Surviving the Outback, Episode 4: Bloodbathby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Damn, what an episode! The first tie vote of Survivor II -- and the first deadlock ever.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Episode 4 begins on Day 10, as Ogakor sleeps huddled together in the early morning. Well, most of Ogakor. Tina and Keith had slept outside the group area, and both awoke early and decided to get the canoe for some fishing. Suddenly, Jerri pops up, grabs her gear, and acts like she and Mitchell were planning to go out on the water -- almost as if Tina and Keith weren't there.
Needless to say, this rather annoys Tina and Keith, neither of which are particularly in love with Jerri anyway. After a short discussion, the two elders decide it isn't worth the fight and just head out to fish from the shore, where they can talk to each other in privacy.
From that discussion, we learn that both of them are fairly annoyed from the previous Tribal Council, when host Jeff Probst asked Jerri about her friends, and she mentioned Amber, Colby, and Mitchell, but left out the other two. This should have especially angered Tina, since she had been a partner to their removal of Maralyn! So, Tina and Keith found out where they stood -- outside in the Outback.
Tina noted that the younger group had a lot of chemistry between them, leaving the two 40-year-olds out. Keith added that he felt Jerri, the apparent leader of the younger troupe, would ride the team until it was time to take out the knife and cut somebody's throat. But, he said, he is “not gonna be pushed around by a bartender wannabe actress.” You go, Keith!
Jerri, for her part, realized that what she said at Council had basically challenged people to vote against her, and rather wished she hadn't said it. Too late.
Over in Kucha, things were much calmer. And why shouldn't they be? They've won two immunity challenges in a row! Treemail brought the next reward challenge in the form of an egg and a note to build a chicken coop. Even Kimmi, the pseudo-vegetarian, got into the act of helping to build it, because she felt her head might be on the chopping block for almost failing at the earlier challenge when she refused to eat cow's brain.
Jeff, always willing to connect everything to a complaint about Mike, said he hopes to win the challenge just so Mike will stop fishing and strutting around.
The challenge itself was an extra-large version of a puzzle we've all played. It held 8 squares in a 3x3 sliding arrangement, with one empty area. The idea was to move all the squares around to unscramble a map. In a fairly close race, Kucha won, and followed the now-unscrambled map to their reward: 3 egg-laying chickens and one rooster. Nick comforted Kimmi as she wondered aloud why they couldn't give some tofu as a reward instead. Yeah, I'm sure that's just what the rest of the tribe wants.
Day 11 dawned with Mike getting ready to kill one of the chickens right off the bat. As he explains to the camera, he is now unnecessary for food -- which kills one of his strategies. So he figures he'll encourage the tribe to eat all three chickens ASAP so they are hungry again.
Before he can knife the first one, though, Nick sees him and they call the rest of the group together to make sure everybody agrees. Eventually, they get consent from everybody (well, except Kimmi, but that hardly matters) and Rodger, the farmer, helps get the chicken ready to meet its maker.
Meanwhile, back at the scheming Ogakor camp, a forest fire is burning its way towards them. They can even hear the trees falling and burning and see ash blowing in the wind. Amber says it's a concern, but they should be okay as long as they head for the water. A forest fire raging through camp? Now that would be real survival!
Tina is worried more about her survival in the tribe, though, and figures she has nothing to lose by trying to convince Mitchell and Colby that Jerri will do anything it takes to win. She describes Jerri as “the most bossy, domineering person I've ever met.” Yes, and you helped her get rid of Maralyn last week, didn't you?
Colby, meanwhile, says the “powers that be” have determined that Keith will be the next one to go. I guess “powers that be” = “Jerri.” Keith, though, is spending a lot of time with Colby and trying to bring him back from the Dark Side, even going so far as to tell him that Jerri “ain't good enough for you. That girl will cut your throat in a heartbeat.” Colby seems to acknowledge this as true.
Mitchell, admittedly hungry and weak, talks strategy with Jerri and had noticed all the time Colby and Keith were spending together. Jerri admits that she feels a little threatened, and Amber points out that Colby can be swayed easily, so they're worried.
So Jerri goes out with Colby on a pig hunt, to try to convince him to stick with the other youngins. They figure that the fire, which has pretty much stopped for now, would have pushed wildlife towards them. But they don't have any luck in that arena, nor does Jerri seem to have much luck in getting a straight answer out of Colby. He tells her not to lose sleep over it, and offers a deal where it would be Colby, Jerri, and Amber to the end. Jerri doesn't seem terribly comforted by this.
After the commercial break, we get a disclaimer that some upcoming scenes might not be appropriate for young viewers. Jeez, we didn't even get those when Rich went naked in the original series! And, frankly, the thing that scared me the most after that message was Jeff's snoring.
But the reason they put it in there had to do with what happened after that. Nick, sitting near the river, sees a pig in the water and calls out. Mike grabs a knife and gives chase immediately. They both come to a standstill and Mike stares down the pig. He calls for some help to surround it, and Nick comes, brandishing a stick and hoping it won't charge him. Mike, obviously less worried than Nick, goes for the pig and stabs it repeatedly. As Nick describes it to the rest of the tribe, “it was very gross and brutal.”
They were all glad Kimmi had not been around, but were also all quite happy to have more food. Alicia notes, there's “lots of butchering going on in Kucha camp today.” Mike, always one to go a little overboard, wipes some of the pig's blood on his face as war paint.
Kimmi returns (where was she? Beats me) and immediately hears about what happened. Jeff tells her, with apparent glee, about how there will be lots of pork and ham and bacon soon. Kimmi gets more and more upset, yelling, “I cannot deal with these people” and “What is wrong with you?” and finally, “This is a sick tribe!” I guess she would have been happier in Ogakor, where they can't get much in the way of real food.
While he may not have earned any points with Kimmi, Mike does think his status went up overall in the group, and Alicia's comments seem to bear that out. She talks about her appreciation of how Mike went out and did this for the tribe, which says a lot about his character. Even Jeff is ecstatic with their new food source, and all of them are happy to eat it. Well, okay, not all of them -- but at this point I'd be hard pressed to say that Kimmi's opinion counts very much to the rest of the group.
And now it's time for the next immunity challenge, “Survivor Knows Best.” This is a question and answer game where the first to get seven questions right wins immunity. First, Probst gives Mike the opportunity to brag to Ogakor about catching the pig, which, modest guy that he is, Mike makes the best of.
Ogakor, of course, is feeling some pressure to win this one so they have a chance of going into the merger as equals with Kucha. But it was not to be.
Mike and Mitchell square off on the first question: To magnetize a compass needle, use silk, cotton, wood, or running water. The answer is silk, and both get it right. Elisabeth and Keith get a true/false question: The number of flies in Australia increased after the Europeans arrived. Both say it's true, and are correct.
Alicia and Amber get the question: In order to purify water, do you boil it for 5 minutes, 10, 15, or 20? The correct answer is 10, and Amber gets it right. Alicia does not, so Ogakor is one up.
At this point, they go into fast-forward mode and the viewer doesn't really see what's going on as they blur through several rounds. Then we get to the point where they are tied at 6 correct answers each. Alicia, having missed three previous attempts, must answer for Kucha; Mitchell is called out again for Ogakor. The question asks which animal has toxic eggs that should not be touched. Both get the correct answer. The next tiebreaker asks what you should never do when building a fire: use dead wood, build it near a rock slide, have wet rocks nearby, or use a car battery to start it. Mitchell goes for the rock slide, Alicia for the wet rocks. Alicia wins and practically makes out with the immunity idol as they give Ogakor their third walk to Tribal Council in a row.
So again the focus at the Ogakor camp is on how the votes will tally. Mitchell feels Keith is instigating trouble and so he will have plenty to say to the camera as he writes his name down for the vote. Keith, the evil instigator that he is, says Jerri likes to think of herself as the leader, but he plans to shake things up at the vote. Colby says the vote will be the toughest yet, because he disagrees with the “plan” for who to vote off this time. He thinks the person they plan to vote for is a good asset, and is obviously thinking about voting against the Jerri alliance.
In Tribal Council, Probst brings up the fire and the Kucha pig kill. Colby says he is ticked off that they haven't seen any pigs or other dinner animals, but he's not discouraged.
Well, if he wasn't before, Probst helps out by noting bluntly, “Kucha is kicking your ass!” He asks how they will vote to try to help the team survive.
Tina says voting is difficult because you are pulled in different directions -- by loyalty, self-survival, and team-survival. “It's brutal.”
Indeed, tonight's vote is brutal.
Mitchell, as promised, votes against Keith because he's adding tension. Yeah, that's it. It's all Keith; I'm sure Jerri has nothing to do with it, Mitch.
Tina votes against Mitchell, noting that it wasn't her original intent, but a new scheme had been developed on the way over. So, she says, in the spirit of the Olympics, “Let the games begin.”
Probst tallies the votes and they come to a 3-3 ties between Mitchell and Keith (Jerri and Amber stayed true to Mitchell; Colby switched sides).
So Keith and Mitchell get to plead their cases before the others go back to vote again. Keith says he is a competitor, will fight to the bitter end to win, and will continue to do all the hard work he's been doing. Surprisingly, Mitchell says he agrees with Keith -- that he wants to win but he also wants his team to beat Kucha, and he is in no condition to help them. He says he's drained and Keith is stronger.
While such blunt honesty is certainly unexpected, it changes nothing, and we have a 2-2 tie. Jerri says she promised Mitchell that she wouldn't vote against him and she is staying true to her word. How sweet. Tina says she didn't come to the Outback to starve herself and face the elements just so they could keep the weakest person.
So, what happens now? There was never such a deadlock in the first series. Probst explains that in this case, they go back to previous votes. Whoever had the most votes against them earlier must leave. Since the younger group had voted as a bloc previously, all directed at the same people (Kel and then Maralyn), Keith had not received a single vote. Mitchell, however, had received one vote the previous Council -- ironically from Keith, himself. So, by a single vote cast the in previous Council, Mitchell was cast out of the Ogakor tribe. And then there were five.
In his parting words, Mitchell was clearly astonished and admitted he had been taken by surprise. But he was happy that at least he got to eat. He said he felt a little betrayed but also congratulated them for pulling the wool over his eyes so well.
We're definitely seeing a difference this series versus the first one. Ogakor is down two people compared to Kucha, and their alliance is already breaking apart. Will Colby stick with Tina and Keith, or will he be drawn back to Jerri? Heck, will they ever win another immunity challenge?!
Between the chickens, the pig, and Colby's knife in Mitchell's back, this episode was a real bloodbath.