Previously on Survivor: Peanut Buttery Jeff watches a band of unknowns jump off a boat and fall into glory as they become near-household names. Endorsement deals, scandals, and many lame Letterman jokes later, and they are down to five grimy, conniving people, proving Sartre correct on an island with no exit. Kelly may be flip-flopping alliances. Rich spins Sue around angrily in that clip that we may never actually see in a Survivor episode ("Speak to me, woman!" he seems to say. "Know that I am master of all I survey, even the sand crabs!"). Colleen's scabrous, leprous, unglamorous, Tyrannosaurus-textured legs get a close-up, a premonition of her getting scratched off the island later on. The weather acts up, but the six Survivors act worse. Sean wins a night on a yacht with his dad and a masseuse; Kelly wins the immunity challenge; island cutie Colleen's luck finally runs out. (Deep breath.) Prepare yourselves. It's penultimate Survivor time.
Propa' props to Glark and Wing for last week's 'cap, Joanna for the previous ten, and Heathen from Making the Band for having a birthday today. Happy birthday, pal.
After the pumping music of the intro, I wait through commercials. Memo to Ericsson: would you knock it off with painting people's faces against a white background already? I already hate clowns; don't ruin women for me, too. Oh, and CBS wants you to know that Tim Daly (starring in this fall's The Fugitive) is the ultimate "Survivor." And I bet he got paid over $1 million for being so.
We open on a sunrise, Day Thirty-Four on the beautiful Pulau Tiga island. Pulau Tiga University sponsors a lecture on semantics by Prof. Richard Jigglesworth on the value of the Rattana tribe. According to Richard, Rattana has no meaning. Tagi meant something, but Rattana ain't nuthin' but a name. He even goes so far as to wax eloquent on the subject in the confessional. Sue stops stirring her pot full of eyes of newt and witches' wort to chime in and agree. His point, I think, is that the idea of tribes has broken down, and it's now down to just five individuals battling it out in a free-for-all, not unlike a budget-constrained WWF Pay-Per-View event.
Sean gets to talk smack about how everybody else is saying terrible things about each other. We get a little Sean Vs. Everybody montage where he is first lying down with his shirt pulled halfway up, then sitting up staring into space with no shirt and a cap on, then lying back down shirtless. In between are shots of everybody else. The effect, if it were in black and white, would make Sean look not so much stupid, but more the hapless main character in a German expressionist film.