Review: Survivor Samoa - The Day of Reckoning
by Jackie Schnoop, posted Nov 20th 2009 12:30AM
(S19E10) Now, isn't this a good time to be a Survivor fan? Part of the problem with long-running reality shows is that they've run out of ideas and it's hard to keep things fresh and new. They end up depending on whatever outlandish and over-the-top characters they can line up for the season. Some are a dismal failure. Case in point, "Coach" Ben Wade last year. Sure, he was a nutty kind of guy. But he couldn't play the game well despite all of his bravado. This season is casting done right. And tonight's episode was just as good as last week's show.
I feel like a broken record about Evil Russell. I don't condone misogyny. It repulsed me that he lied about being a Katrina victim. He's a slimy snake oil salesman. He's sneaky. He's evil. And he's playing the best damn game of Survivor ever played by anyone in 19 installments. So many others have claimed to have studied the show. Dang it, this dude has the entire game covered from plotting vote numbers to being able to find hidden immunity idols. And, at least for now, he's loyal to his Foa Foa friends. I can only think that Russell is what they expected of Ben last season.
The Palm Pre product placement in the reward gave me a moment of panic that this might be the "loved ones" episode. But I like how they worked the hidden idol clues with it instead. It showed how people can look and really not see. Every one of the folks who won reward saw the same picture of the rock hiding the idol. Dave, who saw the picture, actually had the rock before Russell and cast it aside. Not only has Russell really studied the types of places they hide the idols, he studied that picture. He deserved to snag it for an unprecedented third time.
When the immunity challenge hit just past the halfway mark in the episode, I knew something had to be up. Immunity is usually placed so we only get about ten to fifteen minutes of scheming. So, the fire-making tiebreaker is history and we're back to the purple rock, eh? Gee, what a time for that to come back! But since the castaways knew about it, I guess it wasn't tailored for this situation.
About the only move that the ex-Galu folks made which surprised me was deciding not to vote for Russell and flush the idol again. They actually made a good move with picking Natalie to target since she was unlikely to have the idol. Of course, that didn't help them any when their boy John flipped on the second vote. Oh, but it was all so priceless! Bye-bye, Laura!
Dave's shock, Erik's (over on the jury) glee, Shambo's giggles, the smiles of Foa Foa. Another plan executed with perfection. It's great to see the underdog team come to life. It's like David and Goliath. But the whole shebang is due to one man -- Russell. On gameplay, right now he deserves a win. That will only happen if someone else can outwit, outplay, and outlast him. Currently, I don't know if anyone has enough game to do that. Your thoughts?
[Watch episodes and clips of Survivor over at SlashControl.]
|Same old, same old||19 (3.2%)|
|Best season in a long time||415 (69.3%)|
|Not my favorite by a longshot||31 (5.2%)|
|Best ever||132 (22.0%)|
|Worst ever||2 (0.3%)|