Phillip is frustrated with Corinne fraternizing with the enemy. Why can't The Dominatrix follow protocol? Did she not get the memo on the Stealth R Us letterhead? Who promoted her to Double Agent, & if she is indeed a double agent, why has she not come in for a debriefing with the Specialist yet? "Unacceptable".
Phillip takes Cochran aside & tells him that he wants Corinne gone. Maybe even next. The Intelligence advises against this, as the SRU agents on Gota will not understand how they've lost one of their own, come the merge. It's Budapest all over again! Phillip, who is playing the part of a former federal agent, then plays the part of a federal agent. Hold on to your comm devices - it's about to get meta.
|"This is me as a federal agent: I don't trust that woman."|
I have to say, I think the Stealth R Us talk would be a great distraction from boredom &/or strategy talk. I can also see how it would get old really fast, but pretending to be a spy (whether you're on a TV show competing for 1 million dollars, or, say, at a Food & Wine show) just seems fun.
|"Copy that." -The Ferreiras, 2011 (Time-travelling agents!)|
The next morning, Dawn reads the Treemail describing the next challenge: "The strong must carry the weak", & Cochran's ears perk up. "That means there's a place in the challenge for me." He continues in a confessional, "If the success in this challenge depends on the existence of weak people, we got it." As far as Phillip is concerned, he'll carry the burden of strength as long as it's upper body strength that is required. "Without being arrogant, I'm almost certain I can win it." Phillip explains his workout routine to Julia & Michael, then arm wrestles Cochran.
After Phillip both defeats & trains him, Cochran remarks "You're proving your incredible strength."
|But do you have a sweet ocean throne for your confessionals?|
The Reward Challenge will have all tribe-mates linked together on a rope, each carrying 20lb sand bags. Starting opposite each other on an oval course, the first tribe to catch up to the other wins coffee & sweets.
Malcolm lays out the strategy for Gota - they're stronger, so all they need to do is stay even, & then they can overtake a weary Bikal easily. And they shall look amazing while doing so.
Phillip insists on leading Bikal because he doesn't want to be stuck behind anyone while he's hauling ass. It ends up with Julia THE RACE CAR DRIVER at the rear of Bikal when the only thing they had to do was RACE AROUND AN OVAL. Once the race begins, Phillip quickly tires & Bikal trudges slowly through the water. In Phillip's defence, he didn't say anything about his lower body strength. Turns out he needs to add some leg reps into his routine. With every request to speed up from his tribe, Phillip comes up with an excuse: "The girls will tire", "I think you'll tire more", or simply "No". Probst, of course, berates Bikal every step of the way.
Unsurprisingly, Gota easily catches Bikal.
|Former NFL cheerleader Brenda helped from the sidelines.|
Bikal heads out to enjoy their Coffee Shop reward, & like a good Mom, Dawn attempts to make her tribe feel better by assuring them that Gota is just going to end up with diarrhea, & it's a sucky reward anyway.
Alpha Beta Reynold stays true to frat boy form, shouting "Spring Break, no parents!" at the Caramoan Coffee Shop. He's totes bummed that none of the chicks flashed him, because that has always worked in the past.
Reynold is right at home indulging "in glorious abundance. This reward is right in my sweet spot. No pun intended."
|OK, I see the car salesman thing now, guys.|
Back at Bikal, Phillip is blaming the other tribe's strength for the loss. Corinne is having none of it, as her confessional explains: "You tubby lunchbox. I have yet to see an ab on you, I don't see any pectoral muscles...I mean, he's an amoeba....he's 10 lbs of potatoes in a 5lb sack. I mean, he's just a mess." While I think Phillip's in pretty damn good shape for 53, Corinne is always full of the LOLZ.
But is Corinne's assault on Phillip the harshest thing anyone said about a tribe-mate in this episode? NO. That title goes to Cochran's description of Julia. Yes, Cochran. Cochran's getting his fierce on. "Julia...is such a non-entity out here. I'm tempted to say that she has, like, a vanilla personality, but I feel like that would be doing a great disservice to the flavour of vanilla. I mean, people actively seek out vanilla-flavoured products. Children clamour to get a vanilla ice cream cone. Nobody's clamouring for anything Julia-flavoured."
|You best be steppin'.|
Can we talk about this Gota-worthy Instagram pic for a minute? There is much to love about it. It can be used in a variety of situations:
Attitude: "I ain't got time for that"
Confidence: "You're going to choose me. I know it."
Or a "Hold up - do you need to pick up this phone right now?" reminder, which is what I used it for when it was my lock screen for a few days until my son saw it & asked "Where did Dad go?". I love this photo a lot, & will probably overuse it in the weeks to come. NOT SORRY.
Malcolm is setting himself up for the merge at Gota. He knows the 4 Alpha males will be targeted, so he pledges himself & Erik to Alpha Beta. The Handsome & the Hotness can always use more bros, especially bros with such luxurious hair, so it is on like beer pong. Reynold asks if Malcolm would tell him if he was ever in danger. "If you can protect yourself, I'll tell you..." "I HAVE THE IDOL." Nicely done.
At Bikal, Dawn is unimpressed with Julia. "She wasn't seeming very aware of the game." Julia seeks Dawn's advice, & Dawn says she won't tell anyone. When she inevitably tells Phillip, he calls Julia "an idiot". "She has managed to commit several foo pas." While this is hysterical, I have a friend who once ordered quesadillas phonetically, so foo pas is actually not the biggest pronunciation faux pas I've ever heard.
The Immunity Challenge involves rowing, diving, lifting, grapple-hooking, unlocking & pulling. It's pretty even & uneventful aside from gratuitous Brenda ass-shots, & Gota wins.
Faced with another Tribal Council, Phillip tells Cochran that he threw the challenge. Does Cochran buy it?
|Go home, Phillip. You're drunk.|
"It all makes sense. We had to throw the challenge in order to get rid of one of these Fans, or else we were doomed. And it's the only reason why Phillip was unable to successfully throw a grappling hook. I mean, it's complete crap. You can't make up this level of delusion, & that's what excites me about playing with Phillip. I think he's actually, at this point, convinced that he threw the challenge...Can you imagine the speech he would have given back at camp had he successfully thrown a grappling hook, the spy's basic tool, at a challenge, & won the challenge for us? It's absurd."
The decision is made to split the votes between Julia & Michael, with the desired outcome of Julia evaporating into the ether, to be reunited with her personality. This is what happens, after some pumped-up drama between Corinne & Phillip over casting votes toward Michael.
I don't usually participate in the speculation side of Survivor blogging, but I was so impressed this episode with Cochran's position. He seems like Phillip's right-hand man, which despite sounding less-than promising, means he'll be keeping tabs on him. Phillip confided in him several times this episode, each time with Cochran playing along, or talking some sense into him, or arm wrestling with him - whatever was needed. Phillip & Corinne will be gunning for each other long before anyone goes after Cochran. When the merge comes, he won't be seen as a threat for challenges, & I'm assuming everyone will want to work with him because ADORABLE.
|Insert cheque for $1,000,000 here.|
It's still a few weeks away, but with the third season of Game of Thrones premiering this weekend, & their Join the Realm marketing push, I couldn't resist.
|The LEGO recap is coming.|
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