‘Running Wild’ Recap: Tom Arnold Is Good at Falling, Screaming

Whoever was in charge of the close captioning for this episode deserves an Emmy for constantly coming up with creative ways to put the sounds of Tom Arnold bashing against rocks again and again into text

I see what you’re doing here, Running Wild with Bear Grylls, clever bastard. To keep interest peaked, you’re alternating week to week between young, attractive celebrities that can handle themselves with relative ease in the wild and older celebrities that spend their time clinging to a rope on the side of the mountain fearing for their lives. Speaking of “Please Bear don’t let me die,” Tom Arnold ladies and gentleman. The star of 1990s Roseanne joined Bear Grylls this week, and was just as much of a graceful angel as you would expect. But, actually, whoever was in charge of the close captioning for this episode deserves an Emmy for constantly coming up with creative ways to put the sounds of Tom Arnold bashing against rocks again and again into text. Kudos to you!

Here are the most pivotal moments of Bear Grylls and Tom Arnold’s expedition along the Oregon coast.

  • First thing I noticed this episode: whoa, Tom Arnold got old. He also lost about 100 pounds. What the hell has Tom Arnold been up to? Bear, as always, looks like he just dialed into the Matrix and is exceedingly happy about it. So at least he’s consistent.
This explains who is flying that helicopter.
  • Bear Grylls is a survival expert, with years of specialized military training and countless hours of experience fending for himself in the most dangerous of conditions. So obviously when he needs to calculate how high a cliff is, he falls back on the most technical of scientific measurements.
We have so much to learn from you.
  • Bear and Tom come across some pretty obvious bear footprints and claw markings. During this, all I can think is that Bear Grylls is totally the kind of person who would find it really funny to do bear impressions based solely on his name. Note to self: do not get drunk with Bear Grylls.
“Get it? Because that’s my name!
  • Speaking of bears and Bears, the duo then come across a pile of bear droppings. This reminds me that yes, over the first three episodes Bear has eaten some suspect things but he hasn’t really done anything that gross yet and oh god he touched the poop.
I’ll take Things I Don’t Need on a Tuesday Morning for $100, please.
  • Tom and Bear must slide down a mud chute to continue on their path. Bear, being the rock-throwing shit-grabbing expert he is, does this like a champion. Tom Arnold, being the Tom Arnold that he is, does this like it is the most terrifying thing a human being can do.
This is 90% of Tom Arnold’s dialogue.
  • For dinner, Bear grabs a trout out of a stream with his bare (Bear?) hands. Tom Arnold’s contribution is to fall on some slippery moss. Tom Arnold is not helpful to the fish catching process, overall.
"I in no way contributed!"
“I in no way contributed!”
  • Tom and Bear must cross a fallen tree to get across a large gap. Think this scene from King Kong, with the exact same amount of danger involved. Tom, showing a surprising amount of agility, sprints across it ahead of Bear.
lol no he doesn’t.
  • Tom Arnold doesn’t really know how to work a compass. Which isn’t surprising, but it does prompt NBC to create a Twitter hashtag based on Tom Arnold’s most successful movie, which of course came out in 1994.
I’m partial to The Stupids myself.
  • I really hope Running Wild is a success. Not just because I genuinely enjoy watching it, but so that Bear Grylls can finally afford to buy more than one pair of underwear.
"I haven't washed these since Channing."
“I haven’t washed these since Channing.”
  • The show’s last obstacle is a steep cliff down which Bear and Tom have to rappel. Tom bravely goes first, and despite the inevitable slips and worried grunting, he makes it down. It’s pretty inspirational, and Tom rightfully feels pretty good about himself. A feeling I can only assume lasted right up until the moment Bear asks him to lay down and act as a counterweight, so that Bear can rappel down after him like a boss.
“I’m finally helping!”
  • This episode goes back to the much-missed ATV ride ending that they so properly utilized in episode one. And although the screen said differently, in my mind the show ended with Don’t You (Forget About Me) playing over some rolling credits, with the screen frozen on this image.
If you didn’t catch the subtext, Tom Arnold is old.

Next week on Running Wild with Bear Grylls, the guest adventurer is NBC News correspondent Tamron Hall. I have to admit, I don’t know much about her. That means I’ll actually have to do some homework before writing next week’s recap. Oh boy [grunting worriedly]. ‘Running Wild’ Recap: Tom Arnold Is Good at Falling, Screaming