In his "Previously on Survivor" opening spiel, Jeff Probst said of Matt, aka, Dr. Jesus: "Matt's time on Redemption Island finally came to an end," when he should have said: "Dr. Jesus's time on Zombie Island finally came to a momentary pause."
Dr. Jesus waxed philosophical about his second blindside. He shouldn't. He's not good at it. "First and Foremost, I'd like to congratulate myself on being the most naive person ever to play the game of Survivor." As always, he gives himself too much credit. Erik letting the girls talk him into giving away his Hidden Immunity Idol, and then instantly voting him out on Survivor: Micronesia, the time James got voted out while he had two Immunity Idols in his pocket (but he was also glad to see me), and of course, JT giving his idol to Russell a year ago, were all more naive than Dr. Jesus's boneheaded play last week. He gets, at best, 4th place. Or rather 5th, also behind Tyson, the idiot who managed to vote himself out in Survivor: Heroes vs Villains.
Dr. Jesus also said: "I am reaping the benefits of my shame." Actually Doc, you're reaping the shame of your stupidity.
Dr. Jesus had a chat with his imaginary god as he put on his socks. (It was a formal chat.) He blathered on about how it was God's Will that he return to Zombie Island, though he remains puzzled by his god's will. I remain puzzled as to how someone allegedly in pre-med could believe in an all-powerful being running the entire universe that nonetheless has time to plot out and micro-manage every tiny detail of Dr. Jesus's life for him. Man, he's stupid. The concept that who wins a TV game show is utterly unimportant in any "Great Scheme of Things" doesn't cross his tiny mind.
He summed it up with a lyrical bit of idiot reasoning: "I trust You. This is Your will, You using my stupidity for Your glory." I'll give his imaginary god props for using the only resource available to Her, Dr. Jesus's stupidity, though I can't help wondering about a few things:
1. Wouldn't it have reflected greater glory on Dr. Jesus's god if She had created The Doc as intelligent instead of hopelessly dumb?
2. Hasn't Dr. Jesus's imaginary god got any more worthwhile goals than just receiving greater and greater glory all the time? Why is the highest thing a human can do heaping further glory on this Divine Egomaniac? His god sounds like a Roman Emperor.
3. Is a god that is so utterly consumed by Her ego that She must seek "glory" all the time, and constantly be praised by her human minions, really worth worshiping? Wouldn't ending world hunger, or ending disease, or ending warfare be a more worthwhile goal than seeking glory through Dr. Jesus's admittedly abundant stupidity playing out on a TV game show?
4. I guess poor God is stuck having to employ the stupidity of Her followers, because smart people know better than to fall for The Christian Con.
Back at Camp Winnie-the-Pooh (Rob named it "Murlonio" after one of his wife's stuffed animals.), David and Mike had to congratulate Rob on the brilliance of his "mob hit" on Dr. Jesus. Rob smiled, thanked them, and kept them on his hit list.
Julie felt the voting out of Dr. Jesus was cold-blooded. "Do you not have any feeling at all for a human being?" Julie, what game are you playing? Nice Guy Island? Rob is playing Survivor. And if you don't start playing it too, you will be joining the jury.
Knowing they are in big trouble numbers-wise, the former Viva Zapatans were scrambling. Mansweater tried to pump Ashley-or-Andrea and Natalie, but hit a stone wall of "We don't know." I'll bet every teacher they ever had was used to hearing that sentence from them.
Mansweater tried offering a deal to them for final three votes, but they couldn't discuss betraying Rob without written permission from Rob and Major League Baseball.
Rob is playing a master's game. He's re-solidified his team, got them refusing to talk with the other tribe, encouraging them to be arrogant and rude to the other tribe, while he himself remains the soul of diplomacy and reasonableness. Brilliant. And he knows that Phillip, aka Agent Dumb Ass, needs little encouragement to be arrogant, superior, and insane.
Natalie reported Mansweater's approach back to Rob, and Ashley-or-Andrea didn't. Oops. Now Rob knows that Ashley-or-Andrea was given an offer that she didn't report back to The Robfather. Fredo, you broke my heart. All deal offers from Viva Zapatans must be reported to Rob in triplicate.
Immunity Challenge #1: Since Dr. Jesus is alone on Zombie Island, there is no duel this week, so they went right to an Immunity Challenge 10 minutes into the show. Was this to be a one-challenge episode? (Hate those.) Or would there be a reward challenge later? Or is there something else up their sleeves?
Agent Dumb Ass arrived for the challenge wearing a feather that had appeared "out of thin air" (Wait. Did he say "out of thin air" or "out of thin hair," which he almost is?) as "a sign." He believes in "signs" and "omens". What next? Consulting the Oracle at Delphi? Anyway, wearing the feather made him look like Chief Featherbrain. He just insists on piling up the nicknames.
And Chief Featherbrain proved he has feathers for brains by not remembering the name of the tribe he was on for 15 days: "It looks good for the alliance of the former Oh Tempo - Ah Tempe tribe." I almost expected him to say "The Ete Poem tribe". I guess I should have been calling them the Up Tempo Tribe. They have a nice beat. You can dance to them.
It was a three-level challenge. First digging up a club to break tiles with. (Palin's Pimp, or someone on this show's staff, really hates tile!)
The first six advance to the second round, where they have to drown themselves in a vodka trough (I'm assuming. After all, they're not savages!), then crawl through the mud underneath the trough, to spit the vodka into a cup. This challenge was based on an invigorating evening of wine-tasting I once spent up at Sir Alfred Hitchcock's home, about 50 years ago. I won.
The first three regurgitators to fill a pipe with their effluvium advance to the final round, assembling a large, heavy block puzzle similar to the Rubik's Cube duel a few weeks back.
I thought Mansweater would breeze though the first round, as he probably digs up bones the same way most mornings for breakfast. Grant, in an unnecessary shirt that I'm sure was slowing him down, smashed his tile first, followed closely by Rob, too closely for Jeff Probst, who had to dodge their shrapnel. Mansweater came through third, then Mike, then David, and finally Julie. I was glad Julie got through to round two. I've been wanting to see her drown herself for weeks now.
Apparently digging up clues was not part of Chief Featherbrain's former federal job, since, even wearing a feather in his - ah - scalp, he didn't make it through round one. Nor did Steve, nor any of the other women.
The suspense was growing. Which contestants had Dr. Jesus's god decided in advance would go on to round three? (And how far in advance does Dr. Jesus's god plan these things out anyway? Does She outline the whole season a year in advance? Does She make it up as She goes along? Was every event in the universe already planned out and set in motion at the moment of The Big Bang? Will She change or modify Her plans if you pray like really obsequiously, and grovel with great magnitude? Just asking.)
Grant was smoking round two. He threw himself headfirst into that vodka trough, and crawled through mud to spit it out again better than I did on Prom Night. (No wait. That wasn't Prom Night. Prom Night was the burning hotel room. The vodka trough and crawling through mud to spit it back out again occurred on Grad Night at Disneyland. They ended up having to close down Tom Sawyer's Island, and boil it.) Grant, when you visit me, you're going to love my vodka trough. It's big enough for two to snuggle in.
Someone yelled: "Yeah Grant, you're doin' it, baby!" It may have been me. Yes, it was in the soundtrack recorded in Nicaragua, but I think I yelled it loudly! The police showed up ten minutes later.
We heard a voice that sounded a lot like Chief Featherbrain yelling: "Keep it up, Grant! Keep it up, Grant! You're killing me, baby!" but I know that was me. I have that very phrase: "Keep it up, Grant! Keep it up, Grant! You're killing me, baby!" embroidered on all my pillowcases, a Christmas gift in 1938 from Cary Grant.
Chief Featherbrain is so fickle. Just moments after begging Grant to keep it up, he was yelling at Rob: "A big one, Rob. Come on, baby. You got it." He must have sounded like Amber to The Robfather.
Grant upchucked enough vodka to come in first. Mike was next, while Julie's tube wasn't even half full yet. Come on woman, spit! You're a fireman! You should be able to spew liquid faster than that.
Dr. Jesus's god decided David would be the last to move on to the final round. Could She be the God of Abraham? (No. That Old Testament Jehovah must have been male, as His arbitrary rules clearly show He hated women. If He hated them so much, why didn't He create something he liked better?)
The laugh is on Rob here. The Robfather is the puzzle-master, and he didn't make it to the puzzle round. But David, The Puzzlemaker (I know, it makes no sense. Blame Sarita. She named him.), did make round three. Will the God of Moses give David the power to out-puzzle Grant, or will Dr. Jesus's god give it to Grant or Mike? And, with Grant and Mike both shirtless as they work their puzzles, is there any chance they'll run it in slow-motion, or even just in real time? Oh well, I can replay it slowed down. (Little Dougie calls that "Homo Slo-mo.")
It turned out that Dr. Jesus's god had fated Grant to win the puzzle round and Immunity. Thank you, Lord. Praise be unto ye. (You know, Dr Jesus's god, if You just sent me Your episode outlines a day in advance, it would save me a lot of time on Wednesday nights. No? Well then, I take back my praise be unto ye.)
How embarrassing for David, The Puzzlemaker, as he came in third in the puzzle round. Dr. Jesus's god just set him up to be made a fool of, all to rebound to Her greater glory, etc.
That kitschy Immunity necklace looked hot hanging down on Grant's fuzzy pecs. I love a sexy man who's also immune.
Back at Camp Winnie-the-Pooh, Mike was afraid that, having come in second, he would be the target this week. Of course, he thought that last week too, and got Mansweater to waste his idol covering him, when he received no votes at all.
Sherlock Mike noticed their flagpole had been moved, as though someone had buried a dead body there, or one of the field producers had buried a new immunity idol there while they were away playing the challenge. Or it only looked moved.
The Robfather was keeping all the former Up Tempos away from the deal-desiring Viva Zapatans, until he noticed the excavations being ever-so-subtly made at the flagpoles, and suddenly it was the scene under "The Big W" in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, only without Ethel Merman.
As David and Mike saw the Up Tempos running towards their dig, although all they had discovered was the skeleton of a polar bear with a collar with the emblem of the Dharma Hydra Station, they decided to pretend like maybe they had found something, and watch the scramble, as Chief Featherbrain starting burrowing like a dog, and The Robfather brought out shovels. I half expected Grant to drive up in a John Deere bulldozer, or The French Chick to start lobbing dynamite from The Black Rock into the holes.
The Hardy Boys didn't find Mr. Applegate's treasure under the flagpole, but Rob found paranoia. He got clobbered with an idol last time he played. Now he couldn't shake the fear that they had found an idol, and if they voted for the wrong Viva Zapatan, it would rebound on Rob.
Tribal Council #1: And here we are at Tribal Council 22 minutes into the show. Could this be a double eviction, or will they end the episode on a Zombie Island Duel? What did Dr. Jesus's god decide?
Okay, Chief Featherbrain is reaching new heights of insanity. He actually said, without a trace of irony: "My great-great grandfather, Jessum Herring [I'm guessing at the spelling.], a full-blooded Cherokee, came to me in a meditation, and he told me that was what would happen." So Dr. Jesus's god can find time to send episode outlines to some old dead Cherokee, but can't send me one? Favoritism. Although my great-great grandfather was a famous Mormon Bishop and polygamist. The best thing about him is that he never shows up for a chat. If dead great-great grandfathers are Dr. Jesus's god's only line of direct communication with The Real, I'll pass. However, my grandfather is welcome back anytime.
(Wait! His Cherokee ancestor is named Herring? Oh my Gable, he's a Red Herring!!!)
Big Chief Featherbrain not done yet: "He also stated that the former Ometepe..." Apparently Great-Great Gramps Herring can pronounce it, even if his crazy-brained descendant can not. "...shall live long in Survivor lore." Let me get this straight. Chief Featherbrain's Cherokee great-great grandfather came crawling back out of his grave (Zombie Island Strikes Again!), so he can impart portentous, meaningless gossip about "Survivor lore"? Hasn't any supernatural entity got anything better to do than obsess over Survivor?
Jeff asked David who at Up Tempo was "on the bottom." He said it was Agent Featherbrain, though he used the Chief's Code Name. Then the Comedy Gods looked down and smiled as Chief Featherbrain said: "I enjoy being on the bottom..." ("Me too!" Little Dougie yelled out, quite redundantly.) "...It's a nice place to be. He can look up, and see what's going on." Is there a mirror overhead?
Am I just assuming double entendre from a man who can barely manage to give his words even one meaning? Is there another interpretation to his next words? "So if someone said to me: 'you're the guy who's always gettin' the wood'..." The guy who is always gettin' the wood is the bottom. If his son is still a school kid, he's not going to enjoy the playground today.
The less said about his sordid confession: "I did that as a child," the better. Seldom has Jeff Probst beamed as happily as during Chief Featherbrain's deranged monologue.
Mansweater, amused by The Chief's idiocy, said: "I might even get a feather tomorree. You never know." I picture him returning nightly to his shanty covered in chicken feathers from plucking that night's dinner.
But Chief Featherbrain's Magic Feather must be too morally superior for players of lower tribes. He was having none of it. He snappishly snarled at Mansweater: "It takes courage and determination, and knowing when to hold your tongue to get a feather!" Oh snap! Then how did Featherbrain get one? Knowing when to hold his tongue is not among his skill set. And how much "courage" did it take to snatch a feather "out of thin air"? And can Chief Dumb Ass ever get over himself?
Mansweater joined the cult of Featherbrain, seeing how he had the courage and determination to have feathers magically appear to him: "He might go out on the beach and just a whole bird fall down. He could get a whole whole gob of feathers." (How many feathers make up a "gob" anyway?)
It was about time that Viva Zapata got a good, big dose of what we've been getting from Chief Featherbrain for weeks, and Jeff knew just how to unleash it. He asked unsuspecting Mike an innocent-seeming question: "What do you make of Phillip's feather?" What did he think Mike would say? "Well, I can make a hat, or a flower, or a pterodactyl?" No, he knew Mike would say something mildly critical, and it would set off The Chief's defensiveness, and people would learn he was a former federal agent. Well played, Mr. Probst.
Mike: "You know, I think it's an insecurity thing. [Gee, do you think?] I think Phillip is - is really struggling to find himself. I don't think he really knows who he is." I wish I didn't know who he is. Actually, everything after "insecurity thing" is Mike's psychobabble.
Chief Featherbrain: "You're right. I'm just a guy who, without a college degree, became a special agent, workin' for three separate agencies. [So he's a triple agent? We've found the mole!] I served in the United States Army, and had the second-highest medal they give during peacetime."
Wonderful stuff. He actually mentioned his peacetime "medal," which was for "Field Sanitation," that is, portable toilets, to Mike, the Iraq War veteran who brought back all of his Marines alive, whose grandfather was a World War II B-17 navigator who spent two years in a POW camp. And Mike does have a college degree, that college being the US Navel Academy. I'm sure Mike was mighty impressed by Chief Featherbrain's resume.
The conversation scintillated, The Algonquin Round Table on Bring-a-Moron Night:
David: "Just give it up."
Chief Featherbrain: "I don't have-ta give it up."
David: "You sound like a lunatic."
Chief Featherbrain: "You know what you sound like?"
David: "An educated individual?"
Chief Featherbrain: "A guy at the bottom of a cesspool, struggling to get out of it." Okay, but he sounds like an educated guy at the bottom of a cesspool, struggling to get out of it. Although, the last couple of times I encountered men at the bottom of a cesspool struggling to get out of it, one educated, one a lunatic, both said the exact same thing: "Hey! Get me out of this cesspool please!" I didn't hear David say that.
Steve, as he cast his vote for Chief Featherbrain: "Phil, you are one odd duck, brother." Well first of all, one duck is always an "odd duck." Secondly, while I appreciated his understatement, I saw no reason to needlessly insult ducks like that.
Chief Featherbrain charmed his way to five votes. (For fans of Mansweater's spelling, his ballot was marked: "PHiLite," capitalization his.)
It would have been hilarious if the sixth vote had been for the Superchief also. The dropping of his smug expression would have been sweet, but Rob more-wisely aimed his tribe's votes at Mike, who had no idol to counter them. Hopefully he will vanquish Dr. Jesus, and bring his heroic beauty back into the game.
Well, good show, fun Council, now for bed. I'll be -- What, Dougie? We're only halfway through the show? Yes, it's double eviction night.
The Robfather never stops playing the game. He'd adored The Superchief's tirade at Council, which had drawn all the Viva Zapata votes off of Rob like a charm. He hugged him and lied to him: "You ain't at the bottom. You're at the top with me."
Chief Featherbrain: "I know that." Weren't you the guy who declared Rob dead to you a week or two back?
But Featherbrain was puzzled by something that made no sense to him. No, not gravity. No, not the last episode of Lost. No, not "lunchtime". Something else: "What did you think of them voting for me? I didn't get that."
Might it have had something to do with your egotistical, insulting, gratuitous, and yet, utterly insane remarks at Council? Just a theory. Rob advanced a different theory, one The Superchief could swallow: "Just frustration, Phillip, 'cause you're gettin' the best of them."
Chief Featherbrain: "Yeah! I get the best of them, yeah!" So is The Superchief's teepee located nearer to the Peter Pan Flight, or to the Mad Teacups? Because this loon lives in Fantasyland.
So now The Robfather wants to take Chief Featherbrain to the finals, because he knows folks would vote him the money over The Superchief. Chiefy knows this, but: "I'm a smart guy. I'm a complex person." Not to mention a buffoon.
Useless Advice: David to Mansweater: "Don't do something stupid." Useless Advice.
Mansweater decided to approach Chief Featherbrain and Andrea-or-Ashley. He was not received well, since Chief Dumb Ass feels he must always be rude to the Zapatans. I've never seen gratuitous rudeness used as a Survivor strategy before. I don't expect to again, either.
Mansweater: "You wanna win the million or you wanna let Rob win it?"
Chief Featherbrain: "I'm really not concerned." Yeah, who cares about a crummy old million dollars?
Featherbrain: "We're not here to talk about the game with you. If you want to talk about your steers, or how you started your farm, I'd be more than happy to hear it -- for a little bit! For a little bit!" A very little bit.
Featherbrain quoted his foul-mouthed granny, who's remark was so obscene that not only was it bleeped out, but The Superchief's lips were blurred as he quoted her, to avoid having lip readers' heads explode at home. "Grandma, what gutter language you employ!"
"The better to f*&@ you with, my dear!"
Immunity Challenge #2: This was an endurance challenge, hanging from a bamboo grid over Fabio's Latrine, i.e., the pool built for Nicaraguan water challenges, since the currents make the ocean unsafe for challenges at this location.
But this challenge came with a temptation. You could opt out of playing, and instead gorge yourself on cheeseburgers. No serious Survivor player would opt out of an immunity challenge for mere food, only wimps, weaklings, dilettantes, and the terminably overconfident would do that.
Steve and Chief Featherbrain opted for the cheeseburgers.
The Robfather, who is well advised to win Immunity no matter how in control he seems, fell first. Everyone else survived the 20 minutes to when they had to let go, and hang only by their legs. This looked like a grueling challenge. The worst part wasn't the painful hanging, it wasn't the sound and smell of the food they weren't getting to eat. It was having to listen to Chief Featherbrain run his mouth, when any serious player would be seriously playing.
Julie fell next. Is her job at the fire department just answering phones?
And then Grant fell. That's how hard this challenge was. Grant fell. And Mansweater fell a moment later. When Mansweater got out of the pool, the water level sank a bit, as his fur had soaked up hundreds of gallons like a giant red sponge.
Chief Featherbrain wasn't kidding about not having a college degree: "He's only got one leg on. That leg's going to be decapitated." It isn't possible to "decapitate" a leg.
Once David fell, all that was left were Rob's concubines, Natalie, Ashley-or-Andrea, and Andrea-or-Ashley. Dr. Jesus's god ordained that Andrea-or-Ashley shalt felleth last, and winneth Divine Immunity. Well, this was a challenge where, the less you weigh, the better you'll do, and the last three hanging were all meatless little girl skeletons.
Back at Camp Winnie-the-Pooh, Chief Featherbrain: "I just want to say what a great job we all did today." "We all"? What you mean by "we"? All you did was feed your face, while better players competed.
Mansweater found a bunch of dead fish in his net, I mean his fishing net, not the fur on his back. Rob didn't trust the fish and wouldn't eat it. Julie decided that Rob would starve his tribe to keep them from accepting fish from Viva Zapata. Yes, because Rob wants his team starved and unable to win competitions.
Grant was "his own man," which is to say, he ate some of the fish. Rob didn't like the fraternization.
Steve's playing ethic has not been what I expected from an ex-professional athlete. I expected fierce competition, instead, he's been a lame-o. Now he's bitching about how he can't last much longer. How did that go over in the NFL?
So Rob is deciding: does he send home the bigger threat, David, or, as Rob diplomatically put it: "do I give the old, dying T-Rex what he wants?" In other words, evict Steve.
But wait! What about Dr. Jesus and Mike over on Zombie Island. No duel? Will there be a three-man duel next week? (Which wouldn't be a "Dual". It would be a what? A three-way?)
Tribal Council #2: Chief Featherbrain had barely sat down before launching into one of his fugue states. "There's also, for the first time in 22 seasons, a highly effective, and beauteous and glorious operation in effect right now."
Jeff: "Which is what?" (I had no idea either.)
Chief Featherbrain: "It's called STEALTH..."
Jeff: "Stealth 'R' Us?" It's like SPECTRE For Dummies.
Chief Featherbrain: "And I am known as The Specialist..." No, you're known as The Idiot. "...My principle duty: infiltrate and plant inceptions." Was he "infiltrating" when he refused to even speak civilly to the other tribe? He does know Inception was just a movie, right? Oh. He thought it was a documentary? Oops.
The Superchief continued, to the eye-rolling hilarity of all present: "We have here, Boston Rob, The Mineralist." The only other time Stealth 'R' Us was brought up, Rob was "The Mentalist," because I remember doing a Patrick Jane joke. Hard to say if Chief Dumb Ass forgot, changed it, or just couldn't pronounce "mentalist" correctly twice in one life time. "...Principle responsibilities, to develop strategies for challenges, and to develop strategic alliances that are impervious." The way The Superchief is impervious to Reality?
And of course, he's not done yet: "Where's Grant? The Destroyer of Aspirations. Better known as The Assassin..." I want you to think about the use here of the phrase "better known as..." "...Principle responsibilities: to go out and compete, destroying any competitor. And I forgot to mention The Three Degrees... [I think he said "The Three Degrees," referring to Ashley-or-Andrea, Natalie, and Andrea-or-Ashley, but I have no idea what that's supposed to mean.] "...who are highly effective, formidable, agile, and have supreme abilities to focus their mind [No they don't! Also "their mind"? Singular?] like they did today." And also, all three of them hate you, and are laughing in your face as you say this absurd blather.
Jeff (understandably impressed): "Wow!" Chief Featherbrain giggled like an effeminate little schoolgirl, and came as close to blushing as he can, at Jeff's amazement.
Mansweater retrieved some of my love with his reposte: "Do you reckon his grandfather told him to sit on the bench and eat hamburgers today?" That made me laugh. Although my own grandfather often told me to sit on a bench and eat hamburgers, usually ones he'd made himself, out of beef, buns, and love. (Love for me. He was downright hateful as far as the cows were concerned.)
Steve brought up Up Tempo's "Buddy System," whereby no Up Tempo tribe member is ever alone to be seduced. Julie said: "It's not even a tribe; it's a cult." Well, she saw The Cult of Russell on her tribe. I don't think The Robfather takes it all the way to cult status, except maybe with The Three Degrees.
David must have been desperate. He wrote Rob's name four times on his ballot, and said: "Hopefully this works." What works? Jeff's only going to count your vote once. This isn't American Idol, where you can vote as many times as you can call in.
Sadly for David, but luckily somehow for Dr. Jesus's god's greater glory, Rob's six votes for David did count. Good luck beating Dr. Jesus and Mike on Zombie Island, Dave. Too bad it won't be a courtroom challenge.
Apparently next week Chief Featherbrain plays the race card in an argument with Steve, who has merely observed that Chief Featherbrain is crazy, not unlike observing that a sunset is "pretty." Yes, the white man be coming down on the Cherokee Nation once again! Ugh!
To read more of Tallulah Morehead, go to The Morehead, the Merrier, or buy her book, My Lush Life. Also, you can read Little Dougie's contributions to the newly published book Creatures of the Night That We Loved So Well: The TV Horror Hosts of Southern California by James Fetters.
Follow Tallulah Morehead on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@DouglasMcEwan