Survivor
Fiji Reunion

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Earl Redux

Jeff once again blasts him for never answering the question. Ultimately, "Dreamz" claims that he never intended to keep his word, which would mean that he pointlessly lied in multiple confessionals. It's just patently false, but we've been over this, as well as how sad it is that he prefers this image to the one he thinks he'll have if he admits what really happened. Jeff then asks him whether he thought about maybe giving the truck back. At this point, "Dreamz" says (missing the point again) that he thought maybe he should give the truck back because he liked Yau Man, but he had to get back in "game mode" and reassure himself that he should keep it. And the fact that he totally didn't have to keep the truck for game reasons is where his logic falls apart. That's where he kind of could have had it both ways -- you renege on the deal, play your hardest in the game, let the chips fall where they may...and you can still tell your son that when you broke your word, it felt right to give the truck back, so you did. But he wants the truck, which is fine, but...like I said, we've been over this. Jeff congratulates "Dreamz" on his "charm," which I don't agree with, really. I'm not sure he's charming as much as he's like a novice who goes and plays poker with a bunch of students of the game, and he manages to do really well for one game, because he's listening to the vibrations in his fillings and doing shit that doesn't make any sense, which makes him hard to predict. This is a short-term, not a long-term strategy, but that's really what Survivor calls for. If you play the game a hundred times, this isn't the way to play it, but you don't -- you play it once.

Now, Jeff asks Earl about the part where Earl reassured Yau Man that he thought "Dreamz" would stick to the deal. He wonders whether Earl really thought "Dreamz" would stick to the deal, or whether he just said he thought that, because it would keep Yau Man complacent in case maybe "Dreamz" wasn't going to keep it. Without hesitation, Earl says that he "totally" was convinced that "Dreamz" was going to keep his word. This moment, more than any other, looks to me like it cuts "Dreamz" to the bone. His half-smile is very, very complicated, to my eye.

And now, the We All Love Yau Man montage. And why not? In a season of Yau Man And Earl Versus The Moron Brigade, both of the non-morons should at least get some love. Of course, the part where he found the idol was the best part. That and "love many, trust few, do wrong to none." Back in the studio, everyone applauds wildly. Jeff returns to the truck thing, asking whether Yau Man really thought "Dreamz" would keep his word, and Yau Man says he did, right up until the last minute at tribal council. Jeff asks Yau Man what he thinks of "Dreamz," and whether he was disappointed or impressed. Yau Man says this, pulling no punches, which is the non-patronizing way to go: "I was actually quite impressed with him. I think, you know, basically he's a very smart guy, but he's so totally undisciplined in his thinking. He has flashes of genius, but he doesn't know what to do with them or put them together, so things come out of his head that go, 'wow,' and then other times...he doesn't put it together. That can be trained, you know, education. You can go anywhere you want to." "Dreamz" says that he thinks this sounds pretty good. Yau Man repeats that "Dreamz" can do anything, but he needs to "get himself together and get some discipline in thinking." If "Dreamz" is smart, he'll grab that suggestion and run with it. As I said, I really like the fact that Yau Man gave credit to "Dreamz" for having an interesting thought now and then, but didn't pretend not to have noticed that the kid's thinking is pretty much all over the place. I also think for a minute that "Dreamz" and Yau Man should be in a movie together where Yau Man teaches him how to organize his thinking, but then I realize that I wouldn't want to watch a movie with "Dreamz" in it.

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