Pre-credit sequence. The Brains Tribe returns to camp. Spencer is disheartened that his alliance-mate, Garrett, managed to make himself so unappealing that they kept Crazypants J'Tia around over him. “I'm gonna have to resort to all kinds of crazy, creative ideas,” Spencer says. “There was a lot of luck, a lot of Kass,” admits J'Tia, who knows her tribe is a disaster. “I have no loyalties to Spencer,” Tasha warns us, as she solidifies an All-Girl Alliance. “Garrett, he's fun to look at, but you don't want to play with him,” Kass explains her swing vote.
“Blue Bloods” airs Fridays at 10, also on CBS. Over at Brawn, Tony is isolating himself, but it's an isolation with an Idol. Perhaps sensing that even with the Idol, that's only a duo, Tony opens up to Sarah about his 13 years as a cop. “I can just tell,” Sarah agrees, pleased that her Copdar was validated. Tony proposes that they call their alliance Cops-R-Us. “We're gonna be partners in crime,” Sarah says. Tony solidifies this bond, by claiming that the other Brawnians were targeting her for being too smart. She swears on her badge, but Tony says that doesn't matter to him. Rain is falling and lightning is flashing and things are really sucking. Trish is desperately trying to keep the fire going, but everybody is whining. “I'm making a joke about this, but this ain't funny,” Trish says. It's true. It's not. It's just wet.
Sarah's no Rustin Cohle. Things are still rough at the Brawn camp when we return from commercial. Waves are crashing. Branches are cracking. Cliff Robinson's hands are getting pruney. “This is what 'Survivor's' all about, baby!” says an enthusiastic Woo. Nobody else shares Woo's pleasure. “This is what I envision hell to be like,” Tony says. Lindsey's feet are really gross and falling apart and she's having regrets. Sarah, thinking that Cliff and Lindsey are targeting her, has no sympathy. Tony, for his part, keeps expanding on his lie. He makes up full stretches of dialogue conspiring against her and Sarah buys every word, because why would a fellow blue blood lie to her? “It was the most sincere handshake you'll ever have in your life,” Sarah affirms. I'll remind you that this is a woman who last week boasted about her gifts in the interrogation room.
Bloated Beauty. Remember that there's a Beauty Tribe? I barely do. Well, they're still attractive, even in frowning misery. Jefra is particularly unhappy and her hands look like swollen white gloves. I've never seen so many close-ups on bloated “Survivor” hands. LJ isn't impressed with Jefra's lack of effort. “I guess the stereotype of beauty is starting to come into play,” LJ laments. He's determined not to say anything negative that would attract attention. Suggesting he may have been incorrectly categorized, LJ has used his time to think and he remembers where Morgan was retreating from on Day One and he wonders if an Idol might be hiding. In the middle of a monsoon, he starts wandering and, sans cue, he finds a rock with the Idol tied to it. He's as giddy as a pruney, wet, grumpy old man could possibly be. And he's not telling anybody.
Splash Zone. The rain has stopped! The crabs are coming out of the ground! And Tree-Mail has arrived. The clue suggested they'll be “mazed and confused.” The clue also hints that a tarp. J'Tia is determined to go into challenge strong and she wants rice. Ooops. Pity about that. The clue made mention of the task awaiting them and while Tasha wants to practice, Kass wants to decorate their shelter. “You should really want us to practice,” Tasha taunts Spencer, who would prefer to hydrate. With a Strauss waltz as accompaniment, they throw water at each other, using their high IQs to perfect the art of waterboarding Tasha. Will it pay off?
The overhead view is of me in a maze. It's challenge time. The other tribes are surprised to see Garrett gone. And they don't even know that Brains kept a rice dumper! The task, as promised, involves passing water via container tossing. When enough water is collected, a ball is freed and teams have to put that ball through a vertical maze. First tribe to finish gets both comfort and shelter. Second tribe gets a tarp. For all of their preparation, the Brains Tribe struggles. “As usual,” Jeff Probst snarks. The Beauty Tribe is doing well, especially since the challenge becomes a wet t-shirt contest for Morgan. Morgan frees the Beauty ball and they can start on the maze, with Brawn following close behind. With Batman (Cliff Robinson) and Pippen (Woo) working together, can Brawn lose? Nope! They finish the maze first! Brains has moved into the maze and Spencer and Kass are working well together. With LJ and Jeremiah struggling, Brain Tribe actually finishes second and they avoid Tribal Council. They get to return to their rice-less camp, but at least they have a tarp. “I'll miss you at Tribal Council,” Jeff tells the Brain Tribe. That all happened really early in the episode. Is wackiness still to come?
Comfort and cockiness. We return to Team Brawn. “We all know how to keep our composure when we're under pressure in a competition,” Sarah says. Again, Tony is the only person to guess that there might be another advantage in their Reward basket. He doesn't need the clue, but he doesn't want anybody else to have it. Sarah is the first to use the hammock and it collapses, much to Lindsey's mirth. Ick. That was a segment of “Survivor,” kids. Tony stepped on a clue he didn't need and Sarah fell on her butt. I'm not liking how this episode is going.
It hurts to watch these people think. Poor baby bird! Does it represent Jefra or Alexis? Everybody's indicating that Morgan did fairly well on the challenge, while the men are taking responsibility for the lost. Alexis is concerned that things are about to get “super dark.” “Is anybody ready to go home?” LJ asks hopefully. No dice. LJ is worrying about Brice, so he's going to be the first target of his alliance. Brice figures he can trust Jeremiah and, indeed, Jeremiah tells him that he's LJ's target and they agree that Alexis can be the vote. Morgan tries to bring Jefra in on the anti-Alexis plan. Jefra is utterly dead-eyed on the subject. She doesn't know what to do and she hopes Jeremiah will clear things up. Why is Jefra wearing a wide leather belt on “Survivor”? I don't know. Also confused? Jeremiah. He's stuck in the middle of two alliances with conflicting goals. Brice or Alexis?
More feeble attempts at thought. After the commercial, that baby bird is still hungry and we're still debating the salient points. Jefra and Alexis are, for some reason, advocating a three-way split of two votes apiece. As Alexis understands it, LJ and Jeremiah are voting for Morgan, while she and Jefra will vote for Brice. Jeremiah knows this is his choice and he's going to take control. “I'm just this country guy. I don't like hurting nobody's feelings,” Jeremiah worries. Oy. Lame.
Tribal Council. In this game, fire representing life. Probst begins by asking if there are any cliches that the Beauty Tribe embodies. “Yeah. We've got beautiful faces,” Morgan agrees. Oy. Brice says that being beautiful comes with inner strength. This is pretty gross. Jefra says that at first it was a big college party, but then the rain came. Brice figures this is a good time to out some alliances and suggest that he and Morgan might be on the outside. He feels that Alexis hasn't talked to him at camp and he says that everyone should pull their own weight around camp and “dot dot dot” implying Alexis should go. “I think I know where it's going, but it's gonna hurt. It's gonna suck,” Jeremiah says.
The Vote. Morgan writes Alexis' name. Alexis votes for “Cousin Brice.” LJ votes for Morgan. Nobody plays an Idol, so Probst tallies: Alexis. Brice. Morgan. Alexis. Brice. Morgan. So Jeremiah stuck with the majority alliance, which was probably the predictable play, I guess. Brice isn't impressed.
The Vote, Part 2. Probst tallies: Brice. BRICE. And that's it for Brice. He departs without any catty words. Brice is “a little bit upset” at Jeremiah. “It's OK. I'm sure he doesn't really understand what happened. I'm surprised he could even spell my name, but clearly they wanted the cutest, most fashionable member out first,” Brice says. He'll be rooting for Morgan and says he doesn't remember the names of the other people.
Bottom Line, Part I. We saw how the Southern Foodways Alliance game together last week, but it didn't last very long. Instead, tonight's power play was by what's probably most generously described as a default alliance of pretty people. And they targeted Brice because… Whatever. In the Kingdom of the Pretty, the half-brain is a threat, so of course it made sense to vote Brice out. But who cares? Gracious the pretty people are dull. LJ deserves credit for finding the Idol, but I don't think there's ever been a unit as uniformly uninteresting as the Beauty Tribe. [And they're not even that hot.] That meant that in an episode where we had to pretend that they were capable of contemplation and strategizing, we wasted a solid 10 minutes on watching listening to chirping crickets. Jeremiah made the safe choice in siding with the group of four, lost whatever element of surprise and actual control he might otherwise have had. If he'd stuck with the Southern Foodways Alliance, they'd have booted a weaker player and swung the power away from the clearly strong LJ, while keeping LJ around. Jefra would have been an easy next target and they probably wouldn't have needed to put LJ's Idol into play at all, since there's no way LJ would use that Idol to protect Jefra. But yeah. Right move. Wrong move. It was mostly just the dull move.
Bottom Line, Part II. After a very strong opening to the season last week, everything fell flat tonight. We spent 10 minutes looking at water-logged extremities. We spent 10 minutes on Tony and Sarah forming Cops-R-Us multiple times. And we even spent a few minutes on the Brains learning to splash each other. But other than that, did anything interesting, exciting, dramatic or funny happen on tonight's episode? Nope. Tony lied extensively to master-interrogator Sarah and she was clueless. And Woo enjoyed the water. That was a bad episode of “Survivor.”
I've got nothing here. Sorry. Anybody? Bueller?