Thursday, November 03, 2011

Survivor South Pacific: 23.8 The Cochran Show

Who knew masterminds were so adorable?

This is the episode I've been dreaming about.  After last week's bold move by Ozzy Christ Superstar, Cochran still has stars in his eyes over the Survivorness of it all. "You just witnessed Survivor history!"  Unfortunately, nobody else at camp Steve Vai cares about the never-before-seen-in-23-seasons-of-Survivor trivia, & they are miserable.  Keith is the most blunt about his disdain for the decision to send Ozzy to Redemption in Cochran's place.  "It's one thing to be willing to go, but to actually do step up & take control...I guess it's just the way that I live my life - I don't live it where somebody else fights my battles for me."  Easy to say when you get kicked out of the Jonas Brothers because you're too tall.  Again, if any of the pretty people had paid attention, they would've realized that it would have been WAY better for their game to send Cochran to Redemption, & if Christine beat him, she would be a number for them.  Not that I'm complaining.  AT ALL.

Cochran says many memorable things this episode, starting with "If anyone in this game is capable of being a double agent, it's me.  I've already been pretending like I like these people on my tribe for the last 18 days...I think I deserve an Academy Award for that performance."

In recognition of John Cochran's superb performance of Nerd Surrounded by Asses in Survivor:South Pacific, which is now apparently eligible for Academy Awards.

Discussing whether or not he is prepared to play the villain, Cochran says he thought he was going to be the sweetheart.  Keith has a chuckle, "That's a good one."  I am loving it, because with all Cochran's insecurity & over-thinking, he still knew he would be charming.  He probably hoped his charm worked less on the viewers at home & more on the people in charge of handing out one million dollars, but the point is, he knew he would be loved.  There is confidence underneath that sweater vest.

At the Redemption Island duel, Ozzy puts his actor's suit on, & like a movie villain who explains his entire plan to his nemesis, he "explains" the entire plan to his nemesis.  "We lose one challenge because somebody can't operate a clip, & that ends up being the person that sends me here.  You played the idol, you don't even...(flustered pause)...I know one of you...(shit, where was I going with this?)...somebody else probably knew that you had it...(improv is hard!) far as I'm concerned, tribe boundaries...don't exist anymore.  I thrive on the pressure to get back in the game...(dramatic pause)...for revenge...(finished strong!)...basically...(motherfu...)"   To Sophie's keen eye, Ozzy's actor's suit appears to be a woven blend of over-the-top & pathetic.  Itchy.  Cochran does a better job at looking ostracized from his tribe because he's typecast.

The actual duel involves building a pole from sticks & twine that will be able to reach 3 sets of keys.  Once you unlock all 3 locks, the winner re-enters the game.  Jeff Seuss provides commentary:

Your first goal
is to make a pole
that is long enough
& strong enough.

Next step is to reach,
& try not to screech
You can do it
if you put your mind to it!

Christine's pole is shaking,
Ozzy's is not breaking
Christine stops to fix it,
Ozzy simply kicks its (ass).

Christine is quite unlucky,
to leave this way is sucky.
We'll miss your rolling eyes.
Goodbye, Christine, goodbye.

Jeff tells the tribes they are now merged, & they head to their camp to feast on food & beer.  Coach & Cochran immediately talk strategy, & I am happy.  I've been saying all along how great it would be if Cochran was with the Oompas, & it seems more & more likely as the episode progresses.  Cochran is smiling, & looks comfortable.   "I'm excited to become the double agent I was meant to be."  However, I think the more Cochran speaks with Coach, Albert & Sophie, the more he realizes it would be beneficial to just switch tribe allegiances.  What has Steve Vai ever done for him, aside from blistering guitar solos & possibly some tasty honey?  

Coach is all-knowing & appeals to Cochran on an intellectual level, & is actually very impressive in his coaching of Cochran here.  "Our tribe is not budging.  & I feel like you guys are trying to play us.  You guys came up with a story.  You sent Ozzy to Redemption.  You got an idol in your pocket, knowing that Ozzy would win Redemption.  It was a risk, but you knew that Ozzy would win Redemption.  We will not bend, we will vote 6 strong."  Cue the Full House emotional moment music.  "I know what those kinds of people think about people with intellect.  I've been made fun of my whole life, dude.  I might be The Dragonslayer now, but I know what it feels like to be superior in one way to people, & they know it, so they find ways that you're inferior to cut you down.  I know what it feels like, man.  You have a chance to change the game for yourself."  Coach draws a line in the sand. "Come across that line."  So is Coach actually saying he gets made fun of less now that he calls himself a Dragonslayer?  This is why I love Coach.  You too could be a Dragonslayer, Cochran!  Or maybe just stay on the path towards becoming a lawyer...because not everyone is cut out to be a Dragonslayer in the 21st Century.

I'm pretty sure at this point Cochran has decided he has found his people - they're smart, & there's only one ridiculously pretty person.  Cochran spills the "loose beans" on what went down last week regarding Ozzy's night in Gethsemane.  Brandon wants to know who would give Cochran the most trouble if he betrayed the Steve Vai's, & Cochran says Jim has a temper, but Keith has been consistently rude & unpleasant.  Brandon offers protection, & I'm confused because this is a nice thing.  Wait - was Mikayla really an evil seductress?  OMG, has Brandon been sane the entire time?  TWIST!  I wonder if Cochran knows Brandon's relationship to Russell Hantz.  I mean, there are tattoos all over him, but it hasn't been addressed on the show whether any of the Steve Vai's know.  I feel like Cochran would respect Russell's game, even though it's different than his, solely because of how much they both love & respect this game.

Even though Cochran is planning to desert his tribe that never accepted him, he does a good thing.  "I consider myself a strategist, & maybe even a mastermind, but not an evil mastermind, so I returned the hidden Immunity Idol to Ozzy."  He continues, "Up to this point in the game, I feel like I've been putting my fate in the hands of tribe mates I don't entirely trust & who don't entirely respect me.  Now that the merge has come & it's become an individual game, I finally feel like I'm in control of my fate...I am the person right now who gets to decide how Survivor: South Pacific takes shape...& possibly ends."

Dawn, who has never been quite "in" with the pretty people, breaks down when Cochran gives her the option of jumping ship with him.  Cue the Growing Pains emotional moment music.  Dawn is disappointed that she didn't stand up for Cochran sooner.  She has seen him get picked on & treated with disrespect, & has done nothing, even though "I have a son with red hair who Cochran reminds me of".  Let me remind Dawn that she hasn't been too kind to Cochran either, but she has "learned tolerance."  You're awful, Dawn, & no amount of crying can make you sympathetic to me.

Cochran reminds Dawn that if the vote is split 6-6 twice, everyone draws rocks to see who leaves, except the 2 names originally voted for - they become exempt, as is anyone with immunity.  "I've been grovelling & begging not to be voted out since the first tribal council.  Now what we're expected to do is to completely give up our games to fate, with the whole rock draw thing.  This is the first moment when I, & I think you, too, can finally decide what course we want to take."

They will never take our FREEDOM! Screw you, rocks!

The new name of the merged tribe is "Te Tuna", & I think it must be the name of another of Rob & Amber's stuffed animals.  Keith says it's based on a story of how the coconut came to be.  According to Wikipedia, it's A HORRIBLE STORY.  Te Tuna is a Polynesian eel-god who jumps onto land & rapes women, until one day someone cuts off his head, plants it, & shoots spring from it, growing into the first coconut tree.  I do not want to see this tribe flag.

The Immunity Challenge is for 2 Immunity Necklaces: 1 for a man, 1 for a woman.  The challenge is balancing on a perch while holding a coconut between rope & it's so nondescript that all I can say about it is that Dawn & Ozzy win.  This makes the former Steve Vais happy, because if it goes to rocks, there are only 4 of them eligible, then that could go down to 3 or even 2, once you factor in the other idol, & who is voted for first, becoming exempt for the rocks.  So, good odds.

Cochran, however, does not like those odds.  "Even if it was a 1 out of 30 that a rock would send me home, I wouldn't want to do it, because that's not what this game is about.  I love this game, I respect this game, but I don't respect reducing my game to a game of chance in pulling a rock out of a bag."  Well said.

Now that Dawn has a shiny new necklace & is guaranteed safety tonight, she's no so sure she wants to stand up for Cochran anymore.  She was only, you know, crying about her failure to stand up for him earlier, so what's a few more days?  "I feel like he's watching out for himself tonight & nobody else."  And what is it you're doing, Dawn?  And why should Cochran have any loyalty to these people at all?

Surprisingly, Brandon is not overcome with a desire to be truthful at tribal council, & he doesn't tell Steve Vai that Cochran will be voting with the Oompas tonight.  SECOND BRANDON TWIST!  It's like 1999 M. Night Shyamalan wrote this episode of Survivor!  Not a lot of talk before this vote as it seems clear it will go to the rocks, although Ozzy does tell everyone he has the Immunity Idol.  What is his problem?  Ozzy gives the Idol to Whitney.  First round of voting is split between Keith & Rick.  Second round...surprise! Keith, you're gone.  Jim is shocked, & when Cochran turns around to say "I swapped.  I'll explain later", Jim says "Coward".  I say "Bastard."  Cochran, you shouldn't have to explain anything.  And when someone calls you a coward for making a bold move in a game that's in your best interest, you correct him, because that move was the opposite of cowardice.  You blindsided your tribe of bullies, you flushed out the idol, & now you're on the side with more numbers, & nicer, smarter people.  Come on, Cochran, stand up to the bullies!  You're America's sweetheart!

Jim calls Cochran a coward for the second time, & Brandon (Brandon!) steps up & says "Don't talk to him like that. That's what you get for talking to people like that in the first place."  As they leave, Brandon tells Cochran, "Stay close to me."  OMG am I starting to like Brandon?

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