'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' Recap: Brilliant Strategy or Dumbest Move Ever?
'Survivor: Heroes vs Villains' Recap: Brilliant Strategy or Dumbest Move Ever?
Let's get a few things out of the way. It's promised that tonight's Survivor will be historical. It's also promised that tonight's episode would have a move that you can describe two ways. Call it "strange" if you're being nice. Call it "dumb" if you aren't. Tonight, it did deliver, and it floats a lot of questions: is it a brilliant strategy or is it the dumbest move ever?

Sandra's in control: For the past couple of weeks, the Heroes are very convinced that an all-girl's alliance is running the show on the Villains' side. Rob is gone, then Coach, and if their estimates are correct, Russell is going next. They would've believed that further after what happened during the reward challenge, the one in Tocantins where players brace themselves to a box. Sandra's just so giddy about the prize: another lunch, supplied by the folks at Outback Steakhouse.

"Before my husband left for Afghanistan, we went there," she said. That made things easier for me: what would've been blatant advertising became something pretty adorable to watch. Sandra pretty much ruled the roost here thanks to her quips, as she cheered on her tribemates. When Colby dropped out of the match: "Hellz yeah-yuh!" When Rupert dropped out of the match: "[I popped out] two babies. No aspirin!" Needless to say, the Villains won that lunch, and Sandra's really happy.

Russell's in control: That challenge convinced JT further that Russell is on the outs in his tribe, so he hatches this brilliant (riiiight) plan: give Russell his hidden immunity idol when they win the immunity challenge. Not everybody's sure about it, but they go with it anyway: Amanda and Candice are just happy he's giving up the idol.

And then, from out of the blue, JT gets himself a pen and writes a pretty detailed love letter to Russell. "Read in complete privacy," he wrote, before listing down his strategy: use the idol during Tribal Council, invalidating every vote against him; he'll have the only vote, so he'll kick Parvati out. During the immunity challenge, a lot of googly eyes were made between the two men, and in the middle of the challenge Colby told Russell to pick up the package. The exchange happened after the Heroes won, and they spent the afternoon off very confident that they did the right thing.

Parvati's in control: "You do not give the enemy the idol, especially if his name is Russell Hantz." True, he scored himself another advantage after the merge, but he doesn't know everything that's happening on his tribe. During the lunch, Parvati found a clue to another immunity idol in her napkin. She showed it to Danielle, and they looked for it later, and they found the necklace. "We'll tell Russell on a need-to-know basis," she said. "He's not the king of Survivor. I'm the queen."

That goes to the back seat as Russell showed her JT's letter. It's funny seeing them read that love note like little kids, gushing at how stupid the Heroes are, reminding me a bit of Gossip Girl Samoa. And then they start planning: Parvati thinks she can trust Courtney more than Russell, but everybody else thinks they can rely on Sandra to stay with them more. In Tribal Council, after a discussion on who jumped alliances before the Rob ship went down (which explains the vote against Jerri), Courtney went home. She's still happy. "It's always been my Survivor dream to be part of the jury," she said.

The merge finally happens next week on Survivor: Heroes vs Villains, and you can expect two things happening: Russell continuing to play his I'm-on-the-outs card, and Sandra, not knowing anything that just happened, doing her own thing. This week's events were historical, yes. Dumb? We'll see. It could work for some people and not for others--and not necessarily the way it's supposed to go. It will backfire on someone soon. Just a matter of when.

(Image courtesy of CBS)