Survivor Thai Sun Land Rewatch - ep 11
Mar 24, 2014
- I watched all three Sook Jai Pagonging episodes tonight, and this one definitely was the strongest of the three. Loved ones episodes are a great standby for the show to fall back on to make sure it has a storyline for the week, and this one is one of the better ones. Essentially from start to finish, the whole thing focused on the loved ones. They take a risk in doing that that an uninteresting pair might win the reward challenge and then get a bunch of air time.. but luckily for them, Helen won, which is awesome. I'm a sucker for emotional episodes and loved ones visits, so I thought this was a really enjoyable, fun episode and one of the better ones of the season up to this point. By the time of the Immunity Challenge the emotion faded (when you bring out loved ones for a third time in two episodes, it does kind of lose its effect), but still, making them compete with their loved ones for Immunity was a new thing and Thailand is above all else a season about production trying new things, so I get why they did it and still enjoyed watching it, just not for the emotional reasons of the first couple loved ones reveals. The final six are a pretty old group of people by Survivor standards, and I think that that's part of what made the loved ones visits so emotional -- these are people who are mature enough to really have strong ties to their loved ones and appreciate the magnitude of the experience.
Anyways, cast thoughts:
- Brian and Ted didn't really do much this episode.
- Jan, as usual, did only one thing this episode, but it was an awesome thing: Gave a confessional in which she joked (was it a joke??) about trying to listen to Helen and her husband have sex. Way to go, Jan! Also, her accent is adorable.
- Clay definitely is a much nicer guy than he has a reputation for being. I know that in various S-Oz interviews I've heard members of his tribe say that he was a total family man, and you can really see that here. He and his wife probably said "I love you" to one another more than all the other pairs combined. D'awww.
- Helen was pretty much the star of this episode. I gotta say, I think Helen is one of the best confessionalists the show has ever had. It's not because she's /quotable/ most of the time like some of the show's other great confessional-givers, but she's just such an over-the-top human being who has a tendency to enunciate every single syllable of every word of every sentence -- especially when talking about Clay Jordan -- that it's much better than listening to, I don't know, Carter try and stumble through a single word. But of course what really made Helen the star of the episode was her loved ones visit. I really don't even have to explain it here, and I couldn't even if I tried; just go back and watch all of the genuine, raw emotion she has during the challenge. Helen might have less of a filter than any other contestant ever on Survivor, and I love her for it.
- Jake is gone. :( I'll miss him a lot. He was, like the rest of Sook Jai, basically a non-entity early on in the season, but unlike the others, he picked up a lot in later episodes and it was enough for me to like him and really feel that he had a complete story arc. He was the leader of the young, fit tribe that dominated early on but then imploded, and was forced to scramble for his safety from the bottom position. He made a great effort and was an underdog I really rooted for during a few of his last episodes. In his boot episode, we saw him come to terms with the fact that he's being voted out, saying that seeing his wife reminded him of what was really important, and it was a really touching and fitting end to his storyline to see this guy who was trying so hard to stick around recognize and accept his inevitable fate. Similar in a sense to Lindsey Richter's exit two seasons prior -- though of course in her case it was less of a morph from "badass, scrappy underdog" than a morph from "batshit insane trainwreck", the general idea of someone really wanting to stay but eventually realizing that it's okay to lose Survivor is present in both of their storylines. (This is another reason why I really liked this episode -- there was no manufactured suspense about who might go home.) I watched Jake's full final words on the DVD as well, and they reaffirmed my belief that he's basically one of the nicest, most stand-up guys on Survivor. It was a lot of really eloquent, really positive stuff about how great the experience was, and then at the end of it he just sat there and listed in a row every single thing that he was going to appreciate in his everyday life more than he did before Survivor. What a fantastic human being. I'm really happy he was a part of this cast. < 3
Two episodes left!
Past blogs, more for my own reference than anything else:
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