It is always interesting to note coincidences. Here we are, having just watched what could be argued as the last "pure" episode of Survivor, if such a thing was ever possible. We spoilers have learned enough about next week's show to know that there's a stupendous twist that changes the game forever, and that the episode is so long it will be divided in two. In 1960, the year many argue as the last "pure" baseball season, the Yankees lost the World Series in a close seven games. The following year, in which the schedule was lengthened to accomodate all the action, the losers returned to the Series and this time they won. The team that beat the Yankees in 1960 was called...the Pirates.
But there is still one more episode to go. That episode began like every other, with the losing tribe wallowing around the campfire after that night's Tribal Council. Everyone generally agreed that Michelle had been a very good sport about getting kicked out of the tribe, and now that she was definitely 100% out of the game forever, the Drakes could sleep easier knowing that cunning strategic mastermind would no longer be a threat.
Harry and Ron awoke the next day and went to visit Hagrid. They found him just outside camp, huddled over something in his lap. He was rocking back and forth and was stifling heavy sobs.
"What's the matter, Hagrid?" asked Harry.
"It's Balboa," snuffled Hagrid, and held up what he had been holding. There was a small, greenish-brown snake coiled motionless in his hands. It was clearly dead. "'e didn't make it through the night."
"Oh," Harry replied and exchanged bemused glances with Ron. It was well-known that Hagrid had a deep love for animals, especially wild, dangerous ones, and Balboa the snake appeared to be the latest in a series of injured animals the groundskeeper had taken under his administration.
"Lil' thing was sick," Hagrid continued. "Didn't want 'im to catch cold, and it was a fierce wind last night, so I bundled 'im up real tight in this sack."
"Did you leave it loose, or did you tie it so tight he couldn't get any air?" asked Ron.
Hagrid looked down at the remains of the snake, thought for a moment, then started bawling even louder than before. Harry looked at Ron again and Ron just shrugged. Just then Jon ran by with the machete and lopped Harry's and Ron's heads clean off.
Meanwhile, at Morgan, Osten was on the shore attempting to sharpen his machete in the wet sand, when a hippogriff...er, pelican...alit on the beach just a few feet to his right. Osten screamed and jumped up. The pelican did not move. Osten yelled and waved the machete at it. The pelican started grooming itself. Osten waved the machete some more. The pelican started waddling around in a small circle. Osten was not going to take this anymore.
"Listen you," he said, pointing at the bird with his machete. "See this machete? You're gonna see it a lot closer when I get through with you. Don't you even think about moving, cuz I'm going to go get Andrew to kill you with this here machete."
Osten turned and stomped off to camp. The pelican started to follow him. Osten noticed this and stopped, whirling around.
The pelican stopped too, and looked up at him. Osten sighed in exasperation and continued to walk towards camp. The pelican followed him. It followed him all the way back to the shelter.
"What's that?" Ryano said, getting up from his task of keeping the shelter weighted down so it wouldn't blow away.
"It's dinner," Osten stated.
"It's cute!" Tijuana moaned. "Don't kill it! Let's keep it as a pet." She clapped her hands and the pelican meandered over to her lap, quacking softly.
"I want to eat it," demanded Osten. "It's giving me an evil look. I think it's dangerous to have it around here."
"You can't kill a mockingbird, it's bad luck," Darrah drawled. She was ignored.
"Well, then let's give it a name," said Andrew. "Something original. Like Balboa, or Magilla."
Now the pelican had left Tijuana and had returned to Osten's feet. It looked up at him, and then, to Osten's horrified astonishment, it spoke to him in a low, sinister voice:
"Kill them. Kill them all, before it's too late."
"AAH!" Osten screamed, jumping back and brandishing the machete. Andrew grabbed his arm to stop him. "What's the matter with you?"
"It talked! It talked to me! Didn't you hear it?"
Andrew looked very very suspiciously at Osten, then at the bird, which was merely puttering around and quacking to itself.
"Osten, all it's saying is 'aflac'. You've been out here too long. We're not going to eat it, and you're not going to kill it." He released Osten and walked away.
Osten just stared at the pelican, not saying a word. The pelican stared back.
Back at Drake, the tribe was now trying to do something to their shelter, possibly installing indoor plumbing, or cable Internet. Everything was going smoothly until Jon decided it was high time to have another one of his bizarre random fits. He started jumping up and down screaming incoherently. Most of the tribe just ignored him, but Shawn wasn't in the mood for games.
"Knock it off, Dalton," he commanded.
"YOU knock it off! I'm sick of me doing all the work while everyone else just stands around doing nothing!" Jon flicked his arm in front of him as he spoke, as though he were dealing cards. He was dealing something, that much was certain.
"You disrespected me, and you disrespected my family, brutha. You will pay, brutha! You will pay!"
"Everyone else IS working. Was your luxury item supposed to be some sort of prescribed medication?" Shawn retorted. Jon squawked some more and stomped off. Shawn grinned and turned to his tribemates, expecting them to share in his amusement. But they were all just glaring at him with their hands on their hips.
"What?" Shawn shrugged.
"You shouldn't make fun of people with social or mental disorders," Sandra scolded.
The reward challenge arrived. This was a shocking twist to the standard run-from-the-shore-into-the-ocean challenge: there were things in the ocean, but the players didn't have to go get them, they merely had to shoot at them. Osten liked this already. The reward was a barbecue, with fish, lobster, steak, and something called "Jeff's Special."
Ryano was the first to hit his target. His authentic 17th-century bright orange pirate cannon was twice his size, but it made just a six-inch hole in the tissue paper. "That's all it does?" Ryan exclaimed. "I was expecting a bigger hole. And fire! Lots of fire! FIRE! YEAH! FIRE! FIRE!" He stretched the neck of his shirt over the top of his head and started running around yelling FIRE! FIRE! Morgan was disqualified and lost the challenge.
Drake returned home and scarfed down their feast. They overdid their steak a bit, and it tasted a little odd, and one of them was wrapped in the charred remains of a Scoutmaster's uniform (see? she DOES return to the game), but the lobster more than made up for it, Rupert swallowing his whole and uncooked. Then they picked their tribe looter. Having exhausted their supply of human ambassadors, they were left with Jon.
Jon leapt off the boat on Morgan Beach and assumed his trademark strut. He greeted Andrew with a high-five. "Down low...too slow!" Then he shot a "Hey babe" to Darrah, making a gun motion with his finger and a clicking sound with his tongue.
"So uh..." he began. "We decided we, uh...*snort*...want your...*giggle*...we want your pot."
"I figured you'd say that," replied Andrew grimly.
"Yeah. So...*chortle*...you guys, uh, have any pot?"
"Yeah, we have a pot, it's right over there." Andrew pointed to the campfire.
"Awesome. Cuz, you know, nothing follows a steak dinner like some good pot."
"Right. So you'll be taking our pot then."
"Right you are!" Jon pointed and clicked his tongue again, and sauntered over to the campfire. "Hey, you shouldn't leave it by the fire, it could burn your pot! Where'd you guys get this pot? Homegrown?"
Andrew shook his head. "No, we bought it in the village."
"Yeah! We bought our pot in the village too!" Jon smirked, enjoying himself immensely. "Did you guys go to Jose on Sixth Street? He's a buddy of mine, he hooked us up."
"I don't know the guy's name."
"Yeah, so I'll just be taking your pot then. Cuz, y'know, you'd take our pot if you had the chance, right? Gotta guard your own stash. Hey! Too bad we didn't play in the Amazon! Those lucky ducks got Coke!"
The next day they trudged to the immunity challenge. Probst explained the rules.
"Three players from each tribe will stand on platforms..."
"...in the water?" interrupted Shawn.
"No, right here," continued Probst. "They will be holding poles over their shoulders with weights attached. They will have to stand there for as long as they can. The other players..."
"...will go retrieve things in the water?" interrupted Tijuana.
"No! They just put more weights on the players. That's all. No water this time." The players looked around at each other, clearly confused.
"Life's a piece of shit, when you look at it.
Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true."
The challenge seemingly favored Drake and the Giant Peach (hey, he's fuzzy, it works), but the producers had seen this coming and surreptitiously altered the weights, so that Morgan was holding a pound of feathers while Drake held a pound of bricks. The Morgans double-teamed Rupert like he was Shaq, though this left Kobe wide open to hit on Darrah. Rupert's knees buckled and he crashed to the ground, and the resulting tremor knocked down all the other players except Andrew, who knew he had worn his Gucci wide soles for a reason. Morgan had won, finally making it safe for us to start heckling the other tribe.
Back at camp, Rupert wanted to get rid of Shawn for bullying him. But Shawn had a secret weapon: he had an extra castaway hidden away in the woods. Her name was Trish. Trish wanted to get rid of Rupert, explaining that he could be a traitor when they merged, not to mention a challenge threat. Sandra informed Rupert of the plan.
"WHAT?!?!?!?" he roared. "Who is she to plot my demise?!?!?"
Sandra cowered. "Well, she does have a point about the challenges, and you did spend time with --"
"No," interrupted Rupert. "I'm really asking. Who is she? I've never heard of this 'Trish' before. Did she switch here from the other tribe?"
Tribal Council was tense. No one wanted to talk much; they were too preoccupied with their respective plans, and were also distracted by the set technicians installing an extra ten stools around them for reasons they did not explain. Probst asked few questions and just let them vote. Everyone had entered Tribal Council intending to vote for Rupert. But as each of them got up to go to the urn, Rupert gave them a glare that read, "I mentor gang members that will do anything I say." And so everyone decided instead to vote for newcomer Trish, except for Jon who was strictly adhering to his alphabetical voting strategy.
Trish got up to get her torch. "Nice knowin' you guys, I had fun!"
The rest of the tribe shrugged and murmured "Uh, sure, whatever."
Probst snuffed her torch and she disappeared into the night. The host then sighed, very, very deeply.
"Well. That's it. I'll see you...tomorrow."
He stifled a "mwahahaha" and followed Trish into the night, softly singing that timeless tune by the late, great Elliott Smith:
I'm in love with the world
Through the eyes of a girl
Who's still around the morning after
Voted out, a minute ago
But her tribe, they didn't know
She'd be around the morning after....