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Happy Thanksgiving!

Last night’s Survivor was a combination of never-before-seen footage, insights into alliances and background on the different castaways. In other words, CBS wants to draw out the season with an additional episode during the Thanksgiving holiday. No matter, it was entertaining and certainly shed some light on the current players of Te Tuna.

The episode begins contrasting each original tribes’ dynamics. The Savaii, led primarily by Ozzy, is a laid back, go-with-the-flow group, with Dawn and Cochran not fitting in as well as their counterparts. A scene is shown where Cochran, the only male not out fishing for the tribe, must gut the day’s catches. As a self-proclaimed PETA adherent, he has a hard time with this gig. Across the island, Coach’s focus is on creating a family bond while working hard to build a solid camp.

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Coach admits that if he had to choose a leader between Ozzy and him, he’d likely choose Ozzy due to his fishing skills. Footage of Coach’s newly forged friendship with Brandon Hantz Crazy Pants reveals that the two are both “men of their word”… except that at this point BHCP has yet to reveal he is the nephew of the diabolical and infamous Russell Hantz. Even early on, Sophie is wary of her teammate.

Papa Bear shares a soft spot for Cochran, hoping to be a sort of father figure/mojo guru to the slightly awkward law student. A scene is shown where Cochran practices his seduction skills on Whitney, who is giving just as much practical advice as Papa Bear, though their opinions are totally opposite. Where is Barney Stinson when you need him?

Because I didn’t want to vomit enough when I saw it the first time, the pig picking immunity challenge is revisited. The following day, Mikalya (you remember, the lingerie football star whose sexuality both angered and enticed BHCP) gets on Coach’s bad side –seriously — for using too much sugar in her coffee. Watching her selfishness disgusts him, so, knowing how much the pork challenge disgusted her, he roasts some fat in front of her and then fake dry heaves in her face. Um, what a stretch from the man of God that wants to foster a family on the island, but I can’t say I’m shocked.

Bom chicka bom wow… Elyse requests a story from Cochran while he swings her in a hammock. What story does he decide to tell? The one where he wore a diaper to kindergarten so he didn’t have waste his time going to use the actual facilities. It didn’t end well. I won’t elaborate. :)

At Upolu, Brandon’s meltdowns (plural of course) are highlighted. The tribe (minus Coach who seems to consider BHCP’s weaknesses as a plus for him) clearly sees him as a liability. Also showcased at Savaii is Keith and Whitney’s budding romance. I hope her husband isn’t watching… well, ex-husband now. Poor Cochran is stuck having so share a bamboo bunk with the frisky couple. Yikes.

Watching these extra scenes also brings to light a lot of Cochran bullying which seems worse than what was shown on the regular episodes. Cochran, however, doesn’t let his tribe mates’ (mainly Ozzy’s) poor behavior deter him from establishing himself as someone who plans to strategically make and break alliances throughout the course of the game. He even predicts his back-and-forth loyalty long before the merge.

Five-and-oh Christine loses to Ozzy in a Redemption Duel after he sacrifices himself in what is proclaimed to be the most dramatic rose ceremony ever crazy Survivor strategy ever. Once the tribes merge, Coach is dumbfounded to learn how lacking his veteran counterpart is in actual survivor skills… other than fishing. He’s disgusted to see how pathetic Savaii living was before the merge. After watching the Savaii sleeping in and (Ozzy’s twitching is priceless), Coach sees the opportunity to woo an isolated Cochran to the former Upolu. After comparing each Te Tuna tribe member to mythology, he knights Cochran as Hercules, the most dangerous and cunning player in the game. Coach dubs himself Zues, with Cochran claiming to be one of his children. Clearly Cochran is drinking the Kool-Aid, but at least he remembers enough from high school to remember that Zues ate his children.

Ozzy makes a potentially fatal flaw by not wanting to share the fish he’s caught with “the enemy.” He’s not on board for feeding the competition, but Dawn convinces him otherwise. He’s not making any friends with the former Upolu which could be an issue later in the game. I mean, he is currently on Redemption Island. He and Coach have a conversation where both claim to be the other’s ally while lying to each other’s face. Yeah, they both totally bought the other’s line of B.S… NOT!

Cochran’s loyalty shift changes the game and he’s described as “signing the death warrant” for his former tribe. Upolu is far from stable though, as BHCP continues to prove his instability could be a liability. Te Tuna decides, at Brandon’s suggestion, to kill one of the tribe chickens and he promptly takes one out to slaughter only to lose the runaway fowl into the jungle. Rancher Rick wonders how hard it is to kill a chicken… you just need to spin it around by its neck or bite off it’s head — if you’re trying to look cool. BCHP immediately goes for the second and final (main egg laying) bird, and the Te Tuna are watching aghast, as having zero chickens doesn’t seem like the most stellar or thought-out idea. Brandon is coming unhinged. Additionally, Albert is all about shaking up the game, but Sophie is trying to slow him down.

Next time, when the show resumes tensions are running high. Edna fears that she can’t trust Coach and Cochran solidifies and even stronger bond with Benjamin Coach.

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS FILLER EPISODE? DID IT SHINE ANY LIGHT ON THE SURVIVOR HAPPENINGS THUS FAR? WITH ALL THE NON-COCHRAN SAVAII ON REDEMPTION ISLAND, WHO DO YOU THINK WILL BE THE NEXT TO GO.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS! BEST WISHES FOR A SAFE AND WONDERFUL HOLIDAY! :)

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