Pre-credit sequence. Poor Tom. We've had two weeks to mull over your elimination. But on Night 14 in Heroes camp, the wounds are still fresh. Colby professes to being just a little crushed, though James offers him a hug. On the outside is Candice. She's lonely and Amanda wants to make her lonelier still. Amanda doesn't trust Candice and wants to get her out.
A second pre-credit sequence? What have we done to earn such a blessing? Meanwhile, over at Villains camp, only Russell and Boston Rob are still awake. They're up all night thinking. Big thinkers, those two. Russell approaches Boston Rob and tries to make nice. It's all a show, as we know. Russell wants Boston Rob out of the game, but he's trying to put his mind at false ease. For his part, Boston Rob levels with Russell that people are mad that he went after the Immunity Idol. Boston Rob's goal? To make Russell paranoid. As Boston Rob puts it, "He's not playing with the amateurs anymore. He's playing with the big boys now."
[Full recap of Wednesday (March 24) night's "Survivor
: Heroes vs. Villains" after the break...]
Mysterious Tree Mail. The next morning begins with the Heroes. And a crab. And a lizard. And Tree Mail. The clue conspicuously doesn't say what the teams are about to play for. And for Colby, the big question involves James and how the big guy will be able to compete in any future challenges with his achy knee.
Rope a Dope. Parvati is amused (?) and pleased (?) to see that James is still around. Danielle is almost derisive in saying that she expected James to be gone. Tonight's challenge forces every player to play for individual immunity against their own tribes. Tonight? Two people are going home! The two winners will then square off. The winner there will get both Immunity and a weenie roast for their tribe, to be enjoyed while watching the other tribe's Tribal Council. It's a challenge from JT, Coach and Tyson's season, a task won by Tyson. It's the challenge where the players are tethered to a rope and have to go through an obstacle course following the rope. James is an absolute freaking warrior in the Heroes' heat, earning the respect of both Jeff Probst and Courtney. But eventually, he runs out of energy and Candice wins the individual immunity she so desperately needed, with James finishing ahead of only Colby, who probably needed more than a last place finish. The Villains are up next. It's a close one, but Boston Rob pulls it out. HUZZAH! Boston Rob vs. Candice now, with hot dogs on the line. Rob is clever. But Candice is limber. Rob wins for the Villains. Sandra yells, "You get the biggest hot dog." Heh.
Russell 1, Boston Rob 0. The Villains are all worshipping Boston Rob. "Woo. I beat a girl. It feels so... Grrrr..." Boston Rob smiles. But Parvati is less pleased. She knows she needed the win. And she's right. Boston Rob calls everybody over and they agree Parvati's out, but they have to make Russell think he's out to flush the Idol. The Dragonslayer vows to keep his word, though he's given several words. Rob approaches Russell and puts on a big show that unless he has the Idol, he's going home next, ending a rather hammy performance with "Better to play with me than against me," Russell looks as if he's been fooled. But Russell isn't fooled. He calls his alliance and announces a plan to give Parvati the Idol and write Tyson's name down. Yikes. Possibly well-played, Russell.
Banana Etiquette and the Hero Olympics.
Going back to the Heroes camp, Colby admits that his showing was not impressive. He tells the camp that he knows he's going home, reassuring them that there will be no hard feelings and that there's no need to scramble. He says that he doesn't want the Villains to get any additional information in Tribal Council. And he falls on his sword. Oh, Colby. You're too noble for this game. James taunts Colby a little bit, saying that if Colby wanted to be there, he'd be winning everything. James is disappointed that Colby is losing to a fat man and a cripple. It looks clear cut, right? Wrong. JT, Amanda, Rupert and Candice, they get together and they agree that there are still reasons to vote James out instead of Colby, alliance or not. Specifically, James apparently has a big appetite. He loves his bananas. Amanda goes and warns James that he has to prove he can run and that he won't steal bananas. Everybody eats bananas, but James' etiquette is questionable. This is mighty random and James is perplexed. And urged to put up or shut up, James proposes The Hero Olympics to show he can still compete. Meanwhile, Colby is floating, unaware that his life might be saved despite his best efforts to throw the game. In a race, JT out-sprints James by a lot. It's a bit sad and JT recognizes that James is too proud to let on if he's weak.
Russell 1, Boston Rob 1. Good. We're back to the Villains. Much more intriguing than the choice between a slacker and a cripple over at the Heroes camp. Boston Rob has had thoughts. He now wants to split their votes. He wants to split the votes between Parvati and Russell. Hypothetically well-played, Boston Rob. My man Rob basically thought of what he would do if the situation was reversed. He wants an insurance policy. It's an impressive strategy. Everybody seems to be on-board. "It's not rocket science, but I don't have Immunity and every time I don't have Immunity, I feel uneasy," Tyson says. So Russell calls Tyson aside and says that he's voting for Parvati. Like Boston Rob, though, he's laying it on a little thick. But Tyson seems like he may also throw his vote to Parvati to end things on the first ballot. No Tyson! Russell has properly anticipated Boston Rob's three-way tie plan, but he isn't sure that they're smart enough to figure out what he figured out. The only thing that can screw this up is Tyson. But he's not that stupid, is he?
Tribal Council: Villains Edition. Jeff Probst asks Jerri how "Survivor" has changed. She points out that the survival stuff is all gone and that it's only strategy. To the same question, Rob says that the Hidden Immunity Idols are the other new twist. Sandra calls Russell out immediately for having the Idol. Tyson points out that at this point in the game, the Idol isn't especially beneficial. Parvati calls Tyson out as a threat. Sandra calls Parvati out as a threat. Courtney calls Boston Rob out as the center of controversy.
The Villains Vote. Jerry writes Parvati's name down. Rob writes Russell's name down. Coach writes Parvati. Parvati writes Tyson. Sandra writes Russell's name. It looks like Courtney writes Parvati. So far, this is what we already knew, I guess. Will anybody play the Idol? There's a lot of smirking and squirming, but we go to commercial. When we return, Russell decides to play the Idol himself. Or it looks like he does. He starts to hand it to Jeff, but then he announces to Coach that he's being loyal and he hands it to an incredulous Parvati. "Are you serious?" Parvati asks. This is utterly wacky. Does Russell know something we don't? Jeff says it was a bold move and starts to count the votes. Russell. Russell. Parvati. Parvati. Parvati. Those three don't count. PARVATI. Boston Rob is confused. That shouldn't have happened. The next two votes go against Tyson. Last vote. Tyson. Tyson's going home. "What just happened?" Danielle asks. Boston Rob doesn't have a clue. Parvati doesn't have a clue. Wow. Tyson admits that he has nobody to blame but himself. And, indeed, he's correct. Wow. Score a big win for Russell there. At the very least, he took the wind out of Boston Rob's sails.
Tribal Council: Heroes Edition. The Villains enjoy some hot dogs as the Heroes sit and stare. "The line between Hero and Villain is so blurred right now," Rupert admits. Rain begins to fall on both eaters and Heroes alike. Turning their attention to the matter at hand, James mocks himself for losing his race to JT. Colby and James get into a bit of a discussion over who wants it more. "It's like finding out that Superman was in a big girdle," James says of Colby's performance. James earns big laughs, mostly from the Villains, for his rant about banana etiquette. The Villains have to exit before the vote, leaving their buns behind them, much to Amanda's chagrin.
The Heroes Vote. James writes Colby's name down. Colby writes James' name down. Time to read the votes: Colby. James. James. James. Uh-oh. Apparently we missed the big discussion. James is going home. "Have a shot for us," JT says as James limps off. "Oh, I'm gonna be good and drunk within the next five minutes," James replies.
Bottom Line: On one hand, Russell scored a pretty big win over Boston Rob in tonight's episode. Boston Rob was being smug that he had the whole game going the way he wanted and even if Tyson wasn't an important part of his alliance, he was a part. Still, it wasn't Boston Rob's fault. It was Tyson's fault. Tyson pretty much wrote his own name down, didn't he? That's just epically stupid. This is a Top 10 "Survivor" Voting Blunder. If Boston Rob tells you something, you listen. Then again, Tyson was a huge disappointment all season. He just wasn't engaged. He wasn't strong. And he wasn't as acidic and funny as he was in his season. And, to Rob's credit, if the goal was to get the Idol flushed out, he at least succeeded there. And if Tyson was too stupid to stick to an alliance, Rob didn't need him anyway. There's no reason why this should compromise Boston Rob's strategy for next week. As for the Heroes? I feel sorry for James, basically eliminated by an injury for the second time. I wonder if he was blindsided, or if he knew that things had shifted. James didn't look enraged, so I'm guessing his eyes were open.
Pretty good episode, right? What do you make of what went down?