Survivor: One World, Episode 6 – ‘Thanks for the Souvenir’ and the Burst Appendix
Distinguishing between schadenfreude and a loose-n-casual definition of karma can be difficult. You can’t be an active participant in willing misfortunes on people, even those who deserve them, and you certainly can’t experience any joy at what befalls them beyond the most molten level of your consciousness, in the dark cellar of your soul where no one can see. You have to take some kind of humble and impersonal stance: Wonder at the universe’s hammer of justice, perhaps, and then get on with things. If someone suggests that his life would be improved if you fell into a fire and were Medi-Vac’d away from him, you can’t wish that person onto a stretcher or into a pile of sobbing human tissue writhing on the forest floor. But when that happens, if it does, you can’t help but ask yourself if being a good person, or a bad person, sometimes — if incredibly rarely — results in karmic payback. Maybe everything is random. But maybe not! It never seems as though anything is random when there’s a skilled editor involved and lots of tape to clip and intercut with spiders against the background of a magnified moon.
So we open on Manono following last week’s blindside of Monica. Alicia and Colton, like the bitchy queens of the senior lounge who cuddle on sofas and talk smack all day, lay into Christina, the outcast, calling her a cockroach (and, as many do when confronted with Colton’s evil, Christina agrees with zombie eyes: Yes, a cockroach. Yes, that’s what I am). That night, Alicia refuses to move over to make space for Christina to sleep, reasoning that she’ll be gone soon and threatening to smack her. Alicia is a special ed teacher, by the way. I think about that a lot — she seems to have the patience of an angry mayfly, but maybe that’s just an ill-considered game strategy and in person she’s a nice lady. I don’t believe that, but I’ll entertain it. Kat, strange flower that she is, shares a dream with her tribe from the night before: She’s in a mall, right? Shopping for new duds, right? And then Alicia kills her. Because we’ve been teased with a stretcher in last week’s coming attractions, I immediately assume that Kat is psychic and will be the first Survivor murder victim, but luckily this is not the case. She hasn’t done anything to deserve that, after all, besides farting on someone a few episodes ago and not understanding most words with more than three syllables. (And, as any law student knows, the punishment for that crime is just chronic nightmares that all take place in Charlotte Russe.)
Tree mail arrives and tells the castaways that they will be playing a game reminiscent of their childhoods in order to gain a sweet reward. Salani has been enjoying sugar and coffee, but I guess they’re rationing. When the good folks of One World show up at the challenge, they find it actually involves climbing onto crates and catapulting coconuts onto a trampoline, trying to bounce them onto targets — you know, that old childhood pastime, the one you play after Who Can Eat a Bat the Fastest. They are playing for ice cream, served at a beach shack, with toppings. Everybody seems thwarted by this challenge initially, before the hoary old learning curve kicks into gear, but even though Colton sucks at coconut tossing, he manages to try to place all the blame on similarly challenged Christina, calling her a stupid bitch because she isn’t running fast enough. Tarzan and Leif punch out a few targets for Manono, but Salani predictably emerges as the victor (even Kat gets it right, and Troyzan does himself proud). Ice cream for the people who already had a coffee service and some peanut butter left over from a previous reward! The best day of everybody’s life! In the same vein as last week’s choice of grape jelly over superior strawberry, it looks like somebody cheaped out on the real hot fudge, but of course nobody cares because check out these cones!
The Christina smackdown continues at defeated Manono, with Alicia and Colton wondering publicly at all of the many ways she could be exterminated from the game: quickly (most likely the next tribal council), less quickly (the first to go post-merge), or because of hypothetical burn wounds from falling into a fire. Ha ha! Look, we’re all gathered around a fire! Who will plant the banana peel! Ha ha ha! Christina approaches Leif and Jonas and tries to plant the seed that Alicia will be less of an ally after the merge, roaming back to the women’s alliance while Christina would remain a free agent. Unfortunately, Alicia has been standing behind Christina during her testimony, and interrupts her with a slow clap before spewing more venom in her direction and giving Christina a lot of attitudinal hand gestures. As a talking head, Alicia admits that Christina was right about her allegiance, which only serves to make her more intent on getting Christina out of the game.
Colton is suddenly stricken with a headache, which he allows Christina to try to soothe by placing his head on her bosom and having her massage his temples. Of course, Colton’s heart is made of garbage and tarantulas, so he is unmoved by her gesture and attributes it to strategy — which it probably is, considering Christina’s mounting desperation, but also calls to mind Lady Macbeth’s whole routine about ripping the baby from her bosom and smashing its brains out, except in reverse and peppered with the word “like.” As Colton’s condition worsens, sage old Tarzan the plastic surgeon gives him a possible diagnosis of appendicitis, dehydration, kidney failure — he stops short of telling Colton he’s a walking corpse, but kind of just barely. Also, he could use a little Restylane around the eyes. Not really, but while he’s already in the office, may as well. It would take 15 minutes and really brighten up his face. Colton hobbles off into the woods to drink water, throw up, and try to take a dump. See what happens when you’re nasty, kids? This is what happens when you’re nasty. He falls to the ground, assumes the fetal position, and cries until he’s discovered by Christina, who calls in Jeff and the medical personnel. The medics decide that Colton needs to be examined at the hospital and probably has appendicitis, so he’s forced to leave the game. Staring at him with icy eyes, Jeff asks what Colton plans to do with the immunity idol he was given by Sabrina. Colton asks if he can give it to someone, and Jeff tells him that it’s his decision. The other castaways are summoned to bid good-bye to Colton (Jonas cries, but just a little, either because it’s so sad to see such a superfan have to leave because of a bum organ or because he’d kind of like Colton to give him the idol), and Colton tells them that he’s going to keep the idol, and thanks Sabrina for the souvenir. “You’re welcome,” say the judicious island gods, who then make sure that Colton really does have appendicitis and needs surgery once he’s at the hospital.
Jonas approaches Leif about voting out Alicia at the next tribal once Colton’s been spirited away, which is not a hard sell because Alicia wasn’t exactly dazzling anybody with her cool personality. Mail arrives telling everybody that there will be no immunity challenge and that both tribes are going to council that evening. Tarzan attempts some heavy-handed persuasive techniques, trying to convince Leif to vote off Christina. Tarzan, of course, doesn’t know Christina’s name, and you wonder if at the end of all this he’ll start going by Troyzan because his aphasia has worsened and he’s forgotten who he is.
Jeff delivers the news of Colton’s surgery at tribal council following his appendicitis. Kat looks like she’s just been transported into the doomy land of Melancholia: What? The hell? Is appendicitis? And how can she prevent it from happening to her? Bodies aren’t made of cashmere and bangle bracelets? I don’t know that she’ll ever recover from this news. I would like to be Kat for just one afternoon, eating soft serve at the mall and planning trips to Brazil in 2092. Alicia tells Sabrina that Colton thanks her for the idol souvenir and has decided to bring it with him on his journey back to his pure, exclusive Caucasian habitat. Everybody wonders whether Manono is lying, but because they also know that Colton’s a dick, some of them get that gut feeling that he is just the type to keep it. They’re right, but they don’t know they’re right. Jeff then drops a merge-bomb on the two tribes, telling them to drop their buffs. There are now six women and six men, and all of them try to send dugout signals to figure out who’s on whose side. Obviously none of these signals really resonate or solidify any alliances, because some of their eyes are dumbass eyes.
As for last night’s historic moment, Jeff tweeted that it’s another example of the Episode 6 curse: “As for the “historic” moment :). Skupin was evacuated in episode 6, so was Jonathan Penner, so was Russell Swan and tonight so was Colton.” Is that historic, or does it just always take 15 days for people’s bodies to turn into porridge after exposure to the elements? A few notable responses: that Jeff had forgotten about the removal of poor constipated Bruce, that it was historic to merge the tribes with 12 members, and a middle finger at ol’ Probst for the spoiler. Next week: Tarzan gets mad, and you won’t like him when he’s mad. The trick is for him to remember at whom he’s mad, since he doesn’t know who anybody is. The intrigue!