By Schoonie|Tuesday, April 24, 2007 | 3:35 pm | 35 Comments
Previously, on Survivor: Richard Hatch created the concept of alliances, shaping the future of the show and establishing the precedent for seven years of underhanded strategy. Tina convinced Colby to eliminate Keith after he won the final immunity, leading him to his own demise and collecting her payday. Neleh orchestrated the first Survivor coup and made John cry, which was awesome. Rob Cesternino screwed with everyone ever (which was also awesome) including people from prior seasons and possibly also the 1985 Boston Celtics. Johnny Fairplay, Boston Rob, Tom Westman, and Yul carried on the tradition, redefining the game and changing the way we look at competition, providing hours of entertainment for America and sparking lots of water cooler debate.
As the show aired, Earl, Yau-man, and (surprisingly) Stacy sat at home and watched, rapt, learning from every moment as they hung out on the couch, passively eating their dinner. Months later, a casting director would see them in a restaurant, or on MySpace, or at their ping-pong website, and would ask them if they’d like to go to Fiji for a couple of months and play for a million dollars.
Thursday night, I came back from a concert with some friends, got everyone a beer, and sat down to watch an episode of one of my favorite shows, one that I had been bitching about because it had been random and unsatisfying the week before. I opened my cell phone, which I had left behind. Four text messages. Three of them were about Survivor. I’m sort of known as a Survivor guy with my friends, so this tends to happen on Thursday nights. For your benefit, here they are in order:
“I don’t know if you can recap how awesome their faces were.” I really can’t.
“BEST! EPISODE! EVER!” Also true.
And I concur fully. With all of them. Especially the “DUDE!” one. Because the forty-three minutes that would follow would not only redeem this entire season, but cement these people firmly in the pantheon of Survivor history.
And now, I present to you what is quite possibly the best episode of Survivor ever.
Night 24 on Bula Bula. Post tribal-council night vision! Oh, how I have missed you. The losing team from the last episode returns, minus Michelle. No one looks happy at this development. Alex immediately deduces that Mookie voted for Stacy, because he is not dumb. Alone with Alex, Mookie hems and haws about how he just randomly voted for Stacy because he didn’t have the opportunity to speak to anyone. That is a seriously pathetic response, mostly because it doesn’t make any sense, given that Alex talked to him about Stacy approximately 18 million times last week. This is one of the many, many reasons why what Dreamz did last week was not smart. By the way, this is the first of many Seriously Pathetic Responses that you will see during this week’s episode; it is a theme this week. That, and the wiping of pathetic smirks off of deserving faces.
Alex responds by stating that he now suspects Mookie of disloyalty. He tells Mookie that because of his suspicion, he would like to rotate the idol between the four of them, with each person holding it for a day. Yeah, that’ll work. Alex has decreed it! He has the power in this situation! Obey his majestic hair! Mookie is predictably like, “Um…yeah, that’s…not going to work,” mostly because, well, it doesn’t make any sense.
So now Mookie is pissed because his spot has been blown re: last night’s vote, so he goes to take it out on Dreamz. He begins to harass Dreamz about his Michelle vote, because it put their entire game in jeopardy (which is true). Dreamz then backs up my theory that he had no idea what he was doing last week by giving the following explanation for what he did: after Michelle said that she didn’t know Dreamz very well during the “I heart Alex” portion of last night’s tribal council, he got scared because he didn’t know where she was coming from. As a result, he voted for her. So, you’d rather vote someone off who is a potential wildcard than someone whom you know to be a direct threat to you down the line? Good thinking there, Oliver Snore-th.
Credits! As a fruit bat flies overhead against a blue-green sky, it looks down at the castaways and thinks, “Oh man, you guys have no idea how awesome this is going to be.”
Day 25 at Bula Bula. Dreamz sits pensively on a cliffside, no doubt thinking of ways to alleviate the national debt. Earl tells us how disappointed he was when Stacy came back. (The audience at home: “WORD, Earl.”) Boo approaches Earl, proposing an alliance of the two of them, Cassandra, Yau, and Dreamz. So, three things that amaze me: 1.) Boo can count to five. 2.) Boo has deduced that five is more than half of nine. 3.)Boo is doing something else besides injuring himself and lounging around like Scarlett O’Hara. Nicely done, Boo! Earl says that he’s cool with this as long as they get rid of Alex next; Boo thinks that this might be a problem because Dreamz likes Alex. I mean, he’s right: they have so much in common. One’s homeless, one’s Harvard educated. I smell sitcom!
Earl tells us that he doesn’t trust Boo, because he’s probably just trying to save his own ass. Actually, that’s the best reason TO trust someone in the game, because that’s how Survivor works: you try to save your own ass every week. If Earl’s interest in saving his ass aligns with Boo’s, than you can be pretty sure that Boo is solid. He tells us that it’s the part of the chess game where you’ve already lost a couple of pieces, and so you really have to think about all of your upcoming moves. Wow, an apt analogy from a reality show contestant. Most of them would have been like, “It’s sort of like chess, except your opponent has hotels on Park Place AND Boardwalk, and you’ve already had to mortgage all your railroads, but it’s the 9th inning and the bases are loaded. I like apples.” I’m pretty sure I heard that exact sentence on Real World/Road Rules Challenge last week.
Reward challenge! This one is particularly evil because it combines the “Person Most Likely to Make Me Want to Stab Myself with a Particularly Mean Swordfish” questionaire from All-Stars (Remember, Alicia got really mad? Wait, I should probably be more specific.) with the now-traditional “Knock Other People Out of the Game” challenge (the most famous of which awarded Neleh the title of Coolest Mormon Ever after she figured out that it revealed the boot order and orchestrated a coup). Since I love both of these challenges, the combination of the two is particularly satisfying. Basically, everyone goes off by themselves and finishes a questionnaire about the other Survivors. Then Jeff will ask the questions again, but this time, you’re supposed to guess which Survivor was listed the most often by the group. If you get it right, you get to take this totally cool hammer and smash someone else’s “tower”. Each person has three towers, and once all of yours have been smashed, you are out. The last person standing wins the reward, which is an evening on a yacht with food and alcohol, and the winner gets to send someone to Exile.
Question 1: Who would you most trust with your life? Most common answer: Earl. You will notice that Alex’s answer is Dreamz, which cracks me up. Alex gets attacked by a pack of wild dogs or something, and he’s like, “Wherefore art thou, Dreamz? Save me!” Three people get it right. Cassandra gets to smash first and she asks Jeff, “Is it random? I can hit anybody?” and Jeff’s incredulous like, “Well, it’s not random.” Hilariously, Cassandra shrugs her shoulders and smiles, all, “Well okay then, fuck it.” and goes and smashes Stacy’s tower. Boo and Yau follow up by smashing Stacy’s remaining two towers, and she is out after the FIRST question. That does not bode well. But it is satisfying! Mmmm…the taste of schadenfreude.
I have chosen this person at random. From a list of people I hate.
Question 2: Who are you least likely to invite to a family dinner? Answer: Boo. And: duh. Who wants to tell their grandmother, “Yeah, this is my friend…Boo.” Plus he would eat all the green bean casserole, and I have murdered people for less. Everyone who gets it right knocks Boo out, and Alex loses one, too. Question 3: Who most has a sense of entitlement? Answer: Alex. Well, lime green is the color of royalty. There are also several Stacys in the crowd. Alex and Earl both lose a tower, and get knocked out on the next question: “Who would you like to be stranded on an island with?” (Answer: Yau-man, of course.)
Yau-man smash tower. Then Yau-man invent car that runs on Hershey Kisses.
The next question is undoubtedly the best. “Who would you like never to see again after the game is over?” All five people left in the game answer Stacy. Seriously, it is unanimous. Ha! How would that feel, for people to basically say “We are unanimous in our desire to erase you from our collective experiences.” Earl loses it and starts laughing, which is exactly what I would be doing in that situation, too. Except I would probably also be pointing.
Mookie gets knocked out. The next question asks who smells the worst. The answer is Dreamz, but Yau-man awesomely picks Stacy. Not only is she mean, people. She also smells like poop. Maybe he thought it was the metaphorical kind of smell? Because then that’s true. Either way, it’s definitely Make Stacy Feel Like Crap day. I mark it on my calendar for next year; I am planning on having a party. There will be hors d’oeuvres. Perhaps also streamers. You are all invited.
Who mistakenly believes that they are in control of the game? Alex. Foreshadowing steps out from behind the trees and smashes ants with a giant hammer, laughing. Cassandra is the only one who gets it right. By the way, I am telling you, don’t sleep on Cassandra: she is pretty smart, and is a total Tina. I have spoken with people who told me that they think she’s actually a total Becky, but I really, really don’t think so. Cassandra and Dreamz are the only two left. You will also be happy to know that the next question reveals most people think that Stacy has wasted “this great opportunity”. This is the part where I started dreading all the bitching that Stacy was inevitably going to be doing later, even though this whole thing is all quite tasty. Then I started having Courtney flashbacks and passed out. Hate! Dreamz gets the rest of the questions wrong and Cassandra gets them right, so she is the winner of today’s reward, without missing a single question. It’s like she’s been spending her whole time here paying attention or something. Why do that when you could be telling everyone to quit acting like a girl, though? Doesn’t that keep you in the game for just as long? Oh, wait.
Jeff asks Cassandra whom she’d like to send to Exile. She fidgets with her hands for awhile and then chooses Mookie. Jeff also gives her three “boarding passes” and she can give them out to other people whenever she wants; those people can come with her on the reward. Nicely done, Burnett! Instead of immediately putting her on the spot about who she wants to take, let her think it out or make people be extra nice to her. It adds a whole new level to the challenge.
I’m not sure who to send. How about that guy who bugs the piss out of me?
After the commercial, Mookie sits on Exile Island and silently curses Cassandra, vowing revenge. Good plan, Mookie; the one trait that all Survivor winners have in common is pettiness over little crap like getting sent to Exile Island. Yul was SUCH an asshole. Anyway, apparently they’re still getting idol clues, so he goes and gets his. He notes that if somebody didn’t find the clue after the third clue, they must be pretty dumb. He then cleverly uses these inferences to deduce that Earl must have the idol. He is 99 percent sure! And that is almost 100! There is no way that he is wrong! He also says that he’s going to be gunning for Cassandra. “All I have to do is tell the Four Horsemen, and it is done.” He says confidently. Man, the idle threats sure are flying this season. Was he wearing Lisi’s hat in that shot and I missed it somehow? Four is, of course, more than half of nine, as I’m sure you are aware. Dude, when Boo’s math skills are superior to yours? It is time to bust out the Sesame Street DVDs.
After the reward challenge, Cassandra holds a little ceremony to invite people to come with her to the reward. She chooses Dreamz, Boo, and Yau-man and tells us that she chose her guests based on the fact that she wanted to shore up an alliance, not because they were her closest friends. Very smart. It also leaves Earl at home to babysit, which is an element that a lot of people who choose their reward partners neglect.
Yacht! Cassandra and her cohorts dig into the spread; Boo gets particularly excited about a margarita. The waiter brings champagne out for everyone to toast, and they all go “clang clang” as they tink glasses, like they’re Dave Chapelle. Also, it is worthwhile to note that Boo is doing his nails with a sharp-looking knife throughout this entire scene. Sadly, that is not a joke.
Dreamz: “Yo, Yau. Can you get me away from this nutbag? Dude is using a knife for grooming purposes.”
Yau-man toasts to an alliance between the four of them as Dreamz looks on with some trepidation. Yau calls their alliance “The Syndicate” which is a great nickname, if only because it makes them all sound like trained hitmen. Come to think of it, I bet Yau-man actually IS a trained hitman. That’s the only explanation for how much he rules at everything he does. Can’t you imagine him sporting a tuxedo and slyly assassinating his assigned target with piano wire at the Prime Minister’s Gala or whatever? I bet he would rule at that. Yau-man pushes Dreamz to toast even though he doesn’t have any champagne (he doesn’t drink alcohol, remember?) and tells Dreamz that they should work together and keep from making anymore mistakes from this point onward. Yau tells us that he was attempting to basically “brainwash” Dreamz into aligning with them. Now I am not entirely unsure that Yau-man does not also possess mind control powers. Seriously, prove to me that he doesn’t! He is a Jedi.
It is nightfall on the boat and several hours have passed. Cassandra and Yau have used this time to shore up Dreamz’ allegiance; Boo has used this time to get absolutely hammered (Cassandra: “Are we all straight with our alliance?” Boo: “WIZZOUT A DOUBT!”) Boo struggles to maintain his balance as Cassandra brings up her desire to get rid of Alex. Fireworks start. Boo, watching the fireworks and not where he’s sitting, attempts to position himself on the lap of Dreamz. Does he turn into a sorority girl when he gets drunk? (My friend Mandy, on the phone after the episode: “I think I’m in love with Boo.” Me: “What the hell?”) Dreamz tells us that he has two options right now: his head says to go with the Four Horsemen and Stacy, but his heart says to go with Cassandra, Yau, and Earl. My heart is telling me that you should make a choice so that I can decide whether I hate you or not. The four of them watch the fireworks, and it seriously looks like Boo is about to put the moves on Dreamz. “I’m being pulled in every direction but my own,” he tells us, as if that statement meant something. Deep! That’s totally going on my MySpace.
I sat on his lap, I played with his hair. I did everything I could, and he won’t make out with me! Oh man, if I have to go to the sorority formal by myself, they’ll never initiate me.
Apparently, the commercials took an entire day, because now it’s the afternoon of Day 27. Dreamz and Alex are at the well, and Dreamz is telling Alex that his name is popping up all over the place. Alex mentions that he’ll just use the idol, and Dreamz gets an awesome line in, all “Are you kidding? Have you seen Lord of the Rings? Mookie’s all, ‘MY PRECIOUS!” which was pretty hilarious. Dreamz has an awesome streak in him, for sure. It’s too bad that he has no idea what to do with himself half the time.
Earl comes to interrupt their conversation on the pretense that they have the pot, telling us that he doesn’t trust Dreamz, and that part of him wants to just let him go. If you keep fraternizing with the people that are supposed to be voted off, then, he says, “you gotta get cut”. He says that last part so intensely that I half expect him to be all “No, seriously. I will literally cut you if you mess with me.”
Cassandra and Dreamz are having a discussion about the fact that he’s being a little shady about everything, and how she doubts him as a result. Now, because Dreamz’ primary personality characteristic is a sharp desire to prove those who doubt him wrong (because of what he’s been subjected to with being homeless and everything), Cassandra has now said the magic words. Earl walks up as Dreamz begins to take offense and babble on and on. Earl straight up goes, “Listen, Dreamz: you talk to much. You need to listen a little bit. (motions toward Cassandra) We’ve agreed on this.” Cassandra nods her head in agreement. (Audience: “WORD, Earl.”) Information starts flowing out of Dreamz’ mouth without hesitation, because now they’ve poked two of his open personality sores. He tells them about the Lost City of Atlantis, the secrets of the Opus Dei, where he’s buried his pirate treasure, how to tie a fisherman’s knot, the location of Area 51. He tells them everything he knows, including the fact that Mookie has the idol.
Earl (in a stroke of genius) asks Dreamz what it looks like. Because, see, Earl already knows what it looks like, so he’ll be able to verify with 100 percent accuracy (which is actually better than 99 percent, Mookie) whether Dreamz is telling the truth, and also he can pretend not to know anything about the second idol. When Dreamz says that it’s a turtle, Earl goes “It’s a TURTLE?” like he has no idea about anything. I know I’ve said it before, but: Earl is the shit, seriously. (Me, to Mandy via e-mail: “Is it okay if I tell everyone in my recap that you are in love with Boo?” Mandy: “Well, you could, but don’t you think Earl might get upset?”)
Earl lays it on a little thick about how he has no idea what the idol looks like, no sir, not this guy. That tends to worry me a little; he’s sometimes a little too confident that he’s getting one over on the others, and he’s so proud of himself that he occasionally overdoes it. I hope that doesn’t bite him in the ass. Dreamz fills in Cassandra and Earl about how Alex or Ed could also have it, because they have a plan to share it. Earl stands there, masking a smile and pretending that’s the dumbest thing anyone’s ever said. Sharing the idol? Shoo. Who does that? Certainly not him.
Immunity challenge! Today, it’s endurance. I love endurance challenges, the best of which, of course, is still Lil versus Jonny Fairplay. (Lil, in her best serial killer voice, with no pants on: “I do aerobics, JON. Do you know what those are?”), This episode’s challenges were like Schoonie’s Greatest Hits, on top of the fact that this hour was already quite possibly the best episode of this show ever made. Everyone gets their own little cubby hole, and you sort of hover in the middle of it. You get very small footrests on which to rest your feet, but you can’t use your hands or back to brace yourself. Every half hour, you step down to a smaller footrest; when you get to the third footrest, it’s all a waiting game. This week, it is individual immunity. Probst reveals the immunity necklace, which looks like it’s made from giant sharp teeth this year. Somewhere in Fiji, a poor sabretooth tiger with a mouth full of gums looks longingly at a herd of gazelles, sighs, shakes his head and goes “Fuck.”
The challenge begins. Jeff is, of course, providing annoying running commentary. It’s like Braille, but for jackasses. “Edgardo looks like he could go all day,” says Jeff. I am not touching that.
What’s funny is that the little cubby holes have the castaways’ names printed beneath them, so the way they are sitting with their arms raised against the sides, they sort of look like those insect displays you see that have been pinned to cotton, placed under glass, and labeled. Cassandra falls after 10 minutes. The editors are bored, so when people fall off of the pedestal, they fade out like ghosts in The Sixth Sense who have had whatever problem solved that chains them to the mortal world. “Thank you for delivering this letter to my long lost love! At last, I can rest.” Edgardo beats on the side of his cubby hole; Boo takes the opportunity to meke, because he is probably still drunk from the boat. Ed and Earl fall and fade out. After an hour, Jeff asks the three people that are out who the favorite is. When Earl replies with a pensive “Stacy”, she smiles and gives him a thumbs up. Gee, you think she’s trying to be nicer after she discovered that the others would enjoy watching her being consumed by alligators?
I won! Wait…I lost?
Mookie, Alex, Dreamz, and Stacy eventually drop out and fade away, leaving only Boo and Yau-man left. Boo slips a few times and makes some admirable recoveries, but immunity will be going to Yau-man for today, because he is an assassin and a mind reader. Jeff awards him with the immunity necklace and sends them back to camp. Let the awesome begin!
Jeff, could I have the materials for a fake immunity necklace, please?
And now, the coolest sequence in the history of this program.
Mookie talks to Dreamz and Alex about how he wants to punish Cassandra for sending him to Exile Island by removing her alliance, and he’d like to start with Earl. Dreamz and Alex agree to this; they’ll tell Stacy and Ed and that will be that. “Is Stacy with us?” asks Dreamz, which gets a “Yes, definitely.” from Alex. Cut to Stacy, plotting with Yau-man. Hoo. Honestly, it was most likely the challenge that made her rethink her position within the game. She probably thought she was secure with Alex until then. But, let’s pretend that Yau-man uses his Jedi powers to brainwash her into doing his bidding. He waves his hand and he’s like, “You will vote for anyone but Earl.” and she’s like, “I will vote for anyone but Earl.” Once this is over and he’s laid the groundwork, he’s like, “You will vote for Alex, if your heart will let you.” And she’s all, “I will vote for Alex, my heart will let me.” And that’s that. No more evil Stacy. I’m pretty sure Yau-man just exorcised her demons; when I watched it over again, I saw the ghost of an actual female dog flying out of the top of her head.
Alex takes Stacy off to the side and tells her that he “saved her on the Michelle vote” which: no, he did not, the randomness of Dreamz did. As a result, he would like her to vote for Earl. She stares at him dumbly, giving yet another Seriously Pathetic Response. She’s like, “I’m just hot..it’s…hot out.” Good one. Way to assuage his fears. Stacy tells us that if she has to ditch Alex to get farther into the game, than she will be doing that with little remorse. Dreamz, Alex, and Ed discuss the possibility that Stacy will stay loyal, and they decide that they have to hedge their bets. They want to give Alex the idol and then vote for Earl, so that even though the vote will presumably be 5-4 in favor of getting rid of Alex, their minority vote for Earl will do it. Ed brings this plan to Mookie, who seems hesitant. Ed sells it as a way of hedging their bets; if Stacy stays strong, than they’re fine. If she doesn’t they’re fine anyway and have a majority next time (which is not true, necessarily). Mookie talks about how he really, really doesn’t want to use the immunity idol this early in the game, but if it’s going to ensure his presence, he sort of has to. And thus, he goes to get the idol from its hiding place and brings it back to camp. He sits down next to Alex, cursing Stacy as he passes the idol beneath his legs to Alex. The editing suggests that Dreamz sees this go down, but I’m skeptical. “Trust me, this is going to work.” Alex tells him. This is even better the eighteenth time you watch it.
Now Dreamz is telling everyone else (seriously, EVERYONE else) that Mookie gave the idol to Alex. Earl makes Dreamz promise, and Dreamz is super adamant about it, spitting all over the place and making a whisper-y scene. With perfect unintended comic timing, Boo goes “Well, I believe his word.” So now they all agree to change the vote to Mookie.
Ed goes to Alex and tells him that he thinks they should all vote for Cassandra, because it will split the other group, making it just Earl and Yau and also solidifying Dreamz in the process. Mookie is cool with this, so he goes to tell Dreamz. So now the Four Horsemen will be voting for Cassandra instead of Earl.
Keeping up? Well, Stacy (I know!) brings up the point that Dreamz might just be messing with them to throw them off, to make them vote for Mookie when he really has the idol. So, why don’t they all just vote for Edgardo instead and they’ll get to keep their numbers and won’t even have to fool with the damn idol? I’m not a big fan of Stacy, but that is some seriously smart gameplay right there. So now, The Syndicate agrees to vote for Edgardo and not to tell Dreamz, just in case he’s screwing with them. Then they go off to steal the Crown Jewels.
So, here’s my theory: Dreamz was attempting to play both sides (and failing, miserably) right up until the vote changed to Cassandra; he hadn’t made a choice, so he was leaving himself both options. When he found out it was her, he didn’t want to vote her out so he decided to go against the Four Horsemen. He was messing with everyone just because he could, and his hesitation to pick a side makes him deserving of their distrust. Telling everyone in the game absolutely everything you know until they no longer believe you (even if it’s true) is not a valid strategy. It’s not playing both sides, it’s not being cunning, it’s not subtle or clever. It’s completely and utterly moronic. Pick a side already and quit spending every waking moment trying to look like you’re the smartest person ever. Because that’s exactly what Dreamz was attempting to do. It’s tiring and it makes no sense. It’s not even self-serving, because it just makes everyone distrust you. It’s just…dumb. It’s trying to look smart for the sake of looking smart. So, in my opinion, he sort of deserves what’s about to go down here.
Dreamz goes into a corner and calls Alex over. He’s all “Let’s do it, let’s vote Cassandra off.” And he can barely conceal his smile, because he thinks he knows what’s about to go down, which is that Mookie is about to be voted off. What’s actually hilarious is that the joke is sort of on both of them, because that’s totally not what’s about to happen. Dreamz can barely conceal his smile throughout this entire conversation. He’s actually trying not to laugh as he tells Alex that he thinks that they distrust him, so he’s going to screw them over and get rid of Cassandra. Alex smiles as widely as he can and says “This is brilliant!” Okay, just to review: Both parties think that they are smart and know what’s going on. Neither one does. As Alex walks away, Dreamz actually, literally has to bite his lower lip to keep from losing it. Dreamz knows what the deal is! He is smarter than you! He knows the real plan! You cannot fool him! Except, you know, how everybody already has.
Tribal Council time! Or, as I like to call this particular TC: Christmas. So, actually, it’s Christmastime! That’s sort of what it feels like, anyway.
Jeff brings in the jury members: Rocky, Michelle, and, inexplicably, Twila from the Vanuatu season. Oh, wait, that’s Lisi. My bad. Yau tells Jeff that this is the first time he’s come to TC with a “regular heart rate and normal blood pressure”. (Dwight Schrute: “I can raise and lower my blood pressure at will.” Pam: “Why would you raise it?” Dwight: “So I can lower it again.”) There is some discussion of strategy regarding how to vote and also take the idol into account, but it’s mostly remedial, because this is insanely complicated and Mark Burnett would like you to understand exactly how much this is about to rule. Dreamz gives us a nice callback when he tells us that this vote is about to “separate the snakes from the rats”. Except he muddled the analogy because the way he said it, everyone is one or the other, so I’m pretty sure that’s not what he was trying to communicate. But whatever, the man’s desire to appear awesome is entirely responsible for what’s about to go down right now, including the part where Dreamz himself looks like an idiot, so he gets lots of free passes.
This would be the “before” photo. You can tell because Alex isn’t crying yet.
Time to vote! Dreamz votes for Mookie. “A strategic move, let’s still be friends.” he says. Yeah, I’m not so sure about either part of that sentence. Ed votes for Cassandra, praying that their strategy works. Those two are the only ones we see, and then Jeff goes to tally the votes. What he does not say is that he is also about to arrange them for maximum hilarity effect.
Jeff brings the votes back and asks if anyone would like to play the idol. Mookie smiles at Alex knowingly, like they’re about to totally face everyone. Alex gets up and strides confidently across the room, planting the idol in Jeff’s hands. Earl starts to laugh. (Say it with me: “WORD, Earl.”)
Alex returns and looks directly at Earl, smiling. Earl looks at him like “What, fool? You don’t even know.” The first vote is for Cassandra. Mookie smirks. The second vote is also for Cassandra. When the third vote is for Cassandra, Alex beams widely, thinking that he’s won. And then?
So, hold up: I thought about screencapping this, doing a before/after, perhaps even a photo essay. But this whole thing is just too, too awesome to break down into two or three parts. Every look, every knowing smirk, every look of terror and every slow dawning WTF epiphany is just as amazing as the rest of it, so I can’t do that to this work of perfection. The only thing I can do to appropriately honor the awesomeness of this scene is to present the complete thing to you, in its entirety. It must be seen in motion to be truly appreciated, much like the ballet, or Godzilla.
So anyway, the next vote? Is for Mookie. His eyes get wide, he pouts. “No biggie,” he thinks. “There’s at least one more Cassandra vote in there.” Dreamz smiles, because he knows about the coming onslaught of Mookie votes. He has put one over on you guys, ho ho! The next vote is for Edgardo. In three quick shots, the smirks are wiped off of their faces. There goes Ed’s. There goes Mookie’s. Aaaaaaand? There goes Alex’s. So, so satisfying. Merry Christmas everybody!
Earl smiles and shakes his head. “You are so done, douchebags. What, what?” Go his thoughts. Rocky gets really excited on the jury, but I’m not paying attention to him anymore. Ed gets a second vote. Mookie looks at Alex. His eyes say, “Dude, you just completely screwed me.” My eyes say, “In your face, fool.” Also my mouth. It says that too. Because that’s what I said to my TV.
The third vote is for Ed. Alex looks down and maybe starts to cry, a little. In what’s definitely my favorite part, there is an awesome shot of Mookie in here where he looks totally pissed, and Earl is directly behind him staring at him like, “Yeah, looks good on you, tool.” Check for it at 1:48 in the clip.
The fourth vote is for Edgardo, and he looks at Dreamz like “You! What did you do!” Dreamz tries the disappointed daddy head shake here, like he cannot believe this is happening, but it does not work. He cannot pull it off, and also: he’s busy trying not to laugh. The last vote is for Edgardo, and with that, he is done. Best Christmas ever. If you open up that really, really big present under the tree there, the one with the big bow? It’s Alex’s head on a silver platter.
Mookie buries his head in his hands as Ed goes to get his torch. I high-five my friends. A nation celebrates. The camera pans across the Survivors: Earl is openly celebrating. Dreamz is about to bite his own lips off; I’ve never seen someone trying not to laugh so, so hard. Alex looks pissed that he played the idol and didn’t receive a single vote as Jeff snuffs the torch of Edgardo.
Jeff tells them all that the idol will be rehidden as he sends them back to camp. With any luck, the fake idol will be found by accident, too.
It’s Christmas! But instead of snow falling from the sky, it’s justice.
Oh man, that was so, so awesome. Feel free to watch it as many times as you’d like. I know I have. The game is going to be seriously great from here on out. I cannot wait to see what happens. I’m of the belief that this episode was definitely in my top five Best Survivor Episodes ever, and quite possibly the best of the entire series. What do you guys think?
Like most people in America, Schoonie watches entirely too much reality television. Unlike most people, Schoonie gets to share his opinions with the world, which is pretty rad. Currently living in Chicago, Schoonie's been with Tvgasm since 2006. He spends his free time writing Survivor fan fiction (Letters to Penthouse, all featuring Rupert!) , playing with his cover band, and playing with his other cover band. Also, this one time, Lisi fell.