Full Metal Jousting: Episode 2 Recap

Full Metal Jousting History Channel

Did you miss the previous recap? Read the Episode 1 recap.

WARNING: As with all recaps there will be spoilers, including the eliminated jouster.

Episode 2: ‘Unhorsed’

In the Black Team’s locker room we see Josh K. and his teammates celebrating the victory.

Over in the Red Team’s Mike is apologizes for his lack of performance and promises to train hard while he is there.

Red Team Practice
Again we see the ‘spinning quintain’ and the ‘Shock quintain.’ Shane explains that accuracy is the key to win the joust. From the looks of things James Fairclough is standing out as one of the better jousters on the Red Team. Jake is probably the worst one on the team, with no lance control. Toward the end of practice Jake is making improvements and is able to connect with the shock quintain.

Black Team Practice
The Black Team practices on the same devices and Jack Mathis and Rope Myers are the standouts. Ropes one problem was looking back at the target and Coach Rod worked him until he was able to break the habit.

Back at the house the Red Team is together and John Stikes is boasting that he wants to take on Rope. His teammates egg him on to call-out Rope. John walks over to the Black Team and tells Rope that he is coming for him. The Black Team is unaffected by the challenge and make a joke of it and John.

Jousting Match-up
The teams meet up and Shane informs them that with Josh’s victory the Black Team remains in control. Coach Rod chooses Jack Mathis from the Black team and Jake Nodar from the Red Team. Jake was the last competitor picked and Rod thinks it will be an easy victory for the Black Team, seeing Jake as a “weak link.” Shane wonders if Coach Rod had a spy at Jake’s practice session. The way Jake looked in the first practice Jack should win this match-up easily. The coaches meet with Shane in the stables to choose horses. Coach Rod picks Gulliver for Jack and Coach Ripper takes Jefferson.

Final Practice
The practice sessions focused on the chosen jousters and how they would face their opponent. During Jack’s practice he is connecting with his opponents and breaking lances. Shane says that Jack is having success beacuse he is properly ‘couching the lance.’ He explains:

Couching the lance:
A jouster will raise the lance, turn it inward, lower it on target and then tuck it under their arm, squeezing it with the bicep and holding it place. Once the lnace strikes the opponent it will recoil and stop against the arrêt, which is attached to the jousters armor. The arrêt also helps the jouster by spreading the force of the impact over his breastplate and torso rather than his wrist, arms and shoulder.

While Jack is making the last of his passes after a great day of practice he takes a massive hit straight to the head! It was a wicked shot and the high speed camera work was able to show it in slow motion, again and again. He didn’t appear to go unconscious but he was certainly stunned. And when they removed the helm he was spitting blood and teeth! I bet next time he wears a mouth guard. Shane remarks that Jack is lucky and tells the story of King Henry II of France, who was killed in a jousting match.

History Alert:

Jousting Tournament between Henry II and Lorges
Death of King Henry II of France

King Henry II’s fatal joust took place in June 1559 during a match to celebrate the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis with his longtime enemies, the Habsburgs of Austria, and to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Elisabeth of Valois to King Philip II of Spain. King Henry was mortally wounded by the lance of Gabriel Montgomery, captain of the King’s Scottish Guard. A sliver of the shattered lance pierced Henry’s eyes and, despite the efforts of royal surgeon Ambroise Paré, he died days later from septicemia (blood poisoning). King Henry’s death was one of the first steps toward ending jousting as a sport.

Jack calls it a day after the hit and gets checked out by the medical team. He has a split tooth but doesn’t want to see a doctor.

Over at the Red Team’s practice the competitors are standing with the lances and bringing them down into position. Everyone seems to have a little trouble with the task. During the mounted practice Jake is not looking good. He is dropping the lance to soon and too far right. Jake and Jefferson are not in sync either. Jake is bouncing back and forth and looks like he is going to fall off on every pass. Even Coach Ripper is not confident that Jake can win the joust. Jake even admits that he has a lot to work on before the joust. Towards the end of the practice he is starting to put the lances on target, but the final match-up is not looking good for the Red Team.

The morning of the joust the Black Team is talking with Jack and his 13 year career in theatrical jousting. He is still sore from the cracked tooth, but appears to be ready to go.

Jake is in the stables taking the time to groom Jefferson and get him ready for the joust. Jake explains that dealing with the horses helps relax him. Jack prepares Gulliver and the jousters ride out to the jousting grounds.

Every week the History Channel asks viewers which competitor is going to win the joust and you text your answer. This week Jack won the vote 71% to 29%. And by the looks of the practices I don’t think it will even be that close.

The Joust

Full Metal Jousting History Channel Jack Mathis Black Team (1-0) Jack Mathis riding Gulliver
Full Metal Jousting History Channel Jake Nodar Red Team (0-1) Jake Nodar riding Jefferson.

Shane describes the elimination joust. The joust will be officiated by four judges. There will be 8 passes. During the first 4 passes the lances will be an 1.25 inches thick. For the last 4 passes the lances will be 1.5 inches thick.

Pass 1:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Strike, Unhorses Jack +10
(Shane explains that once a jouster is unhorsed they must be checked out by a doctor. The doc asks him simple questions to see if he has suffered a concussion. Jack is cleared and Shane states that once the doctor clears the jouster they have 2 minutes to mount their horse and continue or be disqualified.)

Pass 2:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Pass 3:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Pass 4:
Black Team, Jack: Strike +1 (Unhorses himself)
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Pass 5:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Pass 6:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Strike +1

Pass 7:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Pass 8:
Black Team, Jack: Miss
Red Team, Jake: Miss

Black Team, Jack: 1
Red Team, Jake: 11

Jake Nodar wins and moves on to the next round.

Against all odds Jake is able to come out strong on the first pass and unhorse Jack. And on the fourth pass Jack strikes Jake but he is not sitting properly in the saddle and he puts himself on the ground. At which point Coach Rod tells him, “he’s not winning, you’re losing.” I think it was the ol’ ‘your beating yourself’ speech. However after that fourth pass Jack seemed demoralized. The rest of the tilt was pretty lackluster and neither jouster was able to connect with any force.

Jack is understandably frustrated and disappointed but he is happy to stay and learn more about jousting. Shane praises him for his champions heart for getting knocked off but getting back up and continuing.

Control now moves to the Red Team for the next match-up.

The show is still interesting to watch and History is producing it well. They are keeping the bravado and drama to a minimum, which is nice for a reality show. the editing is decent but could focus on more competitors besides the ones jousting each week. I still think it is worth watching and this episode had a little more of medieval history as well.

What’d you think? Tell us in the comments below.

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Comments 3

  1. Head Injury Expert says:

    Jack Mathis was obviously concussed. He said he had a splitting headache and several of his teeth were cracked. His aim immediately went from dead-on accurate to sloppy. I feel bad for him getting shafted by his own teammate in practice. Give Jack credit for toughing it out. Take points away from the trainers for a) letting Jack compete without a mouthpiece, b) not requiring Jack to see a doctor instead of just some fat chick who obviously did not care, c) letting Jack compete again the next day with a concussion, d) blaming Jack’s losing on “bad technique” instead of the obvious brain damage. Note: just because Jack said he was OK, does not mean he is OK; most concussions do not result in slurred speech. That’s why they have required referee and doctor stoppages in boxing, kickboxing, and the UFC; because a fighter will naturally say he’s OK and tough it out even if he’s about to die of intracranial bleeding. It’s the officials’ and trainers’ job to stop the fight and sit him out. They all failed bigtime, and added insult to injury by making it look like Jack failed due to incompetence. I felt so bad, because I know exactly how it feels (suffered 3 concussions myself, and the symptoms were different for each one).

  2. Archivist says:

    @Head Injury Expert I agree with your post. However I have seen boxing and UFC matches go on too long as well. But as a sport that is trying to become recognized and mainstream they will certainly have to work on the safety of the jousters and horses.  Even the UFC changed from a no-holds-barred competition to one that follows a strict set of rules so it can get sanctioned throughout the states. I would imagine Jousting will go through its own set of growing pains.

  3. JoeUSA11 says:

    I stopped watching this show when they kicked Landon out. 
    I fully support what Landon did.
    It’s very simple: the safety of a man should Always come before the safety of the horse.
    Anyone trying to claim some sort of PC morally superior position should kill themselves to give the rest of nature leave of their oppressive stupidity.