As the episode began, there was no way to guess that it would be the tall, athletic-looking young guy who would self-destruct. That role appeared to be claimed by Holly of the "older" tribe who had a small mental breakdown shortly after returning from tribal council. She was beside herself with guilt for voting out her alliance member (of all of two days) Wendy the talker, and channeled it into one irrational act after another.
First, she grabbed a bucket of snails -- apparently the only food source the tribe had at the time -- away from the dining doctor, Jill, and tossed them out, fearing they were dangerous. Then, even more inexplicably, she decided that Dan must be taught a lesson and so his shoes (as an aside, who brings $1,600 alligator shoes to an island?) were filled with sand and dumped in the water.
As the tribe gathered the next day to sort out the case of the missing shoes, she confessed and, in a rather funny moment, Jimmy T. decided to forgive her, which was easy considering they weren't his shoes. Dan was not so quick to forgive, but enter the soothing voice of coach Jimmy Johnson. He managed to smooth over the tension and get Holly to, at least for a while, screw her head back into some semblance of sanity.
The coach does have to worry about ruffling feathers and egos as his take-charge style is still rubbing Jimmy T. the wrong way. Marty and Jill, meanwhile, have the edge in that tribe having discovered the first hidden immunity idol after Jill solve the clue that baffled the youngsters last week (with the help of Jimmy T. who knows that the pole on the ship was called a "yardarm" -- aye, matey, good job!). Jill then gave Marty the info and they went a-digging. Then they found it. Or, if you asked Marty, it actually went something like this: "I got the Idol! I got the Idol!" [Pause] "We got the Idol."
So with so much time on the oldster tribe and Holly's meltdown, it was just a matter of time before she was sent down the scary path of loserdom. Not so fast! Because over at the young'uns camp, things were starting to get a bit loopy as well. First, Sash decided to form a "minority" alliance because somehow having fewer members was going to be an advantage. Then we discover that while clothes dryers back home manage to steal one sock out of a pair, there are magical forces in Guatemala that make both socks disappear. NaOnga was fit to be tied when she couldn't find her socks, but she handled it rationally -- she took Jud's (aka Fabio).
As we later learned, it was okay for her to take his socks, because she doesn't like him. And he's dumb. Oooo-kay.
At the immunity challenge (with a reward thrown in for the winners) the oldsters decided to use the medallion of awesomeness to give themselves an advantage and NaOnga decided to give them an additional advantage by sitting out in favor of the girl with the prosthetic leg -- not realizing just how agile Kelly is. But despite running faster through the first part of the challenge (which involved running through mud, finding balls buried in hay, then passing them from board to board before shooting them in a bucket), the combination of the advantage and Benry's questionable aim led the old people team to victory.
Then it was scramble-time on La Flor. NaOnga was fighting with Fabio and it seemed like an easy choice to get rid of the troublemaker, but Shannon had other ideas and wanted to get rid of Brenda. Chase, who had an alliance with Brenda in addition to his alliance with Shannon (and I think three or four monkeys, two anteaters and a tortoise -- he doesn't want to miss any potential allies), was troubled. This made Shannon upset, and you don't want to see him upset. Then Shannon contemplated getting rid of Chase for forming another alliance behind his back.
This turned out to be the calm part of the show, because once they got to tribal council, all hell broke loose. As Jeff Probst said, after 21 seasons, this was the biggest serving of whoop ass ever. Shannon came unglued and spilled everything, who was allied with whom, who was the target, everything. And then, from the Mel Gibson school of bigotry, Shannon turned to Sash in the middle of the discussion and said, "Hey, I'm gonna get this out of the way right now. Are you gay?" When Sash tried to deflect the comment by making a little joke about studliness in New York, Shannon ratcheted the hate up another notch by saying most of New York City is full of gay people.
Do you want to know how a physically fit male player can get tossed early in a game where the ability to compete in challenges is of extreme importance at that stage -- that's how you do it. Out-of-thin-air hateful, homophobic attacks will do you in every time. NaOnka is right there behind him, though, with calling Kelly a charity case. Central casting, I need two intolerant, bigoted people, who will share their innermost hateful thoughts on national TV. Awesome!
I do feel sorry for poor Fabio. First, he has his socks taken and no one seems to care. Then NaOnka starts attacking him for no apparent reason (editing or is she just B.S. Crazy?). Things only got worse for him at tribal as Shannon, who was supposed to be in his alliance, begins his self-destruct program. Fabio tried his best to stop him, "Be quiet, dude. We're on the same team for the next 2 or 3 weeks!" but Shannon was on a mission. When Fabio asked, "can we vote now," it was cute in a pathetic sort of way. Kinda like Fabio.
|See ya never, Shannon.|