Flames And Endurance

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
Sandra Can Get Loud, Too

At the thirty minute mark, Lill looks the same as always, while Jon is obviously in increasing pain. Jeff asks him how he is, and he says he sucks, actually. Sandra, sitting on her raft, laughs -- and wouldn't you? "Lill," Jon says, "who [sic] do you want to go against in the final two?" She counters: "How many people have you screwed over, Jon?" "Everyone in the game?" he answers. "Do you know what?" she continues. "I do aerobics." "Okay," Jon says weakly. "My knees are great," adds Lill. "Okay," he says, again weakly. "My ankles are great," she continues. "These are called squats, in aerobics." "Okay, all right," says Jon, no smart-ass comeback at hand. "I think Lill just said, 'Game on,'" Jeff says. "I think Lill just said, 'Game over,'" Jon mutters. All the weak little "okay"s in that sequence made it one of my favorites of the season.

Time passes. Lill stays in place. Jon suffers. They approach the two-hour mark. "Ready for a deal?" he asks. "I'm not going to deal," she says. "I'll give you immunity," he says, knowing he's in trouble and figuring he might as well try to lock her into a moral commitment to take him to the final two. "I'm not going to promise anything," she says. "Well, then that's -- that's -- that's -- not a deal, Lill, huh-huh," trying to go for condescension one last time, as if she's hopelessly stupid and doesn't understand, when she totally does, and she's just not interested because he has interrupted her when she is right in the middle of the ass-whupping. "Well, I'm not going to deal, then," Lill concludes. Sandra grins broadly, delighted at the thwarting of Jon by Lill, even though it's not necessarily good for her strategically. Jeff asks Jon how confident he is right now that he's going to take out Lill in this challenge. "Not extremely," Jon allows, trying desperately not to fall over.

Time passes. Jon shifts position. He tries a couple of alternate stances to try to alleviate the pain. We reach two hours and forty-five minutes. Lill's sweaty, but she's okay. Jon? Not so much. Shortly, he stumbles onto his side, and Lill takes home immunity.

Okay, look. Lill drove me up the freaking wall all season long. The melodrama, the whining, the worrying, the "tell me what to do," the blah blah blah and the blee blee blee and the crying about everything...she drove me up. The. Wall. Having said that, the way she just finished driving a nail through the heart of Jon -- an arrogant asshole whom I could not have abided in the final two or especially as the winner -- made up for about half of my dislike for her. The way he tried to deal with her, shaking and sweating, and the way she just kept telling him to fuck off? God, that was brilliant. The way he tried to get her to let him off the hook -- just trust him one more time -- "If you give me immunity, I'll take you to the final two" -- and the way she essentially told him to go stuff it in his dead grandmother? That was one of the greatest moments in this show's history, as far as I'm concerned. Lill's beating Jon, fair and square, in a physical endurance immunity challenge? That's why people love this show. Because you just never know. It thrilled me. It was brilliant. Slag Lill all you want, and I'll join in happily, but there will always be a little square of my reality-television-viewer's heart that's marked off with velvet ropes where you can pay a nominal fee to drop by and visit the moment when the scoutmaster tested and ultimately bested the most ignorant, boring fuckwit they've ever thrown at the audience. You want to be a wrestling phenom, Jon? Start by figuring out how not to get your pansy ass handed to you by middle-aged ladies in sneakers who can't read Pete Rose quotes without bursting into tears, okay?

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