Friday, May 12, 2006

When Captain American turned heel

"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.


Adam said...

You mean, you're not a big fan of "tribute to our fallen comrades"? I hope this leaves enough time for ten minutes of Probst Uses Multiple Forms Of Transportation To Get To The Studio, which they haven't done for a few seasons now.

At least this tiebreaker has something to do with "surviving", which neither the Purple Rock of Death or "how many previous votes against?" do. And yet, it was the *fear* of the PROD which led to one of the best tribal council debates -- the final four in All Stars, when Jenna sold out Rupert.

(Just realized: no gross food challenge this season? No auction?)

(Neat survey on the CBS website - toughest challenge ever)

I honestly don't think Terry can win this against anyone.

Louis said...

I'm dreading Sunday night, too, but my kids are addicted to this show, and I promised them they could watch the finale.

As much as I'd like to see Cirie win, I have a feeling she's out after the fire challenge. The remaining three -- well, it's not a very appealing group.

I predict an Aras/Danielle final. I think momentum (a cliche, I know) is with Aras now, and he'll win the last challenge. He should take Terry to the final two, but I agree, he'll be blinded by his dislike for the guy.

Then, Aras by a nose.

Anonymous said...

I have Terry winning Survivor in my pool. I predict the following:

1) Cirie will lose the fire challenge and go to jury
2) Danielle will win the next immunity and boot Aras, thinking she can win against Terry because all of Casaya hates Terry
3) But for votes - Austin, Bruce and Sally will vote for Terry. Cirie and Aras will vote for Danielle. But Shane and Courtney? Well, they will vote for Terry because they both HATE HATE HATE Danielle because she was the one responsible for them getting the boot.

Anonymous said...

Most other shows, a finale is supposed to be the Best Episode Ever. Survivor finales are always the Most Boring and Painful Episode Ever, with the Fallen Comrades and the Obligatory Dressing Up Like the Local Ethnicity, and the endless whining at the jury interrogation session.

Yeah, an hour, hour-fifteen buffer on the TiVo is what we do. West Wing on the other tuner, of course.

doogald said...

I am not so down on Terry; I think that editing is a big part of audience perception of a contestant.

The way I look at it, everybody thinks that Cirie will beat them in the final two, so no way that they take her to the final - and as the final three has almost always been a physical challenge, I'd say that Cirie's best hopes are final three.

I think that Terry might beat Danielle - the way that Courtney looks, no way is she voting for Danielle - Danielle might beat Aras - she gets all of La Mina, and that is enough, with Terry in the jury - Aras might beat Terry, as I think that Casaya would all vote for him, except for Bruce - but that still leaves Terry one vote short.

My son has karate until 8:45 on Thursdays, so it's been great - we finished last night's by 9:25. Sunday he will want to watch, and he usually goes to bed by 10, so, unfortunately, we'll be watching it live.

doogald said...

When I said that Danielle gets all of La Mina, I meant all of La Mina and Bruce...

Anonymous said...

I think Danielle will win the fire challenge. Did you guys see that preview where it clearly showed Cirie's flame about to burn through the rope, with Danielle struggling to get a fire going? That was WAAAAAAY too obvious. It must have been a red herring.

I think Danielle will win the fire challenge, then Aras will win the final challenge, and take Danielle. In that case, it's a toss up between Danielle and Aras. Think about it: Terry, Austin, and Sally would NEVER vote for Aras in the finals. And then Courtney, Shane, and Cirie would all vote for Aras.

That makes it 3-3, Bruce as the swing vote. (And there's always the chance that psycho Shane will vote for Danielle instead of Aras.)

Adam said...

There have been a few great final episodes -- Tom v. Ian and Lill v. Fairplay v. Sandra are the two I'd readily point to.

And last season's final challenge with Danni, Steph and Rafe with the ropes and the balance was pretty darn cool.

K J Gillenwater said...

Yeah, I'm looking forward to fastforwarding through the dumb retrospective they always do. Where the last 2 people walk past or paddle past the names of everyone who's been voted off and reflect on them. Even though the first several to go are usually complete strangers to them.

So stupid. And such a time waster. The final challenge looks like it might be more interesting than standing on a pole on one foot or whatever they usually do.

I liked Terry up until this point in the show. I think the producers have done this on purpose. They want to give us a reason to like one of the other finalists besides him, so that if Aras or Cirie wins the million, we aren't feeling like Terry got ripped off.

His whining at the challenge was so ridiculous! As if he needed the damn immunity idol anyway? I mean, it wrecked his plans to get rid of Aras, but too bad. You still won't get voted off!

I love Cirie. She seems to be the only one that still has her head on straight. She manages to keep her strategy going even when everyone else is falling apart. She kept her allegiance to Aras all the way through the game. And she caught that MEGA fish when Terry, the stud, caught nothing for days! She rocks.

Vance said...

oh thank god Aras won. I too cannot STAND Terry as a human being. I wish Cirie and Aras were final two but at least one of those two won!