Candicewoodcock_cookislands_240_1 There’s a familiar scene from many a mafia movie in which our hero, having either decided to talk to the feds or revealed to us that he was a cop all along, goes back amongst the goodfellas for one last time. Viewers know his identity, but they don’t know if the other wiseguys know, so there’s tension to every second, dramatic irony if you want to be an English major about it.

Thursday (Nov. 30) night’s episode of Survivor: Cook Island is nothing like that.

Everybody walks back to camp knowing that after betraying Aitu at the mutiny, Jonathan turned around and betrayed Raro after the merge, proving the deciding vote in Nate’s eviction.

Pre-credit sequence. There are rats in the camp and Jonathan, the King Rat, is apologizing to Candice, reasonably pointing out that he had no choice. The Aitus, in turn, are overjoyed that their powerplay worked. The Raros? Not so happy. Parvati rants and raves that Jonathan is vile and says he played himself into second place. Jonathan notes, with 100 percent accuracy, that if he hadn’t flipped, Yul would have played the Idol and he’d have gone home, but Parvati isn’t hearing it. Parvati’s a cute gal and I like having her around for certain reasons, but she feels so betrayed that she can’t think straight (assuming she could have anyway).

Parvati’s got guts. Jonathan doesn’t understand how, after 28 days, Parvati hasn’t gutted a fish or even watched anybody gut a fish. Well, now she has, as she watches Sundra do the dirty deed. Jonathan isn’t impressed, going so far as to say that a million dollars would only screw her up worse. Adam and the other spoiled white kids are pouting. Should we be amused that this is how the season has evolved? The entitled, attractive, young Caucasian players at the mercy of the "minority" competitors?

Parvatishallow_cookislands_240_4Reward challenge.  It’s time for the Survivor Auction. For $100 in the blind auction, Jonathan scores a hot dog, fries and a beer. "Snap," Parvati gushes. The next item is a hot bubble bath in front of everybody, plus a piece of chocolate cake. Parvati wants the bath and Jonathan bids her up to 360 bucks. Parvati bathes. The cameraman drools. Borrowing money, Becky bids $640 on something that will give her power in the game. She gets to send somebody to Exile Island, taking their money. In an utterly cold-blooded move, Becky sends Candice off to Exile Island for the fourth time. Host Jeff Probst tells her that the Idol is still out there, but Yul announces he’s got it. Candice trudges off in misery. Parvati scrubs her back. Ozzie pays $420 for an ice cream maker and soft-serve for the rest of the challenge. For $120, Jonathan bids blind again and gets a pepperoni pizza. Everybody else is miserable. Sundra gets stuck with a sea cucumber for $140. Jonathan spends $100 on some cleaning supplies and tips Jeff, who looks ready to slap him.

Keep your pepperoni burps to yourself. Jonathan is bloated from his meal and he keeps complaining about how full and thirsty he is. He gloats and belches and makes a fair nuisance of himself. Yul, Becky and Sundra are so disgusted that they’re reevaluating aligning with the boor. Parvati’s sees their discontent and thinks she can work it in her favor. She pokes and prods at the grumbly Aitus and then goes off fishing with Adam. You know who’d love to be fishing with Adam? Candice.  Again stranded on Exile Island, bawling, Candice says she misses Adam and wants a hug.

Immunity challenge. Adam vows revenge on Jonathan and is determined to best the "darty, darty rat" in the Immunity task. The game requires using memory skills to solve puzzles based on facts from the game. Parvati, Jonathan and Adam advance to the last round, which also includes an obstacle element. I’m not sure how he does it, but Adam wins big. It’s a big triumph for the Greek Row Alliance.

Raros choose cuddles over fish. Candice, Adam and Parvati kvetch that it doesn’t matter where they go as long as Jonathan goes first. They even promise that if they’re on the jury, they’ll vote for Yul. He isn’t impressed, swearing that Jonathan is rational and selfish and therefore predictable. Later, while Adam, Candice and Parvati cuddle in the tent, the Aitus and Jonathan sit around the fire eating, discussing the ethics of not feeding Jonathan’s fish to the tent cuddlers. Candice, to her credit, is probably famished, but she just seems petulant, which doesn’t stop her from ranting and raving. Yul, initially unconcerned, comes to Becky and suggests voting Jonathan off first so that he can insulate himself against the ire of the jury. It’s the wrong move and Becky knows it.

Tribal council. The story of the Cuddlers vs. the Fish-Eaters is rehashed Rashomon-style. Everybody tattles on everybody else. And then everybody turns on Jonathan, or at least Parvati and Adam and Candice do. The members of the jury are loving it. Jeff says that he sees three tribes — the Aitus, the Raros and Jonathan. Yul disagrees, but not with any passion. Jonathan plays humble in an unbearably arrogant way. This is tough, because as obnoxious as Jonathan is, I refuse to sympathize with Adam, Parvati and Candice in this. I don’t want any of ’em to win. The vote goes 3-3 between Jonathan and Candice, before the last two votes go to Candice. She and Adam swap good-bye spit.

So who do you support? Greek Row or the Rainbow Coalition? Or do you respect Jonathan’s rat-like behavior? 

Posted by:Daniel Fienberg