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‘Running Wild’ Finale Recap: ‘She-Hulk’ Actress Tatiana Maslany Discovers Her Survivalist Superpowers  

Marvel fans know Tatiana Maslany as the actress who portrays the fearless character She-Hulk, but in real life the star admits she’s a bit of a “control freak.” Maslany faces her anxiety about the unknown on the finale of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge

Bear Grylls shows Maslany how to boldly rappel down massive icy cliffs and feel the chill with a plunge into freezing waters during a wintertime excursion in Wyoming’s Laramie Mountains. 

Before they begin their survival adventure in the northern end of the Rocky Mountains, Grylls gives Maslany one piece of advice: “You’re going to need that She-Hulk spirit for this one!”

Day One: Scavenging Survivalists

Image by Ben Simms for National Geographic and Disney

Maslany drives an ATV to meet Grylls in the wilds of Wyoming. He immediately scavenges some head-scratching items from her ride that he thinks will be useful during their time together. With the vehicle’s battery, netting, and a rag soaked in gas from the tank in hand, they hop aboard a waiting helicopter and head into the remote Laramie Mountains.

The plan: The two will be adventuring across seven miles of the rugged western state’s landscape on their first day. Along the way, Grylls plans to teach the Orphan Black actress cold-weather survival skills as well as climbing techniques. The next day, Grylls will push Maslany from the nest and she’ll be forced to take the lead — all alone.

The two get started trudging through snow and over rocks, but it’s a sheer 150-foot cliff that presents their first daunting challenge. The drop, Maslany observes, is “so steep I can’t even see the bottom.” That’s a huge problem, because, the actress reveals, she’s “mild to moderately to maximally afraid of heights.”

Channeling her inner She-Hulk, Maslany prepares to take the plunge over the edge with a grigri, an assisted braking belay device, which Grylls shows her how to use with a rope to descend the cliff. He then disappears over the edge and Maslany is expected to follow, despite her fears. 

“I don’t have a ton of confidence in myself and that’s a problem,” she notes.

Maslany begins her descent anyway and fakes it ‘til she makes it — jelly legs and all. “I feel elated, and I might cry in two seconds,” she says at the bottom, not looking very convinced when she says the experience was “super fun.”

Still, Grylls wisely observes, the wild “shakes us like rag dolls, but that leaves us smiling at the end.”

That bright smile of Maslany’s begins to fade a bit when she and Bear chance upon a long-dead elk and Grylls tears off a decaying leg. The survivalist suggests the bone marrow will be “gold” for a bone broth treat later in the day. 

“Bone broth I usually get in a little container from Whole Foods,” Maslany responds. The whole dead-animal situation, she adds, has left her more speechless than when she was precariously dangling from a cliff.

Pushing onward, the star again uses the grigri rig, this time to ascend her very first rock face (outside of a gym). Grylls then has one last not-so-pleasant obstacle to prepare her for: getting used to the shock of navigating ice-cold water in advance of the next day’s total immersion, which will be necessary for her to earn her extraction from the wilderness.

“The key to surviving cold water: get out, get dry, get moving,” Grylls instructs as Maslany submerges her hand in water to experience a fraction of what her whole body will feel when she’s forced to take the plunge.

“I’m freaked out about tomorrow, I’ve got to be honest,” she says of the “totally different level of fear” she’s feeling.

At the end of the day, Grylls reveals what he’s doing with the odd items he scavenged from the ATV earlier on. He uses the net to create a lean-to and builds a fire using the gasoline-soaked rag and sparks created with the battery. The two enjoy their slightly off boiled bone marrow dinner before turning in for the night.

Day Two: Ice-Cold Comfort

Image by Ben Simms for National Geographic and Disney

Maslany, hyped on adrenaline, gets maybe an hour of sleep. Upon waking, she readies herself to face whatever a typical Wyoming winter has to throw at her. She navigates the windswept landscape alone and quickly locates Grylls, who’s waiting for her at the top of a cliff. He tosses a rope to her, and she must now act as her own safety to ascend 60 feet up a sheer rock to meet him at the top.

With a pounding heart, a tired and cold Maslany aces threading the rope into the grigri and begins. She struggles but perseveres and conquers a “wild” and “thrilling” climb.

After a brief celebration, she observes that “the most challenging thing is yet to come.”

Maslany must now use her adrenaline and survivor spirit at a frozen lake, where crew has smashed a hole through the ice. “She really has a fear of being cold, hates it,” Grylls says. “She’s going to experience cold like never before.”

Maslany dives into the challenge — literally — and slips into the near-freezing water. She struggles to control her gasp reflex and, after a brief quiz from Bear about hypothermia, jumps out.

“She just about remembered all the stages of hypothermia, what a girl, but the one thing that never left her was that smile,” Grylls says.

Maslany, now a budding survivalist and true superhero, reveals her big plan for once she returns home: a relaxing three-hour warm bath.

“This whole trip has been such a challenge mentally, physically, all of it,” she says. “Enjoying fear is such a new concept for me so I appreciate it. I’m very grateful.”

Watch Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge on National Geographic.

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