The Traitors Promo Shot

Episode 4 Review

At the end of the last episode, we had a cliffhanger would Brian or would Ash be banished?
If Ash survived what would be the repercussions? Well in true traitors’ style we are about to find out…

Episode 4 opens with the reveal that a ‘gutted’ Brian is the Fourth Faithful to either be murdered or banished.

Cue players saying, ‘that was obvious’, well if it was that obvious then why banish Brian?!

Back to the game, Harry and Paul start working the room in their favour, Ash tries to deal with the fact that Paul and Harry blindsided her, and Paul’s manic laugh returns.

At Traitor time in the Tower, an angry Ash says her piece, and Paul spells out his newly thought-out game plan, that quieter people need to be looked at and picked out.  He says that Ash had made mistakes and contradicted herself, so he had no position not to vote for her.  Harry tried to justify his actions by saying he was convinced Brian would go, so he voted for Ash to look faithful.  Ash is naive if she believes this rhetoric from the both of them.  Then Claudia arrives with news of no murder tonight, instead the Traitors will have to condemn four people to a dungeon, and they can later murder one of the condemned.  Zak and Jasmine are safe due to shields, and at the next mission the players can save one of the condemned from murder.

Paul has been working his ‘popular card’ and suggesting to people he would be next as he’s so popular, so he immediately says he’s going in the Dungeon.  Ash has decided that she doesn’t trust Paul, so opts to stay close.  Paul orchestrates Andrew and Meg to join them.  Thinking that they will save Paul and not Andrew, paint Ash as the murderer so she is banished, and murder Meg.  Bond Villian Paul is playing 4D chess in his brain and its glorious TV.

At Breakfast, the usual hand waving ensues, the players work out no one has been murdered.  Miles states the obvious about pretending you don’t know what’s happening, and Claudia drops the news of the Castle Dungeon condemned four.  The players quickly suspect that one or two players in the dungeon are Traitors.  Paul’s name gets brought up in front of Miles.

The condemned four are placed in the dungeon and Andrew is so blindsided he is convinced Ash and Meg are traitors and Paul is so smug at his plan.  Back to the players, Traitor Harry is putting Meg’s name about, Zak is after Paul, Miles continues his line of having no idea and Charlotte is still brainwashed by Paul.

This episode’s game is straightforward – dig for gold, race across broken steppingstones, and deposit the gold on weighing scales.  Miles and Harry are selected for the same team (Blue Team) and Claudia tells the group that whichever team wins, can save a player in the dungeon.  So, the blue team needed to win in order for Traitors to influence the vote. Well, they don’t win, Jaz’s Red Team smashes it, and this instantly puts a question mark over Paul’s Plan and…They then vote to save Andrew.  This means that if Meg gets banished the Traitors are exposed as they cannot murder each other!  Ooooo this is tense!

Meanwhile in the Dungeon, Paul works Andrew, Meg doesn’t see it and weirdly Ash remains very silent, why does Ash not speak up and point fingers at Paul?

The players still work through the theory that one or two traitors are in the dungeon and it’s vote time, and Claudia reviles that Andrew has been saved.  Bond Villian Paul’s face is a picture. Let the finger pointing begin.  Zak goes for Paul who defends by applying for the Oscar for ‘Best Male Performance in a TV Game Show‘ and gets backed by Andrew (the Dungeon talks having the desired effect).  Harry goes for Ash and Ash finally speaks up – too little too late and Paul sticks the knife in.  This is a great play by the two Traitors, a self-preservation tactic that takes the heat off Paul.   Meg’s name is brought up and Mr. ‘No Idea’ Miles attempts to bring up Andrew.  I wonder just how long Miles can continue with throwing accusations and instantly saying he has no Idea?

The votes are cast and the Faithful finally get a Traitor-
Ash is Banished!

 

The Scores far:

Faithful 1 Traitors 4

Prize Pot So Far

£32,300

Episode 3 Review

A new day at the Traitors Castle begins.  At breakfast, Anthony attempts to connect with Diane who is having none of it, and Diane attempts to explain why she whooped when they sent Sonya, a faithful, home.  Ash’s name is brought up in front of Harry, and the group are shocked that the Traitors have picked off ‘the biggest voice in the room’ – Kyra.

Claudia (wearing another lovely piece of knitwear) confirms Kyra has been murdered.

After breakfast, Paul reveals that Zak is saying that Paul and Diane are mother and son, despite a size difference and a genetic miss match with Diane’s dyed red hair.  We then get a cut to The Traitors Chair Cam*.

*The Chair Cam is magic in that it seems to exist in a different part of time and space, when playing the game, players seem to develop the ability to pause whatever activity is going on, pass some self-commentary about the situation in private.  (Well, I say private, it’s private in the sense that millions of people can see what’s said not just the 20 or so people that are left at that moment).  When they have finished, the game is stopped, and everyone goes about their business with no clue what just happened.  What kind of witchcraft is this?

Dianne reveals Ross is her son is Ross , ‘woo a mother and son team in the castle.  …..Bombshell Drop
woo a mother and son team in the castle. ‘
They are both clearly having fun with this fact; I wonder how long that secret will remain, and how long before it becomes a burden.

This episode’s mission is a 20 min race in the castle grounds to a field of gold.  During the race, the players have to find specific scarecrows.

This gives players like Tracy a chance to sit in the chair and state the obvious like:
‘Scarecrows are creepy’.

Each scarecrow has a key to open a box that contains the next part of the map.  As this is Traitors it’s not quite that simple though.  Each Scarecrow is holding an answer to a question and a key that may or may not open the box.  One of the first questions is ‘who the most popular player?’ – Answer; Bond Villain Paul is  – of course.  Once the Players have located the correct answer match and dragged the selected scarecrow to the box, they work through the remainder of the clues until they reach the field.

Now, I have a problem with this challenge in that it is not really explained when the players voted for each other, or what the questions are, we just see snippets of the contestants working out who voted what in order to select the correct scarecrow.

It is a genius game though, as the players get to understand what people think about them.

Question 2 seems to have the most impact.

‘According to the players who do you think is the biggest sheep?’

It’s a  toss up between Brian and Mollie , Mollie is convinced it is her but it’s actually Brian and for whatever reason that hits a nerve and sets Brian on course for paranoia and overthinking

The rest of the game plays out, with back slaps and congratulations and Zak telling his team to leave the shield while he grabs it for himself – naughty boy Zak!

After the game, Ash starts working on the players, trying to make it visible to EVERYBODY that she is faithful, and thoughts turn to the round table.  Paul and Harry try to subtlety steer conversations and Diane calls out Ash.  Zak tells Charlotte it’s her last supper, and Miles tries to be Mr. no comment, while Ash’s name is mentioned – again.

At the round table Claudia asks if suspicions are growing, and Brian speaks up first, mentioning the biggest sheep vote. Still visibly upset by the day’s events.  One by one accusations are made, Zak, Brian, Diane.  Paul goes for Jaz and when he is asked to defend himself, Jaz sits back and says he won’t.  He’s not a Traitor so doesn’t feel the need to defend.  It’s an interesting strategy from Jaz.  Then the inevitable happens the players go for Ash.  Just as the vote starts, Brian has a very anxious mental health episode calling on the room to give their opinions on him.  Just as everyone was starting to be a bit mean – Claudia steps in and calls for the vote…

The result is …

A cliff-hanger

Brian 6 votes, Ash 6 votes and one remaining vote remains.

The Scores far:

Faithful 0 Traitors 3

Prize Pot So Far

£27,000

Episode 2 Review

Episode 2 kicks off with the 4th Traitor being revealed.  Colin Salmon lookalike Miles.  Who, like every other player, wants to be last man standing and win the money – Game On.   Now the quartet is in place, the Traitors discuss who they are going to Murder – all set against the epic music of ‘Hidden Citizens’.

Cut to the morning breakfast and 7 minutes in we get the theological question ‘Does God watch The Traitors?’ after no discussion on this at all, we watch people arrive and the Traitors over act the Hello’s.  Calm down on the handwaving people!  Paul talking to the camera, with the personality of a Bond Villain, actually plotting his watery eye, deep breaths and excited hand waving, is a breakfast highlight.  Once everyone arrived it was clear it was the debonair Aubury who was murdered.  Other Half – “noooo I wanted to see more outfits!”  A cut to camera reveals Bond Villain Paul – he liked killing Aubury and is working on his manic Laughter.

Cue Claudia’s new catchphrase ‘The Game is Now On’ – again…

We get a few minutes observing the players, talking among themselves, getting to know each other whilst the paranoia of who might be a traitor starts to set in.  Jane Horrocks spitting image – Diane, seems to be wielding the big stirring spoon the most.

Claudia gathers the players for the second mission – a communication task.  The players split into two groups, inside and outside.  The bombshell being that nine outside players have a shield opportunity.  Perfect opportunity for lots of bickering and ‘Example’ aka Zak being visibly upset, but in typical bloke style will not say why.   The game mission is pretty straightforward, the outside players are on a quest to find certain bird noises, they mimic these over the radio and the inside players have to find the bird using the noise they hear.  Each Bird Call they get correct adds money or shields to the winnings.

The players add four thousand pounds to the prize pot, and Andrew, Paul, and Anthony reveal they grabbed the immunity shield.  Kyra was not amused – pot -kettle-black, anyone?

The players continue to weave their connections and whisper ideas on who the traitors could be, seemingly focusing on demeanour changes as the tell.  Then straight on to the round table for the Banishment tension.

Claudia sets the tone, telling the group the last time they were in the room Claudia chose the traitors and now can the players do the same?  As soon as Claudia is finished, Diane jumps in and goes straight for Anthony, just because he would not move when on day one the players had to stand in a line.  Personality attacked Anthony stands his ground.  One by one, the Traitors make their attacks and Kyra makes the own goal of suggesting that going for immunity shield is hypocritical.  After further bickering it is time for the players to vote.  No surprise, no love lost between Anthony and Diane both gunning for each other.  In the end though it was Sonya’s questioning and suggestions that got her banished.  When Sonya reveals she is Faithful, Diane gives off a massive ‘Yes!’.  It is an odd rection to make at the table, I would not be surprised if that comes back to haunt Diane later on.

In the post table conversations Zak drops the bombshell that he thinks there is a Mother and Son in the competition.

The Traitors meet to discuss who to Murder.  Convinced that Diane will get herself banished they go for….

The Scores far:

Faithful 0 Traitors 2

Prize Pot So Far

£19,000

Episode 1 Review

Episode 1 opens with a suspicious looking owl delivering a note from Claudia.   In fact, the suspicious owl appears randomly throughout the episode, casting its judgy eyes over this season’s contestants.

Talking of which, the contestants appear to be being shipped to Traitor’s castle on the Hogwarts Express, but alas, The Honeyduke’s Express sweet trolley is a no show.  So, we get to the see contestants make small talk and hubris instead, all set against the obligatory epic soundtrack.

Once at Castle Traitor, our host Claudia Winkleman gives the participants a pep talk and puts the fear into them by making them line up side by side, in the style of Series one (if you didn’t see series one, Claudia made the contestants line up in order of likeliness to win and then she banished the last two before the game even started!).  The fear was unfounded this time, as Claudia was just toying with them.  ‘’You think you know the show’ She says, ‘’well you don’t’’ and with that they make their way inside for the first time.

Next its time to select the traitors, the players take a seat at the famous round table and immediately have their senses muted with a simple blindfold covering their eyes.  One Claudia has walked a couple of laps of the round table and is satisfied she has achieved the necessary daily step count;  three traitors receive a tap on the shoulder.  Ash, Harry and Paul.

Claudia drops the bombshell that there will be no murdering on the first night, but the traitors can recruit a 4th player.

What’s interesting is directly after the round table everyone is unnerved, suspicions run riot on who could be a traitor.

Later that evening the traitors meet and select their 4th player.

Next morning at breakfast Claudia informs the group the game has started, the game is on, the game has begun and with that it’s off to the first money mission.

Season one started with a riff on the wicker man,  Season two starts with a loch-based game of replicate the shield.  Think something from survivor, even Claudia was channeling her inner Joel Dommett by shouting insults at the contestants in the water.  Also taking inspiration from survivor is the immunity shield.  Once a contestant owns one, they are immune from being murdered, but the gang can still ‘banish’ the shield owner at the round table.  This introduces another area of psychological stress to the game.  Choosing to go for a shield over and above playing the game with your teammates, could lower your chances at generating money, and portray a selfish or ‘Traitorous’ personality.  Not choosing to go for the shield keeps the player open to elimination.  Well, none of this crossed Kyra’s mind as she was like a bat out of hell running to grab the shield before anyone could think of the word Traitor.  Meanwhile on the water Harry and Jaz manage to rock the boat with their teams by grabbing their own shields.  After the challenge was completed, Claudia was not done berating the players ‘’If you can’t work as a team, how on earth are you going to catch a Traitor?” she says.

Back at Castle Traitor, the players start to suss each other out and work on their suspicions, Sonja telling the camera her natural persona is to be devious and misleading.  Aubury tells a traitor he is very astute (but knot astute enough to know he’s telling a traitor that he knows who the traitor is)

With that, it’s time for all the contestants to go to bed and the Traitors meet to do their thing…

It’s great to see that everything that made series one such a success is in place for the second series.  A high degree of production, sumptuous visuals, an epic music playlist, chunky knitwear and Claudia seems to have grown in confidence and assertiveness as host.

Series 2 Contestants

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The Traitors Game Overview

22 players take on challenges to win up to 120k cash.  Some players are picked to become Traitors in secret.  Their job is to pick off the other players, (known as the Faithful) by ‘murdering’ them at midnight.  Each day all the players gather at the round table and get the chance to eliminate/banish a player that they think is a Traitor.  The aim of the game is to win as much money as possible and eliminate the Traitors.  If  a Traitor remains at the end of the game, any remaining Faithful lose, but if no Traitors survive, the prize pot goes to any remaining Faithful.  The Games are epic, the stress is real…

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