LAST EDITED ON 11-30-12 AT 08:43 PM (EST)SURVIVOR PHILIPPINES Ė EPISODE 11 SUMMARY
"Hell Hath Frozen Over"#episodetitle
Well, with a title like that and with Dr. Ruth telling us right off the bat, "Abi is going unless she miraculously wins immunity, or if she does win immunity, then Penner will go" then there's not much to summarize, amiright?
Abi pisses and moans and bitches about her treatment at TC the previous night.
Abi gets massive production manipulation in her favour to win immunity.
Abi is safe, so Penner gets the boot.
Nah, not interesting enough and thereís a summary that needs to be written, so letís get this wagon train moving.
Blair was given a rough time by Abi-Mania so she decided to go all-in with Skupin in search of a new alliance. They offered themselves up to Normal Penner but he declined.
Malcolm and Dr. Ruth both agreed to team up with Blair and Skupin to create a F4 group.
Carter won IC.
A brutal TC resulted in Abi being tossed to the lions and eviscerated, and she ended up playing her HII which resulted in Pete being booted.
For more meat on this episode (if thereís any left on the bones after the lions were through with Abi), Iíll let Molaholic retell it in his own unique way.
Itís now the next morning after Tribal Council at Camp Gangrene and we see Skupin talking to a super-grumpy Abi-Mania. She says the guys were brutal toward her. Dr. Ruth (the therapist, mind you) gives the equivalent of a 'blah blah blah' hand motion and isnít about to give Abi any sympathy - but think of all the money she could have earned with a patient such as Abi! The therapy bill could very easily top the $1 million that goes to the winner. Oh, not that kind of therapist? Ah well...
Is it bad that I still inadvertently tell people that Iím going to get treemail when Iím actually going to the
post box mailbox? Itís more ingrained in me than I thought after twenty five 'Survivor' seasons.
Anyhoo, Malcolm drew the short straw this time around so he was stuck with Maniac-Watch duty in going with Abi-Mania to get treemail. They see a bunch of pouches and Abi immediately breaks out into tears, evidently thinking they are letters from home. Nope, it's $500 for each in U.S. dollars so obviously it's going to be the nearly-annual food auction, always a fun event and topped only by throwing contestants to the wolves for the amusement of the jury.
Jiffy lays out the Debbie Beebe Auction Rules (can only bid in $20 increments) and puts up the first item up for bidding Ė a big stack of pancakes with syrup, bacon and orange juice. The bidding goes quickly, $200 then 320 then 500, Dr. Ruth winning as she's got to keep up her energy level for the therapy sessions to come.
Next item is cheese and ... boom, Skupin's got it for $500 before Jiffy's even started with his spiel. Cheese, crackers and wine, and Skupin says he's not a drinker but proceeds to chug down the wine after Jiffy offers to drink it for him. Ah come on, Skup! A bombed Jiffy trying to orchestrate an auction would have been fun to see, and you'd have to wonder what kind of stuff he'd spew out if he had no inhibitions at all after being reasonably restrained the night before at TC in telling Abi to stuff it.
Malcolm wins a plate of donuts and iced coffee. Penner wins a mystery plate that turns out to be fried chicken and fries. Spicoli wins another mystery plate that is a baked potato with the works but is offered a couple bags of rice and beans in exchange, so he makes the trade for the benefit of the tribe Ė now watch them thank him by promptly booting him out, if not this episode then the next one. Never fails. Besides, tribal farting from the beans is way more fun to the production crew than someone chowing down a measly baked potato. Another mystery plate is snapped up by Blair and it's a massive sub sandwich (where's Lamber with her Ohhhh Myyyy Godddd I Love Meatballs sound effect when you need it?).
Okay, I remember back in the good ol' days they used to throw in some local delicacies into the food auction as a mystery plate Ė it's kind of disappointing when each mystery plate turns out to be gourmet food instead of something like fafaru or roasted tarantulas or a freshly-blended glass of pig guts thrown in with cow blood or whatever. Perhaps a nice little tortang utak with some chianti, too? Wouldn't it be more dramatic to have someone bid all of their money only to find out they got something stomach-churning? At the very least, how about a big plate of Brazil nuts instead of a big fat sub or a chunk of meat...
Speaking of Brazil nuts... With the stench of foreshadowing thick in the air after Abi-Mania's constant bleatings about how she's so hated and how the world is against her and how she's certain to go home next, you know what's coming next, don'tcha? Go on, take a wild guess. Yes, no sooner had Jiffy said "advantage" at the next offering, Abi-Mania threw down her entire $500 pot to snap it up before anyone else even had a chance to take a breath.
The rest of the tribe evidently were asleep at the wheel as everyone knows that some kind of an advantage will be coming up to be bid upon, so they ought to have someone on standby willing to jump in to ensure that Abi-Mania doesn't get her grubby hands on it. Anything that doesn't look like it'd be food, BID BID BID before Jiffy finishes removing the cover. But it's hard to compete with a massive production conspiracy, though. We all know that controversy keeps things interesting on shows like this, and you gotta keep the villain of the show in there at all costs so you had Abi-Maniac sitting there glumly on the bench showing little emotion and occasionally whining about how she's on the next train to Crazyville or that nobody loves her. I half-expected the others to pool their money to either stuff it into her mouth or bribe her to go away for once and all.
Anyhoo, back to the production conspiracy. Who doesnít love a good conspiracy theory? You could almost swear that Abi-Mania knew in advance what was coming up next with the reveal of the f-ing stick (sorry, that had to be said!) which is how she was able to jump in so quickly, Then, of course, you just knew that they were going to rig the immunity challenge in some way to make it possible for her, of all people, to actually win a challenge that didn't involve Olympic Conclusion Jumping or Spending Someone Else's Money (© Estee).
After a final mystery plate that turned out to be a big serving of veal shanks won by Spicoli and shared by the whole tribe (mmm, pass the festering bacteria from everyone slobbering all over while taking a bite), we head to commercials. Oh, look, there's an ad for Cymbalta. And here's one for Zoloft.
Back at Camp Gangrene, it's more of the same old stuff as Abi-Mania doesn't waste any time in attacking Penner for not calling off the jackals munching away at what was left of her carcass at Tribal Council and that he needs to apologize. Apologize for what, for allowing her to reveal her cuckoo side? Penner tells her she needs to be friendlier and said sorry it was her turn to get slammed. In confessional, Penner adds that a bitter, toxic Abi is good for his prospects in the game. (Meanwhile, is it too much to hope to get Abi-Mania to apologize for her treatment toward Blair, her supposed alliance mate? Just sayiní.)
I'll give Abi-Mania credit, though, as she turned in a rather brilliant series of moves (hopefully without any production intervention*) in her desperate fight to stay in the game. She takes off for a while to read the clue she got at the auction, which tells her that she gets to move directly to the third and final round of the immunity challenge.
The next morning, Abi-Mania heads off to set her plan in motion, creating a fantasy for the f-ing stick and deciding that she'll pretend to have a fourth hidden immunity idol. Then she lies down with Malcolm back at camp and tells him she has a clue to the fourth HII and found it. Hrmm, the seeds have been firmly planted and the wheels are now definitely churning in that mind of hers. Malcolm relates it to spending time with a former girlfriend who just doesn't get it and continues to stalk after you've broken up with her.
Fast forward to the Immunity Challenge. Abi-Machiavelli's machinations continue as Jiffy tells her to reveal the advantage that she bid upon during the auction. She not only reveals the advantage but also tells everyone that there's a second revelation but she chooses not to reveal it and rips up the parchment into pieces. Poof, now everyone's got a bit of doubt about what the truth actually is and maybe Malcolm will do his part to spread the word about what Abi told him earlier.
In the challenge, there are three parts and before each part, they have to answer trivia questions about the Philippines. Get the question wrong; add 5% of their body weight in pouches to be carried through an obstacle course. Please, elementary school kids carry far more than 5% or 10% of their body weight in their backpacks and they do fine getting around to school and back, so these wimps should have no trouble handling the extra weight Ė particularly since theyíve just fattened up in a big way at the auction and gained new energy.
Blair was eliminated after the first obstacle course and then Spicoli and Penner finished in the top two in the second to make it through to the final obstacle course where the mighty challenge threat, Abi-Maria, was waiting for them. Skupin adds to the foreshadowing by claiming that Abi can't climb and she can't win this challenge. Abi then flew through the final stage to win immunity easily. Conspiracy theorists, unite!
In Camp Gangrene, Malcolm feigns that he's upset that Super Abi won and says the title, "Hell hath frozen over!" but he's actually thrilled so he can target Penner instead without appearing to go against the majority.
Blair gathers the other schoolmates and declares for the umpteenth time that sheís hopeless in the game, she doesn't know what she's doing, she's not cut out for the game, and is unsure of what she'll do next. She pulls Penner aside and psychoanalyzes herself before Penner cuts in and asks if she's voting for him at that night's Tribal Council, and Penner blows up in that she's actually going to vote against him just because he wouldn't agree to an alliance the previous episode. Third time, Penner... you ought to know Survivor 101 by now. He's left to do his own magic to keep him in the game longer and to scramble the rest of the way before Tribal Council.
Abi-Mania said she was planning on waiting for an advantage to present itself.
Dr. Ruth analyzes the previous TC and declares that it was their frustrations being vented as people reached their limit with Abi.
Penner calls out Blair for her see-saw act and for voting for him twice previously. Malcolm sticks up for Blair and trusts her.
Penner pulls the puppet strings again by trying to convince Skupin to go with him as nobody would win going up against Malcolm or Denise, saying that voting with them would essentially hand them a million dollars. Malcolm says, "Thanks, buddy!"
Skupin says he has to think about what his best move is to win.
The vote... Penner screams out, "STELLA!" while placing his vote. Skupin adds a big heart around Pennerís name on his parchment.
Penner gets four votes and Denise gets three, so heís booted. He gets up and gives Spicoli a hug, then breezes right by Abi-Maria whoís left standing there for a hug that never came. His torch freshly snuffed, Penner tells the rest of the tribe to go suck eggs. You mean, balut that should have been on the menu during the auction?
Let me add a note of appreciation for Mr. Normal PennerÖ the last of the great ĎSurvivorí strategizers now gone. ĎSurvivorí wonít be the same without his constant scrambling and his ability to truly understand what the game is all about (what the audience wants to see, for one) while developing friendships across the board, even if it ultimately led him to being booted as a significant threat who couldnít be trusted to vote one particular way. #survivorlegend #thanksPenner
(*Yeah I know, there wasn't a conspiracy to rig things for Abi, it just felt like it, and everyone loves conspiracy theories)