Thursday, October 14, 2010

Searching For Signal: #175 - “Survivor: Nicaragua” - Episode 5

We start out at the Espada camp, with people standing around after they have evicted (well, some of them) Jimmy T. Interestingly enough, Holly is babbling about Jimmy T being a really good guy, with Yve and Jill chiming in that, yep, he sure was. (Did Yve and Jill fall and hit their heads on the way back from Tribal? They voted to send Jimmy home.) Then the three of them just stand there with nothing else to say, because they’ve now talked about the only thing they have in common.

Holly in a sidebar, the insanity in her eyes made even more prominent by the night-vision cameras: “I know I’m on the outs. And something has to change.” Agreed. Let’s start with you coming back to this planet and taking a class on how to be not so annoying.

Roll opening credits.

Still at the Espada camp, the next morning. Marty, another player with reality issues, has a sidebar: “Tribal was a slam-dunk. I’m in control of this tribe now.” Then he gets quiet as the voices in his head fight for his attention.

Marty runs to Dan: We are so golden right now. “I can’t imagine anything can go wrong. Holly’s next.” Dan just stands there and nods his head, because doing anything else would require him to take a nap. Marty: “Something really whacked would have to happen to disturb our plans.”

Lighting a votive for whacked things to happen within the next hour.

Cut to the La Flor camp. There’s still tons of people left over here, but you wouldn’t know it with the way they are featuring NaOnka. In a sidebar: “I love my tribe!” You do? “These are the best people ever!” They are? “I’m just so happy to be here!”

Clearly, someone has kidnapped the real NaOnka and thrown her ass into a crocodile pit. Where she probably proceeded to kill all of them just by looking at them.

Time for a challenge. It’s not immediately clear what type of challenge it is. But at least the La Flor tribe doesn’t do one of their stupid Oompa Loompa dances as they traipse into the clearing. They do, however, seem to be surprised that Espada sent Jimmy T home. Then again, when you’re only 12 years old, everything is new and surprising.

Jeff: “Drop your buffs!”


Jeff: “We’re going to draw for new captains.” So they do the “take a stone from a bag but don’t look at it yet” thing, with Brenda and Holly becoming the new captains and getting to decide who ends up on what tribe. (The shot of Marty realizing that Holly has power made the whole episode worth it. He looks like he’s ready to rip his own eyes out and impale himself on a camera tripod.)

This gets complicated. Jane, Jill and Marty end up going to the La Flor tribe. Benry, NaOnka, Chase and Alina go to the Espada tribe. Everybody else stays where they were. Both of the newly designed tribes pretend like they are all best friends, but you can see by the look in their eyes that nobody is very happy about having to lie to new set of people. They glare at Jeff as if he invented syphilis. (And maybe he did. I wasn’t there, can’t really say.)

Jeff: “The old versus young thing is done. The Medallion of Power is done.” (On that second bit, we see open sobbing and rending of hair.) “It’s a brand new game.”

Finally, we get to the challenge, which is for Reward, with the winners getting two chickens and a rooster. (By the joyous screams from both tribes, you’d think they were playing for the chance to sleep with Brad Pitt.) In this game, there’s a giant primitive pinball machine, with one tribe rolling balls up a chute, the ball trickles down past bumpers that can divert the ball at any point, and two members from the other tribe try to catch the ball. If you drop a ball, the other tribe gets a point. 3 points wins.

Off we go, with things being fairly close for a while. But in the end, the newly-formed Espada tribe wins, mainly because dumb-ass Marty on the La Flor tribe keeps dropping his ball. No one on La Flor really complains about his ineptitude, which means that, even though he’s only been on the new tribe for roughly two minutes, he’s already mesmerized the new tribe with his Bart Simpson hair.

Cut to the Espada camp. First we have Tyrone in a sidebar. (“I’d rather have stayed with the older tribe. But now we have pretty girls running around.” Really? That’s a good thing to focus on, Ty. Way to represent.) Then Tyrone takes an aggressive leadership roll, explaining to the new kiddies how they do things in the Espada camp. Of course this doesn’t go over well with the youngsters.

NaOnka in a sidebar: “Don’t think you a G.” Huh? “G means gangsta.” Oh. My bad. Didn’t know. But really, gangsta? How is telling you that you can’t lay around on your ass all day “gangsta”?

Then we have Holly in a sidebar: “I’m reborn!” Yep. You lucked out, sister.

This is followed by NaOnka (the queen of negativity and bitter harping about everybody) telling Holly: “I love your energy!”

Nay, girl, Holly has that energy because she is completely insane. Run like you ain’t never run before.

Holly in a sidebar: “If the kids come to me with an idea, I’m with them.” Then Holly gets distracted by the wind blowing, and she turns to a coconut and blames it for everything that has ever happened in her life. The coconut wisely chooses to remain silent, and then rolls down the beach for his own sidebar. “Holly scares me,” the coconut says, a milk tear running down his shell while Jeff Probst signals for Medical to rush in and take care of things.

NaOnka in a sidebar: “I’m going wherever the numbers go. Alina and I have to make do with what we have.” Oh? You like Alina now? You hated her two seconds ago.

Back to the La Flor tribe. Jud/Fabio in a sidebar: He’s all psyched that there are only 3 Espada members in the tribe, and 5 original La Flor folks. Then he gets very quiet, not sure if this is a good thing, because that math business is really hard.

Jane in a sidebar: “I like these kids.” Then she runs to tell Brenda and… not sure, somebody else was standing there… “don’t trust Marty and Jill.” Brenda just looks at her, because Jane is old, and Brenda is assuming that the mind goes after 30. Which it does, but we don’t need to confirm that, so Brenda can experience the terror on her own in a few years.

Scene with Marty and Jud, where Marty is fishing to see if anybody on the old La Flor tribe found the Immunity Idol. Jud doesn’t really know what this is, but he does fess that NaOnka found something, after knocking Kelly B down and smashing some bananas. Marty takes this intel and runs.

He gathers the tribe, and then compares NaOnka to a cancer that should have been cut out. You can tell that the younger tribe members are trying to listen, but they really don‘t care. Then Marty fesses up that he has his own Immunity Idol. This gets their attention.

Brenda in a sidebar: “Marty is SO arrogant. Showing us the Idol. Are you stupid? That’s the dumbest thing ever!”

Well, no, it’s not the dumbest thing ever, perhaps you haven’t really watched this show before. But as long as you’re hating on Marty, go all out.

Back to the Espada camp, where it’s raining. And it continues to do so for quite a long time, making everybody snappy and uncouth. (Look, you whiners, at least you get to lay down. Those poor camera people have to stand there, completely soaked, waiting for you to do anything of interest whatsoever, so the producers can take a tiny moment of nothing and use it in a promo ad to look like something really important happened, but didn’t really.)

NaOnka in a sidebar: “I don’t like rain. I don’t like cold. I’m not doing well. I could lose it.” (Honey, you done lost it a long time ago. Don’t waste your time even looking for it, because it’s not coming back.)

Nay fesses to Alina that she’s ready to quit the game.

Alina in a sidebar: “Nay is on her period ALL the time. But that’s better for me in the long run. Hayyy.”

Alina, totally faking her support for Nay: “You have the rest of your life to be warm.” Chase wanders up and tries to be supportive as well, telling a touching story about a rainbow and his dad. (You had to be there.) Nay doesn’t care. She just wants to whine and moan.

And it keeps raining. All day. All night. We see NaOnka wake up in the middle of the night and slam a pillow into her head, crying. This action doesn’t kill her, so there’s going to be more whining. Hurray.

Time for the Immunity Challenge.

Jeff to Marty: “How are things in your new camp?” Marty calls it the “Taj Mahal of camps”, immediately pissing off everybody left in his old tribe. Jane chimes in as well, extolling the virtues of the glorious La Flor camp and doing a frightening happy dance that terrifies anyone watching.

Jeff: Whatever.

Anyway, this challenge has three members from each tribe strapped to a rotating wheel. Other members rotate this wheel, causing the strapped people to be plunged into a tank of water, where they have to get a mouthful of such, then wait until they spin to the top of the wheel and spit the water into a tube. When the tube fills up, a ball is released, which allows other tribe members to throw the ball at tiles. First team to break five tiles wins. Got it?

Off we go. It’s actually very tight. First off, let’s just say that Jane can throw a mean ball. Perhaps she really hates ceramic tiles. But in the end, La Flor triumphs. Somebody from Espada is going home.

Nay in a sidebar: “Espada’s cursed! But I’m not nervous about Tribal, I want to go.” Then go tell people that, and make it easier for everybody, okay?

Meanwhile, most of the Espada tribe is hankering to kill one of the chickens for a nice feast. Tyrone is not happy about this. He wants to keep the chickens for their daily egg output. He has a point, but he’s also Tyrone. Diplomacy is not one of his special skills.

Holly in a sidebar (I’m amazed that she even knows what a camera is): “We need to start standing up to Tyrone!” Then Holly is startled by a passing seagull, and she runs screaming into the jungle in search of expensive shoes that she can sink in the ocean.

Anyway, the Espada tribe votes about dinner, and the chicken loses. People dash about preparing the meal.

Benry in a sidebar: “Tyrone won’t help with cooking the bird, but he’s right there when it’s time to eat.” And we see this, with Tyrone basically eating half of the bird while the rest of the tribe takes tiny portions. Cue several people in sidebars none too happy about Tyrone eating enough for 20 starved orphans.

Benry in another sidebar: He doesn’t care for Tyrone at all. Then again, NaOnka has completely lost her mind, crying all the time and just laying about, waiting for people to throw dirt in her face and say a prayer.

But seriously, what kind of a name is “Benry”? It’s hard for me to take notes when somebody has a name like that.

Alina to Yve, sharing what the youngsters are thinking with the senior citizens: “NaOnka is DONE.” Yve, with her oddly-shaped face, doesn’t appear to fully understand what is being expressed. Perhaps her parents shouldn’t have given her a name that’s just not right. Were her parents friends with Benry’s parents? Did they go to the same summer camp and take the same drugs?

Time for Tribal.

Jeff to Alina: Tell me what’s going on.

Alina: There’s been a little bit of turf war. We have to go with their rules. Then she demurely glances at Tyrone as if he had “666” etched into his scalp.

Benry: Tyrone’s the guy. We have to do what he says. Then he glances at Tyrone as if… well, you get the picture.

Tyrone: I definitely feel qualified to lead this tribe, but I don’t make unilateral decisions.

Alina rolls her eyes, perhaps in disagreement, but possibly because “unilateral” just has too many syllables.

Jeff to Alina: Tell me about these turf wars.

Alina: Well, there was Tyrone’s speech when we got to camp. (Oh, you mean the one where he said you have to carry your own weight and not sit around playing XBOX all day? That speech?)

Tyrone: Maybe there’s a generation gap. (Uh oh, Ty, shouldn’t have gone there.)

Jeff to NaOnka: “What has been the darkest storm for you?” (Where the hell did he come up with that line?)

Nay: Fesses that her divorce a few years ago was the worst, ever. But this current mess has been pretty bad. I wanted to quit. I was at a breaking point yesterday. But these people have been SO supportive and I’m all better now.


Jeff to Benry: Shouldn’t you send her home for that?

Benry: Uh, I don’t know what you mean. (Loser.)

Jeff to Yve: Shouldn’t you send her home for that?

Yve: Uhh…

Jeff: Seriously. Spit it out.

Yve: Yes, it makes me wonder about her longevity.

Jeff smirks, having accomplished his agenda. Just not sure what that agenda might be.

Time to Vote.

Tyrone and Yve vote for NaOnka.

Everyone else votes for Tyrone. Meaning Holly (no surprise) and Danny (big surprise) flipped. Tyrone is gone.

Jeff to the remaining tribe: “Your first blind side. Congrats.”

Roll end credits.

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