Pre-credit sequence. The Heroes return to camp a fractured tribe. They're growing moldy with discontent. Or that's what I interpret from the perplexing time-lapse photography of growing, sprouting, spreading fungus. Arty. James is insisting that he just wants to win and Tom is trying to play nice, insisting that at Tribal Council, they aired things that needed to be said. Tom tells the camera that it was "nasty, brutish bullying" that James brought down on Stephenie. Meanwhile, JT is scrambling and trying to make nice with Tom. That doesn't work either, as Tom tells us that he feels betrayed by JT and he hopes to maybe guilt JT into keeping him safe. Plus, this is also the point in the game at which Colby has his "I don't know if I want to play the game if it's going to be this way" moment. Colby likes a noble game of "Survivor" where everybody plays with gentlemanly strength and wisdom. This, alas, is not the way the game is played or really has ever been played by anybody other than Colby.
The Gospel of Boston Rob. How are things with the Villains? Well, they're uncomfortable. Except for Parvati, who's cuddling with Russell. All together now: EWWWWWWW. Boston Rob is sitting back and watching. His advice? Watch how people sleep at night. "At night when you go to sleep, you don't usually go to sleep next to the guy you want to vote out," Rob says, sagely. Boston Rob doesn't trust Russell & Parvati or Jerri & Coach. He points out that he's been there and he knows how powerful an alliance that can be. And he has the wedding ring and the baby to prove it! His wife? She has the million bucks.
Fowl Friends. Rupert is lamenting the Heroes' lack of cohesion. He wants them to come together. Is creating a chicken coop and recapturing the chickens the perfect task to recreate that unity? It seems to be. Suddenly Colby and James and Rupert and Tom are all on Chicken Duty, working together to catch the poultry. Rupert thinks the chickens were supposed to escape.
When Coach is trying to be the voice of reason, the lunatics are running the asylum. They're also dealing with chickens over at the Villains camp, where Coach and Russell are colluding and agreeing that their alliances might put them on thin ice. Coach does not trust Parvati, but Russell protests that Parvati is a good asset. People are smitten by Parvati and a montage shows us exactly why: She flirts with the best of them and her bikini seems to shrink from shot to shot.. Even Boston Rob comes over to caution Russell. Bad play. Never try telling Russell anything. "Everybody knows that Coach is a big joke," Russell laughs, while also calling Boston Rob a fool. "He doesn't know who he's messing with... Nobody knows who they're messing with here," Russell cackles. And then after a nature montage, Russell's back to flirting with Parvati, whose yellow bikini is getting plenty dirty. "I'm just a sweet innocent little girl, really," Parvati tells the camera, with a beguiling smile. Parvati calls Russell a lunatic, but says he's the only one she trusts. I hate to admit it, but Parvati would have no trouble luring me in.
While Russell gets wicked, Parvati tans. It's storytime for the villains and Coach is recounting his heroic exploits in the wild. This is the Coach I remember, not that love-sick puppy. Russell has decided it's time to play his mind games. Last season? Stolen socks and water. This time? He's hiding the machete to create discord. That's nefarious, but to make matters worse, Russell steals Rob's Red Sox hat. Oh, that's dirty pool. And maybe just a little bit brilliant. Let's see how it plays out. The next morning, all looks serene. Coach is meditating. Randy's out catching clams (that nobody else wants to eat). It's Randy who first notices the absent machete when he attempts to crack the giant clam with a rock. Randy's confused that nobody greets him as a hero for bringing in the clam. The clam makes Parvati gag. There's a joke there somewhere. Randy doesn't like the social aspect of "Survivor," the game in which people hate him and Parvati is queen. Randy goes to Coach, who also resents loafers and the weak. Meanwhile, the camera pans over Parvati's body, with light jazz playing. But what about Rob's hat?!?
It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Candice is trying to make an alliance and she's reaching out to JT, who's concerned with her overtures. Candice has now become a potential target for JT. The Good Ol' Boy goes to Cirie and informs her that Candice doesn't trust her. JT's proud of his lying ability and the editor cuts to a crab coming out of a shell, as if JT's winning season was just the tip of his "Survivor" iceberg. But Cirie goes straight to Candice and confronts her, earning instant denials. Candice suspects something fishy is afoot and she begins to go around camp looking for the rat. Tom denies. Amanda denies. James acts confused and begs her to chill out. James, as you may have heard, just wants to get to challenges and win and worry about strategy later.
Bikini Mud-Wrestling? Sold! Challenge time. No Reward. Just Immunity. It's sumo-style mud-wrestling with pillow-type-pads. Oh wait. There is a reward. Luxury items, plus coffee, sugar and a week of rice. It's Tom against Russell first. This was a challenge from Palau and Palau-vet Tom destroys Russell, either with his experience or his awesomeness. Parvati and Candice face off, with Candice taking Parvati into the mud after a tense and erotic battle. The rain begins to fall as Coach and Rupert face off. Coach cheats, thinks he wins and celebrates wildly. In the rematch, Rupert throttles Coach. Will the Villains get a single win? Cirie knocks Jerri into the mud, giving the Heroes a 4-0 lead. It's Tyson and JT next. Tyson's been absent for a while and he does himself no favors by losing. Amanda fights of a fierce charge from Danielle and wins *another* point for the Heroes. Coby vs. Boston Rob? It's the most brutal fight yet, but Colby wins. The domination continues. It must be the chickens. Next? James and Randy? Oh seriously? Randy talks trash, because that's what he can do. James tosses him in the mud without hesitation. The Villains mock James for the authority of his push, with Courtney telling James that he's on the wrong team.
The Virus vs. The Bitter Old Cougar vs. The Grumpy Old Man. The Villains, thoroughly spanked, return to camp. They're muddied, but unbowed, taking quality time to bath and clean each other. "I guess they must have all eaten steroid sandwiches before the challenge," Tyson says of the conquering Heroes. Randy thinks he's on the block because everybody else is more interested in flirting with the girls. He warns the camera that letting Parvati slide because of her "nice wiggle" would be a mistake after a merge. Coach is also distrustful of Parvati's wiggle, which is nice indeed. Coach implies that in his years of coaching women's soccer, he's had plenty of girls bat their eyes and it has never impacted playing time. Tyson agrees, pointing out that Randy isn't dangerous, but Parvati is. Sandra, though, disagrees, citing Randy's weakness in challenges. "Parvati is like a virus," Jerri says frankly, though she admits she'd like to learn Parvati's moves. Sandra's playing her "I'll go the way of the majority game" and Boston Rob watches her attempting to deal with Coach. Danielle and Parvati are anti-Randy and try to sway Jerri, who refuses to commit. Once again, Jerri is annoyed, saying she wants to punch Parvati in the face, but the feeling is mutual. "She is the fakiest Fakey McGee I've ever met," Parvati, dubbing her adversary "a bitter old cougar." Oh ladies. Why is there no jello on the island to allow you to settle this like civilized people? "There's nobody out here that's honorable... except for me," Coach explains before vaguely quoting Martin Luther King. He vows to fight for Randy as long as he still has a brain cell in his brain.
Tribal council. Hmmm... Based on that extended segment, I have no idea who's about to get voted out. Maybe Tribal Council will tell the tale? Jeff Probst begins by asking what different previous alliances make. Sandra instantly calls out Parvati and her ties to the Heroes tribe. Parvati vows to stay true to her current tribe, though even Russell confesses that those relationships give him pause. Jerry continues to beat that drum. Jeff asks if there's a leader and Sandra lists Boston Rob and Coach, though she ends by saying that sometimes Coach wanders off. Don't question Coach's effort, not around Coach. Coach isn't hearing that. Whee! We're entirely off the rails. Finally Sandra brings up the missing machete, saying "It grew legs and walked off." Jeff doesn't like it when people make light of adversity. Russell says the game is harder, comparing his original Samoa tribemates to dodos. Boston Rob says that doing well at challenges isn't a sign of cohesiveness and Tribal Council won't fix anything. Well, based on the conversation, it has to be Parvati, right?
The Vote. Parvati writes Randy's name down. I had tech problems. Did we see any other votes before Jeff's reading? Let's see how this goes... Randy. Rob (Really?). Randy. Randy. Randy. Randy. Farewell, Randy.
Bottom Line: I never disliked Randy the first time around. He's just surly and antisocial and he believed that "Survivor" could be played by effort, which didn't work either time. In this case, the Villains pretty clearly made the wrong decision, didn't they? And yet if we're going to keep flirty Parvati around, I'm not going to complain. Another fine "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" episode. I'm loving how serious these people are taking this and how competitive the challenges have been.
Did the Villains vote the right way? And what do you make of Randy casting his vote against Rob? He said he was sending a message, but sending a message to who?