Friday, October 7, 2011

A Matter Of Trust

The best way to find out if you can trust somebody is to trust them.

~Ernest Hemingway~

Welcome again to another weekly installment of my thoughts and perceptions on this recent episode of Survivor South Pacific. I am going to try to do my best to write as fluidly as possible. The past few days I have been suffering from a bad head cold and am still in the throes of it. My kudos to whomever invented NyQuil as they are my unsung hero at the moment. Hopefully it will kick out soon. Plus hopefully it will not affect my writing at this time.

all apologies

As the episode starts really gaining momentum we see two dynamics. The first I will cover next, but instead I will start off on something that for the life of me I just can't fully get.

Namely why is Brandon apologizing to everyone? And I mean EVERYONE.

He starts off by apologizing to Mikayla which seems to make some shaky peace. However it's not quite on a secure foundation as Mikayla does not trust him at all. Somewhere in the back of her mind is a: he is Russell's nephew...he has had shades of Russell emerge before; so will those shades emerge again? b: she also wonders why he does things without thinking and then acting in a passive aggressive manner; turns around and begs forgiveness? She (like us all) thinks he is a wonderful kid, but he has her totally not sure of what's up. So I don't think she's fully buying things but is accepting the apology for the moment to keep peace between them. I can see Mikayla is still on edge and waiting for the next passive aggressive shade to rear up again.

The next apology was to Edna.

He approached Edna quietly in the hut and shares that she is not fully in their alliance and that no one is really taking her that seriously. Brandon by doing that has now planted seeds of doubt inside of an already nervous Edna's mind.

But if you think about it. Brandon though well meaning, should not have done that. For one, she is there at the behest of the main leader, Coach Wade and is HIS side ally. Or extraneous ally. Coach Wade calls the shots in camp due to his position as leader and Coach Wade said from the beginning that as long as he could make sure of it..that Edna was safe. So that means no matter what Edna has a safer route than say...Stacey. Coach Wade I doubt would make a promise to Edna that he doesn't mean to keep and at this point my perception is that Coach Wade trusts Edna more than Brandon, whom he has already caught in 3 lies.

So of the two I would say Edna has more of a shot with Coach as she has more of a trustworthy pact with Coach Wade (for whom trust means everything) than with Brandon whose trust with Coach Wade has become somewhat conditional. My thinking is somewhere deep seated Brandon realizes that Edna as in the case of Mikayla can usurp his place in the alliance. And though the apology may have some sincere elements ..I feel beneath the skin there is something more happening as Brandon makes his decisions based more of the fear and insecurity element than really thinking it through properly. For if he had, in the case of Edna, he would have realized she has a slot as long as Coach Wade can consider her trustworthy and can keep her in. I think he jumped the gun on this one and unnecessarily frightened Edna.

The third apology had me shaking my head. Here you have Papa Bear saying just moments before that he would flip to the Upolu side should he have a shot back. Brandon hears it...but blew it off. To apologize to someone who honestly could not care less or accept it fully!

Again Brandon means well...he is a wonderful kid. He has a beautiful heart but I don't think he's cut out for the game. His decisions show that. His words at the beginning of the show about what the game does to people show that. His roller coaster paranoia and emotions show that. He doesn't think and that will hurt him eventually.

The Plot

The next meaty part of the episode is brewing over on Savii Island. A plot is brewing over there. Namely, the realization of Jim that he is at the bottom of the "beautiful people alliance" totem pole and that he will be next after the exit of Dawn/John.

So of course it would make perfect sense to strike first; go to an ally he originally approached to begin with namely John Cochran then in his smarmy witty way approach an idea to not oust OZZY but instead ELYSE!

For one Jim is not close enough to the throne so as to speak to be privilege to strategical info. His attempts to talk to Ozzy about strategy meets with mockery after he walks off plus he has no real clue that Ozzy has in his possession the Hidden Immunity Idol. I think Jim is the male part of Christine in that he is playing aggressively out of the gate and that few trust him there. He is playing both sides which is obvious. But the time to pull the trigger is now past as I doubt he can get the votes to get Elyse out as it would be 4 on 3 unless he can flip ONE person....but I doubt that is going to happen.

Breaking down the voting sets:

Whitney/Keith are a tight duo.

Ozzy/Elyse are a tight duo

Which leaves Jim on the outer perimeter between two factions making deals.

Then u have Dawn and Cochran.

It's possible he could sway Keith/Whitney but somehow I can't see those two pulling the trigger yet UNLESS the pot is sweetened. I can't see it happening but stranger things have happened.

Personally I don't think people trust Jim. Cochran uses several adjectives to describe him. Too white teeth, used car salesman...etc. Below the surface Cochran doesn't trust Jim but is going with it as right now that is his one chance. But Cochran wants a big move. In theory a big move would set the pace of the game.

But there's one pesky little matter..the HII.

Would Ozzy be dumb enough to use it on Elyse to spare her? Would Ozzy play it just in case? Or will this all detonate and become a huge blindside of the main plotter Jim, whom no one takes seriously in the big group and whom is not fully trusted in the smaller group?

My gut says Jim is the one in the end who will end up on the outs. The numbers aren't there..a time for the move has past; Keith/Whitney won't pull the trigger too soon and in the one trusts Jim. Especially when they realize he is playing both sides of the fence.

the alluring elyse

At the center of the Savii plot is Elyse Umemoto.

She is beautiful.
She is sociable.
She is also Ozzy's muse.

Ozzy's m.o is a beautiful girl. An impressionable eye candy that he can keep around to vote unquestionable with him and guys enjoy looking at.

Even Cochran/Jim stated they did not want to vote her off as she is a beauty to look at. But she is also the main one closest to Ozzy now and in essence Ozzy's female ally. They spend a lot of cuddle time together and are bonding. Plus Elyse has an alluring charm about her like the sirens that used to lure the sailors to their demises. Ozzy could easily use or avail himself of Elyse to charm someone to their side. He also should she be targeted and successfully voted off..lose a solid member of his set.

By being thisclose to Ozzy Elyse has made herself a target as Survivor rule number one: a couple is dangerous as they are one vote is always a factor in any major strategical shakeup. As long as the power of two stay as the mind of one in the game..u can end up seeing another Boston Rob/Amber with the F1 and F2 sewn up.

So no matter how alluring Elyse is..being thisclose to Ozzy is gonna be dangerous for her. AND for Ozzy!

The Duel/so long sweet Papa Bear

The duel this past episode was a nail biter! It was so close that it could easily have gone either way.

In the end Christine emerged victorious and we sadly have to say a farewell to the very classy Papa Bear Anthony Caruso. Papa Bear had wanted to be on Survivor for a long time. But sadly never did fit in into the cliques over at Savii. He was a good sport and eloquent in his exit.

Good bye Papa! I will miss you bro!

Christine's Vengeance

At the end of the duel we listened to yet another verbiose statement from Christine. After some reflecting I now am of the opinion that we have not seen the last duel yet of Christine.

In fact I think she will win the next one.

I feel that the longer she stays on RI the easier it is for her to acclimate and gather strength to play the challenges. She has a sweater now (thanks to Semhar) plus emotionally she is no longer shell shocked by a vote off like any other will be when they come to duel.

Christine is tough as nails. She is focused and the focus she has is based on a deep seated need to get back in and wreak vengeance on Coach Wade. She is very vindictive towards Coach mainly and somewhat towards whomever voted her out as well. But I do feel the main focus is Coach wade.

Coach Wade is unabashed leader. She never found an in with him (thanks to her calling him out as a temporary player and mocking him) let's face it she holds him at the top of the vendetta list as she blames Coach for her being there.

So now you have Stacey also vindictive; heading to the island to duel.

Stacey is going to show up with this boulder on her shoulder and that venom will only feed Christine's vindictiveness and make CHRISTINE stronger. In the end Christine will win her next duel and as long as she can feed off her need to get vindication and wreak vengeance on Coach Wade..and as long as she stays acclimated..I can see Christine being there a while unless she hits some serious competitor..and even then I think she would give them a run for their money!

What is that phrase: hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?

Christine is a bitter, scorned woman.

Odds n Ends Dawn is amazing Brandon/Jim sets records

Wow! What an immunity/reward challenge!

In the end Dawn stood strong carrying 140 pounds of sacks on her tiny frame against Stacey who I also give kudos to as well. There is no way I could hoist that amount of weight myself so I applaud them both!

Dawn in winning that is just amazing!!!

As is Brandon and Jim who beat previous records set by Rupert/JT etc and again another amazing feat of strength! Kudos to both men! I had to chuckle at Jim's quip of when they added the first 20 lbs he said "and to think I have took 20 pounds off already on the island" or something to that effect. All I know was the crack was hilarious!

Kudos to all and to Savii on winning!

a matter of trust

Now to the dynamics of Upolu whose main alliance there is 5 plus 1 plus 1 maybe.

The main focus of Coach Wade's game from the onset of Tocantins has been building trust in people. A trust that appears unchallenged except for possibly Brandon who seems to question each part of the alliance.

From sharing with Edna his feeling she is not really in; building her to have a seeds of distrust to some small part. To Brandon's belief thanks to Stacey's seeds of doubt planted so that he would erupt and take the heat off of her; that Mikayla, Sophie and Albert were a pact.

The main poison that seems to float around camp does seem to start and end with Brandon's ability to trust or mistrust. Sophie remarked that they may need to reshuffle things if their basic foundation of trust is not fully sound and being questioned by one of their own.

Trust seems to be a continual process there but mainly due to Brandon's actions. For the most part I feel that Sophie, Albert and even Edna do not question Coach Wade. I think Brandon even trusts Coach in a mentor sort of way. I think even Mikayla trusts Coach. But when the other dynamics are tested that's when the levels of trust start to shake a bit and the main person testing those foundations is Brandon.

For trust to be solid and to has to be solid for each member or at the least know that the people you are playing with..have your back. When it comes to majority alliances though that can get pretty tricky. Especially with extra sub alliances and appendages as you are always gonna have that one who is gonna be paranoid at some point. In Upolu's case it is Brandon. His paranoia is also affecting other's as well now which is not a good thing. Hopefully Upolu 's main core can stay strong and resolve it so that at merge they will be 5 strong and a bond. But soon they may have to eat one of their own though. As the alliance now pretty much covers the entire camp including subs.

The most moving moment in Tribal Council:
Tribal Council was a lesson in humanity from a young man baring his soul to an attempt to show respect to a woman in her exit who left with ruffled feathers.

Stacey is next to duel Christine on Redemption Island

Well that will do it for this week. Hope you have enjoyed my musings. Please check back next week for more. Until then keep your torch lights lit and enjoy the next episode of Survivor South Pacific!

I enjoy reading your views so please don't be shy and leave a thought or two here on this site. I appreciate your taking the time to read and hope you have an amazing week Survivor fans!


  1. First off Brenda, I enjoy reading your recaps and thoughts on the episode.

    I have reached the point where I just cannot stand Brandon and his dumb ways, always talking about his infamous uncle and at one time was going to keeping it quiet, I feel like Russell is the unofficial unseen 19th member of this season, his name is reference more than say Rick or even Whitney. His apologetic ways is doing what for him, what does he think it is doing, is it making him a better person in the eyes of God. He uses the term God too much for my liking, I have no doubts that he is a Christian and loves God unconditionally but I believe he is using God as an excuse for his pathetic strategy and his more than peculiar ways. And his little break down at Tribal Council I believe was as genuine as you believed Russell's was last season. Wheew got that out.

    Coach is playing a great game I believe, I was not a big fan of his in Tocantins, he played a back seat role in HvV but this season I see as everyone else obviously does a more ruthless yet loyal player. His determination to reach the end is so obvious and he almost reminds me of Rob from last season in some of his confessionals. His loyalty can only go so far and as soon as they oust Brandon the better it will be.

    Ozzy on the other hand I liked as a player on the Cooks but this season it is Micronesia 2.0, what the hell is he doing, it is a strategy of his, I cannot see it but maybe there is something he is planning that is being hidden from us.
    Jeff said there is going to be a big blindside next episode and the following week we'll see the results explode within the tribe. Should be fun.

    Jim is so cocky and arrogant it is unreal, I do like him and at Savaii, he is the only one playing the game, along with Cochran. Jim reminds me of Marty from Nicaragua and I did like him.

    All in all I am so liking this season, it is the best non all-stars since Tocantins and I can see it getting better.

    Great recap once again Brenda.

  2. Hey Bren, nice blog, I read a few of my words to you in that blog, very nice indeed ;) Hope to chat with you more again soon... lol You know Who I am ;)

  3. If Cochran wants to stay longer, he must learn to trust Jim even if he's not 100% trusting him. Yeah, he's using a lot of adjectives to describe Jim but beneath all these adjectives is the word SECURITY. Cochran will probably be more secured if he chooses to be on Jim's side than Ozzy's. Jim may be playing him but in this part of the game that merge might be coming or not, they need to trust each other.

    Cochran and Jim are my bets to last in Savii tribe and I want them to succeed in their plans. Just not sure if Elyse must go first than Ozzy or the other way round.

    In Upolu, Coach is in control and Brandon is his loyal sidekick. The editing was not showing Sophie and Albert that much and it makes me wonder why. I watched their secret scenes in YouTube and I consider them as power players.

  4. Rob I agree with you 100 per cent and feel Brandon is using religion as a strategy. I don't agree with this style of strategy and think it will show itself in the long run. I agree 100 per cent that Coach is a lot like Rob last season. I mentioned it to Coach Wade and he responded that he just knew what needed to be done and did it :)

    Thanks for your awesome response Rob!

    Hey Walt and thank you~ Thought our analysis is dead on and for sure felt it needed to be added here. Thanks my friend :)

    Dean thanks for stopping by! I like Cochran and hope he fares long in the game and I agree Sophie and Albert are great players!!!



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