Vulture

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Survivor Recap: Seven Heroes, Thirteen Knees

It's starting to seem more and more like Survivor set up this season's Heroes vs. Villains conceit to demonstrate what the Stranglers sang in 1977: "No more heroes anymore." What has gone so haywire in Camp Good Guys that the tribe believes the player whose only strength is strength is worth keeping around when he's injured so badly, he can barely walk?

So far, we've seen James rant, rave, carry heavy objects, and get injured; did we miss the moment he split the atom? There's no question he's the most physically dominant player in the game, which is why it's so ironic that he gets taken down by a simple buckled knee. The injury comes during the reward challenge, where the players go in a pit and battle for footballs, which they alley-oop to teammates on a platform who then try to toss the balls into the opposing side's basket. The prize: chocolate and a peaceful afternoon of nature. The cost: definitely not worth it. In addition to James's accident, Coach gets body-slammed hard and Rupert knocks Jerri's nose into a pillar. When the Heroes lose the challenge, they also lose face; they'd turned down a pregame taste of chocolate to stay focused. Wouldn't they have performed better with a bit of sugar coursing through their veins?

Faced with the prospect of losing yet another member, the Heroes start making bad decisions based solely on alliances, rather than the health of the tribe. Yes, this is exactly where we were last week, too. J.T. plays both sides, telling Rupert he's voting for Tom, and telling Tom he's voting for James. When informed about the plan to off Tom, Candice becomes the Voice of Reason, asking, "Am I being stupid?" for pointing out the simple fact that James can't run. It's not clear why James is the crux of the non-Colby/Tom alliance, but based on the tribe's reactions to his potential removal from the game, he's the most important guy ever. Candice's insolence infuriates Rupert, who is neither cute nor cuddly this season (what's with that evil look in his eyes when he barks at his teammates?). But when the group arrives at Tribal Council, it's clear Tom is the target yet again.

Meanwhile, Amanda weeps over the prospect of losing James as the Heroes wait to see if their big man will return. When he does limp back, his leg mummified in an ace bandage, the tribe embraces him and accommodates his physical limitation at the immunity challenge, turning him into the caller who guides blindfolded tribemates to giant puzzle pieces. James rises to the occasion and gives the team a gigantic lead going into the puzzle-solving part of the challenge and then … it's too hard to even write … the Heroes blow another sure-thing win. Watch the puzzle-deficient calamity below.

Faced with the prospect of losing yet another member, the Heroes start making bad decisions based solely on alliances, rather than the health of the tribe. Yes, this is exactly where we were last week, too. J.T. plays both sides, telling Rupert he's voting for Tom, and telling Tom he's voting for James. When informed about the plan to off Tom, Candice becomes the Voice of Reason, asking, "Am I being stupid?" for pointing out the simple fact that James can't run. It's not clear why James is the crux of the non-Colby/Tom alliance, but based on the tribe's reactions to his potential removal from the game, he's the most important guy ever. Candice's insolence infuriates Rupert, who is neither cute nor cuddly this season (what's with that evil look in his eyes when he barks at his teammates?). But when the group arrives at Tribal Council, it's clear Tom is the target yet again.

Does it defy logic? Jeff Probst is pretty clear on his feelings about this one: "My niece could beat James in a race right now." And even though Tom offers up a stinging zinger at the vote, calling James "all mass, no class," the fireman's flame is extinguished. (Extra ironic? A little.) In two weeks (and on Wednesday): Russell takes on Boston Rob!

Other Recaps:
EW's Dalton Ross continues to question why Courtney gets to sit out challenge after challenge. What is up with that?
E!'s Drusilla Moorhouse relishes the moment Probst puts Colby in his place at the reward challenge with "I got the message, brother: We'll go when I'm ready." Jeff Probst — now with 50 percent more Hulk Hogan!
The L.A. Times' Amy Kaufman big-ups Parvati for letting Russell know she's no hanger-on like Natalie from last season: "I don't ride coattails, baby."

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS