March 2, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan "There's Gonna Be Hell to Pay" Review

The second episode of Survivor ("Honey Badger") was a bit of a snooze. A lot of focus on the self-elected tribe leaders, Phillip and Shamar. I would have been happier to see a bit more of Gota's cool-kids clique. Was it just me, or did Reynold seem to be holding back tears when Allie's torch was extinguished? And Reynold's last minute idol-find could have been much more dramatic.  

In "There's Gonna Be Hell to Pay," one of the best moments was once again  at Tribal Council. The three way tie was a nice bit of excitement, but ended up only hurting the unpopular foursome. Not enough to keep me on the edge of my seat. I think the problem is with Gota. Yeah, they're bad at the challenges, but also relatively uninteresting. At least, what we're seeing of them. Next week, I might be rooting for the Fans to win the challenge, if only because I'd like to see the Favorites in more than just the pre-challenge half of the episode.

Gordon Holmes's recap of the episode over at the Xfinity TV blog is well worth your time. (As is following him on twitter.) In his recap, he joked about "some crew member named Julia." He's not wrong. Increasingly over time, and more distinctly this season, Survivor has inclined toward a structure of lead and supporting characters. In Caramoan, it's not just Julia who's been cast in a minor role. Brenda, Erik, and Michael seem to be on the outskirts of this season's plots, as well. And Cochran's only shining moment was his mini-commercial for the show within the show.

I'm not sure whether or not I like this new structure. Certainly, there's no point in giving contestants airtime just for the sake of it, and I suppose there are some contestants being overlooked because they won't be around much longer. But I have a feeling the plot could be more interesting if it was less simplified. Hopefully, in the next few weeks, it will be. Otherwise, this might be a disappointing season. 

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