'Survivor: Samoa': That hubris, it'll getcha

erik_survivor1105_290.jpgTonight's episode of "Survivor" is why we all watch, people. SO GREAT.

Foa Foa
After tribal, the Foa Foans think they can still stay in this game after the merge. They have to divide and conquer. Russell suggests each of them talk to just one person, and if each person gets one Galuians to flip, they're golden. Even if only two of them are successful, they've at least forced a tie. It's a solid plan. Whether it works remains to be seen.

Galu
Shambo perceives some kind of "90210-little-young-thing" going on and that there's a power struggle. Shambo talking-heads that it's like the snotty cheerleaders who won't let you into their circle. Oh my god, Shambo is stuck back in 1979 when she was a freshman in high school and everyone was mean to her. This is not "Survivor: Therapy." Good lord.

The Merge
There is much feasting and celebrating and hugging -- typical merge-y fun. The Foa Foans, however, are not messing around. Just like they talked about, Jaison goes after Well-Coiffed Pretty Boy No. 1 (I think it's John, but it could be Brett), Natalie goes after Danger Dave, Russell flirts with Skinny Brunette (Monica?). Seriously, too many contestants. It's really delightful to watch.

The new tribe is called Aiga, which means "extended family" in Samoan. That's cool. Galu's hubris does not take long to show, as Erik goes on a rant about how Foa Foa has nothing and Galu has everything and he has the Hidden Immunity Idol and my god, do I hope he goes home without playing the Idol. How smug can you be?

Russell immediately approaches Laura about how if she takes him to the top seven, he'll hand over the Hidden Immunity Idol. His conditions are that one of her guys goes first (meaning Galu). Her response? I'll type it verbatim because it's that good. "That won't happen ... It'll be one of your guys. Or Shambo." Snerk. Isn't Shambo one of "your guys?" Maybe it didn't strike anyone else as funny, but it made me laugh. When Laura tries to tell Russell who's boss, he gives up on her (interviewing that maybe Laura should go first) and then tries his hand on Monica.

Now, I don't think showing the Idol to two people is the smartest thing, but Russell says if they can get rid of Laura, Monica will come a-runnin'. So he goes after John and flashes the Idol with promises of sharing. Hmmm. This is either incredibly smart or incredibly dumb, but John seems to be into it. Russell does say that Babe Ruth "struck out more than anybody" but also hit more home runs so it tells him to just "keep swinging."

You gotta love Russell's moxie, but just to clarify: Babe Ruth didn't strike out "more than anybody." He actually didn't even strike out A LOT. He averaged 60 Ks a season, and over 154 games, that's one strikeout every 2.5 games. That's actually pretty good, especially for a power hitter like Ruth. He ranks 88th on the all-time strikeout list, but he also played 22 years and people don't typically play that long anymore. OK, baseball lesson over.

Anyway, Russell next works on Laura's mortal enemy Shambo, and she's VERY on-board with getting the perceived cheerleader out of there. He also comments that "people trust the South." I don't know that that's necessarily true, but whatever.

There is a masterful bit of editing where Shambo tells Russell to pull Jaison, Mick and Natalie off to the side individually and tell them the plan; intercut is Russell doing exactly that. It's awesome. I hope this works.

Immunity Challenge
It's t-ball. Your ball lands in a section, you get points, and the highest point total wins. The men are competing against the men and the women are competing against the women. I don't understand that. The course isn't so big that men are just automatically going to kick butt. Either way, there are two Immunity Necklaces in play. Oh man. I bet Laura wins one. Dammit.

The men's score totals end up as Dave 3, Jaison out of bounds, Russell 4, Brett out of bounds, Mick 2, Erik goes for the 10 (because he thinks he's awesome and is way over-confident) and lands out of bounds, and John gets 5 for Immunity.

laura-allyce-beasley.jpgFor the women, Natalie out of bounds, Monica 2, Kelly 3, Shambo out of bounds, and Laura gets a 4 for Immunity. I KNEW IT. Damn you, editors! Getting me all excited! But I just have to point this out again: Laura is totally Allyce Beasley from "Moonlighting" (right).

Scramblin' Time
Back at camp, Russell tries to get Shambo to vote for Monica, but she says that Erik and Laura will decide who goes. Why, Shambo? WHY? Don't let them control you! Erik and Laura think they "say" Russell to flush out the Idol but vote for Jaison. John goes to Erik, though, and says it has to be Monica. They're going to have Foa Foa vote Monica but tell Russell he's going home so he plays the Idol.

The Foa Foans don't like being treated like children by Hubris Erik, so they decide to give their four votes to Erik and send Natalie to tell Laura and Kelly about how he said to vote for Monica and how they'll still have the numbers if they vote Erik out. They get Monica on board, then they get Danger Dave, and I'm so pumped that Erik might get blind-sided. But then John gets wind of the putsch, Shambo is confused about who Erik even is, and Jaison worries that it's all a game to flush out Russell's Idol. I haven't been this excited about a Tribal Council since Mookie, Eduardo and Alex got duped into playing the Idol by Earl and Yau-Man. Even Russell is like, "This is the first time that I don't know nothin.' All of a sudden, all hell breaks loose."

Tribal Council
Jeff asks Erik what Galu should base the vote on, and Erik says, "You know, to me, I struggle to see anything that Foa Foa has to offer Galu. Let's just say that they were to get a Galu member to turn, in a very cohesive team, I would be floored if I saw them get one, let alone two or three they would need to actually spin this game. And that's not me being cocky or confident, but I just struggle to see what it is that they can do. Your heart goes out to them, but you know, they're in the hole."

OH MY GOD, SMACK HIM IN HIS SMUG LITTLE FACE. The looks exchanged by various people during Erik's little speech are PRICELESS. I will be so disheartened if he stays. Erik then takes the Foa Foans apart one-by-one and Jaison takes some umbrage. Erik's points aren't without merit, but he's just so freaking full of himself that I'm with Jaison on this one.

The Vote
We don't get to see ANY votes. I'm so excited, y'all! Before the votes are read, Russell plays the Idol. I get the feeling it will end up being unnecessary, but I can see how Russell would be SO unsure on how the votes will go that he had no choice. The votes go: Jaison, Jaison, Erik, Erik, Erik, Erik, ERIK, ERIK, ERIK!!!!  MUHAHAHAHA. The change in the expression on Erik's face between the fourth and fifth votes is AWESOME. THIS is why I watch "Survivor!"

Thoughts & Tidbits
  • Just for the record, the only people who voted for Jaison were Erik and Shambo. HAHA!

  • Best "Survivor" episode in awhile. The editing with making you think Laura, then dashing your hopes with Immunity, plus Erik's hubris and pontificating and getting blindsided? AWESOMESAUCE.

  • This season just got so good. I knew it had to turn around.

  • I'm liking Russell more and more and I really wish he had held the Idol back. Because he said a little too much at Tribal about how conniving he's willing to be. I think he's sunk.

  • Jeff: Danger Dave... baseball your sport?
    Dave: No, makin' love's my sport.
    (That was SO disturbing but also SO funny)

  • Erik: I don't give a f**k if she votes for Probst tonight.
    (I would love to see it. Someone knows they're going and votes for Jeff Probst. HAHA!)