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Finally! This week we have drama and hate! And I’m not talking about the midterm elections. Although I was entertained by the drama in those. In fact, I’d be all for a Republican vs. Democrat Survivor. Shipping Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to a desert island? Yes, please! Only caveat: no buffs. Or at least, burqa-sized ones. Also, they can’t come back. Ever.

But yes, we have drama and hate on Survivor this week, too, thanks to a twist. It’s not as good a twist as “dropping live black widows into everyone’s sleeping tent,” but it’ll do.

Finally, Candice Gets Some Airtime

Last week, Jessica was eliminated, a move that surprised only herself. We return to the tribe with Jonathan telling his alliance mates that they must stay tight, as they expect a merge any time. They want to vote Ozzy off next if they have to, but that still leaves them five people.

Yul says his interests are advanced by everyone sticking together. But Candice, while she smiles and nods and agrees with her alliance, is apparently a snake in the grass. Sweet! She says what she really wants is to get back with Adam and Parvati after the merge. She has never forgotten her original pretty-white-people alliance and has yearned for them lo these many days they have been separated. Or something. Anyway, so she’s trying to walk a line here, keeping her supposed alliance happy while biding her time to betray them.

Jonathan knows none of this. He believes he and Candice are tight, and she plays along, warning him that she doesn’t want to be left out. Jonathan says that perhaps post-merge, it can be him, Candice and Parvati. While I’m sure Jonathan would love to be in a final three with two pretty women who he could probably beat in a physical challenge, surely Candice will see through that as well as I can. Jonathan says he just doesn’t know when to take some action. “I am determined to not be the guy who made the move too late,” he says. He tells us he trusts Candice, but she says she’s not sure about his new plan. Yeah, not sure about the part where Jonathan is actually included in it. “I’d like to see Jonathan go,” she says.

He Just Meant Every Gay Man For Himself

At Raro, the theoretical near-future merge is also all the rage. Everyone says they’re fine, because it’s six and six right now, but then Brad says something about it being every man for himself after the merge.

He walks off after that, but now everyone’s pissed. I swear, you can’t say ANYTHING around these people without them taking it all seriously. Nate says Brad has “done questionable things” and calls him “Slim Shady.” Parvati says they don’t need Brad after the merge anyway, they only need people they can trust. Nate says he likes Brad, but Brad is a sucker.

Mutiny on the Bounty

We switch gears pretty quickly to the immunity challenge, and here it comes – the drama, and the hate. Oh, it’s like Christmas! Here’s the twist: Jeff offers them all the opportunity to mutiny and join the other tribe. They have 10 seconds to decide and step off their mat if they want to go.

Everyone looks around, aghast and nervous. And I’m thinking, surely no one’s stupid enough to do this. You’d alienate everyone on your old tribe, with no guarantee on your new one. No one would bitch later, post-merge, “Well, you didn’t mutiny and join us when you had a chance.” No, what they’ll do is remember anyone who DOES mutiny. So, it would be stupid to go, right?

Candice does it. She steps off at nearly the last second, and a panicked Jonathan jumps off behind her. Two mutineers. Ozzy shakes his head in disgust. Candice and Jonathan go over to Raro, put on new buffs, and hug their white peeps. Jeff asks Aitu how it feels to be abandoned.

“It doesn’t really surprise me,” Ozzy says. “They don’t have the backbone to stick with this tribe, fine.” Ouch.

Oh, we still have to do the actual challenge. As if anyone still cares. It’s complicated, involving two people being in a barrel, and two others dragging/pushing/swimming them through a series of obstacles. Then they float them into the lagoon, retrieve flags, swim the barrels to the other side, dig up an ax, chop a rope, and raise a flag. The winning tribe gets a “relaxing environment,” coffee, muffins and danishes, and letters from home. Clearly, everyone wants to win this.

Becky and Sundra are in the barrel for Aitu, while Jenny and Candice go in for Raro. It’s a physical challenge, and you can hear the girls groaning as they’re slung around in there. But once it hits the water, Aitu is much more capable – Ozzy and Yul get the girl-barrel out to the lagoon, get their flags, and get back to the beach while the Raro people are still flailing around in the water, somehow unable to reach the spot with the flags. So Aitu – the decimated, mutineed-against Aitu – wins reward! They’re incredibly happy, especially to beat their traitorous former tribemates.

“Mutineers are the first people to die, man,” Ozzy says as he passes Jonathan and Candice.

“It would be an understatement to say this game has taken a dramatic turn,” says Jeff, Captain Obvious.

Aitu, not surprisingly, sends Candice to Exile Island. Revenge is sweet. Sundra cries, saying it feels good to win.

A Hallmark Moment. Barf.

At the “relaxing environment,” which seems to be a hut with couches and bathrobes, the four-member Aitu tribe hugs and Yul gives some speech about being proud and honored to share the experience.

Sundra says that after the mutiny, she looked over at the much-larger Raro tribe and they were scary. “They look so big and triumphant,” she says. And then Aitu won, and she’s so happy. Etc.

Everyone gets their letters from home, all of which seem to contain their own baby pictures for some reason. They ooh and ahh and cry, and Yul says it’s good to make you realize, these are real people you’re interacting with. Sundra cries at her son’s letter and says it makes it wonder what she’s doing here away from him, but she has taught him not to be a quitter so she can’t be one either.

Ozzy also tears up, and for some reason everyone piles on and hugs him. Ugh, this is either going to turn into an orgy or a sicky-sweet-fest, neither of which I want to see from these people. When do we get back to the hate?

Ozzy says the mutiny “solidified our commitment and dedication to each other. We’re a team to the end now.”

It’s Almost Like That Pirate Movie, But Without a Pistol. Or Rum. Or Johnny Depp.

Ok, we’re done there. Off to Exile Island, where Candice is not a happy camper. She says she’s been “waiting the whole time to get back with my friends Adam and Parvati.” As an aside here, why? Why in the world is she so set on being with those two personality-less dullards? Neither is particularly smart, nor a particularly good game-player. And neither is interesting at all. I’d like to give Candice some credit for good game play here, but I’m not a fan of blind loyalty to idiots.

Anyway, she mutineed, but realizes her old team has it out for her now. She wasn’t surprised that Jonathan followed her like a lemming, but she doesn’t trust him. And she’s pissed that she’s now in exile while he’s off bonding with the new tribe.

Jonathan Kisses Ass. That’s How He Rolls In the Crib

“Bonding” might be an overstatement, however. Most Raro members are regarding Jonathan in much the same way everyone regards the strange drunk who suddenly sits down at your table in a bar. You know he’s crazy, but you just hope he’ll leave on his own before you have to say anything to him or call security, and no one wants to meet his eye. Kind of like that.

Jonathan asks if they were shocked he and Candice mutineed. They say no. Jonathan says it was a crazy thing to do, he knows how tight they are on Raro. “If I made a mistake it was in trusting Candice too much,” he says, adding that he’s in a dangerous spot now. Of course you are, dumbass.

His game plan is to earn their trust, and Jonathan decides he has to be totally non-threatening and anxious to help. In other words, he’s going to suck up and irritate everyone.

Nate says he knew Candice would come over, but that Jonathan “must be smoking some stuff if he thinks he’s going to roll up in our crib” and be welcomed with open arms.

“You really think we all have your back after we just saw you sell out your other tribe? Are you dumb?” Nate asks, rhetorically. He thinks Jonathan is the next logical boot now.

Jonathan naturally implements his “work hard, be nice” strategy quickly. We see the girls and Brad lazing around, while Jonathan works. Adam tells him he’s a workhorse; Jonathan says he’s out here to do this, and Adam says he’s glad they came over to the tribe. Jonathan says the risky time is the next two days, but that he and Candice want to come back and ally with Adam and Parvati. Adam nods, as if this is fine by him.

However, it is not, necessarily. Adam says privately that it’s good to have someone who wants that alliance, but he doesn’t seem to be sure.

Karma Didn’t Switch Teams, Apparently

It’s immunity challenge time, and Candice returns from Exile. The challenge will be, both tribes paddle around in glass bottomed boats, searching for three underwater targets. They line up the crosshairs and release a cannonball. If they hit the target, it’ll release buoys, which they take back to solve a puzzle.

Raro sits out four; Parvati, Jonathan, Rebecca and Brad do the challenge. Raro is quickly off course, then Aitu misses a cannonball, and then there’s a lot of missing the target going on. But Aitu gets one, and gets ahead, and stays there. Raro is getting frustrated, but Aitu wins, making the four people on Aitu ecstatic and probably making Jonathan pee his buff in fear.

In Which Candice Plays Adam Like a Fiddle

Back at camp, Raro finally gets a chance to welcome Candice. Jonathan’s glad she’s back, as it takes the onus off him to be the only new person. And, he trusts her. Fool.

Candice goes to Parvati to get caught up on everything, and Parvati tells her Jonathan said he and Candice were super-tight. Candice laughs, says they’re not tight at all, and that Jonathan only tried to solidify an alliance with her in the past few days. So he’s just working whoever he can.

Meanwhile, Nate and Adam chat while Jonathan fishes. “Does he really think we’re going to keep him around?” Nate says. Adam says maybe they should; Jonathan can’t go anywhere, but if there’s a merge, Brad could leave and vote with the Aitu people. Nate says, though, that Brad didn’t leave when he could, so he has some trust in Brad.

Nate then talks to Brad, although it’s mostly about Jonathan. “What is this, like the refugee camp?” Nate asks? He says they’re not going to “cradle a traitor.” I’m not sure why Jonathan’s a traitor but Candice isn’t.

At any rate, Candice is working this hard. She tells Adam that every day she wished she’d been there. He says he knew she was struggling. Then she starts telling him that sending Adam to exile was Jonathan’s suggestion. “He wanted to target you so he wouldn’t have to compete against you,” she says. “They thought it would like break you or something.”

Haha, that is exactly the way to piss off Adam! He’s too stupid to think twice about what she says. He just takes it all to heart, and gets pissed at Jonathan. “He can kiss our butt and we’ll go ahead and vote him off after that,” Adam says. He wants to kick Jonathan’s ass. Candice says he should take it as a compliment.

An enraged Adam tells Nate he wants to get rid of Jonathan. “Adam wants to take a brick and beat Jonathan in the head with it,” Nate says. Get in line. But, he adds, they have to think smart. As opposed to thinking stupid?

The Devil You Don’t Know Is Better Than the One You Do

And now, the moment of truth – tribal council. Jeff clearly has a lot to ask about tonight, and zooms in on Brad first, asking what he first thought of the mutiny.

Brad says his reaction was, “Wow, that is one gutsy girl.” He notes that Candice now has four people against her.

Jenny says, though, that even though the new two are at the bottom of totem pole, their presence gives Raro an advantage in the merge. “We’re just going to pick them off like zits,” she says of Aitu.

Jeff notes that everyone’s jokey, and Candice says that’s one reason why she left: “this tribe has a good time.” She also came to Raro because “they win when it counts.” Except both challenges today, I guess.

Jeff asks Jonathan if he’s concerned he’d be an easy boot. Jonathan says yes. “I’d be silly if I didn’t think it could be me,” he says.

Nate, however, says while Jonathan and Candice seem nice, he’s not sure what he thinks. “My six I had yesterday before the mutiny, I was all good with,” Nate says. He says of Candice, “The girls will find her a threat because she’s pretty lethal…girl came to play.”

Nate adds that he’s concerned Jonathan might be too much of a leader, and they don’t dig that at Raro.

Jonathan says that yes, he wants to fit in, but he’s trying not to step on anyone’s toes and trying to provide.

Brad likes them both, but says, “they’re stepping in late in the ballgame.” And, asked if he trusts his tribe, the entire tribe, Brad says, “absolutely not.” Well, Brad, everyone knows, mistrust begets mistrust. So what’s about to happen shouldn’t be a surprise.

Because everyone votes for Brad, except of course Brad, who votes for Jonathan. And Brad is also now the first member of the jury, which appears to surprise everyone. I did think the jury was usually smaller than 12, but whatever. Brad looks grim, but Jonathan smiles.

In his last words, Brad says the experience was both the best and worst experience of his life, and leaving was a surprise, and is also both a relief and bittersweet. Wow, a lot of equivocation, there. Maybe HE should run for political office.

Next week:

Adam and Candice reconnect, and I think this means “cuddle.” Also, Jenny is leery of Candice. And, there’s some bottle with information that “turns the game on its head.” Again? Yay!