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Survivor: South Pacific Episode 2 - Brandon goes loco

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Written by : published Thursday 22nd September 2011

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We put up with a lot as Survivor fans…but is there anything worse than scream-out-loud bad gameplay?

There was lots of that going on in Episode 2 of Survivor: South Pacific, which you can view here.  After seeing the episode, be sure to check out my Survivor Examiner Episode 2 Recap.

Upolu Report.  So the big story of Episode 2 is clearly Brandon Hantz and his struggle to stay true to his values in a game full of lies, deceit, and deception.  Who is “honorable” and “loyal” in the game of Survivor always comes down to personal perspective, so I find it very compelling to watch Brandon’s code of Survivor ethics play out.  On one hand, he’s a devout Christian and man of faith, committed to playing a “fair” game.  Yet his first action on island was to lie about his relationship with his Uncle Russell.  He then struggles with this decision before deciding tonight to show his Hantz tattoo to Coach…but then later decides to lie about Christine and Stacey voting for Mikayla.  And speaking of Mikayla, if Brandon is truly a wholesome family man, wouldn’t he be the least likeliest candidate to pick the forbidden fruit, not be the most susceptible to temptation?

Oddly enough, he is not doing much in the way of redeeming his family name in the game of Survivor.  If anything, the only common thread that we see thus far seems to be an unstable mind, with a few issues underneath the surface that need addressing.  Now be clear, this is a TV show and I would be horribly wrong to judge any person outside of the game.  But inside of Survivor, he is trying way too hard, and the end result is a very unstable player.  Not somebody that others are going to want to align with, for long anyways.

Savaii Report.  The Brandon story took us away from Cochran, who didn’t get too much screen time this week.  The big reveal over at Savaii this week was Ozzy finding a hidden Idol.  It’s a big deal to have an Idol, but an even bigger deal to know when to play it.  Ozzy didn’t have that intuition the last time around…has he learned and adapted over time?

We also so that Ozzy has a true ally in Keith, and that Jim is also in their alliance.  Interestingly, Jim believes he’s in control, and Keith believes he is.  Keith seems to be in a great position at this point in the game, as does Elyse and Whitney who haven’t gotten much screen time yet this season.  Papa Bear, Dawn, and Cochran on the other hand, seem to be on the outs, but if Savaii can continue to win challenges, these underdog players could end up becoming major swing votes down the line.

Notice too, that quietly both Ozzy and Coach have assimilated into the majority alliance on each of their respective tribes.  I thought for sure that after Boston Rob won last season, that any new player would be targeted immediately.  Both Ozzy and Coach seem to be in good shape, and if Coach can keep Brandon in the game, he’ll have found his truly loyal ally, friend, and lightning rod, to take the heat off of himself.

Next week should be interesting, as we will get our first Duel.  My money is on Christine to outplay Semhar, who seems unlikely to win at Redemption Island.

Be sure to follow all of my Survivor coverage on Twitter (@tomsantilli), and at tomsantilli.com.  Next week I’ll be interviewing Boston Rob Mariano along with my weekly Episode Preview and Recap…see you then!

About the author SurvivorTom


Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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