Pre-credit sequence. Following one of the most comically over-the-top recap packages in memory, the Villains return to the camp, where Russell and Parvati are giddy and giggling at their triumph. “He ain’t nothing on me…” Russell gloats. “I’m controlling this game.” Coach, meanwhile, is angry at Russell, who he calls a bully. Jerri is also upset at losing Boston Rob. Gee, morons. Maybe you shouldn’t have made the choices you made? Now Coach finds himself in “an alliance of lies.” He approaches Jerri as asks Jerri if now might be the time to make a move against Russell and his pack, but Jerri says she’d rather just sit back and wait for the merge. Why is Jerri still invited to All-Star seasons? She was ineffectively evil in her first season, just ineffective in “All-Stars” and this season, she hasn’t even risen to the level of “ineffective.” Jerri is making Danielle look active and involved. Coach looks around and, like Colonel Nicholson at the end of “Bridge on the River Kwai,” he realizes that he’s screwed everything up. “We’re done,” Coach complains. “We’re toast. Pray for the merge.”
[Full recap of Thursday’s “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” after the break…]
Amanda has a wedgie and Candice forms a wedge. In the Heroes camp, JT has wandered off alone in search of the hidden Immunity Idol. It was just last week that they all vowed to find it together and save it for post-Merge. Instead, JT finds it on his own. Amanda, sporting one of the great “Survivor” wedgies of all-time, happens upon JT and he shares what he found. Since Candice also stumbles upon them, JT knows he has to tell everybody, making it seem as if he just tripped over it during his morning perambulations. “Good thing you walked up,” Candice tells Amanda, well aware that JT wouldn’t have shared under any other circumstances. Candice calls JT slimy and wonders how the Golden Boy is getting away with all of his flipping and flopping. She shares her concerns with Amanda, who expresses sympathy. But is it feigned sympathy.
The Villains whine. Back at the Rob-less Villains camp, the Villains are getting hungry, munching only on roasted coconut bits. Jerri is worried they’re on the verge of death. Coach says they’ll be OK, but he tells the camera that, “The time for exigency has exited.” Hmmm… I’m not sure I know what that means. The Villains get Tree-Mail that seems to indicate a Merge and they pack up their camp before going to the next challenge.
Get your mind out of the gutter. Indeed, pizzas and cold beverages await. The Heroes are shocked that Boston Rob is gone, with Rupert suggesting out loud that there’s an alliance of women. Russell knows this is good for him, because nobody will suspect that he has the Villains’ power. The Heroes don’t get how the Villains read “Merge” into the Tree Mail. “Everybody drop your… expectations,” Jeff tells the contestants. Ha. Suckers. Instead, it’s just another Reward Challenge. It’s Tiki Bowling. Parvati’s two gutterballs give the first heat to Rupert and the Villains. Two more gutterballs for Danielle give JT and the Heroes a second straight win, putting them one away from a feast. Russell beats Colby to make it 2-1. Coach, possibly the hungriest of the Villains, loses to Amanda and the Heroes win “their third straight challenge in a row” (as Jeff Probst redundantly puts it).
The Heroes are stupid. There are whales. And the heroes are eating a feast. Are they in danger of becoming whales themselves? Probably not. “I don’t want to jinx us here, but we’re on a little bit of a roll,” Amanda says, warning at over-confidence. JT and Rupert are both convinced that the women are controlling things for the Villains and that Coach and Russell will be forced to join them at a merge.
The Villains are annoying. “Every single person on this tribe is an idiot,” complains Jerri, who suddenly realizes that they blew it by voting Rob out. Oh, Jerri. You’re a useless twit. Jerri’s irate at the players they chose for the Reward challenge. Because Courtney and Sandra sat out Reward, based on Coach’s desire to win a feast, they’ll now be forced to compete for Immunity and Jerri’s convinced they’ve lost that challenge already. Sandra, insisting that she should be with the Heroes, says she hates all of her Villains comrades. She unites with Courtney and they decide to try convincing Coach that Russell is gunning for him, getting him to vote Russell out.
Sandra gets crabby and crafty. The crabs are getting restless. And so are the Villains. “I hate playing this game with these people,” Coach complains to Courtney, who says that she knows she’s the next to go. Courtney, never an especially good actress, is walking alone, skinny and proud. Also proud? Russell, who sits with Sandra and says that he’ll tell everybody who to vote out. Sandra tells Russell about Coach’s doubts, which causes Russell to say, “He’s digging his own grave.” Sandra is unimpressed with Russell’s bluster and thinks she’s about to play the player. So far, it seems that Sandra is right, as Russell goes to Parvati and says that voting Coach out would make it even more clear to the Heroes that there’s a female-driven alliance at work.
Here’s mud in your eye. Immunity is up for grabs. They players are belted together in pairs running through the mud and going through an obstacle course. This is exactly the wrong kind of challenge for the Villains to be playing with Courtney and Sandra. In the first heat, it’s Candice & Amanda against Sandra & Russell. They Heroes get out to a lead, with Sandra predictably struggling. The Heroes waltz in and take a 1-0 lead. Up next, it’s Coach vs. Rupert in a 1:1 heat. Coach wins a competitive race. That means that it’s Parvati & Courtney against JT & Colby. This *has* to be a rout, right? Indeed it is. The Heroes dominate and win Immunity. The turn-around of momentum in this season has been a thing of epic brilliance, as suddenly Courtney is hobbled and the Villains are weak and deflated. Danielle whines about getting Courtney out of the game and how angry she is at keeping weak players around. Um, Danielle… Maybe voting Tyson and Boston Rob out in consecutive weeks didn’t match that ideology?
Flipping and flopping. The Villains are miserable as they return to camp. Coach, who won his races, has renewed spirits. “The Dragonslayer’s just coming into his own,” Coach promises. He’s thinking that now might be the time to vote Russell out to punish him for voting out his best friend, but Coach isn’t really a man of principles and he decides to go with the Five and vote Courtney out. Russell thinks if he wants to, he can dispatch the Dragonslayer. Danielle, though, isn’t so convinced. She doesn’t want to lose challenges, so she wants to take Courtney out. Russell tells Danielle that they’re going to lose challenges anyway, so it makes no sense to keep Coach around. Russell doesn’t like other people to share opinions. A shouting match ensues. Danielle is frustrated. Suddenly now Sandra *really* wants Coach voted out? Oh. I thought she had a more complicated game. Russell, though, has a change of heart and comes to Parvati and Danielle and says Courtney should go. Parvati doesn’t want to make a decision, but she wants other people to make decisions and stand by them and she isn’t pleased with Coach’s flip-flopping.
Tribal Council. It’s hard to imagine Courtney not going. Jeff begins by asking if there were any regrets at voting Rob and Tyson out. Danielle replies, “It is what it is.” Jeff tells the tribe that in a physical challenge, 99 people out of 100 would prefer Rob or Tyson. He says “No offense” to Courtney, who rolls her eyes and calls him “Jeffrey.” Coach says that people are probably laughing at them and thinking they deserve this. It’s true! He’s right! I AM! Courtney tries blaming Coach for making the decisions on who to play and who to sit in challenges. More bickering ensues. This is utterly pathetic. Jeff chides them for making decisions based on alliances and a possible merge. Courtney, who admits that she’s the Poster Child for Weak “Survivor,” calls herself “a determined little bitch.” She’s still going home, right?
The vote. Coach writes Courtney’s name down. Courtney writes Coaches name and calls him “a freakin’ lunatic.” Jeff reads the votes: Coach. Coach. Courtney. Courtney. Courtney. Coach. COACH. Heh. That’s a little bit hilarious. Coach actually does shake hands with Russell as he leaves.
Bottom Line: Boy, I really hope there isn’t a Merge coming for several weeks. The Villains have done a spectacular job of voting themselves into a tribe that’s both weak and stupid. For one episode, Sandra looks brilliant and like a power player, rather than a snaky follower. And I wasn’t sure. Russell appeared to have written Courtney’s name down. What do we make of that? And as for the teaser for next week’s episode? If that happens… Oye.
What’d you think of this week’s episode? What the blazes is happening with the Villains?