Monday, May 17, 2010

Searching For Signal: #129 - “Survivor” - Heroes vs. Villains - Episode 14

So we’re back at camp after Rupert’s eviction at Tribal, and Russell is raging at Sandra for not telling him she had an idol. She stands up to him. “You never told ME when YOU had idols. I didn’t do anything wrong.” Then Russell turns on Parvati, who really didn’t know Sandra’s secret either. “You are LYING, you knew she had it.” Parvati gets fed up, telling Russell: “You need to get over yourself for one minute.”

What a way to start things off. One big, happy family, right?

Cut to Colby in a sidebar, grinning from ear to ear: “Hey, let them go at it. Takes the attention off of ME.”

Roll opening credits.

Now we have tree mail, with a bag of puzzle pieces. Parvati reads the attached note, and it sounds like we’re going to have one of those “balance the dinnerware on a pole” things for the upcoming competition. (What this has to do with puzzle pieces, I have no idea.) Upon hearing this, Colby gets mad and stomps off. What, does he hate plates? Was there an incident at the dinner table during his formative years?

Then we have Russell in a really long sidebar, where we don’t learn anything new. He wants to get rid of Colby, he doesn’t trust Parvati, Sandra is Puerto Rican, there’s sand on the beach. Why are they letting him ramble on forever? I realize the producers consider him the star of the show, but what’s the deal? Then I remember that this is a two-hour episode (followed by a one-hour reunion) and we’re only 10 minutes in. Got it. We gonna have us some filler tonight. Brace yourselves for lots of bogus scenery shots and spiders devouring their prey.

Time for the Immunity Challenge.

And yep, it’s a dish-stacking competition. They each have to stand there with a wiggly pole laid on a divot, then add modified Fiesta Ware to a base on the other end as Jeff calls out the next piece. Almost immediately, Sandra is dealing with broken crockery and a seat on the bench. Jerri is out a bit later, followed by Russell (hurray!) Now it’s down to Colby and Parvati.

Then the wind kicks up, and we get to watch these two sweat and tremble as their towers shimmy and teeter. (Hey, is that Russell on the bench adding his hot air to the gale force?) Then the wind finally dies down, and so does Colby. Parvati wins immunity.

Back at camp, we have Parvati in a sidebar: “This is a HUGE deal. Now we can keep all the Villains and get rid of Colby.” By the way, are we hawking any products this time? Because I’d really like to model again, this rock I’m sitting on is perfect.

Cut to Colby addressing the remaining tribe. He knows he’s the last Hero, and he’s going home. Let’s enjoy the day, I’m not going to hustle anyone. Then we have Colby in a sidebar, with second thoughts: “I don’t know HOW to quit.” Yes, you do, Colby. We’ve seen you do it in just about every competition so far this season. Ain’t been no fire up in your grill.

Then Colby just sits there for a long time while the camera keeps rolling. Not sure what this is all about. Is he on the verge of crying? Is he trying to remember the names of all 50 states? What gives? Then he’s back with us: “So I decided to make one more attempt.”

Colby runs to Russell: If you get rid of Sandra instead of me, there’s a better chance that Parvati won‘t win immunity the next time. Russell in a sidebar: Hmm. Very tempting. But if Colby makes it to the top three, it’s over for me. (You got that right, Squat Tag.) I’ll just make my decision at Tribal.

Cut to Tribal, natch.

Jeff asks Colby what it’s like being the last Hero left. (Jeff, why do you ask these lame-ass questions? What do you THINK it’s like? It sucks.) Colby says that it sucks. Then he also confesses that he tried to convince Russell to get rid of Sandra and keep him. (Sandra makes a face indicating her displeasure with this bit of news.) Jeff asks Sandra if she trusts Russell. Sandra: “This is Survivor, I don’t trust nobody.”

Jeff asks Russell: “Is there anybody that would NOT lie to you?” Russell hems and haws and tries to avoid giving an answer, which is odd because Russell loves to hear himself talk. Jeff turns to Colby: “There’s your hope.”

Time to vote, and that brief hope dies quickly. Four votes for Colby, one for Sandra. Colby and his teeth walk away into the night. Somewhere in the distance, a sad little coyote howls.

The rest of the Survivors march back to camp, with them doing a happy dance about being Final four. (Okay, Russell doesn’t dance. The man has never danced in his life, which is part of his problem.) Parvati in a sidebar: “That thing with Colby was an eye-opener. I really need to win immunity tomorrow.” Honey, it’s Final Four. You need to win immunity even if the other three have cut off a body part to show their allegiance to you.

Russell goes to Jerri: “We HAVE to win immunity tomorrow and get Parvati out.” Jerri nods in enthusiastic agreement, and her hair curls even more at all the excitement.

Next day, we have tree mail again, which includes a map of the “ceremonial beach”. Oh boy, here we go with the personal tribute to the “Survivors who have fallen before them.” So off the four go, traipsing around and collecting the little tags with tribe member names, which they then throw into a roaring bonfire. The mixed message of this stunt always cracks me up. Oh, we love you and had such good times, now DIE a flaming death!

(Side note: That bonfire sure gets really big. Hope it doesn’t jack up air travel like that damn volcano in Iceland.)

Time for the final Immunity Challenge.

This one involves a giant maze, which the Survivors have to navigate while blind-folded, feeling around for symbols on directional signs, retrieving four necklaces, and then racing to where the Immunity Necklace is hanging. Off we go, with poor Parvati slamming into the maze walls every ten seconds (you’d think she would settle down after the first three or so hits) and Russell shoving Parvati out of the way because he’s such a gentleman. Sandra is having the worst time, of course, and probably would be in Ecuador by now if the maze walls hadn’t stopped her.

But it’s a very close race between Parvati, Russell and Jerri. All three of them are literally within inches of each other at the very end, with Russell getting there just a half second before the other two. Russell wins final immunity and is guaranteed Final Three. The world is no longer safe.

Jerri in a sidebar: “Parvati’s going home.” Chickens before they’re hatched? Don’t count them.

Russell in a sidebar: “I’m taking Sandra for sure.” Whatever, Russell. You’ll change your mind seven times before the next commercial.

Sandra in a sidebar: “Russell wants to take me because he thinks I won’t get a single vote. But I don’t know about that.” Then she grins.

Quick scene with Russell, Jerri and Sandra, swearing Final Three to the end.

Parvati, who’s been sporting an ugly sack dress the last few days instead of her bikini, with no explanation given, goes to Russell: “Get rid of Sandra.” Russell: “Jerri and Sandra are my best bet right now.” So sorry.

Russell in a sidebar: “If I send Jerri to the jury, I know I’ll still get her vote. If I send Parvati, I might not.” (NOW he’s going to worry about who is on the jury? Dude, a bit late for that.)

Final Tribal.

Sandra: “Russell tells me all the time I can’t win.”

Russell: “Alliances are gonna get broken tonight.”

Parvarti: “I feel very vulnerable.”

Jerri: I don’t know which way to flip this time. What can I do to prove I have no will of my own?

Then Russell and Parvati get into it, mainly over Parv claiming that the two of them have been protecting each other, and Russ claiming “I’ve been protecting YOU” the whole time. They are not very nice to one another. End result, things just don’t look very good for Parvati.

So the final vote surprises me. Three votes for Jerri, only one for Parvati. Wow. A very confused Jerri wanders away into the darkness.

Back at camp, the next day, Russell is being a jerk, mostly bickering with Parvati but swiping at Sandra as well. When Russell runs off to try and form an alliance with a tree, Sandra snatches up that damn hat he’s been wearing all over the place and throws it in the fire. “THAT’S how much game I got.” Sandra deserves a bump for that move.

Time for the Final Three to face the jury.

The opening statements of the Final Three can be summarized by single quotes.

Sandra: “I did it by MYSELF.” True enough, nobody has had the girl’s back since Courtney got sent packing back in the day.

Russell: “If I did anything to offend anyone, I apologize.” This is so out of character for Russell, the entire jury just stares at him in stunned amazement, not buying it for a second. Look, you little urchin, what did you do that did NOT offend anyone?

Parvati: “I needed protection, so I kept Russell as my pet, but I played the ultimate game.” A little bit weak there, Parvati, and not really believable. And why do you still have that ugly dress on?

Then the jury gets a turn.

Colby: “Russell, you are delusional.” (Nail on the head.)

Coach: “Russell, you are a very little man in stature.” (And in other ways.) “Sandra, you were useless.” And as for Parvati, “You were a warrior in challenges.” (Gee, wonder who Coach is voting for?) He ends with “As a Christian, I came in here with no pre-conceived ideas of how I’m going to vote.” Hmm. Looks like Coach had a religious conversion while sitting in the jury house. How nice for him.

Amanda only has one question, for Sandra: “How could your strategy have been better?” Sandra: “Well, if my strategy had been better, then Russell would have been gone by now. I could never get the Heroes on my side.” (Pan to the Heroes on the jury, deservedly staring at the ground in embarrassment.)

Courtney is full of nothing but love for Sandra, babbling about “loyalty” and having each other’s back until the end. She glares at the other two, and then waits for the wind to blow her anemic body back to the jury stand.

JT to Russell: “You think these people are gonna vote for you?” Russell: “They’ll respect me.” Then JT actually appears to be giving slight props to Russell, but Russell can’t just take the sort-of compliment and has to run his mouth. JT gets fed up and just walks away.

Danielle to Russell: “You obviously have a lack of skill in your jury management. Would you change anything that you’ve done?” Russell: “I wouldn’t change a thing, and I’m not gonna say what you want to hear.” Danielle: “Well, you’re not gonna get any votes.”

At this point, the only one to show even slight love for Russell has been JT, and Russell’s arrogance STILL got in the way and scuttled that. I’m starting to get a warm fuzzy.

Jerri to Russell: “The plan was to take me. What happened?” Russell spews some double-talk that doesn’t make any sense. Parvati happily steps in: “He told ME that he knows 100% that he’s got your vote,” and that’s why he did it. Jerri and her hair do not take kindly to this revelation. Another vote in the toilet, Russell.

Candice to Russell: “I understand that you have to tell lies, but you went too far, telling vicious and dirty lies that hurt people.” (Conveniently, no one challenges Candice on her lies, so she turns and marches away, being careful to walk just right so her blonde hair looks really pretty in the fire light.)

Rupert to Russell: It’s hard playing this game with integrity. Being a “manipulative, deceiving, lying person is very easy.” To Sandra: “I was swayed by Russell” and his lies. “You deserve a big thank you” for what you tried to do. (Sandra chokes up a little bit, either with emotion or because a June bug flew in her mouth.) To Parvati: “You aligned with Russell, but at least YOU deserve to be here.”

Time to vote.

Interestingly enough, they actually show us what six of the Survivors write down.

Jerri, Danielle and Coach vote for Parvati.

Candice, Courtney and Rupert vote for Sandra.

We don’t see how JT, Colby and Amanda vote, but one thing is clear: There’s no way that Russell can win.

We do the mystical transition thing and suddenly we are in New York City for the results.

Parvati only got the three votes we’ve already seen.

Sandra gets the remaining votes, and wins Survivor for the second time.

Russell doesn’t get a single vote.

I smile and put down my pen on another season of Survivor, ready to relax and watch the reunion show. No need to take notes now. I already know how this is going to go: A full hour of Russell in denial, Sandra throwing out snappy one-liners, and the other 18 Survivors sharpening their knives for the Munchkin Feast. Good times…

1 comment:

  1. Highlight of my night, Brian you keep me in stitches