Hello, good people, and welcome to the most dramatic and powerful episode of Survivor - of ALL-TIME!!! Well, that's how they're billing it. Looks like the bulk of the cast will be med-evac'd tonight and just might be replaced by the cast of Fuller House. Cut-It-Out! Ok, that might be a little much. But all the lead up to this week's episode suggests some major issues during the challenge. Medical is called in, they call for a chopper and Jeff's nipples get so hard they could cut glass! This is some serious drama tonight, people!!
Survivor: Kaoh Rong - Episode Recap
Episode 2 - Signed, Sealed and Delivered
By Jim Van Nest
March 14, 2016
But before we get to that, let's get caught up with where we stand: Kyle has an idol that everyone knows about, Tai has an idol that no one knows about and Peter and Liz had a plan to demonstrate how two is greater than four. They really should have consulted Brad Culpepper for the math on this. Their two was no match for the rest of the Brains and (of all people) Debbie emerged as the Verbal Kent of the group, executing the perfect plan and sending the smug Liz to Ponderosa.
One quick note on this season’s roughness: Apparently, right after Tribal as she was getting the post-game medical exam, they found that Liz had a nasty staph infection on her back. She was rushed to the hospital where she had surgery to remove the infection. She has since had some plastic surgeries in the States to help fix that area on her back. Nope, not joking, it happened. So, maybe Probst isn't playing when he says this is the toughest season of Survivor yet. Anyway, it's about that time - everyone cross your fingers that none of the medical issues are too serious. And away we go...
So we begin tonight's episode at the Brains camp after Tribal. Peter is really bummed and Debbie has anointed herself the mastermind. Debbie tries to make him feel better saying she really did want him to stay. He tells us he can't wait for a swap or a merge so he can take them all out one by one.
And right off the bat, even before the credits, we have a Probst sighting. The screen tells me it's a #rewardchallenge. Today's challenge begins by jumping over some obstacles and then continues with digging through the sand to get the tribe under a log. The next step is to dig into the sand to dig up three bags of balls. They'll then skee-ball the balls up a ramp and land them on an inclined board. First tribe to finish wins a sweet kitchen set. Second tribe to finish wins some salt and pepper to make food taste a little better. Last tribe - got nothin' for ya.
The challenge begins and the tribes are all pretty even, but Brawn pulls away as they dig under the log. Brains is second under the log with Beauty right behind. Each group has one bag of balls dug up when exhaustion and the heat start to take their toll on, well, everyone. After 45 minutes, people are actually stopping. Brawn has two bags but no one can seem to find any more bags. Out of nowhere, Brains find both bags of balls and are on to the skee-ball portion. While the other tribes continue digging, I can't help but think...Really??? It's like 110 degrees outside...who the hell buried these bags of balls? Brains now has four of the six balls landed and are on their way to an easy win. Debbie and Peter each get a ball landed and Brains wins reward. The other tribes, however, are still digging. Caleb digs us a second bag and Nick finds #3. Beauty can start digging. Sitting on the mat waiting for the challenge to end, Debbie is having a rough time. Joe wants to call the medic; she keeps telling him not to. Finally, Joe alerts Jeff and they bring in medical to check her out. She thinks she's having heat stroke. Medical comes in, hooks up an oxygen meter to her finger and we cue the credits.
We come back from break with Caleb rolling balls, Brawn still digging and Debbie being tended to by medical. They're pouring water on her trying to cool her down. She is very much overheated. She's feeling much better. Better enough to have a confessional to let us know she's an expert in heat stroke as well as the treatment for it. Looks like she's good to stay in the game. Beauty now has five balls landed and Brawn still hasn't found that third bag. While they can't find the balls, they're also arguing with each other, with Alecia and Scot taking shots over who's working harder. And like that, Kyle finds the third bag and starts rolling. Kyle lands one and Scot takes over. He scores the second and third. And finally, Caleb drops #6 on the board and Beauty wins second reward. As Jeff goes to check on Debbie, Cydney is down as is Caleb. Both of them are absolutely exhausted.
As Beauty tends to Caleb, they finally alert medical to check him out. They're fanning him and giving him water, but he's down and out. Medical gets over there and starts pouring water all over him. Meanwhile, Kyle is the only one tending to Cydney. There are at least 10 people around Caleb, and Cydney finally drops. Medical finally gets over and tends to her. At this point, Jeff has the entire medical team and the entire crew on deck working with all three people who are hurting badly. They have umbrellas, coolers and water. Caleb is getting an oxygen mask to help him breathe. He seems to have passed out completely and with the oxygen mask on his face, you can see that he isn't breathing at all.
And we're back and things with Caleb do not look good at all. He's breathing again and conscious, so we have that. Medical is calling for the saline for a drip. Meanwhile, Cydney is in trouble. She can hardly breathe. Caleb has cool fluids running through him to cool him down. As Jeff tends to Cydney, Medical tells Jeff they need the chopper; there's going to be an evacuation. They've cooled Cydney off and she's breathing better now. She says she is okay. Jeff tells her she's in no danger of being pulled from the game right now. He heads back over to Caleb as they wait for the helicopter to come in. In all the years I've watched this show, we've seen evacs, we've had dozens of family visits...this is the first time I've ever teared up. The Beauty tribe, and Tai specifically, are SO upset. You can tell that this group really is like a family out there. It's only been nine days and the toll this evac is taking on them is real and strong.
Aside from the emotion of this episode - I'd like to mention, real quick - ENOUGH IS FUCKING ENOUGH. I'm not sure what the hell they're trying to prove. And by they, I mean Probst and the other series producers. When you have triple digit temperatures , who the hell allowed people to bury those bags so deep that none of the tribes could find them? I'm actually sick to my stomach over how excited they get when there's a medical evacuation. Sure, the name of the show is Survivor - I get it. But it's one thing to survive the elements. It's another to have to survive the show runners who seem like they are literally out to kill you. It keeps getting worse and worse. This is by far the worst they've ever had. Last season wasn't near this hard - maybe they learned something from this season and they scaled it back a bit. I don't know...but I can tell you this, if this keep up, they're going to eventually get what it seems like they're all waiting for - an actual death on this show. Okay, off the soapbox...
To recap things now: Brains win the challenge and they get the awesome kitchen. By the time they leave the challenge, Debbie is looking back to normal and ready to get on with the game. Cydney doesn't look so good, but her temperature is down and she's breathing better and is ready to get back in the game. Jeff asks Kyle about taking care of Cydney, and can he now turn around and vote her out? He says that he was in the military and when a man goes down, the man matters, not the mission. He's with her to the end. They lost the challenge, so they'll go back to camp with nothing.
Beauty won second place and gets the seasoning, but they easily lost the challenge. Caleb was their strength and you could probably say he's their heart. Tai will miss his friend. At the same time, he knows now that he's down 3-2 in the numbers, so his idol becomes more important than ever. And after all that, the entire crew, the medical team, the chopper, the evac - the game continues. As we head to break they tell us that Caleb made a 100% recovery and hopes to play the game again. Yeah - something tells me that will happen. Probably pretty soon, I would bet.
We come back from break to the Brains tribe. Debbie is tellng her story to Aubry...as if she wasn't there. She tells us that she didn't want to appear weak to her daughters at home. She says they're so proud of her and she doesn't want to do anything to disappoint them.
Let's check in with Brawn now. Cydney is looking much better. But that's not what we're here to talk about. Alecia wants to talk about why, when she was trying as hard as she could and trying to stay positive, Scot felt the need to tear her down by telling her she should just be a cheerleader. She tells him that his NBA teammates would never have stood for that. He is completely dismissive of her and tries to act as though "be a cheerleader" is a compliment. To her credit - Alecia never did give up and we saw many shots of Scot just sitting there while everyone else was digging. Alecia may not be my favorite this season, but she is right this time.
Scot and Kyle try to tell her that she was trying to encourage the team at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Cydney tells us that she was trying to come back and recuperate and all this yelling is messing with her. Oddly enough, she is on Scot and Kyle's side in this. I'm not exactly sure how that works, but I'm not there, so whatever. Eventually, Scot just tells her that all she likes to do is argue and that she's next to go. Period. End of discussion. Kyle tells us that he may have gone a little overboard, but he doesn't like Alecia and doesn't like the way she represents herself as a woman. I'm not really sure what that all means, other than, he also says she's done at the next Tribal - signed, sealed and delivered.
We come back from break to a Probst sighting!! Jeff starts by asking how everyone's doing. Everyone seems to be doing well. For today's challenge, two tribe members will run into the jungle and get some puzzle pieces. Then two members will swim out and dive down to retrieve more puzzle pieces. Finally, they'll have to put together a snake puzzle. Joe will sit out for Brains while Tai will sit out for Beauty.
And they're off. Everyone has all their pieces, but the Brains tribe forgot to grab one, so Peter has to go back and get it. Kyle and Scot are first to the pieces in the water. Nick and Michele are right behind and Neal and Aubry have fallen behind. Brawn and Beauty get their pieces at about the same time. Brains is still behind. Beauty is back and Anna and Julia start to work on the puzzle. Alecia and Cydney begin to work for Brawn. Brains is back and Neal and Debbie take on the puzzle. Jeff explains that this puzzle is a lot of trouble, as pieces may fit together but stil be wrong.
As Beauty and Brawn struggle with the puzzle, Peter tags into the puzzle and Brains wins the challenge easily. Nick tags in for Beauty and they start making headway and Beauty wins immunity, which sends Brawn back to Tribal for the third time. There's some sniping between Alecia and Scot, but I have to be honest. I want both of them gone and off my screen. Anyway, can I trade Caleb for the entire Brawn tribe?
As the other tribes head back to camp, Jeff asks Alecia about the sniping. She's just tired of everything. Jeff asks her what the chance is that she goes home. Scot holds up a zero. Scot and Kyle basically say that they can have Tribal right now. Jeff's game, but Alecia has to agree to it. She says absolutely not. That would be giving up and she wants no part of that.
And in an odd twist, we're not gonna play "It's Anyone but Alecia" - we're going straight to Tribal. I pretty much expect this to be an according to Hoyle 3-1 vote. Kyle, Scot and Cydney say that nothing's changed since the challenge. Tribal is a whole bunch of "let's bag on Alecia" or "I'm a really awesome person and they should earn my respect". Blah, Blah, yadda, yadda. Let's just vote already. Jeff tallies the votes and I'm shocked - Alecia is voted out. Now, with her gone, Brawn should totally turn things around and start winning, right? Yeah, I don't think so.
Ultimately, as promised, this was one of the most powerful episodes of Survivor I've ever seen. It's a shame it had to devolve into what it did at the end. I have no love for Scot and Kyle right now. For an NBA champion, act like you've been there before dude. She's down and out and she knows it. Do you need to take every possible shot at her that you can? Especially when a decent amount of what you're saying is absolute bullshit? I don't know...they can bounce this entire tribe right now and I'm okay with that. And I say that with Kyle being my pre-season winner pick. Speaking of which - with Liz going out last week and Caleb this week - I've lost 50% of my final four. D’OH!!!
Next time on Survivor: the lines of power have been drawn. Debbie is the mastermind of her tribe. Anna and the girls are in charge on Beauty. We've gone through four episodes now which can mean only one thing. Drop your buffs. We're switching it up. Which means getting rid of Alecia was perfect for Brawn - she can't do anything to hurt them. Brains, however, could be in trouble. Peter is still there, he's pissed, and now he'll have the chance to form a new alliance and take them all out. Can't wait to see how that shakes out. Until next week, kids...take care!