So we are all still trying to come to grips with the fact that we were there to see all-time villain Russell Hantz finally get voted out of the game and than get the proverbial boot a second time after he lost to Matt on Redemption Island. So only four episodes in and the much-hyped Russell Hantz VS. Rob Mariano duel never even got underway. So what to make of it all? Lets get right to it now that I have had a night to sleep on it.
First things first: I can safely say that the Redemption Island twist is already a bust in my mind and I just want to be done with it already. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that Probst and Burnett put this ultimate gimmick in the game as a means to keep Rob and Russell relevant for as long as possible and it really didnt do any good at all with Hantz being out already before the game really got going. And now doubt the much talked about Rob VS. Russell duel was a colossal disappointment since we didnt even get to see them go at it. I have said more than a few times that one of the best Survivor moments of all time was when Rob called out Russell on live tv during the Heroes VS. Villains reunion show by saying he "would no problem going back out there and kicking your ass all over the island." It was a classic moment and the idea was planted in Probsts' head. So it was not a shock when both came back to do it again and take out the ruler once and for all. Instead what we got was a bunch of a talk and no action. I got to say that I am incredibly bummed about this as I really was hoping to see these two renew the rivalry but they never got the chance and that was Burnett's and Probst fault.
Starting both Russell and Rob on opposite tribes clearly was the mistake in hindsight. Why not start them off against each other on the same tribe? That way you guarantee some kind of duel between them before they could possibly fall victim on opposite tribes which is what happened. Yeah it would have been odd having them both on the same tribe from the get go with the other tribe made up of newbies but I am sure they could have figures it out. Or how about not having two tribes but just throwing all 18 people in one group and having at it? Why the heck not? We have had people voted back into the game, tribes divided on race, fans vs favorites, and now Redemption Island. Nothing is out of the realm of absurdity in this game.
So what we have now is no doubt a hugely disappointed audience that is left with the masterful Rob who is still a scene stealer but little else. The rest of the cast has already proven to be incredibly boring. Really who in this game outside of Phillip is even remotely interesting? And Phillip is just a character who is there for laughs and thats it. You cant tell me that both Probst and Burnett knew that Phillip was a sacrificial lamb with that personality. They knew all too well that he was not long for the game with that type of behavior. The rest of the group is lame as hell as we have no breakout personalities at this point. Lame.
I know I wrote after the opening episode that it looked like a very promising season but I can conclude after four episodes that it has gone downhill fast. There was no Rob VS. Russell duel, Russell is out, Redemption Island is a boring waste of time, and the rest of the group sucks. Ratings were their lowest ever so far to this point and despite being renewed for two more seasons, this is going to prove to be the cliff season for Survivor if things dont get more interesting quick. I hope I am wrong but I dont think there is any debate that this season has gone bust already.