Tonight, on Survivor: The most miserable episode ever. You might as well ask me to recap Schindler’s List.On Day 15 at Foa Foa, it is. Still. Raining. Man, that is terrible. Jaison, Mick and the gang shiver inside the tent, pointing out that it has now been raining for five days. Can you imagine being out in the rain with no way to dry off for five days? Mick tells us that he was maybe a little bit jealous of Ashley, because she got to go home and be dry. Man, now that is some miserable shit.
Jaison makes a strange Captain Planet reference, pointing out that he used to make fun of the one kid who had the “Heart” ring, but now he sort of wishes that he had it, because his will to live is slowly being sapped from him. He has one of those moments that we’ve all had where you’re so tired and miserable that all you can do is laugh at how terrible everything is. That’s how I feel every time I have to watch an episode of Hank.
Whose idea was it to dress Jaison like a giant banana?
Meanwhile, the members of Galu have created a variety of tiny caves to hide in, made out of branches and leaves. It’s a pretty cool visual, because you can only see a face peeking out.
While Russell fishes and tends to the fire, the members of Galu complain that all this misery could have been avoided, had Russell simply chosen the tarp. Several of the people complaining were the ones who wanted the comfort in the first place. Because all the rain has put them all in a foul mood, they also complain about all the work Russell is doing, which is kind of like complaining about someone making your breakfast for you.
At Foa Foa, Mick has lodged himself in the base of a tree. “I know I look like a crazy person right now, but this is actually better than the shelter,” he says. Russell watches everyone shiver and be miserable and shakes his head judgingly. “These people are all wusses. They’re miserable because they’re a little wet?” he says, which is ridiculous. I’m pretty sure just about anyone who gets rained on for five days straight would be a little miserable. Shove it up your boxer briefs, BVDouche.
Hey, at least he’s wearing pants.
“This is why we lose the challenges. Everyone is lazy,” he says, disgusted. It couldn’t be that they’re losing challenges because Russell has spent all his time creating a culture of deceit and distrust amongst the members of Foa Foa, thereby keeping them from gelling as a team, could it? Nah, it’s definitely the rain.
Finally, it stops raining on the afternoon of Day 15. Erik, clearly stir crazy, tells us that he was talking to God and told him “I give,” and Jesus was all “Whatevs, now that you know I am the shit, we’re good” and then the skies cleared and now there is a rainbow and cartoon birds fluttered around and then everyone rode a unicorn into the sun.
I want the gold! Where da gold at?
Reward Challenge. Today, one person will be strapped inside a large sphere. Two blindfolded tribemates will then roll that sphere through a course with guidance from the person inside the ball. When the ball is successfully navigated to the end of the course, the person inside the ball will then help four of their blindfolded tribe members to navigate one of those table mazes that your grandma had lying around the house. First team to get their ball through the maze will win the reward, which is pizza.
But, there’s a catch: both tribes are going to Tribal Council tonight, and the winning team will get to watch the losing team’s vote while they enjoy their reward. Harsh!
Russell gets to pick who sits out for Galu. The team tries to get him to bench himself, and he refuses, sitting out the girls. When the challenge begins, Foa Foa maintains a pretty good lead the entire time, even though Galu bumps right into them a few times.
Shit is about to get real.
This has to be difficult for the people inside (Liz for Foa Foa, Laura for Galu), who have to be all disoriented and confused. During the first phase, you can see that Russell Swan is very clearly winded, stumbling around and looking confused. Foa Foa gets their ball to the end first and get started on the table maze. When Galu arrives at the end of the course, Russell wanders off and cannot seem to orient himself, despite the calls of his team members. When he manages to get to his corner of the table maze, he passes out face down and is unresponsive. Probst notices this and calls a halt to the challenge as the medical team comes rushing in. This is difficult to mock, so we’re going to move through it quickly.
Probst and the medical team call out to Russell repeatedly, and it takes him a few minutes before he is able to respond. He tries to tell them that he’s good and wants to keep playing, but medical won’t let him up. Medical takes his blood pressure, which is lower than Mike’s was when this happened a few episodes ago. When Probst hears this news, he tells everyone to take off their blindfolds and calls off the challenge. He announces that no one will win reward and that everyone still has to go to TC, whether Russell can come back to the game or not.
After the commercial, Galu discusses Russell’s injury, and they all seem to agree that he’s definitely not going to be coming back to the game. As we all know, Medical is the Grim Reaper of this show. Has anyone ever come back from a medical issue on this show?
To make matters worse, it starts to rain on Galu’s camp again.
Wrapping yourself in that wet blanket’s probably helping a whole lot.
Back at the challenge site, Russell continues to drift in and out of consciousness, and the medical team makes the call to take him out of the game. Probst delivers the news to him and he gets really, really upset (well, as upset as someone barely holding onto consciousness can). Probst is kind of an all-star here, pointing out that he’s tried to talk to him twice and he’s been unable to answer, and that he’s pushed his body too hard to continue. Russell lays there, helpless, and begins to cry. I feel pretty bad for him.
In lighter news (because everything is lighter news compared to that), we’re over at Foa Foa and it is still Day 15, because the entirety of this episode apparently takes place within the span of a day. Liz and Natalie agree that it’s going to be one of them going home, and they seem pretty cordial in agreeing to vote for each other. Liz tells Jaison and Mick that she’d like to stay, and they tell her they’ll do what they can. Jaison doesn’t really seem to care anymore about anything: ‘I wonder how many of us even have a shot at getting far in the game at this point,” he half-whines. He’s definitely one of those people who’s used to winning everything all the time, so when something doesn’t go his way he has no idea how to deal.
Over at Galu, most everyone seems to agree that Shambo is the next boot. Shambo talks to the Laura/Kelly/Monica cute girl alliance, and they pretend to have no idea what they’re going to do. Shambo gets all defensive, telling them that she fed them for the first eight days and kept them warm, conveniently leaving out the part where she lost their food and fucked everything up. Monica also points out that she’s the only one who voted for her last time, too, so who gives a shit. Shambo is very condescending and takes entirely the wrong tone. I think we’re supposed to feel like she’s being picked on by the prettier girls, but Shambo sucks, so: pick away. In the words of Wesley Willis, please Cut The Mullet.
“Hmm, is there anything over here that I can break?”
Meanwhile, the guys of Galu seem to agree that Monica is definitely the weakest girl on their team. “People want to get rid of Shambo, but she’s no threat to anyone!” John says incredulously, apparently forgetting that she’s ultra-tight with the other team and has been vocal about it, which is reason enough to get rid of her. They also think that Monica has a lot more power because of her alliance, but I think that’s kind of bullshit. You can pretty much get rid of her down the line without any harm, but leaving Shambo in the game to join up with Foa Foa presents a pretty big threat.
John points out that they can have Shambo vote with the four of them and that will be enough to get rid of Monica, even if “Coach” doesn’t come back (referring to Russell). Why the hell would you call him Coach? Did you SEE last season? Oh my god, does Russell have a story about being captured by asshole-eating midgets too, and it just got edited out?
“Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t have called him that.”
What follows from this decision to vote out Monica is a hilarious sequence where Erik and John take Shambo aside to hint that she should vote for Monica. She doesn’t get any of the hints they’re dropping, and the two of them are total dolts and think they’re much smarter than they actually are, so it is kind of like watching two drunk people talk about politics.
Tribal Council! Probst sits everyone from both tribes down together, interviewing them all in tandem. First, he tells them that Russell will not be returning, noting that it was the scariest moment he’s ever seen in the nineteen seasons that he’s been on the show, and I don’t doubt that. The only scarier thing I can think of is when Michael fell into the fire way back in season two, and Probst wasn’t present for that one since it happened at camp.
Probst asks Evil Russell if this is sort of a break for Foa Foa, and while he is evil, he is not terrible enough to wish injury upon others, so he tells Probst that he wants to beat people, but not like that. It begins to rain again while Russell is talking, and everyone just loses all hope at the same time. Jaison, in particular, looks like he wants to cry.
“Help, Captain Planet!”
Probst notices the collective despair, asking about the mindset at both camps in the face of the unforgiving elements. Dave points out that Galu is completely dominating right now, so they don’t really have much to worry about. Russell takes issue with this, as he believes that Foa Foa has a shot at coming back. Mick tells Probst that they were ahead when Russell went down, so they’re taking today’s challenge is a victory. Man, how desperate do you have to be to view that as a win? “Hey, someone on the other team had a medical emergency. In your face, bitch!”
At this point, Probst makes an announcement: “Due to the unprecedented nature of today’s events, because the challenge was not completed, there will be no vote.” Everyone, particularly Liz, breathes a sigh of relief at this news. Probst dismisses everyone, telling Galu that they have to assign a new leader when they get back to camp. I would like to point out that there are still 13 people around, and we’re at the end of episode 6. That? Is a shitload. I’ll be interested to see how they make up for this down the line.