While not quite as dramatic or exciting as the 2-hour premiere, Episode II of Survivor HvV was still quite entertaining and even shocking at times.
We start-off with the tribes having to endure their first night of torrential tropical downpours. While the Heroes did well to build a functional shelter that protects them from most of the elements, the Villains struggled to make it through the night shivering, complaining and leaving Boston Rob to wonder why nobody cares about building a better shelter.
In the morning Boston Rob decides to stop being ‘Mr. Nice Guy’ and start kicking his tribe in the butt. He takes it upon himself to lead the construction of a new shelter which leads some in the tribe (Parvati, Randy and Sandra) to question Rob’s abilities, while others (Courtney) realize his value to the team – “I hope he doesn’t drop dead in the next few days because we’ll all die.”
On the Heroes side, while things appear to be hunky-dory, Rupert goes on the offensive against Stephanie by attacking her cooking, and questioning her strategy and alliance with Tom. Rupert is relentless and Stephanie does her best to bite her tongue and continue working hard.
Back on the Villains side of the island it get a little scary when Boston Rob is seen blowing off steam in the woods and then, suddenly collapsing. Jerri witnesses Rob’s fall and attempts to revive him to no avail. Jeff Probst and the Survivor medical team are summoned and we’re left to wonder if Rob is about to be sent home for medical reasons like Russell in Season 19. While he can barely sit up or hold a bottle of water to his mouth, Rob is cleared by the medical team to continue in the game. A combination of flu and dehydration caused Rob’s collapse but he “looks a lot worse than he is”. As he regains consciousness, Rob breaks down in tears and tells Jeff, “I fell like it’s getting the best of me.” Then, Boston Rob’s head clears and he regains the twinkle in his eye when he says, “Just do what everyone wants you to do and be the villain.” When Rob returns, even Russell is happy to see him. “Even though I’m the villain, I still worry about stuff like that. Besides, he’s strong. It gives us a better shot to win the challenges,” says Russell.
Next up is the one-and-only challenge in Episode II, a combined immunity/reward challenge that has the tribes building a large staircase puzzle out of crates. Since it’s the same challenge that JT participated in during his winning season, the Heroes nominate him to lead their team. It seams to work as the Heroes get out to a large early lead. While JT calmly tried to direct his tribe, Stephanie kept chiming-in with her two cents which didn’t help and incensed James. On the Villains side, Boston Rob took full control of his team, shouting out instructions and single-handedly putting some of the crates and his team on his back as the Villains once again prevailed winning immunity and a much needed tarp to help them stay dry.
When the Heroes return to camp, JT quietly takes responsibility for the loss while James jumps in and rips his tribe a new you-know-what. Shouting and cussing, James leans in to Stephanie as the reason for the tribe’s loss before he storms off. Tom, Stephanie’s lone supporter, is left to question James’ approach and attempt to protect Stephanie from being sent home.
Before we go to Tribal Council, Russell decides it is time to solidify his place in the Villains tribe as he sees Boston Rob gaining too much attention. As a result, Russell grabs a fishing spear and successfully hunts down a wild chicken. He proudly brings the bird back to camp as he attempts to reclaim his title as ‘King Russell from Samoa’. When is Russell going to find an idol?
While Tom does his best to build an alliance to protect Stephanie and get rid of Amanda, James goes all-out in his campaign to oust Stephanie. Tom is much more strategic and plays to Cirie and Candice as the two ‘outsiders’ that need an alliance to take them further in the game. He reminds Cirie that Amanda stabbed her in the back when they last played together and tells Candice that she is next to go if Stephanie is voted out. While Cirie and Candice contemplate their options, Cirie realizes that she is once again in the powerful position of the swing vote and truthfully, she doesn’t really care who goes, as long as it’s not her.
At tribal, things get heated between James and Stephanie with Tom and Colby defending her and trying to cool down James. At the end, Cirie and Candice stick with JT and my pre-season pick, Stephanie, is sent packing.
It’s amazing to see how quickly the Heroes tribe is falling apart. They appeared to be in really good shape out of the gate but I predict a slippery slope for the Heroes for the next little while. Not such a bad thing as more camera time for the Villains equals much better TV. Look for James and Tom to go head-to-head this week with good ol’ boys JT and Colby playing peace makers. Cirie looks to be in a real power position once again as the ultimate swing vote for the Heroes. I see her lasting well in to the merge and then showing the Villains how a real con artist plays the game.
The Scribe Has Spoken…