Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Survivor Recap: "That Was Simple As Wiping Your Hiney With Toilet Paper"

Last week’s season premiere of Survivor Redemption Island was one of the more memorable premieres we’ve ever seen, with arguably the best first Tribal Council ever. Last season, as we were all getting our cumulative hate-on for NaOnka, I made the point that some Survivor characters are great, no matter how annoying or ridiculous they are, because they still make good TV. Coach Wade, for instance, was great TV, while NaOnka was not. Now, say what you will about Phillip, the “is-he-or-isn’t-he-a-former-special-agent-with-the-tighty-pinkies”, this guy is fantastic television.

Would this week’s follow-up episode match last week’s excitement? Who is Russell clashing with? And which Survivor matches wits with a crustacean?

My Random Thoughts:

- Tonight’s night-vision preamble started with Fran-Sasquatch making her way to Redemption Island and getting the lay of the land. First of all, just as Exile Island was never really an Island, I don’t believe for a second that Redemption Island is surrounded by water either. But Redemption Clearing doesn’t sound that good, does it?

Second of all, how crazy was it that there is a sign on a tree detailing “Life At Redemption Island”…like the House Rules at a pool hall or a poker room? I’m glad that the Redemption Island twist included Jeff telling the contestants about it from the beginning. But I’m not a fan of the only direction being that the player who survives from Redemption Island comes back “at some point.” I think it should be made clear when they come back. If it is indeed, as rumored, when there are only 6 players left, then it might be a good strategy to get voted out early and take your shot with one-on-one challenges and try to get back in with only 6 left

Then, Fran-Scooby-Doo was praying that there was flint there so that she could make fire. Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one that thought this, but wasn’t she carrying fire in her hand in the form of the lantern she was using for light? Unless it was a battery powered lantern with a Christmas tree bulb inside, wouldn’t the smart thing to do have been to use the fire in the lantern to start a campfire? Is there some reason we had to watch the ridiculous shot of her scraping the flint with the machete BY THE LIGHT OF THE LANTERN?

- On the camp side of the night-vision segment, Phillip told Rob “you own my vote”, which led to Rob delivering the first of what I’m sure will be many laugh-out-loud soundbytes: “This guy Phillip, FBI...whatever...Special Agent...I don't know if he's delusional. I think he's a good-hearted guy...I do. Just might not ALL be there. Let it be a lesson to you: Government Jobs...stressful.”

- In a battle for the ages, Phillip took on…a crab? Look, I get that you need to look for food, and crab would be a smart choice to try and find around camp or near the water, but are these creatures (and especially the size we saw on this episode) really the best candidates to throw a SPEAR at? I mean, even if he was able to hit one, would he be able to generate enough force to penetrate the shell? And if by some strange stretch of the imagination he was able to do that, wouldn’t the spear just blow right through the tiny crab anyways, making the minute bit of meat useless? Obviously it was a much better idea to just chuck rocks at it until you hit one.

- Speaking of rocks, Ralph the Camp Rooster stumbled upon a Hidden Immunity Idol while gathering rocks, (don’t they normally gather firewood?) and first celebrated with a “Hot Doggie” before breaking out his newest nugget “That was simple as wiping your hiney with toilet paper.” I can’t wait to hear more pieces of wisdom from him this season. And I will re-iterate again that the Idols need to be hidden a LOT better.
- As Phillip was talking about how Fran-Susquehanna hurt his feelings last week, we heard him wax poetic and then go on about how much he loved his country and what it meant to him. Cue the “God Bless America” patriotic background music, Phillip’s mock tears and cracked voice, and a collective gag was heard by viewers everywhere. I haven’t seen as ridiculous a demonstration of forced American patriotism since the end of Spider-Man 2. And I won't even touch on his ridiculous Lion and Gorilla analogies at Tribal Council since I have no clue what he was talking about.

- At the Reward/Immunity challenge (looks like we're back to combining them again), I hope you were thinking what I was thinking: Tile-Smashing! And not just one set of tiles, but a double section of the beginning and the end. Hairy Ralph pulled it out at the end, besting Phillip at the wire, proving that Phillip's talents were clearly not used in the ball-chucking division of the government.

And I'll let you in on a little secret you probably haven't considered. When you see that pool in challenges this season, remember that it's the same pool Fabio peed in last season. Think they drained and re-filled it? Me neither.

Also, at the end of that challenge, as Russell was carrying the fishing gear by the other tribe, it looked like Phillip may have winked at Russell, or at someone. Personally, I think it's just a nervous twitch on Mr. Pink Shorts.

- Wait a minute, people on Redemption Island get a luxury item? This is getting worse by the minute.
- Phillip’s speech to his tribemates before Tribal council went like this" “I want to say to all my fellow contestants…and tribe members…I thought you guys performed gallantry…ly…I mean, you know, you were outstanding. You should be proud of your effort. I only wish…I could have performed…in MY moment…as well as all of you did today.”

Clearly Phillip is one of those people who likes to use big words because they sound smart without knowing what they mean. I look forward to hearing him use 'supposably' in upcoming episodes. That trait leads me to believe that he's just a massive shit talker, and that he's making up this whole Special Agent stuff.

- As Rob worked to include Phillip in his plan to get Matt out, and took a walk with him, I was screaming at the TV "Don't tell him anything!" But Rob is much smarter at this game than you or I will ever be, and found a way to include Phillip in the plan without actually telling him anything he could spill. If Phillip decided to actually sing like a canary at Tribal, Rob could simply say it was a test of his trustworthiness, which he failed.
- Tribal Council was anticlimactic, even with the producers saving all 4 of Matt's votes until the end. Andrea's reaction was priceless, though.

- I'm impressed so far. 2 good episodes in a row.

Next Week: Andrea is pissed and Russell makes more enemies.

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Thanks for reading.

Related Posts:
Survivor Redemption Island Recap by Dalton Ross
Jeff Probst’s Blog


Choirchick22 said...

I loved the look on both of their faces when Matt got voted out. I actually kind of wanted to see Rob's signal to Phil because I wanted to see how he would explain the gesture.
I do think he made a mistake though voting out Matt. He was loyal, and getting rid of him takes away 2 team Rob votes.
As for Russell, I am excited to see him take down his tribe one by one. You know he can.

Anonymous said...

Can we get a clarification on just what kind of "special agent" this guy was? I'm thinking he got his special agent license on the second floor of the the Casa Del Linda apartments.

Kathleen said...

Ok, so I totally agree with Choir Chick. Why forsake Matt for Philip? Matt was so loyal to Rob. Philip is loyal to whom exactly? Have we established from what entity is he a "special agent". I think the emphasis here is on "special". This guy is a lose cannon. Mark my words, he'll align with Andrea next week and Rob will be on the rocks.

SpoilerGirl said...

After Phillip's Fran-Sasquatch hurt my feelings confessional it was starting to turn into a Stuart Smalley affirmation. I was just waiting to hear "I'm good enough. I'm smart enough and doggone-it, people like me!".

Beth said...

I had the same thought about the lantern and making fire! But I didn't see any flickering, so, like you, I suspected it may have been battery-operated.

Wasn't the very first Exile Island an actual island? I seem to remember flyover shots of various people standing alone on a very small island.

Oh, and aren't federal agents supposed to be good at keeping secrets? And he had the nerve to call Christina and/or Francesca "untrustworthy"? (Or something to that effect.)

Anne Cheesman said...

I never picked up on the lantern/ fire at redemption. They showed the lantern twice too. I am loving this show. Very worried about Phillip, I think he is insane. I saw the wink too. I assumed it was at a girl. he seems scared of Well he was scared of that poor crab yesterday too which wasnt big enough for a tooth pick never mind dinner.
enjoyed your blog as usual.
P.S Have you all noticed that Rob always seems to be on the losing team???? From the first time he came on Survivor?

Guelph Gryphons said...

Hey should check out Jeff Probst's twitter he's now writing tweets during the's pretty cool. He tweets about things that happened on the island etc.

Sean said...

Gryphons, I've been following Probst's tweets during the West Coast broadcast. He actually answered my question last night about Francesca and the lamp, saying there was indeed fuel in the lamp that she could have used to start the fire!

Anonymous said...

Hasn't anyone given any thought to what "Former Special Agent" could mean? It doesn't prove anything. He could have been a special agent in the military, he could have been a special agent 20 years ago for 6 months, didn't pass probation and got fired. I mean there are all sorts of possibilities where the term is being stretched larger than it really was.