Ahh, the joys of watching a Survivor
all-star season: seeing all your favorite contestants give the game another go, hatching plot after devious plot, or making friends out of everybody until they reach the very end.
Well, it hasn't happened this early yet. If anything, the first three days of Survivor: Heroes vs Villains
saw all twenty castaways get back into the groove of things rather than get dirty. (Obviously Russell, who just came off Survivor: Samoa
, doesn't have a problem with this.) While there were flashes of the familiar during the two-hour premiere, like Courtney's "break her shoulder!" remark or Tom's plot to kick Cirie early on, the episode was like watching kids returning to school after the summer break, trying to get used to everything again.
Those kids, of course, still remember the other kids, who they are and what they do. Same goes with the returning castaways, making their early decisions on the back of what their competitors have done before, and who they are friends with. Totally understand that. But it's odd to see that they're basing their decisions on only just that. So what if Tom has a previous relationship with Stephenie during their time in Palau? They may work together initially, to get used to it again, but it's not like they're going to stick with each other forever. (Another flash of brilliance from Tom: he's not going to rely on her forever.)
Circumstances are, of course, different, and their strategies from previous seasons need an overhaul. It's called starting fresh. That's what's exciting about these all-stars seasons: you know these people are capable of certain things, but you want to see them do something like that with different people. Russell, for one, dealt with "stupid people" (for lack of a better term--Natalie was obviously not stupid) in Samoa, and admits to needing to work harder to do the same this time.
I was a bit disappointed to see Sugar go. We all know what she did in Gabon, and I wanted to see how she'll take that strategy (if she planned to take that strategy) in a different setting. She's a wild card: she won't win, but she'll be influential in putting someone through--and it's definitely something other castaways can use to their advantage. Instead, she was booted off for being emotional and, definitely, for keeping everybody awake in her pursuit of Colby.
At least that's thinking beyond what happened before. We'll get there. It will be like watching a fresh new season in a few weeks' time.
(Image courtesy of CBS)