“Let’s bro down”: Survivor Caramoan April 10 2013 recap

11 Apr

This season is finally starting to live up to some of its billing, and this episode topped last week as the best of the season so far.

Unfortunately the show began with still more camera time for Phillip. Just as George Lucas reportedly thought that Jar Jar Binks would become a beloved character people couldn’t get enough of, the producers seem to have thought that a big weekly dose of Phillip is a must. I can’t imagine anyone in America hasn’t tired of him by now.

We head for a reward challenge, and the merged tribe does a schoolyard pick-’em (not shown on screen) to figure out the teams. Sherri is not picked and thus eliminated from the reward. Yes, that means someone picked even the ultra-unathletic Cochran over Sherri! In fairness to Cochran, he acquitted himself well at the challenge. The event involved jumping off a platform and trying to throw a ball past a goalie (Malcolm for one team, Michael for the other) and into a goal. However the players quickly figured out that since the goalie’s perch is pretty far out you could score a goal by simply arcing the ball over the goalie’s head.

The winning team of Eddie, Reynold, Cochran, Erik and Michael gets to rappel down a waterfall and enjoy a picnic. Reynold makes an effort to suggest a bros’ alliance among all present, but nothing much comes of it.

Back at camp, Malcolm sees this as the time to make his big move. He wants to band together with some Fans and other stragglers and take out Andrea, a plan he decides to share with … Dawn! Malcolm had no way of knowing that Corinne made the exact same mistake last week, but history repeats itself here and the only effect of the conversation is that Dawn resolves that Malcolm has to go.

Meanwhile, Andrea observes that “Eddie’s really hot” (a sentiment shared by Eddie, as you know if you saw the early episodes of the season). The two of them head for a secluded place and chat a bit, as the producers play music you might hear in a movie as lovers amble through the park. While Andrea is enjoying herself, she is also mainly in this mini-flirtation for whatever strategic advantage she can gain. She tells Eddie that if he gives her exclusive information on Malcolm, she can guarantee he won’t be going home in the next vote (which costs her nothing since she and Dawn have already decided they want to blindside Malcolm). Once that’s done, Eddie admits “I am indirectly hitting on you,” resulting in a long silence as Andrea ponders how to answer that. Eddie, take it from me: long pauses by a girl you’re hitting on are never good.

The immunity challenge reprises an exciting one from the first Fans vs. Favorites season: the players swim under a metal grate that’s just a few inches above the surface of the water, then have to try and keep breathing as the tide raises the water level. It comes down to Andrea and Brenda in an exciting finish, and Andrea even submerges a couple of times but comes back up to keep playing. Still, Brenda outlasts her and wins. I do have to note that Brenda has the skinniest face of any of the players, and that’s an advantage as it lets you stick your mouth through the grate a bit further.

Time for a great scene of Malcolm and Andrea making sure they’re both solid in their decision to split the vote between Reynold and Eddie. Of course both of them are lying, as they really plan to vote for each other! Malcolm seems totally confident and we appear headed for the perfect blindside… until Andrea has a talk with Eddie. Other than saying it won’t be Eddie who’s voted out she refuses to divulge a thing, but he does tell her that her name is being considered. Andrea freaks out and immediately tells everyone to change the plan to a safer vote of Michael (who everyone is sure doesn’t have an idol). Dawn tries to calm her down and says their original plan is fine, but we see no more before tribal council.

At tribal council the Favorites have poker faces, except for Phillip, who obviously thinks camera time is more important than advancing in the game, and stops just short of blabbing their entire plan as Andrea and Cochran show pained expressions. Also, Malcolm looks incredibly stressed out as he hears all of this. We see that Malcolm has written Reynold’s name down, which he puzzlingly tells the camera is a throwaway vote.

Now Jeff Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol, and Reynold gets up to hand his over. But then Malcolm calls out to him and says give it to me, all of the others just voted for me and that’s what Phillip’s speech was about! Reynold thinks about it for just a second and then complies, and it’s Malcolm who gets the immunity! And remember, Malcolm secretly has an idol of his own (presumably he would have used it if Reynold had said no)!

At this point it looks as if Andrea will be going home, since no vote for Malcolm will count. But instead it’s Michael who got all of the Favorites’ votes! Evidently they never did change the plan back. Michael seemed like a good sport up to now, but not so much once he’s voted off. He makes a “Bronx cheer” noise, flips everyone off and says “you turkeys” on the way out.

As the votes are shown during the closing credits, we see that everyone voted for Michael except for Eddie, Michael, and Reynold, who voted Andrea, and Malcolm’s odd “throwaway” vote for Reynold. Strangely enough given all of that drama, nobody really ended up losing anything! (Well, except Michael of course.) The Favorites saw the person go who they determined should go, and while he wasn’t as big a threat to win it all as Malcolm is, he was the Fan with the best chance to win in my opinion (last week I had him ranked #2, behind only Malcolm). Also, I initially thought Reynold made a grievous error that he’d regret for all time by handing Malcolm the idol, but if he’d just handed it to Jeff Probst as he originally intended, the result would have been the same: Reynold stays in the game but no longer has an idol.

Great tribal council moment: Reynold moves to play the idol and Malcolm convinces him to give it to him instead!

Contender list: 1) Malcolm, 2) Dawn, 3) Andrea, 4) Brenda, 5) Sherri, 6) Reynold, 7) Eddie

No-chance list: Phillip, Cochran, Erik

Jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michael (Malcolm)


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