”Pirate Master”: Ghosts from the past
This episode was reality TV at its finest — in the sense that no one could ever have scripted how it went down. Least of all Mark Burnett, who probably wanted to murder someone.
Okay, so the ”ghosts” promo’d at the end of last week’s installment were indeed the pirates who’d been previously cut adrift from the Picton Castle. They were all back as the white crew — our suddenly clumsy scientist and exotic dancer John, clearheaded ”Nigerian Nightmare” Christian, ever-annoying Alexis, supersmart Cheryl, allegedly charismatic Joy, vengeful Sean (with new vengeful facial hair!), and the former Captain Cocky, Joe Don. Let’s give credit where credit is due: That was really a genius ploy by the producers to shake things up. The plan: The white crew would face off against the pirates still in the game, all of whom would fight under Captain Azmyth’s black flag. If the white crew won, they would not only keep all the gold but also get to black-spot three pirates for elimination and leave the ship commanderless until after the next expedition. Said plan was revealed to be see-through when we saw that the strenuous row-hike-riddle-climb challenge involved the use of a compass. We all know Joe Don is the only pirate — past or present — skilled in the art of navigation. Unfortunately, John, who you might recall actually rocked in his only prior expedition on the show’s premiere, dropped the key the pirates needed to carry with them in the river. (It’s at that point that I wrote, ”No! No! No!” in my notebook and apparently let out a scream, because Will, one of the EW librarians working late in the Info. Center, where I was watching, came over to check on me.) Seriously? Seriously? You know Burnett was somewhere in a hut screaming, too. Probably for someone to give John goggles. (Honestly, where did those come from?) Although I did enjoy hearing Joe Don ask, ”Should I drown him?” as John dove fruitlessly into the water, I was not laughing when the black crew — who did, of course, head off in the wrong direction — had enough time to double back and ultimately find the $50,000 hidden treasure. (It’s at that point that I scribbled, ”F—! F—! F—!” in my notebook, which I bet Burnett was also thinking.) Host Cameron Daddo told the loser white crew that it was time for them to disappear. Do you think we’ll see them next episode? Let’s hope.
After the expedition, Nessa and Louie once again tried to raise a mutiny. They seemed to be working some magic on Jay, who recognized that he had to get rid of Azmyth, a stronger physical competitor, at some point. (Ben, a man of few words, had this to say: ”Maybe.”) What happened next was perhaps one of the dumbest moves in reality-TV history. Ship cook Jupiter found out from Laurel that there was talk of rising against Azmyth and told the camera that she was going to warn the captain, who everyone onboard but apparently him knew she’d never turn on. Instead of seeking him out for a tête-à-tête, she chose to bring up the crew’s unhappiness in front of everyone at mealtime. Now you know I refuse to rewind for this show, so I’m not gonna be able to give you an exact quote, but suffice it to say Jupiter never once said the following: ”I would not mutiny against you, Captain, even though these other bitches and Louie want you gone.” She must have thought Azmyth would feel her altruistic vibe, but he didn’t. He considered her a threat and promptly gave her a black spot, along with Laurel (Miss Neutral has definitely chosen a side, and it’s not his), and Kendra (who Jay confronted publicly about going back on her word to help vote out Joe Don last week). I have to say, that was the best thing that could have happened to Kendra, because no one would have liked her for selling her soul to the evil Triad. I myself like Kendra now for the first time because she said exactly what I wrote in last week’s TV Watch while defending her decision: Why do what the enemy wants you to do?
Kendra won the royal pardon for $4,000, so her weak I’ll never give up on the expeditions that I will likely cause you to lose defense was moot. Laurel, for all her threats to tear Azmyth and his fake dreads a new one, was rather inarticulate in her summation except for when she pointed out to Azmyth that he didn’t deserve mad props for doing what everyone in the jury would do if they had his prime post. Jupiter, in a killer bustier, just told Azmyth that she would never mutiny against him, which apparently will make him feel guilty next week. For she was cut adrift on the raft of shame by a unanimous vote (of three).
So what do you think? Were you hoping that conniving Jay had seized the moment and secretly agreed to help get Jupiter a black mark so she couldn’t vote at pirates’ court and block a mutiny against Azmyth? (Hey, maybe I should be on this show….) Will Jay succeed in forming an evil Duo next week with Christa? And will the white crew return to help shake things up — without screwing up?