It was bound to happen. After 14 stellar, action-packed, compelling episodes, Arrow was going to have a less-than-thrilling hour. And despite the arrival of Roy Harper (welcome to the Arrow universe, Colton Haynes! I’ve missed your jaw line since Teen Wolf’s season finale…), tonight’s episode, “Dodger,” left me a little underwhelmed.
That’s not to say the episode was terrible! I still quite enjoyed it, but compared to what we’ve been given all season, it’s safe to say “Dodger” is not in my top 10 favorite episodes. Especially after last week’s amazing hour, where the majority was spent in flashbacks to the island and yet the plot was moved forward in major ways, not much happened tonight. Let’s get into it, shall we?
So Moira officially wants out of the “undertaking,” whatever that is (seriously, when are we going to get specifics on that?). Turns out, she isn’t completely, 100 percent evil! She’s worried that with the vigilante on her tail, her kids will be left orphans seeing as how her shady deals resulted in her first husband’s death and her current husband’s disappearance. Moira is a much more complicated character than we initially thought. Could there be hope for redemption in her future? She started out to fix the Glades, and cure the city. But what has her mission become, this mysterious “undertaking?”
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Any hopes of redemption are shot in my opinion, however, because the end of the episode found Moira issuing out a hit on Malcolm Merlyn via… China White! Seems to me that there could be better, less illegal ways of solving her problems, but hey, let’s see where this goes. And, thanks to the promos for next week, we know that China White is bringing Deadshot back into the picture. Awesome! Can’t wait to see how he deals with his grudge against Arrow (last we saw him, Arrow put an arrow through his eye…).
Meanwhile, now that Felicity is Team Arrow-lite (only working with Oliver and Diggle to find Walter), methinks she is starting to really get on board with Arrow’s mission. When Oliver decided to veer from The List to take down The Dodger – a man who uses hostages to steal for him – she started to see him in a different light. He truly is working for the good of Starling City. Little by little, she’s going to give in and join Team Arrow full time. She just doesn’t know it yet!
Team Arrow – well, the men at least – was also doing some work tonight when it came to ladies. That’s right, both Diggle and Oliver got dates! Diggle finally worked up the nerve to ask out Carly, his dead brother’s wife, which is definitely a weird situation but they were both clearly into each other. Oliver worked up the nerve to ask out his old friend, McKenna Hall, even though it started out as a diversion so he could plant tech on her cell phone in order to track The Dodger. Oliver didn’t protest too much when Felicity told him to flirt with McKenna, so clearly it wasn’t just for the mission.
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The boys of Team Arrow are out of practice when it comes to dating, however. Both Diggle and Oliver messed up their dates. Diggle made the smart decision to bring up his dead brother slash his date’s dead husband… bad move, dude. And Oliver… well, to be fair, McKenna was really giving him the third degree about his years on the island. Honey, you aren’t on Team Arrow. That’s too much, too soon. Back off. Understandably, Oliver got a little short with her when she wouldn’t relent on the island questioning, so his date also self-imploded.
Also not going great? Team Arrow’s mission on stopping The Dodger. They baited him with some expensive authentic artifact, but he knew Felicity was on to him. He gifted her with a new necklace – one that did not go well with her fancy dress, since it had a bomb in it. That’s right, The Dodger found his hostage. Thanks to Oliver’s quick thinking and driving, he was able to best The Dodger (duh.) and Felicity was able to make it through the night with her head still attached to her body.
Team Arrow’s dating lives were also saved: both Diggle and Oliver managed to turn things around and get their ladies to forgive them! Diggle made out with Carly in a park, and Oliver got a second date with McKenna. But with the good comes the bad: McKenna got a promotion to work with Det. Lance on finding the vigilante. That’s right, Oliver’s girlfriend is now hunting him! That’s not going to end well, now is it?
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Like I mentioned before, tonight’s episode also featured the arrival of Roy Harper, Thea’s new love interest. Their meet-cute occurred when Roy stole her purse, and when she had him arrested, he gave quite the sob story of why he steals so much. His mom was hooked on vertigo, and even though she kicked the habit she took so much of the drug that she is permanently messed up. Her hospital bills are out of control, and he needs to help her out. But something seemed a little too… well, too sad. Roy got teary-eyed a little too easily, didn’t he?
My suspicions turned out to be correct. His sob story was just that: a sob story. Roy lied about the whole thing to get Thea to take pity on him and drop the charges. At least he returned her purse! This is one relationship I can’t wait to see evolve. Plus, you know, that jaw line! Love me some Roy Harper/Colton Haynes.
In this week’s portion of island flashbacks, we see Oliver start to make some choices that truly changed him. When he was out getting herbs to help treat Slade Wilson’s infection from his gunshot wound, he found another guy tied up and beaten bloody. The guy said he was a shipwreck survivor and the army men beat him, but Oliver couldn’t take a chance on another person who might betray him. He left him in the cave still tied up and nursed Slade back to health without even mentioning the prisoner. His survival instincts truly kicked in, and he’s living by Slade’s code: everyone on the island is living for himself. I’ve been wondering when we were going to start seeing Oliver become Arrow, and I think we’ve just commenced that journey.
The best quotes of the night:
"You’re not going to last an hour out there." -Slade Wilson"I guess you better hope I make it back in 45 minutes then." -Oliver
"You really have no idea how rich his family is, do you?" -Diggle
"I’m not Robin Hood." -Oliver
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
Hello everyone and welcome to Survivor: Caramoan – Fans Vs. Favorites 2: This Time It's Personal. Did I sound like former talk show host Jeff Probst when I said that? I shouted it from the top of a very skinny mountain next to the sea as helicopters swooped by. I know that's what you pictured, right? Right.
Alright, so it's Fans Vs. "Favorites" again, and I put that in quotes because, seriously, I don't remember half of these people. I mean their faces and names look familiar, but it's sort of like someone who you dated twice 10 years ago: the circumstances are hazy, but you know you have some history together. Even the show knew it didn't have a bunch of real stunners because they had to remind us who each one of them was before the show started. It's not like they had "Boston Rob," "Colby Donaldson," "Sue Hawk," and "Cirie Fields." I can picture every one of them, remember how they played and would be super stoked to see all of them again (except for "Boston Rob," enough with that guy already). Maybe with a few more famous names, the episode wouldn't have been the series' lowest-rated of all time. Only 9 million people tuned in, which is down more than 20%. Sad.
There was a lot of breaking with tradition last night. There was no scramble from the boat and trek to camp. There was hardly any talk of shelter building and fire creation. There was even more than one challenge. Part of what we love about Survivor is the ritual of the whole thing, how it's like the same machine every year filled with different parts. This year it was a new machine and parts of it were better than others.
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I loved that they had the two tribes, introduced all the "Favorites" (twice! so we remember) and then had them get to a reward challenge right away. Each team would send a man and a woman to go get a life preserver, and then they had to run back and touch a pole while holding it. The two teams would be wrestling. Oh, and it was in the water. This was hard and physical, so thank God they're doing it right when they got off the boat, because it would really suck once they'd been starving for 10 days.
The "Favorites" totally dominated, and the whole thing was boring until Malcolm, my dream angel with his flat stomach and long hair and aw-shucks demeanor (who looks just as good this season as he did last season), and Reynold, who revolutionized Wrap and is also a comely young gentleman (though he is no Malcolm), went at it and ripped each other's pants off. There was a lot of netherworld blurring during their battle, as Malcolm's trunks were completely around his knees and both tribes really got to see, well, all that he's made off. Oh, if only I had been there for that challenge. If only.
So the "Favorites" won and they got a flint and some beans. I was going to say that winning reward challenges isn't worth a hill of beans in this world but, well, I would be wrong.
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Both tribes went back to camp and it was pretty boring. Some guy with a giant beard that makes me feel creepy crawleys all over my body made a shelter and mean Marine made fire. There are two sexy guys on the Fans, but none hotter than Firefighter Eddie — who wears red shorts, has rippling muscles, and should never open his mouth. Like ever. Ever never ever. He's cocky attitude is ruining the illusion. Reynold is pretty hot too, and they made a "cool kids" foursome (I have a movie called Cool Kids Foursome that I probably shouldn't talk about on a family website) with two of the blandly attractive young ladies, so now they think they are in charge of the game. Oh please. Every time this happens the cool kids get sent home for underestimating the nerds. This isn't high school, mostly because there is $1 million involved.
Back at Camp "Favorite," Francesca kept talking about how she didn't want to get voted out first again and, well, you knew that was going to happen. Sorry lady, you're a goner. Philip, who is a certifiable crazy person — as Ice Cream Scooper Eric accurately pointed out — was going around creating an alliance that consisted of everyone in the camp, then giving them nicknames that made my scrotum die of embarrassment. It just shriveled up and fell off and it was awful. Thanks, Philip.
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They went off to the big challenge, where they had to climb up the world's most elaborate Gymboree play station and throw a bunch of crates over the edge. Then someone had to collect the sand bags from the smashed crates and throw them into six targets. It was basically a big game of Corn Hole. Challenge, challenge, challenge; boring, boring, boring. The Fans came back from behind to win. It would appear that my darling Malcolm is not as good at Corn Holing as I would really like him to be. Reynold, on the other hand, he's the corn holer to watch. My affection may be shifting!
Back at camp, Francesca decided to settle an old score and round up votes for Philip. It seemed like that was a lock, but then Andrea told Philip that Francesca was after him, and he got everyone to vote for Francesca. Then Ice Cream Scooper Eric and The Lesser Hantz convinced Francesca to vote for Andrea because no one trusts her. She thought she has six votes and would be safe. She was wrong, and went home first for the second time. Man, that has got to sting.
The first time is a fluke, but the second time? That's practically a pattern. Oh, poor Francesca. That is like the saddest thing to ever happen. She played way too hard though. You could say it's a rookie mistake, and considering she's spent an entire six days over two seasons on the island, she is still a rookie. It would have been nice to see her play though, there was a lot of fire in her.
The return and quick dismissal of Francesca reminds me of one of the best ideas I've ever had, it's called Survivor: First Out where they take all the people who were voted out first and give them a second chance in the game. The people who were eliminated are usually over-players like Francesca — total loons who no one wants to spend even more than three days with, or the somehow old and infirm. Wouldn't it be good to give them all redemption? Wouldn't a season of hustlers and crazies make for the best season ever? And you only need 16 over 26 seasons, so 10 of the people can sit out (mostly the infirm). What do you say Mark Burnett? I think it's a million dollar idea. You're welcome.
Entering into its 26th season, Survivor is obsessed with bringing returning players back into the game — all of the last several iterations of the still-popular franchise have featured at least two if not more returning players. They also went on a spate of getting quasi-famous people to appear, like Blair from The Facts of Life, but that craze seemed to be at an end when the show announced its cast today (even though anyone with a web browser with a Google window figured out who the returning players would be after the last reunion special).
The punctuation-filled season Survivor: Caramoan – Fans Vs. Favorites will feature 10 returning castaways from five previous seasons, most of which are still in very recent memory. That means a lot of these people have already played together in the past. Here are the people returning: Erik Reichenbach (Survivor: Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites), Corinne Kaplan (Survivor: Gabon), Brenda Lowe (Survivor: Nicaragua), Andrea Boehlke (Survivor: Redemption Island), Francesca Hogi (Survivor: Redemption Island), Phillip Sheppard (Survivor: Redemption Island), John Cochran (Survivor: South Pacific), Brandon Hantz (Survivor: South Pacific), Dawn Meehan (Survivor: South Pacific), and Malcolm Freberg (Survivor: Philippines). Malcolm, with his long hair and rippling muscular body, really is my favorite. He's my favorite to watch padding along the beach in his board shorts, and my favorite to dream about cuddling up to in the cold, dark night. Oh, Malcolm.
But, um, aren't you guys forgetting the "favorites"? I can't even remember half of these people, and the ones that I really do remember (Phillip, Cochran, Brandon, Dawn) I remember as being really annoying, or I remember them getting voted out for being lousy players. This season should be, um, interesting. Of course there are also a bunch of newbies — from the hot fire fighter to the hot beauty queen to the hot guy with a beard and a lot of tattoos who's not really that hot at all. There's all of them. Check out the video below.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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Sometimes the editing on Survivor gives away exactly what is going to happen in an episode and sometimes it tries to obfuscate what is actually going to happen so we might think there is some suspense that isn't really there. Last night it was one of those first kinds of episodes, especially because aAOIPHg woihgA OIOIoiw hegaoiwe hgoiejto iepoihIOA HOIGHaiopa wehgaiop Weehgopia. Did you get that last part? Oh, maybe not. I was speaking in tongues. I was taken over by the Lord.
It must be because the episode started off with our girl Roxy telling Team Ponytail that Malcolm, the gorgeous chiseled statue of a man that I want to be my leader had fallen for the booby trap that is Angie. Angie, in case you missed it, is a booby trap, a joke that Roxy will use four times, because aAIHGpoihda gawAiohewg pioehPOAIH pashopgwe booby trap. My Main Man Malcolm and Angie were all shacked up at night and cuddling because, as Angie put it, "She was so cold!" Yeah, right. The reason I would drape my limbs over the fine physical specimen that is known as Malcolm wouldn't be because I was cold, it would be because he is hot. Just admit it. But they don't want to seem like a couple, because couples are dangerous things, even this early in the game. There is nothing as bad as an unbreakable alliance. After all this talk about their relationship (and even Malcolm admitted that he couldn't allow himself to get "booty blinded") I knew that Team Ponytail was going to lose and Angie would be in danger of going home.
Now that I'm starting to write about it, I can't help but remember what a boring episode this was. I blame the rain. For most of it, everyone was huddled in their shelters without anywhere to go and they were all together so they couldn't talk smack about their tribemates or anything. Yawn.
Over at Team Blair, RC Cola found the immunity idol clue in the rice bag (only a week late, Team Blair) and immediately shared it with Abi. Alright, Dr. Moylan is going to diagnose Abi as having a serious case of Bonkers. This is a serious medical condition that seems to afflict people on reality television programs in disproportionate numbers. Soda and Abi formed an alliance as soon as they fell off the boat together and now they're finding out that they're not that compatible, mostly because Abi, as we have determined, is afflicted with Bonkers. Even though Soda shared her immunity clue with Abi, she is still jealous that Soda wants to pour herself all over Mike Skupin. So, she trusts Soda, but not really. I would not keep Abi around. Bonkers is a serious illness and it can be contagious in close quarters.
Speaking of Blair, she is not making any friends on Team Blair. In fact, as soon as she walks away they all laugh and joke about her and talk about how she's probably off looking for the hidden immunity idol. Yeah, the only way she's going to find that idol is if her tears wash away the soil it is buried under and it pops through the earth like a zombie fist out of the grave. Yes, Blair is going off to bawl. She says that she is really introverted unless she is playing a role and that she knows she as to work on her people skills, but this isn't the time for that. Yes it is! There is a huge prize on the line. Get to work talking to some people, Blair. And if you can't pull out some strength from inside, then pretend that you're playing a role of a very energetic and outgoing person. You can do it.
Over at Team Lesbian, things are especially boring, because we never see anyone over there but Penner, who is determined to find the hidden immunity idol. He knows it's at camp so he waits for everyone to leave and digs around like crazy for it, even almost getting caught once. Then, he finally deduces what anyone who saw the crate the rice came in knew right away: that giant bulbous thing on the top of it is the hidden immunity idol, hidden in plain sight. Yup, we were right. Now Penner has one. Great.
Is it time for the challenge? Oh good, because all this sitting in the rain was getting dreary. At the challenge in teams of two each tribe has to pull a sled across the sand and pick up some tiles and then run back with them. Then, once they get all the tiles, they have to use them to solve three puzzles. Whoever solves first wins! Challenge, challenge, challenge, boring, boring, boring, and Team Blair pulls out a victory. Team Lesbian comes in second. Which means, as predicted by the editing at the top of the show, Team Ponytail is going to tribal council for the second time.
Back at camp, it's going to be either Roxy or Angie and Roxy is all Asifhaoip shgvsaoid pghvaOPIshg voIPAEHgvoi AHgpiHEgvpoi hjdgvh God Save me. OK, I have a grievance with Survivor. When did it get so Jesusy? In recent seasons it seems like we have more and more outspoken and very vocal Christian contestants (remember when Coach kept making everyone get in a prayer circle or that blonde Jesus missionary who kicked butt on Redemption Island?). Now not only do we have Blair, who has a red phone where she talks directly to God, but there is Roxy, a seminary student who speaks in tongues. It's just getting to be too much. Denise is my new favorite player because she was all, "If I want to win, I'm not praying to God to let me win, I'm gonna go out there and work and let me win." Thank you Denise. I also love that there's "something about Roxy" that she doesn't like. She doesn't like that Roxy is all about Jesus, and I gotta say, I'm with her on this.
But Roxy does work really hard to stay in the game, going around telling everyone that will listen that they have to break up my imaginary boyfriend Malcolm and that harlot Angie who is, if you didn't get this before, a booby trap. Angie, who has boobies that are trapped, she is not doing much. She's kind of bouncing around and talking to Malcolm and rubbing her buxom body all over his firm chest and flat stomach and running her hands through his dreamy long hair and squeezing his buttocks. OK, she's not really, but I wish I was.
They go to tribal council and they face Jeff Probst, who is the arbiter and defender of "Proper Survivor Play." Probst as a host is really starting to piss me off. He thinks that there is only one way to play this game (by giving it your all) and only one appropriate reaction to everything that happens and if the players don't react the only way he deems fit, he yells at them. For instance, when he asks Angie what she would change about about her tribe she says, "That we could get cookies!" First of all, Probsty, this is a joke. That you don't get that this is a joke just shows what a sincere square you are. Secondly, who cares if that is her answer? Everyone in the tribe knows this is ridiculous and they're going to process that information however they see fit and act accordingly. Don't try to press them into a decision of your making. You are supposed to be an impartial person who expedites the action, you are not supposed to tell us what is right and what is wrong and whether or not we should have a damn sweet. Thirdly, and there is a thirdly, if you were sitting in the rain for a week with nothing to eat but rice and mud pies, you'd probably want a God damned (sorry Roxy) cookie too.
Everyone decides to get rid of Roxy, probably because she didn't want to participate in the challenge because she didn't have enough water and didn't really try, but Denise and I are going to pretend that it was because of Jesus. Malcolm and Angie went back to camp and cuddle and she squeezed him just a little bit closer that night, knowing that it was this strapping Paul Bunyon that kept her safe.
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
[Photo Credit: CBS]
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So, Candice Bergen won this whole damn thing. Good for you, Candice Bergen. You deserved it. Honestly this finale was rather a let down to watch, mostly because Candice Bergen's win was as inevitable as a Hunger Games sequel. The only real surprise was that she didn't take Miss Congeniality Alycia and Sad Sack Christina to the end but decided to stick out her alliance with Sabrina and some blonde ghost that kept wafting through the episode. But all of that is moot because, well, she won anyway.
Instead of going through the episode step-by-step (you probably already watched it!) let's do a round up of things about it that I loved and that I hated.
Things I Loved:
The Winner: Candice Bergen clearly deserved to win. All season she dominated the game physically, strategically, and socially. She was the only one who seemed to do anything. Mike (or Matt, maybe. Whatever, it was one of the guys with abs) said at the final tribal that the flaw in her game is that she got all the blame for the blindsides. The problem is that with the blame comes the credit. Sabrina and Chelsea tried to pretend like they had game, but they really couldn't point to one thing that they did to get them to the finals. Their arguments were all, "Oh, we tried not to do anything. We looked like we didn't do shit on purpose." Yeah, that's a winning strategy.
Speaking of Kat, I loved her performance at the final tribal. I knew she was going to do something Krazy because the producers saved her until last, but when she got up there, she didn't rant and ramble about how she got stabbed in the back, she went on this crazy diatribe about how she is forgiving everyone because she has had a million open-heart surgeries and that is why she thinks life is too short and she wants to have kids some day and she poured us all a margarita so dig in! Yeah, it didn't make much sense, but it was cool.
The best outpouring of emotion all night, and perhaps all season, was Sabrina's breakdown on the beach the final day when she told the camera that she was a laid-off teacher and really wished that she could have shared this experience with all of the kids who live in the tough neighborhood where she teaches to show that that anything is possible. I'm welling up even now. I'm shocked that there wasn't some Kleenex Crying Booth for all the women to sob in. Get in that product placement!
The final final challenge, where the ladies had to maneuver little buckets through a rebar maze that looks like it was taken from the opening montage of the Cosby Show and stack them all up on top. This is much better than the endurance challenges that used to cap a Survivor season, because everyone has an equal shot. Even Christina almost made it to the end, and she hasn't done anything since episode two where she got fire from the boys. Candice Bergen won, of course. She also won the challenge before, which was awesomely complicated. The contestants had to untie a bunch of knots, pull out a board, open a gate, walk on a balance beam maze, cross s cargo net, pick up puzzle pieces (with more knots), do a puzzle, count a bunch of stuff, run up a ramp, climb a ladder, put a combination from the puzzle into device pull out a sword, run around the island three times on one leg, say "How much Probst would a Jeff Probst Probst if a Jeff Probst could Probst Probst," sit for an interview with the hostesses of The Talk, finish a dissertation on French existentialism, and then run for president. Whoever got the most votes from the electoral college would win.
Is it just me or were the last few season of Survivor really Jesus-y? I'm glad we got a finale where only Sabrina thanked God (and in a nice, tasteful manner) and there was no prayer circle, intoning the name of the savior, or discussion of Christian morals. Thank Christ.
NEXT: Things I Hated (Another Final Three?! Sigh.)
Things I Hated:
The March of the Fallen Comrades: The one thing I will say about the travesty of Redemption Island is that it got rid of the traditional "march of the fallen comrades," where the final players walk by all the torches of the contestants voted out and remember each one. While this is a nice reminder of those who got kicked out (especially early in the game), it's a huge waste of time and guaranteed fast-forward while watching. Can't we find something else to fill up the time?
The Final Three:
Sorry, Survivor but it's time to go back to having a final two like you used to in the old days. Not only does it rob the final immunity challenge winner of deciding exactly who he or she sits next to in the finale, it means that, even at the final four, there are enough people to force a tie and have all hell break loose. I think that's bullshit. Also there is something way more inherently dramatic about a duo facing off rather than a polyamorous triumvirate, especially when one of those three hardly ever gets any votes. It's never been anywhere close to a three-way tie and in the years where there were three people taken to the final, there is always one or more people who don't really deserve to be there.
The Final Tribal Council:
Remember when people used to actually ask the final contestants a question and let them answer and that someone (like Todd Herzog in China) could talk their way into $1 million clams? Those days are gone. Now the final tribal council is the "airing of grievances" like Mr. Constanza has at Festivus. Each player gets up there, talks about themselves, doesn't ask a question, and then sits back down. It's like that annoying girl in your college class who started every comment she made with, "When I did a semester in Prague... " We don't care about you, Prague, or your statement. And stop being such selfish narcissists.
Miss Congeniality Alycia:
You were never a contender. You were never in control. You never played a good game. You never had pawns. Candice Bergen had you beat the whole mother floundering time. The rest is just your ego and delusion.
Tarzan's Big Words:
His using a thesaurus like a bludgeon is not a character trait, it was an annoying affectation like his big, bushy mustache and his shirt, which was a cast off from a Color Me Badd video from 1997. Tarzan, we know you're smart. You don't have to tell us you're acute, adept, agile, alert, apt, astute, bold, brainy, bright, brilliant, brisk, canny, clever, crafty, effective, eggheaded, fresh, genius, good, impertinent, ingenious, keen, knowing, long-haired, nervy, nimble, on the ball, pert, pointed, quick, quick-witted, ready, resourceful, sassy, sharp, shrewd, skull, slick, whiz, and wise too.
Intervention with Jeff Probst:
Yes, we know that the host of the game has to give commentary and he has to wring out as much drama as possible from the proceedings, but since when is Jeff Probst the authority on how to play the game of Survivor? He yells at Sabrina at the challenges for not being more of a force. Um, Jeff, did you ever think she might be trying not to win on purpose? Isn't not winning as much of a strategic maneuver as winning? Then he cusses out Christina for not trying harder to convince the other women to keep her. She played the entire game with a shrug, why would you think she would fight now? And isn't it okay to not fight? He may disagree with it, but it is her game and she's welcome to play it any way she likes. I would like to see Jeff commenting more on what is going on and trying to influence the proceedings a little less.
That's all I have to say for now. What did you love or hate? Do you love that they're coming up with a reason to bring Colton back next season or do you hate them for it? Let me know!
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
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Twenty-second installment of the reality/adventure series where a group of contestants are stranded in a remote region of the world. They must fend for themselves, compete in challenges, avoid elimination and win a $1 million prize.