Thursday, November 23, 2006

Survivor: Swing shift

"Survivor" spoilers coming up just as soon as I start complaining about those damned kids and their drinking and smooching and slacking...

Amazing, isn't it, how a season that began with a lot of outside garment-rending over racism has turned out to be just a really satisfying edition of "Survivor," no? The mutiny has worked out perfectly for dramatic purposes, turning Aitu from a blandly amiable bunch to tight, lovable underdogs, turning Candace into the best/worst villain since Johnny Fairplay, and forcing Jonathan to have to go all Amazon Rob and flip flop between alliances to save his acting ass.

I hope that Terry from last season was watching tonight. That, buddy, is how you use the Hidden Immunity Idol when you enter the merge with a minority alliance. Yul is obviously book-smart -- see the physics of elephants bit during the challenge(*) -- but he also knew exactly the right play to make with Jonathan.

(*) Probst's reaction to the elephant story was especially priceless, because 30 seconds earlier he was using Jonathan's "I have big feet" excuse as yet another reason to hate on the guy. There's a definite actor vs. reality show host bit of tension going on between those two (best highlighted by, "Jonathan, getting frustrated by me, day 21!"), but after Yul got done explaining the physics of it, even Probst couldn't find a reason to act superior.

Alas, Jonathan has now guaranteed his own loss, though his chances of making final two had he stuck with Raro was pretty damn slim. He probably could have gone to Adam and company and said, "Hey, Yul showed me the Idol; we have to vote for Sundra or Becky," but after they were so smug and dismissive of even the possibility that Yul had the thing, these were clearly not the people with whom to cast his lot. Couldn't have happened to a dumber, more obnoxious bunch. I look forward to the Pagong/Ulong'ing. But I like how Jonathan and Yul understand how to play the game and the fact that it is a game. I had worried that Yul was going to fall into a naivete/integrity trap, but either he's prepared to sell out his Aitu lifemates to take the loathed Jonathan to the final two, or he's learned how to lie well enough to convince Jonathan that he might take him. (I'm leaning towards the latter.)

What did everybody else think? And is there any circumstance under which either Ozzy or Yul doesn't win now?


Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a newcomer to ur blog- I was so revved up from tonite's ep that I went on google blogs to show my love for the show. Man, it was a nerve-wrecking episode for me! I thought Yul would had have to use the Immunity Idol. I thought ur thoughts & recap on the show was fantastic! Yea, I also didnt understand why Jon didn't just let the cat outta the bag & SAY
"Yul has the idol!" since his tribemates need everything spelt out for them LOL. But, I think u're right, Jon's smart that way- he realized that tribemates were useless & it was best to side w/ Aitu. Anyways, cheers, mate & I hope Yul (or Ozzy) makes it to the final 2!!!

Cinemania said...

Yul's The Man. Really, has anyone ever (since Hatch, anyways) played a better game? He's cool, calm, and in control of every aspect of the game. He's even managed to put Jonathan, the second smartest guy on the island, into his back pocket.

About the only thing he doesn't do is catch fish. And get himself some dates. Winning a million bucks oughta take care of the latter, at least.

Lord Floppington said...

I was also very fired up by tonight's episode. I was initially disappointed that the "little tribe that could" wouldn't have another chance to humiliate that bloated group of mostly slacker jerks. Then Yul's plan became clear. I worried that Jonathan would spill the beans, and thought Yul had blown it. After all, if Jonathan tells his tribemates, they go for Sundra or Becky, and Yul's chance is wasted.

Yul took a big risk, and it paid off, also big. It was nice to see everyone talking about how pivotal tonight's vote would be, and how right they were. We tivo'd it, and I watched the reveal a few times. I couldn't help it. Seeing Parvati's face of shock, and Adam's disbelief, and Candace's recognition of Jonathan's turning, then Jonathan, eyes cast skyward in that innocent little angel look. I couldn't get enough of those few seconds. It made the season for me.

It also makes me feel good about the underdogs holding together and eliminating the jerks. However, one thing Survivor has taught me is that every time an alliance seems dominant, a chink will appear that can be exploited by a smart player. And no, that's not a reference to all the racial hoohah at the beginning of the season.

blooter said...

Well the thing is I've never felt so much hatred (yes I know, its a strong word for a person of a reality show) for Jonathan. We don't know he's not going to win (we've seen weirder things happen on this show with the "oh he really played the game the way it should be played" and "its a brutal game" crap). I like Yul. Very classy as Nate put it but that's about it, I can't rally around him because he's smart and the total Survivor package.

Ozzy's got my vote for that. I was disappointed that Nate got voted out, he seemed to finally become a sincere person instead of the grandstanding BS he's come to be known for. I was especially worried about Ozzy's own nonchalance in not trying to bring Nate into the alliance as opposed to Yul's fervant efforts in drawing the snake in Jonation out of the basket. Especially since Nate had a certain amount of sway in his alliance. If Ozzy had told Nate about Jonathan's insistence of getting Nate on the chopping block instead of him, Jonathan would have probably got voted out.

So the vote turned out exactly to plan, how many times has that happened in the past. Loving this season more than I ever thought I would although its gimmick didn't pan out as well as I thought it should, given that Nate was the only African-American left in his old tribe, I'd have expected that to have been played up a bit.

Brent McKee said...

Yul played the thing brilliantly and Jonathon's abandonment of his Raro "allies" about the only thing he could do. I mean the guy did everything short of telling them that Yul had the Hidden Immunity Idol and they still didn't get it!!! They probably don't get it even now! Dumber than a sack full of rusty hammers that bunch. The old Raro is dead meat, with the only real question being how long Ozzy lasts. A truly great episode even if only one group of people "gets it."

dark tyler said...

This is the first time I'm watching Survivor, so I don't know if these sort of twists happen every year or so, but I thought that this was a frikkin' awesome episode. Nail-biter from start to finish, no filler material, not by a long shot. Wow. I'm actually downloading season 1 right now so that I catch some of the early stuff.

So, the three remaining Raro-ites seem like total canon fodder right now, but is it 100% unlikely for one of them to make a comeback? Sure, I've met furniture smarter than the three of them combined, but if one of them manages to stick around for a couple of weeks more then maybe he or she gets the chance to come between the newly reunited Aitu-ites. If Yul makes the mistake to not vote Jonathan out next week, then maybe he gets to swing the other way again.

Well, either way, fantastic, fantastic episode. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Anonymous said...

word. It's up to Yul to make those cocky Caucasians pay.

I'm glad Nathan's gone. He was annoying as all hell with his whole "I'm gonna get my Denzel on" bullshit.

One thing I'm glad about this season is they seem to be eliminating their annoying characters just as they're reaching the breaking point of annoyance with us.

I'm very much looking forward to seeing those white slackers get picked off one by one.

Would love to see the final four include Jonathan, Yul, and Ozzie.

Anonymous said...

I have been rather impressed with Yul for a while now, but this episode really did it for me.
I have to respect someone who is able to make things go his way, and somehow still end up being liked by just about everyone. He seems to be able to manipulate the situation without backstabbing anyone (so far).
I agree that Jonathan really didn't have much of a choice (the rest of his team don't exactly give a glowing impression of caucasians...) but man, I loved watching him get played by Yul... fantastic.