The next morning, Ian stares miserably into the fire. He's weepy in an interview in which he calls it "one of the worst nights of [his] life." Wing Chun pointed out to me that this kid is just too soft for this game, and it ain't no lie. He explains that he was "laid out" by Tom and Katie, as if nobody else had ever told a lie in the entire game. And at this point, Ian still seems to have some awareness of what utter bullshit this all is, not that he'll be hanging on to that awareness. Katie comes out and sits by Ian by the fire. She asks him what he's going to do today. "I have no idea," he says miserably. She offers him no comfort, no hand on his shoulder, nothing. I have to say, I don't know that I could physically sit next to that guy at that point, if he were my friend, without at least putting my hand on his shoulder. Seriously. If Katie's going to carry the banner for there being things in friendship that are bigger than the game, then she needs to carry both halves of that, and she needs to at least give him the hair-tousle. He has the most tousle-able hair ever, too. I'd probably do it every day whether he needed it or not, even when it was dirty. Anyway, Katie is all game. "Are you going to fight?" she says. Ian thinks. "I'm not afraid to," he offers. "I think you should," she says. I believe what he tells her is that he might, but it's hard to hear him. But Katie is right there: "Especially because then, you should pick me," she says. "That was my intention in the first place," Ian says with frustration. "I'd like to believe that," Katie says, trying to make him feel worse. "But it's hard, you know. Last night was really rough." Oh, was it, princess? Was it rough for you, the part where you and Tom tore your friend's guts out? GAH!
In an interview, a rapidly decompensating Ian tells us that he "didn't come out here to play the villain." He talks about how he came out here to win a million dollars, but insists that he "wanted Katie and Tom in the final three, and we got here." It's true that Ian needs to think hard about that in view of the "I intend to vote out Tom" confessionals, but it's also true that -- as I said -- people say a lot of things. As we watch him retrieve treemail, we hear Ian voice over that he's driven to wonder whether he's doing something wrong, or whether he's "just playing the game, like everybody else." The second one! It's the second one, fool! He insists that his plan at this point is to stay and fight.
Ian reads off the treemail that leads us to my least favorite part of any finale -- Snack Time; a.k.a. The Walk Of Dead Survivors. Only it turns out that it's the Paddle of Dead Survivors, in which they're sent out in the Koror canoe to throw all the torches of their dead into the water. They paddle out and collect the torches, as Tom voices over about how great it is to "acknowledge everybody who played with you." Jonathan and Wanda don't even get torches, so fuck them, apparently. Of course, my favorite part is the utter emptiness of the things they say about the early-departing people. In fact, I had an awesome discussion with a friend of mine the other day about what we would want said of us if we were on this show, and he said that since he figured he would be airlifted out on the fourth day after nearly dying of exposure, he figured he'd aim for these very warm words of remembrance: "Gee, I hope he's okay."