This episode should just have been called “Cody’s End”. And it’s also my end, and the end for an awful lot of viewers. The show is ostensibly a behind-the-scenes look about “who’s moving on”.
But we all knew all that going into the show, and we were able to see them pick and choose the story line they wanted to portray.
Usually, about here I’ll tell you what’s going to be on tonight’s episode. While I know it’ll be the first episode with Matt Graham, that’s all I know, and I don’t care to know more. I’m not bothering to watch it.
So now let’s take a look at “Cody’s End”.
Executive producer of the show, Brian Nashel, appeared a lot, explaining things. They mentioned he’d been there two years, and a look at IMDB shows he came in new with Joe Teti. I’m not saying at all that he was beholden to Joe Teti in any way, just that he’d never seen how things worked with Cody and Dave. He had nothing invested in Cody, and I think it is clear that he let Joe push and push and push on Cody causing some of the outbursts that they were careful to portray on this show.
They did have a laughable comment from Brian, talking about how each show started with a scenario:
The scenario is designed to hammer home to viewers that this could happen to you. And watch the rest of the episode, and maybe you’ll live if you follow these little instructions.
Yes. It could happen to you. But if you followed what Joe did, you’d end up dead. Because Joe continually took unnecessary and often stupid risks, just to show how macho he was.
I think it was clear to most of us that Joe was not a team player at all. A team player knows when they don’t have the expertise and defers to the other. Joe thought he was the quarterback . . . and the tight end, and the center . . .
According to Cody on his Facebook page, this show was the “Plan B” on how they were going to portray Cody’s End. Originally, it was going to be that Cody couldn’t hack it and quit. Then Cody got his lawyers involved, so they just left it as “one person was moving on.” They never did say anything about what that meant, or that Cody had been fired for expressing health and safety concerns, because of all the silly risks Joe took for ratings.. My guess is that it came down to Cody saying, “You either fire him or you fire me.” And they fired Cody.
One thing they showed early with Cody was him talking about the stress of doing the shoots. Cody mentioned that he’d never gotten sicker, and they showed him with some explosive vomiting.
This is actually something I’d have liked to see more about during the regular show. They always seem to be careful dealing with water, but this leads me to think that doesn’t work so well. Well, why not? What went wrong?
This next section comes to us thanks to the sharp eyes of reader “RD Wellsome”. You know how in “Glacial Downfall” Joe finds a white rabbit on the snow and brings it along?
[Photo screen-captured by RD Wellsome, because I'd already removed that episode from my DVR.]
As part of this inside look, they showed the blow-up on top of the ridge from the crew’s perspective, and you can see the crew in the picture.
Here that is (this is from about 1:40 on this video teaser).
Look at the bag right under Cody’s ice pick.
Let me show you a close-up.
They are carrying the rabbit so that Joe can find it later.
We shouldn’t be surprised. Last season they told us right up front that some situations are “presented” to them. (This season they were too busy upping the drama on Cody’s firing to include it.)
This program depicts a survival scenario. Due to the extreme danger, Dave and Cody receive support when they are in potentially threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations. On some occasions, situations are presented to Dave and Cody so they can demonstrate survival techniques.
This was one of them. I think what they wanted to present is that even though you find an animal (particularly if already dead), you should be suspicious and careful of eating it.
While they were at it showing things behind the scenes, they also went over again Joe’s killing of the feral pig on Hawaii. I do wonder just how much this scenario was “presented”.
Joe made a big deal about using wire to funnel the pig towards the snare he had rigged. And he also made sure to darken his face and body with mud to mask his scent.
But here they also show the camera crew all around him to “catch” the action.
But they are not mudded up. That whole area had to be reeking of human scent. And they’d have us believe that a feral pig still walked into that. Hmmm.
Here’s Joe headed into the cave to dispatch the pig, with all the camera crew crowding in.
Of course, at the end Joe gives that weird flourish; the crew thought it was genuine.
Continuing, they did acknowledge Cody’s skill. There was one segment showing him making fire starting out with nothing.
He even made flint tools to shape the sticks.
They also discussed the incident with the dead steer that Joe skinned, claiming that it was a resource that he was not going to leave behind.
It was just stupid, and Cody was having none of it (and pissed off Joe by not helping him do such a useless thing). The crew was pretty impressed, but I don’t think they got it.
There were plenty of resources out there in the desert: rocks, plants, sand, etc.. What matters for survival is knowing what you might use a resource for. You just don’t carry along any old piece of crap that looks interesting. Joe had no idea what he was going to use that steer hide for—he just knew he’d look impressive grabbing it, and would show everybody how macho he was for putting up with the smell.
But from this point on they worked on making it look like Cody lost it; what they don’t show (but is easily read between the lines) is how frustrating it was to be with Joe with Joe just bumbling around when it came to survival.
For instance, they made a big deal out of losing a shooting day in Hawaii last year. Joe and Cody are working their way down a rock to a pool and need to get their gear down, too. It starts with Joe leaping off the rock into the pool. This is a Bear Grylls type of move, but not smart at all for an average joe caught in a survival situation.
Here’s the conversation that followed.
Cody (still on top of the rock): I’ll drop the gourd with you right there. If you drop it there in the water, it’s good to go.
(He now has the firemaking things in his hand, wrapped in a bandanna to try to keep it dry. This is critical.)
This needs to remain dry. This needs to remain dry. So, I’m going to wrap this up and I’m going to throw this to you.
Are your hands dry?
Joe. Not really, no. I just jumped in the frickin’ water.
Cody (wanting Joe to get out of the water so at least if they miss the throw/catch it won’t land in the water): On the land over there.
Joe: C’mon. Just throw it down. This is simple. It’s too complicated here.
Cody: No, it’s not.
Joe: Just throw it to me here.
At this point Cody’s had enough. Firemaking is what Cody knows, and Joe is just minimizing it and not giving a damn about making sure that the firemaking equipment stays dry. So Cody just throws it all right in the water.
Cody: How about that? You can make fire with that shit.
And then to emphasize the idiocy of Joe’s jumping off the rock, Cody carefully climbs down it and says: “Easy as pie.”
Joe was just showboating and being cavalier about the stuff that was important about survival, and Cody had had quite enough.
They also tried to show Cody acting weird with a behind-the-scenes-look at the scene in New Mexico when Joe killed the rattlesnake, and Cody just looked on and laughed.
They pointed out that the laughter went on way longer than they first presented it.
Narrator: Although Cody’s laughter was included in the episode that aired, what the viewer’s didn’t see is that it went on for some time longer, leaving the crew frustrated and not sure what to shoot, as this outtake reveals.
The thing is, it was hilarious. Joe had no idea what he was doing. If you are going to kill a rattler, you don’t try to pin its head and then cut it off. You whack it with your stick and break its back. You whack it as much as you need and then you carefully pin its head and cut it off. But Joe didn’t do that and the snake was wandering all over the place.
Oh, and after Joe cuts off the snakes head, he does a cute little flourish of his knife (that’s never really hit me before). “Look at me, Mr. Macho, I just killed a snake).
It really was funny. No wonder Cody couldn’t stop laughing. And I’m sure Joe’s overinflated ego and posturing didn’t help at all.
Look, we’ve seen shows like Dick Clark’s Bloopers and Practical Jokes and we’ve seen how sometimes the actors get into giggling fits. They try their lines again, and start giggling again. It’s normal—it happens.
But here they tried to portray Cody as going nuts. Shameful.
Anyways, that’s mostly it. Let me also provide a few links that folks might find interesting.
In this first one, it looks like Joe rather exaggerated his credentials. Yes, he had a lot of military experience. However, it’s also clear he was looking to make a buck. The gist I got out of this is that he left the Army Reserve just a bit before 9/11, but was still subject to recall. However, he made sure to fully sever that so that he was not subject to the special recalls; instead he was running his own private security firm.
Also, I see many object to the fact that he calls himself a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was no longer in the military at that point. Yes, he did subject himself to all sorts of dangers there, but at that point he was a private contractor. Combat veteran? I don’t know enough to know whether that is a valid claim.
On a separate note, it turns out that Mykel Hawke, of “Man, Woman, Wild” was his superior officer, and there has been a real falling out there. You can read about some of that at this link to an article in Army Times.
That also discusses the helicopter crash that claimed the life of a mutual friend and colleague. The crash occurred during a shoot for a show Joe Teti was involved with producing. Really makes you wonder about safety, doesn’t it? And makes Cody’s concerns quite a bit more real, don’t you think?
From the article:
Teti will tell you he believes Hawke is possessed by demons.
Finally, Mykel Hawke also chimed in on Facebook, on Cody’s page. Here is his speculation on why it was Cody, and not Joe, who was fired:
If we sit by and do nothing, bad people keep doing bad. Consider an additional hypothesis— They need to denigrate the outgoing to justify keeping the other. If they admit they failed to properly vet his background, upon which they gave him a show, named after his business, where he proclaimed himself a special ops and tv production expert, which he was not, then they might be culpable in the 4 lawsuits about 3 wrongful deaths that occurred, while making the show for the person they are keeping. They have hidden his name and the name of that show from the media very well. They have in the neighborhood of $100 million to lose for negligence if they do not promote their current person. Therefore, sacrificing another man’s livelihood with negative editing is just an easy way to cover up an entirely different matter of manslaughter and money.
For the record, I have double dawg dared both the network and the person to bring legal papers and pack a lunch. Truth and proof are powerful protection, so much so, I only hear crickets in reply to my challenge. I really wish they would, then we can spank them properly and publicly. But they will back the show and their person, pay off the lawsuits, walk away clear and free, all at the expense of truth and justice.
I’ll leave it at that.
[Note below added June 26.]
Chris Noble of Master Woodsman has a great interview with Cody about Survival television and the Dual Survival debacle.