Survivor I, Episode 8 in Retrospectby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
In the episode itself, the former members of Pagong were starting to catch on to the voting alliance. Jenna noticed that there were four votes for Gretchen and, in a show of extreme brilliance, figured they were all from Tagi. Sean, in another "duh" statement, said there was "no good reason, other than strategy, to vote Gretchen off." Um, Sean, strategy is the best reason to have done it! Gervase said that if it happened again, they'd know it was an alliance and he'd break it up. Newsflash: By then you're dead. Indeed, that's precisely what happened.
Kelly started the episode by noting that it's a game, you can't take it personally, and if you came to have fun you should have gone to summer camp. She's right. But by the end of the episode she'd already changed her tune and said, "I feel like a backstabber; I feel like a liar." It was easy to say that it's nothing personal until she became friendly with them. But then she was not able to continue to handle the situation. While she still voted with the alliance this episode, it wouldn't last long.
Still, Kelly and Sue sat together with their arms around each other while watching the videos, showing how close they were at the time. Of course, we all know that this would turn 180 degrees by the end of their stay on the island, but we didn't know at the time.
Meanwhile, Rich was still squeezing every ounce of gratitude he could get from fishing. It helped that Greg tried to get some fish and came back with nothing useful. Perhaps here is where the hunger mentioned by Kelly really did have an effect. Who would want to get rid of the only person bringing in food?
Greg made his famous statement about the possibility of voting off Colleen, nothing that you make friends and later have to cut them loose: "You look right in the kitten's eye and you snap its neck." Gruesome, but true.
One strange aspect of this episode was that several people were talking about how much Jenna missed her daughters. Jenna herself talked about how she could go see them if she was booted; Greg also mentioned it; Gervase and Colleen voted for her, possibly on that same idea! The problem is that she couldn't leave, and everybody should have known this. She would have had to stick around to be on the jury until the very end. (See Why Was the Survivor Jury So Pissed?.)
If any of them had thought this through, maybe they would have considered the idea of allying with each other against the Tagi alliance. But they didn't. While they talked about how they could get together, they never brought it to fruition. They just really didn't get it.
At Tribal Council, host Jeff Probst continued to meddle in the game in ways he shouldn't have. First he (amusingly, considering the final outcome) asked Richard how you balance the ruthlessness needed to get to the final two with the likeability you need to win. Richard totally avoided the question and just talked about his fishing.
So Probst moved on to Susan and Kelly to ask them, straight-out, if there was an alliance. Susan looked like a deer caught in the headlights – we had already seen what a poor liar she is. Kelly tried to laugh it off by asking if she has to answer that question, but it was a pretty bad lie as well. I think this helped set up Kelly to revolt against the alliance – when she was caught in front of them talking about it. Probst should never had interfered like that, though it ended up having no overall effect because the Pagong just weren't quick enough on the uptake.
In the voting, as noted above, the Pagong mostly voted for Jenna rather than facing the Tagi alliance head-on. It would put the final nail into their coffin as the alliance got rid of Greg, with Sean's alphabetical help. But, frankly, even if Jenna had been voted off, the alliance would still have come out ahead!
The episode ended with another none-too-insightful mini-interview, this one with Jenna, talking about how horrible it was to not get the video from her daughters. You'd think the producers could come up with some discussion that we haven't already seen a hundred times by now. Ah well.
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