While The Cats Are Away

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Joanna: C+ | Grade It Now!
When an Elephant Walks By With an Itty Bitty Waist and a Round Thing in Clay's Face...

Jake washes laundry while Ted looks over, says, "Jake the Snake," and then makes "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" sounds. But not the hungry kind of "mmmm, mmmm, mmmm" sounds. Because that would be weird. Ted tells Clay and Brian about his conversation with Jake; he says that when Jake wouldn't discuss his source, he thought, "Whatever." Ted then completely misses the exchanged glances between Brian and Clay, not to mention the nervous snickering, frantic elbowing, finger-pointing, panicked tics, and the large sign reading, "We did it!" Clay tells us in an interview that the previous night's vote "kinda scared old Ted," because he didn't like seeing his name written down. A shifty-looking Brian claims to Ted that "the girls" didn't tell Jake for whom to vote, and he and Clay didn't, either. Incidentally, I believe I can safely call Brian "shifty" without risk of offending the autistic community. Ted assures Brian that he has nothing to worry about -- he insists that when Jake shared this "bull john," he didn't believe him. And I really do think he said "bull john." Clay smugly tells us that it will be a cold day in hell when Ted believes Jake; Ted doesn't know he instigated those votes and never will, because the members of Chuay Gahn have been "too true" to Ted and he has no reason to distrust them. Brian feigns outrage as he asks, "What's he thinkin' just comin' over here start playin' both sides?" He claims it was a "bad business decision." Lots of pensive beard-stroking follows on the part of all of Chuay Jai's bearded men and Helen. Brian voice-overs that he and Clay are being played by Jake, and he's surprised that "a man of [Jake's] age and his stature" would suck up to Ted and then vote against him later. Such behavior is not only expected but condoned, however, from those with the "stature" of used-car salesmen and porn stars. Brian calls Jake insecure and says "the air, the heat, the whole, uh, jungle experience" might be getting to him. He adds that it's getting to all of them, because food gets scarcer every day, and it's increasingly difficult to maintain their situation. He preaches, "Those that lose their cool...they're the ones that might have a problem here, uh, sooner than later."

We see shots of various tribe members working around camp as Jake returns from an unsuccessful food-foraging expedition. He promises to go out again, before Clay tells us in an interview that they haven't caught a crab in ten days because the tide won't go down. The girls are also amazed by the water's depth; Jan says she's never seen it like that before. In all her twenty-eight days in Thailand! Helen concludes that it's "part of the starvation thing out here -- keep the tide high 'til we go home, and we can't eat." And Mark Burnett may be good, but he's not that good. Jan says, "The only thing left to eat is you-know-what," and a five second period follows in which I wonder what disgusting thing "you-know-what" could be. Monkey dung? Urine-soaked sand balls? Penny's sweaty chest buff? Then Jan informs us that "you-know-what" is actually snails, which Helen flat-out refuses to eat, thus single-handedly proving how far from starving they really are. Clay tells us -- genius that he is -- that since the chickens are gone, "[they're] eatin' chicken feed that come [sic] with the chickens to feed them to take care of them." Winning a big meal would give him enough energy to climb over a cliff, but much of the viewing audience would prefer it give him the energy to climb off a cliff. The camera pans over Penny's bony belly, but it's not particularly dramatic, since her belly was bony to begin with.

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