The Dragon Slayer
By David Mumpower
April 10, 2009
Previously on Survivor, we set a new season record for super-secret hidden alliances. We also saw a third hidden immunity idol come into play, this one a fake created by Taj and Stephen to trick Joe into believing he had one. Meanwhile, Taj talked Stephen out of bringing J.T. into their trust about said idols. Soon afterward, J.T. saw it in Stephen's bag, thereby reducing his trust for his bromancer. It was the largest amount of shenanigans ever seen among a group of castaways who had not been on a three hour tour.
Night 18 at Jalapao finds everyone discussing Sydney's elimination. Taj is relieved since she almost saw her post-merge plans go up in smoke prior to the merge. Meanwhile, Joe laments the recent course of events, recognizing that with ally Sydney removed, his neck is next in line on the chopping block. His strangest comment is that he is getting more concerned as he sees torch after torch extinguished. Joe, that's the idea here. If other torches are the ones extinguished, this INCREASES your chances of winning the game. When it's your torch extinguished, that's when you should be worried. This is a pretty fundamental concept about the game, dude.
The morning after sees the production stuff having a lot of fun in the editing bay. Coach is doing some weird Mr. Miyagi stuff in the water, and they have given the type of musical accompaniment generally reserved for mystic warriors as they prepare themselves for mortal combat against ancient evil. I cannot help but think this is probably the way Coach sees his situation, too. There is a whole Secret Life of Walter Mitty aspect to his behavior that never fails to creep me out. Back in the real world, I bet he describes himself in the third person a lot, probably calling himself The Justifier and wearing a cape a lot of the time. He's probably caused a lot of neighbors to move over the years.
"Boom, everything just clicked. This is about me now." -- That's right. Coach is now determined to become even more self-absorbed. This is going to rip apart the very fabric of the space/time continuum.
We cut away from Coach's heartfelt impersonation of Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai to discover that a bunch of tribe members are worried about Joe's leg. It's turning some colors that were previously not known in nature. Like purblue. As Taj describes it to the camera, she involuntarily shudders, which tells us all we need to know. J.T. is worried about Joe's knee for a different reason. They're going to need his vote once the tribes merge, assuming that ever happens.
Right on cue, tree mail indicates the possibility of a merge or the reinvention of the wheel. Sometimes it's hard to tell on this show. J.T. takes this opportunity to talk about how much he hates to lose these competitions. It's a nice sentiment, but he really, really didn't need to say it after the "lost tooth" incident last episode. There are professional hockey players who were impressed by that show of heart.