LEGO® Masters USA – Season 2, Episode 9: Land & Sea
The 9th episode of LEGO Master USA, season 2 forgoes all punnery and is succinctly titled Land & Sea. We get two different builds this week. And we also get a twist! Twists are the literal backbone of competitive reality television. As our stalwart teams enter the build room, a giant wall divides it in two. And it seems that Will Arnett and the Brickmasters are just as confused as we are. Something fiendish is going on. Lo and behold, EVIL Will Arnett is back from last season to stir up drama! Well drama is overstating it. Let’s call it ‘mild mischief’. I am all for evil Will. This is happily a pretty funny episode. It has to be for me forget the tragic outcome of it all. Sigh 😑
Divide and Conquer
So what is that dastardly Evil Will up to? Turns out he is splitting the teams up for this challenge so they cannot work together. The title Land and Sea gives us a clear indication of the theme this week. Each member of the team will need to build either a land or a sea-dwelling creature. This is the first time that the contestants will be working on their own. For a team competition show, this is a pretty clever way to introduce an obstacle. All the teams have thus far relied on one another to design and create. I really like this little curveball as it forces each member to rely solely on their own skills. Brickmaster Amy also sees it as a way for each individual to shine and show their own unique style. They only get 5 hours for this build – one of the shortest times yet.
Animal Rights and Lefts
Creating the mighty beasts of the land are Wayne, Steven, Dave, Michelle and Caleb. Which means that Zack, Mark, Richard, Natalie and Jacob are going under the sea. Part of the design brief is to make the build ‘instantly recognizable’. Overall the creations are pretty fun and some are downright awesome. I am most impressed with Caleb’s chameleon, Dave’s penguin and Steven’s giraffe. Caleb’s build is based on his pet chameleon back home so he has the details down pat. It is seriously impressive. Dave’s son’s favourite animal is a penguin which helps him build a pretty big, animated character that stands out. And despite such a diminutive size, Steven’s giraffe is wildly accurate and looks like a sculptural set.
The passengers on the struggle bus this week include Richard, Natalie and technically Zack. Richard builds coral, which is absolutely a living sea creature and a clever approach. It’s another great environmental message highlighting its importance in the ocean ecosystem. But it is a very small build and the judges find it difficult to identify as coral. Natalie faces a different kind of struggle. Initially wanting to build a jellyfish, Will informs her that Mark is already well under way on the same thing. She sweeps the bricks away in frustration as Will gasps. Perfect comedic timing – I laughed heartily at that. And it’s the right call as she doesn’t want any comparisons made at this point in the game. Zack did his usual great job but his build suffers a small break as he wheels it over for judging. His impressive lion fish loses its tail. Normally this would spell disaster, but don’t forget THERE’S A TWIST!!
Part 2 of this week’s Land and Sea challenge is a mash-up. Similar to last-season, the teams are reunited and must COMBINE their builds into one, wild creature. With another 5 hours to work with, the five remaining teams do their best to marry two wildly different ‘things’ together. Right away we see that Mark & Steven have built at VERY different scales and some creative thinking will have to happen. Same goes for Dave & Richard in not only scale but overall concept. The rest of the teams have more or less similar sized builds that might just work out. Each pair does their best to not rebuild entirely, but somehow assemble various parts into a new whole. It’s not easy and there are some definite challenges for everyone.
A Tale Of Two Wills
Happily, the laughs this episode are actually pretty solid. Evil Will zipping around in his ‘Evil Mobile Studio’ made me laugh out loud. And then to show how truly sinister he is, he grabs a handful of orange bricks and drops them in the white. He even throws a bunch of brown bricks on the ground. That’s cold. After trying to teach Caleb the art of evil laughter (since he’s the evil twin), he then goes after Dave. The banter here is adorable with some good digs at Will by Dave. And my favourite moment: “What are you building Dave?” “I’m building a penguin for–” “I don’t care Dave! I Hope your build explodes!” “We did that – week 2.” Hahaha. 🤣🤣
The top 2 teams of the week are Caleb & Jacob and Zack & Wayne. The former really knock it out of the park with their chameleon and lobster hybrid, appropriately called the ‘Chameleobster’. The reptile body with the lobster legs and claws is fantastic. What really sells it is the environment. The log they built complete with plant life is amazing. The judges feel a bit on the fence with the colour palette, but I think it works wonderfully.
Zack & Wayne also impress the judges with their lion fish/crocodile hybrid ‘The Lair of the Lioncroc’. The Brickmasters love how scary and menacing it is. I can’t say I agree unfortunately. It’s a great build, but to me it reads like a fish ate a crocodile and it kind of burst through. Which ok, does sound scary – but still. I also find the background far too busy and fairly distracting. My small nitpicks aside, they are definitely the right top 2. In the end the twins secure their first win of the competition. Well deserved this week.
The Precious Is Safe
Last week’s winners Mark & Steven land in the safe zone this week. They admit to feeling a lot of anxiety over their build’s chances. And yet, in a baffling move, they choose NOT to use the golden brick. I don’t think I would have taken the risk, but luckily for them it worked in their favor. Their hybrid ‘Jellraffe in Kelp Savannah’ is interesting to look at, but mostly for the beautiful plants they build. The Brickmasters say as much, particularly the kelp. So with the golden brick still safely with them, the brothers make it into the top 4.
The Sad Paragraph
The Bottom 2 teams are Dave & Richard and Michelle & Natalie. Both sets of friends really struggle to create a mash-up. ‘Rateelian in Goudapest’ (puntastic) is Natalie & Michelle’s rat/eel hybrid. This is also a sentence I never imagined typing, but here we are. The judges applaud how well they married the two builds, but the cheese world (haha) is far too overwhelming and takes over the presentation. Dave & Richard’s ‘Poco Rocko in Seabee Geebees’ is a genius name with a rock-inspired look. As its own build, it’s really great! And the accessory builds are top-notch. But sadly it fails to meet the brief. The judges only see the penguin and the coral was not integrated enough to really call it a mash-up. In the end, it’s Dave & Richard who are eliminated from the competition. Boo. Congrats to a great team on a stellar run!
Well. That happened. Am I happy with the results? Heck no. Was it a good episode? Fortunately yes. The challenge itself was pretty fun, I did like the idea of separating the teams. It was fun to see everyone have a chance to shine on their own. The builds were all fun in their own way. For a surprise mash-up, I also think everyone did their best given the criteria. I actually loved the humour this go around. Less cheeze and more quirky fun.
- I’m sad that Dave & Richard left. Did I mention that yet?
- Will naming random shrimp menu items to inspire Natalie was great
- The brick-built bunny on Evil Will’s scooter was so random. I love it
- Mark still wanting to build better than Steven is such a brotherly move
- The LEGO® built animals in the studio were AMAZING
- “We’ve already updated the teleprompter dummy!” -Evil Will
- Dave sharing the notes he keeps with him from his wife and son was very sweet
- The tiny giraffe head on a giant jellyfish dome was….exactly that
OVERALL SCORE: 7.5 / 10
(EMOTIONAL SCORE: 2 / 10 ) 😑
We have a top 4. It’s an interesting group when you realize it’s 3 teams of brothers and one team of women left. Still diverse and all talented of course. Now that Dave & Richard are gone I think I am shifting my support to either Caleb & Jacob or Natalie & Michelle. Based on track record the Vikings go into next week in a strong position with 2 wins. But the other teams all have at least 1 win so it’s a decently level playing field. I’m eager to see what next week brings. Did you enjoy this episode? Did you also find the comedy finally hit a good mark this week? Who’s your top pick of the top 4? Please comment below and as always, keep on brickin’.
LEGO® Masters USA airs Tuesdays at 8:00 PM ET/PT on FOX in the US, and on CTV, CTV.CA and the CTV app in Canada.
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