In last week's two-hour, double-episode premiere of "Survivor: Cagayan," there was just no taking your eyes off of the train-wreck that was the Brains Tribe. This band of "nerds" lost two of their own after finishing in dead last during the first two Immunity Challenges, their tribe's Immunity Idol is buried in the sand somewhere (after Garrett left the game without it) and J'Tia dumped out 95% of their rice supply...even though somehow she still remains in the game. So coming into this Wednesday night's episode, all eyes were on the nerd herd. What would they do next? Were they going to get their collective acts together? Let's recap:
Odd Man Out. Returning from their second straight Tribal Council, Spencer uses the only two words that seem to come to mind when describing the Brains Tribe: "Tribal Council was a train wreck," he said. The rug was pulled from under him when Garrett was blind-sided, a move that puts Spencer in the minority on his tribe, beneath Tasha, Kass and the volatile, rice-dumpin' J'Tia. "This tribe is a disaster," J'Tia says. "But it's entertaining." We then got some background and went inside the heads of these Brains, who explained just why they voted the way they did. Tasha had switched her vote from J'Tia to Garrett at Tribal Council once she learned there had been an alliance amongst the others. Kass explains the same thing, ultimately deciding that although J'Tia has a temper, she can be much more loyal and predictable than Garrett. The three women - Tasha, J'Tia and Kass - all agree that Spencer is the next to go should they return to Tribal.
Blue Blood. The next morning, Tony is feeling all alone over at the Brawn Tribe. "It's just the four of us," he says. "Me, myself, my idol and I." Figuring he has nothing to lose, he decides to come clean to fellow police officer Sarah, whom he had previously lied to when she asked him point-blank if he was a cop. Telling Sarah that he was a cop worked just as he had planned, because Sarah formed an instant bond with him, proud of her "cop-dar" skills: Her unique ability to sniff out fellow cops. Tony coins it the "Cops-R-Us" alliance and Sarah swears on her badge that she will be loyal to him until the end. Could this burst of honesty from Tony mark a turning point for him, where he will start playing an honest, truthful game? Nah. Moments after confessing his profession to Sarah, he lies to her and tells her that he overheard a conversation amongst the others where they may have targeted her. This solidifies their "blue blood" alliance.
The Storm Cometh. Day 7 on the island brought with it a massive, intense and pounding storm, one that lasted all of 24 hours. To say the brutal weather made them miserable would be an understatement. Many of them, like Jefra, cried. "I feel like I'm living in a Survivor nightmare," she said. "Reality has set in." Some contemplated why they would do this to themselves. But Woo had a different take. "This is what Survivor is all about, baby," he said.
A Silver Lining. With the rain pouring down on them, LJ noticed that the others on the Beauty Tribe weren't taking it all that well. "The stereotype of beauty is starting to come into play," he tells us. All of this time huddled up in the shelter though, got him to thinking about the beginning of the game and how Morgan had been out in the water along the rocks when he had first arrived at camp. Could she have been looking for an Idol? He decides to wander out in the storm to take a peak around the watery rocks, when lo and behold, LJ discovered a hidden Immunity Idol. This not only was a huge advantage for LJ, but it solidifies the thought that Morgan had lied to them about what she was up to originally. He tells us that he will never tell another soul about his Idol until it is played.
Practice Makes Perfect? Receiving tree mail describing the upcoming Immunity Challenge, the Brains decide to practice throwing water to one another using coconut shells. The segment is set to Strauss's "Blue Danube Waltz" to squeeze the maximum comedic value out of it.
Immunity Challenge. Working together, they had to fill their tribe's jug full of water, which would release a ball that would be used to complete a vertical maze. In order to get water in their jug, one person filled a bucket, then had to throw the bucket to the next person, who then could only throw the water within the bucket to the next person. Despite all of their practice, the Brains completely sucked it up once again during this portion. But the nerds would finally have their revenge. Falling far behind, they eventually caught up. The Brawn Tribe finished in first place, but somehow, some way, the Brains were able to catch and surpass the Beauty Tribe to finish in second...assuring they would not go to their third straight Tribal Council. As reward for winning, the Brawns got a bunch of comfort items - pillows, blankets, etc - and a tarp. The Brains scored a tarp too for finishing in second. The Beauties would soon find themselves at their first Tribal Council.
Playing the Game. Although Tony seems destined to lose the game, you have to give this guy credit as playing harder than anyone out there thus far...and working himself into a fairly respectable position. He already has a hidden Idol and we saw him gain an ally this episode in Sarah. Now, he knows he has to protect his hidden Idol so he scours through the newly acquired comfort items until he finds a clue...a clue to an Idol that he already has and one that he doesn't want the others to catch on to. He then destroys it. Good job Tony, you are playing an aggressive but aware game thus far.
Loyalties Lie. It was scramble time at the Beauty beach. Just in case, LJ asks the others if anyone is wanting to quit the game. Nope, but it was a valiant effort to make things go smooth at Tribal. Knowing that everyone needs to start hustling, LJ brings up Brice as his target. LJ, Alexis, Jefra and Jeremiah have formed an alliance, but the only problem is that Jeremiah had also formed an alliance with Brice and Morgan. As it turns out then, Jeremiah finds himself in the middle as the swing vote. Brice and Morgan want to vote out Alexis, but even with Jeremiah they would need a fourth, so they approach Jefra, who was not all that into turning on her friend, Alexis. Morgan reveals her alliance to Jefra, which sends Jefra straight to Jeremiah. Alexis develops a plan to split their votes: Two for Morgan and two for Brice, in case one of them have the Idol. Doing so would create a three-way tie, which would force a re-vote in which they could send whomever they would want home. So what side will Jeremiah align with?
Tribal Council. Brice calls out the alliance of four - LJ, Alexis, Jefra and Jeremiah - and (dot, dot, dot) directly and publicly targets Alexis. "It's going to hurt, it's going to suck," Jeremiah tells Jeff Probst. "But it's Survivor." With that, we vote.
The Vote. No Idol was played (no reason for LJ to play it) and the votes were read: Alexis - Brice - Morgan - Alexis - Brice - Morgan. A three-way tie, 2-2-2. This basically meant that Jeremiah ultimately sided with LJ, Alexis and Jefra. The re-vote would determine who they would decide to get rid of, Morgan or Brice. In a unanimous re-vote of 3-0, the perceived bigger threat, Brice, was sent packing as the third person out of "Survivor: Cagayan."
Analysis. A good episode that gave us some insight as to what is going on over at the Beauty Tribe. For all of my opinions and analysis of tonight's episode, be sure to read my weekly TheTVKing.com analysis article.
Next Time On...No! Are you stupid? We see the Brawn Tribe discussing the idea of throwing an Immunity Challenge to get "him" out...although "he" was not revealed. We also see that a blindfolded Immunity Challenge leads to several inadvertent injuries, with Probst telling us that it will leave "everyone a little banged up."
What are your thoughts on the episode? Will the Brains continue to stabilize or are they still doomed? Will the Cops-R-Us alliance last? Post your comments and opinions below!
Be sure to subscribe to this column (above by my name) to receive email alerts of new postings, as you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one interview with Brice tomorrow!
Also, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.