Pearl Island Strategy #7a: Return of the Living Dead
Written by Mario Lanza
"At the bottom of the sea lies the Elizabeth Dane-- with her crew
and their lungs filled with salt water, their eyes open, staring into
the darkness. But it is told by the fishermen-- and their fathers and
grandfathers-- that when the fog returns, the men at the bottom of the
sea will rise up and search for the ones who led them to their dark,
-The creepy old fisherman, The Fog
today is Halloween, I figured it would be fitting to start out with a
quote from a horror movie. "The Fog" is the story of some sailors who
accidentally mistake a campfire for a lighthouse while they are out at
sea. They approach shore, their boat crashes into some rocks, and
then they sink and they die. And then a hundred years later, their
bodies rise from the sea to enact revenge against the city that led
them to death. Needless to say it is a neat movie.
Rent it tonight!
The other reason I used that quote
is because it was quite fitting for this particular episode.
After all, for the first time in Survivor history, we had players
"returning from the dead" to get revenge upon those who had voted them
out. And I have to say that I wanted to hate this twist. I SO
wanted to hate it. I wanted to hate everything it stood for,
which was producers meddling with the game. I went into this
episode telling myself "This is going to be the single worst episode of
Survivor ever, and it is probably going to ruin the entire season for
me." There was no way I would ever like the idea of voted out players
returning into the game.
But guess what? I watched the twist. And I loved it.
don't know why I loved it so much. I guess I just got caught up
in the idea of people having to pay for the way they treated bootees
before they left. I just found that whole thing incredibly awesome,
that Andrew would suddenly be quaking in his shoes over the way he had
treated Ryan and Lil before they left. And that the Drakes have a
whole TRIO of pissed off bootees who are going to be after them now.
This whole storyline is going to be a lot of fun. So I have to
begrudgingly admit that yes, I liked the twist. And no, it didn't
ruin the season. As a matter of fact, we just saw one
of the single greatest Survivor episodes of all time.
player I would HATE this kind of a twist. I would hate it
because it just isn't fair. But as a viewer? Man that made
for some awesome TV. Plus it served the dual purpose
of suddenly making Burton interesting. All of a sudden that
big bland generic guy has a gimmick. He went from being "that
tall, squinty guy who kind of looks like David Duchovny" to "that tall,
squinty guy who kind of looks like David Duchovny but is PISSED OFF AND
WHO WANTS TO KILL HIS OLD TRIBE." That is a huge upgrade. We went from
Burton 1.0 to Burton 2.0, and I think I like the new version much
Speaking of Burton, could they make it any more
obvious that he will be coming back into this game next week? I
have no insider spoiler information, I have no clue what is going to
happen next week... but the editors couldn't have beaten us over the
head with Burton's Revenge any more if they had tried. We never heard a
single word about Michelle or Trish the entire episode, but we had at
least ten comments about how "Burton better not come back here." So I
think it is safe to say that Burton will be coming back here.
for the Morgans, their returnee is going to be a little more up in the
air. Because it really doesn't matter who WE want to come back, it is a
matter of who the OUTCASTS want to vote back. And I just don't see them
caring much about Nicole, so in my mind it is a toss up between Skinny
Ryan and Lill. Both of them have grudges against their old tribesmates,
and they both also have scores to settle. And if you go by
foreshadowing, it seems obvious that the returnee will be Lill.
After all, her torch didn't go out when it was snuffed.
There were numerous scenes of Ryan telling her never to give up.
Plus there was that whole weird (and out of place) subplot
about Andrew mistreating her before she was voted out. I think
Lill will be returning next week.
If I had to guess, I
would guess that Burton joins the Morgans and Lill joins the Drakes.
That would just be fun times all around. Plus it would give the
Drakes a chance to see Lillian's "I'm sour and unhappy" face that
she seems to have perfected so well. It made me happy to see her
trademark pouty face back on my TV this week. I didn't
realize how much I had missed it.
Drake, Rupert is out
of control right now. He has actually dropped off my list of favorite
castaways this season
after the past two weeks because he is kind of turning into a maniacal
overlord. HOW DARE SOMEBODY VOTE FOR ME!! I think he is dangerously
crossing the line into cocky and arrogant and he is losing a lot of his
early likability. I guess the best way I can describe it is this:
When you get into an
argument with Jon... and Jon comes off looking like the good guy...
know that something has gone tragically wrong. I still predict that
Rupert will be leaving
soon. In fact, the editing in the episodes right now is just SCREAMING
will take down Rupert, and that he will do it in a very unfair and
manner. They are practically shoving that message in our faces at the
moment, Jon is the one who will eventually take Rupert down. I just
don't know what else I can say about it. I am
nearly 100% confident that the downfall of Rupert will happen, and
that it will happen soon.
Oh, and I loved Jon's voting comment when voting for Shawn. Call me simple, but that made me laugh.
rest of the Drakes besides Jon and Rupert are all on cruise control. Christa is sitting pretty as usual
and Sandra is just standing out in my mind more and more each week that she could be
our eventual winner. Have you noticed that Sandra has gotten much nicer editing lately?
We have seen less swearing, less arguing, less scowling. Most of the
time she actually appears to be smiling now. And she had a very
telling quote in the episode this week: "Let the guys duke it out. Let them kill each
other and vote each other off. As long as it isn't Sandra, I'm happy."
That sounds like the quote of a verrrrry savvy Survivor player. Combine that
with Jon's comment earlier that Sandra won't make the final four... and
I am beginning to think that the Twinester is a slam dunk for the Final Four.
She is doing very well. She could even finish much better than fourth.
vote at Drake this week came down to either Fairplay or Shawn,
and honestly I don't think it was all that hard of a choice.
always thought that Shawn was much more disliked than Jon. PLUS Shawn
is a bigger
physical threat, PLUS he does no work around camp, PLUS his buddy
Burton might be
coming back into the game. That just spelled bad news for Shawn all
around. The only
reason Jon would have gone this week is if people voted emotionally,
the remaining Drakes seem to be way too smart to do that. Even Rupert
strategically, and he seems to be borderline bipolar. So you know
all know how to play.
Over at Morgan... well the less said
about Osten, the better. The ending with Jeff being super pissy was
pretty funny. "Osten, per your wishes, go home" is a quote that will live on in
Survivor history. Although it would have been even funnier if Jeff had done it like
on Boot Camp: "Osten. Get. Off. MY. HILL!" I'm not going to trash Osten
too badly, other people can do that in their columns this week. And I suppose it
is a grey area whether Jeff's treatment of him was actually warranted or not. But
in the end it all made for good TV, and it was supremely entertaining. It was
a moment we will never forget... that final shot of Osten's torch laying down
on the ground and him not allowed to have any final words. That was some Must See TV.
what is coming next week? Well they have beaten us over the head with
"Burton returns" and "Lill returns" foreshadowing, so I predict that those two
will come back. It would be really funny if we had angry Burton on Morgan and
angry (and sour) Lill on Drake, so I predict that is what is going to happen.
And then I predict there is a merge... and that Jon somehow gets Rupert eliminated.
~~~ Weekly Notes ~~~
don't really have many notes about this episode. Tribal Council took up
thirty minutes and it was really only half of an episode anyway. But I
* Ryan's "Die, Jerks" buff
* The fact that
the seamail said the reward would be "Better than steak and lobster!"
So wait, the reward of not losing a player is better than 1500 calories
of succulent fat, butter, and protein? Um, I think the players might disagree with that.
* The fact that Nicole, Ryan, and Lill finally won
their first challenge. There was a reason the three of them were that excited. None of
them had ever won a challenge before!
* The fact that the most interesting
players are the ones still left in the game. That rarely happens on Survivor! No wonder
this season is so good. In my opinion, none of the early bootees really brought much
to the table in terms of entertainment, and getting rid of Shawn really helped
too. I mean, just look at who's left: Jon, Rupert, Christa, Sandra, Andrew, Tijuana,
Ryan O... those are all the stars of the season. No wonder this season is so amazing.
* Jon's little scarf he wears from time to time. What is that thing? Is that his Slytherin House Scarf? What is the deal?
AFTER WEEK SEVEN (PART 1)
It is tough to do rankings since we don't 100% know who will be coming back,
but I will just stick the returnees at the bottom until we see who they are.
Otherwise I am pretty confident in my rankings for now.
1. Ryan Opray
Still the man, and still smiling.
2. Tijuana Bradley
She should be in the top 3 on everyone's list. No reason to rank her any lower.
3. Sandra Diaz-Twine
She is thiiiiis close to being #1. Everything about her right now screams "Final four."
4. Andrew Savage
a little this week because of the upcoming merge, and because of the fact that he
will hate the outcast so much. But he is still in a good position.
5. Christa Hastie
Christa is engaged to a race car driver! Sorry, I hadn't taken
that cheap shot all season. I owed it to myself to do it at least
6. Darrah Johnson
Yep, she's still around.
7. Jon Dalton
Gabe is just floating around at the bottom of the power rankings, and
that's when he can be dangerous. When he goes out, I expect him to go
out with a bang.
8. Rupert Boneham
is losing a lot of his likability and he is starting to almost become
dangerous to the other players. His treatment of Jon and Shawn before the vote was
particularly arrogant, especially when he made them beg for their
survival in front of everyone else. I think old Rupes is about to go down hard.
9. The Living Dead Zombie Tribesmate (Drake)
The Drake outcast will have a decent chance of doing well, because Jon would LOVE to have an ally right about now.
10. The Living Dead Zombie Tribesmate (Morgan)
it is, Andrew will hate them from the get go... unless maybe if it is
Burton. We'll see. It all depends on who the Morgans get.
Note: Survivor: Okinawa is just finishing up its third episode and I
have to post a small disclaimer. I just wanted to point out ahead of time
that two of my ideas for Okinawa (so far) have also ended up in Pearl
Islands. And as always, this was just a total coincidence. I just happen to be
good at predicting what Mark Burnett is going to do a lot of the time. You will see when
the story comes out :)
Mario Lanza lives in Los Angeles with his wife (Diana) and two children. And
if you like The Fog, his other Halloween movie recommendations are
The Vanishing (Dutch version), Sleepaway Camp (1 or 2), Dawn of the
Dead (the 1978 version), April Fool's Day, Phantasm, The Final Terror,
Return of the Living Dead, and the best bloodless suspense film of them