Survivor: China, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Episode 2 – What a Maroon
by Wesley Rice
In the second episode of this season, there were definitely some good things that happened. But will the bad and the ugly outweigh them? Which area did Leslie fall into? Look at the title of this article and the picture, right, for a hint. But even that doesn’t tell the full story. Read on!
Well, it seems there are quite a few people who felt like Leslie deserved to be added to the "Ugly" category last week due to her actions ditching the welcome ceremony. Though I can see the reasoning behind that, I felt that her actions were distinguishable from Courtney's. Why? Attitude.
Whereas Courtney effectively scoffed at their entire culture, Leslie seemed genuinely disconcerted by leaving early. Sure, Probst said that it wasn't a religious ceremony. But given that they were bowing in front of golden Buddha statues, I can see why she reacted the way she did. So, yes, Leslie did leave early. But it was due to her own religious beliefs, not because she considered their culture irrelevant.
What about this week? Well, there was definitely no shortage of things to hem and haw about, so let's have at it:
The mud challenge. Not only was the challenge fun to watch from a purely strategic aspect, but the combination of heavy mud and very physical play turned the challenge into a clothing optional event. Now I'm not condoning mud wrestling as family television, but the sea of blurs on the screen was nothing short of comical. And it also set up the hilarious line from Amanda at the end of the first round: "My mom is going to kill me!"
The Amanda-Todd-(Aaron) Alliance. Amanda and Todd are both playing a shrewd game. They both know that they can't trust each either, but they both also know that they have to gather some type of alliance to last in this game. So pulling Aaron in was quite clever. Now they have a puppet to serve as a target and a buffer vote between them. I love watching good strategic play in this game (since it's so rare). Now all they have to do is pull in James and Leslie, and they'll be set.
Todd’s reference to The Art of War (and retroactively, The Art of War itself). One thing I forgot to include in last week's "Good" category was Sun Tzu's The Art of War. It's awesome that they're including this literary work of art in the game and encouraging the players to read it. Even more awesome? That at least one of the players actually read it and is applying it to his play. When Todd warned the others to keep an eye on Jaime because the book mentioned stealing from one's enemies, I wanted to award him the million dollars right then and there!
Leslie trying to hook up with power players. Last week it was James. This week it's Todd. Leslie is definitely finding some strong allies in the game. And I know she completely screwed up later in the episode, but I'll get to that in a moment.
Ashley calling Dave, “Derek Zoolander.” Ha! Brilliant! And I haven't even seen the whole movie. I tried watching it on TBS once, but I fell asleep about a quarter of the way into it. Nonetheless, from what I have seen, her comparison was perfect. A former male model who's full of himself and says and does a lot of nonsensical things? Spot on.
Dave and Peih-Gee. Where to begin with these two? When they got back to the camp, they both went on forever affirming each other’s ideas. Great that they can get along, but it just never ended! If talk is cheap, I could buy these two for a nickel, because they kept getting cheaper as the show went on. And then Dave's response to Jaime with the "wishing hard" statement? What a jerk! She offered a positive team-building comment, and he blew her off like she was a two-year-old offering advice on car insurance. Of course it didn't stop there. Dave continued talking down to his teammates the rest of the episode. If you ask me, they voted off the wrong person in the last Tribal Council.
Dave’s fire pit. What the—!?
"Hey guys! Let's build a really cool, indestructible fire pit!" Okay, but while you do that, can we build our own fire over here so we'll have some food cooked for energy before the challenge?
"No! The fire pit comes first, and it will take three days to build!" But what about the challen—
"Silence! I rule you!"
The Mormon commercial interrupting Jaime’s reveal of the immunity letter. Did this happen to anyone else? I'm watching the show, and Jaime's just begun reading the letter she received at the end of the challenge, and then— BAM! Some dude in black and white is talking about how he needs his church to address modern needs. There's a picture of a tree and something else in black and white (it was all very surreal), and then suddenly we're back to the show and Jaime's moved on to do something else (giving away an immunity clue I think). Later, during the commercial break, I saw the commercial in its entirety and realized it was for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka the Mormon church). But still, what on earth is this stupid commercial doing interrupting my show! Crazy TV station operators must have fallen asleep and accidentally hit the commercial button. (These shows are all run off of a button system, right? Please don't shatter my reality.)
Leslie giving away the immunity idol clue to Todd. Son of a Baptist! What was she thinking? Never trust anyone in this game (especially with information that vital). What? You think he's going to find it and then just hand it over to you? Leslie went from playing this game somewhat well to donning her idiot cap in one fell swoop. As the great Bugs Bunny would say, "What a maroon!"
The mud challenge. For every Amanda that loses her top, you have a Jean-Robert that loses his pants. 'Nuff said.
Jean-Robert’s strategy. Speaking of Jean-Robert, I want to play him in a game of high stakes poker. I'll bet my car, my mortgage, it doesn't matter. If this is the extent of his strategic ability, I'm sure to win. Seriously. I haven't seen anyone with a strategy this deluded since Richard Hatch tried to beat the American legal system. Actually, come to think of it, his strategy is more than a little similar to Rich's All-Star approach – lie around, be lazy, and get people to hate you. And you remember what happened to Richard that time, Jean-Robert? That's right. Bamboozlement is headed your way!
Dave’s performance in the immunity challenge. He looked like a Weeble wobbling in that challenge (though I bet he could have fallen down were it not for Frosti coming to his rescue). It was almost like he had had nothing to eat or drink before the challenge... hmm... Don't worry, though, Dave. As soon as you get back from the challenge, you can sit, stare at, and draw comfort from your half-made fire pit.
Five goods again this week, but we were also stuck with four bads and three uglies. Already the bads and uglies outweigh the goods. This is not good, people. Literally. Of course, I still enjoyed the episode, so I'll let it pass this time. But next week, if the trend doesn't change, I might just have to chastise someone. Fear my chastisement, CBS!
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent Survivor: China articles here on RealityNewsOnline:
Wesley is an English teacher and writer from Wichita, KS. He's won over $7000 on the Facebook Texas Hold 'Em app, so he's clearly ready to take on Jean-Robert. He can be reached with questions, comments, or snide remarks at Musnud@gmail.com.