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Come on, you had to know that’s what I was going to title this, didn’t you?
Big Up to Billy Ocean, by the way! Carribean Queen is a modern day Beethoven’s Fifth.
Previously: Stacy got slapped in the face with a side of pork. (The music editors somehow make this occur to the beat of the background music, which is awesome.) Boo was really glad his family was eating well. They’re all eating well! Alex tried to be a ninja, but Cassandra threw a bunch of smoke bombs all over the place and then murdered his entire family before he could enjoy his morning French press coffee. Dreamz listened to a suggestion from Alex to vote out Yau-man, and since his internal CPU processor can only handle one idea at a time, he became all obsessed with getting Yau-man out of the game like he was Forest Whitaker from The Shield and Yau-man was Vic Mackey. But Cassandra and Earl fixed him good, causing him to Error 404; they took advantage of the brief silence to vote out Alex, which was awesome and satisfying. Look how smart he his! SNUFF.
It’s Day 34 at Bula Bula; we begin in the woods, where a bear is lumbering towards the camera, clearing away brush with his lumbering paws. (Dwight Schrute: “Bears can climb trees faster than they can run! Jim, tell him!”) Boo tells us that he’s not on his way to the stream, where he will catch fish using only his claws, but creating a back path to the water well so that he can hear when people are talking about him because they’ll never suspect that he’s hiding “behind the thicket”. Thanks there for the terminology, Br’er Rabbit. He laughs to himself over how clever his is for this as he clears away more brush. Did anybody else get a vision of his head emerging slowly from the grass, Boo with a smirk on his face, shifty-eyes all over the place like right before you catch the criminal in Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? There will only be a “FLOZ” hat floating slightly above the shrubbery, beneath it a sinister shadow. Watch out, Boo will steal the nose off of the Sphinx!
By the way, I checked on the whole “FLOZ” thing, and apparently it’s the name of the bar Boo owns at home. CBS says he’s a construction worker, which confuses me, but with his cooking and stuff from earlier, I think we can assume that he’s actually a restaurateur. Oh, and “FLOZ” is a play on “fl oz” as in “fluid ounces” like in a beer or bottle. Look at Boo, bringing the clever! Okay, random aside over.
The best part is that while Boo is busy working so that he can listen in while people talk about him, the others are back at camp…talking about him. Ha! Thanks, editors. They all discuss how much they need Boo not to win immunity so that they can vote him off. Yau-man tells us that there are a lot more sneaky plans and side discussions than usual, which means that he will have to be vigilant. At this, the Maracas of Foreshadowing take us into the credits.
The credits are long form! Boy, I do not miss Anthony.
Still Day 34 at Bula Bula; a majestic humpback whale shoots a jet of water from his blowhole. Hey, I missed the chance to call Alex a blowhole! That just makes me sad. Anyway, we get right down to business today; Stacy goes to fetch the Reward Challenge clue, which is an ax. It indicates that this week’s reward is a car. Everyone gets super excited as Dreamz tells us that he’s the only one out of all six of them that doesn’t have a car. He never even got his license, because it’s stupid to have a license when you don’t have anything to drive! I suspect that no one’s ever put the idea in his head to go try to get one, so he’s never bothered. He’s been busy whitewashing fences and whatnot.
Reward Challenge! Probst is all “And then there were six.” with his Lisi hat on. Shut up, Lisi hat. Today’s challenge is, in fact, for a car; it’s a 2008 Ford F-350. (Motto: “The F-350: For when the hole in the ozone layer just isn’t big enough.”) Also, it makes your penis look huge! The decal on the side literally says “Power Stroke”. I totally want it. Let’s haul some equipment!
The six remaining castaways will be divided into two teams of three and will be tied together. They’ll have to navigate an obstacle course that starts with some seesaws, and then there is some netting to crawl through, and then it ends with a dig for an axe, which you will use to chop down a box that will fall into the bed of the truck. Let’s get into bed! Of the truck! Which can handle a heavy load! You are powerless against Ford’s sexy marketing! Anyway, that group of three will get to take the box full of donated school supplies (so that’s where Charla and Mirna’s donated box of supplies ended up. They will be very pleased. Charla and Mirna: “We happy! You take school supplies! We no eat tomorrow!) to a Fijian school and spend the day with the children there. Those three people will also compete in an individual challenge, and the winner of that challenge also wins the truck and gets to send someone to Exile Island.
You know what I was wondering? Where are their families? I feel like I really, really need to meet Dreamz’ mom. I love the family visit; it’s one of my favorite parts every season, because as I have said, the stupid family portion gets me every time. Plus, it’s completely mesmerizing to me to see the people from whence some of these idiots came. It’s like a trip to the sausage factory: you don’t want to know how it gets made, but once it’s in front of you, it becomes impossible to look away. Commandarin Mandy suggested to me last night (during our FORTY-FIVE MINUTE discussion of this episode) that maybe the family couldn’t come because of the coup in Fiji, which could be correct. If we don’t get to meet them, that sort of sucks, but I understand the impulse to keep the family-members away when Survivor is being filmed in proximity to beheadings. By the way, you will be surprised to know that she is rooting for Boo. (Mandy: “You got it wrong when you told everyone I was in love with Boo. I didn’t say I was in love with him, I said I wanted to DO him. Get it right.”) I would fault her for it, but I was weirdly super-attracted to Parvati last season. No no, don’t get up: I’ll hate myself.
The two teams are Yau-man, Stacy, and Boo against Dreamz, Cassandra, and Earl. Yau-man’s team has some trouble with the seesaws and the other team take a pretty good lead; they’re most of the way through the netting before Yau’s team finishes the seesaws.
When Dreamz’ team gets to the digging, however, they get stuck and can’t find the hatchet. Boo pulls the clutch play and finds their hatchet first, and so Yau-man, Stacy, and Boo will be going to the school. (Boo: “Shit. Will we have to do math?”)
The individual challenge is an ax-throwing contest. Stacy, Boo, and Yau-man will throw hatchets at a board that’s been rigged with a couple of criss-crossing strings. The first person to break both of their strings with the ax will win reward. So, you know things that have to do with trajectory and accuracy are generally going to be Yau-man’s at this point, right? Stacy is completely pathetic with her ax throwing, and Boo puts up a good fight and comes close at one point, but Yau-man wins the F-350.
But wait! Yau-man tells Jeff that he would like to make a deal with the car. Jeff gives him the go-ahead, so he asks Dreamz how badly he wants the car. Dreamz is like, “I’m the only one without one, out of everybody! And look at the towing capacity! Think about how many poorly-hatched plans I could haul with this baby!” So Yau-man makes him an offer: Yau-man will give him the truck right now, and if they are both in the final four and Dreamz wins immunity, he has to give it to Yau-man. Dreamz doesn’t even think about it: he’s like “Done.” Because, as I have said, he has a one-track mind, and the one thought in his mind right now is “Must have car.”
Now, some people thought it was dumb of Yau-man to make this deal in front of everyone, but I actually think it was pretty smart. If he had done it in private, there would have been nothing to hold him to it, and now he’s got to keep his word or risk losing a bunch of jury votes. Also, if he had waited to give him the car until after he had the F4 immunity necklace, he would have risked having Dreamz not take the deal. By immediately offering him a shot at the car, with the bait and temptation and everything sitting there right in front of him, Yau-man maximizes on the recklessness of Dreamz and will have plenty of ammo for later. By giving him the reward before you make him pay, it’s like a credit card transaction: payoff before price. Plus, he’s got the idol, so if this makes everyone vote for him this time, big whoop. He’s money after today anyway. So, in my opinion: well done, Yau. The pros outweigh the cons, big-time. At the commercial break, I was clapping and giving him a standing ovation. That, of course, does not mean I wasn’t shitting my pants during Tribal Council.
Yau-man tosses Dreamz the keys, and takes Yau’s place on the platform. He will also be going on the reward instead of Yau-man, too, because the reward was for the truck owner. Jeff asks Yau-man who he wants to send to Exile Island, and Yau-man, shockingly, chooses himself. Right here, I pointed at the TV and I was like “Baller!”. My thinking was that he wanted the clue for the other idol, and then he could play one at this tribal council, one at the next tribal council, and then have a 50% shot at the one after that. What a masterful move by Yau-man, if that were the case.
Dreamz hops in his truck with Stacy and Boo and starts fiddling with the knobs and stuff before we head to commercials. Don’t let him drive! He doesn’t have a license!
Now Yau-man is landing at Exile Island and walking up the sand spit. Stock footage of single snake that was actually killed weeks ago. He tells us that he didn’t send Cassandra because he was worried about her being by herself (true?) and he thinks Earl has been one too many times. At the time that he said this, I thought he didn’t want Earl getting more clues so that he could get the other idol himself, but given what happens later, I think he’s doing it to spare Earl another trip because they’re friends. He’s just being nice. How awesome is that?
Yau-man tells us that he mainly gave Dreamz the car for the F4 benefit so that he can be sure that Dreamz will go home at F4, but it also felt really good to give something to someone else. (Yau-man’s Son Who Has Already Had His B In Algebra Insulted By His Father On National Television: “What the hell? I don’t have a car! My therapy bill just went up twenty grand, buddy. Enjoy paying for that. You’re welcome.”) Of course, whatever money Dreamz wins will now go to filling that beast with three hundred gallons of liquefied dinosaur bone every 200 miles, so Yau-man’s up any way he looks at it.
Yau climbs the Exile Tower (first month rent free!) to get the third clue, which says something about “pining” for treasure, which he takes to mean that the idol is in a pine tree. There are pine trees in Fiji? I think this season is actually being filmed in Maine and the whole thing is an elaborate ruse. How many interns do you think it takes to keep errant lumberjacks from accidentally wandering into every shot?
Dreamz does some truck pimping as they ride along the road to the school. (Dreamz: “Much like the Grinch, Yau-man’s gift has caused my heart to grow three sizes. Also my balls have grown three sizes, because this large vehicle makes me feel like a man. Intercourse and carbon monoxide for everyone!”)
It begins to rain as a trailer is hitched to the back of the truck. Such a showcase of towing power. If I ever need to haul a palette of RC Cola away from the Sam’s Club, I’m totally buying one of these sons of bitches.
The truck pulls up to the school, and you can see that Boo is driving. Good! I was worried, because nothing says educational philanthropy like letting a man with a one track mind and a nickname pluralized with a “z” drive near your children without a license. Boo honks the horn, and the kids start pouring out the door towards the truck. There is a literal swarm of children, it looks like kids will never stop pouring from the door. And then, all of a sudden, Probst runs out, wearing the exact same color as the uniform on the kids, and looking just as excited. Dude, I hate to break it to you, but Julie is not hiding in the box. Also, “educational supplies” does not mean “self-tanner”.
Dreamz waves at the kids, and they all high-five Stacy and totally leave Boo hanging. Probst, Boo, Stacy and Dreamz all climb into the bed of the truck, open the box, and start chucking stuff out at the kids, who are acting like it’s Mardi Gras or there is a foul ball or something. The kids do look pretty excited to be getting all the stuff, though. But no books! Maybe there was concern about throwing books? (Mirna, during the Army episode: “Books are very important! They help you out a lot in life!” Me, to my TV while watching the Army episode: “Thanks for that! I will make a note.”)
Probst calls the teachers over, because they have something for them as well. Boo tells us that when they opened the trailer, there was a mobile office inside. It had a computer, a copy machine (they edit out the part where Boo is like, “that I did NOT photocopy my ass on”), everything they need. And, I kid you not, he says “They have the best school around now!” and he sounds EXACTLY like Forrest Gump. I don’t remember, did Forrest Gump’s family eat well?
The Survivors go to the school cafeteria to enjoy some lunch with the kids. Boo chomps down on a pepper of some sort, eyes wide as hell and looking for all the world like a giant ten-year-old. Stacy: “Boo, you really fit in over there.” Nicely done, editors! A kid asks Dreamz his name, and after he says it, even the kid looks at him like, “That’s dumb.”
All three of them are pretty good with the kids, though, especially Dreamz. He talks about how lucky he is to have the car, and how he started wondering about Yau-man and what he had to gain by getting immunity at final four. Um, a pretty damn good shot at a million dollars, maybe? Dreamz figures that his best bet would be to get rid of Yau-man before the final four, so that he wouldn’t even be breaking his deal and he can keep his immunity (if he wins it). For those of you keeping score at home, this would be the last idea that Alex gave him. Sure, he processed it, but he didn’t come up with it on his own. My theory stands. Scary! Then, he bites into a peanut butter sandwich like a supervillain as evil music plays us into commercial. I didn’t even know that eating a peanut butter sandwich could be construed as a nefarious act, but here we are. Yet another thing that is evil about which I had no knowledge. The peanut butter sandwich is The Yield of sandwiches.
Now it’s Day 36 on Bula Bula, so apparently nothing much of interest happened on Day 35. Boo’s probably just been hiding in the thicket, plotting world domination. Same shit, different day. Earl is out looking for the idol and failing, and Dreamz and Cassandra are back at camp talking about the whole car deal. Dreamz tells her that he thinks it was strategy and not a kind act. No shit? He thinks it was a way for Yau to get rid of Dreamz at F4 without explicitly saying so. Well, that’s not necessarily true. If Boo wins immunity the next few times and sneaks his way into the F4 (which is entirely possible), and then Dreamz wins immunity at F4, he can give it up without going home, probably. Dreamz is jumping to conclusions here. Either way, YOU took the car without thinking, so now you’ve gotta deal with it. Dreamz tells us that if he does in fact win immunity at F4, he will have to give it to Yau-man because he wouldn’t want his son to think that he wasn’t a man of his word. I was like, “WTF?” when he said this, because it’s quite a logical jump, but then I checked the CBS website? And Dreamz actually has a son! Who knew?
Immunity time! Yau-man comes back from Exile. In today’s challenge, each castaway will have a rope with a ball tied onto the end of it. They’ll fling the ball through a hoop and use it to pull down a balance beam. Once they get to the end of the balance beam, they can continue to the next stage. In the first round, the first four people who get across the beam will continue; the next round will be four to two, and then the last round will be the final two, who will pull down one final balance beam, then use a grappling hook (Yes! Grappling hooks are the shit!) to grab a buoy out in the water. First person to get the buoy wins immunity.
First round. Dreamz gets it really quickly and is the first across. Cassandra loses her grip on her rope and the entire thing goes flying into the water; she has to jump in and swim to recover it. Not very good at the immunity challenges, that one. Boo and Earl connect and move on, leaving one space. Stacy misses a really close shot, and the editors make sure to blur out her entire mouth when she hisses “Fuck!” in frustration. Ha! Yau-man takes the final spot at the last minute. This means, shockingly, that Stacy and Cassandra (who is currently busy laying on her stomach on the platform) are out. Man, it’s a really good thing that Cassandra is a ninja at the social game. Otherwise, man. Maybe she derives her powers from being on solid ground? That’s all that I can think of.
Second round. Yau-man gets his beam down first and moves on, closely followed by Boo, meaning that the two of them will be moving on to the finals. Boo pretty quickly gets his beam down. As a child in Louisiana, Boo used grappling hooks to capture wild crocodiles, so he wins immunity again. No one looks very happy at this development. From the couch, I start biting my nails.
The tribe returns to camp on Day 36. Yau-man, to Boo: “Any game with ball and rope, you’re dead on!” I’m not even sure what that means. Maybe there was some challenge that I forgot about? Either way, unintentionally hilarious, especially if it is a complete non sequitur. Boo tells us that he was happy to have won immunity, because he feels like maybe he was going to be the one to go home. Gee, ya get that one from your secret path spying? Clever! Yau and Earl go off by themselves, and Yau gives Earl the final clue to the location of the second immunity idol. This sort of surprised me; I realize that he’s tight with Earl, but why wouldn’t he just go get the other one himself? I’m guessing that there’s some kind of rule against this, because while I appreciate the friendship they’ve developed, I really think Yau would have taken it himself, had he had the opportunity.
Earl goes looking for the hidden immunity idol. He takes a pretty long stick with him and starts poking around inside some hollow pine trees. My first thought was “BEES! Watch out for bees!” Maybe that’s just me, but I kept waiting for bees to swarm him. Earl finds the “tower of rock” that was mentioned in the second clue and starts poking around in the trees. Pretty soon, he finds it, escaping the ire of any possible wildlife that was laying in wait to destroy him. So now, both Yau and Earl have idols! Round of applause from my couch. Earl goes back to camp and fetches Yau while the others are asleep, and they head up the hill and exchange high-fives after Earl shows the new idol.
While this is going on, Stacy and Dreamz sit in the shade and chop coconuts. Dreamz not-so-subtly tells Stacy that she’s going to go this evening if she doesn’t vote for Yau-man. Stacy does not agree, she just looks at him and listens. Someone’s been learning from Cassandra. Speaking of which, Cassandra walks up in the middle of this conversation. Dreamz, unintentionally cracking me up, says to her earnestly, “Cassandra, you know that anything I’ve planned hasn’t worked out so far.” Cassandra starts in with the active listening, all “mmmhmmm” like her ninja ass always does. Then Dreamz straight-up begs Cassandra to vote for Yau-man this evening. After a wordless exchange with Stacy, the three of them agree to do just that. Cassandra proves how smart she is by giving us the pros and cons of the Yau-man boot, and how she would like to get him out to avoid going against him in the finals, but that she has to sort of weigh that against betraying Earl and Yau for the good of her own game.
Stacy decides to lay it on a little for Earl, so she takes him aside for a conversation in which she tries to sell him on the fact that she’s okay with going home. Earl, much to my dismay, completely eats it up. During this scene, I was, yet again (as I have done and will do frequently during this episode) yelling at Stacy to rat out Dreamz to Earl and Yau. If you think about it, it’s her best move. If Earl and Yau get wind of the plan and Yau plays the idol, she’s going home anyway, so she has nothing to lose by ratting them out. Then she can work with Earl and Yau and Boo to get a better player out of the game (Dreamz), and then once Boo is gone, she’s in the final four, like magic. Since she sold out Cassandra, too, she could maybe even sneak her way into the final three. She seriously has nothing to lose by doing that. Her risk is exactly the same, either way.
Earl completely buys into her bullshit instead, and that has me really, really worried. Dreamz has essentially successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of Earl. Watch out for black holes, and pigs flying, and the universe collapsing in on itself! That kid is not that much with the original ideas, but his dedication once he gets something into his head is terrifying. Dreamz is the destroyer of worlds. He is freaking Skeletor.
Yau and Dreamz talk near the fire; Yau asks Dreamz to confirm the Stacy boot, which Dreamz does without looking him in the eye. Now, the editing later will suggest otherwise, but I think right here is when Yau starts to figure it out. Why would he ask about the Stacy boot when they’d all decided on it and it was a foregone conclusion? He wanted to test Dreamz, right there. Dreamz unwisely continues talking (as he is wont to do) and brings up the car, telling Yau-man, “I’m not stupid. I know what your strategy is.” And then laying out what he thinks Yau-man will eventually do to get Dreamz himself out. Right there, you can see the transformation in Yau’s body language: he looks away from Dreamz and down at the floor, and you can see that he’s steeling himself for what’s going to come later.
In the final scene before Tribal Council, Yau eyes the other castaways suspiciously and mulls the afternoon over in his head. As he exchanges glances with the other castaways and silently assesses the situation, the music builds to a brilliant crescendo in the background; it’s an amazingly well crafted and scored scene, if you’re into that kind of thing. By the end, you’re about to jump out of your chair. The music cuts off abruptly, and Yau-man shuffles across camp to where Earl is sitting. “I have bad vibes.” he says to Earl. And then the screen goes dark; it’s like the end of an episode of Lost.
Well, sort of like the end of an episode of Lost, except after it’s over, you don’t go on message boards to find what others think, only to have to read a bunch of stupid condescending theories from people who are pretending to be smart, referencing Pavlov’s Dog or Charles Dickens or deciphering anagrams that don’t exist or whatever the fuck and jacking off the contents of their brains onto the internet until your eyes LITERALLY ROLL OUT OF YOUR HEAD because it’s all so dumb. Or is that just me?
Anyway, Tribal Council! Jeff brings in the jury; Alex has washed his hair, and possibly also cut it. More importantly, he has also removed his lime green tank top, which has undoubtedly become so dirty that the various organisms on it have come together to form a collective consciousness, a consciousness which is currently busy hitchhiking its way to Wichita to fulfill its childhood aspirations of becoming a country line dancer. Probst recaps the Yau-man/Dreamz Deal of F4 Death for the jury. Dreamz tells Probst that he’s a “great man of [his] word” which causes three-quarters of the jury to laugh uproariously. Word, jury! Also, he sort of wasn’t lying to you when he said those things. As I have said, he didn’t know himself. SO terrifying. He says that he’s a man of his word, and he actually BELIEVES IT. Without having to rationalize at all. That is some Karl Rove shit right there. Probst brings up the subject of the hidden immunity idol. He asks Boo whether it worries him. Boo, sporting the immunity necklace: “It doesn’t matter to me right now, Jeff.” Bam! Jeff just got served.
Jeff asks Stacy how she thinks the vote is going to go this evening. Stacy tells him that she thinks that their alliance (meaning all six of them) are going to start playing dirty, and that it’s not going to be a direct vote, but probably split a little. Yau-man’s head shoots around all “Say what? Homey does not play that, Madame.” And all of a sudden, his worst fears are confirmed.
Jeff announces that it’s time to vote. Earl and Boo vote. Yau-man votes for Stacy, apologizing and wishing her luck. Cassandra and Stacy vote. Dreamz votes for Yau-man, apologizing profusely but chalking it up to part of the game. Jeff goes to get the votes. When he returns, he asks if anyone would like to play the hidden immunity idol. A nation, from the couch: “PLAY IT! PLAY IT! GOD, PLAY IT!” What seems like hours pass. No one exhales. Yau-man ponders his fate, wondering what to do. The other five players look his way, waiting for an action.
Finally, right before I go into labor, Yau-man gets up and hands Probst the idol. Fist pumps occur. Shouts are heard from over the horizon. Dreamz and Cassandra immediately lose their shit. Seriously, you can hear the internal explosions.
Jeff takes the idol and tells the others that any votes against Yau-man will not be counting this evening. Jeff reads the votes. The first one is for Stacy. Dreamz buries his head in his hands, defeated, AGAIN. The second vote is for Yau-man. It does not count. The next vote is for Stacy. The next vote is also for Yau; since there is more than one, Yau-man busts out in his full on “Screw you, Edgardo” smile, because he knows that he just foiled a major plot. Jeff tells Stacy that the most she can hope for is a tie with another, non Yau-man person. If the next vote is for Yau-man, she’ll be going home because she’ll have two out of a possible three votes. The next one? Is for Yau-man, and Stacy is defeated. Jeff snuffs her torch, and everyone but Dreamz waves goodbye to her, because he is too busy shitting his pants. Man, how many times has he been thwarted this season? He’s becoming the Wile E. Coyote of this bitch.
So, I must say that during this entire TC I was perched on the very edge of my couch, nervous as hell that this was all about to go very, very wrong. This was one of the most intense tribal councils I’ve ever watched. This season, since the Rocky boot, has been an absolute masterpiece, and if the first half had been more interesting, I would be ready to declare it the best season ever. What do you guys think?
Sunday: The finale! The reunion! My carpal tunnel!