Episode 1 of Alone: Frozen takes place over days 50-45. Six contestants remain at the start of the episode.
Before we get into the review, Alone: Frozen is a bit different from the regular seasons in a few ways:
– There are only six contestants
– The show begins at the start of winter (rather than the fall)
– Rather than staying out as long as they can, whoever reaches 50 days gets a share of $500,000.
– This is a “redemption” season, as all the contestants appeared in other seasons
As such, the dynamic is a bit different. If the contestants know how long they have to be out there, it might make it easier in a sense because they can “count down” the days with a definite goal in mind. Yet, starting on the Labrador coast in winter is definitely not easier, as they have to deal with northwest winds, the Atlantic Ocean, polar bears, and wet cold.
There are six contestants: Woniya, Amós, Greg, Michelle, Callie, and Mark. Episode 1 follows three of them.
We first met Amós in Season 7, where he survived for fifty-eight days. Amós begins his stint in Labrador by setting up a temporary shelter and building a massive fire. As he does so, he explains that he’s from Indiana and is trying to make a better future for his daughter by being a good role model for her.
The next day, he finds a large haul of clams and spends time setting up snares. As he walks, he explains how he grew up amidst the El Salvador war, which heightened his awareness of his surroundings. He locates a ptarmigan which he shoots at but doesn’t kill.
The next day, Amós checks his snares and finds a large hare in one. As he skins and prepares it, he talks about how hunting can create a better connection to food and that it’s a more ethical way to live versus the mass consumption and disconnect we have with meat today.
It appears Amós is off to a good start in Labrador.
Callie survived eighty-nine days in season 7, having to be medically extracted due to frostbite. As such, she’s raring to go but is annoyed that she’s in a north-facing location, which will be colder due to the shade and have more intense winds. As she looks for a location to set up camp, she explains that she lost both her brothers as a child and now seeks to live life to the fullest for them.
While looking for a location with more sun, Callie is excited to find a game/bear trail close by. Yet, Callie is more of a scavenger-gatherer than a hunter, she says. At home, she survives off what other people throw away, preferring to “pull out of the waste stream and repurpose.” She spends time walking the coast, looking for detritus to scavenge.
The next day, she shows us a whale breaching in the bay, then heads out to harvest seaweed. On this journey, she finds a large piece of seal skin that she claims smells fresh. She skins it, renders the fat, and eats it. Personally, it would take a pretty rough situation for me to eat meat that floated in from the sea, but you do you!
After surviving for forty-four days in Season 7, Mark has now been placed in a bog. He’s a recon marine scout sniper by trade, with a young son whom he wants to show what it’s like to do something challenging and not give up.
He builds a small tarp shelter but wants to make a better permanent one. He constantly reminds himself that he shouldn’t compare this season to the last one. As he chops logs for a triangular cabin, he explains that success to him is being happy, and he wants to enjoy his time in Labrador.
Yet, despite saying all this, it’s clear Mark is frustrated. He talks about his son a lot, as if he’s not mentally in Labrador at all. I had a feeling he was going to tap out pretty early, but I didn’t expect it to be on day 5! Yes, Mark tapped out after less than a week, claiming he wasn’t in the right mindset and would rather be home with his son. Rather than test his physical limitations, Alone: Frozen showed him that “he’s done providing himself in life, and he’s going to start living.” Despite not getting any money, Mark seems to have won something important either way.
We haven’t seen the other three contestants, so it’s hard to make any predictions, but I think Callie and Amós have a great shot at staying the entire fifty days.
The next episode airs on August 18 on History Channel and StackTV.