Gender Bender

Episode Report Card
Joanna: B | Grade It Now!
Ratings Bananza!

Over at Sook Jai, it's a face-stuffing feast of bananas. Each tribe member gets a close-up of a banana entering his/her mouth -- it's homo- and hetero-friendly! Erin is amazed because she's never eaten so many bananas at one time. Wouldn't two bananas accomplish that feat for most people? They're not exactly potato chips. Robb marvels because he likes the mushy ones, and he never likes the mushy ones. In an interview, he tells us that the bananas were "sweet and soft and warm and so good." The tribe agrees that this is their best day yet, and Robb thanks God for his continued nurturing. Stompanie tells us that they all feel elated; she began the season at an energy level of "10," decreased to a "2" and is now "pushing '6.'" In addition to the bananas, the tribe discovers that the mystery reward is four chickens. As we see her licking her lips and staring at them, Stompanie explains that the tribe's plan is to wait to see if the chickens will lay eggs. If not, they'll just "pull their heads off and eat 'em!" Robb exclaims, "I've never had a chicken before!" like his non-chicken-having family is the exception to the rule. The average American household, after all, consists of two parents, two and a half kids, and a chicken. The tribe members continue to stuff bananas in their faces as they stare at the chickens. Why is it that every time I freeze my VCR, Erin has an entire banana stuffed in her maw? Shii Devil is excited because they will have something besides squid to eat, and Jake points out that they now have a "continuous source of food right here." Robb translates this statement to Dumb by adding, "It's like a food source that'll never go bad!" Robb squats before the cage and yells that the chickens had better not cockadoodle-doo at three in the morning or they're "gonna get a broken neck." And that's no idle threat. He also expects eggs every day, or someone's getting the axe. Or the bare hands, as the case may be. He yells, "Look at me when I'm talkin' to you!" which might have been funny coming from anyone but him. At this point, I can't even laugh at him, much less with him. In a voice-over, Robb tells us that he feels amazing: nourished, happy, and thankful, adding, "Things aren't so bad at me [sic] here." He speaks only for himself, though, and not for the other members of the tribe who are forced to interact with him.

Over at Chuay Gahn, moseying western music plays as Ted, Clay and Brian lament a big-eyed fish that leaps away from them. Ted thinks it's a tease, but that they'll catch him eventually with the fishing net. He thinks other fish will then follow that fish into the net. Ted gives a lot of credit to the reasoning abilities of fish. The tribe's women do chores around camp as Helen says she hopes the men are off looking for clams. She ordered Clay to attend to that particular duty, but she doesn't know if he obeyed because, she claims, "I'm not on boy watch today." She is, however, on obsessive boy speculation. We see that the men are now squatting in the water while Clay moans, "Lordy, Lordy." Jan tells us she feels tension over the workload because the men aren't pulling their weight or offering to help. They're acting "like the Thai men" -- they fish, and then their work day is over, which leaves the women to "clean the house; make sure it's all tidy; do the breakfast; do the lunch; clean up; do the dishes..." It gets on her nerves after a while. The women hustle and bustle about the camp while Grindia complains about the men's inability to multi-task and threatens that she "ain't gon' [sic] be quiet about that for much longer!" She is upset that the men are swimming and snits, "I have a husband at home, okay. I didn't come here to acquire three more!" Which I'm sure works just as well for Brian, Clay and Ted. With perhaps the most random phrase ever uttered by a competitor on the show, we hear Jan say, "I'm puttin' an order in for a bigger butt next life!" In an interview, Brian smarms that it's the "natural transition in life, um -- ladies in the kitchen and the men take care of business and do all the fishing." He says that this tradition "resorts [sic] back" thousands and thousands of years, that they're now "back in the good old days," and that the women "just naturally went to their duties," which are cooking and cleaning. Brian then pretends to summon one of the ladies over to attend to his washing. It's not particularly clever, but he thinks it is. Helen knows she could order the men to help, but she's worried they'd just vote her off in response. Instead, she ministers to them -- including massaging Clay's back by standing on it -- as she voice-overs that she's worked with men long enough to know that "sometimes you gotta swallow some of that." And if she was worried about her male co-workers mocking her for crying, she's got a lot more to worry about now.

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