Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Philippines': Loved Ones Visit and Final Five Are Revealed
Parvati Shallow Recaps 'Survivor: Philippines': Of Idiots and Morons
[Warning: Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen Wednesday's episode.]
Who is this man that sits, blissed out as the Buddha, while everyone around him plays the action packed, strategy oriented, popularity contest that is Survivor? We’ve seen this mystery contestant for more than 30 days at this point, and his essence still continues to elude me. Is Carter really the kindhearted peacemaker that Skupin and Lisa make him out to be, or is he simply verbally disinclined and a little bit slow?
With the exit of Jonathan last week, Carter is now fully aware that he is tied down to the tracks with a speeding freight train heading his way. His life hangs in the balance and if he doesn't make a move now, he's doomed. With death at his door, Carter will certainly be spurred on, inspired to do something to save his own life, right? Eh, not really. When Abi, who’s also on the outs, broaches the subject of working together, he claims to not be thinking of alliances. He’s not thinking of alliances? It’s day 30 and we’re down to six contestants vying for a million dollars. What, exactly, is filling that precious brain space of yours, Carter? What could possibly be more pressing than formulating a plan to stay in the game right now?
Carter, please, for the love of God, do something! Blow something up! If all else fails, you can always take a play from Skupin’s book and catch yourself on fire. Come on, do it for the thousands of fans you beat out for a spot in this great game. At least Abi’s desperate and obvious lie that she has an idol demonstrates her desire to stay in this and finish what she started. I don’t think Carter even knows where he is or what he's doing. His happy oblivion has protected him up to this point, but won't be enough to save him now.
The issue of Lisa knowing that Malcolm will beat her in the end and also not wanting to betray trust plays out time and again throughout this game. Trust is such a fluid concept in Survivor. On one hand, you have to trust your alliance mates and, at the same time you must be aware that they can and will turn on you without a moment’s notice. If you are truly out to win, you have to hold your own self-interest over all moral notions of integrity and loyalty. Survivor is a dark game with twisted rules. The way a person plays Survivor is not the way he or she must function in everyday life. When you enter the game, you become a player, not a person. You do what you need to do to win and pray that the people you play with recognize that it is a game and are forgiving and rational enough to vote for the best player in the end.
When playing Survivor, a contestant can become so deeply entrenched in the game that it can be difficult to separate your real life self vs. your game self. The armor stays on all the time and self-preservation becomes the default setting. Showing vulnerability is simply not an option. For this reason, when the family visit occurs and a contestant shares that first hug with a loved one, we see such a heavy outpour of emotion. Having a spouse, best friend, parent or sibling who knows the true you, look into your eyes, breaks something in you. Love breaks that hard, outer shell a contestant has worked so hard to develop and viewers finally see a glimpse of the love that these warriors are capable of feeling and expressing. I bawled like a baby on my Dad when he came to see me in Cook Islands and Samoa. Sharing that experience with him remains one of the highlights of my life. Break out the Kleenex, kids. These episodes get me every time.