Author Topic: Steph 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'?  (Read 1022 times)

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Offline puddin

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Steph 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'?
« on: April 11, 2005, 08:22:29 PM »

Steph 'Wolf In Sheep's Clothing'?  {l{

NEW YORK, April 11, 2005
 (CBS) Analysis of "Survivor: Palau" Episode Eight, by's Ellen Crean.
 A tribe of one.

That's what it's come to.

But here's the thing: Why?

Is it making the game more interesting, to send Stephenie back to camp all by herself, in the dark?

Well, OK. Maybe a little.

But hasn't it made it difficult to anticipate the next installment? Some people might say yes, but even that makes it more fun.

In past "Survivors," the game usually became more interesting when the merges happened, because you'd get a whole new mix of people.

If they ever allow a merge to happen on Palau, the "new mix" will mean only the addition of Stephenie to the well-established Koror. How many ripples that pebble will make, depends a great deal on how eagerly the Korors turn on one another.

At the beginning of Episode Eight, it sure looked like trouble in paradise. Flies and rats were moving into Kamp Koror, and Coby was totally disgusted, complaining that his tribemates don't clean up after themselves.

This was followed quickly by the reward challenge, in which the prize at stake was a 55-gallon tank of fresh water with a shower head, along with a generous supply of grooming products.

The task was the eat-gross-food challenge that comes up in every "Survivor" and in this case, the contenders had to eat eggs with partially formed duck fetuses. Everyone did so well that the contest came down to a tie-breaker, wherein Fireman Tom managed to choke down five eggs before Bobby Jon could do it and so won the reward for Koror.

And all the Korors passed around a bottle of mouthwash as if it was a bottle of Boone's Farm at the junior prom.

Then came a scene that seemed designed to show Fireman Tom in a bad light, because as any "Survivor" viewer knows, he has been the hero of Palau so far. There comes a time, though, on "Survivor" when the heroes must be taken down a peg or two.

In Tom's case, it happened when he got a little too bossy about how the tribe should use the 55 gallons of fresh water. Some could not wait for a shower but Tom felt strongly that they should use it as drinking water, and everyone else went along with him. Still, Coby and Jenn were especially upset, and Jenn told the camera that Tom was "being such a sourpuss about the whole thing."

Tom? A sourpuss? Them's fightin' words, Jenn!

But no need to worry about Tom. He was busy telling Ian that he felt "the only concern we have is Gregg and Jenn." And he also revealed that he and a couple of other Korors had an alliance with Stephenie that was formed even before the current tribes were established.

So, concluded Tom, "Stephenie would be the wolf in sheep's clothing that they didn't even see coming."

Meanwhile, over at Ulong's camp, Bobby Jon and Stephenie were not exactly carrying on like Adam and Eve. Stephenie had a lot to say about how dirty Bobby Jon was, and how he ate crabs shells and all and how he blows "snot rockets."

And, really, she seemed generally miserable, weeping as she confided to the camera, "If I make it through this, I can make it through anything." But it wasn't long before she got her game face back on, stating stoutly, "I won't give up hope, but I feel like we're at a dead end."

Right there, it's plain to see why so many viewers are crazy about Stephenie. She's not warm and fuzzy, but the woman is absolutely human and vulnerable, and she has been put in a position that no other "Survivor" has had to face. She feels the pain, all right, but she picks herself up, dusts herself off, and gets on with it.

As a matter of fact, things start looking up for Stephenie and Bobby Jon very soon thereafter, as he catches a fish that yields a generous meal, and few things perk up Stephenie like a good dose of nutrition.

The immunity challenge involved swimming, diving, and putting together a word puzzle, which they then had to solve. Gregg and Coby competed on behalf of Koror, and Coby is just incredibly good at solving puzzles.

So Jeff told Bobby Jon and Stephenie that there would be an individual immunity challenge awaiting them that night at Tribal Council. "The loser," he said, "goes home."

But before it was time for that lovely ordeal, we got to see Koror celebrating their victory, and it was great to see so much credit going to Coby the Great Puzzle Solver. He was brought to tears as he explained that he never had been made to feel part of a team before because of his sexuality. "I was always called the girly guy," he said, adding that this time, things were different. "I wasn't going to let anybody make me quit this time."

The emotional wallops in this particular episode came from the tears of Stephenie and Colby. Both of these players have presented themselves as incredibly strong, albeit in different ways. Stephenie has a feisty tomboyish resilience, while Colby is kind of like a cat; you get the sense he'll land on his feet. Neither of them strike you as the crying type, but, then, generalizations are hard to make and tears often spring from the most unexpected eyes.

Okay, so at Ulong, Stephenie summed up their latest loss pretty succinctly: "We just suck at puzzles." She also admitted to feeling nervous about the prospect of being a lone Ulong. Bobby Jon, on the other hand, said he felt he could survive on his own for a pretty long time.

As soon as the two Ulongs sat down at Tribal Council, Jeff wanted to know, "So what's it like being a tribe of two? This is new... It's like you're the final two but we're barely halfway into this game." And then he rather pointedly asked them what they feel is the most important skill for a "Survivor" player.

Bobby Jon and Stephenie agreed: Making and maintaining a fire.

What a coincidence. It turned out that the first one to make a fire high enough to light his or her torch, would be the one to stay. And it turned out that the one who did was Stephenie.

And, of course, in this case, Jeff could not accurately say to Bobby Jon, before he snuffed his torch, "The tribe has spoken," so here is what he said instead:

"The tribe definitely did not speak tonight. Nonetheless, it's time for you to go."

As for Stephenie, before her lonely trek back to camp, she let Jeff know that before she had come to Tribal Council, she had stocked up with firewood and made her bed for the night. This is a woman who plans to win.

Next week: Coby gets upset when the other boys try to leave him out, and Stephenie struggles alone at the Ulong camp. At least she doesn't have to deal with those rats yet.