Survivor Thai Sun Land Rewatch - ep 9
Mar 24, 2014
- Just watched the merge ep of Thailand in my rewatch after an inexplicably long break.
This was a pretty slow and anti-climactic merge episode, but that's not really surprising; the real excitement came in the faux-"merge" episode two weeks prior. By this point the lines were already clearly drawn due to the long pre-merge and the tribes had already been together, so once they were formally merged, it changed little to nothing. It wasn't really a merge episode in the traditional sense.
This episode had some good moments. The opening scene set up the Chuay Gahn > Sook Jai storyline so it's nice to see that that was carried throughout the whole season. I especially liked the way they handled the loved ones challenge and thought it did a good job characterizing lots of the contestants. Helen, Ted, and Clay all stood out as people with sweet loved ones tapes, and obviously C.C. Heidik is one of the best loved ones ever. < 3 Clay Jordan of all people somehow winning the first Individual Immunity challenge over Ken is also a high point. Other than that, though, this episode basically built up to "WILL TED GO HOME??" and then... he predictably didn't, so it was mostly a chore of an episode that kind of killed the momentum of the powerful Robb -> Shii Ann -> Erin episodes. I hope the next two are stronger. I'm okay with predictable outcomes to episodes, but not when they come after a lot of filler building up to something that doesn't happen; it makes me wonder what the point was of getting the audience's hopes up, because then you just wasted a bunch of time to build suspense among people who are already tuning in and giving you ratings anyway. :/ So definitely a weak episode, but still not /bad/. Just dull at a lot of points.
Thoughts on the cast:
- Jan got exactly one moment in this episode: She talked about how her cleavage was hanging out of her clothes. < 3 Truly Jan Gentry was Sandy before Sandy.
- Helen was pretty low-vis, but she had, in typical Helen fashion, a super over-the-top emotional reaction to her loved ones tape, and that was pretty cute. Also, we saw her talking about recipes again. < 3
- Ted is a nice guy and I kind of like him and his confessionals, but he definitely got way too much air time this episode. I guess it's because he was the decoy boot? But, again, that's my problem with decoy boots. And maybe it's to build up him getting voted out before the rest of his tribe, I don't know. I have to give him props for being the first black male to be represented in a wholly non-stereotypical light on this show.. I just wish it were someone a bit more interesting doing it with a bit less air time so that we could see more Helen and Jan.
- I don't really know how I feel about Brian. I think that when all is said and done, I'll lean towards liking him because I like the /idea/ of him as a character, but he's so predictable a winner and occasionally cringeworthy with his lack of charisma that I can't fully get behind him. I don't loathe him as much as a lot of people do but I'm really not in love with him either. The content of his confessionals is good but the delivery isn't, which can be frustrating.
- I'm actually really rooting for Clay to win, which I wasn't expecting at all. I thought he was just a funny guy who gave good confessionals -- which he did this episode with his impression of Jake and his raging boner for C.C. Heidik -- but underneath his "I hate everyone and everything" veneer in confessionals, he's actually a pretty solid guy. He got more focus than anyone but Ted when it came to the loved ones visit and it was really sweet and unexpected to someone so crass get so emotional. He's a good guy and it would have been a much better storyline if Brian had underestimated him and he had somehow won, but I guess if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a merry Christmas.
Related, that's a problem I'm having with this season, with this episode in particular -- we saw Jake saying stuff about how it'd be to Clay's benefit to take out Brian and we definitely got footage about how people need to take Brian out, which makes it feel like they're setting up for Brian to get dethroned... but then it doesn't happen and he's just a predictable winner. :/
- Penny seems like a sweetheart. I don't know why everyone else in the game seems to hate her so much, though that wasn't as present in this episode as it has been in others.
- Ken has a cool accent. That's about all I got to say on him. I think he maybe /could/ have been a good character, being an NYC cop during that time in American history and, again, having the accent, but because he was on Sook Jai he was never really explored and I can't bring myself to care too much about someone who had zero content during their stay just because I like his voice.
- Jake's stories are fun. He's trying to fit in, which is adorable, but he's so oblivious about how people are perceiving him, which is entertaining. < 3 I'm happy he ends up being the last Sook Jai standing.
Cast ranking so far:
2. Shii Ann
Past blogs, more for my own reference than anything else:
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