Survivor
The Merger

Episode Report Card
Joanna: B | 3 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Merger Day Massacre

On the hike to Tagi, Kelly tells Jenna, "And, uh, Rich, Rich is a sweetheart. So easygoing." Yeah, he goes easy on you until he rips your heart out and uses it for bait. Kelly then feels compelled to add, "He's naked a lot," to which Jenna can only respond, "Um. Okay." Gretchen tells us that she's excited about the merger. She says, "There's not a lot of personalities goin' on," in the Pagong tribe and that she's excited to meet new people. Excited is not the word I'd use to describe moving into a tent with Sue.

Sean approaches Pagong like he's scouting out the resort's hot new singles bar. Colleen coos, "Oh, good, they sent the good-looking, available young doctor." Okay, she just says "doctor" but we know what she's thinking. Sean hugs each member of Pagong and says, "Nice to see you," as he orders up a Sex on the Beach and fields a team for beach volleyball.

At Tagi, Richard shows off the lobster he caught which the producers must have just thrown into the ocean. Meanwhile, at Pagong, Greg happily shows Sean their toilet with a "working lid and everything." Sean asks how often it is moved, a question which confuses me. As the producers attempt to manipulate us with a string of opposing shots from the two camps, we see Jenna ask if she may enter Rowdy Rudy's Diner and Talking Rudy Doll curmudgeons, "Wipe your feet!" because he's not Talking Rudy Doll if he's not being contrary, and that's why we love Talking Rudy Doll. Kelly then shows Jenna their trunk of supplies with toilet paper, candles, and spices; she's so proud you'd think they knit the toilet paper, hand-dipped the candles, and collected and dried the spices themselves instead of winning them in the very trunk in which they appear. Meanwhile, Greg and Sean are comparing "tents" and Sean's is bigger. And he has a nipple ring. Jenna says Tagi is "very very well organized, so much more than ours!" and if this her definition of "negotiation," I want to know how she defines "butt-kissing."

Sean gnaws at sugarcane with Greg and Gervase and says, "Not too bad. We got plenty of this too; we don't use too much of it. We have it, but we don't eat it. It's a lot of work for a little bit of sugar, it seems to me, you know?" And let's just say I was appointed ambassador to China or India or some other country with a rice-based diet. I probably wouldn't walk in and proclaim, "We got plenty of this, but we don't want it," as if I'm too good for it; insulting other peoples' ways of life isn't the best way to spread goodwill. Jenna says Tagi is like a "well-oiled machine" and is raving over a manta ray as the Tagi prepare for a "delicious meal"; we then see Greg choking down sour coconut milk and rejecting it. Sean shrugs and says, "I don't need any more," and both he and Greg have disgusted looks on their faces as they spit out whatever they're attempting to ingest. They look like three-year-olds who have been given fruit instead of cookies at snack time. Rich says of the manta ray that, "If you've have fried calamari, well we're having roasted," and in my experience roasted calamari tastes nothing like fried calamari (try comparing roasted onions to onion rings) so I don't see how roasted manta ray could taste just like fried calamari but whatever. Rich then raves about how sweet the lobster is as if he has something to do with it. He says in a confessional that the merge will set up a "whole 'nother set of interpersonal dynamics that'll be fun for me to watch!" which leads to Richard's asking Jenna if she's heard any rumors about Tagi. Don't tell Jenna your secrets because she responds, "That you guys are plotting an alliance against us, divide-and-conquer sort of thing. That's the big thing." Rich says, "Really," and tries to sound very amused by this. It sort of ruins the point of the game if cameramen and crew are tittering and gossiping to each camp about the other, but no more so, I guess, then when Just Peachy plays judge and jury. Sue then tells us they'll "slide into home plate" if they can make it through the first two votes "getting somebody off of their team off," and let the misappropriated sexual comments commence! Jenna and Richard agree that they want to get to know each other's teams, except Jenna believes the bullshit. In an alliance pow-wow, Richard says he thinks Jenna is sincere and Sue agrees, making for the first kind word she's said of anybody in nineteen days. Richard then butters Kelly up by saying, "Jenna is young, and not a mature young like you" and Kelly virtually titters with pride. Sue adds, "Yes, she's young and flaky," because she realizes she actually just complimented someone and wants to take it back. Jenna tells Richard that she wanted to come across as a "strong young mom 'cause I think they're often portrayed as victims of circumstances." We then cut over to the alliance where Rich is saying that if she wants to be proud for her children she should "show [your] girls what it's about and win!" Talking Rudy Doll grumpily tells us that six days ago he was totally against the alliance but, "I seen sic the light. If you wanna win this money you gotta get a little dirty." Richard asks the alliance if they know who's next, and Sue says, "Who after Greg?" Kelly and Sue both suggest Jenna, but Richard says, "I was thinkin' Sean." Sue looks momentarily flummoxed and then says, "Oh yeah!" as if she was thinking it, but we know she wasn't, because her brain feeds of Richard's and can't function independently, and Kelly's brain feeds off Sue's and can't function independently, and they're all three like one giant nasty brain-sharing set of Siamese triplets. Richard says, "He's too much competition and he will not participate." Sue tells us in a confessional, "The reason Sean's not in an alliance is because Sean. Is. Dumb."

At Pagong, Gretchen asks Sean if Tagi is planning on banding together to pick off the Pagongers. Sean says, "I think they've changed their minds, you know, because I think they have a very nice warm touchy feelings towards you guys," and there's debate in the forums if Sean if being sarcastic here or if he's just exceedingly clueless because even if he's ignorant of the alliance, he can't possibly believe Sue is down with the touchy-feelies. Richard tells us in a confessional that Sean is ethically against an alliance and that Gretchen is similar on the other side. How he knows this, we are left to contemplate for the rest of our lives. He then says, "I don't get it, you know. I consider myself extremely ethical and moral and this has absolutely nothing to do with it. It sounds like sheer stupidity to me when somebody says, 'Oh no, I'm not gonna build an alliance and I hope they wouldn't do that either,' I, you know, I giggle and think, Okay. Cackle, cackle, cackle." Back at the pow-wow, Susan tells Richard, "God, I'm glad I'm on your team," and they do think he's God, don't they? They high-five each other while Kelly hovers in the background. These three have reminded me of something for a while and I've just figured it out: There's a movie called Hocus Pocus in which Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker play a trio of conniving witches. Bette Midler is the nastiest, most plotting witch, and of course she's the Richard of the group. Cathy Najimi is the character witch whose always scurrying after Bette, quite obviously Sue, and SJP is a ditzy young witch who just prances around, and that's Kelly -- my freeze frame is now paused with the three in a circle and Sue's hand is above her head and Kelly actually looks like SJP here and it looks like some sort of witchy circle coven ritual or maybe like that scene in Three Men and a Baby where the murdered boy or broomstick or cardboard cut-out of Ted Danson hovers in the background and now I've lost my train of thought. Kelly hugs Richard and is enveloped in his fleshiness as she says, "We didn't come here to make friends."

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