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Survivor: Pearl Islands

Episode Five: Everyone’s Hero

By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower

When she takes the glasses off, she's Supergirl!

Night 12 at Drake finds Shawn doing a fine Cubs fan impersonation by jumping on the anti-Burton bandwagon (“No, really, I hated him the whole time!”). He’s now claiming that his fellow Gucci twin was snobby and annoying. He sounds a lot like a scorned lover rationalizing away all the bad habits of his former paramour.

Meanwhile, America’s sexiest nerd Michelle has sized up the situation and realizes that there were a lot of people who voted for Burton – unfortunately, she’s not one of them. Drunken jackass Jon goes out of his way to point out this fact at the tribe campfire. The only way her isolation could be better exemplified would be if she were wearing a Girl Scout uniform.

Cue Rupert’s Theme as we cut over to Morgan tribe, which has cause for optimism for the first time, well, ever. Everybody’s favorite Survivor is experiencing something of a culture shock as he has basically moved from a Manhattan penthouse to that shantytown from Bad Boys II (watch out for Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s Hummer!). Rupert’s disgust over the state of their shelter leads him to demand a rebuilding of the fort. Mousy Morganite Ryan humorously rephrases it as, “We decided as a group…” which translates to, “Rupert scares the hell out of us so we’re going to do whatever he says.”

The cause of their problem is rather technical. Apparently, something called “the moon” has some sort of impact on something called “the tide.” This phenomenon causes “seawater” to rise a foot higher than normal. Professor Rupert has determined that Morgan’s strategy of “wood piling” is not going to be as successful as previous “leader” Andrew might have indicated. There is a distinct Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court vibe to the whole encounter.

Osten, a complete stranger to the concept of forethought, seems to think that it would be better to do something about the situation after they have drowned. He should know.

It’s at this point that Rupert has an epiphany about why his tribe has been so dominant at immunity challenges. As he accurately summarizes, “[the Morgan tribe] works very hard at not working.” That’s right, several of them are upset that the new plan for safer shelter involves something called “effort.”

To improve their situation, the team needs to move their living quarters inland by 40 feet. Osten, whose boxer shorts might as well be diapers, throws a tantrum and requests a vote. The group is forced to decide which motivation is stronger – laziness or fear of the daunting, bearded man. Needless to say, Rupert wins.

Back at Drake tribe, paranoia is infectious. Several members of the tribe worry that Rupert might catch a case of Stockholm syndrome while sleeping with the enemy. They’re equally concerned that he might give away too much information during his stay, which leads us to wonder what sort of state secrets he might have. Gee, I hope Rupert doesn’t let Morgan know that Drake plans to try to eliminate them sometime down the road!

A fun little segment ensues as Rupert tries to teach Ryan to fish. None of the members of Morgan tribe had figured out how to use the fishing spear Rupert so loves. Excited to show a new group of people his special talent, he goes out to sea as he hunts for finned creatures to adorn the dinner table. The most humorous moment occurs when Rupert catches a very large, gold-tailed fish, and Ryan’s only task is to close the bag to prevent its escape. Like a good little Morganite, he badly botches this simple assignment. Rupert’s primal scream of frustration chases away all the birds in a three-mile radius. It’s not a total loss, though, as he does come back with a handful of seafood. The other members of Morgan look upon this bounty as if Wolfgang Puck had just arrived on the scene with a seven-course meal.

Probst sighting! The reward challenge puzzle involves a retrieval phase and an assembly phase. During the retrieval, a member of the tribe must dive into the water from a canoe and attain several pieces of a ladder. With Rupert on the Morgan team and Burton back at the hotel, two-thirds of Drake’s alpha males are not there to anchor them as they row and dive. Conversely, Rupert proves to be a one-man gang for Morgan as he single-handedly carries them to a huge lead and eventual victory. The win is bittersweet for Morgan, though, as Rupert is then returned to his normal tribe. Morgan gets a portable shower and toiletries, but Drake gets Rupert back. We’ll call it a draw.

After the commercial break, we see the tribes returning from combat. Morgan enjoys the benefits of their new shower massager. Accidentally or not, Darrah is shown in a provocative pose that resembles the DVD box cover for The Real Cancun.

Rupert, on the other hand, can’t wait to talk about what a lazy sack of shit Osten is. A fascinating period of espionage and diplomacy occurs when Andrew makes his first sojourn to the Drake tribe to loot. Already distrustful of Rupert, the rest of the group carefully studies his interaction with Morgan’s leader. Rupert firmly decides what Andrew will be allowed to take, and it turns out to be a small bag of rice. For his part, the attorney feels too much gratitude toward his hairy friend to negotiate much. As they hug goodbye, Trish and Jon surreptitiously gaze at the pair in the same way that lions might watch gazelles.

Aaaaaaaaand…it’s time for the ritual gag reflex immunity challenge. Before things get going, Rupert is taking care of a snake (and no, we don’t mean Jon). Probst reveals the “Survivor Smoothie Bar,” which includes ingredients such as red shellfish, mango, conch, squid, razor clam, sardine, octopus, rock oyster, coconut juice, sea water, bleeding clam, and the mysterious “Jeff’s Special.” An action-packed but exciting challenge unfolds as nobody gags their food back up for once. Drake tribe member Michelle is supposed to pretend to gag on her shake and drink it very slowly so that she will appear vulnerable in case of a tie, but in her Steve Bartman-like enthusiasm, her reflexes kick in and she downs it in almost a gulp. It instead comes down to a timed challenge between the far weaker Sandra and Darrah, which involves a little bit of each ingredient, topped off by an entire raw sardine. The two are nip-and-tuck throughout, but Darrah chokes it down first (how YOU doin’?). Morgan takes its second straight immunity challenge, this time in a photo finish.

It’s time to play “It’s Anybody but Michelle” as she argues her case before Judge Rupert, or at least she tries to between racking bouts of barfing. For his part, Rupert is at least willing to consider her plea (and cover her vomit), because though it hasn’t been played up that much, Shawn apparently rubs the big man the wrong way. The big difference between the two, however, is that Shawn has made a deal with the devil himself, AKA Jonny Fairplay. The other option tossed around is Sandra, seeing as how she literally choked in the tiebreaker portion of the immunity challenge. Even so, there’s only one logical choice here.

At tribal council, we sense a pattern developing. Probst immediately attacks Jon for his inability to distinguish an oar from a rudder. When push comes to shove, we just don’t think Jeff likes Jon very much. A discussion follows as the host questions the group about whether they threw the previous immunity challenge, and Jon and Michelle rationalize their decision. Rupert chimes in with a statement of the obvious – that throwing the challenge was a huge mistake. Our only concern about this turn of events is that Rupert uses the pronoun “they” instead of “we,” which is something of a tactical mistake considering the fact that his Drake teammates are already a bit concerned about where his loyalties lie.

Michelle casts her vote for Shawn, but the rest of the group unfortunately goes against the pretty girl with the glasses when the votes are totalled.

     


 
 

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Monday, November 20, 2017
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