Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
February 16, 2010
In terms of mood setting, the producers of the show outdo themselves here. Coincidentally (wink wink, nudge nudge), the Heroes arrive a few moments before the Villains. This turn of events allows the helicopter carrying the Villains to whip sand in the faces of the Heroes. I'm not talking about a beach bully kicking a wee bit of sand at a 98-pound-weakling, either. I'm talking about an entire beach worth of sand funneled up in the air then dispersed in the faces of the good guys. Now THAT is good video.
They aren't messing around with any filler during this premiere. After a moment of discussion about who is on the wrong tribe ("I'm a villain?" asks Boston Rob), they go straight to the first challenge. And it is BRU-tal. There are bags hidden in the sand a certain distance away from the starting point. Teams of two attempt to retrieve these packages and touch their finish mat in order to earn a point. Three points wins. As near as we can tell, everything is legal. Everything. In the first leg, Stephenie and Cirie compete against Parvati and Danielle. At one point, Stephenie and Parvati get in a wrestling match as one of the Villains villainously yells, "Break her shoulder." This was intended to be a joke (we think), but Parvati takes it seriously by snapping Stephenie's arm. She winds up with a dislocated shoulder that a medic has to pop back into place. This happens in the first leg of the first reward challenge of the first episode. The show can only go downhill from here. Villains are intentionally injuring Heroes, who are heroically not complaining as they receive medical attention. To wit, the trend continues later on. Rupert breaks a toe. In three places. The strategy employed by the Villains is not just victory in the challenges; it is the systematic elimination of all Heroes. This is better good versus evil than the actual show Heroes has ever managed.
The worst part for Stephenie is that her team loses the leg where she is intentionally injured. After the Villains win the first leg, Randy and Jerri face off against JT and Amanda. After Randy delivers a body slam on JT, the former champion places Randy in the Scorpion Deathlock before grabbing the bag and running to the open field for the first score for the Heroes. The third leg is Alpha Male Central as Colby and Tom match up with Coach and Russell. Long time readers of this column realize that the latter two men are among our least favorite players ever, but we have to credit Coach with tremendous play in this round. First, he comes up with a zone defense strategy wherein he doesn't bother digging but instead watches to see who unearths the prize. Once Russell comes out with the bag, he is immediately tackled viciously by both opponents (yay!), but Coach comes in to offer assistance. Colby winds up with the package, attempting to carry it to the finish line. Coach goes Greco-Roman wrestler on him with a ton of homoeroticism thrown in as he tracks Colby to the finish line doggy style.