Pre-credit sequence. So, um… Now what? The tribe returns to camp broken entirely into many pieces, the solidarity of the Villains Alliance seemingly gone for good. While the fractured Villains are pulling each other aside in confusion, Rupert’s figuring his chances of winning get better each week, since he’s now survived two straight evictions where he ought to have been the prime target. Off to the side, Jerri tells Parvati that Russell threatened her, while doesn’t exactly help Parvati’s composure. “I think Russell was jealous of my relationship to Danielle and he wanted to make sure that it was he and I who were the closest two,” Parvati says, calling Russell the biggest villain the game has ever seen and vowing to keep him around only long enough to dispatch Rupert and Colby. Pulling his alliance close, Russell makes his argument that Danielle was trouble and he tries reassuring Parvati and Jerri that he won’t be coming after them next. But although Russell made his move to increase Parvati’s dependance on him, her subsequent insecurity is worrying him.
Full recap of Thursday’s (May 13) “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” after the break…
Nothing says family like an extended product plug. Parvati, apparently an “Electric Company!” fan, wakes everybody up with a loud “Hey you guys!” She has a box and in that box is a phone. That phone comes from Sprint. That Sprint phone is a Palm Pre. In many tight close-ups, we learn the magic of the Sprint Palm Pre and its “million applications.” God, I hate when “Survivor” does this. An assortment of family members have left video messages. Rupert yearns to touch his wife and share this moment with the one he loves. Awww?
Splash Zone. At the start of the challenge, Jeff Probst reminds the players that they received a Palm Pre from Sprint. Then he brings out Parvati’s dad, Jerri’s sister Jennifer, Russell’s wife (no cutaway to Parvati), Colby’s brother, Rupert’s wife (it’s their 12-year anniversary) and Sandra’s uncle (we’re all singing ABBA’s “Fernando” now). The loved ones are participating. It involves the tossing of large quantities of water from person to person. The winners will fly off to another island to experience The Blowholes. They’ll also get to take a Palm Pre by Sprint. “I know it’s worth playing for,” Jeff whores. The only drama of the task is Colby blaming his shortcomings on his brother. “He’s been that way for 34 days,” Jeff reassures Reed Donaldson. Jerri and Jennifer win reward! Yay? Jeff hands them their Palm Pre and lets Jerri choose one person to go with her. Russell puts in a quiet plea. Jerri chooses Parvati. Jerri begs to take another. Cut to Russell. Jerri chooses Sandra. Uh-oh. “She’s in trouble now,” Russell whispers to his wife, who agrees. “It was a terrible strategic move,” Russell tells Colby and Rupert as they walk away.
Parvati experiences the Blowholes. So the gals go off to “experience The Blowholes.” That’s what he [Jeff Probst] says. They marvel at the tiny native man jamming coconuts in the blowholes. They throw their own coconuts in the blowholes. Parvati says, though, that the best part of the whole experience — better than the blowholes or the coconuts — was that Jerri had a Sprint Palm Pre so they have pictures. They also have lots of food, cookies and donuts and everything. And you know what makes the repast even better? They have a Sprint Palm Pre to watch videos! Sandra gets choked up talking about her mother, who died over a year ago, and her husband in Afghanistan. Breaking Sprint Palm Pre Protocol, Jerri raises her fears that an angry Russell might unite with the guys and try to get rid of her. Parvati and Sandra promise Jerri their full protection.
Russell doesn’t respect women. But there’s a shark in the water back at Yin Yang camp, where Russell is still going on and on about what a horrible strategic decision Jerri made. “I’ve been taking care of Jerri this whole time, she’s not gonna take me?” Russell declares. He suspects that Parvati also wouldn’t have taken him. Oh, but he’s not bitter. “I hope that burger literally tastes like a million dollars,” Russell says, before calling the girls “unappreciative bitches.” We should pause here and marvel that it took 34 days for this icky misogynist to call every woman in the game a bitch. In Samoa he was calling them bitches on the first day. Russell then goes to Colby and Rupert and together they decide on being the Final Three. “He’s the best Villain I’ve got,” Rupert says, knowing that going to the end with Russell helps his chances of winning the money. Russell things the available swing vote is Jerri and that they can get Parvati out at the next Tribal Council. Russell says that Parvati is his only competition for the million. Reminder, once again: Russell doesn’t know he lost Samoa and he has absolutely no awareness that juries sometimes vote on emotion and sentiment.
Rupert indulges in poorly timed carpentry. The women return home from their blowhole adventure. Jerri wants to talk to Russell, but he’s asleep. For some reason, with everybody else napping, Rupert starts sawing and breaking logs. Jerri is unimpressed with his degree of respect. “I don’t know if it’s incredible cockiness or complete stupidity. I’m leaning more toward stupidity,” Jerri says. Since they’re up anyway, Jerri gets her time with Russell. She makes her case and Russell is completely conciliatory. He figures he controls Jerri and therefore controls the game.
Parvati works the poles. Immunity hinges on another endurance challenge. It’s the one where you hold two poles in your outstretched arms, suspended from a plank. Colby goes out immediately. Because he’s pathetic. Sandra goes out next. Russell twitches and he’s done. Jerri goes out. It’s down to Parvati and Rupert. It looks like Rupert’s about to go out, but a brisk wind puts Parvati on the edge as well. Rupert’s pole drops and Parvati wins Immunity. She skips down to get her necklace from Jeff. “Parvati saved herself 100 percent today,” Rupert says, calling Sandra his Plan B.
Boston Rob rises again. Back to camp. Russell is grumpy, but he says his decision tonight is easy. He tells Parvati that the vote is Rupert and Parvati agrees. Russell’s fine with flipping on his newfound guy alliance. Sandra, though, goes to Rupert and announces that they have to get rid of Russell. So Rupert goes to Russell and tells him Sandra wanted him out. Rupert tells the camera, though, that he wants to keep Russell on edge. And, indeed, Russell on edge. He goes to Sandra and asks her if she’s with him or against him. “I’m against you, Russell,” Sandra says without hesitation. Uh-oh. “He’s a lunatic,” Parvati giggles about Russell. “Who invited Boston Rob back to the party?” Parvati yells loudly, taunting Russell. Russell isn’t enjoying her playfulness. “It’s like this camp has turned into Crazy Town,” Jerri says, wondering why anybody would want to get Russell riled up. Over the fire, Russell says he’d be willing to vote against Sandra. “We might need to get rid of Rupert, but we might need to wait,” Russell hems and haws. Sandra, if you’ll recall, has an Idol, but she says she isn’t planning on using it.
Tribal Council. Candice and Danielle both look all clean and shiny. Sandra jumps right into the discussion accusing Rupert of trying to stir things up with Russell. Russell isn’t denying that Sandra’s antagonism is rubbing him the wrong way. Parvati laments that it’s no longer Heroes vs. Villains, but she doesn’t see any benefit to switching things up. Rupert argues that turning on your own is a part of the game, especially if you want to prove you’re the Top Villain. Parvati figures Rupert is talking to Russell and denies any claim to being the Top Villain. Parvati states, “I’m a Hero on the inside.” Jeff tells the castaways that this would be the last night to play a hidden Idol. So Rupert’s done? There can’t be any tension here, can there?
The Vote. Sandra writes Rupert’s name down. Rupert writes Sandra’s name down. Jeff asks if anybody has an Idol and Sandra interrupts and whips it out. Danielle and Candice are especially pleased. Parvati and Russell are perplexed. The votes: Rupert. Sandra. Rupert. Sandra. [Rupert begins to pack up.] Rupert. Farewell, Rupert. Colby looks glum. Rupert glowers. I guess we’re gonna have to wait til the credits to see how the votes went down. [Russell and Jerri both stuck with the Villains and voted Rupert, so he was done with or without the Idol.] “I don’t need to win ‘Survivor’ to know that I’m a winner,” Rupert tells the camera in the end.
Bottom Line. It’s been a great “Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains” season, but that was a relative dud of an episode. Once Parvati won Immunity, Russell’s decision became easy and the episode became an anti-climax. I’m not really sure who has the advantage going into this Sunday’s finale. Sandra didn’t help her cause by mocking Russell to his face. Russell hasn’t helped his cause by being a lunatic. Parvati’s best play is probably to use Sandra and Colby as human shields and pray for more endurance-based challenges. I can’t begin to justify either Colby or Jerri winning this season, which is why one of them is likely to win. Then again, Sandra has successfully negotiated her position from far on the outside of the core group, to on the inside of a different core group, should she unite with Parvati and Jerri to eliminate Russell. I’m in a really weird position where I may be rooting for Sandra. Or at least Sandra is my second choice after Parvati.
What’d you think of Thursday’s episode? Who are you rooting for going into the finale? And who are you predicting will win?