Pre-credit sequence. We’re back and Manono camp. Alicia finds a Tribal Council blindside nearly as funny as losing at a challenge. Christina’s confused. Colton’s an ass. “Good luck. You might could make an alliance with a hermit crab at this moment,” Colton cackles, not caring if Christina knows that she’s next. In fact, in addition to his normal conniving, Colton is also engaging in some psychological warfare, hoping the break Christina’s spirits. “Honestly, Christina, you’ve been the human cockroach,” Colton taunts her, telling her that if she makes it to the Merge, she’ll be the first one going after the Merge. “Maybe I am an idiot and that’s what it is,” Christina says. And then things get worse. They won’t even make room for Christina in the shelter (nor in Leif’s tiny sleep-box). Alicia threatens to whack Christina if she tries pushing her way in. Christina’s new goal: To get everybody to see that Colton’s a jerk and that Alicia is playing without integrity. “All gloves are off and I’m ready to fight and I’m ready to fight hard,” she says. And good luck with that!
There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. There’s another tribe. They’re called Salani. Remember them? They’re less interesting than Manono. But they come equipped with a dark omen. “I died last night. Alicia killed me in my dream. At the mall,” says Kat, suddenly elevated from farting embarrassment to Oracle of Delphi. Kat goes on to recount her entire dream, which she thinks may or may not be a sign. Tree-mail arrives and teases about a childhood game and the chance to win something sweet. People keep mentioning dodgeball as a potential childhood game. “The other team is just a bunch of misfits. They’re a goofy, goony clan,” Troyzan cackles, eagerly anticipating chocolate.
King of Kong. It’s time for Reward Challenge and the Sabrina is surprised and concerned to see that Monano took out Monica, suggesting a female minority by the time we reach a Merge. Want to know what they’re playing for? A “Survivor” ice cream parlor visit. I have no idea what childhood game this is meant to emulate, but it’s a lot like Donkey Kong. You have to climb a platform of blocks, toss coconuts off of a trampoline and break targets. Kim nails the first target to give Salani an early lead, followed by an equalizer from Muscular Mark Twain and a lead-taker for Leif. Jeff Probst is especially pleased to mock Alicia’s throwing, which is like a child and worse than Probst’s nephew would do. Salani is on the verge of winning and Troyzan crashes the final target. Salani celebrates. “This is our island,” Troyzan bellows. Manono’s spirit is broken and Colton seems almost confused at Christina’s effort. Hmmm… Maybe the derision and not letting her have a place to sleep didn’t help? Colton has no such self-awareness. He wants Christina out and suggests she could be voted out, she could quit or she could be MedEvaced out [FORESHADOWING!!!]. Then he gives her the Bill treatment, saying, “I hate her voice. I hate her face. I hate everything about her.”
Sprinkles or Jimmies, y’all? I scream. You screen. Salani screams for ice cream. They pull up at a parlor on a beach complete with all of the fixings. There are jimmies and candy bits and fruit sauces and everything you could possibly dream of. They fill cones and cups with frozen treats and goo. Kat requests everything on a cone, but the scooper knows better and puts it in a cup. Everybody’s happy. There’s also soda. “Is Ashton Kutcher gonna punk me right now?” Sabrina asks. They’re burping happily and cockily.
Slow-clap. BATS! I don’t think we had bats last episode. Anyway, Manono is sad and blaming Christina for their sadness. Colton even tells Christina that she can either enjoy her last two days, quit or jump in the fire. Ugh. “My parents didn’t raise me to be a quitter, so I’m not gonna quit,” Christina says. Suddenly, Jonas is noticing that Colton’s wielding of power is just a wee bit abusive and sadistic. He isn’t disgusted, though, just noting it. With the cats temporarily away, Queen Mouse Christina takes the chance to go to Jonas and Leif to warn them that voting Alicia out would be a smart play, long-term. Naturally, Alicia comes sneaking up behind her and begins a slow-clap. “Game over, girl! Game over,” gloats the nasty Alicia. Christina tries being reasonable and Alicia tears into her. To the camera, Alicia acknowledges that Christina was talking partially truthfully.
Ding dong. Colton’s got a headache and he’s actually resting his head on Christina’s lap. “Literally, it felt like my brain had attached to my skull,” Colton tells us. Why is Christina being nurturing to this little monster? “If somebody is sick and needs help, I’m gonna be there for them,” Christina says, somehow believing that Colton will have a rational response. “She will literally do whatever she has to to stay in the game,” Colton says, giving Christina no credit for her good deed. Jonas and Muscular Mark Twain return to camp with bread fruit, but Colton can’t even break a smile. Colton’s not drinking enough. Muscular Mark Twain, who has a medical background, diagnoses Colton with a half-dozen variable maladies, ranging from dehydration to appendicitis. Ruh-Roh!!! “My pee is brown, I’m dizzy and I don’t know,” Colton says, with a glazed expression. Cut to? Colton curled up in a ball in the jungle. “I’m literally about to die,” he cries to Christina. Jeff Probst and the medical team come to the rescue! Ramona, the doctor, tries to get a sense of whether Colton has something serious or something benign, asking questions and then pressing in on Colton’s abdomen. More pain. Ramona suspects appendicitis and Colton starts crying. Colton begs not to be taken out of the game. “I guess I’ve done my best. I just wish I could have done more,” Colton cries. Jeff, however, gets to the heart of the matter, asking Colton what he plans to do with the Idol. The tribe is called over. Alicia’s worried about what this does to his strategy. Jonas is choked up. “Go get ’em. Y’all know what you’re up against,” is Colton’s “Win One For The Gipper” speech and as for the Idol? HA!!!! He tells them to tell Sabrina “Thanks for the souvenir.” HA!!! “Colton is a spoiled brat,” Alicia says, turning like a viper, realizing that she voted Monica off and suddenly she’s screwed. Colton is lifted on a stretcher and taken off. Suddenly Jonas, with a little more power, realizes voting Alicia out is the smart move. “I do believe that if there was a karma, Colton got some karma right back at him,” says the man who followed Colton like a puppy dog.
Geez. So… Now what? Over at Salani, they get Tree-mail that tells that that they’re going to Tribal Council, regardless. Kat is really concerned. “I don’t have any finger nails right now. All the dirt is in my mouth. It was nutritious, but it was disgusting,” she says. Nobody over at Salani has a clue what’s coming and they spin out crazy conspiracies. Nobody has a clue what’s coming and Kat really is devouring her fingers.
Lip-flap. They get the same Tree-mail from Manono, where they’re far more excited by the prospect of going to Tribal. Alicia thinks it will just be for discussion, but she’s worried. There’s a horribly sound-edited sequence in which I think Alicia gets Muscular Mark Twain to say that he’s her friend, but then MMT won’t say the same to Christina, but it’s impossible to tell because none of the images match up. Did they turn this scene over to an intern? And what would be the point of the scene even if it were edited properly? Just that Muscular Mark Twain still doesn’t know Christina’s name? Before going to Tribal Council, Christina tells Jonas and Leif that she’s committed to voting with them against Alicia, a vote that Muscular Mark Twain doesn’t agree with. Jonas doesn’t care what MMT thinks, observing, “I’m ready to take the bull by the horns and make myself the ringleader.” Christina reassures Leif and Jonas that they should vote her off if they ever find a threat. But Muscular Mark Twain tries to tell Leif that Christina is a threat right now and that Alicia is not. Leif is the swing vote. Alicia’s pissed off about Colton and the Idol.
Tribal Council. Jeff Probst greets Salani and then Manono walks in. Tarzan is the first to notice the absence of Colton. The Salanis are stunned as Probst tells them Colton is out and that he did, in fact, have acute appendicitis. Kat has no idea what appendicitis is or where your appendix is or what’s cute about it, but she gets a bunch of encouraging, “Oh, she’s so pretty-and-dumb” looks from all of the men. Leif recounts the story of having his appendix out. Troyzan is sad for Colton. “Another person gone is another person gone,” says Kim, who also had her appendix out. Kat has this, “Oh my God! Could my appendix be next?!?!?” look. Alicia tells Sabrina about the Idol and Sabrina believes that Colton would take the Idol with him. Chelsea, however, thinks that the Idol is still out there. Alicia giggles until everybody assumes she has the Idol. “I’m kinda more worried about the appendix thing and how do I not get mine hurt,” Kat says, unconcerned about the Idol. “The game is about to get complicated one more time… Drop your buffs. We are merged,” Probst announces. Ummm… Really? And they’re one tribe again. Troyzan’s counting. We’re tied with six men and six women and all is chaos. “I’m excited. I’m nervous too, but in an excited way,” Kim says. “The game is afoot,” Muscular Mark Twain says. And they’re heading back to the original beach.
Bottom Line: Ummm… Back to square one! So basically we had a really awful season of “Survivor” in which a spoiled, pint-sized bigot — Bigotry is bigotry, whether you think he hates people for reasons of race, class or gender — ran the game and masterminded the elimination of three of five players before his body masterminded eliminating him. The “Survivor” editors dedicated most of those first six episodes to following Colton and recording his every cruel and hateful word and we grew to disrespect or dislike many of the game’s remaining players for following him as blindly as they did. So now Colton’s gone and the game is left with no narrative. I guess we have a few villains and a few semi-heroes, but it’s generally an assortment of less-than-engaging characters who were overshadowed by Colton for a reason. We’re pretty much starting from scratch next week. The producers basically hit the “reset” button for the second time in three weeks, unless you figure that we were always intended to go four weeks, shuffle the Tribes for two weeks and then Merge at 12. I’m beyond skeptical this was part of some grand plan. I guess it’s a relief, because what were we really going to be watching for? It was either going to be watching to see Colton play his masterful second place game only to lose to somebody more palatable to a jury. Or it was going to be watching and waiting for Colton’s grand blindsiding, which would have been satisfying, but not as karmically clear as Colton’s own body revolting against him. It wasn’t going to be good. Now? We’ll get to see what our choices are, sympathies-wise. So who seems to have the power? Is it Kim with her Idol and her solid alliance? Will Alpha Males Mike or Jay rise again? Has Troyzan been playing a smart game bridging Men and Women? I guess we’ll see…
Bottom Line, II. And what does Colton’s legacy in the game end up being? Is he the most hated player ever? Or does his appendix’s internal revolt render him a weirdly sympathetic figure in some eyes? Is he The Great Unfulfilled Super-Genius? Or was he a mistake made by the “Survivor” casting directors? Do Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst do everything in their collective power to get Colton back next season (or as soon as you can get somebody back after having their appendix removed)? Or do they wait for the next Heroes vs Villains season to bring him back? Because of the timing of his departure in the production cycle, Colton won’t be able to slip into a future season under the radar. Anybody playing with him would know exactly how he treats people and they’d have to adjust accordingly. Perhaps a “Thwarted Napoleons” season with Colton, Cochran and Brandon Hantz all returning? God, that’d be awful. Anyway… What a strange, strange turn of events.
Bottom Line, III. Seriously, Kat? Seriously?
So… What now for “Survivor: One World”?