Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Recap
That Girl Is Like a Virus
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 26, 2010

We really liked his chances against James. What an upset!

Previously on Survivor, Boston Rob passed out, which had us worried that the main reason we're even watching this season might be gone in the second episode. Instead, he rallied impressively, leading the villains to victory in the Immunity/Reward Challenge. And when we say he led them, we really mean that there is no chance they would have won without him. It was his strength and cunning that got them to the finish line first. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that he's the finest player the show has ever seen...and for this reason, he really *should* have a target on his back.

Some other stuff probably happened in the episode, but the honest evaluation is that it was all about Rob. This obviously makes someone like, oh, Evil Loser Russell jealous. We'd forecast that he'll go after Rob for this reason, but we all know that he's going to vote out the women before he'd ever consider eliminating a strong dude like Rob.

Oh, right. As tonight's show starts, we remember that Stephenie had been voted out and that James had gotten his rage on both during the challenge and at Tribal Council. Obviously, James is still steaming, and it's causing a lot of discomfort amongst the various Heroes. They return to camp and James rants and raves a little more, at which point JT takes Tom aside and explains that he felt like he was in a tough position where he had to go with the majority of the tribe. Tom says he understands and that the numbers just shake out that way sometimes, but then in a camera confessional, he says he's pretty pissed off and feels betrayed. The news doesn't really get any better for Tom, as Colby tells him that he's not sure he's cut out for this game anymore. It was pretty clear that he was overwhelmed by James's attitude earlier, making Colby have the appearance of an aging athlete who realizes his sport has passed him by.

Tom tackles Colby's doubts head on, telling him that it's true that the game has been nasty so far, but that they need to adapt. He says that there's not much honor to be found here - the Marquis de Queensbury rules are out the window, so to speak. To go far in this particular edition of Survivor, they might have to do some things that are unsavory to them. The advantage this gives the two of them is that no one will be expecting it.

Over at the Villains' camp, Boston Rob is giving us a lesson on how to determine who's in alliances and who's in danger of being voted out. He says that the thing to watch is the sleeping arrangements each night. He says that if people won't sleep beside a particular person, that person is likely on the outs. He's noticed that Evil Loser Russell is making puppy dog eyes at Parvati (and she's snuggling with him -ew!), while Jerri and Coach are also getting up close and personal. Rob also notes that there's a danger in this type of alliance as he knows, since he and Amber were together to the end in a previous All-Star season. We're happy to hear that he doesn't trust Evil Loser Russell, but honestly, Boston Rob probably doesn't trust any of his teammates at this point.

Back to Heroes, we see Rupert lamenting the fact that his tribe isn't spending any time bonding or getting closer. He wishes for a rainstorm to force them all under the shelter together. Although that doesn't happen, a couple of their chickens escape, and the guys all rally together to wrangle them. They seem to have fun doing it and there's a nice moment of cohesiveness for the Heroes. We have a feeling it's fleeting, though.

Meanwhile, over on the Dark Side, Coach is lecturing Evil Loser Russell about his closeness with Parvati and the impression it is giving other tribe members. Coach basically calls her an evil temptress and tells ELR that if he sticks with Parvati, his head is probably going to be on the chopping block because he will be perceived as not trustworthy (this perception is correct). Boston Rob approaches and backs up what Coach is saying. Of course, ELR thinks that Coach is just a loser (he is) and that Boston Rob is trying to act like he has control of the Villains' camp (he does). Evil Loser Russell claims he is the one in control of the Villains (he's not) and that everyone will see when he's the guy who wins the game. He's Evil Loser Russell, dammit! Don't these people know him?! (They don't.)

Evil Loser Russell goes to his new girlfriend, Parvati, and tells her (sort of) about the conversation he had with Coach and Rob. He effectively makes himself sound awesome, while making Coach look like a buffoon who's fumbling to plan a move. It becomes clear to Parvati that Coach is gunning for her, and she tells the camera that the only person she trusts is Evil Loser Russell. There's a great judgment call.

Back from commercial break, the producers remind us why we hated the last season of Survivor so much. So far, tonight's episode is all too Evil Loser Russell-centric. He pulls some of the same stupid crap he did last year, along the lines of burning socks and so forth. He buries the tribe's machete, thinking it will cause dissension when they can't kill their chickens or start fire. But wait! There's more! Clearly annoyed by the fact that Boston Rob thinks he's in control of the tribe (he is), he decides to also hide Rob's Red Sox cap. It seems ELR is an Astros fan. Okay. We're now going back to calling him Evil Loser What's-his-name. Also, note to ELW: millionaire models don't really find short, stumpy bald guys attractive.

After Randy catches a clam for the tribe (that no one really wants to eat), there's some discussion between him and Coach about how useless Parvati is. This seems to be a running theme and the fact that there has been some significant focus on ELW, Coach, Parvati and now Randy makes us think that one of them is likely to be leaving after tonight's Tribal Council.

There continues to be a surprising amount of strategy shown in tonight's episode, and we shift to the Heroes and Candice talking to JT about an alliance and trusting each other. What JT takes from this conversation is that Candice might be more formidable an opponent than he had credited her for, and she might be the logical next target. JT goes to Cirie and tells her that Candice was saying that she's not sure she can trust Cirie. This lie (which JT pulls off nicely) sends Cirie over to Candice. Cirie tells her that now she's worried about their partnership, which sets Candice off. She goes around to different tribe mates, asking them who told Cirie that. Naturally, none of them own up to this, and all she seems to do is annoy people, especially since they have a challenge coming up.

Finally, it's a Probst sighting! Today's Reward/Immunity Challenge is a sumo battle, where two people fight to push one into the mud. Awesome! Winners take home immunity as well as individual personal items from home and coffee. First tribe to eight points wins.

Tom and ELW meet first, and we like where this is going. We think for a moment that maybe ELW might have a small advantage due to his low center of gravity, but then we remember that Tom is Tom. It's over for ELW faster it takes a young man to lose his virginity. Then, Candice takes out Parvati in a rough battle. Coach appears to have Rupert beat in their match-up, but he uses his arm, which is against the rules. Rupert comes out of the mud angry, and knocks over Coach in short order. This is followed by Cirie plowing over Jerri. It's an ass-kicking so far.

TIny little Tyson tries to take on JT, but it's not even close. Amanda follows by taking out Danielle, making it 6-0 for the Heroes. Next up is a match of Titans - Rob and Colby. Rob has a good tactic, as he rolls under a punch from Colby, but he spins a little far because of the mud. Their match is competitive, but Colby makes it 7-0 for the Heroes...

...which brings us to the awesome match-up of...Randy and James? Oh, come on. You know how this is going to turn out. And the Heroes win immunity with ease, though Randy bitches at James for knocking him down roughly (oh, please). The Villains are going to Tribal Council, and our suspicion that the editing is leading to something specific seems to be right on target.

The next segment is effectively an extended conversation about how Parvati is a giant threat and Randy is useless in challenges, so it's pretty obviously coming down to the two of them. We could tell you more about the extended interchanges, but all of the conversations are pretty stupid. The only item of note is that Boston Rob is doing his best to kind of creep around and hear a lot of the conversations that are going on. He's not dumb. Meanwhile, Jerri hates Parvati because Parvati is younger and prettier than her, and Parvati hates Jerri because Jerri is a stupid old cougar. Randy realizes he's the oldest, klutziest, weakest dude on the tribe, and that people fall under Parvati's spell. He is not feeling good about his chances of lasting past Tribal Council.

It turns out that he's right to feel this way. Basically, the editing tonight was showing us how they should vote (Parvati) versus how they would (Randy). Everyone votes for Randy except Randy, who votes for Boston Rob, oddly enough. The previews give us the awesome Boston Rob quote of "Russell's a bonehead. It's time for him to go." This makes our hearts sing.