Boot Camp: Who's Getting the Boot? Episode 6: Backstabbing Galoreby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Episode 6 of Boot Camp is a bit different from the other five. Now that there are only six contestants left, the show dedicates a lot more time to their interaction and less time to the “Marines” part of the show. They also tell us, in the intro, a bit more about how the final winner will be chosen. The last two have to run the 48-hour gamut that was described earlier. In this, they have to face seven challenges, and then the six discharged recruits (those who weren’t voted off, but were taken off by somebody who was) get to vote. The one who first gets a combination of seven wins and votes gets the $500,000 prize.
But first, they have a couple more rounds to go through. So today begins with picking a new squad leader. Moretty (the woman, not to be confused with Moretti, the man), decides she wants the job this time so she can hopefully secure immunity. Brown wants it as well, but says she’ll gamble about being taken out and let Moretty have it.
Drill Instructor (D.I.) Francisco tells us that Moretty impresses him because she is a stay-at-home mom who came to camp to prove something and show herself to be a good role model.
Recruit Jackson, on the other hand, isn’t quite so impressed with her. He thinks she gets by on her charm and good looks, and says that while the guys end up doing pushups for any minor infraction, she just smiles and laughs and the D.I.s laugh with her. He still thinks she’s a sweet woman, but not a leader. When she is supposed to be leading the squad, the guys are behind her whispering to her what she is supposed to do or say next.
But Jackson himself shows his own weakness in the next phase, when they hit the beach for water survival training. Although the water is cold, they are instructed to run directly in from the beach, and taught how to use their pants and shirts to stay afloat. Several recruits are getting cold, but once they get out and are told to go back in, Jackson refuses. To the surprise of everybody, D.I. McSweeney, who is leading the training, doesn’t have Jackson doing pushups immediately for his refusal. Instead, he merely tells him to sit out.
Several of the recruits mention that McSweeney lightened up a bit in the water training, but that’s not the reason for not punishing Jackson. Instead, McSweeney tells us that he didn’t go ballistic because the other five recruits saw Jackson just sitting there and refusing to join them – and he couldn’t have come up with any better punishment for Jackson other than just letting the rest of the squad see him. For his part, Jackson figures it’s not worth it to die of hypothermia just because the D.I. says to do something.
Later, it’s time for a 10-mile march, where the topic of singing cadence is discussed. Cadence helps keep everybody in step and hopefully raises spirits as well, and D.I. Francisco thinks Jackson is the best at that particular duty. But at dinner that night, Jackson gets upset that he is asked to lead cadence more often than others, and then goes on to rant about how things are not evenly spread out and how the women get away with more than the men. Needless to say, this doesn’t impress the women, who immediately go back to their barracks to talk about how upset they are with him.
But then scheming and plotting start to come out as Whitlow and Moretty discuss voting off Brown – the other woman – instead of Jackson. They are afraid that Jackson would take one of them with him, but if Brown is voted off, she might take him for them. But Moretty’s friendship with Brown is holding her back, even though she knows it would be best to vote Brown off.
Later, the men discuss similar issues, and think that voting off Whitlow would be risky because they don’t know who she would take with her. So they decide to sleep on it.
The next day, the recruits are told of their reward for successful completion of the next mission: an hour in a hot tub. Of course, punishment is an hour in a cold hot tub. So they have some incentive to succeed, even if it means Moretty gets immunity.
That mission is a hostage rescue. But to complicate the issue, they first have to get into a compound guarded by attack dogs, go through a laser maze, bring out the hostage past the dogs again, and get everybody out in 90 minutes. If any of the lasers are touched, they suffer a time penalty.
There is some tension as Wolf and Jackson try to lead the mission, but eventually everybody gets through the maze without a single time penalty. They quickly free the hostage and get out with few additional problems, making it with over a minute to spare. Success!
So they get their hour in a hot tub, which several describe as “phenomenal” after all their muscles have been through at camp. But, of course, there is still the matter of the vote, and this is where we see quite a bit more interaction. We have people backstabbing people who are backstabbing others – it’s like a big circle with each person knifing the back in front of him or her.
Brown tells Moretty that Whitlow has told others that Whitlow and Moretty plan to vote against Brown (got that?). Moretty tells Whitlow that Brown told her this, so Whitlow gets mad at Wolf, who was the person she told and who then told Brown. After all is said and done, Moretty decides to be honest with Brown and the three women sit down to explain that it’s not personal, but it’s part of the game. Be that as it may, Brown manages to convince them to instead vote with her against Jackson. Brown actually thinks Jackson would take Whitlow with him, but tells the other two women that she is sure he’d take one of the guys. So much for honesty.
On the guys’ side, Jackson pushes the other two to vote for Whitlow in the hopes that the tension between the women would cause her to pull Brown along, too. They all agree, but then Moretti goes to Moretty and spills the beans. He says he doesn’t trust the other two guys and only really trusts Moretty and Whitlow. So he will go along with the women and vote against Jackson. Then he goes back and tells Jackson that the women are voting against Wolf and promises that he would never vote against one of the guys. Jackson thinks all three guys would rather lose honorably than win dishonorably. Yeah, right.
So, it’s Night 24 on Dismissal Hill. Where does all of this backstabbing lead? The only thing we know for certain is that Moretty – the successful squad leader – is safe. Well, first D.I. Rosenbum has to do his little number of asking several recruits why they made it this far or should continue from here. All gave similar answers about how all six remaining people are very deserving and anybody could lose right now. But in the end, it is Jackson who is voted off – by all three women plus Moretti. Jackson voted for Whitlow, and Wolf – for no reason that is known to us – voted for Moretti.
Jackson talks about how proud he is of everybody and everything they’ve done, and thanks the D.I.s for teaching him that he never expected to learn. He says there are no hard feelings, but just as people voted for him because they had to play their role, he has to look out for his own, too (presumably this means looking out for the other two guys – he doesn’t know that one turned on him and the other didn’t vote the way he was supposed to). So he pulls Brown.
This is particularly ironic because, if you recall, Brown earlier had schemed to get rid of Jackson because she thought he’d pull Whitlow. Also, Brown gave up the squad leader position because she said she was gambling that she wouldn’t be removed this time. In both cases she was wrong.
From the looks of the previews for next week, the politicking and backstabbing only get worse. They’re down to four now, and it’s anybody’s game. See ya next week.
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