Survivor Recap December 7, 2011
This week's lucky episode 13 began with Cochran arriving to meet Ozzy, the permanent resident at Redemption Island. "Did you learn your lesson?" Ozzy asks him upon arrival. "It may not have been the best move," Cochran replies. They talk about Cochran's chances of beating Ozzy in a Duel, and Ozzy tells him that he doesn have a chance...that is until he tells the camera a bit of a different story: "He doesn't have a chance."
On the morning of Day 31, Brandon asks his tribe to gather around for a morning prayer. "Since I'm not a member of this tribe, I will just go over here," declares Edna, and she had every right, following Brandon's tactless words at Tribal Council (he had specifically pointed to Edna as the definitive next person to go). Edna is just realizing that she was the 6th all along, which is sad but also a discredit to Edna...much of Survivor is having an awareness of where you stand in the eyes of others, and she should have seen this coming. But give Edna some love, as she was not going to go down without a fight. She directly approaches Coach, who she had befriended on Day 1 when the rest of Upolu shunned him. She pleads for him to keep her around and instead gun for Brandon, who has not lived up to the code of honor and integrity that the Upolu 6 had adopted as their mantra. "Edna's meltdown" (as Coach called it) was abruptly interrupted when Brandon pranced into camp, announcing the arrival of tree mail...and not just any tree mail, Sprint tree mail.
Within the tree mail, the tribe received a new Sprint phone, which was loaded with messages from all of their loved ones. An attractive blonde haired woman was revealed to be Rick's wife, which got a "Holy cow," response from Albert. How could he have predicted that in her message to Rick, she would also mention cows? "Even the cows miss you," she told Rick. We also saw Edna's sister, Albert's mom, Coach's brother, and Sophie's dad who is probably her biggest fan despite announcing that he was "surprised that you got this far," (thanks dad)! Then there was Brandon's dad Shawn Hantz, brother of Russell, who would play a factor later in the ep.
The Duel. The much anticipated Duel was on between Cochran, and Ozzy. The Duel consisted of using a grappling hook to grab 3 bags containing balls. Then use 1 ball to navigate through a labrynthine table maze to get your ball to the center. As one would imagine, Ozzy was off to the early lead. Quickly though, Cochran got back into it with the help of the Upolu 6, who were clearly chanting and trying to help Cochran win. In the end, Ozzy's ball dropped just as Cochran's fell off the board, securing Ozzy's victory.
There was a twist and Ozzy would choose 3 (revealed to him only 1 at a time) players to join him for the day on Redemption Island. Along with that, they would get to spend some time with their loved ones who were then brought out one by one for a brief reunion (you got to love Rick who gave his wife a quick squeeze of the butt). Ozzy chose Albert and his mother, then Coach and his brother, and finally Brandon and his father. They all went off to Redemption Island while Edna, Sophie, and Rick went back to their beach without anything.
Redemption Reunion. I was surprised that Ozzy was allowed this game interaction at Redemption Island, but it was an interesting twist. After a few more scenes of the players using their awesome Sprint phone, it was Coach who went straight to work on strategy. Speaking about being at Ozzy's personal camp, he said, "I'm in your house. I want to talk to you." Ozzy looked flabbergasted when Coach told him that he had a scenario with both of them in the Final 3 if Ozzy were to make it back into the game. "2 noble warriors," Coach called them, adding that he promised on this scenario "as a Christian man."
Bible Study. Elsewhere, 2 other Christian men had a very interesting discussion. Brandon and his dad began to talk game, with Brandon revealing to his dad that he no longer cared about winning Survivor, to his dad's utter amazement. "Yah but your here to win," said his dad, to which Brandon replied, "but it's changed." Brandon claimed that he was only here to be a great Christian and to set an example, and that even if he had to make a move to reach the Final 3 he wouldn't do so if it meant compromising his beliefs. Shawn Hantz couldn't believe what he was hearing, and to the camera graded his son's performance in the game: "I'd give him a C," he said (interestingly, Uncle Russell on Twitter graded Brandon an F). He added, "I don't know how he hasn't gotten voted off yet." Shawn was equally worried and concerned for his son, and as a Hantz would on Survivor, he decided to take things into his own hands. He approached Coach to tell him that he was worried about Brandon's mentality, but that Coach needs to know that he is the only one that his son trusts completely. He asked Coach to commit to Brandon as an ally. Watching on TV, this came across like a concerned father, but to Coach who has experience with Russell, he saw it as bullying. "He's a chip off the old block," Coach said about Shawn. "When it comes to manipulation and control, the Hantz family are the kingpins." Brandon and his dad turned the argument into a religious discussion, with Brandon telling his dad that it is all by God's design, that whatever happens is in God's hands. Shawn replied, "Put yourself in the Final 3, then leave it up to God." He also tried convincing Brandon that God also said to be wise, and to protect your family. He had many good points.
Immunity Challenge. With the family members gone, it was time to battle for Immunity. It was a challenge we've seen several times on Survivor, a puzzle where all the Survivors are on a game board of sorts, where they walk 1 tile at a time to try to block out the other players. Last person left who still has a place to move wins Immunity. Jeff Probst tells the players that this challenge is somewhat of a metaphor for Survivor, that your moves early on in the game come back to be very important later in the game. As the game progressed, on the sidelines Brandon began to talk about how his strategy in the challenge was to eliminate Edna, and when Probst overheard the discussion it was aired out publicly. Edna became furious at Brandon's treatment of her and rudeness. Coach ended up winning the challenge (another metaphor for the game?) and on the way back to camp Edna asked him to "help a sister out, Coach." She knows that her time is limited.
Back at camp,we hear from Sophie and even Rick who both are noticing that Brandon is kind of kicking Edna when she's down. Brandon tries apologizing to Edna, who calls it "insincere" and "like beating your wife and then buying her a diamond ring." With Brandon away for a moment, she lays out a speech for her tribe about the ongoing "honor, loyalty, and integrity" that is constantly preached. Her point? That Brandon has lied and has shown the least of those things in all 3 of those areas, and that he should go before her. All's she is asking for is to go 5th, and to send Brandon out 6th. It was laid out very effectively and made a lot of sense...which is exactly why it probably won't happen with this group.
Edna sits down with Coach on the beach, and actually asks him to use the Idol on her to save her. Coach says he can't do that, and that he probably won't use the Idol at all. He seemingly begins to get a bit emotional, and tells Edna that she should go talk to Sophie and Albert and if they vote for Brandon, he implies that he would too. She approaches Albert and Sophie, and says that she has Coach on her side, which they don't believe. "If I'm lying I'll eat a piece of Coach's bleep," she says. We all assume we know what was said. Albert says he is considering it, which is code on Survivor for "I am not considering it at all."
Tribal Council. Edna makes Coach say the tribe mantra aloud: Honor, Loyalty, Integrity. Brandon and Edna go back and forth about why they each should stay. It was time to vote, and would be served up another red herring by Survivor, and see Edna voted out and sent to Redemption Island to face Ozzy.