Just Don't Eat The Apple

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
Frosti Mugged Sensation

Peih-Gee drops the ball, and it indeed looks like the small size of her drum is a problem, because every time, unless her bounces hit right in the middle of the drum, she gets way too much ricochet off to the side. My theory is that there's a sort of sweet spot that lets the ball bounce fairly straight, and on the small drum, that spot is really small, while on the bigger drums, it gives you much more leeway. You can also see that, even at this early stage, the rest of James's team is hustling back to start again, while James is dogging it and getting there when they're all already standing there waiting for him. Peih-Gee's team drops it again, because she asks whether Todd is ready, and he says he is, but her bounce is too high, and he doesn't come to the ball anyway, so it goes down again. Frosti and Erik already/still have the hang of it, so they finish a second ball. Red loses one right at the end of the course. The rest of them hustle back; James strolls indifferently. On their next ball, Peih-Gee passes it to James, who immediately bonks it off into the distance. You can see how one might conclude that, on this challenge, he was (1) sucking; and (2) not giving a shit. Red loses its ball again right at the finish line. Erik and Frosti complete their ass-kicking performance and skunk the other team 3-0. So Frosti, Amanda, Erik, and Courtney will be going on a little cruise.

After the commercials, we return to camp, where Peih-Gee's frustration with losing is combining with, undoubtedly, her memories of James laying into her over sucking up the puzzle challenge he didn't realize she'd thrown. You'll recall his high-handed lecturing about how he can't abide people who don't try. "I'm so pissed right now," Peih-Gee tells James. "I can't believe you ever accused me of giving up at challenges." "Go away," he says dismissively. "Mm-mm," she refuses. "I did not see your ass strolling back to the mat every time you dropped the ball." "You got nerve," he says. "For a loser. Shut up." And then, hilariously, he adds, "How dare you." Oh my God, seriously. Has he been watching his own edit? "How dare you"? Is he going to slap her with a glove, even though she's 100% correct that James blew that challenge off as soon as he realized he wasn't awesome at it? Look, yes, Peih-Gee threw a challenge for strategic reasons, and she giggled about it, and she handled that badly, but she's not wrong about this. James did give up on this challenge as soon as it became clear that it wasn't going to be The James Show Starring Incredibly Awesome James, and now he's embarrassed, so he's bullying and name-calling because he feels defensive. I mean, honestly, what kind of an adult gets all, "For a looooser"?

For me, it's obvious that James's entire thing with Peih-Gee is not really about the entirely valid points that could be made against her and the way she behaves; it's all ego. When he didn't get that she and Jaime threw that challenge until Jeff pointed it out at tribal council, he realized that he'd spent the entire day being played for a fool (which was true) as walked around lecturing about how badly the girls performed in the challenge, ordering Erik and Aaron to pick between the sucky "girls," having no clue that they had outmaneuvered him, at least short-term. That's why James hates Peih-Gee. He looked foolish. And it's why he's mad now. Peih-Gee just pointed out that after lecturing everyone about how everyone has to try, James clearly checked out of the challenge because he couldn't be the star, right after coming to Peih-Gee and asking her to take over because he couldn't do it. There's no shame in being bad at bouncing a ball on a goddamn drum, and Peih-Gee's certainly reaping the non-benefits of having been a terrible diplomat, like, ALWAYS. But this particular fight seems to be about the way James reacts to being shown up, particularly (it seems) by women. Peih-Gee's no hero and James is no villain, but this particular argument is about the way James reacts when people reveal that, a lot of the time, his big talk is a lot of big talk.

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