Survivor 7 recaps

Now before all of you get in a tizzy about your favorite player getting whacked, remember that there have been plenty of "fan favorite" characters who left and then returned: Mr. Spock, Cigarette-Smoking Man, Grover Cleveland...the list goes on and on. And with the introduction of the resurrection twist, anything is possible in Survivor.


So keep your hopes up. Hold 'em up high, real high, that's right, and keep 'em there, while Mr. Burnett punches you in the gut.


The episode began on Night 24, and Rupert was immediately given face time, for once. He couldn't sleep, and spent the night leaning on a rock, watching over his tribemates, and talking to himself. The conversation began to turn scary.


"We likes it here, yes."

"No we don't. We misses our family."


"But the survivorses are our family..."

"No, precious. The survivorses don't like you. The survivorses hates you."


"No! Christa and Sandra are our friends! We catches them tasty fishes!"

"Nobody likes you! Nobody likes you!"


"Rupert is a good pirate! Christa says so!"

"Rupert is a liar. And a thief!"


"We is supposed to be! That is what good pirates and survivorses do."



"No! Precious was sick! We finds precious and puts him in a sack to keep him safe!"

"You're a murderer! And murderer must kill the blond survivor, and the cheating survivorses, and the laaazy survivorses."


"But...but...not Lillian. Lillian is our friend!"

"Rupert must kill all of them."



"...we could let...'her' do it..."

" ...Yesss! Her..."


The conversation continued but was not recorded as the camerman grew bored and wandered away to find animals eating each other.


The morning dawned. Jon awoke, stretched, sat up, and spent a few minutes watching Darrah sleep. Then he put on his buff like a scarf, to protect his smirk from the fierce cold of the equatorial jungle summer, and stumbled over to the campfire to get some coffee. When he got there he found only Rupert and Christa, who had no doubt consumed all the coffee and were now braiding each other's hair and making "schmoopy" noises at each other.


Jon knew that Rupert and Christa and Sandra were a formidable alliance and someone needed to give them the ol' Smackdown. He did some figuring in his head and after a few hours determined that Rupert's alliance was outnumbered five to three. If he could only get those five to vote together, he wondered...and then lost his train of thought.


In the afternoon Rupert went fishing and Christa and Sandra went shopping, so Jon and Burton and Lill sprung their plan into action. They approached Darrah and Tijuana, who were sitting motionless in the shelter, staring into space with their jaws slightly ajar. Burton snapped his fingers at them and started to explain the situation.


Listening to the Burtone

Oh dear God. Burton's talking again. Must... stay... awake....


"The five of us have to team up. We're going to vote Rupert out."

"But Rupert isn't here," Tee replied.

"No, no, the five of us" — Burton pointed to each of them — "will vote Rupert out of the tribe."

"Ohhhh. Okay," Tee replied.


"Question," Lill raised her hand. "What if Rupert wins immunity?"

"Hmm," Burton said. " Well, if Rupert wins immunity, we'll vote out Christa."

"Wait," said Tee. "I thought we were voting out Rupert." Darrah hiccupped.

Burton blinked at them. "We are, unless he wins immunity."

"He won immunity?"

"No, no. He might win immunity, so we either vote for him or Christa."

"Shouldn't we all vote for the same person?"

"We ARE!"


"What if Christa wins immunity?" Darrah asked.

"Then we vote for Rupert!"

"Oh." Tee still looked confused.


"All right," Burton said. "It's quite simple. We all vote for Rupert. If we can't vote for Rupert, we'll all vote for Christa."

"Uh huh..."

"Great. Now, we have to keep this a surprise, so we should all act like Darrah is still the next to go."

"Check. We all vote for Darrah."

"Uh, yeah." Burton got up to leave.


"Wait, one last question?" Tijuana raised her hand. "What if Darrah wins immunity?"


The players hiked to the reward challenge. A huge ropes course was set up. Jeffy explained that it was an "old pirate shipwreck," though it lay half a mile inland and consisted mainly of netting and polystyrene. The players were "randomly" paired up, teaming Burton with Lillian, who by now must have been getting sick of each other, Rupert with Jon, in the grand tradition of "randomly" pairing mortal enemies, and Christa with Darrah, who both just shrugged and went back to camp.


The challenge involved much climbing and sliding and bell-ringing, and the players soon realized this was just a larger version of Mouse Trap. Rupert was wearing only his homemade skirt, and each time he fell he lent credence to our theory that we always see more of a contestant just before he is booted.


Burton and Lill won the challenge, and Probst once again offered the winners the chance to give up their reward to someone else (a significant part of pirate culture was, of course, sharing). Lill refused, and Burton, who had promised a challenge to Rupert, gave his reward up to Jon instead.


Having been snubbed by two of his supposed allies, Rupert went back to camp and started chopping coconuts in half. Using only his hands. " Rot...and death..." he muttered over and over again. And he wasn't even in a bad mood.


Fairplay, ew

Not to worry Lill! Sure, the condoms they gave us weren't 100% effective, but I'll pay child support, I swear!


Lillian was having tremendous difficulty coping with her decision to keep the reward. Jon tried to console her, but naturally that only made things worse and Lillian burst into tears. She had already destroyed the "outlast" portion of the motto by re-entering the game, and was furious with herself for failing to make a mockery of the "outplay" part as well. She won that challenge fair and square and she had the right to give it up for no reason. She didn't want to look like a bitch, especially to someone who was about to be betrayed by everybody else. Her blubbering was comforting to most audiences, who took this increase in Lill's severe psychological mania as a sign that Jon might be on his way out. There's no way Burnett would allow two criminally insane players on the show. He had tried that in Africa.


Once she arrived on the luxurious catamaran, however, Lillian's guilt mysteriously vanished. They met the boat's captain, a portly fellow with a broad smile and a t-shirt advertising They were served pizza and beer, and Jon relayed his planned boot order to Lill as the crew worked around them, or pretended to work as they made notes of Jon's conversation to sell to Wezzie and Griffe. Both players got a bit tipsy and Lill ended up swinging from the mast singing showtunes. Their elation ended when the captain presented them with the bill. "Uh, doesn't Probst usually give the players his Visa card?" Jon asked, looking nervously at Lill, who frowned and shrugged. Having brought no money, the pair were forced to work off their lunch by fishing.


They returned hours later and Rupert snatched Lill away to ask her what went on. Lill denied any plotting. Rupert explained that this was good, and she should stick with him, and she might have the high honor of placing second to him. Lill said this was fine with her, and Rupert appeared satisfied. "Yeah, all you have to do is win immunity tomorrow," Lill added. Rupert shrugged and said, "Okay." That wouldn't be too hard.


The immunity challenge turned out to be blowdarts. It was Jeff's favorite challenge so far because he was given a little tote board to slide pieces around on, bringing him ever nearer to his dream of replacing Vanna White. The darts required a lot of energy to reach the target. Darrah took one look at the blowgun, laughed hysterically, and went back to camp.


Burton again

Oh dear God. I'm talking again. Must... stay... awake....


"Make sure you go for Rupert," Jon muttered to Lillian. Lillian blinked, then shrugged and aimed her dart at Rupert's head. Luckily her aim was so bad she hit the target instead. Christa's aim was similarly poor; one of her darts actually lodged in Jeffy's forehead, which was lucky, because it was the one place where it couldn't do any damage. But it was Burton and Sandra who proved the most adept at blowing, and both knocked out poor Rupert, who just stood there in furious disbelief until the producers threatened to send in a crane to remove him from the challenge.


At this point the producers made an odd editing choice: they inserted shots of a snake devouring a plastic toy lizard. Perhaps this was meant to signify a betrayal or power shift within the tribe, or to suggest that Rupert would devour his competitors, or just to piss off PETA. In any case, the scene was very comical, considering the lizard never moved and didn't seem to mind being eaten by a wimpy little snake. All it needed was a voice-over recording of "I'm Being Eaten By a Boa Constrictor." But that would have been entertaining, and this is CBS.


Rupert was starting to worry. He didn't think Sandra meant to knock him out of the challenge, but Burton knew what he was doing, and Jon's eyes were completely black which meant he was up to something. He took the two boys aside and asked them if it was still Darrah going tonight.


"Uh...erm...uh, well see, I don't really care," Jon said, scratching at his arms. Rupert was skeptical, and tried giving Jon his patented "super-glare," but Jon was smart enough by now to avoid looking into Rupert's eyes.


The crucial moment arrived in a confessional by Sandra. She wondered aloud whether Burton and Jon were plotting against Rupert's Alliance. Then she delivered the fateful words: "But I just can't see it happening." That settled it: Rupert was doomed.


Tribal Council. The players took their seats and Probst summoned Ryno, the first member of the jury. Ryan strode in, wearing a plain white shirt and dark slacks, as though he had just shown up for his first day of marching band practice, and a wristwatch, so he wouldn't lose track of time and miss Joan of Arcadia. The host then began his litany of planted questions, asking Sandra if there was any tribe member she couldn't survive without. Sandra thumbed Rupert.


"Why Rupert?" Jeff asked.


"Because if he leaves, I'm next," Sandra explained. She described a Rupert-less tribe as "assed-out," though the preferred term in this day and age is actually "Morganned." But the CBS censors let the phrase stand, after heavy lobbying from Mark Burnett that this was critical foreshadowing for Rupert's in-progress participation in All-Star Survivor (A.S.S.).


"Burton," Probst continued, "is there any competition to be the alpha male between you and Rupert?" At this Jon raised his hands in exasperation.


"Naw, not really," Burton replied. "He catches more fish and does more around camp. I could probably do as much as he does, I dunno. We'll see. Um, I mean, we, uh, won't see."


They voted. Rupert voted for Darrah, explaining that no matter how hard she tries the Yanks would always be one step ahead of her. Jon voted for Rupert, contorting his face into a horrifying sneer and mumbling some ridiculous line that even wrestling fans would consider stupid. The rest of the votes were not shown, though Lillian, promoted as the conflicted swing vote, marched right up to the booth and voted without hesitation.


Jeffy tallied and read the votes. Two votes for Darrah, and one vote for Jon. Then the Rupert votes started. One. Rupert blinked. Two. Rupert frowned. Three. Rupert turned purple. Four. Rupert began to shake. In the shadows behind him, Burnett signaled the snipers to raise their tranquilizer guns.


Five. Rupert was gone. Burton cringed. Sandra, who had denied Rupert immunity and then cast a mysterious random vote for Jon, feigned shock and surprise. Darrah got up to get her torch but was pulled down quickly by Tijuana. Then everyone looked at Rupert uneasily, expecting him to turn green and start smashing things.


But Rupert, still quivering with fury and frustration, did nothing. He got up, grabbed his torch, and without a word plopped it down at Jeff's feet. "I cannot believe this," he whispered, and Probst snuffed Rupert's torch. Rupert turned and began to trudge down the walk of shame.


And then he stopped. And slowly turned around to look at the tribe that had just forsaken him. All seven of them stared right back, terrified at what Rupert might do.


Then Rupert slowly began to sing:
"When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom...let it be.


The others just sat there. Then Ryno, from the other end of the Council, stood up and joined in the song:
"And in my hour of darkness
She is standing there in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.


Then the floodlights switched on and all the camermen and production crew joined in the chorus:
"Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.


Jon got up and put his arm around Rupert:
"And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be.


Rupert beckoned to Burton, who joined Jon in the embrace:
"For though they may be parted, there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be


Now all the Survivors stood up and sang the chorus. From the shadows emerged Osten, Shawn, Andrew and the Outcast tribe:
"Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be,
There will be an answer, let it be.


Rupert began the third verse alone:
"And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on til tomorrow, let it be.


Lillian continued:
"I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.


Now everyone joined in the chorus. The camermen swayed their cigarette lighters, Probst sang a soprano "oooh" counter-melody, and Burnett wiped away a tear:
"Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be

Whisper words of wisdom...

Let it be..."


The lights dimmed. Jon threw his arms around Rupert. "I love you mannnn!" he shrieked. Everyone cheered.
Rupert grinned broadly into the camera, and the credits began to roll.