Friday, April 23, 2010

Searching For Signal: #124 - “Survivor” - Heroes vs. Villains - Episode 10

We start out in the Heroes camp, where everybody is babbling about the upcoming merge. They are all very psyched about the illusion that as soon as the merge happens, Russell is going to come running to them with open arms and the game will be theirs. It’s sad that logic has left them behind. Maybe it’s a vitamin deficiency.

JT in a sidebar: “Give us a merge, give us anything, we’re bored!” (Speaking of giving, JT, you’ve already given Russell the gift that’s going to keep on giving, just not in the way you think. This whole episode might just be centered around your surprised facial expressions as things develop.)

Then we have Amanda and Rupert wandering over to the little tree mail spot, and lo and behold there’s a big ole chest sitting there. The attached note indicates there’s no key, but “company” might just be coming along to help them out with that. Merge!

Cut to the Villains camp, where they find a key attached to a giant walking stick with a piece of paper wrapped around it. This paper turns out to be a map to the other camp. A joyous celebration erupts as everyone jumps and cheers. (Including Sandra, although I’m sure her bouncing is for an entirely different reason.)

Russell gathers his minions around (minus Sandra, natch) and they concoct a little story about “double idols” so that the Heroes will THINK Russell tried to do as JT expected by attempting to vote Parvati out, but things just got wacky. On the surface, there are 500 holes in this story, but based on the gullibility of the Heroes so far, it just might fly.

Russell in a sidebar: “I’m the only one with a hidden idol.” Interesting, since that means Parvarti has held her tongue about her own little jewel. Then Russell runs back to join the rest of the dancing Villains, as they all convinced that the Heroes are “doing down in flames.”

Roll opening credits.

And here come the Villains, traipsing down the Hero beach while lugging gear and cussing about the fact that they have to carry things. (Did you expect valet service? I’m sure Jeff has a few servants he can spare, ask him.)

A camera zooms in the catch JT’s reaction to the fact that Parvati is at the head of the line, as I’m sure they’ve been instructed to do. He’s a little surprised. (JT in a sidebar: I couldn’t believe Parvati was still there. Then I saw Russell’s little legs sticking out from under the Sear’s crate, and I knew what had happened. They both played an idol. Now there aren’t any left! Woo hoo!

Poor, poor delusional thing.

Everybody finally gets to camp, and there’s lots of fake hugging and pretense that they all don’t want to stab each other in the back. They bust open the trunk, where they find new buffs, of course, and a nice spread of food. While they chow down on this, they try to think of a new tribe name. Most of the suggestions are boring, but then Jerri, because she’s bitter, spits out “All Villains”. Because we all are.

Rupert, because he’s all about truth, honesty and idealized visions that have no basis in reality, races off to find a camera for a sidebar. He’s terribly offended about being compared to a villain, and he wants to whine about that for quite some time. Um, Rupert, weren’t you all gung-ho about the dumb-ass decision to sneak an idol to Russell? That’s not villainous? Hmm.

Then we have some rather tired scenes with people working around camp, lying on the beach and not working (you always have those people), and folks talking strategy. One thread does become clear, they want Parvati to go home, and Parvati overhears some of this. (Then quit snooping, girl.)

Parvati, overcome with emotion that people might not like her, races off to some part of the beach and (I think) starts to cry. (She may have just gotten sand in her eye.) “They HATE me… I’m offended at how they’re treating me.”

First, ya whiner, you have done under-handed things since you first sent in your audition tape years ago. You should not be surprised. Second, you won the game by being under-handed. Did you really expect a pride parade and marriage proposals?

Danielle wanders up and tries to boost her morale. We’re in a good spot, don’t sweat it, blah, blah. This seems to work, as Parvati suddenly brightens at the prospect of destroying the other tribe. “They’re about to be picked off one by one.” Realizing how much fun this is going to be, they hug and break.

Now, I should point out that, despite Parvati being supposedly emotionally devastated during this bit, she never once assumes a pose that would be unflattering to the camera. Apparently personal grief causes her to glisten and stretch while the tape rolls. And of course the camera person laps it all up, zooming in on the dewy angles. Hey CBS, nothing says “family show” like the close-up of a tiny-bikini crotch, right?

Russell wanders up to JT and Rupert, and spills his lie about the non-existent double-idol vote that stopped him from sending Parvati home. Rupert actually acts a few probing questions, instead of just lying there and taking it, which seems to be his usual position this season, but Russell deftly throws out more lies. None of his story makes sense if people think about it, but it sure sounds good. Russell tops of his tale by swearing on those kids of his, like he’s been doing for two seasons. (Do these kids even exist? Has anybody ever seen them?)

JT in a sidebar: “He might be lying, but I don’t believe it.” Idiot.

Russell in a sidebar: “This is going to be way easier than I thought.”

Sandra and Rupert meet briefly on the beach, and she spills. “Whatever Russell says, agree but don’t believe it. Parvarti did NOT play the idol. Now, they can’t see me talking to you or I’m gone, so I gotta go.” Then she races off, clutching a piece of driftwood because props are always nice in any given scene.

Rupert in a sidebar: “Is Russell playing us?” Gee, I don’t know, Rup. He’s played everybody else. You watched last season, right?

Scene with everybody eating breakfast, where Parvati and Danielle decide that they’d rather have bananas instead of eggs, and off they go to get some from the stock. For some reason, this really sets off the Heroes. (Rupert in a sidebar: “This makes me MAD. We ration around here.) Hmm. Doesn’t look like Rupert’s been going without, just sayin.

Then we have Rupert, Amanda, JT and Candice, finally trying to talk strategy instead of whine about fruit. Rupert: “What if Russell is playing us?” JT (of course): “No way!” Amanda: “I don’t think so.” Candice, to her credit, doesn’t enter the Russell Love Shack. Rupert: In case he is lying, “we need a voting plan. Tell him we’re gonna do one thing and then vote another way.” Amanda, finally getting the hint of a clue: “That would be a good test.” Clap and break.

While JT has a sidebar where he proves that he’s still in denial about Russell, Rupert tracks down Candice, who seems to share his suspicions: “Don’t. Trust. Russell.” Candice nods knowingly, but also looks startled to learn that the existence of Bigfoot has just been confirmed. She glances around for the quickest route to safety.

Amanda and Parvati meet up on the beach. They both babble a bit about really wanting to work together, but it’s tough. And Amanda warns: “They want you gone. I’m working to get rid of Sandra to keep you here.” Parvati, debating on whether or not there is any trust here: “Will you at least tell me how they’re going to vote” when it comes down to it? Amanda agrees. Parvati: “Then there’s this. I have an idol.”

So both are sharing details. Are they back together again? Can they bust the alliances? Apparently not.

Amanda in a sidebar: “If Parvati makes it to the end, she’ll win.”

Parvati in a sidebar: “I’m going to make sure no Villains go home tonight.”

Time for the Immunity Challenge.

This one basically involves standing on tall totem pole things that have very narrow indented rings where you MIGHT be able to stick in a toe or two. Whoever lasts the longest gets individual immunity. Amazingly, Colby is the first down. (“Not my forte.”)

Sandra goes seconds later. Russell follows. Then Rupert gives up, followed by Amanda, then JT, of all people. (Why are the Heroes dropping like this? Only Candice remains. Are the Heroes THAT confident that Russell is in their pocket? Or are they just afraid of heights?)

Jerri manages to last an hour and a half, which surprises me. Girl usually whips out some physical ailment as an excuse whenever stamina is involved. Then Candice, who hasn’t even broken a sweat, suddenly says “Good luck” to the remaining two pole-clutchers and prepares to jump down. Jeff tries to stop her: “Before you go, why?” Candice: “They look like they can go for a while.” And she’s down.

What is UP with the Heroes? Candice could have taken that.

Danielle and Parvati, the last two, have a whispered conversation. Danielle: “I’ll win this one. You have the idol.” Parvati: “I’m out.” She drops, Danielle gains immunity, and Jeff scurries back to his yacht parked in a nearby lagoon.

Rupert in a sidebar: “Parvati must have the idol, or she wouldn’t have quit.” This is more proof that Russell lied, and Sandra was telling the truth. “I want Russell out!”

Colby to JT: “We need to tell Russell that we’re voting for Jerri or Sandra, and then vote the other way.”

Russell in a sidebar: “I’ve got to get the idol to Parvarti, so we can vote JT out.” Then he runs to hand her such. Parvati totally plays it up. “Oh, you. Thanks, honey!” Then she lets him briefly touch her to ensure that he stays on her side.

Parvati in a sidebar: “I’ve got two little green men protecting me.” Um, I count three, when you pull Russell into the picture.

Again with Amanda and Parvati on the beach, sort-of pretending to be in a mini-alliance and sort of not. Amanda: “You better play the idol.” Parvati questions this. Why? Amanda: “Just play it.” Then they both scamper off to a sidebar to say what they really feel.

Amanda: “She’s dangerous.”

Parvati: “She’s lying about playing the idol.” They’re doing something else, and it’s too risky for me to play the idol and lose it for no reason. (Great insight, really. Now, could you stop fiddling with your bikini top? We are fully aware that you are proud of the twins.)

Time for Tribal.

Rupert immediately goes off on the banana thing. Danielle: “Really, what’s a banana or two?” Rupert continues to rant, boring us all, until Russell finally says: “So what, let’s play.” Jeff to Russell: “Is this an important vote?” Russell: “It will change the rest of the game.”

Parvati, apparently having a flashback to her sob-fest on the beach: “I feel like everyone’s avoiding me.” Jeff: “Is that because you’re used to constant attention in real life?” Parv: “No, Jeff. You’re right, but no.”

Time to vote.

Interestingly enough, instead of the usual voting montage where we only see how one or two people vote, the producers lets us glimpse almost all of the Hero votes, and they’re all voting for Jerri. That tells me right there that something wild is about to happen, and it’s not going to be Jerri going home.

Jeff scoops up the vote bucket and then pauses at his little stand. Idol, anyone?

And here’s the wild part: Parvati, claiming that she’s just looking out for her tribe, pulls out an idol and hands it to Sandra. Then, for a “little extra security”, she pulls out the other idol and hands it to Jerri.


Everybody in the hut freaks. (And yes, we get the reaction shot from JT that we’ve been waiting for. Plus a bonus shot from a totally flummoxed Russell. He had no idea.)

Jeff does his thing, all five votes for Jerri are thrown out, and JT is going home. JT actually shakes Russell’s hand before leaving.

Russell turns to Parvati: “You have some explaining to do.” She just grins and continues to squirm around and

Probably the most interesting surprise move I’ve ever seen on the show. Down side? Parvati no longer has an idol. She will have to completely trust Russell and the other Fly Girls to stay in the game…

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