You've got to love the dramatic Hero and Villain music this season. Apparently it was written by John Williams instead of Russ Landau. Not to go all Muppet Babies on you, but it takes me into the land of make believe. Instead of two Survivor tribes building their camps, you can't help but imagine...
A molten-spewing rock pit on a colony far, far away : A villainous army of skull-faced goons is mining ore. Their leader, the Shadow Lord Boston Rob, paces in front of them, growing increasingly disgusted with their incompetence.
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On a giant blue planet nearby, a shining city on a hill: A band of rag-tag rebel heroes is working together to do something miraculous. A brothership has formed between pirate with the big laugh, the He-Man and the princess with the will to fight.
Now, when I snap my fingers return to the nursery, because nothing like I described is going on. We might be looking at heroes and villains here, but lets not get the tribes confused. JT is making promises he can't keep. Rupert is acting like a pouty little boy with a wounded ego. And James has turned into King Kong, the 900 pound gorilla nobody wants to piss off.
I don't know about you, but after watching Tiger Woods confess his infidelity this morning I don't feel like there are a lot of real heroes left.
Don't worry, though, because yes, there is a Santa Clause, Virginia. His name is Tom Westman. Tom earned free chili for life by defending New York against fires. But that's nothing compared to the guts he showed in defending Stephenie from James at Tribal Council. The man wrestles sharks, nets chickens, wipes the mat with kids half his age in the challenges, and he's a gentleman! If I liked the fellas, I'd swoon.
No matter how I try, I cannot justify JT, Cirie and Candice's decision to go with "The Incredible Disruptive Force" James, broken-toed Rupert and the Doe-Eyed Wonder, Amanda, over Tom and Colby. There's nobody who has ever played the game that I'd rather have co-captaining the ship than Tom and Colby in this situation.
There's one conclusion you can draw: The Micronesia Alliance is strong. Sure, Cirie says she'd never trust Amanda again, but think about it. If that was true, why would she provoke Amanda to come after her by publicly challenging her? Why wouldn't she let Amanda think that everything was fine?
Yeah. If the Heroes believe Cirie really didn't whether Amanda went home or not, they're dumb.
Meanwhile, it's hard to point to a unlikable person on the Villains tribe. Although I do have to call somebody out.
It was my best friend who caught on first. When Boston Rob was begging for help she said, "That's not how a big, tough guy like Rob would act." She's right.
Remember Cuba Gooding Jr. in Jerry Maguire? He takes this horrible snap to the neck on Monday Night Football. He's fine. But when he opens his eyes he realizes the whole world is watching, so he milks it for everything it's worth, then gets up and dances while the crowd goes wild. Witness Boston Rob carrying enormous crates on his back in the Immunity Challenge. I call that dancing, and I rest my case.
Look at how Russell Swan acted. "I'm alright. I'll get up in a second. I'm fine. Don't bother me." Right before he almost died.
Boston Rob? "Get help.... I feel like it's getting the best of me... and I just love and respect it... too much...."
The doctors said Rob looked worse than he did. Well guess what? So does a little kid who doesn't want to go to school. Or in this case, a big kid who just loves being a reality TV star. If I'm wrong, I'm sorry. But I think Rob was going for the Oscar on that one.
After one of the best premieres in the series history, I'm a little bit worried about Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains after this week, only because the series would suffer if the current Heroes power dynamic held. I do not want to listen to James bully people for too many weeks in a row. But for right now Survivor is Must See TV.
-Henry Jenkins, BuddyTV Columnist