I couldn't think of a better way to spend my Friday night than watching Man vs. Wild, so here's this week's Morning After.
This is the finale of Bear's excursion into the homeland of Mariano Rivera, also known as Panama. He gets dropped off in a dense mountainous jungle, where he tells us the gameplan: "Get high, and signal for help." I'm assuming he means elevation. Bear sets out uphill through the jungle, but quickly becomes distracted by a delicious grasshopper that's roughly the size of a Twix bar. He eats it and we move on.
Bear finds a river and sets out upstream in his quest to get to higher ground. He climbs up a waterfall like it's nothing. A freaking waterfall. I really can't put into words how badass Bear is. He might surpass Chuck Norris by the end of this season.
Anyway, he leaves the riverbed for a minute and bushwhacks his way through the jungle before deciding to cross the river farther upstream. Naturally, the river is now raging 90 feet below him at the bottom of a gorge, and Bear is trying to shimmy across a fallen tree to the other side. Why that side is so much better, I have no idea. The log trick is sorta like the one he did in the Scotland episode.
Apparently Bear is heading for something called the "Moose-uh Gandhi" region, which is the highest ground in Panama. The episode is going pretty slowly until HOORAY Bear finds a chocolate tree. He eats a pod and continues to whack bushes. If I was the one in Panama, that would have been the part where I set up camp and binged cacao until someone found me, but Bear is more of a go-getter.
After arriving at the same riverbed for like the 40th time, Bear says that you shouldn't hesitate to give yourself a break when you're lost in the jungle. This is basically his way of saying he's tired. He rests during the commercial break, and when we get back he's discovered a termite mound. Termites taste "zingy," for those of you who were wondering. Bear takes two chunks of the mound with him, which brings us to the inaugural Man vs. Wild quiz!!!!!4
Will Bear use the chunks of termite mound for
C) Bait for fish
D) All of the above
Bear stores the chunks in a safe place, then starts making his shelter along the riverbank. This is by far the coolest makeshift shelter I've seen so far, even cooler than when he gutted a camel. IT'S A FREAKING HAMMOCK. I think the camera crew is envious for once, because Bear's hammock beats the hell out of their lame-ass tents. He makes it entirely out of vines and bark and manliness, and it looks like the most comfortable thing in the world.
Prior to falling asleep, Bear builds a fire. He then lets us in on his number one secret to survival: he keeps a laminated photo in the sole of his boot, with a picture of his wife and two sons, and that provides the motivation to get home in one piece. Aww. For those of you wondering, his wife's name is Shara, and his sons are named Jesse and get this Marmaduke. He named his son after an unfunny Great Dane caricature. There's a slight chance that the name is common in Britain, but I find it as hilarious as naming a teddy bear Mohammed. By the way, Shara, as you might expect, is pretty hot.
The next day (surprise!) Bear continues his trek. He finds some weird spiky fruit in a tree. Supposedly it tastes like gooey coconut, but its consistency makes it look as though Bear just ate the testicle of the tree. The mosquitoes are really starting to bother him, so he does the rational thing and rubs dirt all over himself. Meanwhile, the camera crew is looking like this:
Bear keeps climbing, like he's been doing all episode. Yawn. WAIT, REWIND. Bear just climbed up a 100-foot wall of mud. Literally a vertical wall of mud and loose dirt. Without a harness or ropes or anything. In like five minutes. No rocks, no tree roots, just a massive wall of mud. It's moments like that that keep me coming back to MVW.
Oh, so we just found out that a helicopter has been sent to pick Bear up. "I'm going to show you how you can survive when a helicopter has been sent to rescue you." (I'm paraphrasing.) Bear lights a signal fire then climbs a gigantic tree. At this point he's just showing off. Anyway, he gets rescued, cut to commercial.
When the show picks back up Bear is sitting in a canoe with three half-naked indigenous hunters. No explanation how he got there. They wipe the tips of their arrows on the belly of a frog to make the arrows more potent and poisonous. That's not innuendo, that's actually what happened. The naked dudes traditionally blow into leaves to imitate animal calls, so Bear gives it a shot. His call sounds like a fart, so that sorta works I guess.
Bear leaves the tribe the next day, and heads towards the border of Colombia and Panama, where a helicopter will pick him up. Apparently he's at risk of being kidnapped by drug trafficking guerrillas, so he has to move as stealthily as possible. Hooray Colombian stereotypes. He casually grabs a snake and devours it raw, then keeps going.
Along the way, we get regaled with an ominous story of how two Americans got kidnapped and were never heard from again. Bear seriously needs to die one of these episodes so we stop taking his safety and well-being for granted. There's no suspense in knowing he's going to get out alive every time. Anyway, the excursion to Panama abruptly ends with Bear's scamper up a hill to a waiting helicopter, the end. Panama, meet Bear Grylls.
Next week: PATAGONIA, which is apparently somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere. Until then, here's a picture of Bear enjoying a nice sit-down meal at 25,000 feet.