coming back out to open their box! One of the No Limits guys says, “We can still win this thing!” although they’ve got a box they still have to find. The Fab 3 are… somewhere. We don’t know where. Apparently, neither do they.

The Gypsies finally manage to open their box and get the key. The key unlocks a lock attached to the ladder on the wall. They need to move the ladder to a wall that takes them on to an elevated walkway with carpets on it that leads to the finish line. As the Gypsies go up, one of them realizes he left his backpack behind. “I know we have to have our backpacks to finish the race and I’m, like, ‘Oh, no!'” But they quickly retrieve the pack. Then after climbing the ladder they scale down the opposite wall and run across the carpets to the finish line to win the race.

The Gypsies are the winners of Expedition Impossible!

The Gypsies win $150,000 and each of them win a 2011 Ford Explorer. They credit their win to “the power of positive thinking and teamwork”. The No Limits team rolls in second place and they’re happy. Considering all they’ve been through, giving it all they got, second place is a highly remarkable achievement for these guys. The Fab 3 finally take a casual stroll to the line to finish third.

To close the show, the Gypsies have the honor to raise the Expedition Impossible flag up the wall.

Well, I must say that I enjoyed watching this series. I had my doubts at first about how entertaining this show would be as the weeks went by, but it grew on me. I’m really hoping we’ll see a second season with good teams like we saw this season.

So, dear readers, farewell until (let’s hope) next season!

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