I would genuinely hate to ever speak ill of Running Wild with Bear Grylls, the greatest single thing on television right now that I’m pretty sure is only watched by me. But that’s okay! More semi-simulated celebrity adventuring for me! But for about half of season one’s finale, featuring football legend Deion Sanders as the guest, I was a tad bit wary. Why? Because Deion was so, damn, competent. Just taking on challenges and obstacles as if he belonged there, barely even scared, which is not why I watch. I watch to see Tamron Hall and her four foot drop of terror. I watch to see Tom Arnold falling, constantly.
I watch to see Zac Efron shirtless. But I never should’ve doubted you, Bear Grylls. This episode eventually rebounded by putting Deion Sanders into the one situation this entire season where I legitimately believed something could go terribly wrong and NBC would broadcast the death of a celebrity on air. So, thanks for that.
Here are the most pivotal moments of Bear Grylls and Deion Sanders’ foray into the deserts of Southern Utah.
- Before we even get to the adventuring, we get a nice recap of how Deion is the only athlete to compete in both the World Series and the Super Bowl, accolades that are impressive but apparently couldn’t get him a less terrifying statue of himself.
- Deion Sanders, hall of fame athlete, only fears two things: mountain lions and proper grammar.
- Like I said, this episode began with like twenty minutes of Bear and Deion walking through some canyons as if it was a stroll in the park. Deion keeps up, and NBC executives, I can only imagine, begin to panic when his life isn’t threatened even a little.
- Remember when I said Deion is only afraid of two things? Just kidding, he is really, really afraid of snakes. Luckily, Bear isn’t afraid of anything, especially snakes and especially especially PETA. Bear beheads a nice juicy snake for dinner, and just in case you weren’t completely sure it happened, close-captioning has got you covered.
- After a while, even Bear seems perplexed and a little annoyed at how easily Deion is doing anything. No amount of Deion saying “you have no idea how scared I was” will convince me he didn’t just rappel down the side of a cliff without that much effort. Like I’ve said in the past, I don’t think Bear Grylls is a bad human being. I think he isn’t a human being — he was built in a dark basement somewhere in the Discovery Channel headquarters. Quit eggin him on, Deion!
- What I will say for Deion Sanders is, he saved me from making a Bear Grylls’ Underwear joke for the third time since I started recapping this show. That’s a true hero.
- Eventually, I think frustrated NBC executives said, “Fuck it. Just point to the hardest thing in the world ever to climb and that’s where you’ll go next.”
- Turns out Deion Sanders is pretty capable of traversing canyons, but not climbing 6000-foot mesas. Noob. The duo come to a ledge where the only protection is what appears to be dental floss left behind by gold miners. Deion, understandably, is less than okay with that.
Luckily, Bear Grylls is just as much of a philosopher as he is a survivalist.
- Finally, after much debate, Deion gathers the courage to carry on. I think. Either that or he is momentarily possessed by a much braver demon.
- The final obstacle of the episode is kind of bonkers, and I don’t just throw the word bonkers around. There’s a pretty substantial gap in the ledge, and by Bear Grylls logic that means “fuck it, we’ll just jump.” Yeah, there’s some safety ropes (see: Bear holding a rope), and this is TV. But, like, I know who Deion Sanders is, but he’s no Channing Tatum. He’s no Zac Efron. He’s not even a Ben Stiller. There’s like a chance this could happen, right? By “this,” I mean this. But
unfortunatelyluckily, after some more tongue speaking, he jumps the gap in spectacular slow-motion fashion.
- The last shot we get of Bear Grylls this episode, and this season (sad face), is him mostly hanging out the side of a helicopter, shouting nonsensical support and wearing sunglasses. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
So that’s it for Running Wild with Bear Grylls, with no word on a second season and no responses from Bear Grylls on the 56 emails I’ve sent him since the show started. So, all ten of you, sit tight for updates on that!