Malakal, Night 14, after tribal council. Erik comments to the group on Joel's unemotional exit (followed, undoubtedly, by Joel's destruction of his Loser Lodge furniture and his spraying of his own spittle all over the walls), but saves for the camera his opinion that he felt "shafted" and is beginning to think these people are just a bunch of snakes. Snakes, I say! "They're tanks; I mean, they have armor on!" he says, as we watch Amanda snooze with her hand possessively splayed over Ozzy's pec. Ozzy's armor is made of girl hand! Erik says that "the playing field has been lowered to just lying and tricking people straight to their face." It's really funny how you can say the playing field has been leveled, and that makes sense, but the idea of the playing field being lowered brings to mind images of pulleys and hydraulic jacks and kind of becomes senseless. Furthermore, did they not tell us these people were, like, big fans of the show? Is there any excuse for being so surprised that people will, like, do secret things to make themselves win? I think there is not. For someone in his line of work, Erik seems awfully late when it comes to getting the scoop.
I am very sorry.
Credits! Oh, Jonathan Penner, you dreamboat. You dreamboat. I will miss you most of all.
When we return, the music really, really sounds like a woman is moaning, "Come ooooon, baaaaabe," and I begin wondering whether subliminal messages are embedded in the vocalizing that always accompanies these openers. (I'm sure that somewhere, the internet has already thought of this and believes it already knows who wins on precisely this basis, because in seasons where a man wins, there are more sustained vowels sung, and in seasons where a person with a water sign wins, there are more diphthongs, and so forth.) We are at Malakal, where Ozzy is predictably fishing, while Amanda and Ami frolic in the water and beg Cirie to "come play with us." Elsewhere, Chet tells Tracy unhappily that he knows the Favorites needed them to get rid of Joel last night, and Tracy says that it doesn't hurt them any being down four to three favorites-fans as a result of Joel's departure, because "Joel was flopping anyway." Which: word. "I'm going to go with it," she shrugs, because what can she do? Sit around and be embittered? I mean, that would be traditional. She interviews along these lines that Joel was "hell-bent on getting rid of Chet," leaving her alone, so she got rid of Joel first. Not ideal if you assume all the "fans" were natural allies, but they obviously weren't, so it didn't really matter. "I didn't come this far in the game to bend over," she tells Chet and Erik. You know, it really must be mentioned that Tracy's giant nipples are really, really distracting. I'm only going to say it this once -- probably -- but the combination of her swimsuit and just...how really freaking prominent her nips are makes it really difficult to look her in the eye when she talks. I like you, but I don't need to know where you're storing your emergency jellybeans in case of low blood sugar, lady.