There's really only 1 reason this episode made me smile at all, & that is Corinne, who is finally getting some screen-time. She points out that Brandon spilled everyone's rice & beans, ruining it even for those he claimed to like. Phillip is bewildered as to the source of Brandon's hate-on for him. "I don't believe I ever had one cross word with him."
At Gota, Reynold is pleased with himself as he has found Treemail. He has a knack for these things, don't you know! He reads the message which indicates a celebration, & Michael shows his excitement by performing Cups from Pitch Perfect. It is glorious.
Clutch guy Reynold is just hoping for something to shift soon in the game. The Handsome's velvety voice carries on the Caramoan wind until it tickles Probst's ear. Your will be done!
The Fans & Faves stand separate for the last time in the game, at least physically. Matt addresses The Faves & tells them he feels sorry for what they went through with Brandon. The Beard adds, Sometimes I feel so sorry, I regret this, the hurting of you. But you make me so unhappy, I'd take my life and leave love with you. I'd kill myself for you, I'd kill you for myself. The Faves are slightly weirded out at how intense he became, but they'll take it. Thank you, bearded one!
A crushing of eggs leaves us with 2 new tribes.
A confident Cochran says "The game has started anew."
Indeed, this new swaggier Cochran was on full display as he greeted new tribe-mate (& future showmance partner??) Julia, who is overwhelmed by the PUA skills J-Coch is throwing at her. Perhaps they will have a similar flirtatious relationship like the short-lived challenge-based one of Cochran & Laura that existed in my head.
|Get it, girl.|
Probst asks Matt how he feels about being on the new Bikal. Matt says he's psyched, & The Beard says It all seems so unreal. I'm a man cut in half in this world, left in my misery. Probst moves on, quickly. Brenda is also very happy with her tribe, as the new Gota seems to have a lot of muscle. Probst sends both tribes off with a new flint & a bag of rice, then repeats what Cochran said earlier, but less eloquently. "This game just started over."
Thank goodness the bromance stayed intact, as Reyndie returns to the Gota camp.
|"We are the young, good-looking tribe."|
Reyndie is feeling comfortable in the presence of other male hotties, so they reveal everything about their former tribe. Sherri is in the water with other female hotties, so she also reveals everything. In Sherri's case, I believe it was a fangirling moment, but with the boys...do they even know who Erik is? They certainly don't know who Malcolm is. Reynold says, "If you guys want to vote [Sherri] out, we're with you." Eddie echoes his bro, "Yeah, we don't care." Well, you kind of should care.
Erik says, "I look at Reynold & I think, kind of, Used Car Salesman. He's got these baby, beautiful baby blue eyes, & he's talking the talk, but it's not all it seems."
|Not trusting any hotties this time around.|
Over with the new Bikal tribe, Corinne describes the newest members. "The new people are Matt, Julia, & then. there's. Michael. Oh, do I have a special place in my heart for a gay. If I was a moron & hadn't played this game before, I would turn on my entire alliance just to align with a gay. That's how much I like gays."
How offensive! How prejudiced! Shut it, PC Police. Listen, I am blessed with the same affliction (gaydoration), & it's one of the reasons I wanted, nay, needed to get back into theatre after a 12 year hiatus. I can measure my most fabulous years by my proximity to gay friends. It's a real problem. Now, I've seen some people get on Corinne's case for this (my beloved Penner included), but saying "a gay" isn't offensive, at least when it's dripping with affection, as it is here. It's like saying "ginger" - intent is everything. And yes, she says it A LOT throughout the episode, but come on. We know how edited this show is, & we've all said something clever only to repeat it to different people & how was she to know they'd take every single instance of her speaking of her love for gays & air them all? Leave her alone, I love her. I'd go gay for her if I thought that's what she meant. (Is it what you meant, Corinne? Just say the word.)
Meanwhile, Phillip is assessing Stanford student Julia, whom he calls "Smart, but not college-educated like myself."
|Being The Specialist is hard.|
Over at Gota, Malcolm & Andrea share what they've learned from The Fans on their tribe. Malcolm says, "So far, you couldn't ask for more from a really dysfunctional group of people you're gonna join up with." Andrea asks Malcolm if he has an idol, because she dreamed he did. What...me? No! Malcolm has his Idol in his buff on his wrist, & he proudly states in a confessional, "I'm an accomplished liar when it comes to women." Young women everywhere are indignant, while Cougars are out buying new push-up bras in record numbers. No lies are needed on this side of the fence, you strapping young man. Now release The Hair & fetch me another Pinot Grigio.
|What have you done?|
At Bikal, Michael's resemblance to Damon Lindelof brings a Dharma spider out of hiding.
Phillip tells Corinne he's been sussing out Julia, & Corinne says what we're all thinking. "He's the worst federal agent I've ever met. What cases did he crack, like, what was he working on? And is that the reason our country's in such a mess?" She later tells an equally WTF-faced Dawn "He needs a warm glass of shut-the-hell-up."
|"What the fuck?" "What the fudge?"|
Off to the Immunity Challenge, where the new Gota & Bikal will compete against each other in the same challenge that would have been Fans & Favourites last week. Two at a time, Survivors race to collect huge crates. When all 6 are collected, they will be used to create a staircase spelling out "Fans vs Favourites." First tribe to finish wins Immunity.
Gota is the first to start on the puzzle-solving leg, as Bikal sends Phillip out several times in a row, & he is exhausted. Matt's like, "Come on, Dawn! We got this!" But The Beard says, Look at the ground as you choke me up; does it taste like tequila, or failure? Dawn mouths "help me" to her tribe-mates as they bring the last crate back. Julia takes the lead for the puzzle-solving, but makes a mistake that costs them the challenge.
Probst awards Immunity with the words "Domination by Gota." Gota leaves, hoisting the idol, & Dawn is crying as she is close enough to hear what
|Domination consumes you, then calls you a friend. It's a twisted fall - binds are like steel & manipulates the will to be.|
Phillip wants Corinne out, but will be patient & wait until the right moment to get rid of her. The Specialist knows The Fans on their new Bikal tribe are top priority. Corinne feels the same about Phillip. "On a scale of, like, 1 to on-an-airplane-next-to-a-baby-annoying, he is on-an-airplane-next-to-a-baby-annoying & the baby has diarrhea." Thank you, CBS, for finally giving us some Corinne.
Phillip & The Beard are in hanging in the shelter, & The Beard just wants to make it to the merge with a strong tribe. I'm just a man, like you - a man that stands his ground with strength. Phillip says "We're gonna vote out The Girl." Poor Julia. Even her tribe-mates don't know her name. Phillip sees Matt & Michael as better assets to have moving forward. The Beard agrees: It's a safe assumption that you'd want to save me now. But I'll never face castration, for your sacred sow is left slaughtered.
Phillip is like, FINALLY, a guy who gets my flair for the dramatic! It's been 15 minutes, so let's talk StealthRUs! The Specialist tells M&M that they'll be given an assignment by a Jr Team member or something, & it will be a test. M&M struggle to keep a straight face as they report for duty with the former federal agent. Can't you see I'm easily bothered by persistence? One step from lashing out at you. You want in to get under my skin & call yourself a friend? In a confessional, The Beard asks, What's behind the badge? But he knows Phillip's whole deal, so if he has to kiss his ass to stay in the game, he'll do it.
|I serve too many masters.|
The 3 Fans on Bikal discuss their options in the woods. The Girl says "The best scenario would be that they want to vote for one of their people, & that they would bring us in, & say 'we want your vote to get rid of this person'." I so badly want to mock her for saying something so obvious, but I just feel awful because this is the most we've heard from her this far.
Michael suggests they all vote for Cochran (!!), but Julia may have been charmed by the sweater vest, so she suggests Dawn. Who needs a Mom trying to scope your macking skillz, amIright? That seems to be enough for M&M to convince Julia that it's a foolproof plan, except that there's only 3 of them, & nobody mentioned trying to sway a Fave, so what gives, Stanford girl? Matt says "As long as it's not me." High noon, your doom.
Cochran wants to vote off Julia, crushing my showmance dreams, but notes that Matt & Michael are openly very close with each other, & like any Survivor power couple, they must be separated.
|Forget Julia - I'm officially a Cochran + Ocean Throne shipper.|
Corinne would rather keep Matt over Julia. "She's really boring...& she really is the one that cost us the challenge...Julia hasn't said 2 words to me. She genuinely does not contribute anything except a nasally voice." Nobody thinks Matt has an idol, as he keeps telling them I can't hide. They're off to Tribal, & The Beard comments as he ignites his torch: I am the burning inferno. I am the flame thrower. Corinne quickly makes up her mind.
At Tribal Council, Matt says he couldn't be happier with this group of people (this is where I discover that there is no such thing as a happy Pantera song.) Corinne says the decision has been hard, Phillip says his decision will be based on loyalty, & Cochran says the other tribe is "the Bold & Beautiful group", so I guess we know which tribe Shamar would have ended up on, had he still been in the game.
Time to vote, & The Beard votes for Julia, saying Rise above the lies. Morals on a backwards globe, a sin to you - for me it's hope. Nobody plays an idol, & votes are read. Two votes for The Girl, one for Dawn, & NOOOOOOO - Matt is voted out.
The Beard turns to the tribe & says, Look at me now. I'm broken. Inherit my life - I'm broken. One day we all will die; a cliched fact of life. Force fed to make us heed. Inbred to sponge our bleed. Every warning, a leaking rubber, a poison apple for mingled blood. Too young for ones, delusion the lifestyle cost. Venereal Mother embrace the loss. That's how. Look at you now. You're broken. Inherit your life. He walks out to stunned silence.
So, we say goodbye to an early favourite amongst The Fans...but he will make an appearance in my Lego recap in a few weeks, because my Lego Matt is too perfect to sit it out. Thanks, Matt, for being awesome. My son loved you, & you inspired me to try out a ginger beard of my own, & it won me a signed buff from Probst.
There were lyrics from 13 Pantera songs in this recap. Metal points to anyone who can list them WITHOUT googling. I realize I have no way of knowing if you googled them or not, but Dimebag Darrell is watching from beyond the grave, & he will know. You don't want to disappoint Dimebag.