As with most episodes in the past few seasons, the start of this week’s has us at the Villains camp, post-tribal council. What we, the viewers, do not know, is that we’re about to watch the greatest opening segment in Survivor history.
Coach’s tearful break down with Tyson at the start of this week had to be a shock to anyone who’s watched this season of Survivor. What the heck did Sandra even say?
Going back to last week’s episode, at tribal council, while talking about the disorganization of the tribe, Sandra referenced how Coach is often good at delegating stuff to do, but then vanishes once the wheels are set in motion. While Coach obviously takes umbrage to such accusations – something Sandra backs down from instantly upon being challenged by Coach – who knew how hard it hit him?
Oh? People were more shocked by the fact that Coach is apparently a very emotional person (emotions he hides behind his "accomplishments and machismo" he says)? Right, I suppose that was equally as shocking. What’s most amazing is that he even recognizes that he’s not fitting in when he asks Tyson “why doesn’t anyone ever say anything good about me? Am I that bad of a person?”
Actually, Coach does have a point here (for once). For all of his bravado and machismo, there’s not much to challenge on his record as far as how he treats his tribemates and respects his opponents. As he points out, he’s “working harder than anybody” and no one defy that assertion.
Just when I thought this emotional train wreck couldn’t get anymore juicy, Tyson tells Coach that if he wants to stay, he’ll help him through it, but he’s going to tell him things he doesn’t like. A completely bewildered Coach asks “like what?” Like what?!? How on earth do you not know how delusional you are?
Tyson spits out a laundry list of social moves culminating with the best one possible “don’t tell your stories, people don’t believe your stories, they mock you, there’s no reason to tell your stories.” The same thing we’ve all been screaming at the television since Coach first stepped on the show.
In retrospect, there were two downsides to the Coach and Tyson heart to heart. First, somehow we did not get a sarcastic, hilarious confessional from Tyson. I was shocked by this. Tyson is the same guy who in Survivor: Tocantins said that he loves it when people cry. The entire sob session I kept thinking to myself, “I can’t wait for Tyson to rip him.” It never came.Second, aren’t we going to miss a ridiculous Coach? At this point, I think he’s growing on everyone. Ok, so he’s a tad delusional and really over the top, but that’s what’s entertaining about him! Who wants a guy who doesn’t pose ridiculously during challenges, spout out inspirational lines from historical figures and refer to himself as a warrior 22 times an episode?
That’s what we love about the guy – he’s ridiculous! Fortunately, at the reward challenge, Coach poses after his win and we know we haven’t lost him, at least not entirely.
What’s perhaps most amazing about the entire episode is how bad this is for Russell. In his state of vulnerability, Boston Rob swoops in and provides the leadership and guidance that Coach is literally begging for. Coach tells Rob that he wants to “sharpen each other out here” (whatever that means) and bond outside of the challenges. Boston Rob goes into Godfather mode telling Coach “I’m not going to say anymore, you’re just going to have to trust me.”
Simply unbelievable. Boston Rob now has Coach eating out of the palm of his hand. The Coach that we see in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains is somehow wildly influenced by Rob unlike any other tribemate Coach has played with before. Previously he always wanted to be the leader, but on the Villains he is so awestruck by Rob, he’s happy to follow his lead.
Why is this so bad for Russell? Along with another dominating performance at the immunity challenge further entrenching himself as indispensable on his tribe, Russell has lost another person he’ll need to get rid of Rob someday. Russell simply has no chance to sway Coach now to move on Boston Rob.
Speaking of Russell, I loved his audacity at trying to find the hidden immunity idol despite the tribe’s unwritten rule that whoever tries to look for the idol will be voted out at the next tribal council. Sandra calls him a “stupid ass” upon catching him looking for the idol, but Russell’s smart enough to know that no one believed his walk on the beach excuse. He knows he’ll have to answer for trying to find the idol and I’m sure he has a plan.
You had to love the move pulled off by Tom, Colby and JT, mostly JT. Sure, it doesn’t work if Tom doesn’t grab the immunity idol, but all that does is delay when he goes home without JT. I certainly agreed with JT that Cirie is a dangerous player, but I’m not really sure how joining the short side of the tribe helps him.
Though Cirie is gone, Amanda, James, Candice and Rupert still have the numbers over JT, Tom and Colby. JT must assume that he can play off the vote as strengthening the tribe and get Amanda to flip to his side, if not James and Rupert as well. Certainly does not bode well for Candice, who’s likely on the outside, looking in now.
We got a number of answers to last week’s questions in this episode, but plenty more have popped up:
- Will Tom, Colby and JT be able to get someone to work with them and keep the numbers on their side?
- Can Russell find the immunity idol and if he doesn’t, is he doomed?
- Do the Heroes have any chance to best Boston Rob and the Villains in a challenge involving a puzzle?
- Will Boston Rob’s dominance in challenges come back to haunt him?
- Are the Villains the heave favorites or can someone from the Heroes rally their tribe?