The tribes begin to paddle away from the boat as the familiar music swells. "Thirty-nine days, twenty people, one survivor!" Jeff says. And he's standing there on the boat like he's ordering a martini. What ever happened to hanging his ass from a waterfall or dangling him between the jaws of a tiger? If this is what we're doing, why not just have him sitting on a lounge chair being fanned by a cabana boy while kittens frolic at his feet? Soft, Probst! You've gone soft!
Credits. The earth appears, in one shot, to be made of chocolate. I can get behind that.
We return to observe the four tribes madly paddling away from Jeff Probst before he throws a harpoon at them. (One of my friends told me I should call the tribes "Plessy," "Ferguson," "Brown," and "Board of Education." Honestly, I could fill an entire season of recaps with incredibly tasteless jokes made by my sympathetic friends in the last month, one of which ends, "This analysis brought to you by Reggie White's ghost." I'm not even telling you anything about that one.)
Our first interview comes from young Ozzy ("Waiter"), a curly-mopped youngster of the "Aitu" (formerly known as "Hispanic") tribe, who says that his first thought when he saw the racially divided tribes was "Oh, God. This is going to be hard." And why? "Because as a people...that have the same ethnicity...we'll kind of clash on things." Over on the "Hiki" (f/k/a "African-American") tribe, Sundra ("Actress") tells us that she really could give a shit about racial divisions -- the show is "a human effort." On the "Puka" (f/k/a "Asian-American") tribe, Yul ("Management Consultant"), who is one blindingly hot dude -- and I'll have you know I thought so before I knew he went to Yale Law School -- says that he thought the racial division was "crazy." He likes the idea of more minorities than usual (meaning more than "not enough for a decent game of Go Fish"), but he's concerned that it's going to play into "caricatures and stereotypes." I certainly would hate to see that happen to Survivor, wouldn't you? "I don't know," he says, dubious. "It'll be interesting to see how things play out." You can kind of read on his face that he's wondering whether he has made an enormous mistake in being here. That speaks well of him. On the "Raro" (f/k/a "Caucasian") tribe, Parvati ("Boxer") talks about her weird feelings about dividing up by ethnic groups. "Is that...kosher?" she asks, a little hilariously. She chooses to go with the flow by endorsing it as potentially a "cool social experiment." Parvati, meet Dr. Milgram ("Scientist"). Not all "cool social experiments" are ones you want to be part of.