The Amazon Heats Up

Episode Report Card
Joanna: B+ | Grade It Now!

A sloth pokes around a tree and slowly examines its foot. Aw, cute foot-examining sloth. Rob and HeiDDi return to camp with treemail and read the clue: "To succeed in the future, you must learn from the past. Your coolest reward is also the last." Butch voice-overs that they're all anticipating a "big juicy reward," because it's the final one. As they prepare to head off for the challenge, Rob asks how Butch thinks they are doing on firewood if it rains, and Butch responds that they're okay. Rob presses whether they don't need to get more, as we see a close-up of Butch feeding the fire. We also get close-ups of the piles of firewood, the smoldering fire, and a Smokey the Bear warning poster. Except without that last part. The camera lingers on Butch's "Believe in Yourself" banner, and then a piece of wood dramatically snaps in the fire. Nope! Nothing going on with the fire or the wood.

Peachy welcomes the tribe members on their thirty-fourth day in the game. He asks, all Joey Tribiani-style, "How you doin', Jenna?" She responds that her "tonsils are gettin' big" and that she might be getting a case of tonsillitis. She whinily adds, "But I'm a little girl. I can only ask so much from this small body." It's not nearly so endearing a comment as you'd think it would be. And since you wouldn't think it would be endearing at all, it was that unendearing. Peachy explains that the day's reward challenge will "revisit" past challenges as well as provide a "sneak peek" from the future. The S5 "whoa" and "wow!" as if that description means something to them.

In the first stage of the challenge, the S5 will escape from a cage by untying a series of knots; the second stage is a puzzle; the third is a rope swing -- which they haven't done yet, but will in the future -- for them to untie and use to swing across a gully, at which point they'll end up at a "decoding station." We see a quick shot of said "decoding station," which blinkily decodes itself to read, "Second bundle." The decoded message will lead them to a key, which they will use to unlock the "flying fox" (a zip-line), after climbing a ladder. At the end of the zip-line is the final key, which goes along with the reward. He then gestures behind the S5 and says, "And it's right there!" I refuse to believe that they didn't notice the large, shiny, red object immediately behind them, but they pretend to be surprised anyway and "Oh my God," as expected. Peachy explains that the producers always save the best reward for the end of the game, and this time it's the reality television car of choice: a Saturn Ion. The camera pans around the car, accompanied by cheesy special effects of doors opening themselves and close-up blinky shots of the Saturn insignia. Peachy dramatically announces that the reward will also come with a trunkful of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and a hibachi. Quirky music starts up as more perky shots follow of the Saturn sign, its tires, the steering wheel, and gearshift. I know it's a Saturn, but are we really supposed to be all, "Oooh, it has a gearshift!"?

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