Episode Two: The Great Divide
By Dan Krovich
Well, we knew we were in trouble when the most exciting thing they could find to put into the promos for this week was golf. And since the episode starts off with the revelation that Clay snores, I can only take this as foreshadowing. Jan and Helen start off in the boat to get some water, but they decide not to take the map with them and get lost. And I thought it was supposed to be men who never asked for directions. Meanwhile, back at the Chuay Gahn camp, the men are involved in the vital survival task of making a golf course. Cut to Jan and Helen, who are still lost and seem to have decided to give up and row all the way back to the States.
At Sook Jai, they are STILL building their palace with running water, electricity, cable television, and high-speed Internet connection. Well, everyone except Jed and Stephanie are constructing the shelter. This annoys the rest of the tribe, and they decide when they plug in the VCR, Jed and Stephanie are not allowed to watch the Bob the Builder videos. Continuing the theme of things that are taking too long, Jan and Helen are still trying to find the Chuay Gahn waterhole. Apparently, it should have only taken them two hours to get water by the estimations of the other tribe membzzzzzzzzz....
If it wasn't already clear, Sook Jai has been deemed the bickering tribe. Members of Sook Jai apparently would rather go hungry and sleep outside in a rainstorm than to associate with the rest of their tribe. Chuay Gahn, on the other hand, likes to refer to themselves as a family and sit around the campsite singing Kumbaya.
The reward challenge involves the tribes' being blindfolded and carrying one non-blindfolded member on a palanquin, and that person will guide them through a course. Though it is mildly amusing to see them occasionally walk into things, basically this means that the next five minutes will consist solely of people yelling, "Straight, straight, straight, left, left, straight, right, right, straight, straight." For fun, turn on the closed-caption option on your television set. The younger, stronger Sook Jai tribe wins the race.
Chuay Gahn is rather dejected, seeing as they have lost every challenge thus far. I believe it's Jan who makes a better joke here than I could come up with when she compares themselves to the Red Sox. To cheer themselves up, they decide to have a celebration for Helen, who is missing her anniversary. The group of untalented people get together and sing a horrible song, and I have to double-check the videotape because for a second I think I may have put my American Idol in Vegas tape in by mistake. But, no, it's still Survivor, and we are now let in on the hint of who is in danger of being eliminated as we are reminded that Tanya is still ill and learn that Helen is bossy.
On to the immunity challenge, which is a swimming relay where the tribes must one by one swim out and grab a piece of a puzzle and then swim back with the piece. First team with all the pieces in place wins immunity. I quickly realize that as vital as all these challenges are to the game play, they are also often the most boring part of the show. We do get a brief reprieve when Erin, while diving into the water, splats hard enough to make Jeff cringe, but inevitably the younger Sook Jai tribe wins again.
As far as the vote goes, we've already been introduced to the choice. It's between the well-liked Tanya, who has been ill the entire time, or Helen, who contributes in challenges and in the tribe, but is bossy and can get on people's nerves. Having lost every challenge so far, Chuay Gahn realizes that they have to vote based on tribal strength and Tanya is eliminated 5-2. As if to try to make it up to us for this episode, the preview for the next one is promising, hinting at fisticuffs and sexual harassment. No golf next week.