Change breeds conflict on 'Kid Nation'

Randi_kidnation_240_2Yikes. Wednesday (Nov. 14) night's Kid Nation was pretty action-packed, eh? A district swap, a genuinely compelling Showdown, a humiliating F-bomb, a kid going home, Taylor in tears and a shocking end-of-episode cliffhanger?

[The Pioneer Journal says "Back in our Bonanza City, poorly concealed surprises ruined our community. Warn your readers that your recap contains spoilers." Consider it done.]

The storylines from Wednesday's episode:

The Fall of Laurel. It was just last week that I mused in this space about how Laurel was obviously the best council leader and that she should be able to earn a Gold Star herself. Amazing the difference a little editing makes, eh? This week began with Laurel and her Gold Star-heavy Green District having a Gold Star dance in town, celebrating how much better they were than the other districts. After the Journal warned them that old Bonanza City fell apart because the original pioneers failed to properly merge their tribes (or something stupid like that), the other leaders decided that they would gladly make a few changes. Anjay, feeling disrespected for his leadership, volunteered to take on lazy Emilie, the worst worker on the Red side. Guylan, feeling his team lacked sufficient intellect, took on OCD Gold Star winner Nathan. And Zach, fearing his team was under-sized, split up the Greg-n-Blaine alliance by grabbing Blaine, or as he was formerly known "Pretty Greg." Only Laurel refused to mix up her team. By the end of the episode, Sophia was calling her selfish and Michael said she was shallow. Uh-oh.

Emilie_kidnation_240The Blue-icanization of Emilie. Little Emilie (previously mostly spotted lounging around or half-heartedly trying to save chickens) was initially greeted with trepidation by the grouchy young women of Blue, particularly Mallory, but she immediately announced "Trust me, I'll pick up my game." Indeed, she appeared to be helping everywhere later, even when she didn't need to.

As Method Man Might Say, "Bring the Blaine." "Them separating was like separating two brothers," said Olivia of the Blaine/Greg split and certainly Greg was vocal in his rage at the decision, wailing "You'll always have blue in your blood" to his departing friend. He also attempted to bunk down with Blaine. [I really hope nobody's 'shipping this show.] Anyway, the person least unhappy about the move was Blaine, who admitted, "Now that I'm out of his shadow, I'm going to get a lot more credit for things I do." Indeed, Blaine immediately took over a leadership role, both in the Showdown and afterwards.

Red Hates the Creepy Kid. Nathan is going to need counseling, eventually. It was bad enough that the triple-washer dreaded moving to the Red bunk because of its dustiness, but when he arrived, he had to listen to Mike, Markelle and Jared tearing into Guylan about messing with their chemistry. The next morning at the Hunter-sponsored prayer session, though, Mike came to recognize that maybe shrieking about how much you can't stand the anti-social loner is the best way to end up in pieces in his fridge. Or maybe he just realized that it's up to the strong to protect the weak in their flock and he embraced Nathan. Not literally. Nathan would have been uncomfortable with that.

Randi Wants to Go Home. Not much to this one. Randi, one of the least vocal members of  Taylor's Yellow posse missed her family. Not even Greg's pep talk and piggy-back ride or a sign from God could convince her to stay. Say hi to Jimmy and Cody.

The Showdown. Probably the most intriguing Showdown of the season, the teams just had to haul sleighs of rocks. The problem: In order to receive the group reward, they had to collectively cart a total of one ton (or 50 Mallorys [Mallorys have joined Smoots as my favorite units of fake measurement]) of rocks. So their choice was to either sacrifice the collective good by carting very few rocks and earning upper class, or carrying a huge quantity of rocks even if that meant risking becoming laborers or cooks, because that's what the greater good demanded. Once again, Kid Nation tipped its Communist hand. With Greg leading the way, Blue finished first, followed by the Blaine-paced Yellow, then Green and Red. Each team was responsible for an average of 500 pounds and it turned out that no individual team carted that much, so they didn't come close to reward. Because they thought like Capitalists instead of Communists, they missed out on either beds or an awesome lounge area. Let that be a lesson to all of you. For shame! Want more shame, though?

The F-Bomb. Shamed in communal defeat, Guylan accused everybody of caring more about their status than the town, to which Sophia responded, "F*** you." Guylan, humiliated, told the camera that he was beginning to wish he'd never put his name out there for a leadership role. Even though Sophia went to apologize, Guylan was still wishing for a time machine to go back and urge himself to keep quiet on election day.

Blaine_kidnation_240The Gold Star. All of the nominations we saw came down to two people (we assume Divad still nominated herself). It was Hunter, steady and hard-working but overshadowed by the Green luminaries, versus Blaine's new-found assertiveness. The winner? Blaine.

The Cliffhanger! After the Gold Star results, Useless Host Man asked the town if they approved of how the council was performing their duties. Only, $20,000 in hand, approved. When everybody disapproved, Useless Host Man asked if they were ready for elections. Hell's yeah! DK's ready to go against Guylan in what we can only assume will be the biggest electoral rout since Reagan-Mondale. Greg wants a piece of Anjay's Blue power. Blaine figures he might as well run against Zach. And, in the biggest stunner of all, Michael decided to run against Laurel.

Next week should be fun.

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