Episode Eight: Sleeping with the Enemy
By Dan Krovich
After last week's twist, the Chuay Gahn men sit around the campfire waiting for Sook Jai to return from tribal council. They are speculating on whom Sook Jai voted out as they grow more and more cocky and lounge around not accomplishing anything. So basically status quo for the Chuay Gahn men. On the way back to camp, Penny is still gloating over her turning the tables on Shii Ann and makes sure to reinforce the fact that they are all one tribe and must stick together. When Sook Jai returns they are questioned as to why they voted out Shii Ann, and Ken responds with the truth that they knew Shii Ann had made a deal with Chuay Gahn.
The next day, Penny goes to work early on using her feminine charms on the male members of Chuay Gahn. First, she cozies up to Ted by requesting to do morning exercises with him. Someone should let her know that the way to Ted's heart is by letting him grind on you while you sleep. Then she tries to bond with Clay based on their shared Southern accents. Someone should tell her that the way to Clay's heart is by being barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. She also tries to charm Brian. Someone should let her know that the only women Brian responds to are the ones that the script tells him to.
There are nine people left, so that means we get reminded nine different ways that the they are still two tribes living together and they are still competing against each other and it's like sleeping with the enemy, yada, yada, yada. But there are frictions, as, for one, Ken complains about the piss-poor condition of the cave. While it seems like some people have problems hitting the bowl when they urinate, Chuay Gahn apparently have problems making it out of the cave before they let loose their bladders. Yes, it seems like they are peeing in the cave. Of course, being from New York, you would expect that Ken would be used to people peeing on the streets.
Otherwise, we are left with the dull daily chores. We are again treated to the enlightened attitudes on gender that you could only expect from a soft-core porn actor as Brian makes some more observations about how the women are basically only good for doing the cooking and the dishes. Of course, Helen plays into this stereotype by constantly spouting off her favorite recipes. Maybe she's making a play for her own show on the Food Channel, but it doesn't seem like the best plan to be talking about food around people who aren't getting much food to eat.
Tree mail comes and I guess this new arrangement doesn't allow for reward challenges, so it's on to the immunity challenge. The challenge is pretty simple: Which tribe can stay under the water longest by breathing through bamboo? The winner is determined by the most cumulative time spent under the water. I can only imagine that Chuay Gahn was required to choose whom to sit out the challenge before they knew exactly what it was. Otherwise, the choice to have the Naval swimming instructor sit out this channel is a head-scratcher. Penny is the first one up after nine seconds, and it seems like you could have simply gone underwater and held your breath longer than that. The challenge goes fairly quickly and Chuay Gahn wins immunity. It's also only halfway into the episode. What the hell are they going to do for 30 minutes?
The answer to that question is that they are going to weep. But first they come home to learn that their attempts to mark their territory by peeing in the cave were for naught, as their food has been raided by monkeys. Then the sob-fest begins. First, Jake is upset because he feels responsible for Sook Jai's loss, and Erin gives him a pep talk. Sook Jai tries to regroup a little bit, and has a heartfelt discussion to reaffirm that they are sticking together to the end (Jake and Ken conveniently don't bring up their side plan to get with Brian and Clay as the final four).
Sook Jai also decides that they will eat the final chicken before one of them has to leave. It is again left up to Jake to choke the chicken, and he turns this into an overblown, maudlin ceremony, quoting Buddhist philosophy and everything. Jan decides to bury the chicken feet next to the baby bat she buried, so now she has her own pet cemetery going. Did she learn nothing from Fred Gwynne? She's going to be sorry when the baby bat and chicken feet come back from the dead and are not happy.
After eating, Sook Jai gets together yet again to discuss the night's tribal council. The big decision is whether to divulge who is being voted out beforehand or to just wait until tribal council. There is much hand-wringing, crying, and overblown sentimental claptrap (as it starts to rain, they theorize that the Lord crying with them). They tearfully decide not to reveal the votes beforehand. Jeez; there was less crying in Steel Magnolias.
Tribal council is rather uneventful. There are no big controversies to bring up and Sook Jai has cleared the air prior, so it lacks any spark. Each tribe member is allowed to state his or her case as to why he or she shouldn't be voted out. In a mild surprise, because Penny seemed to be the one on the outs early in the episode, Erin is given the boot. It seems like this time, the decision was made based on who would be the most help in future challenges.