Survivor
Family Values

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Neck and Neck

We return to Chuay Gahn, where the sage Red Berets continue in their plight of attempting to share wisdom with the tribe. Helen tells us that it's the first day she's realized she's playing a game. She knows it sounds silly, but so far she's just been concentrating on surviving. And on wearing fetching floral crowns, of course. She says she lost sight of the fact that there's a psychological game going on, so she was blown away by the Ted/Grindia drama. Helen stands all up in Brian's face as she claims that the incident was serious, and explains, "That's why she's been depressed lately." Helen says it got "pretty bad," and they agree that they both slept through the entire thing. Brian finds it "highly depressing," and Helen's upset because "the person [she] thought [she] was dealin' with is absolutely not the person [she is] dealin' with." Brian rubs his face and makes whistling noises in response. Helen eloquently concludes, "So, I just don't think that's cool." Helen informs Brian that the three women are going to "take [Ted] out" at the next Tribal Council. In an interview, Brian tells us that he was surprised by the problem; he's "highly disappointed." Brian appears to be a big fan of the adverb "highly." He claims he doesn't know what was and was not happening, but that he wants to hear both sides of the story. He concludes the conversation by asking for some time to "digest" it. And as if he really needed her approval, Helen proclaims, "That's fine." He struts away mumbling, "Oh, boy."

As Brian and Ted approach the surf, Ted rambles on about the soup-making abilities of the Green Berets and oh my sweet Lord what is Brian wearing? They're like boxer briefs, but in black, shiny materials. I think it's a boycut bikini bottom. For the ladies. In a voice-over, Brian tells us that listening is an important skill. Even when emotions are high and when you're hungry and hot "as heck," he says you need to remember to "keep that character cool. Like Cool Hand Luke. Just keep it cool." Except he says it all smooth and "keepitcool." Ted tells Brian it's a "long story," which sounds like an admission of guilt to me, but whatever. It's just like that episode of 90210 where that crazy girl Laura Kingman accuses Steve Sanders of raping her, and you don't know she's crazy yet, and you see both sides of the story, and you never really know what happened between the two of them and then later she tries to hang herself from the rafters during Brenda's starring negligee-clad moment as Maggie in the University of California's production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof under the direction of acclaimed British director and famous ladies man Roy Randolph, and Steve Sanders later knocks up Janet -- who's way too good for him, by the way -- and marries her to the immense consternation of her stern yet devoted parents, and yes, Donna Martin is an angel. In any case, Ted claims to be a "man of his word," and admits that a mistake happened, which he rectified. Brian clarifies, "Nothing happened, right?" and Ted says, "Nothing at all," which is all Brian needs to hear. In an interview, Brian explains (if "explains" is really the word), "Ted told me nothing happened. Which, he was denying anything happened. Which is fine. Because nothing did happen." Brian thinks there might have been a "hand here, or a [sic] ankle here, or a [sic] earlobe here. Something as simple as that. Case closed." It's kind of like a kinky version of "Old McDonald," if you think about it: "Old Mark Burnett had a show. Oh wee oh wee oh. And on that show he had some nuts. Oh wee oh wee oh. With an ankle here and an earlobe there. Here an ankle there an earlobe. Everywhere an ankle, earlobe." So maybe I need to stop watching the videos with the kids where I volunteer.

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