This show was perhaps the most interesting I've watched all season, mainly because for the first time ever I was not bored by the strategic deliberations that take place before tribal council. Unfortunately, I always feel like Survivor falls just a little short of a "perfect" episode because the concept itself has flaws.
Episode four started with a "bang" because of the drama from Coach. He was still reeling from a fellow teammate's' critique of his laziness at tribal council. In fact, he was so upset that he was crying! Even though he went on and on about his noble character and spirit, I was skeptical of his crocodile tears! Tyson and Rob tried to console him, but he was pretty determined to act like the fallen and misunderstood hero of the tribe. Instead of being sincere, he acted self-absorbed.
Coach's tirade at the beginning of the episode did raise a question in my mind: If he is so noble, why is he on the Villains' tribe? Though I don't think Coach belongs on the Heroes' tribe, I get the impression that many of the villains might be misplaced, especially Rob. He is proving to be a charismatic and strong leader that would be an asset to the failing Heroes' tribe, who act more like villains during their deliberations. This was a reality I knew would play out from day one because the whole fun of the theme would be to see how difficult it is to label people as purely a villain or a hero. There are a select few who are embracing their titles though, such as Russell and Rupert. All in all, this episode was proving itself to be one of the more exciting ones thus far.
There were some interesting twists to this episode, including the Sears' catalogs that teams got to pick prizes from if they won the first challenge. However when their task was revealed, I rolled my eyes. This episode was just as bad as the mud wrestling challenge. This time the teams would be slipping and sliding down the path to get small balls which they would use in a basketball finish. I dub this game "oil slip and slide basketball!" Before the challenge started, the teams were rubbing themselves with lubricant in order to slide further. There was eye candy galore for men and women alike. Of course there were the skimpy bikini clad anorexic women with oil glistening off their rib cages. And for heterosexual women there was James in all his glory; he was so shiny in the sun with all that oil on his body! I really couldn't get into this challenge. In fact, I was not only grossed out by the oil slicked bodies but by the extreme skinniness of such women as Courtney and Candice. Is it healthy to look like that? They must not be eating enough food on that island. I'm afraid that in one of the upcoming challenges they will get snapped in two like a twig! I'm actually hoping they get voted off because I am concerned about their health.
Another twist to this episode were the hidden personal idols. The villains actually made a pact not to look for the idol, and that if someone did, they would be voted off. This was very heroic of their team. They were looking out for the whole rather than the individual. Of course super-villain Russell had to go against the pact. However, I'm actually excited about his decision. Finally, the rest of Russell's tribe will see him as the snake hiding in the brush waiting to strike. Sadly, the heroes reacted like villains when faced with the same hidden immunity idol. All hell broke loose as every woman and man searched for it. Alliances were strengthened as people plotted against the person who found the idol. Their attitudes are driving me to cheer for the Villains' tribe instead.
The drama over the personal immunity idols was just the icing on the cake that paved the way for the next activity. The final challenge for the team immunity idol matched the earlier one because it was also themed with "balls." This time, though, there were blindfolds! One person from each team was in a giant ball being lead by two blindfolded members. Once they made it to the end of the path, there were two more blindfolded members waiting for directions on how to navigate a ball to a hole in a maze. This challenge was actually interesting! It required a lot of communication skills and trust in your teammates. This activity only furthers my belief that there are better challenges that can test teamwork and physical prowess other than an oily slip and slide or mud wrestling.
Despite my disappointments with the oily challenge, there were improvements from episode three, most noticeably the music and nature shots. My favorite bat tree was featured during the day with some weird laughter type music. Other scenic shots were the sharks in the ocean, a lone spider, and flies buzzing around something that had washed up on the beach. The close camera shot of the flies had me squinting my eyes in disgust. Flies and gnats really bother me. Plus, what were they on, a dead crustacean? The whole scene felt like a death metaphor, maybe something from Lord of the Flies! Was it foreshadowing the surprise ending?
At the end during tribal council, there was another first for me as far as the show is concerned--Jeff actually had important information to offer the losing team! Usually, I think his questions serve little purpose other than to get people riled up and angry at each other. This time he was actually trying to help the losers by offering advice. He explained that the early alliances were making it difficult for their team to bond. They needed to work together to make it to the merge. Despite being told what they were doing wrong, the team members repeatedly said they would honor their "words" because they trust their early alliances. I guess it will take a couple more reality checks before this team realizes they are playing a losing match.
It wasn't much of a surprise as to who was voted off. As far as I can tell, the easiest way to stay in this game, especially if you are a woman, is to keep your mouth shut, look pretty, bat your eyelashes, and constantly strut around in a skimpy bikini that shows off your anorexic beauty. All the people voted off have been women minus the older man from the Villains' tribe. As the events unfolded between the losing tribe, I guessed who was going to be sent home merely because that person had to do things against the grain. Because of that, they were targeted by the stronger members of the tribe. If you haven't been watching this season, I recommend at least checking this episode out while you still can. It's an interesting look at the diabolical strategies that humans are capable of.
After all is said and done, my favorite part of this episode was when Rob called Russell a "Hobbit on crack." Why not just call Russell Golem? It would have been more fitting considering how Golem was always low to the ground digging in the mud looking for his "precious." Russell was doing the same when looking for the personal immunity item.He was determined to find it despite the consequences that his tribe had established for anyone that went against the team. I guess "hobbit on crack" had a better sound to it than Golem; plus, that was what Golem was anyway (his choice of crack being his "precious").
Since reflecting on this reference to Lord of the Rings, I must compliment Rob on his astute intellect and ability to create a quick yet apt analogy. At this point in the game, I hope he wins.
Episode 4 of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains is jam packed with challenges and a few twists that send the game into a spiral. Last time, Randy was sent home in a unanimous vote. Who will get their torch snuffed this week? Let's find out. After the Villains tribe returns to camp from their very first tribal council, we see Coach and Tyson talking with each other away from the rest of the tribe. Coach tells Tyson that he is very upset with Sandra. He did not like the way Sandra … more
Tonight's Survivor Heroes vs Villains is a sad one, not only because it started off with Coach's fake tears, it also say the end of one of my all time favorite players Cirie. It really sucks to see her leave to soon in the game, she deserves all the respect and even the money for the type of game she's played three times now but sadly her time was cut short. I did enjoy her late shake-up in the vote, but I think that cost her the game and probably hurt Candice's chances as well. … more