I was out of town last Thursday, which explains why I wasn't able to write a recap for last week's Survivor
. But I was in front of the TV when the episode went on. Sixty minutes later, I had two thoughts: "what the heck was that?" and "why am I not writing about this?" Well, better late than never.
Before last week's shocker of an episode, I thought Sandra's flip was the biggest move we should expect. And indeed she did: she told Rupert the truth about the previous Tribal Council, the one that kicked Courtney out instead of Parvati. Indeed, it was a big move: it was something Sandra badly wanted to do since, maybe, the beginning of the season. "I'm a hero, not a villain," she insisted, and finally acted like one now she had the chance.
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It also helped that she had a connection with Rupert, who she played with back in Pearl Islands. It's a win-win situation: Sandra's strategy has taken root, and Rupert managed to warn the Heroes of what he thinks are Russell's actual intentions. It takes someone like him to see things clearly: the rest would have insisted otherwise.
But, alas, things were beyond their control. JT, he who believed Russell was sticking to his word, was the one eliminated, but not after this complicated series of events that were so good, I had to watch the episode twice. So Russell thought Parvati was in trouble, and he gave her the immunity idol he got from JT. But Parvati had her own immunity idol, and used it as leverage during the merge, sniffing out the Heroes' revised strategy from Amanda before pulling off a shocker during Tribal Council: she kept Sandra with JT's idol, then saved Jerri with her own idol. Suddenly, JT was the island's sucker, and Russell was a lame duck.
See, I told you these two would get screwed.
But that wasn't the only story. Danielle won immunity after Parvati just dropped out of the challenge--the very challenge she went through before, forcing the Heroes to change their move, and for Amanda to ask Parvati to use her idol, and get caught in the process. Bah, there are too many connections to think of, but one thing's certain: the merge has changed the dynamic of both tribes. Question is, who's on top?
Parvati finally impressed me last week. I always thought her battle plan amounts to making sure the biggest threats start wagging their tails because of her sex appeal. Turns out that was just half of her plan: the second half involves smashing those threats dead. I bet she's happy she finally did that last week. With the de facto leader of the Heroes out and the de facto leader of the Villains reduced to a simmer, Parvati can finally, convincingly, sit on her throne and squish the Heroes one by one.
But that's the problem: she wants to squish the Heroes one by one. I understand that: they all think she's a huge threat from JT's bleeping stupid move to her exhibition during Tribal Council. But technically they're the Yin Yang tribe, and old alliances are virtually thrown out of the window. To make things worse, she's used up all of her leverage. She could be another lame duck in the long run. That's where Sandra comes in. She jumped ship in a crucial time: when the fighting between the factions gets nasty, she has a safe place to hide in. Sure, she still voted with the reds last week, but I'm sure she'll break away in the coming weeks. And with Rupert--someone who's seemingly looking for a way to save himself too--in tow, her strength cannot be denied.
My wild card: Amanda. She reestablished her links with Parvati and unwittingly got herself in a good position: one where she can affect the actions of the Villains. Being someone who also showed signs of breaking out before the merge, I think she'll last a long time like in previous seasons: an unassuming threat.
To make myself feel better for not being able to write a recap last week, I'll say this: last week just sets us up for this week. We're promised of a lot of people changing sides, plus a couple of old grudges coming into play--Rupert vs Russell, Sandra vs the Villains, you get the idea. Definitely, the Heroes will break apart, and the Villains, less so. Rupert was right: the game gets crazy now. And the outcome is, well, totally up in the air.
(Image courtesy of CBS)