Marquesan Vacation

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And That's That

Last time on Survivor, Neleh offered her sucked-on, chewed-up, half-dissolved, phlegmy, germ-ridden, wet, saliva-soaked, sticky, muculent mint to the rest of the tribe, who surprisingly enough declined the offer. She also talked endearingly with her mouth full, and said "Oh my heck" about a bazillion times, each time more adorable than the last. Except more "annoyingly" than "endearingly," and more "appalling" than "adorable." Tammy and Robert were worried about staying in the game, and rightfully so as a pissy Tammy got voted out after Robert won immunity. Six are left. Who will be voted out tonight?

It is a dark and stormy night...err, "morning" on Day 31 at Soliantu. A scary-looking tiki. A scary-looking pair of abandoned sunglasses. A trail of scary-looking discarded shells leads to scary-looking drying pots. And then, the horror: a scary-looking Kathy breaks apart leaves, while a scary-sounding grunting noise throbs in the background, revealing itself to be -- gasp! -- the snoring of Paschal. The tinkly bass piano plays so we know there's sadness forthcoming. Kathy tells us in a confessional that there's a lot of anxiety around camp, and that they're feeling depleted "energy-wise." She says that the S6 are all missing their homes and loved ones, and that it's "getting really old." She breaks down into tears as she tells us that she was strong until three days ago, and is now just trying not to cry. Here, my husband repeatedly rewound and watched the tape with the exclamation, "She cries just like you!" and I have no idea what that meant, but I am not flattered. In any case, Kathy explains that she wakes up at night sobbing and "hurting under the stars," except at first I thought she said "horny" instead of "hurting," which cracked me up. She's worried about her son, even though she knows he's fine. She says he thinks it's great that she's out there in the jungle -- and he probably does, most particularly in terms of the fact that it gives him a shriek-free month and a half at home. Kathy half-laughs and half-cries that it's "uncanny" to see what's happening with the "mental stability" of the S6. Which makes for an awfully big assumption: that the S6 had any "mental stability" in the first place.

The anticipated drama from the previews plays out in the first two minutes of this week's episode. Sean is perched in a tree branch about seven or eight feet off the ground, helping Paschal to cover the tribe's shelter with a tarp. Sean loses his balance after grabbing a twig too small to sustain his weight, and sort of rotates around on the branch so he's hanging upside down -- like something roasting on a spit. Then, he just hangs on until Robert comes to help him down. Actually, by this point he's released his legs from the branch and is just hanging by his arms, and since Sean is probably at least five and a half feet tall, and since that branch is no higher than eight feet high, that means he was hanging so precariously about two and a half feet of the ground. Still, Sean's weak and confused, so Robert eases him to his feet. Paschal tells us in a confessional that they spend "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week" with each other, and if you "do the math," it comes to a total of nine hundred hours with each other. I just "[did] the math," and -- if they did spend every single minute together in the thirty-one days they've been out there thus far -- it would total some 5,200 hours. Still, half that time is spent sleeping, and certainly not all of it is spent in the company of all of the others, so the numbers aren't exactly reliable. We get Paschal's point, though: they spend a lot of time together. He tells us that under such intense conditions, the S6 know each other better than anybody else except their immediate families. Their relationships with each other are now even tighter than their relationships with best friends, because they've spent more time together. He wonders how many years of knowing someone it would take to amass nine hundred hours of time in that person's company. He does not account for the fact that none of those hours would be spent lying or scheming against that friend to deprive him/her of a million dollars. ["Well, probably." -- Wing Chun]

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