What kind of loser spends his Thanksgiving eve recapping a recap episode? THIS LOSER! I used to dread the Survivor recap episodes because they used to just show you what you’d already seen, but back in Tocantins the producers actually began putting their hundreds upon hundreds of unused hours of footage to use and started making the recaps a showcase for scenes and storylines originally cut from the season. As a result, there are always things to be learned. So without further ado, here’s what I learned from this season’s “A Closer Look” recap episode. (My other idea was to honor the spirit of the episode by making this entire column deleted outtake paragraphs from my previous recaps, but seeing as how those were the Milwaukee’s Best-fueled ramblings of a madman, this seemed better.)
1. Coach knows when to seek a higher power
It’s almost mind-boggling how well Coach is playing considering how poorly he played the last two times out, but perhaps he was at his most impressive when he found a way to get his message across to Brandon after the youngster had another one of his Tribal Council freak-outs. Instead of lecturing Hothead Hantz on keeping his cool, Coach was smart and savvy enough to know the best way to deliver his message — through prayer. “Lord I have so much faith that you are smiling down on us right now, Father, “ Coach prayed with his schizophrenic sidekick. “So I ask for a spirit of peace for Brandon. Give him unbelievable self-control when it comes to his tongue.”
This was pretty impressive. At the same time, I couldn’t help but be disappointed that Coach didn’t take it a few steps further. After all, if you can make Brandon do pretty much anything through the power of prayer, why not take advantage? “Dear Lord, please give Brandon the strength to give me foot rubs every hour on the hour. And my Father, allow Brandon the courage and humility to dig latrines for the entire tribe so we no longer have to go out in the ocean and perform ‘aqua dumps’ when nature calls. Lastly, God, please grant Brandon the gift of forgiveness so that when I vote his ass off he will still be able to find it in his heart to vote for me to win the million dollars. For forgiveness is the greatest gift, oh Lord…next to a million dollars, of course.”
In any event, props to Coach, although I will not give him much credit for seeing through Ozzy’s ruse. “I would screw my tribe over,” Ozzy told Zeus in an effort to get him to flip sides and give Savaii the numbers advantage at the merge. “You have my word, me and you to the end.” This acting was about on par with Ozzy’s tour de farce of a performance in Redemption Island Arena when he tried to convince Upolo that Cochran had used an idol to blindside him — although using a word that also is part of the title of an Oscar winning film (The Blindside) and Ozzy in the same sentence for some reason just feels wrong.
NEXT: Cochran tries to talk to women