Yes, we’re all still mourning the loss of Captain CrayCray Pinkpanties — aka Phillip — but we must somehow struggle to carry on. So avert your eyes if you haven’t see this week’s episode. Otherwise, read on!
The Hunger Games: The Three Amigos start the night feeling pretty darn good about themselves as the former members of Stealth ’R’ Us try and figure out how losing their leader will impact them. There’s no food, tensions are running high and it’s time for another swap. No, not of tribes or buffs, but rather Dawn and Brenda switching roles. It’s Brenda’s day to cry and Dawn’s to be the supportive gal pal. Fortunately for the hungry tribemates, it’s time for the food auction. Now, I’ve never really understood why this is so popular among viewers, including myself, but it is. The second they get those little pouches full of money — not to mention the best “clue” ever, which reads “$500 in cash… do you really need a little poem?” — I’m excited. Maybe it’s because this is kinda like grocery shopping, and I love grocery shopping. Malcolm makes a big speech about saving all his money to buy the prerequisite “advantage in the game”… and then is the first one to throw cash at Jeff in exchange for beer and nuts. As Malcolm chugs his first beer, they cut to the men of the tribe making their O-faces. Malcolm still manages to buy a clue that’ll lead him to yet another hidden immunity idol. Andrea passes up spaghetti and meatballs (and wine!) to provide the tribe with rice and beans, Cochran buys an advantage in the next immunity challenge and Brenda — poor, poor Brenda — spends $300 on a pig’s brain. Eddie wins the final auction, which is for a giant bowl of peanut butter to be shared by everyone.
Come Here Often?: Back at came, everyone except Dawn, Sherri and Malcolm read letters from home they bought at the auction and the peanut butter tears flow. Oh, did I not mention that they all have peanut butter smeared on their faces like war paint? Malcolm heads out to look for the idol, but he’s totally busted by Cochran and Andrea who all but say, “You ain’t that slick, slick!” Andrea and Malcolm engage in a Mexican stand-off, making it impossible for him to search for the Idol. “You’re like the little sister I can’t get rid of,” he jokes bitterly.
Mighty Mouse: The immunity challenge is one involving strength. Despite Cochran going in with a major advantage, Eddie says he’s not threatened… leaving me to both hope and assume that he is about to get his butt handed to him by everyone’s favorite ginger. Brenda’s out first, followed by Eric. Not to be all sexist, but it’s not terribly surprising that it comes down to three guys… Cochran, Eddie and Reynold. Sure enough, the final two are Cochran and Eddie. And as predicted, it’s scrawny Cochran who gets to metaphorically kick sand in the face of big, buff Eddie on behalf of the rest of us.
Who’s Zooming Who?: Sherri decides to join forces with the “muscleheads” while Eric tries gathering as much information from both sides. Can we take a moment to discuss Eric’s hair? Perhaps it is my own status as a folically-challenged male, but I find his fascinating. Wet, it looks sort of long and lustrous. And yet when it dries, it’s an unruly, unattractive rat’s nest. What’s up with that? In any case, Andrea begins to suspect Eric might switch allegiances, completely unaware that Sherri has magically managed to put herself in the power position.
Three’s Company: At tribal council, the two big topics are shifting alliances and the fact that immunity idols seem to be raining from the sky this season. The camera keeps cutting to Phillip, who is now on the jury with Michael and looks annoyed that he has to sit there in silence. Cochran does his superfan analytical thing, and it starts to feel a whole lot like math. I zone out and focus on how really adorable Andrea looks. By the time I refocus, it’s time to vote. It winds up being a three-way tie between Andrea, Reynold and Malcolm, meaning there’s an instant revote. At the end of the night, we’re down one piece of eyecandy as Malcolm joins the jury.
Richard Simms is the Executive Editor of Soaps In Depth magazine and the author of Crimes Against Civility, which is available on Amazon.com.