A little-known fact about this episode: if you turn down the sound, and time it just right, you can play Smashing Pumpkins' Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and it seems to fit exactly. Don't ask me why.
Night 33, and Christa had just been cast into Mount Doom. Jon and Burton were feeling - surprise! - cocky. Drunk on his own maddening power, Jonny Fairplay approached Sandra and told her to count her blessings, because it could have been her. Sandra now felt quite vulnerable, though Jon had other plans.
"I'm actually planning to get rid of Darrah next," Jon told a camerman. "And if Darrah wins immunity again, it will be Lill. And if there's some twist where they both get immunity, I'll backstab Burton. And if by some chance Burton is unavailable, then I suppose I'll have to vote out myself. And if they won't let me do that, I'll tell 'em my cousin died."
But the next morning Sandra proceeded with her revenge plans. She was about to be outlasted fair and square, and the classiest response was, of course, to gather up all the camp supplies and hide them in the jungle. She took the spear, and the net, and the frying pan, and the remote control, and the paddle game, and found a secluded spot deep in the jungle. She dug a shallow pit in between the stone that read "Here lies A.E., aviation pioneer" and the stone that read "Palm Beach County Gore Votes", and buried the supplies where the tribe would never find them. But when she got back, none of her tribemates seemed the least bit concerned.
And Sandra, with her calloused feet burning in sand,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could they be glad?
They scheme without fishnets! They scheme without lamps!
"They scheme without anything left in the camp!"
And she puzzled three hours, `till her puzzler was sore.
Then Sandra thought of something she hadn't before!
"Maybe Survivor," she thought, "doesn't make you a whore.
"Maybe Survivor... perhaps... means a little bit more!"
Jon and Burton were courting Lill's vote against Darrah. Lill was astounded that the boys would vote Darrah out so soon when they had promised her a slot in the final four. "You can't just promise something and then stab someone in the back! That's not right!" she exclaimed, and frowned even deeper than usual, revealing deep cracks and creases that suggested that the surface of her face had once contained water. Lillian could not fathom that this game would entail deception and betrayal. These were not qualities of a Scout, at least not until the Bush administration gets through with them.
Dude, I think something's up. Darrah just said three words to me, tripling her conversational output for the game. Worse still, I understood her.
The reward challenge was a doozy. It was one of those cop-out "mish-mash all the challenges into one super-crappy challenge" challenges. Somehow they managed to accomplish this without using water at all. Lillian untied herself from the starting post very quickly, but was bogged down digging in the sand pit. Being a Scoutmaster, she knew nothing of directions, and sat down in the sand to whimper. Fairplay did well, but could not get past the cage, and when Probst remarked that his pole was too short and flimsy, Jon collapsed helplessly into hysterics. Slow and steady Burton ended the race, being the first to decode the secret pirate message: "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine." He added a few extra I's just to make sure. Burton was allowed to choose who to bring along to the reward. He scanned the faces of the historically pathetic final five, then turned to Probst. "Can I take you?"
He grudgingly chose Jon, who leapt into Burton's arms like Chris Kattan's Mr. Peepers character, and the happy couple was taken by boat to their reward. On the way they were shown exceptional stock footage of whales and other oceanic sights. Then Probst cut the boat's engine and turned to the players. "Rod, tell them what they've won." From below deck appeared Rod Roddy in his breathtaking final television appearance.
"Thanks Jeff! Burton Roberts, you get to play.....Plinko! for the chance to win $25,000! But that's not all...you also get a luxurious 1-night stay in fabulous Panama City! Hotel accomodations by Contadora Resorts Ltd. And finally.......A NEW CAR!!!"
As they reached the dock Probst handed Burton a set of keys to his brand-new vehicle. Unfortunately Mark Burnett had blown his reward budget on bribing the players to keep Jon in the game, so in lieu of the traditional SUV, Burton was awarded a Segway scooter.
They putted along to their destination: a magnificent castle ruin located deep in the jungle, or at least in a ghetto urban playground deep in Panama City. "It's glorious!" breathed Jon. "It's astounding!" gasped Burton. "It's only a model," griped the tour guide.
The boys wined and dined, and made fun of the girls. The girls were stupid. The girls were lazy followers. The girls couldn't make an alliance between Canada and Britain. It was impossible, they assured each other, and then spent the night reassuring and reassuring and reassuring.
Oh, not to worry, Jon. I'll regale them with hours of tales about how brilliantly I've played the game, and how well I do in challenges. There's no way they'd vote me out.
Back at Balboa, the girls were forming an alliance. Lill revealed that Darrah was the boys' next target. "But ah already have a boyfriend," Darrah scowled. But the women decided to hatch a plan to oust the men, starting with Burton, who was a much bigger threat, having plotted so much and having won all those challenges. An ingenious ploy was developed whereby Sandra would pretend to want to go home, Lill would use her feminine wiles to trick the boys, and Darrah would pretend to know which hemisphere she was standing in.
The next morning Lillian awoke feeling very ill. We were shown her feet, which had broken out in hives, possibly as an allergic reaction to walking. "If only I could just get some rest," she moaned, as though she had participated in any sort of strenuous activity in 35 days. Perhaps the feelings of guilt that she had been voted out of the game, voted back into the game, had since refused to adequately play the game, and was now about to win the game, had finally taken over. Ah yes, a heroine for the ages.
Darrah looked at her immunity sword. It was glowing blue, which always meant that Jon was approaching. They saw the boat and Lill and Darrah ran up to meet the guys.
"Hi Burton, Hi Jon, didja have a nice trip, Sandra wants to quit, Sandra hasn't said or done anything all day, so Sandra's ready to go home. Sandra Sandra Sandra."
"Uh huh," replied Burton, suspiciously. "What did you guys talk about while we were away?"
"Talk? We didn't talk. Nuh-uh, no sir, we didn't do any talking or plotting all day. You know, Sandra's sick and wants to go home. No talking, nothin'. Girls don't talk, we never talk, just sittin' around, you know, catching fish and making babies and stuff."
"See? I told you!" Jon said to Burton, grinning.
Immunity time. A series of five planks had been set up in the water. The players had to fill their canteens and dump them in plastic tubes, raising a floating key until they were able to reach in and get it. The key lowered the next plank, which they had to run across to the next station. At the end, they had to grab a flag and bring it back to the beginning.
"Okay," Probst said once the players had studied the challenge and learned the rules. "This challenge will require good balance, and very small hands. Is there anyone here who doesn't think Darrah will win this challenge?"
Everyone looked at each other, shaking their heads.
"Then it's settled," Probst continued. "We won't bother playing. Darrah wins immunity!" The music swelled.
Jon decided Lillian could no longer be trusted. "She's upset for a reason," he told Burton. "Notice how she's frowning. She never frowned before." Burton agreed and approached Sandra about replacing Lill in the alliance. "Okay," Sandra said. "I'll join your alliance against Lill, but first I'm going to vote you out."
"Sounds fair," Burton mused.
At Tribal Council, no one knew for sure which way the vote was going to go. The jury filed in, now including Christa, who had been injured but easily replaced with Paris Hilton. Much was made of the recent "surprise" votes, and Probst asked if tonight would continue the trend.
"Yeah, it'll probably be a surprahse," Darrah grinned.
"No, it should be pretty straightforward," Burton grinned.
"Mwuhahahahaha," Sandra cackled.
They voted. Burton wrote down Lillian's name. "I know it was you, Lill. You broke my heart," he said. Jon also voted for Lill, mumbling some inane gibberish and wearing a look that suggested he was considering relieving himself in the urn. Sandra voted, and when she returned she whispered something into Rupert's ear. Rupert giggled and sneered at Burton menacingly. Burton waved. Darrah went to vote, was gone a few minutes, then came back and leaned toward Sandra. "Who were we votin' for agin?" she asked. Exasperated, Sandra hissed "Burton!" and shoved Lill away, turning to the others with a nervous grin.
Lill went to the urn and stared at the paper for a half hour. Then she wrote Burton's name down. Then she swore under her breath and crumpled the slip into a ball. On the next slip she wrote "Darrah." She swore again and threw that slip away. This continued until the camerman shouted "JUST PICK ONE, BITCH!"
The votes were counted and, surprise, Burton received three votes. He reeled for a moment, then stood up grumbling. "This isn't fair! I was voted out twice! How come I have to be voted out twice, while everyone else is only voted out once?!?"
Probst looked straight into Burton's eyes. "Just get off the island, nimrod."
To be Concluded...
|Top Ten Possibilities for the "Unexpected Twist" in Sunday's Finale|
|10. Finalists are allowed legal representation when facing the jury|
|9. Probst is revealed to be a Chupacabra|
|8. Episode is scrapped and replaced by the premiere of Survivor: All-Stars|
|7. Episode is scrapped and replaced by "A Dr. Phil Christmas"|
|6. Darrah is the Mole|
|5. DNA testing exposes Lillian as Jon's true grandmother|
|4. Just before the winner is announced, the Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspace bypass|
|3. Sandra is having Osten's baby|
|2. The producers realize this season has been a complete failure and euthanize all the players|
|1. Bob Newhart dreamed the whole thing|