Cochran arrives on Redemption Island & Ozzy Christ Superstar is kind & empathetic. "Sorry buddy. It happens to the best of us." Underneath it, he is still his usual arrogant self. "I've got a way you can not let them win. All you gotta do is vote for me if I make it....if you had a choice between me & Coach..." Cochran looks around as if he's examining the structural integrity of the RI shelter. "It's kind of insulting that it's already a foregone conclusion in his mind that I'm going to lose at the duel." Ozzy promises to vote for Cochran if he makes it to the end, but we all know that's an empty promise, since Ozzy thinks "he really doesn't stand a chance." This is right after he told Cochran "Yeah, you have a chance."
It's morning on day 31, & Rick is drying/warming his socks over the fire. Brandon calls Albert over because he'd "like to say a morning prayer before everybody starts to disperse." Edna walks away, saying "I'm just gonna excuse myself since I'm not really part of this tribe."
Poor Edna, left out of the Prayer Circle right when she actually needs it. We haven't seen that much of her except for that one episode where she wouldn't shut up, but I really feel bad for her right now. Brandon is a giant douche, masquerading as a saint to pardon all the hurt he's caused - first with Mikayla, now with Edna. "He made it clear to me yesterday at tribal that I'm not part of this tribe." She makes an excellent indictment against Coach: "He's the one that's preaching day in & day out that this is reality. This is real life for these individuals & to treat me like a second class citizen...is that true life?" She talks to Coach about feeling deceived. Coach goes Dr. House & quietly says "Everybody gets deceived."
|You can't let things like honour & integrity get in the way of deception.|
Brandon starts yelling about tree mail from Sprint, but Edna will not be silenced until she's had her say. "I feel like one guy - a 19 year old high school dropout, who's advertised that he's crazy, gets to dictate to me the direction of my own destiny here?" Can I get a "bitch, please!"?
The Sprint phone that came with tree mail contains videos of family members, who no longer hide that they're actually on the island. Everyone tears up & Survivor continues to milk these moments for all they're worth. Brandon's Dad reminds him to "make the right decisions, not based in the game...make decisions based on your heart." Yeah, he's going to have second thoughts about that.
Everyone arrives at Redemption Island Arena for what promos have built up to be the duel to end all duels - David vs Goliath. The hobbits vs the Cave Troll. Linguini vs the evil chef from Ratatouille.
|As Albert is to Aladdin, so is Cochran to Linguini.|
The challenge involves using Coach's favourite all-purpose tool, the grappling hook, to pull 3 bags in. Then, using a 2 handed pulley system, manipulate a ball around a maze to get to the centre, while avoiding holes throughout. So, a puzzle challenge? My prayer circles worked! No one showed up for them (even though the time & place was well advertised in my last recap), so it ended up being just me & my cat (my husband backed out of the room slowly), but we worked it.
|Oh hai God. Can I has pzzle 4 cochran plz? kthnx|
Even though this was filmed months ago, I believe Yoda & I had something to do with there being a puzzle challenge, because prayer circles work! And if God doesn't listen to kittens, who will he listen to? Who?
Ozzy is doing well with the grappling hooks, & it takes Cochran a little time to figure it out. There is actually a cartoon "boing" sound when he screws up a toss. Probst is blatantly encouraging Cochran - it's obvious that he likes him, but also, I'm sure that as a producer he was salivating over the great underdog story this would be if Ozzy was taken out of the game for really realz by Cochran. Ozzy has his bags & is already on the ball maze, although going super slow. Before long, Cochran has all 3 of his bags, & he does not opt for the slow & thoughtful approach to the maze. He is sending his ball flying through the maze.
|This maze has been brought to you by The Dharma Initiative|
Ozzy's ball is almost at the centre, but drops through a hole, then it drops again soon after he's back on track. It continues to be very intense, & a very close race. There is accompanying music which sounds a lot like the Wildebeest stampede from The Lion King. For a moment, it is Cochran who has won, but his ball pops out of the centre spot & falls down a hole while Ozzy's ball settles in for the win. I am genuinely surprised, as I'd hoped all the promos & editing were leading up to an Ozzy defeat. Some might think Ozzy is gracious after this, but to me, Ozzy continues to be arrogant, speaking to Cochran like a 3 year old that he's having second thoughts about beating in a game of Tic Tac Toe. "You almost had me!" He does everything but scruff up his hair & give him a lollipop. Ugh.
Probst looks a little sad at the outcome. "Cochran - you almost did it." Cue emotional music. "Even though I didn't win, I was going up against probably one of the most confident challenge dominators to ever play this game. To come so close is dream fulfilment for me - wish fulfilment, because I love Survivor. I mean, I hope it comes through: I love, I breathe Survivor, & to be here, to be facing you, to hear you say 'Come on in, guys!' before a challenge & think I'm one of the guys! He's talking about me! It's one surreal moment after another, & I'm talking to kind of prevent myself from getting teary-eyed & stuff, because this has been by far the most incredible moment of my life."
Probst asks where the tears are coming from & Cochran replies, "It's coming from a realization that I'm not the person I necessarily thought I was. That I could be a better person who's more pleased with himself & the decisions that he makes, the things he pursues..."
Probst normally does not give a eulogy at this moment, but he does for Cochran. "Because you risked - because you weren't the most likely guy to be on this show, & you found your way out here & you were ridiculed, & people picked on you, & you didn't back down - in fact, you made one of the biggest moves still in this game - you better be a new guy, because I think a part of you died out here & a new part was reborn." Yes, it's cheesy, but I got a little choked up when Cochran threw his buff in the fire. It's the first time I've found the really realz departure emotional. Goodbye, Cochran.
With Cochran gone, attention returns to the remaining 6. Probst calls out their family members one by one - Sophie's Dad, Edna's sister, Rick's wife (she gets a little squeeze on her ass), Albert's Mom, Coach's brother (he makes me realize how weird it would be to see Coach dressed in normal guy clothes - seriously, picture Coach in a golf shirt!), & Brandon's Dad, who gets the most dramatic treatment of all. Epic, soaring flutes, like they've just found each other during a war in the Highlands of Scotland, & a close shot of a hand, clutching desperately at fabric, because are you really here, Dad? Is it really you?
Rick, Sophie & Edna head back to camp, without their loved ones, no doubt hoping there's tree mail containing a do-it-yourself Ozzy voodoo doll kit.
Everyone else spends their time on Redemption Island, where Ozzy is the only one without a family member, & also, he has to fish for 6 extra people, & also, what is with that sharp stabbing pain in his stomach? There's obvious product placement for the Sprint phone, but it makes sense so it's not terribly intrusive.
Coach has a proposition for Ozzy: a final 3 with the 2 of them & someone else, but whatever, he hasn't thought that far ahead. He gives Ozzy his word AS A CHRISTIAN MAN. Woah. "When I say 'As a Christian man', I promise you that this is what I'm going to do. That's an irrevocable promise. I want to take Ozzy to the end. 2 noble warriors fighting it out to see who the sole Survivor is." Um, you don't want to do that, Coach. Ozzy has 4 guaranteed votes on the jury, & you would have maybe 3, provided the rest of OompaLoompa that ends up on the jury would still vote for you, & we already know there's no guarantee of votes from Cochran. Not a good plan.
Brandon is talking strategy with his Dad, but all I hear is "I'm Jeff Probst, & I would love to wear this red shirt."
|"Bro, are you kidding me?" "You heard me, Bro."|
Brandon is so deluded that he's doing good things & making the right decisions - it's really hard to watch. "It's gonna be such an example to people, it's gonna change people's lives. Spit on the million dollars, spit on the sole survivor." Dad is surprised. "What are you here for then?" "I'm here to set an example for Christ, bro." Jesus is all like "Stop bringing me into this, bro!" Brandon states, "I'm gonna play this game from here on out with honour, with integrity, & like Christ would play it."
|But nobody offered me a million dollars to not get crucified, bro!|
Brandon is waiting for approval from his bro...er...Dad...& the expectant look in his eyes is actually a little heartbreaking. He truly thinks he's behaving in a saint-like manor, & he needs this validation, for his Dad to be proud of him. But Dad is confused, & maybe thinks Brandon is joking? OK, play your game with honour, but if there's a move that would put you in the final 3, you'd make that move, right? No? Are you kidding me? You're kidding me. That's hilarious, bro. You're not kidding me? "You came here to win the million dollars." Brandon tells his Dad "that's changed." At this point, Brandon's Dad must realize his advice about making decisions based on his heart & not on the game wasn't needed.
Brandon's Dad tries another strategy that just might get through to Brandon: preaching. "God also wants us to be wise. Be wise, make a good decision. Put your family in a good position, or you can just go preach on a street corner." Brandon is all smiles & no doubt. "Just trust that God is...dude, our lives have been planned out since we were born, bro." Well, that explains a lot.
Brandon's Dad tries reason: "You've got to put yourself in the final 3, & at that point, that's when it's up to God." And by God, I'm sure he means the jury. This guy has watched Survivor before, right?
Brandon's Dad tries convincing Coach to take Brandon into the final 3. Coach is not having any of it. "They're all cut of the same cloth. Brandon's Dad comes out here & basically tries to bully me into making sure his son goes all the way to the end & wins a million dollars."
The Immunity Challenge has nothing to do with balance for once. There are panels set up, & you can only move to an adjacent panel, & can only step on a panel one time. When you're out of moves, you're out, & last person standing wins immunity. It looks like they're playing pineapple-shaped Q*Bert.
At one point, Coach makes a dragon slayer movement & Probst comments on it. Coach is surprised, as it seems he was unaware of his own movement. Probst confirms with a demonstration. "It looked a little....dragon slayer." Coach is delighted that the transformation is actually happening. Prayer circles work!
Brandon is out of the challenge, & is explaining to Albert what his strategy was when Probst asks about it. "I just wanted to cover enough surface area to where a particular person didn't win immunity. Edna says "You can just use my name from now on." She's pissed, & upset that she "was unlucky enough to not be on the beach that first day." Coach wins individual immunity.
Back at camp, Brandon gets back on the road with his Apology Tour & apologizes to Edna. She should respect & understand his need to be honest, even if it's brutal sometimes, right? Nope. "Brandon did verbalize an apology but it's insincere." Brandon's lame apology doesn't go unnoticed by the others, & Sophie says, "Brandon, I think, often thinks an apology absolves all sins, & maybe that's true in church, but on Survivor, people are not as forgiving as Jesus Christ is." Or even Ozzy Christ, for that matter.
|You can still come to my surfer zen paradise, man. I forgive you.|
Edna breaks it down to Coach, Albert & Soph-a-Loph: "We've been preaching that our tribe is about honour, integrity, & playing this like it's real life, & I feel as though the actions of Brandon in the last 32 days aren't really consistent with that...I cannot accept the fact that our tribe is saying honour, integrity, honour, integrity, & then you allow such behaviour to happen in our camp."
There's a double rainbow, & I'm pretty sure I know what it means - they're all dead, on an island, in purgatory. We'll see if I'm right if Ozzy has to battle a smoke monster sometime soon.
Edna asks Coach to give it to her straight, & he does anything but. He speaks in such a roundabout manner that I can't even recap it without shifting the space-time continuum. (Hence the upcoming frozen donkey wheel challenge. You'll see.) Basically, Coach will not give Edna the immunity idol he's been holding on to, because if he plays it, no one will trust him anymore, & he'll be the next to go. His plan is to not play it at all. I am so impressed with Coach's game this season. At this point you know Edna is going home - he can't go back on his initial 5 alliance one tribal council away from achieving what he promised on Day 1 of this game. That's remarkable, & because of that, Edna has no hope.
At tribal, not much is said, aside from Coach revealing the tribe's mantra is "Honour, Loyalty & Integrity." Cochran acts like he's hearing this for the first time, but to viewers at home, it's kind of all we've heard from Coach.
Brandon is eerily calm, begins the encore of the Apology Tour, apologizing to Edna again. Edna is voted out, & Coach again goes for the hug, as if someone you just voted out wants to hug you....but she does.
Probst sums it up nicely, "From the beginning you've said it would be the 5 of you. Now what?" Silly Jeff, God has had everything planned for them since they were born. Didn't you know?