Are We Gonna Live On Exile Island?
By Jim Van Nest
April 18, 2007
Hello, good people, and thank you for joining me for another fun-filled episode of Survivor: Fiji! Ok, so they're not really filled with fun, but you have to admit, the last couple episodes have been miles better than the dreadful first several. Most of the upswing has come from the boots of Rocky and Lisi in the last two Tribals. Throw in Yau Man's hidden idol and his fake idol and the three-headed monster of Mookie, Alex and Edgardo having the other and you've got a good foundation for the end of the season. But don't think for a second I forgot the complete disaster this season started off to be...I'm hopeful for a strong finish, but I don't exactly expect one. One thing's for sure, with Lisi gone, tonight's episode is sure to be more bearable. Let's check it out.
We begin tonight's episode in the Ravu camp and talk is about the hidden idol. Mookie tells us that he plans on using the idol to help himself. Since he has it, he's treating it as though it's his and his alone. Alex tells us they haven't told Dreamz about the idol, not because they don't want him included, but they're afraid he won't keep the secret.
Over at Moto, Boo announces Tree Mail. They are told to bring only their personal belongings and go to Exile Island. No rewards, no flint, no nothing. Just themselves and their personal stuff. They're expecting a merge and Michelle is pretty excited about it, because she was at Ravu and was used to having nothing.
At Ravu, they're also reading the Tree Mail. They're pretty sure of a merge also. The guys are making a plan for Dreamz to pull Cassandra, Mookie to pull Michelle and Alex to pull Stacy to help their alliance. The "Four Horsemen" are planning to divide and conquer. Let's see how that works for them. Cue the theme...
We come back to Exile Island...and for the first time in several seasons, I actually WANT to see what's going to happen here. Moto arrives first and Earl says that they're counting on a merge. Ravu arrives and there's nothing for them to find. They basically just start working their way to the top of the island. Alex tells us that they're a little worried they may have to live on Exile. As they get to the Tree House and climb up, they find new purple buffs and a note inside. The note tells them to drop their buffs, take one boat and head back to the old Moto camp. Mookie, for one, is excited, since he's the only one that has spent no time in the good life. Cassandra is also excited, because she doesn't think she could have lived at Ravu. Alex, too, is ready to be back at the Ritz.
As the tribe arrives, however, they are quite surprised. The Moto Camp is gone. The island is as barren as the day they landed. This has to be one of the best "twists" ever in the history of Survivor. They're talking about all the food they're going to eat and the bed, and toothbrushes and everything. Personally, I was getting a little pissed. To me, several people this season have not played Survivor. And if they'd have come back to a fully stocked camp, it would have been a major travesty. At least now these people will have to play half of the game as true Survivors. Although, when all is said and done, you have to wonder how this group will be viewed alongside other contestants and the struggles they faced. Time will tell, I guess.
We come back from break to the aftershock. All they have is some fishing gear, a couple pots, a machete and flint. Honestly, it's still more than most tribes have started with. Earl's not too broken up about the situation. He spent enough time at Ravu with nothing, he can easily handle this. It is kinda funny to think that Mookie never got to see the full Moto camp. Heh. Now it's time to name the new tribe and paint the flag. The tribe decides on Bula Bula (Bula means Hello in Fiji.) Michelle and Stacy take to painting the flag and begin discussing how they think the guys will start picking each other off, thus leaving them safe for the time being. Earl breaks down his alliance for us. It's Yau, Michelle, Cassandra and him. Boo, on the other hand is lost. He was in a good place in the other tribes, but now, he's feeling quite left out. His plan is to just be a follower for now and make his move later on. Mookie and Dreamz are working on Cassandra and Yau. They quickly determine that Boo needs to be first to go and then Stacy. Yau confirms Boo is first to go, but he's not totally trusting Mookie and Dreamz.
We join Stacy and Alex and they're talking about Boo having to go. In a confessional, Alex tells us that the plan is for the Horsemen to go all the way. While he's told Stacy that he, Edgardo and her are tight and should stay together, he tells us what is really going on, and that is that Stacy is getting used for her vote. Mookie, Dreamz and Alex take a walk and start discussing votes. They say first is Boo and then Stacy. And then, out of nowhere, Mookie tells Dreamz about the Idol. Naturally, Dreamz gets a little pissed that they didn't tell him. They tried to explain why, but it came off sounding like complete crap. Dreamz is now not trusting them as much as he was before. They work it all out, though, and they continue on plan. Edgardo is pretty pissed about Mookie telling Dreamz. He says that Cassandra and Earl will now know about the Idol. As Ed, Alex and Mookie are fishing, Alex pulls out that he thinks they should keep Stacy. Mookie, however, is not too thrilled about that. He says that bringing Stacy is only in their best interest, not his and Dreamz. He says that he and Dreamz will be out of the loop at five.
Earl and Cassandra are loving life right now. They feel like everyone is scrambling but them. Earl mentions that he still doesn't trust Mookie. The plan is to make them think they have Cassandra and that Earl isn't thinking. But he seems to have a pretty good plan going on right now. Everyone goes out for a swim, leaving Mookie and Dreamz alone. And Mookie breaks the Stacy news to Dreamz. He feels the same way...that they'll be out. They don't want to put too much in Alex's hands. Dreamz is really looking forward to getting rid of Stacy because of how she treated him and Cassandra. He says she has to go.
Probst sighting!!! He has everyone pull a stone out of a bag without looking. He has them open their hands and those with green stones are a team and those with orange stones are a team. The teams are: Green - Dreamz, Alex, Michelle, Stacy and Mookie. Orange - Boo, Edgardo, Earl, Yau Man and Cassandra. Jeff tells them that they have merged but for this challenge, they will be playing against each other as teams. The challenge is to look at a Fijian mask. They'll need to memorize the alignment of some symbols. They'll then paddle out and collect three sets of puzzle pieces. When they get all the pieces, they'll paddle back to shore and put the symbols together. They'll then heed to put them on an empty mask in the same order. First team to do it wins immunity for the entire team and they will not go to Tribal Council. The winning team will also feast on steak, vegetables and wine. The losing tribe will get a date to Tribal Council and a note that Jeff is holding.
The Alex/Dreamz team studies and takes off. The Earl/Yau Man team studies a little longer and then they take off as well. As both teams get to the first bunch of pieces, Stacy, Dreamz and Alex have real trouble getting their pieces down. Meanwhile, Yau's long gone and working on his second bundle of pieces. Alex finally gets the first bundle. Yau Man has the third bundle before Alex can get the second. As orange heads back to solve the puzzle, green finally gets to the final station and pulls it down. Orange gets back and Earl and Yau get started on the puzzle. They having some trouble and the green team catches up. They send Michelle and Alex up to do their puzzle. The teams are pretty even but orange starts putting them in place first. At the last minute, Yau Man switches two pieces and that's what seals the deal. Mookie, Alex, Dreamz, Michelle and Stacy will be heading to Tribal Council. Jeff opens up the note and reads, "You will not be going back to camp. There will be no time to strategize. We're heading to Tribal Council right now." They're stunned.
A quick scheduling change to note. There will be no game of "It's Anyone But..." tonight, so that we can bring you this special edition of "To the Winners Go the Spoils." As the wine bottles are opened, Boo gets to cooking. He tells us that he's positive he was gone and he's real excited to still be hanging around - especially considering they're hanging around with steaks and sautéed vegetables and wine. Talk finally turns to Tribal. They have no idea what's going to happen. Edgardo is really concerned that Alex could be in trouble. They all agree that it's probably gonna be a toss-up between Stacy and Michelle. Earl is very concerned that he could be losing a key cog in his alliance in Michelle. For us, the viewers, the question is, "Will Dreamz and Mookie have the gut to turn on Alex and dump Stacy?" I guess we'll see.
So we get to Tribal and Jeff asks Dreamz about the merge. He says he was pretty happy because he was with friends from his old tribe and his new tribe. Alex was bummed to see that the camp was empty. Mookie says they can definitely feel the paranoia around camp. He claims to be on the hot seat and that's because there was no discussion about how the vote will go. Stacy admits to being pretty uncomfortable as well. And here's where Tribal starts to go bad. It starts with possibly the best Tribal Council answer ever and ends with Jeff Probst playing God and helping to determine who got voted off. He asks Dreamz to give him a reason to vote off Stacy. Dreamz comes back with the perfect answer. While he has 1,000 reasons to want Stacy gone, he gives an answer that should be studied and learned by future Survivors. And it's so simple, too. "One good reason for me to vote out Stacy is because it ain't me." He took a question designed to put him on the spot and possibly create some controversy and turned it into a huge positive. He gave Stacy no clue as to how he really feels, and he left the door open to vote for anyone he wants. Perhaps I just see things weird, but I loved that answer and was very pleased to see Dreamz choose to be lower key in a situation that definitely demanded it.
From there, it starts to go down, though. He asks Michelle about Dreamz and she basically says she doesn't know Dreamz and there's the fear of the unknown. Mookie gets asked about Michelle and he says you have to think that she may have switched sides while the tribes were switched up. He asks Michelle about Alex and she says that he's a threat. And here's where it gets ugly. Probst asks Alex for a reason to get rid of Stacy. Alex says he doesn't have a reason to get rid of Stacy. Fair enough. But Probst keeps going. He asks Alex about Michelle and Alex says that he doesn't know Michelle that well. And Probst keeps going and asks Alex about Mookie and Dreamz to which he replies that he doesn't have a reason to get rid of either of them either. So, in a Tribal Council where there was to be no discussion or strategy, Jeff Probst himself just gave Alex the opportunity to tell everyone who he was voting for, especially his alliance of Dreamz and Mookie.
At this point, if you're Dreamz or Mookie, you know where you stand. Vote Michelle and stay true to your "Four Horsemen" alliance. Vote Stacy and help break up the Edgardo/Alex/Stacy threesome, but essentially declare war on the other "Horsemen". They're damned no matter which way they go, really. And they're damned because Probst couldn't follow his own rules. I've never really felt like Jeff has had much of an impact on the game. Some comments here and a crack there, but mostly innocent stuff. In this case, I think he's had a profound impact on the outcome of not only this Tribal Council, but the game itself and I think that's horrible for a show that has prided itself on being a legit game show. I'm not sure if it was his intention to decide who goes home tonight, but I think it can be said, without question, that he made it happen.
Jeff then asks Dreamz whether people are speaking to each other with their answers. Dreamz points out that Alex just said who he was voting for and that he knows where he's coming from. When asked about the importance of this vote, Mookie says that this vote will show some things to the folks back at camp eating steak. And with that, it's time to vote. We see Alex vote for Michelle, of course, and then in a slight surprise, they show Mookie voting for Stacy. I have to say, I was quite surprised to see that. I didn't think he'd bail on the "Horsemen" that soon. Now the question is, "Will Dreamz follow suit?" He's wanted Stacy gone from day one. I'll go tally the votes. Stacy, Michelle, Stacy, Michelle and the ninth person voted out of Survivor: Fiji is Michelle. And as I feared, Dreamz stuck with Alex and dumped Michelle. Some people will surely say that Dreamz screwed up here, but I just don't think that's so. This was a tough vote for him. If Mookie holds serve and Dreamz goes with Stacy, he has effectively removed himself from the "Horsemen." And for what? A wasted vote. He did what he had to do and honestly, I would have as well. When all is said and done, I have a feeling we'll look back and find that Mookie was the one who screwed up here by turning his back on his boys. Of course, he is in control of one of the hidden idols, so maybe he felt like he has a Get Out Of Jail Free card and could chance the Stacy vote. One thing's for sure, next week should be quite interesting.
Speaking of which, next time on Survivor: Mookie gets in Dreamz's face about his vote. Apparently somewhere along the lines, Cassandra pisses off Mookie and then it happens; Dreamz tells Cassandra and Earl that Mookie has the hidden idol. Sweet!! If the previews are any indication, next week should be quite good. Speaking of which, I'll be out of town next week and unable to perform my duties as Survivor Recapper. In my place will be your old friends David and Kim. They've got their blasters set on "Snark" and I'm sure they'll be ready to tell you all about what they think of the season so far. So, I'll see y'all in two weeks. Until then, take care.