Spoilers for last night’s Survivor coming up after the jump:
The problem with being a TV critic is that you feel compelled to add layers of meanings and analysis on to your subject when sometimes all you really want to write is: Damn, that was some crazy crap going on ______ last night!
So: Damn, that was some crazy crap going on Survivor last night! I’m not sure how much of a spoiler this discussion counts as, since it seemed CBS was pretty heavily promoting the episode to begin with. But Other Russell’s passing out mid-challenge was pretty scary, even with the awareness in mind that he was surrounded by medical personnel and that CBS probably could not have kept the death of a Survivor contestant on-set a secret. Russell did survive, but seeing him pass out on camera, his still-open eyes staring vacantly, was awfully creepy nonetheless.
I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or an actual ratcheting up of the physical demands of the game, but Survivor has been enountering more medical eliminations in recent seasons than it did in its first years. And it’s a funny thing: people would always complain that “Survivor” was a misnomer, because there was little emphasis on actual physical survival, but I actually find that when there’s too much focus on the physical rigors and players keep leaving the game for medical reasons, it detracts from the real game.
Last night’s episode was undeniably attention-getting, though, and I’m glad Other Russell didn’t end up any worse. Of course, that left the producers needing to gin up suspense over what—if you follow your Survivor history—was pretty certainly going to be a non-elimination. Were the Survivor fans in Tuned Inland satisfied with how the show dealt with Tribal Council, or would you have rather seen it handled differently?
Think about it, but don’t overtax yourself. And stay hydrated!