Eden (Channel 4) episode two: Taps aff in the woods (and the massage tent)

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Loner: Anton in his winter camp

Taps aff! We’re now one month in, and predictably Anton has abandoned the group and moved to the “winter camp” he started building in episode one. Who needs human company when you can roam around in the woods shirtless making video diaries?

It’s a bit irritating that one character is dominating this first round of four episodes, but the producers haven’t had much of a choice. We get to know some new characters this week – including adventure sports coach Tom and ex-Army Scotsman Jack – but mainly because they have supporting roles in the drama surrounding Anton and his new pal, lazy alleged life coach Tara. “I see a lot of myself in him,” she says. Yes: you’re both utter balloons.

Meanwhile, adorable chef Stephen isn’t having a great time of it. Not only is he having to cook three meals a day of potatoes, owing to the camp fisherman failing to catch any fish and food development officer Rachael failing to develop any food, but his girlfriend Jasmine – initially so impressed with his vegetarian cuisine – is telling  everyone her “standards are lowering”, joking-not-joking like a classic mean girl.

Unfortunately, Stephen’s idea of expert diplomacy involves characterising the group’s legitimate concerns as “fucking petty” and helping whip Anton into an indignant fury

When it becomes clear someone needs to take a trip to Camp Social Misfit to address Anton’s pilfering, Stephen steps forward. He seems like a good choice, or at least better than Jack, who darkly threatened to withhold Anton’s food supplies last week and wants to drag Tara around on a leash (this guy wasn’t in Abu Graib, right?) Unfortunately, Stephen’s idea of expert diplomacy involves characterising the group’s legitimate concerns as “fucking petty” and helping whip Anton into an indignant fury.

The wild man of Ardnamurchan then does what any 41-year-old self-styled adventure leader would do – he marches down to the camp, calls everyone together and makes them feel super uncomfortable by having a full-on greet and pretending he’s the victim.

I’m not sure I’d want my shoulders rubbed by someone who reckons everyone in the camp should go fuck themselves

Much better at dealing with tensions in the ranks is plumber/handyman Titch, who realises the best way to deal with Tara is to treat her like any other bratty child. His proposed solution – make massage-giving part of her official workload – has potential, but I’m not sure I’d want my shoulders rubbed by someone who reckons everyone in the camp should go fuck themselves.

When the weather takes a wintry turn, the group send a search party to Anton’s camp to check he’s got his shirt on. Just as I was pondering how much the public would have been told had someone come a cropper in Eden, one of the contests wondered how they’d be informed if someone left. “Will it be like in The Hunger Games when they shoot the canon into the sky?” she muses. “Because that would be really cool.” It really would.

The gang may not have official sponsors in the Capitol, but they have managed to make friends with some locals in a speedboat, who play fair by keeping a distance (and presumably not spilling any secrets from the outside world), but drop off a care package of beer and chocolate on the beach. Then finally there’s seafood on the menu, and by the end of the episode even Anton seems to be getting into the community spirit. Here’s hoping we can move on from his theatrics to focus on other group dynamics. Next week looks absolutely tremendous, with girls crying and guys nearly coming to blows.

Watch Eden on 4OD (probably UK only, alas)

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