After last week's jaw-dropper of a double-quit episode, leaving alliances in ruins, this week was surprisingly tame and dull. Perhaps that it centered on Sash, one of the least-interesting men on the show ever, increased its drab quality.
I've been calling Chase an idiot for weeks now, merely because he's dumber than a post, but tonight he showed the one smart that has otherwise eluded everyone else in this game. He's in possession of a Hidden Immunity Idol, and he hasn't announced this fact to the world in general, nor even to one "loyal friend." He's kept it secret. That's one for Chase.
The mass-suicide by Kelly-I'm-Gone and NaOnka, aka Beelzebimbo, suddenly made the Libertards a tribe of seven, a loose, likeable alliance of Benry, Fabio, and Useless Dan, and the tight, blood-seeking alliance of Holly, Chase, and mistress-minded by the terrifying Madame DeFarge, formerly-known as Jane. This leaves the former power-broker Sash Not-Gay alone and friendless, but a potential swing vote.
Madame DeFarge has gotten scary. She's so deep into her Lord of the Flies stage, Piggy's Brains would be in severe peril around her. She's like a stringy, Mammy Yokum-version of Brando's Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, drawling out: "Da horra', da horra', dangnab it!" Remember when she seemed like a loveably eccentric grandma? Now I see her and I hear Jim Morrison singing: "This is The End; my only friend: The End."
The tribe decided to name their one surviving chicken after the quitters. This seemed a terrible slur to attach to the poor chicken, who isn't nearly as bird-brained as Beelzebimbo and Kelly Blank-Page.
In any event, speaking from experience, it's never a good idea to name your future food. Once Alice had been introduced to the pudding, she had nothing left to eat. My grandfather left me a 50 year old bottle of vodka when he died, and I foolishly named it "Grandpa" after him. Do you know how traumatic it is, to be caught without another drop of liquor in the house between 2 and 6 AM in California, and be forced to drink your own Grandpa to survive until the liquor stores open again?
Sash anounced to Chase, Benry, and Fabio, the Libertard Braintrust, that he intends to play his Hidden Immunity Idol at the next Tribal Council, to take the target off his back. Yes. If he had no idol, there'd be no target on his back. That's not a target there. That's - ah - that's really big Ringworm.
If he is lying, it might be a good tactic, extending its protection for a second week, though it also might piss people off at him more. If he's telling the truth, it seems pointless. I noticed two things:
1. Nothing was preventing him from just giving it to someone else if he felt it made him a target. In fact, why didn't Fabio just say: "If you don't want it, dude, let me have it. I'll be your buddy."
2. Chase did not feel the need to make similar announcements about his idol. He kept his mouth like the doors at Hill House: sensibly shut.
Sash and Chase had a strange negotiation. Sash was trying to sell cutting Madame DeFarge loose, because if she makes Final Two, she'll beat pretty much anyone. This is sensible, though if Madame Defarge gets wind of this betrayal in the air, her vengeance will make the jungles of Nicaragua run red with blood.
Chase's counterproposal was tell Sash he was next-in-line for a reward. Hello? We were playing for a million dollars, and suddenly we're playing for who gets the next picnic somewhere scenic? Anyway, those are not Chase's to grant. You win those.
At the end they shook hands over their non-agreement to - ah - be nice to each other.
Reward Challenge: Oh, someone was up all night thinking up this challenge. It was three different elements from challenges earlier this season tossed together pretty much at random, in rounds which eliminated, playing to a single winner. For the details, read the columns I wrote for the weeks they were used.
The reward was a night at a luxury spa, being fed, massaged, cleansed, and then hours of oral sex with 40 virgins, all just 19 years of age, and eager, presided over by Zoot, naughty, naughty Zoot! So if Chase wins he'll give it to Sash Not-Gay, who will then give it to Holly?
The smart money was on Useless Dan being in camp tonight, much to the relief of 40 19-year-old virgins, not to mention Zoot.
Fabio didn't make it through round one, owing to his inability to get his ball into his basket. Even Holly and Madame DeFarge proved more adept ball-slingers than Fabio, showing that being experienced at handling equipment is more important than owning your own set.
Oh, and Dan didn't make it through round one either. He never got as far as finding his ball in his ballsack in a pile of hay, as he never got through the mud pit. For all we saw of him, he never got off the bench.
Chase and Benry left the women behind in round two, and moved on to the last round. Madame DeFarge shot them a look that would have decapitated them on the spot, if she had possessed Guillotine-Vision as her Meteor-Freak Super-Power on Smallville.
The way Chase's still-massive pecs looked, cresting through the mud caked on his torso during round three was - ah - very nice.
Chase aced round three, and won the reward. Would he give it to Sash-Weight or to Holly-the-Loon? Would Jeff offer one of those Devil's Deals, where he can choose a companion to share Reward? Must the spa wash that mud off of him? He's making my thoughts dirty. Zoot's thoughts are now so dirty, she's already punishing herself. Now all the 19-year-old virgins want to be punished too. This is getting out of hand.
Chase, caked in mud, but with his pecs peeking through, looking very hot: "Wanna hug me, Jeff?"
"NAW"??? Oh Chase, I do! I do! Get me just as muddy as you are. Make me dirty all over! Dirty! Dirty! Dirty! Oh! I am so filthy! I am Daddy's Filthy Little Girrr -- Oh. Hi. Sorry. Where was I? End of Reward. Got it.
Chase is a man of his word. Well, most of his word. Jeff offered him the option of taking two losers with him on their Weekend at the Waldorf. Chase made good on his promise to take Holly, in reward for her sacrifice of getting to not-watch a Jack Black movie last week to get the tribe food.
Sash' face was caked with mud thicker than Chase's, though to far-less appealing effect, as he waited for Chase to fulfill his side of the Pointless Bargain and name him a spa visitor. So we were able to enjoy the "You-Freakin'-Bastard" look far back in Sash's eyes as Chase gave the other spot to Madame DeFarge, who feels like a Roman Empress at a seven-week orgy anytime she's someplace with indoor privies.
Sash felt that, since Chase already has Madame DeFarge's vote locked up, and since Chase knows Sash has an idol he's always mentioning, for Chase to take her and not Sash was "incredibly stupid." That sounds like the Chase I know. But then, Chase has an idol which Sash can't factor in because he doesn't know about it, because Chase hasn't blabbed it all over Hell and back, which would be "incredibly stupid."
Sash tried playing power broker with the men left behind, and Dan. The only power he had to broker was his own vote. Dan heard the implied threat that, if they didn't reach a Sash-approved agreement, he would vote with the others against them. Dan began being as big a roadblock to success for Sash as he is for anyone with whom he plays a team Challenge.
As Sash and Dan staged a vague battle over strategy, while neither has any, we cut back to the resort spa where Chase is in his two's-company-three's-an-orgy overnighter with The Golden Girls, two of the dead ones.
Madame DeFarge screamed "Look at that, an outdoor shower!" I guess it really reminded her of home. We got to watch Holly shower. Where is Norman Bates when you need him?
Holly told us she felt the strategy of Chase taking Madame DeFarge to Reward instead of Sash was a blunder. However, she did not feel that Chase taking her instead of Sash was a blunder.
Eventually, even Chase began to suspect he'd goofed in breaking his Pointless Bargain with Sash. I think, as penance, he should not wear another shirt until the finale-reunion show is over. I think that's only fair.
Chase described his month-long game play as "a little flighty." So silly. No one ever said "a little".
At least, when Chase washed off the mud, we got to watch some of it. "I love massages," said Madame DeFarge, making herself stand-out from all the person in the Human Race who doesn't like a massage. Who is she anyway? It's a comment on a level with "I try to breathe each and every day."
The general Get-Madame DeFarge sentiment of the Wimmin-Hater's Alliance, Fabio, Benry, and Dan, was set by their choosing to kill and eat the last chicken, the one now named Kelly-Nay, so that DeFarge, she of the secret-fish-repasts, would get not a bite from her coveted fowl. Oh, it was on.
Remember the opening scenes of Godfather: Part 2: the somber funeral march through a barren gully in Sicily, with the wails of the lamenting women? That was the mood of the sequence when Madame DeFarge returned from her overnight, three-way-orgy to find only the ruins of a chicken coop, and the bleached bones of her last child. Lamentations began. Vengeance for such blood would be sure to follow.
"They didn't have to eat her." DeFarge keened over the grave she made for Kelly-Nay, complete with a make-shift cross! That chicken was a Christian! Yes, that chicken really believed. She was washed in the Blood of the Lamb, which I'm guessing the chicken found gratuitously upsetting. Although abstract concepts are far, far beyond the intellectual capacity of chickens, nonetheless, this chicken had grasped the Christian Mythology, accepted Jesus Christ as its Personal Savior, learned the concept "sin," repented of any sins it committed prior to figuring out what sin was, and became Saved, though dead. This is a considerable cognitive achievement for a chicken. Chickens are remarkably stupid, even for birds. Maybe that chicken really is a Christian!
Madame DeFarge told us of her making that grave, and praying over it. Did she make little graves for the fish she caught, killed, and ate in secret? Did she pray over the graves of her fish victims? If not, why not? At what point on the evolutionary ladder is a living thing no longer worthy of prayer, given that it is established that chickens, and therefore all animals above chickens also, are all prayer-worthy?
But Madame DeFarge ended with something far more disturbing. With her chilling witch's cackle (exactly what you would expect to hear following: "Have an apple, dearie."), she told us: "Had I not won that reward challenge, I'se a-gonna take her down in the woods and run with her and hide."
Oh my God, Madame DeFarge has been contemplating turning totally feral, escaping, with a chicken, to hide, and begin living a "Wild Woman of Nicaragua" life, until she is just a thing of legend, and old DVDs.
Sash is indeed a swing vote, but swinging away. The Chase's Golden Girls Harem Alliance is assuming he's allied with The Wimmin-Hater's Alliance, and don't trust him. The Wimmin-Hater's think Sash is a spy from Chase's Golden Girls Harem, and don't trust him. Sash has known Sash all his life, so he knows better than to trust Sash. Peter Lorre, drenched-with-sweat, in North Africa, in black-and-white, inspires more trust than Sash does.
Chase told Benry he was fine with voting out Madame DeFarge. Uh-huh. Chase told Sash how deeply he regretted forgetting to take him on the reward. I'm really sorry. Who are they voting out? Sash did float some vote-out-Madame DeFarge thoughts past Chase.
Sash asked Chase to swear to take him to the Final Two, and to swear on his mother, "and on your wonderful father..." That would be the dead father we've heard so many inspiring-omen-anecdotes about. Chase refused to swear on his Dad, which told anyone listening that that would be the one oath that he actually took seriously, but Sash accepted just swearing on the parent Chase didn't mind dishonoring the memory of.
Benry saw Sash having a confab with Chase and Holly and found this to be proof that Sash was conspiring with them. Sash is conspiring with anyone who will listen to him. Benry sees this as good reason to abandon The Wimmin-Hater's, and go see about joining Chase's Golden Girls Harem, and targeting Fabio. He also let the name of Madame DeFarge slip out as a good target. The name "Dan" never came up.
Immunity Challenge: The players were tethered to a rope tangled around a long beam of wood. They had to untangle themselves to get enough rope to reach a bag of "gold coins," or hang themselves. The first three to retrieve their gold go on to round two.
This will be a good week to vote out Useless Dan. He will not be winning immunity. If he really works hard, he may get himself hopelessly tangled on the beam. He will never get near his bag of "gold coins".
Round two is using the "gold coins" for a puzzle. I haven't had to rail much about how boring I think puzzles are as Survivor challenges, as Palin's Pimp heard my cries in the wilderness of The Huffington Post, and has done much fewer puzzles than usual, instead relying on heavily-physical challenges in a season that pitted physically-fit 20-nothings against a bunch of pensioners, and in Useless Dan's case, an invalid.
You know, they have Dan out there, playing in challenges he can not possibly do. The least they could do to justify our putting up with him is show us him in the challenges. The players in the first challenge ran towards the mud, and we never saw Dan again. In this one we saw in a long shot Dan begin to bend over beside his rail, and they began cutting to shots of one or two players, and Dan never got a one or two shot in the whole sequence. He was seen only in extreme long shots. I began to wonder if he was using a stunt double.
Oh, and there was one shot of Madame DeFarge going over her rail (she slipped her rails weeks ago!), in which they had to digitally blur-out her groinal region as it rolled past the camera. It wasn't blurred from prudishness, but for public safety. Both the camera man and the film editor who saw the unblurred footage blinded themselves immediately afterwards. They still wake up screaming.
Fabio, Benry, and Sash, went to round two. Madame DeFarge sat on the side and yelled helpful things, like: "C'mon, ya guys, ya'll can do it... C'mon Benry, ya can do it... C'mon, Fabio." First off, what is the point of cheering them all on? Secondly, it's just really annoying, provoking from Fabio an under-the-breath: "Shut up!" I'm with Fabio.
Sash won immunity. Mr. Nobody-Trusts-Me-Plus-I-Already-Have-an-Idol Sash will survive tonight. But hey, Fabio was seconds away from finishing that puzzle also. Only Benry was completely at sea, with no concept of how to figure out the puzzle's solution. It was trickier than talking drunk teenagers out of their blouses for Girls Gone Wild!
Fabio asked Sash to let him know if his name came up. It already had but Sash sat on that info.
We finally saw how Useless Dan strategizes:
Chase: "Hey there, Dan... Who ya thinkin'?"
Dan: "I don't know. Who you thinkin'?"
How the hell am I supposed to give you my opinion if you haven't told me what mine is yet?
In any event, Useless Dan is really okay with the only member of the tribe to think he's "kinda cool," Fabio, being targeted, and is asking for whom to lie to him about voting out. So that's Dan' strategy: Be good for nothing, be loyal to no one, have no opinions, lead from the bench.
Benry told Fabio that Holly was the target and Fabio totally bought into it. He was completely relieved, and okay with Holly getting no more of the food she'd sacrificed for all to have. The blindsiding of Fabio is now so utterly all over the screen, I can only conclude he must be safe, and that some other outcome awaits us at Tribal Council.
Tribal Council: Jeff introduced Beelzebimbo and Kelly Quitter as "Our two quitters." Beelzebimbo must have had the Fear of Cthulhu put into her by the producers, because she did not holler back: "I'm not a quitter! Don't you be eye-balling me! I'll cut you, Probst! I'm NaOnka! Hear me mouth!" As one expected, Kelly looked sad and chastened, ashamed of herself. Beelzebimbo was like a kid at the circus, enjoying watching Survivor in 3-D and live. Clearly, if you suggested to her that she should be ashamed to show her face in public, she would think you mad. She is not capable of understanding nor experiencing shame. Guilt is outside her range.
Madame DeFarge made a snide comment to the effect that Fabio wasn't too good on the puzzles. Excuse me? He lost that puzzle challenge by two or three seconds. It was Benry who got so lost in the puzzle he gave up, you know, quit.
Sure enough, Benry was voted out. Did Fabio save his own butt? Nope. Fabio voted for Holly. Dan voted for Fabio, as did Benry. The Wimmin-Haters Alliance turned on each other. The Chase's Golden Girls Harem-plus-Sash all voted for Benry.
Dan is still there.