I can see the finish line from here, and Coach is too close to it for my comfort. Will Survivor: Tocantins be a complete disappointment if he wins? In my opinion, yes. I have never seen a survivor less deserving, personally, of winning a million dollars. More than that, I don’t want to see a loser like this win. That being said, I’m becoming more and more certain that he will be in the final two (or three.) Who wouldn’t want to be sitting next to this nut job in a popularity contest?
A visit from an All-Star. Even Debbie appears to be getting tired of Coach’s act, and she approaches JT with the idea of getting rid of the fake samurai. This alarms JT and Steve more than anything, they believe her flopping on Coach makes her an unpredictable X-factor more than a potential ally.
It’s the return of the Survivor Auction at the next challenge. Beyond the usual gastronomic temptations is the opportunity to see messages from home on a smart phone. In a moving gesture, everyone gives Taj the remainder of their bidding money so she can see a message from her former NFL star husband, Eddie George. She is very, very moved, even more so when it is announced that he will be joining her back at the camp. Taj next makes the very easy decision to accept exile with her husband so that everyone gets an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones.
Family reunion. Teary reunions abound, not the least of which is the one between Taj and Eddie. They may not need the million dollars, but you have to smile after seeing them together. They are very clearly in love. The best part, though? Coach telling his little friend that everyone calls him “dragon slayer.” You deluded freak, you’re the only one who calls you that!
The Mathlete prevails. Family departs, and the game is back on. Debbie presses JT to get rid of Coach even as Coach is pushing him to get rid of Taj, eliminating her idol as a factor. JT and Steve are witness to Debbie’s fervor for getting rid of Coach, but are JT and Steve impressed by this, or alarmed? Can you really trust someone who’s making all of these promises and impassioned pleas just after they’ve flopped on someone whom they’ve allied themselves with from the outset? Probably not, but that’s not a reason not to use them to further your own ends.
A math-based obstacle course greets our tribe mates at the immunity challenge. After being behind for most of the race, Stephen wins immunity and, with no idols to play, Coach is officially vulnerable.
A traitor diminished. JT and Steve fill Taj in on Debbie’s machinations, and the two men appear to be the only ones who are in control of this game. You really do have to feel like it’s going to be these two in any kind of finals situation. And how would you choose between them? They have played the game as such a singular unit so far, it’s hard to differentiate between the two. Perhaps something will happen over the final two episodes to distance them from each other.
Tribal Council comes, and Coach professes to feel very safe. Seeming to enjoy doing so, Jeff takes another shot at the myth of Coach. But Coach, the man, doesn’t drop his act for a second. Jeff next presses the group to foreshadow a blindsiding this evening, but the tribe remains coy about their vote. Taj does not play her immunity idol, and Debbie is voted out. She leaves without Coach discovering her betrayal, though he might figure it out on his own.
Coach must know that he is not in control of the game at this point, and we’ll have to see how he reacts. I’m certain that he believes he can step up, win immunity challenges, and slay all manner of dragons, but I’m not so sure he can. He hasn’t proven himself a particularly great competitor so far, and his stock in the social aspect of the game at this point is nil. The best thing he has going for himself is that Taj isn’t a very desirable as a person to be going up against in a finals situation, and the trailer for the next episode alludes to the notion that Erinn is self-destructing (although that could be editorial trickery on the part of CBS.)