‘Survivor’ Recap: Odd Man Out


Is it possible that Tarzan, a grown man named after a cartoon with a walrus beard and a shirt out of the TJ Maxx Warehouse Sale from 1997 who throws his shitty underwear in a pot and wears a pair of polka-dot panties on his head, has been punking us all along? Is Tarzan stupid…like a fox? It can’t be possible. Or maybe it is? He is a surgeon who knows a lot of big words. Like a hairy Jessica Rabbit, he’s not dumb, he’s just played that way.

But when he comes back from kicking Kat to the Kurb, he tells Candice Bergen (an actress who is played by a woman named Kim) that her best bet is to keep him and Miss Congeniality Alycia and Christina and take the other two women to the end, which is honestly Candice Bergen’s best bet. He says that when she kicks him out at four, that he’ll lobby for her with the jury. Then, as soon as she leaves he tells Alycia the same thing. Was that double crossing? Was that lying? Was that…stategery?

Tarzan might have been waiting in the bushes all the time getting ready to pounce on this camp full of Janes at his first chance. First he set up Candice Bergen and Miss Congeniality after tribal. Then he went after Christina and Alycia again at camp after a ghost won the reward challenge and takes Sabrina and Candice Bergen hostage. (Personal to ghost: it is not a “fair” choice to take your two best friends with you on the reward challenge, just because you say it’s fair. No one else thought that was fair. That’s like calling a chocolate cake “low cal” and then being surprised when you get fat.)

But Tarzan’s reasoning is sound, especially after he convinces Christina and Miss Congeniality to take him to the end. Oh, I’m sorry. I forgot that Alycia declared herself HRH Sovereign Queen of All Games Social. That’s right. (Quick reminder: it was just a few weeks ago that Queen Carlotta of Mortville was cackling with queeny King Colton about throwing Christina in a fire because they were going to vote her out. That’s her social game?) Tarzan convinced Christina and Queen Congeniality to take him to the end. This is really their best bet. No one stands a chance against Candice Bergen if she makes it to the final. That’s just it. Sure, she has it sewn up and still has an idol to play, but if they’re dumb enough to let her sit on one of those final three stumps, they’re all dead. Tarzan would probably beat out Alycia and Christina, but these two probably don’t have a chance against anyone, even a ghost who can’t even hold $1 million in her see-through hands.

Christina and Queen Congeniality seem to know that, but Candice Bergen is also a player. She goes to the Queen’s court (which is a sandy-bottomed seat on the beach) and they start talking about Tarzan and Candice Bergen convinces Her Magesty that Tarzan is playing them both. He’s out to get them. She also uses the “lady card.”

It’s funny that, more than in years past when Survivor has segregated the cast by gender, race, or national origin (PS: I’d love a MENSA sponsored-season where one tribe is all smart and one is all dullards) that the Men vs. Women trope has really worked this time around. That may have to do with the fact that the tribes were right next to each other, which meant more antagonism and competition early between the tribes. But, yes, Candice puts the fear of a man winning the whole thing in the other girls’ minds and that is enough to send Tarzan home. There is always talk of a “woman’s alliance” but the only time it ever worked was when Pavarti jiggled her way to a win in Fans Vs. Favorites. Usually it either breaks down or never gets off the ground. But these girls have been together since the beginning, probably because the guys treated them like such crap when they were cold and starving at the beginning of the game.

The rest of the episode is just posturing. The Queen walks away with immunity after piecing together a bunch of fish bones like she’s an outcast from a Heathcliffe cartoon and they kick out Tarzan. There is some talk about exorcising a ghost, about getting this blond specter to go into the light and join Carol Anne, but it’s never going to happen. It probably should have. If Christina, a pinky toenail of a woman, did something other than just lie there and get caught in your socks she would have kept Tarzan, and so would the Queen. If they want to win (good luck!) they should have gotten rid of the blond ghost who has been using her supernatural powers to push Candice Bergen toward a win. Anyway, the finale is sort of anti-climatic at this point, we all know Candice is going to take it. The only way it will be exciting is if they find a way to get her out. But I don’t think they will. Murphy Brown 4eva.

I will leave you with this: A brief discussion about Kat at tribal council. Oh, she was pissed! She showed up with her face like a knuckle and she was ready to beat on everyone there. She called them bitches, she called them churls, she called the all sorts of words she doesn’t understand but Tarzan taught her in those quiet moments in the tent. Oh, Kat, you were so incredibly smug the whole game, especially when you went out at the end, that you deserve having to sit there with that bitter pill in your mouth and choke on it. And then, the ultimate indignity, Tarzan with his drawers on your head. Tarzan, who you hated so much, putting those green panties on his soiled forehead like an Indian headdress and dancing around the fire, calling and patting his mouth in some sort of tragic Native American conjuring spell. And now, here you are, crying because he lasted longer than you. Sucks to be you. Sucks, sucks, forever.

Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan


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