For an episode with the most predictable of outcomes, this week’s Survivor: South Pacific contained plenty of juicy intrigue. If your DVR gorged on Kardashian marathons over Thanksgiving (horror!) and didn’t have room for Days of Our Te Tunas, here’s a shortlist of things you’ll need to know:
* Coach returned from last week’s Tribal Council and asked his six remaining tribemates: “Doesn’t this feel great?” Um, yeah, if your idea of a kumbaya experience is hanging in a septet of hungry, unwashed, paranoid people are getting ready to turn on each other for a chance at $1 million.
* Cochran sagely noted that his tribemates’ constant use of the word “family” conjured up scary images of the Manson clan. “I don’t wanna be Sharon Tate in this scenario,” he fretted in a grimly comic moment.
* Upolu’s core alliance of five — Coach, Albert, Sophie, Rick, and Brandon — debated whether Cochran deserved to leap over Edna in the pecking order, seeing how his betrayal of Savaii gave them a crucial numbers advantage. Coach and Albert lobbied for Cochran, but Sophie was unconvinced, and summed it up pretty succinctly: “He made an awful choice!”
* Ozzy won a really boring Redemption Island challenge involving ugly clay dishware. Whitney and Dawn were banished to the jury, but not before the latter woman expressed what’s typically on the minds of every Survivor fan every episode: “Jeff Probst, I love you.”
* Coach taught Cochran some tai chi and droned on about how he loves to “find that one student that wants to learn.” [Insert hurling noise here.]
* Albert triumphed over Rick (who?) and Sophie (pretty formidable at these things) and won immunity and reward. He chose Coach as his shower/massage buddy (not as dirty as it sounds) then gave up his own rubdown and bequeathed it to Cochran, who’d lied and said his birthday was days away.
* Cochran proved the old adage “pride goeth before a fall” by yipping about how he was “entitled to at least one more night in this game.” (As a self-proclaimed Survivor expert, did he think that would play well?)
* Cochran and Edna got chatting with Coach and Albert about flipping the vote and ousting Rick. And yet while that sounded like a smart plan to me — wouldn’t Albert and Coach prefer to take Edna and Cochran to the jury as opposed to Sophie or Rick? — the scheme crumbled when both Albert and Coach voted Cochran out, with Edna and Cochran casting the only votes for Rick. Guess that massage was just a lovely parting gift.
* And thus it looks like Edna will be next to go in the pecking order. Or will she? As next week’s previews showed us, Brandon’s special brand of unsettling crazy might get him in trouble. Heck, even this week’s Tribal Council had him tearfully uttering words that probably make Mikayla happy she’s not still in the game. “I wanna do wrong things.” Yikes!
* Cochran got in two particularly memorable zingers at Tribal Council: “What happens if Edna wins immunity?” (Unlikely, but definitely something Sophie & Co. should be mulling, no?) and “Jeff Probst just snuffed my torch. Unreal. It’s a dream come true.”
What did you think of this week’s Survivor? Did Albert and Coach do the right thing by staying loyal to their alliance of five, or should they have voted out Rick? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!