For The Baltimore Sun
7:14 AM EDT, May 13, 2013
It’s the finale already! That seems quick, doesn’t it? I guess that means this season has been better than most, because I haven’t been praying for it to end already. I might feel differently about that if Phillip had stuck around longer.
Speaking of who stuck around, can you believe that Eddie is still around? He, as Jeff points out in the recap at the beginning of the show, has been at the bottom since the very beginning. If Eddie makes it to the end, I will laugh and laugh at Cochran and Dawn. I guess I’m rooting for Erik, but since I seem to be a bit of a jinx, I won’t come out too much in favor of anybody. And for the first time in a while, I wouldn’t really mind if any of the people who are left won. Except maybe Sherry. Nah; she’s my least favorite of the players who are left, but I still wouldn’t be upset if she won.
But on to tonight’s episode: we start out right after Brenda’s ousting from Tribal Council, and Erik is not in a good state. He is dazed and disoriented, and Jeff brings in the doctor to see him. The doctor is worried that his body is shutting down because it’s gone into starvation mode. And I forgot that Eddie is an EMT, as he explains to Erik why they’re giving him IV fluids. And although Erik wants to go back to camp, the doctor says no and pulls him. Wow, that was fast.
And just like that, we’re down to the final four. Will Sherry stick with Cochran and Dawn, or will she team up with Eddie against them? I guess it all depends on who wins immunity.
Once back at camp, everyone is a little stunned, but secretly relieved that they made it to the final four without having to go through another vote. Cochran realizes that he needs to get on Eddie’s good side, as he may need him in the next vote. They talk about how it would be best to bring Sherry to the end instead of Dawn, because Dawn is pretty well-liked (well, more than Sherry at least.)
They get Treemail that seems to hint at a Reward Challenge, and they are all jubilant at the idea of some food. And it is indeed challenge time, but what kind of challenge? Reward it is. They need to balance a board with one hand, while building a house of cards on it with the other hand. Reward is an advantage in the final Immunity Challenge. What, no food?
Cochran and Sherry are off to a quick start, but it seems that Eddie is concentrating on making the base of his house super strong. And Eddie’s point is proven as Cochran’s house goes flying, followed quickly by Sherry's. It’s between Dawn and Eddie at this point, but Dawn’s hands are shaking like crazy, and her house topples. But, geez, so does Eddie’s. Cochran’s has fallen a bunch of times at this point. This goes on for a while, but ultimately, it’s Cochran who wins it, despite all the falls.
Coming back to camp after the challenge, everybody is looking mighty, mighty skinny. These people need some food. We also have to listen to Cochran for a while about how awesome he was at the challenge, but I won’t subject you to that.
Sherry and Eddie talk about how neither of them want to take Dawn to the end. Dawn and Cochran also talk, and he tries to keep her from getting stressed and freaking out (again.) Of course, this time her paranoia is well-founded, since they are planning on getting rid of her, but she has no reason to think this day is any different from the rest. Cochran is getting sick of having to reassure her, though.
It looks like they’re doing the memorial walk where we pretend all the voted-off contestants are dead. Don’t they usually do that once the final players are decided? There are always a couple of people that I completely forgot about, like Francesca and Laura. Brandon’s Crazy is still in full control, and I wish Matt had made it a lot further in the game. They collect all the name tags of the fallen Survivors, and then…burn them in effigy? I know I made the joke about acting like they died but…they are totally acting like they all died.
Final Immunity Challenge time! It’s a classic obstacle/puzzle combination. Cochran’s advantage is that he will not have to untie his bags on puzzle pieces. Pretty good advantage, and he’s working on his puzzle before Eddie and Dawn have their second bags. The puzzle is the shape of fire. I don’t know if this is a puzzle you can work on strategically, or if you just have to keep trying pieces until they fit; you’re not going to be able to predict where any of them go. Cochran’s advantage is completely gone, but puzzles are always the great equalizer, and he still manages to win it.
So now Cochran needs to decide if he wants to bring Eddie or Dawn to the final, and he doesn’t say very nice things about either of them. Sherry is a no-brainer for the third, because he knows she won’t win. Dawn tries to convince him by whining and being paranoid some more, and Eddie tries to reason with Cochran by being unemotional and logical. We’ll see who it works for.
And what’s going on with Eddie’s crotch that they have to keep pixelating it?
Tribal Council time! Erik comes in with the jury, and is looking much healthier. Jeff asks about Cochran’s wins, and he’s much more humble describing them for the jury than he is when he talks about winning in the confessionals. Dawn tries to play that she’s pissed off everybody in the jury, and Eddie’s just too darn likeable. Ha. Nice try, Dawn. Eddie then tries to turn things around on Dawn, but we’ll just have to see who the vote is for.
And Cochran decided to go with loyalty (or wanting to seem loyal in front of the jury) and has voted out Eddie. So that means Cochran, Dawn and Sherry are the final three.
And now they get food! Upon returning to camp, Cochran, Dawn and Sherry find a basket of food and drinks waiting for them. Everybody is really happy to make it to the end, of course. Cochran apparently wrote a paper for Harvard Law about the jury system on Survivor. Yikes, he really does take this game seriously, doesn’t he?
Final Tribal Council time! They bring the jury in, and wow does Eddie look different without all the scruff. Dawn is the first one to speak; she plays the humble route, and totally cops to the difficulties she had playing the game. She also admits she did things that she wouldn’t do in real life, which, good for you, Dawn, it is just a game.
Sherry decides to announce that she’s been lying to everyone about being a stay-at-home mom, and admits that she owns a lot of businesses. I think she’s trying to show people that she really was a player in the game, even though it doesn’t look like it. She did have a power role in the Fan’s tribe.
Cochran goes with his strength, which is Survivor Superfan. He says that his strength was timing, making the right choices at the right time.
Now it’s time for the jury questions; Malcolm is up first. He doesn’t have a question for Sherry (ouch). He tells Dawn that she can’t be the warm mother of six and the cold-blooded player at the same time. He tells her if she owns her game, he’ll vote for her. For Cochran, he wants to know what Cochran has that he doesn’t . Cochran tells him insecurity.
Eddie asks Sherry if she thinks she was carried to the final three. She says no. He then asks Dawn about her crazy breakdowns. She replies that even though she was having the stress, she made the right decisions anyway. Eddie then wants to know how this game would affect Cochran afterwards. Huh? Cochran goes the flattery route, saying again that he’s below them, and while he has gotten better socially, he’s still awkward. Cochran has to watch it – if he’s too self-deprecating (which he tends to be) he’s going to come off as insincere.
Phillip is next, and of course he mentions that, last time, he was there for 39 days. And do we get a mention of Boston Rob? Nope, not this time. He tells Sherry that she’s no longer a part of Stealth ‘R’ Us; I’m sure she’s devastated. He then berates Dawn for her fits. Ah, he’s that contestant – the one that just has something to say, and isn’t going to ask a question. And, indeed, he congratulates Cochran and admits that he’s going to vote him.
Erik is disappointed that Dawn voted for Brenda; I am too, kind of. Dawn says that the utmost alliance was to Cochran, and everything else came below it. Erik also thinks Sherry didn’t play the game, calling her a "seashell on the beach." She fires right back at him and says she doesn’t need to hear from him, and that he can sit down. That was kind of awesome. Because whether you think she played well or not, she’s sitting there and you’re not.
Michael gives Dawn a chance to defend herself, and she thinks people are coming down harder on her because she developed more relationships than Cochran did, so people blame her more. Cochran admits that he’s glad people are being hard on her, because it looks better for him. He tells Dawn that if he hadn’t been her therapist, she wouldn’t still be in the game. Well, he and Brenda; at least he’s in the final three – look what that got her.
Reynold says that he thinks Dawn was disingenuous; he then asks Dawn what she thinks of him. Her reply: Chauvinistic, good sense of humor and kind of vulgar. He gets her to admit that she kicked his ass in this game. You guys, I think Dawn might win this whole thing.
Andrea is gracious about them ousting her, and she asks Cochran what animal he played most like. He replies a chameleon.
Brenda wants to know why she should vote for him when he ousted her after she gave him his family visit. He says because he saw her as a threat. Brenda then asks Dawn why she betrayed her after they got so close, and if she really would have stayed in the game if she didn’t get her retainer back. She then demands that Dawn take the retainer out and show everyone her missing teeth. Dawn resists at first, but then says she will. It takes her a bit, but she does. Hmm, maybe Cochran will win.
Time to find out! Voting begins, and no one thinks Sherry will win, do they? This is definitely between Cochran and Dawn. We see Phillip vote for Cochran, while trying to take some of the credit for Cochran getting to the end. We don’t see who Malcolm votes for, but we do hear him say that this wasn’t who he thought he’d be voting for. And then Jeff takes off with the votes, and we’ll see everyone much cleaner and prettier in L.A.
And in L.A., Sherry admits that her chances of winning are not good, so who is it? Cochran? Or Dawn?
….and it’s Cochran, who gets all the five votes that we see. I’m glad he won, if only to get something back for all of the hours and hours he’s poured into this game.
And that’s it for the season! This has been the best season for quite a while, there weren’t too many people I wanted to strangle through my TV. Too many Immunity Idols this time around, although it did give us that awesome moment when Malcolm, Eddie and Reynold all had immunity.
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