“So this is what SURVIVOR 27 looks like?”
My head hurts, SURVIVOR Buffs. I just finished watching this second episode of SURVIVOR, and I feel dizzy and have a headache. Not because Colton wouldn’t stop running his mouth – well, maybe not totally because of that – but because I have taxed my brain. I come home after a long day, excited for a relaxing episode of my favorite show, and, instead of an episode where people are settling into the game, I am bombarded with more game twists and so many people strategizing and hypothesizing and maneuvering. There’s so much going on, it’s like an episode of GAME OF THRONES, but without the cheery undertones. Undoing all the layers (as Probst put it) is going to be messy, but I’ll try…
The first bit of the episode finds us still taking care of business that couldn’t be resolved in last week’s oversized premiere. You see, Marissa has a lot more withering stare in her yet, and she’s stuck in Purgatory with Rupert and Candice. So, after a night of bitching and commiserating with the two Returnees, including Rupert – who put himself there – Marissa enters the Redemption Island arena glaring at her former tribe, ready to battle to stay in the game. It’s quite a different reaction than they’ve just experienced, since the arrival of the loved ones led to widespread tears of relief or joy or hunger among the returning players on Galang just moments before. Marissa lets Uncle Gervase know that his antics led to her ouster, which causes him to get all grossly threatening, having not learned a thing from the situation. Granted, he is not so upset by his niece’s eviction that he volunteers to switch places with her – and so the challenge begins.
This challenge is like a humongous game of Operation, requiring the contestants to maneuver a stick through a twisty maze while not touching the sides and while holding pieces that will then be stacked 10 high on the top of the maze, which is balanced on a spring. So, not the challenge for the bull-in-a-china-shop that is Rupert. He immediately tries to barrel through, as he does in all parts of the game, then realizes that won’t work. Candice works slowly and steadily, but not as slowly as Marissa, who somehow gets passed by Rupert. Rupert then does my favorite thing he’s ever done, and knocks over his stack of 8 blocks due to sloppy stacking. He never recovers, and comes in last. Bye-bye, tie-dye! As the winner, Candice gets to give anyone a Hidden Immunity Idol clue, and she strategically chooses her husband John. This both lifts his spirits and weighs him down with a huge target on his back.
Over the next few days, back at Galang, things are going swimmingly. People are massaging each other, everyone is happy…and old Colton is back! For no reason besides lack of attention, he is completely pissed about the harmonious vibe, and resolves to create anarchy, because he can rule in anarchy. He starts making up stories about his teammates to create divisions in the team. He keeps trying to talk strategy to people who don’t want to hear it. And he overreacts when Kat stupidly expresses Tina’s concern over his overstrategizing. He has to go get Tina right away to clear it up, which basically means he needs to cause a scene in front of the whole tribe, embarrasing Kat while also hammering another nail in his own coffin. You see, these antics worked with the newbies during ONE WORLD who, let’s face it, were no collection of Rhodes scholars. But on this team of returning players, who happen to be grown folk, these antics don’t fly. In fact, dislike of Colton unites Monica, Tyson, Aras, Gercase, and Tina, who form a new alliance. Aras correctly points out that Colton is a bully, and fortunately, Colton doesn’t hear him, because he’d probably take it as a compliment. And, fortunately, this isn’t BIG BROTHER, because the bully in this case is probably getting kicked out very soon.
But that won’t be in this episode, because Tadhana loses another immunity challenge in the final stage of a multi-part challenge. The final stage sees Hayden versus Gervase in a weird game of Skee-Ball, which Gervase annoyingly wins and gloats about. Perhaps Tadhana was just exhausted from all the scheming going on this episode. Once they realize that contestants can switch places with their loved ones who are on Redemption Island, the male alliance starts working on a detailed strategy to weaken Galang by putting up Tyson’s girlfriend, Cannon Fodder, I mean, Rachel. The belief is that Tyson will replace her, thereby weakening Galang. I mean, is Tyson that good in challenges or do they just want to get rid of that awful hair? Anyway, this overly complicated plan does not sit well with John, because 1) Tyson would then be in a position to defeat his wife on Redemption Island, and 2) he has a little mini-alliance with Rachel, or so everyone believes. That, plus the fact that John inexplicably decides to be all shady about the Hidden Immunity Idol that everyone saw him get a clue about, makes the rest of his male alliance a little wary of him. Once the tribe loses immunity, Ciera’s name is bandied about as a pawn for Rachel to vote for. Ciera is not having it, and so convinces Katie to join her in writing John’s name down, just in case.
But, alas, John neither produces a Hidden Immunity Idol nor votes against his alliance, so, despite all that running around and plotting and scheming and wheeling and dealing and twerking, Rachel is voted to Redemption Island, which was the plan pretty much from the beginning of the episode. I must admit, sad as I would have been to see John go, the thought of husband and wife competing at Redemption Island excited me. But, alas, it’s not to be.
So the men are running things on the Loved Ones Tribe, Colton is causing drama for his tribe, Gervase is acting like a jackass, Tadhana can’t win a challenge. All that running around…AND EVERYTHING IS STILL THE SAME. To quote Ciera:
“That’s too sketchy for me.”
Anyone got any aspirin?
Well, SURVIVOR Buffs, what did you think? Did the sight of the loved ones at Redemption make you cry, or were those tears of fear from Marissa’s glare? Do you also think the person in the barrel during the challenge was receiving some sort of punishment? Now that they’ve played Operation and Skee-Ball, what other games should SURVIVOR “borrow”? Leave your comments here, and enjoy my video recap too (below) – a lot of stupid moves happened this episode, and I talk about them, and much more.