Thursday, September 29, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific Episode 3 Thoughts

Today I'm going to riff off of some the quotes from this episode, and hopefully cover the bigger events and stories to come out of it. To begin:

- "I don't know what happened at tribal. I think my tribe was not ready for someone who wanted to play the game right out of the box."
- "I don't think Coach liked me at all"
- "He's a big fat pain in the ass"
- "He's had it out for me from the beginning and he was going to do whatever it to took to take me out. And he succeeded."

Then later:

- "Coach Wade, you know, he didn't like me from the beginning. I just articulated what everybody else was saying."

Christine, your self awareness is unbelievable. You acknowledge that Coach might have been gunning for you because you immediately declared him to be the enemy, but try to put the blame on everybody else for your actions. Much later on at tribal council, Cochran laid out the other part of Christine's game that was poor:

- "I just think you have to weigh the pros and cons of searching for the idol. It makes you look very suspicious and it makes you look like you don't trust everyone else on your tribe. It's all about fostering a culture of trust in the tribe, and searching for an individual immunity idol is not necessarily the best way to avoid the chopping block."

Christine doesn't get it. It's not her tribe that was the problem, IT WAS HER! The single most important thing you can do in the first days of the game is not alienate yourself from the tribe. She did that even before the tribe was fully formed, and continued to do it while the tribe was starting to get together as a team. That's why she's at Redemption Island, and if she doesn't come to the necessary conclusion, she's out once she gets back into the game.

- "I'm hoping that I'll pull a Matt and pull a run here and get back in."

The irony is that Christine doesn't remember that Matt came back to immediately alienate himself from his tribe and get voted out again.

- "There isn't anything that I wouldn't do for this man/I would even take off my clothes and give him a private show to the tune of his soul..."

Does Semhar only have one spoken word piece?

- "Semhar, your adventure has come to the end. It's time to go."

Only included because this might be the new Jeff Probst catch phrase.

- "I came into this game not wanting to be like my Uncle Russell and his reputation he has of being a villain on Survivor. I wanted to be a hero, I wanted to be someone you could look up to. I'm guilty, completely guilty of the way that I acted and I reap what I sow."

- "I don't want to lie any more. I don't want to play games any more with these people."
- "I really wanted to take off my shirt really bad."

- "You say you don't want to lie, but you keep on doing it. I think it's an easy out for him. You do something bad 'Guys I told you that's not me.'"
- "So maybe he's trying to cover his tracks before he makes them. But I don't trust him. I think he's a sneak. I don't understand what's his problem with me."

- "I'm Brandon Hantz. I love God. I love Jesus Christ and I shouldn't be ashamed that I'm a different person than my uncle."

The Brandon No Last Name saga motored on, with Brandon admitting to everybody that he's Russell Hantz's nephew. It was accepted better than I thought, though it has definitely has his tribe on edge. It probably shouldn't have been said, as it has given his tribe an excuse to vote him out.

- "A mistake in my opinion. But he needed to get it off his chest and you know, that shows Brandon's age a little bit. He lets things get to him and weigh him down."

Coach hits at the heart of the matter, which is preventing Brandon from succeeding at the game. His inability to get shrug things off ends up hurting him in the game of Survivor. The conflict that Brandon feels whenever he makes any sort of move that isn't pure and honourable will end up being the end of his game. I don't know that it is completely dependent on his age though; his faith also plays a part in this conflict.

- "...I think Keith and I have a brother type thing going on. There's gotta be a certain point I have to trust somebody with the knowledge that I have the idol. And who better than Keith?"
- "I just think he's going to be a strong ally, and as far as I know he's extremely trustworthy."

A note to all future Survivor players: The whole point of a hidden immunity idol is that IT IS SECRET! OTHERS AREN'T SUPPOSED TO KNOW YOU HAVE IT!

- "Ozzy found it."
"You sure?"
"100% positive?"
"He told you?"
"I'm kinda surprised he told you."
"He has to tell me. Because he has a lot of power."

- "So I told Whitney because I wanted her to trust me just in case something happens down the line when I needed the numbers if I thought Ozzy might be making a move."

- "We've got to be careful about it because he doesn't know that I told you."

And now we have the side effect of telling somebody you have an idol - they can tell more people. A Whitney/Keith sub-alliance is interesting, especially if they bring Elyse in. It certainly puts Ozzy in an awkward position.

- "Why don't you like me?"
"Because of this. The attitude."

- "Before me doing anything people didn't trust you. It's not just me."

- "As a Christian, I am supposed to be meek, I'm supposed to turn the other cheek."
- "But I'm telling you as a man I wanted you out of this game. Very bad. But when she walked up to me the way she did, I was very upset. But what I'm trying to explain to her because she's wondering why I want to vote her out. You might want to look around and see who's really loyal and who's really not. Because it sounds like to me, you don't have really much of an alliance. Period. Anybody else have anything to say?"

Brandon's meltdown continues. Apparently being meek like a Christian means that you passive aggressively attack somebody who you disagree with (in this case, Mikayla, who was driven to tears.)

- "I think Brandon is really torn right now between following whatever crazy religious beliefs he has and yet at the same time he inherently in his bloodline is a devious jerk."

Sophie summarizes Brandon's predicament pretty well.

- "It's a different kind of aggression than Russell had, but it's an aggression none the less."

Then Coach one ups her with a fair comparison to Russell.

- "Ozzy's lost his boat, opening the door for Upolu."

Jeff comments on Ozzy's mess up at the challenge, which ultimately ended up losing his tribe the challenge. That leads us to...

- "We're going to tribal council tonight and we've got to vote somebody off and that means cutting people who aren't really that good at challenges."
- "It's basically between Papa Bear and Cochran."

Are we sure that Ozzy is that good at challenges? Even the challenge that he won wasn't necessarily him winning it - he had the help of his tribe as well. This could end up being a Boston Rob situation, only without the puzzle solving skills. In which case, Ozzy is an a lot of trouble.

- "Are you nervous about tonight? Do you have butterflies in your stomach?"
"I think I have gas."

An amusing exchange between Cochran and Papa Bear.

- "If I go tonight then you go tomorrow. If you go tonight then I go tomorrow."

- "We are up [explicitive]'s creek."

Papa Bear is already deciding to go it alone, instead of trying to rally support to his side. It's not horrible strategy since there's two other targets available. At the same time, it doesn't help the underlying problem of him being on the outside looking in.

- "I know a lot of people view [Redemption Island] as a chance to get back in the game. I view it as a chance for, you know, extended failure and just more depression. So I might do some last minute scrambling. The problem is that I already have this reputation as the nervous neurotic scrambler. If I resurrect that before another tribal council I think it's going to hurt me. (sigh) I so want to go home."

Cochran understands the predicament that he's in, which is great. If he's learned that it probably helps to play things a bit more low key, it will help his game in the long run.

(BTW, I don't buy his "want to go home" crack as anything more than a lament for how tough the game is. He's a Survivor geek; he knows that quitters are essentially pariahs.)

- "I'm going to the shelter and Papa Bear goes into a dead sprint from the woods to the water. And Papa Bear doesn't spring. Ever. And so I'm like 'Did you all just see that?'"

- "The best thing I can do is make them think I have an idol, play them and hopefully they will vote for John. I'm going to play it like I found it. I'm not going to show them."

Somebody needs to tell Papa Bear that the fake idol trick never works; inevitably somebody has already found the idol to prove you wrong, or they can easily figure out that you are acting the role of having the idol.

(Even though it seems like everybody is trying to tell everybody else they have the idol, everybody assumes that people are going to be secretive and cagey about whether they have the idol. Call it the Hidden Idol Paradox.)

- "I don't need to worry about it because I'm in the three. You need to worry about it because you're going to be in the five."

I don't get Papa Bear's point is here - is he talking about a hidden immunity idol.

- "It's a tool. Playing an idol at this level is really only getting you three more days. But that's what Survivor is all about - surviving from day to day."

Jim gets the idea about how best to use an immunity idol. He also seems to be paranoid about the idol being used, hence why he was the only one to vote for Papa Bear. But why did Papa Bear vote for Jim instead of Cochran, who would seem to be next in line to be voted out? Hopefully somebody explores this during Papa Bear's exit interview.

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