Last week the Morgan tribe, the "lovable losers" of Survivor, finally pulled off an immunity victory to send Drake to their first tribal council, though the triumph was stained by the fact that the eight Drake players had conspired to throw the challenge. They booted "Shoeless" Burton Roberts, and when they got back to camp they all sat around the campfire thinking up ways to further implode their tribe.
Jon Dalton, whose black soulless eyes refused to glow in the night-vision cameras, chose to pick on Shawn for the heinous crime of voting the way Jon wanted him to. The blond pixie pranced around Shawn chanting "I know who you voted for! I know who you voted for!" until Shawn faked a punch at Jon and he cowered and fled. Shawn then mumbled an excuse along the lines of "Burton was a jerk," and several of his tribemates realized that they had gotten the two men mixed up and voted for the wrong one.
"Dammit, Burton we just voted you out! Oh, wait, you're Shawn right? Aw, crap."
Survivor was then briefly interrupted by a special episode of Trading Spaces, in which Rupert completely overhauled the Morgan camp. By chance or design, the Morgan tribe consisted entirely of players who had never before stepped outside. They noticed the tide was getting closer and closer to their shelter, but didn't seem to know why, and sought to counteract this effect by placing various objects in its path, such as trenches, logs, and Darrah.
But Rupert came into Morgan like the monolith in 2001, and whipped them into shape. Rupert had the absolutely brilliant idea of moving the shelter inland away from the tide. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh," they all replied, and nodded to each other in agreement. Osten dissented. It sounded to him like moving the shelter would require him to work, and felt that they shouldn't do anything until the waves became a problem (failing to remember that Tijuana had drowned during the night), uncharacteristically opting to stay near the water for a change. Andrew vetoed this, saying that they couldn't wait, the tide was an imminent threat, and they needed to move the shelter now and would need $87 billion to do so.
Dude, I'm telling you: If we just let the water come up under the hut, we won't even need to dig a latrine anymore, we can just hang it off the side.
Rupert went through the Morgan's supplies and found a fishing spear like his "precious" at Drake. He asked them why they hadn't been using it, to which they replied "it looked too hard." Apparently they had tried it once, couldn't figure it out, and tossed it aside. Rupert wore a look that suggested he wanted to show each of them firsthand how the spear worked, but in the end simply took Ryno out into the sea to teach him to fish. Rupert returned two hours later, alone, dragging a sack containing an enormous skinned animal. "Big fish," he explained. "Wow, did it put up a fight?" asked Darrah, and Rupert shook his head. "Not at all," he replied, and when they asked him where Ryano was, Rupert simply trailed off and changed the subject.
It was time for the reward challenge. Jeffy explained that the two tribes would race from the beach into the water collecting things. Trish raised her hand.
"Why has every challenge been exactly the same?" she asked.
Probst turned violet with fury. "It's been seven fucking seasons, you ungrateful swine. How many different challenges do you think we can make up?" Trish pouted and fell silent.
The tribes sped off into the water. They had to collect rungs from a ladder, then come back and assemble the ladder, then go into the jungle to get the golden idol (dodging the bottomless pits and giant rolling boulders along the way), then climb the ladder with the idol. Just like the pirates used to do. With Rupert playing for Morgan, the luckless tribe finally began to play with competence, rushing out to an early lead while the Drakes paddled their boat helplessly around in circles like a Laurel and Hardy routine. Morgan gained a commanding lead which they did not relinquish, and for the very first time they won a challenge fair and square, though Drake would blame their loss on a pelican who reached over the railing to steal their idol.
Probst offered Rupert a choice between going back to Morgan to enjoy the reward, or going back to Drake immediately, and Mark Burnett's brilliant editing actually made it seem like he offered this choice to Rupert before Rupert jumped back to his home tribe, calling "to hell with you guys!"
Morgan was now down to five again, but by now they were used to losing players, so they simply enjoyed their reward. Darrah enjoyed the reward by taking a shower, and the rest of the tribe enjoyed the reward by watching Darrah take a shower. Then Ryano asked for a volunteer to raid the Drake tribe. "Not me!" cried Osten and Darrah simultaneously. "Not me!" repeated Tijuana instantly. "Not me!" Ryano shouted, followed by a desperate "Not me!" from Andrew just a millisecond later. "Sorry, Andy, you were last," Ryano judged, and Andrew snapped his fingers.
On the way to the immunity challenge Rupert found a hurt snake. "Can I keep him?" he asked Jon. "Sure, bring him along," Jon replied, thinking that if nothing else he could put the snake in Darrah's hair. Rupert then discovered that he could speak Parseltongue, and many dark deeds were hatched in hissing whispers that day, I can tell you.
The immunity challenge was the time-honored gross food challenge, and while challenges recycled from previous Survivors have often been ridiculed in this column, a familiar staple was now welcomed after the tedious and uninspiring repetition so far this season. Jeffy explained that in olden times, rival bands of pirates would challenge each other's strength by putting animals in a blender and drinking their guts. One by one the contestants would spin the wheel and have to drink the pureed remains of something icky, like squid, bleeding clams, or White Castle. There was also an option mysteriously named Jeff's Special, which the host did not explain, hinting only that he'd been talking on the phone with Colby all day.
Very funny, Probst. We all saw the "special sauce" in that "Jeff's special." And no, I don't care if Colby drank it.
Each player in turn downed their concoction with no trouble. Jon faced the lovely Darrah and attempted his famous mating ritual of gagging, choking, and flailing his limbs about like a water lizard, to no avail. Michelle was supposed to act like she had a weak stomach, but this plan failed when she and Ryano drew the Jeff's Special and both of them gleefully gulped it down in seconds. The tiebreaker was Darrah versus Sandra, and they had to guzzle a combination of octopi, sardines, and Jon's smarminess, mixed in with a gallon of sea water. "Doesn't drinking sea water kill you?" asked Sandra.
"Shut up and drink," Probst snapped. He blended it together until it oddly resembled a drink you might get at Friday's. Both ladies struggled, but in the end it was Darrah who swallowed first, having been raised in the Mississippi bayou and forced to eat things that no human being would consider food. Immunity, once again, belonged to Morgan.
Drake returned home and everyone immediately started courting Rupert for his vote, possibly believing that his vote counted for more since he was bigger than them. "I think we should vote for Michelle. She's too weak," said Shawn. "I think we should vote for Shawn. He's too lazy," said Michelle. "I think we should vote for Rupert. He's too slow and stupid," said Jon. Rupert considered all of these possibilities, retiring to his "thinking tree", which was a dead tree laying on the beach that he liked to tear branches from to ease his mind. He asked Shawn what he thought of Michelle. Shawn shrugged and said she was sweet but had to go. He asked Michelle what she thought of Shawn. Michelle threw up. Rupert mused that it was dangerous to be in control of both tribes. Especially these tribes.
Drake hiked to Tribal Council. "What a difference a few days can make," Jeffy snorted as they sat down, as though he thought it was an extremely clever thing to say. Jeffy needed to ask few questions, since the one important one he asked, "did you guys throw that one challenge," told him more than he needed to know. Jon, who immensely enjoys the sound of his own voice, began to spill his guts about everything everyone had told him about everyone else. Rupert declared in a commanding boom that it was the worst mistake in the world, and staying at Morgan for three days gave him a deeper sympathy for victims of the Holocaust. Sandra responded as only she could, by shrugging. Trish did not answer, as she had not yet been given any lines on the show and did not want to break precedent.
Michelle was voted out unanimously. She stood up shrieking. "Yay! I'm Class President! The cupcakes worked!"
"Um, no, Michelle, you've been voted out of the tribe. You have to leave now."