“Are you with me or are you against me?”
“I’m against you, Russell.”
“Who invited Boston Rob to the party: Are you with me or are you against me?”
For the second time in this season of Survivor, we were coming off an explosive, landscape-shaking Tribal Council. Just as Russell’s earlier victory over Boston Rob, his decision to ax Danielle last week reshaped the final days of this season. And just like earlier, the episode after the big move couldn’t possibly live up to its predecessor.
Even with reduced expectations, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” was disappointing. You can even make a case it was the worst episode of the season; it was easily the least dramatic since at least the merger. It almost felt like an early-season episode. There was a long “Previously on Survivor” (if a justifiably long one; even I had forgotten there were two Tribals last week), they showed the entire theme song (you know it’s an action-packed episode when they skip the intro song), and they spent a lot of time on mundane camp stuff like treemail (I don’t know if you realized, but it was sponsored by Sprint) and Rupert’s inconsiderate late-night wood-chopping.
Continue reading »
“I’m not fully in control of this game right now; me and Parvati are equally in control, and that makes me worried.” –Russell
“He’s getting outplayed by me AND DANIELLE at this point.” –Parvati on Russell
“Russell is insane.” –Danielle
Bravo, Survivor. You gave us an episode that matched this season’s earlier showdown between Boston Rob and Russell at a far more significant and usually predictable part of the season. And somehow, through two more immunity challenges that neither won, through another hunt for a hidden idol that neither found, and through two more tribals, Rupert and Colby are still standing.*
*This is especially astonishing in Colby’s case, considering he wasn’t even a member of the top alliance within the Heroes’ camp. I remember thinking how strange it was he even made it to the merge, and now he’s in the final six!
The episode started with the fallout from Candice’s betrayal of the Heroes in voting out Amanda last week. That left the Heroes down to two remaining members, Rupert and Colby, with the former describing Candice as “weak, pathetic, self-centered, and manipulative” before saying in almost Coach-speak, “Colby and I are on a stranded ship. There are no other heroes.”
Rupert then decided to go off on Russell at breakfast, calling him a “disgusting” human being who cared only for himself. Russell naturally didn’t back down, and the two digressed into a much-beeped argument that didn’t really go anywhere.*
*This episode had about as much cursing as any I can remember in the show’s history.
Continue reading »
“This is ridiculous! Colby!” –Danielle
“I didn’t even see what happened. I was watching Treasure Island.” –Colby
“Jumping Ship” established its premise early: Led by Rupert, the Heroes would try to sway Sandra to their side; Russell would counter by trying to get Candice to come over to the dark side. The vote would almost solely be determined by their respective yet intertwined decisions. Both seemed receptive to the offers of the one-time opposition. Sandra still wanted Russell gone while Candice appeared persuaded by Russell’s not-quite promise to take her to the top three.
Things got more interesting after the Reward Challenge, which split the nine into three teams of three to play “Survivor Shuffle,” a form of shuffleboard. In relatively unsuspenseful fashion, Colby snuck within Russell’s puck on the game’s final turn to win it for the Blue team, which also included Danielle and Amanda. The prize had to be one of the most incongruous Survivor awards ever: a trip to author Robert Louis Stevenson’s house (now a museum) that would include a tour, a viewing of the theatrical version of Treasure Island, and a night in a bed. Danielle and Amanda instantly began thinking about the possibility of a hidden immunity idol, completely ignoring ALL the fascinating aspects of the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, which housed original copies of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Kidnapped, AND Treasure Island! As someone who has marveled at the L. Ron Hubbard House in DC, I was really put off by their lack of interest.
Continue reading »
Coach: “I just want once to hear Courtney say, ‘I want to play. I can beat this guy.’”
Courtney: “Thanks, Dad!”
Danielle: “Well he is a coach.”
One week after Russell ousted Boston Rob in one of the most memorable episodes of Survivor in years, the show couldn’t help but take a step back last night. The rising conflict between Rob and Russell had driven the previous two episodes, so now it was back to expositing the next crises in each camp and creating new drama.
It didn’t take long for Jeff Probst and the producers to tip their hand, as the episode began with what could only be described as a kind of tribute to Boston Rob that was surprisingly editorial in showing the instant remorse exhibited by Jerri and Coach in siding with Russell. The new conflict was set: Russell’s axing of Rob splintered the Villains tribe, which was now far more dysfunctional than the Heroes. In fact, the Heroes gained another feather in their cap when JT found the hidden immunity idol they received a clue for last week. Now, JT had said they should all look for it as a tribe and he did find it on his own, but for the second time this season, Amanda happened to spot someone find the hidden idol, and JT was forced to come clean and pretend like he was getting it for the tribe all along.
Continue reading »