In episode four of 50 Ways to Kill Your Mum, Family Matters star Jaleel White and his mum Gail are heading to New Mexico to conquer Gail’s fears and strengthen their mother-son bond. Over the course of one week, Gail will have to put her trust in Jaleel as she dives head first into a series of thrilling adventures.
Jaleel and his mum have been close ever since Jaleel’s acting career took off at a young age. As his manager and protector, Gail made sure to keep Jaleel grounded and out of trouble when he first became famous playing the iconic Steve Urkel on Family Matters. Jaleel thinks his mum was a little too strict back then, so now it’s his turn to take the wheel and have some fun pushing Gail outside her comfort zone.
“What makes me nervous is the unknown,” says Gail. “Things can’t be too risky. Me not being in control of what’s happening and what’s going on is very very uncomfortable.”
“It’s not like she hasn’t faced fears before,” says Jaleel. Gail was diagnosed with breast cancer 10 years ago, so Jaleel has no doubt that Gail can handle anything thrown her way.
For the first activity, Jaleel is bringing Gail deep into the desert where they’ll take a ride in a 6-wheel-drive Swiss army truck through rough terrain. According to Gail, riding in the back of the truck is like “getting bounced around like a tossed salad”. Her apprehension skyrockets when she faces some unexpected visitors. With a pack of wild bison getting way too close for Gail’s comfort, will she bail before taking a turn behind the wheel?
Next, Jaleel is determined to help Gail overcome her fear of insects by getting up close and personal with 20,000 bees. Working with a beekeeper to collect honey, Gail will have to push her fears aside to get the job done. But when the bees start swarming both Jaleel and Gail, it gets a lot harder for them to keep their cool and avoid full blown panic.
Then, Jaleel mixes things up with a lesson on cooking hot sauce with some famous Sante Fe chilies. Just when Gail starts to relax and get comfortable, Jaleel decides to kick things up a notch. Both mother and son share a competitive gene, so a spicy chili eating contest is the perfect opportunity to test their will power. Even when Gail starts to feel the heat, there’s no way she’ll let Jaleel know it. Who’s stubborn enough to claim the win?
Finally, Gail’s fear of heights is the last hurdle to conquer on their weeklong adventure. Jaleel and Gail will soar 5,000 feet in the air in a hot air balloon before landing at a speed of 40mph. Will Gail be able to relax long enough to enjoy the view?
“She’s a lot braver than she realizes,” says Jaleel. “I knew when we pulled up that she had a legit problem with this whole concept. But she doesn’t even realize, the fears gone. We’re living now.”
“I actually said yes to a lot of things this week. But I thought I persevered and I did a pretty good job considering I was anxious the whole week. I knew Jay would take care of Mama. That’s all.”
50 Ways to Kill Your Mum airs Mondays at 9pm ET on VisionTV. Jaleel and Gail’s adventure airs Monday, August 5.