Yes, it's finally happening. I've eased my way into this with my previous exposure to part of Season 21 and JBS. Now, at the time of initially writing this, I've seen about 6 episodes from S22- which again, I will not be calling BWBA- as I feel it's dumb to give the movie name to the series as a subtitle- and the BWBA movie, and giving my brief thoughts on it plus a review score. I haven't done ep reviews in a long time and my previous reviews were more synopsises of the eps with my ops injected throughout. This time, it'll be straight up my opinions on the matters. This journal will be updated as the season progresses. These reviews will also not stop me from tackling a BWBA rewrite in the future; I'm already formulating ideas. So far the plan is to use Flying Scotsman instead as not only does he HAVE experience with travelling the world but also the necessary equipment for use in other countries- a bell, a cowcatcher, an electric headlamp, and the extra water tender. This can very easily be illustrated via Trainz unlike my previous CRWS stories. At the end of the Season I'll total all the review scores and give an overall score for the season.
I was gonna do this in the order of the eps but now that I've seen the movie itself, lemme start with that:
Big World! Big Adventures! Or, "British Engines in Decidedly Non-British Situations".
This special...was surprisingly enjoyable- and it was better imo to watch it with a friend who enjoyed it (
). But naturally, I feel there are some problems. Let me address the important things:
1. Nia. Yes, obviously while in Africa, you should introduce African engine characters. But Nia...I still find a problematic character. There's her colors. Too bright, too patterned, too stereotypical. Other engines in BWBA/S22 feel right at home without coming off as a shoved in stereotype. I.E. Yong Bao is how he should be- same as in TGR- very consistent and reminiscent of the Chinese Dragon. Nia...does not. They did everything they could to show off "Hey, this character is African!" I think the basis alone would be enough to show this. It works for literally every other international character seen in the special. Then, there's her pesonality. It feels stale and empty. The token nice character. So, not only is she the token stereotype, she's also basically lacking in personality imo. That's troubling. Yeah, she shows emotion, and yeah, she's clever and good at singing. But does every character have to be all nicey-nice now? I mean look at Ace- he's a dick! Perfect foil to her. Despite his own problems, I feel he made the film a little more bearable for me. And of course, Yong Bao. Now, before, I thought I jumped the gun on him when I wrote Yong Bao's Hero (not yet published here) because he felt so nicey nice in the preview clips I saw of S22 and BWBA. But he's a bit stern too, so that foil makes for a better character. In my story, I tried to depict a real life problem- the strained relationship between China and Japan- so to reflect that, I had Yong Bao refuse to converse with Hiro- also because Hiro's class is a Japanese standard, whilst Yong Bao's got left in the dust fairly quickly by newer kinds of engines- so there's an air of jealousy.
2. The animations. I'll never be fully used to the new animation style with its frame rolling, rocking, rolling, swaying, tilting, etc. I felt there was too much of it in some places, particularly with trucks. Instead of leaning every which way- they could have done the face tilt a la JBS. I was ok with titling during songs, it made them seem lively and happy and dancing. I couldn't stand that in JBS but am used to it now- to a degree. It was also awkward seeing Kwaku's water tank tiltling. While I'm used to other engines doing this by this point, it felt super awkward with Kwaku. I did get a chuckle out of one animation quirk though- Thomas' smoke cloud when he was grumpy. I thought it was an animation error. When Rusty and I took notice of the cloud we were in hysterics- that was just so funny and clever to us. I felt that some of the animations did help to display expressiveness in engine characters- i.e. the trucks swaying during songs, or Emily's panicked breathing/bouncing when she finds out where Thomas went. I still think the bouncing outside of songs should be super subtle though; Daisy's animations thus far have proven to be the most subtle, and honestly, I think that should be the standard for all the characters.
3. Plot progression. As with all Thomas specials, the sense of progression is a bit lacking in terms of how much time has passed. They make it feel like a few days, or rather just a day even. But logically, as NWR1991 pointed out on Twitter- the trip Thomas took would have taken 6 months approximately. That sounds pretty realistic to me, and something I plan to address if I ever get around to writing my take on the story. I'm also not really keen on the ending. The Nia stuff made some sense- her leaving because she has no home. BUT. Why was this not mentioned at the start of her journey with Thomas? And the whole Fat Controller is lost endplot- not only is this a bad cliffhanger, but it's unresolved in the series proper. In the international eps, there's no sign of TFC looking for his own engine at all. It feels poorly planned out, like the dropped subplot of The Earl of Sodor opening a Railway Museum at the Estate Railway.
4. The music. There was really only one bad song, the rest were alright, and Free and Easy was easily the best song.
5. Ace. Yes, he's a great foil to token Nice Girl Nia. But...that doesn't make him a great character either. All his tricks and stunts- eh. He also gave me Initial D vibes, which I followed up with a video over on my Twitter. We also only saw his driver twice. His driver's as wreckless as the Bi-Plane pilot in Season 5.
6. Recolors. For the most part, this doesn't bother me and extends into the series proper. I totally understand this was for budget purposes. Some stick out like sore thumbs. Some feel right at home. The African/Brazilian Big Mickeys felt like they belong, so did the Brazilian/Indian gronk- those were sent around the world (Australia, the Netherlands, Liberia). Chinese Orange Girl Edward- that's understandable, there are a lot of engines with that wheel arrangement around the world as well. The Sentinel in Rio- perfect. Raul's already Brazilian and has a twin (they were formerly triplets), so this felt like a brief cameo of Raul's twin. Plus it was colored like Sportacus- and even had the manly moustache. Shankar- whom I'm positive briefly cameoed in this film- perfect. The Indian WDS-4 shunters are extremely similar in shape to the TGR-23's, barring the backside which is long on the WDS-4's. My only problem with recolors in this movie were with Natalie and the Arizona shunter (whom I will refer to as Amy).. This may be because of my limited knowledge of diesels in America, but I felt that using Frankie's basis as the Arizona diesel was a mistake. Dart's basis is smaller and more compact, and much more in line with what I've seen of Arizona diesel shunters. Swap the basis and the colors and you'll be fine. There's also British stock everywhere, but eh, what can you do? I do feel that for certain railways, Thomas and Nia should have been refitted with specific mods. I.E. Nia's basis has a chopper coupler. She should have started with that. Then changed to knuckles in other countries, and finally chainlink when arriving on Sodor.
But yeah, other than those problems...I strangely enjoyed it. I forgot to mention the narration- I'll get to that when moving on to the series proper. Rating: 7/10
Season 22, or "Thomas' Third Global Tour", since he's technically already done it before BWBA with those shorts on the YT channel.
For this section- I'll be again, giving my thoughts and not plot overviews to keep it simple. I'll also be doing this in the order I've watched the episodes in, which will span about 3 dubs and 3 or4 countries (Italy, UK/AUS, possibly US if they get an ep before either UK or AUS). But first, my thoughts on the overall problems with Season 22.
1. The narration. I talked about this in a previous journal. Thus far, the narration has been minimal a la Season 21, though one episode didn't quite feel that way. I still feel this is the wrong way to go. Children's stories benefit more from a storyteller imo, rather than "Show Not Tell". Show not tell benefits other series quite well, mainly series aimed at older audiences. Most of my examples include anime- DBZ, My Hero Academia, Gundam, etc. Show Not Tell works best with shows that are action oriented, and I don't feel action oriented completely suits a children's series. If a narrator is going to be present at all in a kids' show, the narrator should be thorough, especially if the narration is done via the "retelling" style. Thomas does not make a good narrator. Captain Star did. If TUGS influence can make its way into the show via the Railway Consultant and his involvement with the Star Tugs Trust, what's a little more? Put a character who's in charge of something important in the role. Also, no narration in BWBA the movie. This made it feel feel very quiet and empty, it was a bit chilling.
2. The theme song and show intro. These theme is a complete rehash- in the worst sense. In Season 18, the classic slow Roll Call was retired and revamped into a faster one to better suit the show's upped pacing. This song is very new, literally just On a Journey with new lyrics shoehorning in the new characters too. While the tune itself is catchy, the lyrics are not, and do not warrant for a new theme song. While it may fit the botched pacing of the series atm, it just does not make for a good theme song. If you're gonna revamp an old song for a theme song, do it a la Season 18. With an OLD song. A CLASSIC. Not a new song that debuted recently. Hell, the Engine Roll Call is arguably even more classic than the Classic Thomas theme because it survived for a whopping 12 Seasons across two versions. It also annoys me that literally every episode intro ends with Thomas flying off Gordon's Hill like a monster truck, pause, turn the camera 360 around him, unpause, then have him tell the viewers what's happening today. Talk about inconsistent pacing! And speaking of..
3. The pacing/moral. For about maybe half of the season I've seen at the time of initially writing this, it feels too fast. At the time+, there are only about 6 episodes out. 3 of them feel too fast, 3 feel just right. I also hate how the moral is now shoved into its own dumb little sequence now; this breaks the pacing even further. Previously, morals were streamlined into the episode itself in the conclusion. Now, you take that part of the end and make it its own thing? No, that doesn't work as well. It feels very jarring. Fortunately most uploads I've seen cut out the intro and outros of episodes, so the pacing feels less broken and jarring.
Now, onto the episodes:
1. The School of Duck. I saw this episode in Italian with subtitles. And I quite enjoyed it. It felt very much like a classic episode. Why? Because of the trope used: an old piece of rolling stock being repurposed for a new lease on life. This was a VERY common trope in the classic series, and that especially includes the magazines, where several coaches were remade into houses, gardens, shelters, stages for carolling, etc. At the time I watched this I'd forgotten Thomas was the narration, so I was relieved to hear some narration, but I feel there could have been more. Also, Daisy's movements- perfect. The fantasy was jarring. 8/10
2. Number One Engine. This episode was problematic. The plot just wasn't there. The educational segment was insanely brief and left no impact. Hong Mei feels like a rehash of Thomas and a token nice/cheeky character. The coaches feel rather small for Yong Bao to be pulling. He's a big express engine, after all. Also, no sign of Yong Bao's other friends at all. It was just a non-plot, something that some Season 21 episodes have also suffered from. Very bland, too fast paced. Season 21 also suffered from non-plot episode. If they're trying to experiment with some "slice-of-life" style episodes, it isn't working. 3/10
3. Forever and Ever. Twitter users fraged at this episode, and admittedly before watching it, I did slightly too, hearing it was a slap in the face to the fandom, and I shared that sentiment for a bit. But it's not as bad as people on Twitter made it out to be. While feeling ooc for a bit, Gordon's tantrum was...actually funny! And a bit relatable. Some people, particularly with Autism such as myself (and probably the majority of the fandom overall), suck with adjusting to change, so Gordon's tantrum feels relatable, like, change one thing and it feels like your world is crumbling. Also fast paced, and I don't like how Henry's moving was a subplot. Last season, we got an entire episode and reason for Edward moving. Here, we did not. Fandom speculation has it that it has to do with being the last stop for the Flying Kipper, which makes a boatload of sense. While Nia did help to calm Gordon down and teach a good lesson about change, it's still Nia, the token nice girl. 7/10 for fast pacing and questionable subplot.
4. Thomas and the Dragon. This episode felt just right, well mostly. Despite the hearing joke from last season being rehashed, it didn't feel jarring this time because of its presentation and it felt relatable. The plot did feel classic in a way- Thomas being scared of something until the end of the episode when he learns just because it sounded scary doesn't mean it is. There are 3 problems with this episode though. 1 and 2. Thomas shouldn't have been scared- he has seen a Chinese Dragon before and should have remembered it. This was a very big missed opportunity to bring back the Chinese Dragon in a flashback. 3. Thomas, despite knowing what an Eastern Dragon looks like, did not imagine one. He imaged a WYVERN. Wyverns are WESTERN Dragons. Like the kind you see in fantasies and games like Skyrim and Lord of the Rings. Other than that, the episode felt very nice to me. 8/10
5. Confusion without Delay. This was a good one. Despite its fast pacing, it actually doesn't feel jarring. If anything it helps further the plot, showing the consequences of being too early on a railway. Lots of great character interactions. Rebecca's voice actor is brilliant. More antics with Scotsman and Gordon. Also, subtle shipping of GorBecca at the end. I am ok with this. Yes, I am become what I once hated vehemently. I am not indifferent anymore but now support low-key shipping. Still not a fan of Rebecca's banana livery and plastic running board. 7/10.
6. Trusty Trunky. While I question the whacky scaling of the Indian characters- Ashima being a standard gauge non-rack rail engine now, as well as the other Indian characters being standard gauged, I quite enjoyed all the character interactions. Rajiv stll feels like a double-whammy to me- Indian character named Raj, yknow? Feels slightly racist. More low-key shipping here, but given the context of Rajiv's character, makes perfect sense. He's the Fairy Queen, Noor Jehan is based on the Palace on Wheels and her name translates to "The Light of the World" which is beautiful. He has an eye for beautiful, royal looking engines. Even if he's 100 years older than said engine and said engine is a diesel. Also, can I say that I never thought I'd see an Alco built loco in the series? And they made her look absolutely gorgeous. This episode felt like it was paced right. The station area is very busy, so fast pacing is not a problem here, then the plot progresses at what I think is a reasonable speed. This ep also taught me something- I never knew elephants were used in railway yards at one point, so the plot point makes total sense. But Trunky's grunts honestly sounded like loud farts to me. That's 3 fart/poop jokes so far. I'm so mature. 8/10
7. Thomas goes to Bollywood. This one is a bit of an oddball episode imo. There's some funny moments but other questionable ones too. I.E that bridge Thomas is going over- it doesn't go anywhere and there's junction just right next to it. What's the POINT of having that bridge there if there's no hill immediately next to it? Bad animation goof there. The fantasy segment was rather off the rails (literally), and gave me some bad memories of Thomas rescuing Diesel in Misty Island Rescue. Noor Jehan cameoed. I really want to see and know more about this glorious looking character, and Hell, some more lowkey shipping would be nice imo. It was jarring seeing Thomas want to help the actor when he thought he was in trouble. Then again Thomas didn't have a very good grasp on the concept of acting either, so I guess it's understandable. BUT it did turn out for the best actually, so good job! Not bad actually. 7/10
8. Thomas in the Wild. Another Chinese themed episode. These so far have been hit-or-miss. Number One Engine was a miss, Thomas and the Dragon was a hit. So this could pan out either way. For the moment it feels a bit, I dunno, dull. The fantasy was a little weird. Feels a bit of a non-plot to me. The pacing is nice, it doesn't feel too fast, but I'm just not interested in the plot here. I mean, it was a CUTE episode, no doubt about that. But it pretty dull. This one gets a 5/10 because it was somewhere in the middle.
9. Samson and the Fireworks. So far, not bad. Samson seems to have implied PTSD when the Fireworks are mentioned, and Bradford complaining about being 32 second late amused me. He was honestly a highlight of Season 20. Slightly annoying but hilarious. This is also the ep where Cyril the Fogman returns, which is a nice touch, but I wasn't much of a fan of the whole traffic jam sequence at the points and signals- having seen that in Italian already from a preview clip. Violations of the One Engine in Section Rule have always annoyed me since they first appeared during the Dark Ages. The use of the Detonators is quite clever, and really, seeing them and Cyril again is a real treat and throwback. Though Thomas and Gordon were both wrong roading at Knapford. I felt bad for Samson in this episode. I know a handful of people really don't like Samson and his attitude, but I've never had a problem with the character. Bradford felt quite useless though. What's the point of a brakevan if it's not being used for, oh, I dunno, BRAKING?! His guard should have done something to slow Samson down. And he's an open cabbed engine- shouldn't his crew be the ones in charge of the engines' speed? Nia and Rebecca both have brief appearances but they don't feel shoehorned. Also, apparently Bradford does NOT like music on the job. Though we do get to see a kinder side to the character once the fireworks actually start. Not a bad episode, but apparently Samson's destination completely changed from the BMQ to the Earl's Castle. Dunno why. But I quite enjoyed it. Another solid 7/10.
10. Runaway Truck. Yet another Chinese themed ep. Unfortunately because the upload wasn't edited like most of the ones I've seen, I had to skip the annoying intro and stop before the useless, unstreamlined moral segment. So far this one seems to be action oriented, starting out with just a single truck just going high speed through a tunnel and Yong Bao following it. I've got a bad feeling about this one. The last action oriented Chinese ep was just boring and a non-plot. And of course, Thomas is on the same rail as Lei (the truck has a name! Haven't seen that in a long time), unsuspecting. Gotta up that sense of danger, yknow? The fantasy sequence is meh. All Kung-Fu like and a bit stereotypical and jarring. The way Thomas "saved" Lei was also weird. How the Hell do you FLIP a truck like that, and not have it dented or smashed afterwards? The introduction to Taichi was nice, and actually not as brief as I thought it would be. But how is Lei falling over so much? At any rate, this episode actually did catch my attention and hold it. While I'm certainly it's not quite realistic it was nice to see the lesson being put to actual use. 6/10.
11. Thomas and the Monkey Palace. Another India based episode. I've enjoyed these ones so far, but will this one stack up to them? Also, can I just say I love the design of the station in India here? It feels very old-school, like literally. It reminds me of an old school house with its coloring and design, with a bit of that Indian palace flair. This one seems to be one of those sustainable goal type eps, only...coconut water isn't quite the same as water. Still drinkable but eh. I've noticed that on these sustainable goal eps the intended lesson falls a bit flat and could be more in-depth. Even TFC on Twitter has noticed this. (and despite an enjoyable episode, the series itself...less so to him.) I may not entire agree as I've strangely enjoyed it, but I respect his viewpoint and do agree with him on the global goals issue. I noticed early in the ep Thomas nearly got distracted by the Monkey Palace sign but snapped out of it quickly. Nice thinking there, stay focused. Rajiv's obsession with his own crown is amusing and being vain like he is, he reminds me of James, only much more royal and splendid. The fantasy sequence here was kinda dumb tbh. These sequences are very hit and miss and honestly, I think the series would be better off without them unless the engine in question (Thomas mainly of course) is having a dream. We'll address this dream issue in a couple of eps. And of course, that earlier bit where he almost gets distracted of course, goes to pot when he gets even MORE curious about the place. Oi vey. Thomas, can you just, not? I know it's a plot point, but really. Another thing bugging me is the recent display of CHOOSING which points to take. This is a Dark Ages element I hoped would never return. Actually this episode is showcasing more than one dark ages element. Thomas getting distracted, choosing which points to take, one truck, no brakevan. This is not going to go over well for the scoring of the ep. The truck may have a tail lamp on it but is it fitted? I don't think so. Though I commend them for using an 8-plank coke truck. Yeah, this one seems to be a stinker for me really. It also annoyed me that Grey Henry idiotically ran over a pile of coconuts. It's right freakin' in front of you, you idiot. This would have been a good opportunity to convert a generic recolor from budgetary reasons into an actual character. Having him stop, talk to Thomas, get the coconuts sorted. On another note, despite being a Henry recolor, one Japanese fan on Twitter, Zeluigi_K, made an interesting connection to it and a real Indian engine:www.nigeltout.com/html/delhi-m…
Belpaire firebox, same wheel arrangement, external pipes, stanier-like tender, marking on the tender resembling a 3...this is what Grey Henry should have been.
Thomas and the Monkey Palace gets a 5/10 for me. I didn't really like it that much. Thomas was a complete idiot a la the Dark Ages and the plot issues were very reminiscent of that. Sorry, Becky Overton, but you can do much better than this and have. I couldn't even finish the ep before giving it a rating, it was that jarring. Literally the only clever bit was using coconut trees to refill the truck to prevent Thomas from needing to go back for another truck, thus stopping the ep from falling into yet another Dark Ages trope/trap. Also, Grey Henry has a lower pitched version of the ever-so-famous stock sound effect whistle used by several characters now- The Rainbow Sun (TATMRR version), Rocky, Victor pre-Season 15, Ferd (albeit lower pitched), Carlos and Lexi. Ferd is the only one prior to this to have used a lower pitched version though. Record broekn.
12. Rosie is Red. Finally, an episode on Sodor, and one that was previously controversial but now everyone seems to love. I believe this is the episode that was pushed back an entire season (idiotically) and reworked. Maybe. The Valentine's Day ep I missed the Italian broadcast of with the not-so-low-key shipping and fantasy. A lot of schoolyard type teasing in this ep and some clever jokes, i.e. Thomas with the Rosie in his mouth with the Spanish guitar cue. "Special Friend" seems to me like an internet reference to those videos from the 80's of the same name (particularly You on Kazoo). It's nice to see some more development of what was likely considered previously to be a TERTIARY character, since they didn't know how to develop her. Now give Stanley a bit of love now too, hm? Still not keen on the new voices for Bill and Ben. Bill's is too deep. I'm ok with different voices for the Caledonians but for the twins it seems strange. Oh, and here comes the weird-ass fantasy sequence. No actual kissing and Thomas' reaction was (quite appropriately lol), "Eugh yuck!" Diesel trying to figure out the spelling gave me a chuckle
Thomas' reactions at the washdown were a bit silly, not keen on him jerking around like that though, that workman should have been way more hurt than just a couple of cartoony sound effect bonks, and he shouldn't have left when the workmen were still on ladders. Though, amongst the controversy last time, everyone seemed to be shipping those two workmen together. Heh. Nice. I'm honestly amazed at how far I've come personally when it comes to shipping. First I hated it, then I became indifferent, now, look at me. I low-key ship! It's reached the mainstream series in a non-jarring and honestly somewhat endearing way, and it's changed me yet again. The car sequence with TFC was amusing. Obviously done to show the passing of time, but in a humourous manner. No way he drove that fast from Knapford to Wellsworth that fast
The back and forth about not wanting to see each other was amusing and Henrietta (now back in business!) was the voice of wisdom. Very good! Only things bothering me thus far are the points change and one engine in section rule. The ending was adorable too. Honestly, if shipping is going to be making its way into mainstream Thomas, this is the absolute perfect way to do it. It's not jarring at all. Honestly, this may end up being my favorite episode of the season. Or at least one of them. Until I can decide which is my real favourite, I'm going to stick an 8/10 on this.
13. An Engine of Many Colours. This one seems to be a fan favorite and for good reason. This episode was penned by none other than Michael White (whitehouse productions iirc), a well-renowned fan and modeller from SiF, whom I've had great respect for for years now. He apparently got the job from his work on another show called Pablo, which is about a kid with Autism, and all the voice actors have varying disabilities as well apparently; the show is quite well received and I wish we had it in the states. Anyway, from what I've been hearing, he didn't pen the ep as a sequel to the James and Rosie (Rosie and Jim?
) episode from last season, but the damaged state in which James was portrayed in during the episode made it apparent that this was their intention, to show continuity of some kind. And honestly, the dream/fantasy sequences in this episode are probably the best yet, Mr. White really nailed it down- this is how the fantasy sequences should be if not entirely dropped- relegated to dreams and nightmares and not a shoehorned daydream. James apparently is redeemed in this episode and learns a lesson (FINALLY!). Yes, please, more like this, absolutely. I would love to see Mr. White become a regular on the writing team. Moving up in the world and pleasing to both longtime fans and the core audience. The whole Edward/James confusion makes a small part of James' fantasy sequence. There's also a visual gag at Knapford with ice cream being dropped. I love backdrop visual gags. Always have. This episode was basically several fantasies strung together during bouts of James sleeping, and it was handled PERFECTLY. I've not even finished the episode, but I know I love this one. I'm gonna stick a 9 on this for how it handled the current writing style. THIS has got to be my favorite ep. Yes, there was a TON of focus on the fantasy aspect and blatant use of 3 strikes. BUT. It handled them BEAUTIFULLY. Fantasy sequences SHOULD be relegated to NIGHT dreams, not DAY dreams. It had continuity not just from last season but also from Season 1. Marvelous. This actually gets a PERFECT score from me. 10/10!
14. Outback Thomas. I've been waiting to see them tackle Australia for a while now. I'm still not ENTIRELY sold on Shane being the cool dude kind of character, being the Whispering Giant and all and given Ace's bad boy attitude in BWBA, and he should have been pulling WAY way more coaches, and the station should have been larger to reflect that. I don't mind that Australia here uses British stock. Again it's for budgetary purposes, but given Australia's history with the UK, I'm ok with it. To me, Australia's railways have felt like an amalgamation of British and American influence, and if budget allows it in future, I want to see that put into the rolling stock. Anyway, I do like that Shane acts as a tour guide here and has a sense of humor, oddly enough, and touches up on things like Australian slang, the animals that live nearby, and even has a brief encounter with Isla the Doctor's Plane. Doctor's planes are quite a common thing in Australia from what I've heard and I don't see it talked about a lot on mainstream media, so even though it was brief and fell a bit flat here, it was nice to see it addressed a little. I DON'T like how Thomas lied about being the tour guide train however, so the rest of the plot was eh. Thomas trying to emulate Shane's stylings really fell flat, trying to remember the facts but failing and also making stuff up. Shane did it in an amusing way and then told the truth. For Thomas' attempt, I had to up the play speed to double to get through it and avoid cringing. And then he takes a wrong turn. Another point deducted for use of choosing which track to take. Cue dangling off a broken bridge, a fantasy sequence, and the stock dramatic string sting that's been used since Season 17. I'm glad they made some more use of Isla, and Shane came to help. More Australian slang use, both explained and unexplained. Honestly, apart from the main part of the plot, I actually enjoyed it. It wasn't perfect but enjoyable. 7/10.