Swimming With Sharks

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | 2 USERS: C
The Rupert Show Is Cancelled

Previously on Dick Clark's Ruperts And Practical Jokes: Ryan-O fretted in the aftermath of Andrew's booting. Rupert handled his slingshot admirably and won himself a trip to breakfast, but he handed it over to Burton, because who needs pancakes when you can have the sweet, syrupy goodness of self-righteousness? So Burton and Lill chowed down on the Eggs Benedict of deceit, the baby potatoes of advance planning, and the waffles of poetic justice. They appeared to be plotting an uprising against Rupert's core Triumvirate with the assistance of Idiot Jon and the Morgan women, but when it came time for the immunity challenge, they chose to let Rupert walk off with the Supreme Cutlass, leaving Ryan-O exposed -- and not in the good way. (Incidentally, the "previously"s include a shot of Rupert laughing after the coconut challenge that I'm not sure was part of the original episode, because if it had been, it's hard for me to believe that I wouldn't have noticed that, in it, he looks eerily like Animal the Muppet Drummer.) Ryan-O attempted a few evasive maneuvers, but his star was on the decline, and at tribal council, he walked off with every vote but his own, and the jury began to take shape. In the tradition of this season, it was shaped like pixelized ass.

Credits. I wish Jon had kept wearing his buff on his head as much as he did at the beginning. The less of Jon's hair I experience, the better.

Commercials. No matter what holiday you celebrate, JC Penney is there to debase it with materialism and sparkles.

It is night at Camp Balboa, where the deer and the antelope fear to tread. A snake, however, has no such compunction, and slithers its way over a log. Lightning flashes. Thunder crashes. The snake stalks Christa, but unfortunately elects not to eat her. She's too bony these days, I guess. Outside the shelter, Rupert sits by the fire, tending and poking it absently, just as I suspect he normally does with his beard. He explains to us that night is the only time when his great seafaring adventure runs into stormy weather, to be all White Squall about it. He laments that if he could just stay awake for thirty-nine days, he'd be fine, but I don't know. Considering his apparent mental fragility, sleep deprivation would have been a risky thing to add to the mix.

Rupert strolls along the beach thoughtfully. He stops and sits down on a log, and a crab scuttles by, muttering, "I am not tasty, I am not tasty, not a tender little morsel at all, I'll just be going...." In a night-vision interview, Rupert tells us that when it gets dark, he starts thinking about his family and missing them. By way of illustration, he proceeds to have an out-loud conversation with his absent wife. "I want everyone to see that I'm the best damn survivor that has ever been," he says. Well, he has made it slightly more than halfway through the game, after all, so I guess the evidence for that proposition is indeed overwhelming. "I am it," he says emphatically. In a moment that seems a little too imported from To Gillian, On Her 37th Birthday (yes, I am the only person who saw it, and I am determined to get my money's worth before I die), Rupert goes on to hear, apparently, Laura talking back to him. "I know I shouldn't think that way," he says, waiting for her to respond inside his head. "I know, I know, I hear you." Hmm. A Thing I Have Done: Imagine have a conversation with someone I miss. A Thing I Haven't Done: Say "I hear you" to him out loud. Rupert tells Laura that it's getting down to the only people left that he cares about -- Sandra and Christa. But as much as he cares about them, it's his own importance that's really on his mind, as usual. "I try to guide everything that goes on on my island," Rupert says. "I try to direct everyone's actions while keeping myself grounded and aware of what is going on around me. Not settling, ever, for anything but first, and letting everybody here realize that they are finishing in places of honor. To build them up to be a winner and still lose." And that is some arrogant bullshit, no fooling. Whatever defense can be raised of Rupert's fishing, his personality, his stick-to-itiveness, his perseverance, or his alleged charm, saying that you should get to be first and you are just trying to get everyone else to understand that losing to you is an honor? That's so self-satisfied that I actually groaned aloud when I heard it. There's certainly nothing wrong with wanting to beat everybody, but wanting them to become comfortable with it, based on some kind of theory that they are destined to be losers and you are destined to be a winner, is raging asshole behavior. Nasty, that ego of his.

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