“Survivor: Tocantins”: Episode 2: Shoot That Poison Apple

Sandy thanks her Jalapao tribemates for keeping her around, and Spencer tells the camera that her reprieve is short-lived, as they still plan to vote her out. The next morning, the protein-deficient tribe goes bug-hunting, and I turn away from the TV when they engage in the bug-eating.

Over on Timbira, Sierra knows she’s vulnerable, and she asks Brendan to help her look for the hidden immunity idol. She finds the first clue, and she and Brendan start digging in the sand where they think the second clue is (if they don’t know what “10 paces” means, they keep it to themselves). Debbie discovers them digging a huge hole, and Sierra says they’re building a massive fire pit. Debbie loves the idea — they can hang out on the beach and “pretend we’re at the beach somewhere.” (Like, say, in Brazil.) Candace isn’t thrilled by the idea, and Sierra rolls her eyes because Candace doesn’t love the fire pit that Sierra just made up.

Coach and Candace clash about how to cook beans and rice. Coach thinks the two of them are similar in that they both find faults with people, only with Coach it’s justified, since he’s a coach. Ummm, yeah. He does realize he’s not a soccer coach in this game, right? (Actually, according to this article, he’s also no longer a soccer coach back home.) Coach extends a creepy, control-freak olive branch to Candace by stroking her arm, not letting go of her, saying he wants to kiss her, and then licking at her face.

Over on Jalapao, Taj tells her tribe that her husband works as a football analyst, and it comes out that she’s married to former NFL running back and Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George. Stephen has no idea who he is. The guys who do know who Eddie George is see Taj in a whole new light, and think she probably doesn’t need the money.

The challenge, which is for immunity and fishing gear, is sort of a 3-on-3 game of basketball in the water. It’s a very physical challenge, with everyone tackling and throwing each other, several people trying to drown Sierra, and Sandy gleefully hanging on to Erinn’s clothes. Timbira makes the first two baskets, but Jalapao makes three in a row, winning the challenge.

Jalapao picks Brendan to go to Exile. He has to choose one member of the winning tribe to join him, and he picks Taj. On Exile, each chooses an urn — Taj’s is empty, and Brendan’s contains notes to open in private. Along with a note saying he could choose to switch tribes (he doesn’t), he gets a clue saying the hidden immunity idol is in the “tribal homelands.” He doesn’t know what this means. I now suspect he also doesn’t know what a “pace” is.

Taj keeps after Brendan to show her his clue, and he eventually shares his “tribal homeland” confusion with her. She tells him it probably means the idol’s back at camp, and shows great restraint by not ending the sentence with “… ya moron.” The two form a little bond, and agree to try to help each other. When Brendan comes back from Exile, he tells his tribe that Taj’s urn had the clue, and that she searched for the idol alone. Sneaky.

Jalapao goes fishing with their new gear, and country-boy J.T. emerges as the tribe leader. Angsty city-boy Stephen is surprised that he and “Tom Sawyer” are forming a bond — “He may be just seducing me with his pretty country ways, but I’m smitten.” Stephen knows that he may be J.T.’s “goofy, awkward right-hand man,” but that’s OK by him if it means he’ll stick around longer.

Over on Timbira, Candace tells the others that she doesn’t think Coach did well on the challenge — she hears a lot of talk but doesn’t see much action. Debbie tells Coach that Candace is trash-talking him, and now he thinks Candace is a poison apple that needs to go. Maybe Probst also needs to go — he said “Coach is really dragging” at the challenge, and that’s pretty negative, too.

At Tribal Council, Erinn says that six days isn’t a very long time to build up trust with someone, and Debbie, who says she’s built trust with several people on the tribe, disagrees. Really? Has she watched this show? I’m now hoping that Debbie gets blindsided.

But tonight Candace is the one blindsided (even by Erinn, who seemed to have a connection with her), and there’s no more poison apple for Coach to lick.

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc.