‘Tanked’ recap: ‘Shark Byte’

Season 12, Episode 3
“Shark Byte”
AIR DATE: May 5, 2017

This week’s edition of Tanked is a nice breath of fresh air because it doesn’t involve celebrities and focuses, instead, on what the guys and gals at ATM did before they were mixing it up with the rich and famous.



Brett and Wayde fly to Indiana because Samtec wants a tank. Deal with it. It’s Samtec, not Google or Apple or Microsoft or Facebook or any other giant corporate thing you use each day but secretly detest. Apparently, they make “small things that go in everyday devices”. Like the ones you use in your Android or iPhone or Windows tablet or–OW!!! Who threw that…?



It’s here we meet Madison, a project manager with the company and his colleague, Greg, a business development manager with Samtec. They look like they work there. Madison says that the company is growing each day and that they’re making room for a whole new wing. The entrance is now through the back door because the lobby is under construction. In any case, they’d like an aquarium. Brett and Wayde are totally up for this and ask for a tour. Madison is willing to oblige.

They show off a display made of several HDTV displays and are instantly impressed. Then they tour the manufacturing facility. Greg tells the guys that they make “over 100,000 small pieces of technology each day”, which is impressive stuff. In fact, says Greg, they have somewhere around 1.4 trillion part numbers in their catalogue. They go to the construction zone where Madison and Greg show the guys where the tank needs to go. They want a huge tank stretching the length of the room and going to the ceiling.

And sharks. Yes. Sharks.

Brett explains that it would have to be a “racetrack” style tank so that the sharks are constantly moving so they can breathe and not bump into the glass. The deal is closed and Brett and Wayde are off to Vegas to draw up some schematics. Brett says this will be “one of the biggest tanks they’ve ever built. Not quite sure that’s accurate as I remember them building a couple tanks for a casino that topped that.

LAS VEGAS, NV – Acrylic Tank Manufacturing

Work starts up pretty quick for Samtec as panels, both wooden and glass, are already being cut up and put together. Of course, since the episode is moving too quickly, we get our first bit of staged “drama”: one of the glass panels aren’t the same thickness! OH NOES! How in the world do these tank architects screw that up? Don’t worry your pretty little head over this crap. Wayde already knows they probably have better panels in stock. Except they don’t. Brett even bets coming in early each day for a week if they do.

So what do they do?

They elect to chop and sand down portions of each panel of glass, a job that would take hours — but not weeks as initially projected because it’s only part of the panel which would blend the glass in with all the other pieces of — goddamn, this sounds boring, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. It goes on forever and spares us nothing. We even get to watch these guys chop the glass up.


And it even ends with Wayde reminding the crew that each panel has to be chopped and sanded as if we didn’t already know that.

Nothing could be more monotonous than this shit. NOTHING.

So, the glass is being worked on, it’s time to research the kind of sharks that need to go in the tank. Better visit a nearby marine biologist! Delays, after all, are frowned upon here. We don’t want to waste time consulting with professionals.


Just kidding. Brett and Wayde have confusingly outsourced this incredibly important task to the two people who made fun of Japanese Koi names and had issues getting small turtles out of a shallow pond last week. But I’m sure that was a fluke and that they’ll be perfectly mature and do it right this time since this is a huge client and shark tanks need extra TLC. So, they visit a marine biologist…

Just kidding again. They sit in Agnes’s office and look up small sharks on Vimeo for 2 hours.

This is PAINFUL:

AGNES: They want sharks?
HEATHER: Yeah! The tank is gonna be SUPER cool!
AGNES (stiff delivery): Don’t they have to be COMPATIBLE with the other FISH so they don’t EAT them?

Yes, Queen Obvious! Hence the “research”! Oh, but it gets worse:

AGNES: It says that the Black Tip Shark travels in schools and can grow up to (pause, then her jaw drops)…SIX…FEET LONG!!! HOLY COW!!!
(Both women laugh hysterically.)
HEATHER: I know! That’s BIG!!!
(Laughing continues)

Six feet? For a small shark? That’s not that big and WHY ARE WE LAUGHING AT ANY OF THIS?!

AGNES: This shark looks cool and it says he poses no threat to humans!
HEATHER (stern): Well, humans aren’t gonna be in the tank! FISH are!

They’re ready to scratch each other’s eyes out over this?!

AGNES: The Horn Shark!
HEATHER: These guys are bottom dwellers..because, see…they rest at the bottom…but you don’t wanna step on them…that’s why they call it the Horn Shark. Because they could POKE you.
AGNES: Right…because he has a HORN!


Then they take a look at the kick-ass Leopard Shark…followed by the realization that they can’t get that shark ANYWAY because it’s too big for their tank — but, fuck it, they talk about it anyway:

The Leopard Shark sleeps while it swims,” Heather explains, which toooootally confuses Agnes.

“How do they sleep, then? Isn’t that, like, sleep-walking?” she asks.

Agnes just enables Heather: “More like…sleep-SWIMMING!”

And they just laaaaaaugh.

Buuuuut aaaaanyway…they can’t have the shark because it’s too big — which was already pointed out, so thanks for adding two more minutes to this segment.

In any case, they choose a couple sharks and contact “Paul, their shark guy” to handle the buying. They couldn’t just go VISIT PAUL?!

I get part of the Animal Planet shows is to educate wannabe pet owners and animal lovers, but this show has turned the women intomorons. I get reality TV requires some staged situations — but don’t make the women into complete airheads. They weren’t before. Why start now? They’ve dealt with all kinds of fish and sharks and other sea life and the producers are making them pretend to be surprised by shark facts they already freakin’ know BECAUSE THIS SHOW HAS BEEN ON FOR 12 SEASONS and I’ve seen them talk about these things in a more intelligent manner!


Meanwhile, back at the shop, the glass fix is working out well. Glass is being cut (in nearly pornographic fashion) and bonded together. Wayde gives us an overview of how gluing and bonding works: if they pour glue too fast, you get bubbles and that’s not good so you have to go reeeeeal slooooooow. Once the glue is dropped in, they elect to let it dry overnight — but, alas, that’s not the end. Wayde reiterates that there’s LOTS of “sanding and polishing” left to do and I just now realized we haven’t seen Brett do anything in the past five minutes. Is he on sabbatical?

The next morning, Wayde talks to his coral guy, Brandon, about the coral going into the tank. Apparently, changes need to be made: Samtec wants their tiny little chips and widgets to be incorporated into the coral because of course we can’t have a normal tank. They want it “subtle” except that Wayde says that they also want to turn and see a coral full of “their circuit boards”, every fish lover’s dream, lemme tell ya’. Brandon drops what he’s doing and immediately starts in on the gadget molds. The real ones would rust in the tank and hurt the fish inside. So they decide to mold some “coral” and see how it looks with the circuits all over it…and this is just not appealing.


By the way, the tank is ready so it’s time for the “hours and hours of sanding and polishing” Wayde described. For good measure, he even reminds us about it again while showing it going on. When we come back, it’s MORE sanding and polishing and embedding circuits into fake coral and the boys are making headway — which is awesome since Greg from Samtec is here to visit. Wayde shows him the fake parts and circuits. Greg is impressed. He calls it beautiful. Let’s get a shot of his face the entire time he goes through the circus of emotions in his head.


Brett explains that it’s fish-safe and blah-blah-blah while Wayde goes overboard and shows him a snail built out of Samtec parts. And then a piece of “coral” that looks like “coral” but is actually built out of Samtec parts. Greg’s not having it at all and wants it to be more subtle. Wayde is cool with this. They show him the giant tank that’s moleculary-bonded…and that flies over Greg The Smiling Beast’s head. So, Wayde has to explain this process of seamless bonding two pieces of glass together. Then they challenge him to find the seams. Are you excited yet?

Then Greg asks about the sanding. And the polishing. STOP! PLEASE! DON’T!

Wayde leans against the tank like it’s a ’67 cherried-out Camaro and goes, “Oh yeah…a lot of sanding…and a lot of polishing.”

Greg shakes off Dr. Charm and asks about tank overflow — and he wants a demo NOW. Brett rolls out both coral towers — but Greg wants something else in the tank. Maybe something in the middle. Like an island. With their parts and products. The boys are simpatico and Greg is good. Still not smiling, but good.

After Greg leaves, the boys put together the filtration system and they test out the footprint layout. They set up the canopy facade and Wayde likes what he sees.

When it’s all tested, the crew loads up the tank and heads to Indiana.


The delivery truck has arrived and the set-up begins. The first part is getting the huge tank off the truck which is no small feat since the thing weighs tons and measures about 30 feet across. It takes two forklifts to do the job.


Once clear from the truck, Wayde and Kyle (the other guy in the other forklift) have to work in tandem so that the tank doesn’t fall off their forks. I know! The suspense is killing me, too! Of course, the tank is just fine and the tank gets built piece by piece.

But, wait! It’s time to join The Wonder Twins, Heather and Agnes as they visit Paul from Sea Dwelling Creatures!

LOS ANGELES, CA – Sea Dwelling Creatures


That’s Paul from Sea Dwelling Creatures. Remember Paul? He’s the dude who overreacts to anything he’s told and likes to go nuts on camera, over-describing his fish and weakly comparing them to things they’re not so that they get shoe-horned into a customer’s tank. Anyway, he’s back this week. Heather and Agnes are here to collect fish that look like computer components. For the love of god, Paul’s up for the job.

He shows off fish like The Maze Angel and says it would fit because “it looks like a circuit-board”. See what I mean?


It’s not actually a bad idea and recalls TRON a bit.

Anyhow, we get the Angel and a couple of others, including one “with copper coloring on his body because copper is in most components” and the “Ruby Flasher” because it’s like a “flash drive” for the luvva christ.


The tank has been ready to go for “weeks” and the fish all get added. The extra inserts finally arrive but a diver has to go in to put the insert in. So, of course, Wayde feels the need to explain how awful it would be for him to step on a Horn Shark and die. Instead, the diver hits his head on the acrylic tank ceiling over and over and over (and over) again until he’s brain dead and demanding brains from the other workers.

Finally, it’s time to show off the tank to Madison and Greg — who practically bring the entire factory to see the unveiling. At the count of three, the curtain drops and the tank is revealed…


There are several loving shots of the tank and the boys describe the tank measurements and talk about the tech parts being embedded into the hand-made coral. They also introduce all the fish, describing the Horn Shark as “fitting” because “they’re lazy during the day but work only at night”, like real works. Madison and Greg aren’t sure how to take that.

Overall, the two are impressed with the work.


Redneck is working on a computer because he’s an expert now. Brett kids him. Redneck is pissed Brett lied to him about the parts being duplicates. It’s a laff riot and the show comes to an end.

THOUGHTS: A nice episode with a LOT of downtime with all the drilling and cutting and sanding and what-not. Even still, the tank was nice. I’ll go A- on it due to the lame inclusion of the company’s components.

Join us next week for another Tanked recap!

Matt Perri
Matt Perrihttp://mattperri.wordpress.com
Matt Perri is one of those literary Ronin you’ve never heard of until he shows up and tells you he’s a literary Ronin. He’s a native Californian, a film buff, old school gamer geek, and a sports/entertainment fan. A lifelong Giants, 49ers and Sharks fan, he also covers the world of pro-wrestling, writing recaps for WWE Monday Night RAW and Total Divas at Scott’s Blog of Doom. You can follow the guy on Twitter via @PerriTheSmark as well as here at The Workprint and his own blog, Matt's Entertainment.

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