Spoilers for tonight's outstanding episode of "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" coming up just as soon as I'm cursed...
Because I had seen tonight's hilarious "Community" and "Parks and Recreation" episodes in advance, I figured "Survivor" had one more week to hook me before I have to deal with major timeslot pile-up issues next week. And after an episode that had me repeatedly fist-pumping and caring about the game in a way I didn't think was possible anymore, I'm absolutely on the hook for a long time, and I'll let the DVRs sort it all out later.
Admittedly, much of my fist-pump-itude came from good things happening for my man Tom, but even had Tom, Colby and JT's gambit not worked, "Tonight, We Make Our Move" represented so much of what's fun about "Survivor" when the game is played at a high level. We saw Candice expertly coming up with the latest iteration of Plan Voodoo (i.e., how to split your votes to neutralize an immunity idol). We saw Sandra and the non-Russell villains all immediately recognize the dangers posed by such an idol and make a coalition to get rid of anyone who so much as looks for it(*). We saw Rob and Tom both do fine jobs of coaching their teams through a tricky immunity challenge. And we saw Tom - who in his own season had to let Ian do most of the thinking for him - form together with JT and Colby to recognize the best way to not only keep Colby safe, but completely disrupt the dominant alliance by taking out its mastermind.
(*) Russell - hilariously, and accurately, compared to Smeagol by Boston Rob - of course couldn't resist hunting for the damn thing. Between hiding the machete last week and being obsessed with idols this week, it looks like he's trying to play the exact same game that, at this point, he thinks won him the million bucks in Samoa. But so long as Rob and Sandra are on a team with him, I don't think the same moves will get him remotely close to the money this time out.
Cirie is a brilliant social player and strategist, one of the best the show has ever seen. She nearly won twice, despite no physical challenge ability whatsoever (which, in the end, is what killed her both times; she lost the final challenge and the winner wisely didn't take her to the jury), because she is damn good at bending people to her will and getting people to act against their own best interests and in favor of Cirie's. We saw that again with how expertly she smacked down Amanda and James after they bought into JT's initial plan to get rid of Candice, and she was ultimately done in because JT came up with an alternate target: her.
Cirie played what's typically considered a "villain's" game, but she was on the Heroes team because she was more likable than Parvati. I'm not sorry she's gone, because it means Tom's got a shot now, and because it makes things much more unpredictable on the Heroes side of things, but I'm gonna miss her as a strategist, and I think the path to victory for one of the Villains just got much easier.
What did everybody else think?