Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Survivor: South Pacific - Episode Eight: An Out-Of-Business Double Agent

Take a wild guess as to who's got control over this situation.
My first order of business in this post is going to be a rant against spoilers. I don't like them in general, but I am especially opposed to them when it comes to Survivor. Having avoided any kind of trailers beyond the preview at the end of the previous episode, I was in blissful oblivion as to whether or not the merge was indeed going to take place. But not most other people apparently! Nope. Because the merger was all over the previews leading up to the episode. I find this to be a huge shame and would like to send my outcry of disapproval to the world.

Now, let's get to the episode!

1. Clearly, Ozzy is a terrible Thespian. But that doesn't mean he can't kick butt at a challenge.

To be honest, I thought that Ozzy's lying skills were better during the episode than they had seemed to be in the previews at the end of the last episode. But that's not saying much... He was too verbose and ultimately, too hard to buy. Pair that with Upolu being surprisingly - and awesomely - sharp, and Ozzy's master plan is half foiled. Thankfully, the rest of it played out like a smooth sail slicing the ocean air of the South Pacific: merge - check; winning the duel - check. And for just a few minutes, I reveled in seeing the Ozzy I know and love do what he does best.

2. Contrary to his belief, Cochran is the worst double agent ever. 

Having been largely under-appreciated in his tribe thus far, Cochran had the perfect opportunity to prove his worth beyond his physical inadequacies during this merge. As the token "double agent," Cochran tasted the joys of power... and I'm afraid he's lost them now forever [forever being the remainder of the 39 days on the island...].

Let's break his actions down...

Good moves: returning the Immunity Idol to Ozzy (a noble move, and the right thing to establish trust with Ozzy and with his tribe, regardless of his decision in the vote if done right); infiltrating the opposing tribe (getting allies, establishing connections which he could use to his advantage later in the game - again, regardless of his decision in the vote if done right); considering his options (flipping is not always a bad move, and in Cochran's case, could certainly bear its fruit - again, if done right).

Bad moves: letting the incredibly smart and sneaky Upolu tribe (namely Coach, Sophie and Albert) lodge its place into his heart... and mind (whatever his final decision, it should remain his and not result in manipulation - no matter how brilliant); blurt out Savaii's plan to protect Whitney at Tribal Council without any reciprocal sharing of information on Upolu's side (please, tell me how that was strategic, because I'd like to know); turn to Ozzy and Jim guilt-ridden and say "It was me; I'll explain" (if that was his idea of a disaster recovery plan, he needs to go back to watching Survivor from home).

You might notice that I do not criticize or praise his decision to flip. I certainly think it has its merits, and could very well have been the best decision for him. What I do have issues with is his lack of taking responsibility and standing up for his actions. Had he gotten Dawn to flip with him, he would have held more cards. As it stands now, he's made himself Enemy #1 in his original tribe, and the new weakling to be protected by Upolu, who already has its hands full with Edna. I don't see how this will bode well for Cochran, and I certainly don't see how this qualifies as "one of the biggest moves in Survivor history" and a bigger one than Ozzy's last week - even if that one did only partially pan out.

The silent mastermind of this South Pacific operation.
A surprise and a treat to watch. 
Again this week, two larger points, so I'll wrap it up here with one last remark about my allegiances towards the tribes and players: Oddly enough, though my favorite players this season are Coach, Sophie and Albert from Upolu, I find myself rooting for Savaii in challenges. It's rather strange and I will continue to try and put a finger on it. Don't worry, you'll be the first to know when I do.

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