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'Get Out Alive Eith Bear Grylls' Review: 'Leave No Man Behind'

Christopher Monigle Christopher Monigle
July 23rd, 2013 8:54am EDT

Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls

Bear Grylls stressed mental strength in the third episode of Get Out Alive. Alicia and Spencer were sent home because they ran out of cheerfulness. Nearly every other team turned on them. I wrote about mental strength vs physical strength in last week's review because I felt sad about Esmerelda's departure--she was basically catatonic this week. Anyway, Get Out Alive does follow teams trying to survive in the wild by following Bear's set of instructions. Bear emphasizes physical and mental well-being. Teams usually follow Bear's instructions somewhat poorly. Physical well-being and mental fortitude have been, by episode three, dwarfed by the primitive behavior. I'm referring to ancient times when the first man beat his neighbor with a stick, or something.

Alicia had a rough episode. Her and her partner, Spencer, blew the survival test challenge. Alicia barely ate the grub given to her by Bear. Other teams accused Alicia and Spencer of standing around doing nothing while they were active in collecting wood for the shelter. At Bear's elimination party, Louie and Other Guy called Alicia out, causing her to cry, and then I felt sad, too, because I didn't like watching Alicia cry. Spencer described the series as a competition. Indeed, Get Out Alive is a competition. Bear sends a team home each week. I liked deluding myself into thinking Get Out Alive would emphasize the togetherness of the experience; the idea that it's important for people to support each other or else they'd all die--a "Live Together, Die Alone" philosophy. Alas, Get Out Alive continues as a rather generic series.

Bear Grylls is the consistent strength of the episode. The best part of "Leave No Man Behind" is when he rescued Wilson and his wife from the water. Bear instructed them on breathing techniques, keeping calm, while everyone else looked on from shore. Bear possesses admirable mental strength. Part of the journey for the teams may be to reaching the place Bear reached when he's alone, except for a camera crew and production team, and his situation looks hopeless. Bear doesn't like the frivolity of the group during the waterfall challenges or that Robin and Wilson almost drown or that Jeff hurts his knee because Ryan overlooked the dangers of plunging into the water below. I often think, "I'd prefer to watch Man Vs. Wild" during Bear's heroic moments on Get Out Alive.

Bear's judging remains confusing. I'm confused because the title of series suggests any team that would've died without Bear around to save them should probably lead to elimination; however, Robin and Wilson don't go home. Robin and Wilson don't throw Madeline and Ryan under the SEPTA bus, which counts for something. Spencer and Alicia didn't pull a Dawson's Creek on any teams either. The editing of reality TV makes it hard to figure out what actually went on. Another complaint of mine concerns how little time is given to the personalities of the team. I still don't remember names. Robin and Wilson are solid competitors when not in danger of drowning, though. Some team members insult Wilson behind his back, but he seems like a decent fellow, follows orders, and does what he can. Alicia and Spencer freak the heck out after losing the survival test. Spencer looked like Freddie Freeman when he threw his make-shift paddle into the water. In the end, positivity overcame negativity. It always does. I'll miss Alicia, as well as Spencer's beard.

Photo Credits: © NBCUniversal, Inc