Survivor Season One: Thy Name Is Duplicity
By Jim Van Nest
August 4, 2005
Hello, good people, and welcome back to another fun-filled Survivor: Borneo recap. When last we palavered, Tagi and Pagong had merged to form the new Rattana tribe. The former Pagong members proved to be completely clueless as to how to succeed at this game and all voted for someone different, while the Tagi alliance (with Rudy added as the fourth member) all set their sights on Gretchen. Sean, meanwhile, decided he preferred the alphabetical approach to voting over the "dart board" method and even the "eenie, meenie, minie, moe" method. Watch out Gervase, you're next in line!
Day 22 opens with Pagong members thinking conspiracy. I mean, who would have imagined that a group of people would bond together and vote the same way in order to further their position in the game? What strikes me as so hilarious is not so much that Jenna, Gervase, Greg and Sean seem so surprised by the previous night's vote, but that all of them plan to wait until the next vote to confirm their suspicions. Are you frickin' kidding me? Six people voted all willy-nilly and wrote down six different names. The other four people wrote down the same name. Do they really think that could possibly be a coincidence? I suppose they're surprised when the quarterback throws the ball to a receiver...as if he knew the guy was going to be there or something!!!
Rich answers the only real question anyone might have had. Why Gretchen? Because she's smart and strong and that poses a threat to him. Simple as that. Jenna decides to try to start a gender alliance and buddies up with Sue and Kelly. They bring her right in and lead her on, but Sue lays it out. There's no chance of a girl alliance. She likes the alliance she has.
Food is getting scarce as the rice supply dwindles. Rich decides this is as good a time as any to bring in a huge haul of fish (including rays, catfish and a shark.) And he milks this for all it's worth. If you weren't sure who was bringing in the fish, don't worry, Rich will surely remind you. Greg seems to be the only Pagong member to realize the game Rich is playing and does his best to buddy up to him. Everyone sees what's happening, but they all seem to be interested in the massive battle of wits going on between Rich and Greg.
Day 23 brings word of a reward challenge. It seems to be an archery contest for something from home. Jenna begins campaigning for this one right away. She misses her daughters and all that sappy stuff. Jeff shows up at camp and brings a television and VCR with him. He has videos from home for all the players. He'll show them a snippet of each video, and the winner of the challenge will get to see their entire video. We see Rich's son, Kelly's boyfriend, Greg's sister (even in the short clip, we learn that the crazy must run in the family), Sue's husband (believe it or not, his accent is worse), Colleen's parents, Rudy's wife, Swan's entire family and Gervase's girlfriend and daughter (who is about as cute as cute can be.) What we don't get is a video from Jenna's family. Jeff breaks the news to her that her family did not send in the video that CBS had requested. He then lets everyone know that the winner of the challenge will also get to shoot his or her own video to send back home, so Jenna has a little something to play for after all. The contest is a simple one. Each person gets one shot - closest to the bulls-eye wins. It's pretty uneventful as the first shooter, Greg, has his shot hold up as the winner.
He lets everyone watch his video with him and it's who knows how long of a tape of his sister being a complete idiot. Maybe it lost something over the TV, but she doesn't have even a quarter of the sense of humor her brother has. I really felt for everyone else who had to sit through it, knowing his or her video would go unwatched. While this is going on, there's a lot of footage of Jenna shooting arrows and avoiding the whole video thing altogether. She is a mixture of heartbroken at not getting to see her girls and pissed at her mom for not getting the video in on time.
Day 24 dawns with thoughts of immunity and tribal council. Jenna is still down in the dumps over the whole video thing. Gervase is noticing it and thinking she might be ready to just call it quits. While Gervase thinks about Jenna, most everyone else thinks about Gervase. It took these people 24 days to realize that Gervase doesn't do jack squat on this island except play cards, joke and take up space. He tells us all about his charm again, but there's one person his charm won't work on and that's Sue. She's done with him.
Today's immunity challenge is a rope maze. Each person will be connected to part of this maze by rope. They'll work their way through the maze trying to get to five checkpoints. At each checkpoint, there will be a marker. The first person to get all five markers and to the end of the course wins immunity. The one catch is that they have to always be connected to the rope maze. The challenge is really just a big mess of confusion as people find markers, find dead ends and get thoroughly frustrated. In the end, Gervase comes through with the victory, just when he needed it most. One can only assume that Sean will move on to Greg in the alphabet.
Back at camp, everyone is a little nervous. Rich is well aware that right now, he doesn't have the numbers advantage that he craves. If Pagong figures it out and reels in Sean, the Tagi Alliance could be dead in the water. Kelly is really having a hard time with the strategy of the game. She's playing to win and doesn't like that she'll have to get her hands dirty to do it. Meanwhile, Gervase is actually doing something. He's trying to rally the Pagong to band together for the next vote. Welcome to the game, Gervase. Colleen agrees that they have the numbers to decide who goes. Greg, on the other hand, says that everyone is playing out of fear and self-preservation and that is not the game he wants to play. Um...okay, big guy. Let me know how that works out for ya.
Tribal Council is rather boring as the players discuss how strategy will have to change now that the people being voted off will be deciding the fate of the final two. The only interesting part is when Probst asks Sue straight up, "Is there an alliance?" Sue looks right back at him and says, "No." Sadly, I fear that this could be a turning point in the show - turning it from a show where everyone gets along to survive and have an adventure to a show where people will do anything and everything to win. Hopefully, I'm wrong. So, with thoughts of a Tagi Alliance swimming in their heads, the Pagong tribe goes forth to vote for...Jenna?? Gervase, Colleen and Greg all vote Jenna, while the Alliance and Jenna join with Sean's alphabetical strategy and take out Greg. And in two weeks, we've seen two of the more interesting people on the show removed. And now Rich and Co. have the numbers. I fear for the rest of the season.