Old And New Bonds

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Oh, What a Tangled Web They Weave

Last week on Survivor: Greg "cut his play kitten loose" and moved onto bigger things. And I DO mean bigger. Peachy reveled in Jenna's bad news while Greg's sister revealed the deep dark secret of the Buis family, causing the other castaways to writhe in horror and then vote him out.

As we open at Rattana on Day Twenty Five, Rich tells us in a confessional that "outright lying is absolutely essential, especially when you have a host like Jeff who's as bold as to ask, 'Well, so Sue tell me. Is there an alliance?'" Rich appears to believe he has the monopoly on plotting and manipulation. Sue then tells us, "Do you think I'm gonna come out and say, 'Oh yeah we got four votes, voting up against all you guys; we're gonna knock you all down to the end.' Come on." Except "come on" sounds more like "cum aaaaaaaaaaannnnnnn." Sue appears to be suddenly paralyzed down one side of her face as she speaks solely from the left side of her mouth. And besides, she doesn't have to come right out and say it; her pitiful attempt at lying at last week's Tribal Council did a fine job of confirming the existence of a Tagi alliance. Colleen tells us Jeff asked if a deserving person would win that money and "the answer to that question is no." We never heard Jeff ask that question last week, but the real tribal councils apparently ran at least thirty minutes each, so it probably happened off-screen. Kelly tells us the whole alliance is getting "too stupid and too crazy," or maybe she's just describing Sue. She also says that if they stick with it "it's just like lining lambs to the slaughter," which is, I think, a mixed metaphor between lining ducks in a row and sending lambs to the slaughter. Jenna and Colleen lounge about in identical island-wear, hoping their Survivor experience might lead to a spot in the J. Crew swimwear catalogue, while Kelly eyes them because she's tired of being more the K-Mart type. She then tells us that if she's "gonna survive," it has to be on her own. If "on her own" means she's sucked the life forces out of the dying Tagi animal and is ready to attach herself to another unsuspecting host, then by all means, "on her own" it is.

While we get more routine shots of Rich flopping around in the ocean trying to get a fish or something like a fish, Idiot Seanvant tells Gervase and Talking Rudy Doll that Rich is in a good strategic position. He says Rich has worked hard: "Well, not that hard. He just happens to be good at spear fishing, actually. He doesn't do much else." Gervase adds that Rich doesn't "do a damn thing around here except fish," which sounds an awful lot like what Gervase does, except without the fishing part. Idiot Seanvant then says Rich is a good sport when they call him "all kinds of names and make fun of him." I already look forward to my Survivor viewing each week; if they'd just show the name-calling, it'd be ideal. Talking Rudy Doll's string catches on a log and he incongruously pipes in with, "I started to like him before I knew he was queer." As Rich surfaces and says the spear has lost a prong, Idiot Seanvant says Rich is the "epicenter of power," and I think we're supposed to believe that Rich's spear is like Samson's hair, and that this damage to the spear is symbolic of his status in the tribe, but the two have absolutely nothing to do with each other as Rich, with the broken spear, has a bigger catch than ever. Sue announces that there must be at least twenty five pounds of fish, and the camera zooms in on a mess of mixed-up moving fish parts flapping around, which I didn't really need to see. Idiot Seanvant says, "I love Rich. I really do. He's been a great asset to this camp," but I'm pretty sure he meant to say Rich has been a great ass to the camp. ["Especially if he's using the word 'great' in the sense of 'extremely large.'" -- Sars] Rich says to Sue, "You're gonna be so damn full of protein after this meal you won't know what to do with yourself," and then raises his hands in a He-Man sort of gesture and either says, "I am master," or "I am hot stuff," but it sounds like "hos stuff," like Long Duck Dong saying, "Whassa happenin' hosstuff?" in Sixteen Candles. Sue has flip-up sunglasses on, and they look like mouse ears. Sean tells us it's an "insecurity aspect" that causes Rich to keep bringing up the fish he catches in Tribal Council. We then cut to Rich in a confessional saying it's an "an outright blatant lie" when he says the others keep him around because of his role as fisherman. Instead, he's "staying around here 'cause [he's] bright." In an example of monumental egotism, he claims, "They're not voting me off because I'm not letting them," which sounds like some kind of psychosis to me.

Back at camp, Colleen pouts as they prepare the fish. She perches in a tree and asks the cameraman, "Do you see them bringing these stingrays and stuff in? They're, like, still flapping around and they take this dull knife and they chop off the head. It's disgusting." But she's giggling as she says this. She says, "If I choose to watch my dinner that came from the sea be killed or not be killed, I would rather not watch it be killed," so I guess that means she's okay with wearing mink so long as she's not the one who wields the electric prod? As Rattana gathers to eat the meal, Jenna says she's looking forward to it and "[She] won't even eat fishsticks." But tragedy has struck as we learn from Sue that Talking Rudy Doll didn't make the fire hot enough; of course, she knew he wasn't making the fire hot enough, but didn't do anything about it, and I don't know what they're were expecting because he's Talking Rudy Doll not Cooking Rudy Doll. Rich, through a mouthful of sour grapes, says, "Rudy's clueless when it comes to fish and, um, you know, really ruined it." We see a shot of a very silent, upset-looking Talking Rudy Doll. We then see a shot of a very charred, upset-looking stingray. Rich continues his whining with, "Nobody knew what to do with cookin' the fish. And so it sits here, and it sits half on the heat, and it sits over there, and it gets turned over halfway and it doesn't, and you put your right foot in and you take your right foot out and you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around." Okay, so he doesn't start doing the Hokey Pokey, but it would have been so much more entertaining if he had instead of continuing on and on with his whining: "And so it's half-cooked and over-cooked and under-cooked and half of the fish, half of the three rays, were wasted. And that infuriates me." Rich picks at the fish, complaining that "its wings are curled up," and no one should eat a fish with wings anyway; it's like some gross biological experiment where they splice a tomato with a pig to create a hybrid pigmato which is as nutritious as a vegetable but with the fine flavoring of bacon. In the most superior of ways he announces to the others, "It's very very easy to put a fire together that's nice and hot. Just 'cause I see how to do that doesn't mean anybody else should know how so..." Rich is all blah blah blah burnt fishcakes this and blah blah blah charred fishcakes that, and charming Gervase tells him to take it easy, adding, "Don't you know how a fire works, man?" which makes Colleen grin. Rich tells us he'll just have to cook the fish himself from now on, which seems to me less about cooking the fish and more about trying to regain control of the group. Rich then announces in a confessional, "I probably won't get fish actually for a little while now anyway, because they need to appreciate it. I'm bringin' in too many right now. I brought in a bunch yesterday and a bunch today and so we need to take a break and kind of let them hunger for it again." And with this, I become further convinced that Rich has actual psychotic tendencies: there's one type of sociopath who believes he is the only real living, feeling being in the world, and that everyone else is just living inside his head and is there only for his satisfaction. But then that wouldn't account for Sean. Colleen, in her tiny little swimsuit and huge sunhat says, "Rich opens his mouth and I just wanna be like, 'Oh, be quiet over there in the corner. You're not making any sense and you think you're so smart and you're just [sic] go home and go get your liposuction and go catch more fish,'" which might well be the best rant we've heard on this show so far. Not to mention it's said in the delightfully ambiguous accent and replete with adorable wild gesturing. We then cut to a grimacing Rudy looking on while Rich says, "Burnt. Overdone. Wasteful, again, amazing," and I wish B.B. was there to build Rich a nice tall ladder so he would just get over it.

The girls take the raft out while Richard sneakily watches them. The cameramen caught a lot of surreptitious eyeing in this episode, but all these things are spliced together and are probably just shots of various Rattana members staring at Jenna as she fiercely scratches the mysterious rash on her legs. Kelly says it bothers her to "rely on someone else" to get her food. But she doesn't mind relying on Rich to tell her how to vote, or on Gervase's two-year-old daughter to tell her how to wear her hair. The girls then start oohing and aahing as they discover they've caught a big fish, which Colleen doesn't mind sentencing to death as she hauls it in. Sue beams as she tells us it feels good to catch a fish; momentarily, she seems more human than monster. We then see Richard peeking over his shoulder as the girls bring home the booty. Jenna says she thinks their catch disappointed Rich as he throws himself onto the sand and starts beating his fists on the ground and kicking his feet, yelling, "Waaa! Waaa! Waaa! I want my mommy!" Sue says she thinks Rich will put their catch down, saying it won't feed enough people, but she doesn't care. She then brags that they caught "a [sic] edible fish." Talking Rudy Doll issues forth a two-for-one with "Is he kickin?" and "Egh. That's a good one," which makes him sound like a parrot as in, "Egh. That's a good one, matey." Maybe there will be a whole series of Talking Rudy Dolls, and this one will be Talking Pirate Rudy Doll. And then there's always Malibu Talking Rudy Doll. Meanwhile Rich prowls over trying to look nonchalant,

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