This episode was by far the worst one of the season! It made me angry, annoyed, and uninterested in continuing the show. Episode three was a reminder of how low reality television can sink and how little substance they actually have upon closer scrutiny.
First off, there was a major lack of nature and environment scenes, which I have come to expect from Survivor episodes. The beginning was impressive with the fast-paced growth of mushrooms on the island as well as multiple scenes of the night sky with millions of stars aglow. Most of these nature shots were thrown in at the beginning of the episode. After that point, there was one smaller scene of turtles swimming. To supplement the lack of scenery, other comical parts were highlighted as if they were "nature" shots. For example, there was a moment in the morning when Coach was out on the beach practicing his yoga and getting in the mood for the competition. The camera person angled backward to show the big red sun behind him as he moved into a position very reminiscent of Karate Kid. Seeing Coach act "bad-ass" is not a nature scene no matter how much sun illuminates his rugged and handsome body. In case it's not obvious, I'm being sarcastic.
This episode was the first indication that there are extreme villains (or super villains). Russell was weaselly from the very first episode, even to a newbie such as myself. However, he proved he could sink even lower. In fact, I feel dirty just watching him. I am an accomplice to his crimes by watching and doing nothing to stop him. I truly hope he does not win the season, and that the other villains on the tribe use their brains to find the missing machete. After all, I thought they were good at solving puzzles.
When the immunity challenge was revealed, I was extremely disappointed with the physical activity. You can dress it up to sound like a Gladiator challenge all you want. It wasn't. It was men and women mud wrestling. This was a great opportunity to get the viewers all hot and bothered. I'm surprised another bathing suit top didn't happen to "accidentally" fall off during the challenge. I should have realized that there was no sense of propriety since the very first episode highlighted a contestant named Sugar running to the finish line without her top. At that time, though, I saw her as an innocent victim of a villain's cunning plan to get the Heroes to lose the challenge. However, this immunity challenge showed that both teams are willing participants in degradation no matter how low or dirty they have to go. They will stop at nothing to win the million dollars. My only sense of relief was that, as I had predicted, the Heroes killed the Villains because they are masters at the physical challenges. All the mud battles were very quick and painless with only a little flopping around.
How far can Survivor push their contestants? Soon, the next reality show will be very similar to the one imagined by the writer and director of Running Man. It's only a matter of time before people are pushed to the edge of reason and commit the ultimate transgression: murder. Of course this is all just speculation, and, of course, many people can argue that murder is committed everyday for money. Still, I imagine the ratings of Survivor would skyrocket if someone "accidentally" died. If I've learned anything from Shutter Island, it's that there really is a thin line between human and monster.
Alas, I digress. One of the worst parts to this episode was all the bickering between the women. I am a feminist, and I believe in the power of women working together. I really get irritated with shows that reduce us to cat-clawing individuals who are more ruthless and cunning than men. Either gender can be cut-throat and ruthless, as emphasized by Russell, yet the title of this episode was "That Girl Is Like a Virus." I get sick and tired of women being pitted against each other in these types of situations when they should be banding together. In fact, out of the three people voted off, two have been women. I don't know how common that is, but it seems that we have a disadvantage right from the start because of our gender. If the mysterious "she" was such a virus, why wasn't she voted off? This "virus" was more a nuisance than anything else, harmless like a mosquito but annoying when it buzzes in your ear. Often, I find this show can be hypocritical mainly because it's contestants are hypocritical. They say one thing to the camera, act like they are voting this way, and then do the exact opposite. I presume this is strategy at play, and that I don't quite understand it because I am new to the show.
Finally, the ultimate disgrace was Coach's Martin Luther King Jr. quote/speech at the very end of the episode. How dare he reduce King's message for equality of the races and the Civil Rights's Movement by using it to represent his feelings about a silly reality television show! It was so dishonorable I almost turned off the television. I didn't care if I missed who was voted off. That was simply ridiculous! Perhaps he was pressured to say the quote because it was February, Black History Month. This was the producer's attempt to make the show relevant to what was currently going on in America. Their attempts failed, though, and Coach sounded phony and prepped more than anything else. I really think these lines were fed to him both to bolster his proud, jackass persona and maybe connect with some sentimental viewers.
In the end, the entire episode left me disappointed. Even the preview for episode four was extremely boring. If I had not already promised @Pardolis that I would watch this season, I definitely would have quit here. I am going to write this episode off as one of the low points during season 20 and hope that a brighter future is in store for us new viewers.
The third episode of Survivor Heroes vs. Villains offers up some interesting moments from a strategic perspective. Last time, Stephenie was sent home. Her exit indicates that the strategy sessions are well underway on the Heroes tribe. Who will go home this week? Let's find out by looking at the events of this episode. After the second tribal council of the season comes to a close, we see the Heroes' tribe walk back to camp. There is some tension between Tom and James … more
This episode of Survivor Heroes vs Villains really showed the Villains tribe in a new lite, well technically an old lite: they are still bad asses. I really enjoyed seeing the Villains tribe have to strategize. There are some great ones on that tribe, Rob, Russell and to a degree Coach. He's more of an emotional player though and I'm surprised he promised both Parvati and Randy his vote yet claims to be the only honest one there? Makes no sense, but he's crazy and that's why people love to hate … more