After last week's theatrics on the Heroes tribe, the previews for this week's episode looked like things were going to continue to be chaotic for the "good guys". There were shots of James getting crazy at a challenge, and it looked like he was headed well past going off the deep end, and on his way to the bottom of the ocean. Instead, we got an episode that overall was pretty boring, at least compared to last week. Sure, some things happened in both tribes that could set things up going forward, but as a whole, things were unmemorable.
The episode started with the Heroes attempting to downplay Tribal Council, with what appeared to be false apologies, at least according to Tom (it sounded like James was sincere in his apologies, but Tom's confessional showed he was just faking it for the sake of keeping things calm). Then J.T. "came clean" to Tom about why he switched away from their alliance, even though he had other alliances from the get go. And Tom and Colby proceeded to whine about how their tribe wasn't playing fair around the campfire (boo hoo... this is Survivor).
So Boston Rob doesn't trust Russell and thinks he's got a thing for Parvati or something. Isn't Russell married or engaged or something? Either way, I don't think the dude is drawn to Parvati for any reason besides strategy, even if it appears differently (though he really should learn from other people's mistakes and not let it show). Coach even took Russell aside to talk about Parvati, as if he's controlling the game again (does he not understand how he had no pull the last time?). Boston Rob, who DOES think he's in control (and to some of the Villains, he definitely is), also joined in the anti-Parvati conversation.
Russell is getting a little cocky, though, despite so far having none of the control he had last season in Samoa. He needs to watch that ego -- take a cue from the mistakes of the Heroes tribe. He even planned to hide the machete and steal Boston Rob's Red Sox hat, similar tactics that he used in Samoa to create disarray amongst the tribe. What he doesn't realize is that these are all former players, and they aren't stupid like most of his former tribe -- if they think he's controlling the game, or don't like his alliances, they'll have no trouble voting him out. Creating chaos at camp only helps to ensure that they'll keep going to Tribal Council and increase his chances of going home.
The Heroes, meanwhile, continued to talk about trying to be cohesive, but at the same time J.T. was going around spreading half-truths and shaking things up with Candice, Cerie, and others. At least they caught the two chickens that escaped -- chickens always bring a tribe together, right? Mmm... chicken.
At the reward/immunity challenge (combined again) -- where the tribes had to square off one-on-one with a large heavy bag on a sumo-like platform surrounded by mud -- it was all Heroes. Do you think the producers made it a purely physical challenge this week to ensure things evened out again and we didn't have a blowout by the Villains? Whether they did or not, the Heroes absolutely dominated, capped off by James destroying Randy in a huge physical mis-match. Randy was jokingly goading James before their match, and James then accented his win by throwing the heavy bag down on a defeated Randy. It didn't seem to bother Randy, but Courtney made a comment about James being on the wrong tribe, and that's what we saw in last week's previews. It was pretty tame, all things considered.
With the Villains heading to Tribal for the first time, things got messy at their camp. Some people wanted the weakest male competitor (Randy) gone, while others wanted the "virus" Parvati (referenced in the episode title) to go home before she could wreak havoc. Russell and others were cautioned by Randy about Parvati's ties to James, Amanda, and Cirie over on the Heroes tribe (a major reason why she's a threat), while Parvati tried to "bat her eyelashes and wiggle her hips" with Coach -- which he says had absolutely no effect on him. After all, the female soccer players he coaches have never been able to use that kind of thing to gain playing time, so why would it work here? Coach talked a good game, but it looked like he was still liking the attention. (He definitely likes the attention of Jerri, right?)
Speaking of Jerri, she and Parvati had a bit of an awkward face-off, where Parvati tried to make Jerri (who loved calling her the "virus") admit that she wanted her to go home. Tyson was pulling for Randy to stay, Sandra just wanted to go along with the crowd under any circumstance, and Rob seemed to think he wanted Parvati to stay for the time being (despite him warning Russell about her).
Just before Tribal Council, Coach rambled on about how he was the only honourable one, quoted Martin Luther King, and then talked about hope for Randy to stay as if he was fighting for war refugees or something. He may be a "good guy", but he's still so out to lunch that it's frustrating to watch.
In the end, despite a Tribal that left things up in the air, Randy was sent home by a unanimous vote (minus the vote Randy threw Boston Rob's way). Like I said, generally uneventful -- the oldest and weakest member of the tribe, who had no real alliances, was the first Villain sent home.
It looks like next week, the tribes find out that there's a hidden immunity idol, and everyone is out for themselves. Since there is a hidden immunity idol, does this mean that Russell has already found the one in the Villains camp? Do you think he's in danger if he keeps messing with the tribe and staying tight with Parvati? Or will the Villains get back on the winning side and force the Heroes to send home someone else?
What do you think, folks?
Paul Little is the founder and Managing Editor of ShowbizMonkeys.com. When not interviewing his favourite musicians and comedians, he can also be found at The Purple Room in Winnipeg, where he is Artistic Director. (@comedygeek)
I think <a href="http://survivormuch.com/survivorheroes-vs-villains/survivors-queen-bee/">Parvati</a>'s charm is really her best weapon. Russell is totally under her spell no matter how much he denies this.