Survivor
What The…?, Part I

Episode Report Card
Miss Alli: B+ | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
The Pecs Take A Powder

At any rate, Drake is first to get its first key and get through to the next cage. Everybody gets untied, and now it's just about getting the second pole built and using it to get the last key. Interestingly, the Outcasts' second pole seems to be built more from string and sticks, and less from the fabric strips (though there are some), which is a good thing, since it does seem to be the biggest factor in their victory. What, you didn't know they were going to win? Come on. Still, the end of the challenge is particularly tense and well-edited, and the Outcasts do in fact come up with their last key first. They unlock the last lock and squeeze through the cage door one at a time. Much extreme celebration ensues on the victory mat as the Outcasts celebrate putting the screws to the people who so recently put the screws to them. It's interesting to see some of the relationships that have clearly developed since various bootings occurred, especially among Ryan S., Lill, and Nicole, who have been booted the longest, after all, and who were probably treated the worst by their tribe. I like the celebrating between Ryan S. and Burton, too, because -- come on, where else in life would those guys speak to each other without Ryan S. winding up bleeding? You can still see the Ryan S. and Lill love, too: he reaches over to kiss her cheek, and she responds by lovingly rubbing his scruffy head. Jeff congratulates everyone on their "huge effort," but both the Drake and Morgan tribes are going to tribal council. Heeee hee hee.

This twist has been really controversial, but my take is basically this: if Survivor were any sort of meritocracy to begin with, then it would bother me a lot more that this wasn't, strictly speaking, "fair." But so often, who gets voted off revolves around stupid things like who's prettier and who's a better suck-up...so it's not like the people who were remaining in Drake and Morgan are necessarily better people than the Outcasts. They were better at not getting voted off, which was the way the game was played at the time. But had this always been the way the game was set up -- had it always been the case that people voted off might have one chance to compete their way back into the game -- I think people would have gotten used to it and would see it as "fair," which means it's not inherently unfair; it's just unexpected. And unexpected developments are, in my opinion, part of the bargain and a very good thing on a show like this.

Post-victory, Jeff talks to the Outcasts about the fact that they've all "had [their] ups and downs" already. Presumably, Jeff's merciless torch-snuffing was a "down." At least I'd hope so. It would be sad if that were an "up." He turns to Burton and asks, "How big a victory is this?" Burton -- very scruffy but still disturbingly hot -- says that "revenge is sweet," and he reminds the remaining Drakes and Morgans that they don't know what pain is until they've been through the experience of a booting. This is the other reason why this twist was okay with me: it really did offer something new. We haven't ever seen people who've been through a boot get a chance to come back and get revenge. It really is sort of cool.

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Survivor

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