Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I want to take this opportunity to thank you for continuing to read these diaries of a madman, otherwise known as EW.com Survivor recaps. I’ve been doing these bad boys for over 10 years now, through the good (Pearl Islands, Palau, Micronesia), the bad (Thailand, Fiji), and the ugly (Nicaragua). Thank you for indulging my odd obsession with a reality television program, and thank you for taking a few minutes out from spending time with your family to read this week’s special Turkey Day installment. But, hey, family is overrated anyway, right? (I can type that because no one in my family bothers to read these here recaps — or even watch the show, for that matter. So really I could wish unspeakable horrors on each and every one of them and they would never be the wiser. I could even invite Abi-Maria over for a Thanksgiving feast and they would have no idea that I had just secretly sabotaged our big meal.)
But because time is tight and I have to go pretend to look busy while others do all the cooking and preparing for the big day, let me hit you with a few quick things I am thankful for when it comes to this last episode of Survivor: Philippines.
I am thankful Lisa finally broke up with Abi and Pete.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about last week’s episode was that Lisa actually stayed true to her Tandang alliance after constantly being belittled and having her “loyalty” questioned by Abi. Hell, even Mike Skupin was like, “See ya!” But Lisa stayed true. “I have never been good at breakups,” said Lisa, who talked about staying in relationships for way too long out of fear of hurting the other person. The subtext to all this, of course, is that Lisa broke off her longtime marriage just before coming out to play the game. One cannot minimize the emotional impact that must be playing on her as she competes.
But enough was enough. “I feel that somehow I lost that trust with you and I really can’t be in an alliance with someone that doesn’t trust me,” Lisa told Abi. That’s basically a nice way of saying “You’re completely Looney Tunes.” But Lisa is a nice lady. So she says nice things. What was also left unsaid is the fact that the Tandang alliance is now a sinking ship. To stay with Abi and Pete would be to commit Survivor suicide. Lisa may be loyal, but she ain’t stupid.
Of course, the best part of the entire exchange was Abi saying, “It’s all about forgiving here.” Of course! Because Abi is clearly the queen of forgiveness. Just ask poor RC…who didn’t even need to be forgiven for anything because she had not done anything wrong! After Lisa explained that she felt better being in an alliance of people that were not going to call her out at Tribal Council, Abi’s response was to say “Fair enough. I’m not going to try any harder.” Abi not trying would become a running theme throughout the episode.
I am thankful that people could not figure out a pretty simple reward challenge.
It would be unfair to nitpick on Abi for not understanding the rules to the reward challenge when plenty of other players screwed up as well…but let’s do it anyway! The challenge was a new one for the show: There were three circles with a red and yellow drum in each. Players had to run from circle to circle turning the drums with their logo face up, and their opponent’s drums face down. Only people kept messing up. Abi, Malcolm, and Skupin each either forgot to flip a drum, or flipped their opponent’s drum face-up instead. Again, it would be totally unfair to single out Abi when she was far from the only knucklehead who screwed up…but, well, life’s a bitch sometimes. And I’m pretty sure that is neither the first nor the last time the words “Abi” and ‘bitch” will be used in the same sentence.
NEXT: Jonathan Penner makes his most shocking move yet