'Survivor' Merge Recap: The Blind Side, Part 2: History Repeating
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
It's that glorious, wonderful time of the Survivor season: the
Merge! The two tribes become one, individual immunity reigns supreme and
Redemption Island is over, for now. While Matt wins and comes back into
the game, Redemption Island will start again. But there's no way
history can repeat itself, right? Wrong.
The Final Duel
Everyone comes to Redemption Island for the final duel, which tells them that the Merge is happening and the winner will reenter the competition. Matt and Sarita have to stand on tiny footholds and keep themselves up, which puts Matt at a slight disadvantage since he just cut his foot. Or it's an advantage, since he seems to have a bandage around the cut which looks like it might actually help him.
During the duel Phillip continues his streak of talking about the samurai code, making everyone laugh a little. And then, for the sixth time in a row, Matt wins. He won every single duel, eliminated all six castaways and now gets a chance to play again.
But Redemption Island isn't done quite yet. Starting with this episode, it starts again. How much longer can it last? At some point being on Redemption Island might be a good thing since your fate is in your own hands and you don't have to deal with everyone else until you're almost at the end.
Matt, the five members of Zapatera and the six members of Ometepe all go to a new beach to form a new tribe. Boston Rob suggests "Murlonio" because he says it means "from the sea, united," and everyone loves it. But in reality, it's an inside joke because it's the name of the ringleader of Amber's stuffed animals. Once again, Boston Rob is a damn genius.
Matt and Andrea immediately rekindle their Romber 2.0 power couple and Iraq war veteran Mike wants them to join the Zapatera alliance. Matt is ready to play the game and he wants to first lull Ometepe into a false sense of security by voting out Steve, then turn and get rid of Phillip, then blind side Boston Rob. I like that he's actually willing to play the game now, but Andrea is very uneasy about it.
Boston Rob sees Mike, Matt and Andrea forming a Christian Coalition and he doesn't like it at all, not because he hates God, but because he hates any common interest, whether they're Oreos or romantic comedies. I'm glad I'm not there, because I love Oreos and Love Actually is one of my favorite movies.
The Individual Immunity Challenge
The 12 individuals must simply balance balls on a disc while standing on a log. Julie, Ashley and David go out in the first two rounds, then it's an endless battle as the remaining castaways must balance three balls. This looks deceptively difficult.
It comes down to Mike and Natalie, but Mike is a freaking statue. I guess they teach you how to stand perfectly still when you're an Iraqi war veteran, which makes it more valuable than being a former special agent. But he falls and, against all odds, the silly, pretty girl Natalie wins individual immunity. Maybe she's more of a threat than I thought.
The Zapatera strategy is to use the immunity idol on Mike since they think he's the threat and then take out Boston Rob's top lieutenant, Grant. Unfortunately, Matt sells Mike out by telling Boston Rob about how they tried to poach him because he's a good person who hates lying. The bad news is that Boston Rob hates good people and he really hates not lying, so Boston Rob's wheels immediately start turning to blind side Matt once again. Fool Matt once, shame on him, but fool him twice, and he's one of Survivor's biggest patsies.
Mike passes Matt a note to vote out Grant, but even Andrea is wary of Matt's ability to play the game at this point. Forget about Romber 2.0, because this couple has one smart member (Andrea) and one blind, overly trusting fool (Matt).
In the end, Matt goes rogue and votes out Steve, thinking that his original plan was still in effect, Zapatera votes out Grant, but Ometepe, including Andrea, stick together on Boston Rob's plan. If that's not enough, Ralhp plays his immunity idol on Mike, wrongly thinking that he's the target. So not only did Zapatera just get schooled by Boston Rob, but they wasted their only hope of survival.
For the second time, Matt is voted out 6-5-1.
Blindsided twice? I don't care how powerful God is, even He can't save Matt's awful gameplay at this point, even if he keeps winning back at Redemption Island. David is at least smart enough to recognize that what just happened was genius. It reminds me of the old joke: Losing one parent is a tragedy, losing two reeks of carelessness.
During the credits, Matt finally reveals that he's not a total idiot by admitting: "Apparently I'm just not very good at this game of Survivor" Amen!
(Image courtesy of CBS)