"Survivor," the penultimate episode. The last time the show did a two-hour finale with just the final three, it was way back in Australia, and even Mark Burnett seemed ashamed of the amount of padding. So I was surprised, when I looked at the schedule, to realize this would be happening again. And so what's their solution to make the finale less painful this time? End the previous episode with a lame cliffhanger! Woo-hoo! The resolution of the fire-starting challenge (which really needs to be replaced by something more, you know, interesting) should take up, what, five minutes of time on Sunday? Yeah, that'll make the rest of the two hours just sail on by!
And good lord, but I hope Cirie wins that challenge, because if she does, I think she's gonna win the whole shebang. She won't win the final challenge, whether it's the traditional endurance thing or something else (the previews made it look like Terry and Aras were climbing some kind of ramp), but Aras hates Terry too much to take him in front of the jury and vice versa, plus Terry would probably worry that Aras might draw some votes while dismissing Cirie. So she could really, really win. Leaf-phobics of the world, unite!
Meanwhile, whatever admiration I may have for Terry's athletic gifts, I'm completely done with him as a human being. Forget that he's awful at strategy, forget that he somehow failed to lead a team with a clear muscle and brainpower advantage to more than two immunity wins, forget that he has time after time misread the personalities of the people around him. I'm done with him because of last week's asshole-ish speech to Aras when he was explaining the divvying up of the family reward, because of his tantrum with Cirie (the easiest person on this show to get along with, by far) and because he was about the sorest loser I've ever seen at the end of that reward challenge. "Call the whambulence" is elementary school taunting, and it's exactly what Terry deserved after his pissing and moaning. You could tell even Jeff was tired of him when Terry kept demanding an explanation for why he lost, and you know how much Jeff loves his alpha male jocks.
On the other hand, he did make one smart move in not giving Danielle the hidden idol. There was too much risk of her then selling him out to Aras and Cirie, and not remotely enough reward. Yes, Danielle might be more beatable than Cirie, but that margin's not big enough to risk finally getting voted out on the one night when he didn't have the necklace.
And with that, Terry went and ruined the whole hidden idol twist. If Burnett, Shelly and company want to try it again next time, they either have to hide more than one idol, or they need to impose a much tighter statute of limitations on the thing. Nice idea in theory, complete dud in practice.
What did everybody else think? And is anyone actually masochistic enough to watch the finale live? Even if I didn't have my Sunday "Sopranos" commitment, ain't no way I'm watching that thing without at least a 60-minute buffer to allow me to skip through all the non-essential Stations of the Cross garbage.