It seems like "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," but Survivor is once again promising us another "first" on tonight's episode of Survivor: Caramoan. After 26 seasons, it is impressive that the show continues to break new ground and offer the viewers increasingly varying scenarios. Usually, our hopes for a "Survivor first" is usually met with somewhat of a let-down.
But if the preview for tonight's episode is any indication, this could actually go down in Survivor history. There I go, getting my hopes up again.
The ticking-time bomb known as Brandon Hantz - who threatened to go all "Uncle Russell" a few episodes back, and who threatened to pee in the rice and burn the camp down - finally seems to have reached his boiling point. It's been brewing all season, after Brandon found himself in the minority alliance following Francesca's early (again) exit.
Since this first episode when Fran was axed, the Favorites tribe has basically acted as comic relief - filler, as we watched the unraveling of the Fans tribe over the past few weeks. We kind of senses things would get ugly once the focus shifted back over to the Favorites, but judging by the promo's this week - where Brandon is seen yelling at Phillip, dumping out the tribe rice supply and being consoled by other tribe members - it seems that things are going to get way worse than expected.
And by worse, I mean far more entertaining.
Here is the episode synopsis released by CBS on tonight's episode:
Episode 5 – “Persona Non Grata” - IN A “SURVIVOR” FIRST, ONE CASTAWAY SUFFERS A HISTORY-MAKING MELTDOWN, on “SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS VS. FAVORITES,” WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13. The Favorites must contend with an out-of-control Brandon when he stuns his tribemates and reveals his hidden desire to sabotage their camp, leading up to a history-making meltdown, on SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN – FANS vs. FAVORITES, Wednesday, March 13 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Analysis. Let's not get ahead of ourselves (I'll leave judgement for the episode recap, coming later tonight), but this just looks to be the final nail in the proverbial coffin for Brandon Hantz, and a confirmation to all those who thought he was too mentally unstable to begin with. Another expected and possible black eye for the Hantz family, following his Uncle Willie's forced exit on Big Brother this past Summer following an altercation with a fellow house guest.
Ironic, that Russell now looks like the calm, tame one, in relation to his brother Willie or nephew Brandon. Clearly, Russell is the only one who has shown that he can play the game of Survivor. Yes, he burned tribe members socks, but that seems like amateur hour compared to what Brandon is about to unleash. On a side note, I find it sad that these kind of actions tarnish the TV Hantz legacy, whereas people do forget that Russell's game in Samoa was among the best ever (in my opinion) in the history of the show.
On the other side of this alleged "epic" battle is Phillip Sheppard. We're not sure what he does to set Brandon off, but I'd assume Brandon finds out that he has been lied to. Phillip seems to have too much support from the others and Probst's "emergency Tribal Council" that we see him call for in the promo probably just means that they need to remove Brandon ASAP before he does himself or others physical damage.
All of this, by the way, is good news for Brenda and Erik. They are outside of the "Stealth-R-Us" alliance but with Brandon taking the heat, it looks like they should be more than OK after tonight's episode. If they can pull out one or two more Immunity Challenges as a tribe, they could find themselves surviving to the merge, where all bets are off.
I'd love to think that Survivor is pulling a fast one on us, that somehow Brandon's big meltdown does not result in his removal from the game. But it will. Where there are many twists and turns in the game itself, the show, its editors and its style has become all too predictable. Fans of the show, for example, can usually tell who is going home early in an episode, if they are showing too much of one player, or are using tried-and-true misdirection tactics. We usually hope that Survivor is playing on our preconceived notions, but more often than not, they play right in to what is expected.
So expect Brandon Hantz to go home tonight. Let's hope it makes for good television, even if it does make for poor gamesmanship.
Make sure you are getting all of the latest Survivor coverage this season! Be sure to subscribe to this column (above) and make a note to check back in throughout the upcoming season. Here's how it will work:
- Every Wednesday, I will post an episode preview article in the morning, detailing the night's episode.
- Following the episode each week, my full episode recap will be online usually by around Midnight EST.
- Linking in with the full episode recap, will be my weekly episode analysis that I post for TheTVKing.com. This article goes beyond simply recapping things and is where we dig full in to the events of the most recent episode.
- Every Thursday, join me for my exclusive exit interview with the voted-out contestant.
- Lastly, as a movie critic and member of the Detroit & Online Film Critic Societies, check out my blog, FilmSurvivor.com, to find all of my movie reviews and Survivor coverage in one place!
Also, make sure you check out one of my favorite Survivor sites, Survivor Fever.
What are your thoughts on tonight's episode? Thoughts on Brandon? Phillip? Post your thoughts below! See you after the show!