Pre-credit sequence. It’s raining on Night 3 and the Villains are unhappy. Not having roof will do that for you. Everybody’s shivering and crying and Boston Rob is unimpressed with the team morale. “It’s making me physically sick,” Boston Rob says of his colleagues and their complaints. “Again, again, again I’m on the buffoon tribe,” Rob grumbles. Oh, poor Boston Rob. You’re legitimately the only Villain I can imagine pitying in this context.
[Full recap of Thursday (Feb. 18) night’s “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” after the break…]
Boston Rob fights Inertia. And loses. We’re still at the Villains camp, where the Black Widow and the Dragonslayer are watching the sunrise together. Either morning arrives, or else they remove the filter from the camera. Whichever is the case, the Villains are putting in a little more effort and Randy is feeling sour about their various shelter designs. Of course, Randy could feel sour about an ice cream sundae bar. Boston Rob is trying to take control, but nobody wants to listen. Or, specifically, Parvati doesn’t want to listen and Parvati’s whines have the power of a dozen normal human whines. “Boston Rob is like the bright shining star and he just gets so frustrated by these fools,” Courtney observes aptly. They’re in total disarray.
Dude. I know you’re Rupert and everything, but that’s not popcorn. Naturally, the Heroes are Heroic. Or at least their accompanying music is. “We’re some of the best Survivors ever, the greatest,” says James, explaining their efficiency. Everybody is competent and happy. But Rupert is scheming, or at least he’s distrustful of Stephenie. The feeling is mutual, especially since Rupert is backseat cooking Stephenie’s coconuts. That sounds euphemistic. But it isn’t. He thinks she’s making “popcorn” incorrectly. DRAMA!
Boston Rob fights Gravity. And loses. They’re still making shelter at the Villains camp. “The shelter sucks. It’s terrible,” Boston Rob sighs, lamenting that he hasn’t taken full control. He’s avoiding being a dictator, but he isn’t cut out to play the diplomat. He’s mentally checking out already. For her part, Parvati is upset by her tribe’s men, yearning for some quality strength, even though she tuned out the tribe’s one strong male. Boston Rob heads off to the wilderness by himself. And he passes out. The cameraman makes sure to capture his hand, motionless in the growth. Jerri sees Rob go down. “Get help,” he moans. She worries what will become of them without Boston Rob. The medical team shows up. That makes sense. Then Jeff Probst arrives. Jeff knows that Boston Rob is one of this season’s meal tickets.
Farewell, Hero Boston Rob. Welcome Back, Villain Boston Rob. Boston Rob looks terrible. He can’t even pour water into his mouth. His eyes are closed and his jaw is quivering. The doctors, though, say that he looks worse than he is. Is Boston Rob playing possum? “I’m sorry… It’s just… I feel like… It’s gettin’ the best of me… And I love and respect it too much… To not play… You know… I want to win this game…” I’ve seen Method actors who weren’t this committed to a performance. Rob has given up on winning the million bucks. He wants an Oscar. In addition, Boston Rob has a moment of clarity: Stop being the Good Guy. YAY!!! “Just do what everyone wants you to do,” Boston Rob says. “Just be the villain.” YAY! Boston Rob is diagnosed with a big of the flu and what he calls “crybabyitis.” He returns to camp. Russell’s glad that Boston Rob is back. Or he says he is.
The Crate and Terrible. Time for Immunity. The task requires the teams to move crates into a staircase spelling their tribe name. They’re also playing for a tarp and nails. Randy and Courtney sit out for the Villains, while Rupert sits out for the Heroes. JT, Tyson and Coach all did this challenge in their season. People are pretending like this makes a difference, but it kinda doesn’t. JT and Cirie give the Heroes a fast lead, with Danielle and Rob lagging for the Villains. The Heroes are unquestionably stronger. If you can have James & Colby or JT & Tom teaming up, that’s a lot of physical might. The Heroes have the lead when the puzzle-building begins. This sounds familiar, right? Will the Villains score another come-frome-behind puzzle win? With Boston Rob leading them, the Villains close the gap, but they’re one crate away. With Rob practically lifting a whole crate on his shoulder like Atlas, the Villains get close, as the Heroes descent into chaos and arguing. Again. With the Heroes collectively shaking their heads in defeat, the Villains win again. I hate to quote “Spaceballs” at you, but Darth Helmet wasn’t kidding when he said, “Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.” James is beside himself. “Everybody’s mouth wanna talk. One voice,” James says. Stephenie’s not happy with the way James is talking to her, but James looks at Stephenie and sees kryptonite.
One voice, and a loud one. JT is annoyed. People didn’t listen to him. And by “people,” he apparently means “Stephenie.” James keeps going on with his “One voice” mantra. As is often the case when James get worked up, he comes across as passionate, but also just a bit scary. Tom isn’t impressed with James’ outrage. He wants to lecture James on winners and losers. When
Tom gets worked up, he gets steely and determined.
Boston Rob clams up, while Russell plays chicken. For the Villains, there’s happy music. They have a tarp! Coach is quick to credit his man-crush Boston Rob and who can blame him? Rob drove the challenge and now he’s brought a giant clam back to camp. Guess who’s feeling threatened? “Boston Rob thinks that he’s in charge,” Russell notes. “I’m starting to think that this just isn’t working out.” King Russell needs a way to take control. He grabs a machete and goes running off into the woods after a chicken. He returns with KFC.
If you back Tom into a corner, Tom fights back. Back at the Heroes camp, James has basically gone around the bend. He’s lecturing everybody who will listen that Stephenie is bad luck. For her part, Stephenie wants to try to get rid of Amanda first, but she’s only talking to Tom. James, like a manic street preacher, is talking to half of the team. That puts JT in the middle. Does he side with Tom and Colby and Stephenie or with James and Amanda and that alliance. Tom mobilizes Stephenie and Colby and they decide that they have to target Candice and Cirie, make them feel vulnerable and get Amanda out. NO! NOT AMANDA!
How does Cirie *always* become the swing vote? The scrambling begins. Stephenie begins by approaching Cirie and pitching her that she’d be endangered if they don’t get Amanda out. Stephenie promises Cirie she’s next. Is Cirie really going to buy that? Tom turns his attentions to Candice, making the same pitch. Candice knows she’ll be on the bottom of whichever alliance she picks. “I think you’re in *the* position. You’re the swing vote tonight,” Tom tells Candice. He’s very good at this. I’d trust Tom. That leaves Cirie and Candice sitting on a log wondering what’s for the best. Cirie points out that she isn’t so tight with Amanda, that Amanda choice Parvati over her. “Honestly, as long as it’s not us, it don’t much matter to me,” Cirie says. That’s a strategy that has always worked for her in the past, at least to a point.
Tribal Council. JT admits that it’s embarrassing to be back at Tribal Council. James goes back on his “Stephenie was the one who didn’t listen” rant. He goes back through that whole “You’ve been on a tribe that lost every person” thing. James, um, doesn’t know where and when to let things go. Stephenie keeps insisting that this isn’t about her. Colby stands up for Stephenie. And then Tom stands up for Colby and Stephenie both. Tom’s contempt for James is thick and even James can’t keep his mojo up against Tom. “I had no idea that it would shift from that team mentality to self-preservation this early,” Colby says. Everybody’s pointing out that past relationships are important and past throat-cutting. Amanda admits that all of this talk has been alarming. I just can’t imagine that if Amanda’s done, she wouldn’t have done more scrambling back at camp, scrambling that we’d have seen.
The Vote. Stephenie writes Amanda’s name down. Amanda writes Stephenie’s name down. Jeff begins to read the votes. Stephenie. Amanda. Stephenie. Amanda. Stephenie. Amanda. So now what? The next vote tells the tale. It’s Stephenie. Cirie and Candice have picked their side and Stephenie is out of the game. Stephenie is unwilling to leave quietly. She has some advice: “Next time *y’all* lose a challenge a little less cursing out would help the tribe.” James is having none of it, barking “Keep your mouth shut.” Again, Tom jumps up. This could get ugly in the weeks to come.
Yikes. The Heroes are pretty much screwed, aren’t they? Are you Team Tom-and-Colby or Team James and the Other People?