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'Survivor: Samoa': Recapping the recap!

Ah, the formerly-dreaded Survivor recap episode. We used to mock it even more than gratuitous Palm Pre product placement. But then something unusual happened during the Tocantins season. The recap episode became less of a recap and more of a collection of deleted scenes and storylines. And some of those deleted scenes and storylines were actually pretty decent. So it was with moderate hope as opposed to unwavering boredom that I approached the Survivor: Samoa Thanksgiving recap episode. And that moderate hope was rewarded…with moderate entertainment! In case you were too busy stuffing your face with, um, stuffing, click below to read the full post and see what you missed, as we were treated to previously unseen sabotage, threats, tears, and vomit!

• We always assumed Mick was a crappy tribe leader since the only things we saw him leading were Jack and s#&@. Well, we were presented with irrefutable visual evidence as we saw Mick offering no direction whatsoever at the Foa Foa camp, stammering on and on to Ashley and Natalie about, well, nothing. “He sucks,” said Russell.

• Yasmin called Shambo “Shamu.” That’s mean, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh.

• As far as I could tell, every single member of both tribes was hoarding secret stashes of papaya. Erik even cut a whole tree down and was hauling it away to God knows where. Now, I’m now arborist, but wouldn’t it have been a tad more inconspicuous to just leave the tree standing there camouflaged by its buddies as opposed to plainly dragging the entire thing across the beach? Just sayin’.

• Very interesting exchange after the basketbrawl challenge (the one Ben was kicked out of). We saw Jaison spanking John and complaining about getting kneed in the chest. But he wasn’t done. Just as Probst was about to award victory to Galu, Jaison interrupted him and gave a speech about playing within the rules and how “I’m coming for John. I’m coming for him.” This caused Shambo to say she was “disheartened” by Jaison’s comments, to which Jaison actually concurred, talking about all the obstacles his dad had to overcome in his life and how he never
complained once about them, and therefore neither should he. It was a combative moment that turned into a touching one as well. Good stuff.

• I always wondered what happened to Daisy the chicken after Shambo accidentally let her escape. Well, we now have our answer. Erik was a man on a mission, trying to capture the bird and even comparing himself to Rocky trying to catch the chicken in preparation for fighting Apollo Creed. The persistence paid off, as he set a trap with a net that Shambo used to finally catch Daisy and return her to the coop. Erik was so out-of-his-mind thrilled after that he was acting like he had won the damn Super Bowl. Seriously, I half expected him to dump a cooler of Gatorade over himself and proclaim that he was going to Disney World.

• No sooner was Daisy back in the coop that Russell decided, “It’s time for me to create chaos. I’m in a bind right now so I have to get everybody else at each other’s throat.” He went in the middle of the night and opened the door to the chicken coop to let Daisy and her pal out (although I’m not so sure they actually left). Then, Russell couldn’t help but show off a bit, putting on his hidden immunity idol while watching everyone sleep. Only everyone wasn’t sleeping. Dave woke up and had himself a nice little chat with Russell…who was wearing the idol right in front of him the entire time! It’s been a rough couple of weeks for Dave, but I have no doubt that if he was watching this go down that he was silently mouthing the word “wow” at the TV screen. After all, that seems to be his go-to move.

• Don’t look now, but we got the season’s first quality Brett scene!  Poor Brett. His one decent scene — relegated to the recap episode. (Insert depressing Charlie Brown music here.) It also involved giving us some more background on the last minute Galu decision to oust Erik. Brett didn’t like it, but went along with it under his plan to “fly under the radar for a while.” Is that what he calls it, flying under the radar? Dude, you are flying so low, you’re a freakin’ submarine!

• Shamu…I mean, Shambo was undoubtedly the star of this episode. We saw her calling Dave a moron for taking over making the fire (which he was successful at). We later couldn’t help but sympathize with her when Dave began treating her like a little kid by refusing to share their alliance’s strategy with her for fear that she would spill the beans. “The tribe of Galu is going to take me deep into the game. Oh, I am so appreciative,” said Shambo sarcastically. “These people can kiss my ass.” This was not her best line of the night, however. That would be after Laura tried to comfort Shambo who was grieving over her dead siblings, yet couldn’t help but insist that the former marine was paranoid for thinking the other girls didn’t like her. Shambo’s response? “Don’t make me throw up on your face.” Had she actually done so, it would have only been THE BEST DELETED SCENE EVER! Shambo still wasn’t done, though. She then hilariously called out Monica for trying to get her to join back up in one big, happy Galu alliance. “Drop the bull about Galu loyalty,” responded Shambo. “Because there is none. It’s Puff the Magic Freakin’ Dragon.” (I take it back, dragons on Survivor would be the best deleted scene ever.) And how do you top that for an encore? You sing! Yes, all of our suspicions about Shambo being an 80s arena rocker were confirmed when she closed the episode by crooning the words — at least some of them — to “Eye of the Tiger.” (By, of course, Survivor.)

All in all, it was pretty decent stuff. Not as great as an original episode, of course, but certainly better than the recap rehashes of yesteryear. And on Thanksgiving, I am certainly thankful for that. What did you think of the episode? Sound off on the message boards. But first, make sure to watch the latest episode of Survivor Talk below with Survivor: Samoa’s Laura (who shares her voting strategy on the Jury) and Tocantins runner-up Stephen Fishbach. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @EWDaltonRossif you dare!












Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS

Originally posted November 26 2009 — 9:00 PM EST

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