Full Show Index
Advertise With Us
Write For Us
A Bravo Finale for Survivorby Ken Kellam III -- 12/28/2002
View Printable version of this article
Survivor: Marquesas was pretty riveting television, but the ending, and subsequent reunion show, were a complete disappointment. By contrast, Survivor: Thailand was lacking at times, due to some of the more interesting characters being booted. The finale and reunion show, however, were worth setting your VCR for. Now that the dust has settled, let's look back and see what transpired to make for such a riveting three hours.
Okay, granted that the beginning wasn't so hot. Did anyone else get a little tired of Clay smirking every time someone was ousted? He seemed to be awfully proud of himself, but I wonder if he ended up with calluses on his hands due to all the hanging-on he did to Brian's coattails. Yes, deception is part of the game, but his gloating over Ted's ouster made him even less likable, if that was possible. Also notable was Helen's comment that, "I'll bet Ted was furious." No duh, Helen, especially after he took you on the reward with him, and you still voted him out. But of course, you would get yours later on.
Then it got better. Just when you think Mark Burnett has no more tricks up his sleeve, he throws us all for another loop. Let's start with the immunity challenge with four left. While the idea of combining previous challenges into one certainly wasn't new, it did catch some of us off-guard; namely, because we expected another "fallen comrades" challenge. It seems sometimes as if Burnett delights in "outwitting" his audience, and he did so with this challenge.
Now let's look at the action itself. Did anyone expect Brian to win after he was the last one to dig out his wicker-ball? Appropriately, from that moment on, he dug himself out of a hole. His persistence, combined with the others' lack of balance, allowed him to go from worst to first. And then came perhaps the hardest part: devouring the tarantula. But unlike his wife, who opted out of consuming disgusting grub, Brian just toughed it out, chewed, swallowed, and won immunity for the second straight time. But one question: Why wasn't his tongue all black after chomping down the arachnid? Who knows.
Then it came time for the post-challenge/pre-tribal council plotting, and one question came to mind: Where was Helen when Brian, Clay, and Jan were discussing strategy? Was she so secure in her position that she didn't feel the need to monitor what was going on?
Okay, time for the final four tribal council. Helen was asked how you could trust anyone, and she said, "you can't." Apparently, however, she thought she could trust Brian. Of course, this is the same person who said she was playing both sides of the fence, and expected everyone else to be doing the same. Once it was time for the vote, she seemed genuinely surprised to see her name on a trio of ballots, because she, like Ted before her, thought Jan was going.
Her parting comments made for good TV, but did nothing to elevate this writer's opinion of her. When she said there were three knives in her back, and Brian's hurt the deepest, I couldn't help but wonder if Stacey Stillman was off somewhere rolling her eyes.
From there came more arrogance from Clay. Like he did after the "Ted" vote, he seemed to delight in the fact the Helen was now relegated to jury duty. His comment that they slapped her silly right in front of the others, and she still had to vote for one of them, made it harder still to root for him, bankruptcy or not.
Then came a look back at the players that had been shown the door. One question came to mind: Did we HAVE to see Tanya throwing up again? Then again, you could argue that it was her defining moment, as she was, for all intents and purposes, this season's "Jessie Camacho," being booted for her own good.
Now, it was on to the final immunity challenge of the game. Would we finally see "Fallen Comrades," or would it be "Hands on the Idol, part whatever"? Again, credit Burnett and company for coming up with another original. While it WAS endurance related, it clearly wasn't going to take as long as the "idol" challenge. This challenge showed, in my view, Brian in a nutshell: Cool under pressure. While Clay and Jan were visibly uncomfortable, Brian, when asked how he was doing, said he was just relaxing, and he made it easy to believe too.
Clearly the most athletic of the three remaining, he easily outlasted both Clay and Jan to win his third immunity in a row. However, there's an irony here: The person who won the last three immunities, ironically, was probably the person who needed them least to advance. Contrast this with Kelly from Survivor 1, who wouldn't have even made final four if she hadn't gone on an immunity tear. Of course, like Kelly before him, Brian still had to face one more hurdle: Final tribal council.
Fittingly, before Brian and Clay faced the jury, they had to deal with a Thai rainstorm, perhaps a sign of things to come.
Brian actually showed himself to be somewhat likeable by admitting to the camera that he had no idea how the votes were going to go. In other words, he didn't control EVERYTHING about the game.
So now it's on to the final eviction vote of the game, which was Brian's alone. Is anyone else glad Clay didn't win this, so we didn't have to listen to more of his disparaging comments? Brian, when voting out Jan, noted that it had been a pleasure, and said nothing negative about her, at least as far as we can see.1 2 3 Next-->
View Printable version of this article