Survivor
Udder Revenge

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On the Verge of the Merge

Last week on Survivor : Gervase threw all laws of God and nature into chaos when he actually contributed to his team's effort. Colleen and Greg auditioned for He Said, She Said II: Island Boogaloo. Dirk banged his Bible all the way back to Wisconsin.

At the start of this week's episode, Just Peachy appears and tells us it's Day Sixteen on the island and that the castaways are "starting to plan for the future" because in three days they'll merge into a single tribe. He repeats this in a variety of ways and concludes with the words, "This week's episode finds the impending merger on everyone's mind." At some point during this speech, the beaten dead horse comes back to life but immediately suffers violent seizures at the sound of Just Peachy's continued yammering.

At Tagi, we see a shot of a little crab skittering across the sand and then a bigger crab dropping into a sand hole as New Age-y music plays in the background. Richard and Kelly lounge in hammocks while Rudy yawns. Susan tells us, "We're having a Pagong day. We're layin' around doing nothing." Richard says, "A change is coming, as they say," referring to the upcoming merger and not to a new Bob Dylan release, and Kelly says she thinks the Pagongers are "nice people" but that they're not taking the situation seriously. As we see a shot of the Pagong team frolicking in the mud, high-fiving each other and applying lipstick, she tells us, "They're playing island 90210; they think that they're gonna go to their little mud volcano and give each other facials and they don't really need to do anything because they're just here to look good on TV." Personally, I see Kelly in the whiny Hillary Swank axed-by-Aaron-Spelling-in-the-seventh-season role, so that may explain her bitterness. Susan names the three people from Pagong that will have to go: Greg, because he's "just too psychotic," Jenna because she's a "speedball" and "she'll grow old really fast," and Gervase because "he's a pervert." I think Sue just described herself. ["Which time?" -- Wing Chun]

At Pagong, Joel tells us it's "one hour 'til chicken time" and that they'll "take the little nasty one first." While he sharpens a knife, Gretchen wants to know who "wants to participate in the chopping the head." Colleen grins in a confessional and says, "I can't. I mean come on, it's a little chicken," and Joel oddly says, "There is not going to be a trace of that thing on earth." Gretchen tells us she has no emotional attachment to the chickens and that they never were pets to her. She feels the need to further clarify and says that she doesn't enjoy killing things and that it's not a "thrill." She then says, "Anybody who eats meat has to realize that somebody killed that; someone's killing it for you," and we switch to Colleen who's in irritating denial as she says, "I don't want to watch it die. I wanna have it put on my plate and put in front of me," and people who insist on saying such ridiculous things publicly and then chow down publicly should be made mandatory vegetarians. Or butchers. Joel and Gretchen and Jenna set the chicken up to meet its fate while Gervase helpfully says he'll eat it any way they prepare it for him -- baked or fried is fine with him. As Gretchen holds down the chicken and Joel chops off its head, Colleen says, "I'd just like to ignore that aspect of the food chain. The whole death part," and Gretchen puts her in her place by saying, "This is how every animal starts out." Although the logic is flawed (chickens start out as pretty little eggs that hatch into wobbly-legged cute fluffy chicks), we get her point: Colleen needs to shut up. I don't see her turning down KFC on principle. Jenna tells us they're going to eat three chickens in three days: "We don't want them [Tagi] getting any of our chickens," and besides, "one of them [the chickens, not the members of the Tagi tribe, we assume] was pecking the hell out of me." Colleen still needs to shut up as she says, "I've interacted with the chicken as little as possible. I'm not petting 'em, putting them on leashes, taking 'em for walks, naming them and, you know, calling them my very own. It does no good to befriend dinner." I want to know which member of Pagong is taking the chickens for walks; my money's on Greg. One of the chickens must have laid a green pepper before meeting its demise since the castaways suddenly have very fresh-looking produce. Gervase says, "I got my greasy flavor back in my mouth," and although it may sound disgusting, I totally know that grease-craving feeling. Joel advises Gervase to eat the marrow because that's where the protein is, but Gervase is otherwise occupied gnawing on a white chicken part where the most disgusting stuff is and which reminds me of the Chinese New Year's Banquet we attend every year. There's always a big plate of fried chicken pieces and this year I noticed that one of them was staring at me; we'd been served the entire chicken, including the head. It was definitely a mistake, as we'd never been served the head before, little eyes, beak, and all. The dinner is served family-style on a rotating tray and that chicken head saw a lot of action that night; it circulated throughout the meal.

At Tagi, Richard sits naked on a stump and says, "It's funny when I hear, 'How come you're naked all the time?' I'm naked less than one percent of the time. I'd like to be naked all the time. That would be smarter in this one-hundred-degree weather." I don't think any dermatologist would agree that exposing one's entire body to the hundred-degree sun is a "smart" move. We get a shot of Susan just laughing which could be a response to anything and which is an example of the type of editing that pisses me off on these reality shows. It could be the same clip they used to show her scoffing at Sean's bowling alley two weeks ago and it's not like we're inclined to take them at their word. Kelly tells us that Richard walks around naked and that it bothers some of the guys. Sean says it seems "childish and immature" and like "grandstanding and walking around on national TV." Dirk Jiggler's answer, as he gestures nakedly and fanatically is, "Your life, my life, different things, who cares, or something like that." He's going for the Buddha thing -- I get it now. We then see a lovely squatting shot of Buddha who turns and says, "Peachy," which just has to be a big giant shout-out. Now we know who he's got his eye on. Richard also tells us that he doesn't care if it's girls or guys around, he's willing to impose his nakedness on anyone within seeing distance. Sean went one whole episode without a homophobic comment and has a lot of catching up to do. He's off to a great start with, "If there's any gay horny men out there that want a horny man in return, I know one." Rudy says, "I don't agree with his lifestyle and, uh, I told him that. And he probably don't agree with mine." He looks mildly disgusted as he says this, but he's seen his share of naked men, be sure of that -- does he expect us to believe they don't shower in the navy? Rudy then tells us in a confessional, "I finally went along with this alliance and if I didn't I'd be out of here probably this next vote or the one after." I valued Rudy's decision not to join last week, and I value his decision to join this week. Maybe I just like Rudy and want him to win, but he seems to do what he needs to do and not to stir up trouble, but just gets by. Back at the group, Richard says, "I think with an alliance that we establish here, we can do very, very well." Rudy responds, "If you don't, uh, you're out!" I'm going to pitch to CBS a talking Rudy doll -- where you pull the string and he growls various comments including my favorite, the gleeful, "Because I don't like 'er. And I never will!" Richard tells us he's always supported Rudy and that he wants to keep him around until the next round. Back in the group, Rudy's right on when he says, "You think they wouldn't do it to us?" and Richard answers, "No, of course they would." Richard's smooth. Or maybe he just promises he'll put his clothes back on if they go along with him. In a confessional he shiftily says, "I don't think somebody's in control of our group in particular. I think I'm in control of whose being voted off. And I think that's all that matters to me." Word. As long as it's not Rudy.

At Pagong, Greg wakes all sleepy-faced from a nap in the woods and gives the camera a cute grin. We then get a random shot of him buttoning up his shirt as he sings the theme from Mr. Rogers, and Gretchen jumps in, reinforcing my theory that she likes him because he reminds her of one of her children. Colleen then cheerily says, "Morning, Greg! Morning, Gretchen." Jenna just scratches.

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