'Survivor' recap: The quick and painless
“You’re using my stupidity for your glory.” That's a quote from Matt, “the most naive person ever to play the game of ‘Survivor,' " at the beginning of Wednesday night’s episode. He was praying after returning to Redemption Island, but really he and everyone from the former Ometepe tribe are subconsciously saying that prayer to Boston Rob. The show's almost becoming a soap opera, with Rob the Susan Lucci character who can do no wrong, always winning, if you will.
We basically (and thankfully) had two episodes combined into one this week, but neither of those episodes nor the tribal-council results were anything to write home about. No one even went home, as the two voted out will (apparently?) clash with Matt next week. It was quite a letdown for me after a long day at work, but I guess this season’s excitement levels had to even out before leading up to the finale a month from now.
The attempts at game play and what was edited to be drama did not work out on two fronts. First, you had people like Ralph approaching others the wrong way. "Am I on the chop block?"
Second, there were people like Ashley and Phillip who refused to talk game because their daddy Rob told them not to. You even had Natalie looking like the supporting actress in an after-school special, telling on Ashley because she didn’t talk game with Ralph but also didn’t tell Rob that Ralph said he’d vote for her to win over Rob. Really.
Rob even told his followers not to eat any of the fish caught in Ralph's net, and although Grant got a bite, they all snuggled with Rob as the others chowed down feet away. Tell me that's not some "All My Children" Erica Kane-like mess. Julie was right when she said the Ometepe survivors were like a cult under Rob’s direction. In fact, Julie was earning snaps from me throughout the hour. After Phillip said he was good with his new Ometepe family, Julie said, “Matt felt like y’all were a family too.” Oh, snap! Where did you come from, oh quick-witted Julie? You could have saved us from the crazy, dry-mouthed and meditatin' featherhead Phillip.
Then a second challenge was about endurance as everyone had to hang over water. Well, everyone but Phillip and Steve, who gave up their chance to compete to devour five cheeseburgers. Those types of challenges are usually won by lightweight women anyway, and what do you know, Ashley, Andrea and Natalie were the last three remaining. It was so pointless then that they just let Andrea win, and with David and Phillip beginning to ride each others’ nerves, David was sent to RI over “I want to go home” Steve.
It was a good episode to pack in a lot of formalities together and move on. Zapatera’s survivors continue to stink, Rob strengthens his dictatorship (ooh, I wish that boy would tell me not to eat some fish when I’m starving on a beach somewhere) and now it’s like we’re two weeks closer to the finale.
I like all three of the men now at RI, but it’d be something if Matt could dominate yet again. I now hope Julie makes it a bit further than one or two more weeks in the game. And I guess the one good thing about Rob’s glorifying times playing everyone this much is that when the time comes for him to compete against his “family,” hopefully Grant and Andrea will have a decent shot at tearing him down. If these fools let both Rob and Phillip go on in this game...
What did you guys think? Were you still riveted? How do you think Redemption Island will play out in this second half of the season? Are you still enjoying Rob coasting above everyone else, or is he beginning to grate on you?
Note: Of course, since no one was sent home (for good) last night, there will be no "Survivor" post-game interview this week. Until next time, amigos!
— Anthony Williams
twitter.com / anthonyw_ent
Photos: Phillip rests easy (for now) with a feather that his grandfather apparated to him (or something). Credit: Michael Yarish / CBS