Before I get into the Family Visit episode, I want to point something out. Something rather curious. This Sunday is going to be the finale of the Amazing Race. I am sure you are thinking – well, that’s true, but what does that have to do with Survivor. Well, let me tell you. Traditionally, CBS ends the Amazing Race on one Sunday night, and then does the special Survivor finale the following Sunday. There is usually one more Survivor episode during the week in between. With the latest vote-off, we are now at the Final Five. That means Wednesday’s episode will make it a Final Four, with that cast off becoming the eighth member of the jury.
There has been an eight-person jury only one time on Survivor – Fans vs. Favorites. Also, the traditional Finale has always been structured with two Tribal Councils, leading up to the final Tribal. With a Final Four, that means the plotting structure would indicate a Final Two this season – the first one since JT shut out Stephen. If not, then we will have a LOT of time to cover in the finale with no second Tribal Council. Get ready for a very long March of the Dead Survivors.
Let’s talk about the possibility of a Final Two instead of a Final Three, because it presents the possibility of something very intriguing. For the sake of argument, let’s say that Abinormal’s time comes to end with the next vote. That would put the alliance of Scoopin/Blair/Denise/Malcolm into the F4. That would mean they would have to turn on each other at that point. However, with a Final Three is becomes easy to do – one wins immunity, one from each pair is given votes and tie at 2-2 and compete in the fire challenge to move on. But with another tribal at F3, is there a fire challenge? There was in Exile island, but there wasn’t in Marquesas. Is the more recent Exile Island rule the current rule? Not sure. But if it wasn’t, would this group draw rocks? Or would one of the pairs crumble?
Another interesting scenario is what happens with this next vote. Abinormal could play her cards correctly – and judging by the previews, she may – and sell herself to one of the pairs as the solution to that 2-2 problem. She’s their third, majority vote if they want it. For Scoopin’ and Blair, this may be their last chance to win Survivor. I stand by my belief that if Denise and/or Malcolm manage to make their way to the end – they will win this thing. Only in a full Tandang finals could either the returning player or the child star win this game. I am skeptical that they will have the balls to pull this off, or if Abinormal will have the skills to sell it.
Although, following her brother’s visit, Blair may be willing to go back on her word once it is given. Justice Whelchel is not a soap character, nor someone serving on the bench. He is the much younger little brother of the former Blair Warner. If not mistaken, he wasn’t even alive while Blair Warner was alive on our TV screens. But he does provide some much needed boost to his sister, who is slowly turning into one of those Survivors with a mush brain by season’s end. In fact, I would say that if we had to endure Brandon Hantz, perhaps payback should be casting Justice Whelchel in the future.
Perhaps pair him with Michael Skupin. Junior. In what was one of the better family visit episodes, the sheer glee of the Scoopins meeting up was infectious. Dad freaked out and demanded his boy – well, his oldest kid, who is a grown ass man (tm Season 9 Rory) – let his dad see him. He called the younger Scoopin’ the “best human being he knows.” I am going to formally submit my petition to the gods and fates that one day I get to say that about my boy. So far, so good.
Meanwhile, the Whelchels met up and Blair totally lost it. She devolved into a medley of Carrie Matheson cry faces that made Claire Danes call her up and tell her to tone it down a bit. In fact, there wasn’t much of the blubbering that usually comes with this episode – she did it for everyone. What it did have was a strangely intense sprint for the family members as they appeared on camera, almost as if they were being chased by a large cat.
Other family observations…Carter’s mom looks about as young as Carter and is hobbit-sized. Denise’s husband is about a foot taller than her and looks like every dad in the PTA meeting. Abinormal’s mom speaks no English and must think this is the strangest thing in the whole world. And Malcolm’s brother, Miles, is, well, he’s a character. Please don’t cast him, Mark Burnett. He just looks and acts like he would make me long for Johnny Fairplay. The boys in the family not only share the “M” initial, but they also share the Troy Polamalu hair. While Malcolm seems to have inherited the good looking genes, Miles has gotten the goofy behavior genes.
Maybe it’s the hair, but the M&M boys win the challenge and Malcolm wins a visit at camp with his brother. Eschewing the usual screw-ups with doling out additional reward winners, Malcolm does it correctly. He and Denise are cool. They each know that. The correct move is to reward his two new allies – and that’s what he did. Way to go. I love it when players make the correct moves.