Saturday, April 3, 2010

Searching For Signal: #116 - “Survivor” - Heroes vs. Villains - Episode 7

We start out at the Villains camp, with Rob in a sidebar. He fesses that the Tribal they just went through was the first actual shock he had in three seasons on the show. “Something doesn’t feel right.” You’re right, Rob. Something doesn’t. And his name is Russell.

Cut to Courtney sitting on a tree somewhere, with the cameraman jostling to keep her in view, because there’s a blade of grass blowing in the wind behind her and there might be confusion. She’s yammering about her hatred for the “bandy-legged little troll,” then really goes off when she gets to Russell’s crush on Parvati and what a skank Parvati is. “She will flirt with anything that walks.” Then the cameraman asks Courtney to turn sideways and stick her tongue out, because he’s lost her on his viewfinder.

Russell races to find Parvati and Danielle posing seductively near a tree, and he tells them that the focus should now be on getting Jerri to flip. Both of the vapid spokes models nod in agreement, then they all cackle with delight as they review their dastardly deeds so far. Over in the tent on the other side of camp but still in hearing range, the rest of the tribe rolls their eyes and mumble about their hatred towards those three.

Cut back to Rob in another sidebar. He’s starting to get a little nervous. Can he really trust everybody in his alliance? “Is the joke on me?”

Roll opening credits.

We’re still at the Villains camp, where Jerri has just wandered up to Russell, Danielle and Parvati. Instantly, the girls start with the mind games while Russell just grins and congratulates himself as it appears that Jerri is warming to their side. Still, Jerri fesses that she’s not so sure it would be in her best interest to join their team. (Honey, it would be in your best interest to not even be talking to these people. They will chew you up and spit you out.)

So Parvati ratchets up the stakes. She guarantees Jerri a spot in the final four. Jerri hesitates. Really? How can you guarantee THAT? (And right THERE, Jerri, you should have realized that these people are saying whatever they can to get your vote. And you should turn and run.) But Jerri doesn’t. And I get that sinking feeling that stupidity is knocking on the door.

Zip over to the Heroes camp, where everybody’s whining because it was a cold night. (Of course it’s going to be cold when you’re only wearing a thong and some sneakers.) Then we have Rupert in a sidebar, who has apparently just come to a startling epiphany: “We cannot let the Villains keep winning!” Ya think? You mean it’s not okay to suck at challenges? Wow. Thanks for the insight, Rupert. Never would have realized that on my own. He is SO on my nerves.

Quick aside with Colby. He knows that his butt is on the line. “I’ve got to put up or shut up.” Yes, you do. And here’s another thought: Maybe you should try talking to the rest of your tribe and attempting to be friends with them. This business about pouting and floating around in the ocean while everybody else is strategizing is perhaps not a good move.

In the midst of all this Heroes mess, there’s a brief shot of someone’s foot near the campfire. The toes on said foot are perfectly manicured and coated with a high-gloss sheen of the whore-red variety. Who’s foot is THAT? I don’t care how much you paid for your designer nail polish, those toes should be chipped and nasty by now. What gives?

Time for the Reward Challenge, with the winning team getting a lunch feast alongside some pristine waterfall on a river that mankind has somehow not polluted yet. This competition is basically basketball in the water, with the first team to sink three balls gaining the right to yell victoriously and high-five each other.

Right out of the gate, Colby is on fire. He’s all over the place, knocking people down and fighting for the ball and scoring the first basket. As a bonus move, he also manages to shove Jerri underwater, which thrills me for personal reasons. Then Candice triumphs with the second basket. After more grunting and thrusting, JT hands the ball off to Colby who dings the final winning point. The Heroes have finally won a competition after a very long drought.

Cut to the Heroes at the waterfall feast, where they all love each other as they gorge on juices, fruit, and meat dripping with grease. Everybody’s singing songs and swearing eternal dedication to one another. Then Candice moves a slice of papaya and finds a rolled-up message. Apparently there’s another Immunity Idol hidden back at their camp.

The party screeches to a halt. Now they’ve got to be all serious again. (Rupert in a sidebar: “That brought the game back home.” Dude, did the game ever leave? Or was that just you?)

JT tries to calm the waters about the Idol. “We’ll find it together, and we’ll use it together.” This is for us to beat them. Very nice and patriotic. But surely you’re not serious.

Cut back to the Villains camp, where the camera focuses on somebody’s red shirt hanging from a large piece of driftwood. I have no idea what that’s all about. Then we see Russell and Jerri having a conversation on the beach. This can’t be good.

Russell tells her that he wants it to be him, Jerri and Coach as the final three. (Not buying it for a second.) Jerri, because she’s focused on winning and not on the possibility of losing (critical distinction) gets Coach’s attention and waves him over. You gotta hear this.

Russell repeats his final-three offer to Coach, otherwise known as the person who was never in a “Karate Kid” movie even though he thinks he was. Russell: “I don’t want Parvati in the end, I can’t beat her for the million.”

Once again, right THERE, Jerri and Coach, you should realize that Russell is blowing smoke. He is NOT going to ditch his strongest supporter in favor of you two. To his credit, Coach admits in a sidebar that he isn’t buying it for a second. But he thinks that Jerri has been swayed. And she apparently has, promising Russell to vote the way he wants.)

Then Russell wanders off to go stir up trouble somewhere else, leaving Coach and Jerri to deal with each other. Coach: “I’m kinda hurt that you decided to go with Russell before talking to me. How can you trust him as much as me?” (Very good point, even though it pains me to admit such. Not a fan of Coach. But he‘s right.) Jerri: “No, it’s not that way.” Then what IS it, Jerri? Why would you ditch Coach and his thoughts on the matter?

Conveniently, Jerri then has a sidebar to explain her actions. She basically slams Coach, saying he’s too naïve and too nice. Really? Naïve? What the hell do you think YOU are, slinking up to Russell, who would sell his own children if it meant he could survive another Tribal council? (Oh my God, that’s a scary thought. Are there really little Russells running around out there? I won’t be able to sleep tonight.)

Time for the Immunity Challenge.

This one’s basically a relay race, where most of each tribe runs across an obstacle course to retrieve bags of puzzle pieces. Once all of these bags are dragged back to the finish line, two members on each tribe scramble to solve the puzzle. Initially, I’m a little concerned. The Heroes have shown that they’re not the best when it comes to puzzles.

Anyway, off we go, and it’s a fairly tight race. One entertaining aspect is that they have some cameraman stationed under this giant net thing that the Survivors have to run across during part of the challenge. This person manages to capture everybody in the relay part tripping and busting their ass. For once, I don’t care who it is. Watching people fall down is always amusing. Even Jeff chuckles in a non-partisan way.

In the end, the Heroes manage to pull ahead with the retrieval of the puzzle pieces, and then JT and Amanda (yes, Amanda, she of the questionable mental abilities) manage to get their puzzle done first. The Heroes win. Somebody from the Villains tribe is going home. Finally.

Cut to the Villains camp. First we have Russell in a sidebar, where he blames the loss on everybody but himself (naturally). Then we see Russell running to Rob for a round of negotiations. Rob is standing on the beach, while Courtney and Sandra are right there, fiddling with each others’ hair and such. (No, I don’t know what that was all about, nor do I want to know.) When Rob asks the troll who should go home, Russell amazes me by pointing at Sandra and Courtney and saying “one of them.”

Rob in a sidebar: “I’m amazed. I’ve never heard of that,” talking shop right in front of your targets. For their part, Courtney and Sandra just roll their eyes. And that’s the problem. People don’t take Russell seriously until it’s too late.

Rob wanders over to Coach for his input, and Coach thinks Parvati or Courtney should go. Especially Courtney. Why is Rob keeping somebody around who is so useless in competitions? Rob: “Because I’m loyal. YOU value that, right?” Smart move on Rob’s part, since Coach likes to use that word in every other sentence. Coach promises that he will vote for Russell.

Scene with Russell, Jerri, Coach and Danielle. Russell slyly and subtly turns the discussion around to sending Rob home instead of Courtney or Sandra, making it sound like he just now thought of it when it was really his intention the whole time. Once he does this, Danielle goes to town, practically in a frenzy as she demands that Rob go home. Coach promises that he will vote for Rob.

Sidebar with Coach, where he’s all troubled about keeping his word. It’s a bit late for that, since by this point you’ve promised everybody on the island, including Jeff, that you will vote the way they want. Then Coach actually tries to squeeze out a tear of self-pity or something, but what he really needs is some Gax-X.

Jerri goes to Rob, and tells him that she doesn’t know if Russell’s alliance is coming after him. (Lie.) She also tells Rob that she can’t give him her trust. (Mainly because she doesn’t have any to give, being so bitter and all.) Rob tries using the “do what you think is right” angle, hoping this will turn her in his favor. But the glitch is that Jerri doesn’t know what’s right, and needs a little bit stronger direction than that. Then she and her hair wander away.

Scene with Jerri and Coach, as they go back and forth on what to do. They really do seem to be looking at the decision from all angles, so THAT part’s a bit heartening, to see folks considering the betterment of the whole tribe and not just reacting to petty squabbles between the alliances. We end with Jerri proclaiming “I’m not a good Villain!” Really?

Time for Tribal.

We start out with the usual pointless questions from Jeff as he digs around and tries to get something started, then he hits pay dirt when Coach gives props to Tyson for keeping the two alliances in harmony when they needed to be strong (meaning Russell did a bad thing by sending him home.) Russell and Danielle go ballistic over this, and suddenly everybody is yelling at everybody else. (Except for Courtney, who seems to be weakly looking around for an oxygen tank.)

Jeff fans the flames by pointing out that the tribe is in total disarray when they should be working together at this point. This kicks off another round of bickering.

Russell: “Rob’s the one always saying either you’re with me or you’re against me.”

Rob: “You ARE against me. It’s no secret, Russell.” Quit playing games.

Russell: “If you’re gunnin for me, you’re not going to get what you want. You have to go.” Same crap he usually spouts during sidebars, but now he’s brought it to center stage, which really isn’t a good idea. Like I keep saying, Russell’s temper is going to cost him at some point.

But apparently not this time, as we finally get to the vote. Four votes for Rob, three votes for Russell, and one throw-away for anemic Courtney. As that final Rob vote is announced, the camera shows Jerri wincing at the blow she’s just delivered.

Apparently she does know how to be a Villain after all…

No comments:

Post a Comment