Maybe I had too much wine with my turkey today, but the traditionally lame Survivor clip show was pretty entertaining this year. The editors resisted the urge to stick Li'l Russell in every scene (most likely because they've already used up all of their Li'l Russell footage on the actual show), so we got to see some of the other contestants' personalities or lack thereof. Even when he gets a chance to speak and disagree with the plan to vote Erik out, Brett says nothing. Monica's attempts to bring Shambo back into the Galu fold are futile and full of whining. And even Yasmin had more to say than Kelly. On the other hand, we discover that Jaison can find a way to relate anything to racism, Shambo actually managed to capture the chicken she accidentally released (thanks to a rather ingenious trap that Erik set up), and Laura is the worst possible person to talk to about your dead family members, because she'll focus on getting a nice tan while muttering something about your dead baby brother and dead newlywed sister being "better off."
It's time for the Survivor clip show! Probst invites us to get a "deeper look" at "the adventure of a lifetime." He starts off by recapping the season thus far and all of Galu's victories over Foa Foa. Hope you liked seeing Marisa and Betsy's torches being extinguished, because that's all the camera time they're getting this episode. And, of course, we can't let a minute go by without mentioning Li'l Russell, although this time they went all-out with the special effects and inserted a shot of him grinning evilly in the moon. That was amazingly cheesy. I love it. Or I would if it wasn't Li'l Russell's face in the moon. Jeffrey Tambor and Russell get a shout-out when Probst mentions their game-leaving injuries over shots of them semi-dying. And then the tribes merged and Foa Foa followed "Li'l Russell's plan" to befriend and split Galu apart. Oh, except for the part where it was Natalie's plan (actually it was Jaison's, but Natalie put it in action) to get Erik voted out that actually set things up for Foa Foa while Li'l Russell remained clueless. Then, Probst says, Foa Foa's "stubborn determination" and Li'l Russell's "keen eye" allowed them to single Shambo out as a potential ally. Yes, that was a clever move on their part. Who could have possibly known that Shambo felt like an outsider with Galu, what with her loudly declaring that she liked Foa Foa more than Galu and offering herself up as an ally against her former tribe? Probst promises that tonight's episode will give us "new insight" and "new scenes" (one of which involves a boar running away that is not actually shown in this episode) on the season thus far. This would be a good opportunity for them to show us Brett and Kelly's personalities, but I'm guessing we'll just get more insight into Li'l Russell. Can't wait.
Just in case you didn't get enough season-recapping in the pre-credits sequence, Probst goes back in time AGAIN to when the tribes first arrived and had to pick stupid tribal chiefs. Wow, Natalie had the worst makeup in the beginning. She looks much better without it. I have a feeling, though, that she'll be caking it on for the reunion. Russell becomes the leader of Galu and vows to himself not to drink any water so that he'll dramatically collapse on top of a table maze. Mick becomes the leader and does nothing.
Galu arrive at camp and Russell gets to bossing everyone around, which Probst claims was a good thing for Galu. Erik takes the leader thing way too seriously and vows to "kill" for Russell. He says his role is to be Russell's protector. Well, he really sucked out on the job then, didn't he? Because it's really not that hard to protect someone against severe dehydration. Unless he has rabies. But Russell did not have rabies, so Erik fails. Erik thinks it's a great position to be in to make none of the decisions and do all of the dirty work.