Quick "Survivor" spoilers coming up just as soon as I enjoy a steamy bowl of bat soup...
After last week's masterpiece (by "Survivor" standards, anyway), this one was kind of unsatisfying. First, there was so much repeating of the plan over and over and over again, and Jason was so stupid, and James was so clearly unable to mount a counter-offensive against the women, that there was no suspense whatsoever to the latter half of the episode. Second, the one doing all the repeating was Natalie.
I'm sorry; was there a Natalie on the show before this week and I just missed her? This was, like, the first time she had spoken all season, and she got more talking head interviews than every other contestant combined. That's just bad narrative on the part of the "Survivor" editors. I don't care if she was the most boring, anonymous, doormouse of a human being for the entire pre-merge phase of the game; if they knew she was suddenly going to become a power player at this stage (even if it turns out to be for just this episode), they should have searched through every frame of film they shot to find something, anything, showing her having a personality before tonight. It's hard for me to get wrapped up in Natalie's big moment of triumph if I was spending the whole time wondering who she was.
I don't feel especially bad for Jason, as he is dumb as a lox, and as he was such an ass to the older members of the "fans" tribe early on. (He was the one who wouldn't let Chet or the others sleep in the young people's cave, and then I believe he started taking parts of the much better shelter that Tracey built.) But in terms of rooting interest, I'm kind of down to Erik, whose dumb exuberance has grown on me (him paying to lick Cirie's fingers was one of the weirder moments in show history); James, who's not the challenge god Probst always sells him as, doesn't have many options strategy-wise, and also has an injury that could lead to a Penner-esque evacuation; and maybe Cirie, who's about half an episode away from becoming insufferably smug again. (She may already be there, but whatserface with the implants was doing all the talking tonight.)
What did everybody else think?