Australian Survivor Recap: Heart of Darkness

At the Post Tribal Night Vision Hyena Eyes Gathering, Odette is upset that Kent is gone and that there is no evidence that she is on the show. She tells the others she’s going to have an early night “if that doesn’t bother anybody”. None of them know who she is, so it doesn’t bother them much to be honest.

After some shots of beautiful Samoan scenery in much nicer places than the ones they’re in, back to the beach, where Luke has caught two extremely small sharks and the tribe is overjoyed at the prospect of getting half a mouthful of fish each. Everyone is very happy with Luke, as the island madness overcomes them.

Meanwhile on Samatau, Henry is bored and hungry and annoying, and he isn’t the only one. “I’m the most hungry I’ve ever been in my life,” says Locky: he’s so hungry he suddenly starts referring to himself in the third person. Meanwhile AK is doing nothing and boasting about what a brilliant strategy this is. He deliberately tries to aggravate Locky, sure that his allies will turn on Locky for losing his temper, rather than turn on AK for being an irritating lazy prick. It seems like an unwise move, but if these people were smart they wouldn’t be allied with AK in the first place.

Back at Asaga, Jericho notes that people think he’s helpless. He attempts to disprove the hypothesis by looking for an immunity idol, and failing. He doesn’t know that Henry already found the idol and gave him a fake clue. The “helpless” theory is strengthening.

It’s time for a challenge. But the producers have no sense of timing, so we have to wait for a bit and listen to Odette whine about her problems as if anyone is invested in her fate in any way whatsoever.

Asaga discovers a pile of packages with their names on them. We learn that these are special gifts from home, although it takes us a while to learn this because they foolishly let Luke read the message aloud, and he is not exactly top of the class.

The gifts are all very sweet and moving and emotionally manipulative and fill a pretty generous chunk of time that the producers would otherwise have had to fill with things happening. Nobody sent a bottle of vodka or box of chocolates or anything useful though, so their families don’t care THAT much.

Finally everyone dries their eyes and gets on with the business of the immunity challenge. Locky admits to Jonathan that Samatau is suffering horribly, which makes Luke extremely happy. Locky wants to make a deal with Jonathan to swap the tribe’s previous winnings for a flint. Jonathan accepts the deal. He could just give them a flint, but Jonathan is a hateful man, bitter and twisted and misanthropic due to his brother’s acting career.

The challenge is to swim, get a key, unlock a box, do a puzzle, then knock the puzzle over by throwing stuff at it. BUT…the challenge is not for immunity! Instead the winning team will go to tribal council and vote “for the ultimate reward”. What does this mean? Jonathan is not telling: his black heart keeps its secrets close.

Michelle’s job is to jump into the water, grabbing a key on the way. She’s not very good at it. Asaga is way behind. Luckily they still have Odette, the legendary crowd favourite and ultimate athlete on their side. Her famous stamina and skill come into effect.

Asaga moves into the lead due to Samatau’s woeful incompetence. Samatau retains some hope in the fact that Jericho throws like a toddler, but not much hope, because even Jericho occasionally knocks down a block, and Samatau still hasn’t built their puzzle. However, the dynamic combination of Ben’s long, gibbon-like arms, and Henry’s fake-yoga-honed physique makes them a sandbag-hurling machine, in comparison to which Tara and Jericho’s combination of weakness and poor co-ordination seems rather inadequate. And indeed, Samatau wins the day and Asaga has to go cry some more.

And so we look forward to this mysterious rewardy-council. But before that: fifteen-twenty minutes of mind-numbing boredom! It starts with Samatau making use of their brand-new flint to — eventually- make fire.

There’s some guy called Pete on the Samatau tribe. Interesting.

The tribemates discuss what the reward might be. Jared wonders if the reward might be that it’s just a normal tribal council. Tessa notes that this is a stupid idea. Henry and AK wonder if the reward can be turned to their advantage. Locky deploys a strategy that is quite difficult to understand, but he seems satisfied with whatever it is so I’m glad he’s happy.

Oh, Ziggy. There’s someone called Ziggy too. Remember Ziggy? I think it’s a woman.

Off to weird bizarro tribal they go. Jonathan welcomes them with the kind of steely glare only a man who starred in the short-lived series “Seven Days” can muster. He explains that the tribe will choose one member to compete for “the ultimate reward”. He won’t say what the ultimate reward is. He’s such a sneaky bitch.

There is then a lot of talking. The only conclusions reached are that: Ziggy is an all-rounder; Ben’s head is spinning; Pete is still technically there.

Finally, several hours after arriving at Jonathan’s Clearing of Horror, they vote. Ziggy is elected, due to her being an “all-rounder”, whatever that means. Jonathan gives her a map to the mangrove, where she must go to assassinate Colonel Kurtz.

When she arrives she finds a note informing her of the “super-idol” — half of which provides immunity from elimination, half of which can be used to cancel out someone else’s immunity idol. Ziggy walks into the darkness, and is never seen again.

Oh no, there she is. “Oh my gosh, there are so many trees,” she says, cannily identifying one of the most noticeable aspects of a forest. Wading through the swamp, her all-round skills come to the fore, as she manages to hold a torch and not fall over at the same time. Finally, after virtually no suspense at all, and some baffling sounds on the soundtrack that seem to suggest that there are wolves in the jungle, she finds the super-idol, which she thinks will allow her to win, but will actually cause her to lose because everyone’s going to hate her now.

Tune in next week, when there’s a twist that will keep the game the same forever.

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