'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': A Role Reversal
'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains': A Role Reversal
Welcome to Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, also known as a case study in world affairs.

Imagine two countries. Two perfectly healthy democratic countries. One portrays themselves as the good guys, and for a while it does go that way. Everybody's feeling good about each other, everybody's working, everybody's got a common interest. The other is quite proud of being devious, and it starts pretty much the same way as the first, only they can't agree and are close to self-destruction.

The first country--let's call it, umm, Heroes--suddenly suffers a huge defeat, one that forces them to reassess their priorities. After determining those responsible, and enforcing justice, they continue working, believing that a cleaner operation is a better operation.

The second country--yes, it's Villains, in case you already figured out the metaphor--score huge victories, affirming their place in the world, but they still continue fighting. But those victories were firmly planted in their heads, and it sticks with them in everything they do.

The Heroes suffer another defeat, and its citizens are becoming restless. "It's not enough that we punish one person. Let's punish everyone!" And so everybody starts fighting, and all of a sudden, they're on the path to self-destruction. Their democracy is a shambles.

The Villains? They get their act together--helped, perhaps, by a national emergency, spurring everyone to action. Sure, their leadership gradually became a self-proclaimed "benevolent dictator", but it works. Common goals are realized, and they're reaping the benefits of their huge victories.

Yes, that was a political metaphor. I did not mean to comment on anything else but Survivor.

It's funny how the premise of the show--Heroes vs Villains--are defining what each castaway does. The Heroes believe they're good people, so they naturally feel betrayed when one of them starts acting differently. "But you're supposed to be good! We're supposed to be good!" They should've expected everyone to work behind their backs (it is Survivor after all) but they didn't, and now, when all these motives are discovered, things have gotten pretty nasty.

The Villains, on the other hand, are proud of their bad guy status. Well, mostly proud--Rob tried to be the good guy but it didn't really work for him, so when he started laying the law, things got better. Nobody was worrying about who they are: they're just playing their part. Now, they're whipping the heroes' asses. This is a role reversal!

Sure, the Villains will start fighting each other when they lose immunity. The work of folks like Sandra and Russell will be uncovered, much like the work of Tom and JT were uncovered last night. The difference is, all this happened to the Heroes early in the game, and in the long run, it's going to leave them weak. Imagine the Villains going against two smaller "tribes"? That's easy.

It takes discontent to foster a war, and so far, it's happening to the people I least expect it to happen. But it makes for interesting viewing.

(Image courtesy of CBS)