“Survivor: Tocantins”: Episode 3: Eyes Of Magic Vs. Smile Of Evil

Coach has established eye contact with you. Do his bidding.
Coach has established eye contact with you. Do his bidding.

Erinn knows she’s on the outside of her Timbira tribe, and she tries to distance herself from the voted-out Candace by saying she only got close to her so she could make a good decision about her. Coach tells the camera that Erinn made a mistake by aligning herself with Candace and then insulting the others’ intelligence with this story. He sees this as a bed that Erinn must now lie in.

Meanwhile, Jerry’s stomach isn’t doing so well. He’s determined not to show weakness, but others notice that he avoids the beans and doesn’t eat much rice.

It takes a while for the Jalapao tribe to get the hang of the fishing equipment they won, and they all ineptly hang on to an edge of the fishing net like they’re playing one of those parachute games at a kids party. But they do have success fishing with poles, and Joe says the fish “tastes just like victory.” So that’s what victory tastes like. I always thought it would taste like chicken.

For the reward challenge, six blindfolded members of each tribe go through a maze, tied together in pairs, and collect water and corn in buckets. Joe directs his Jalapao tribemates, and Debbie is the screamy caller for Timbira.

Often the blindfolded challenges are good for a few laughs. There aren’t any cool injuries this time, but we did see a face-to-face collision, J.T. getting a faceful of corn, and Brendan and Jerry wandering off the course at one point (when they touch their opponent’s water tower, Debbie scolds them with “Brendan — no! That’s not ours!” as if he’s a child grabbing someone else’s food). Jalapao gets three buckets before Timbira gets any, and then all six Timbirans shuffle together in a line like a blindfolded, stumbling “Locomotion” train at a wedding reception. Jalapao easily wins the challenge and is rewarded by a tarp, blankets, pillows and chairs. Coach, frustrated with Timbira’s loss, makes an angry, constipated noise. He later calls it a “primal yell.” I stand by my description.

Jalapao picks Brendan to go to Exile again, and he picks Taj to accompany him again. On Exile, they learn that the hidden immunity idol (back at camp, as they learned last time) is “surrounded by wood.” They think of who else could be sent to Exile, in case they’re not the ones chosen, and they decide to bring Sierra and Stephen into a secret four-way alliance.

Back at camp, Timbira talks about how it sucked to lose the challenge. Debbie says she feels like she let them down, and Coach begs his tribe not to go off in groups and talk about who didn’t do well in the challenge. And then he and Tyson go off and talk about who didn’t do well in the challenge. Coach wants Erinn gone immediately.

Tyson thinks a good way to describe Coach is “coach” — he’s not the best at doing what he’s coaching, but he thinks he knows the most. Coach calls Tyson his assistant coach, which Tyson thinks is great, saying “more power to me.” Tyson hopes to be promoted to coach or co-coach someday, and says that if there’s a tribe switch-up and he’s separated from Coach, he’ll demand that the other tribe call him “Coach.”

Sex kitten Sandy
Sex kitten Sandy

Jalapao, happy to have a tarp and blankets to help them stay warm and dry, awakens from a night of sleep so wonderful that Sandy declares herself to be a sex kitten.

At the immunity challenge, the tribes retrieve huge crates, two members at a time, and then stack the crates to build a staircase that spells out their tribe name. Jerry looks like he’s hurting during the challenge. Timbira gets their crates gathered first, and Erinn takes the lead in assembling them. But they lose some time discussing what goes where, and Jalapao wins.

Right after the challenge, Jerry says “I’m through; I’m finished,” but he later tells the camera that he doesn’t plan to quit and wants to tough it out.

The Timbira tribe gets Brendan up to speed on Jerry’s health, and he says, “That makes it easy,” presumably referring to the decision of who to vote out. Upon realizing that Jerry’s illness may guarantee her safety, Erinn’s face breaks into a relieved smile. A smile that utterly sickens Coach to his core. An evil smile that Coach practices so he can re-create it for the camera and again for Tyson.

I’ve concluded that Coach hates my hometown girl Erinn in the same irrational way that Michael Scott hates Toby Flenderson on The Office. My apologies if you don’t watch The Office, but if you do, use your best Michael Scott voice to say these words that Coach uses when explaining why he can’t exist around Erinn: “I am so true, that existing around people that smile evilly when somebody else is on their knees — it kills me.”

Erinn tells the camera that she wants to be delicate about making sure people are aware that Jerry’s not feeling well. Or in her own words, “You don’t want to be, like, ‘Hey, everybody, Jerry’s sick,’ but you kind of want to be, like, ‘Hey, everybody, Jerry’s sick.'” Tyson, meanwhile, ponders keeping Jerry and blindsiding Erinn, saying, “Anytime there’s a blindside, it’s pretty awesome … I love seeing people cry when you crush their dreams.” As long as that person is eventually Coach, I’m onboard.

Oh, and Brendan gets fresh with the tree mail statue and lifts up its skirt, finding the hidden immunity idol, which he apparently hides under a rock.

At Tribal Council, Jerry says he thinks their tribe needs a leader, and he suggests Brendan. Probst asks Coach what he thinks about that, and Coach says he’ll play devil’s advocate (Why “advocate”? He’s so good at playing the devil), claiming that he made eye contact with everyone on the truck that first day, and the reason why grabbing supplies went so smoothly was because “I basically told everybody — with my eyes — to get what they needed to get.” (Oh! That’s why Timbira lost the reward challenge: Coach’s magic eyes were covered!) Good grief — the man is so controlling that he believes he’s controlling others’ actions through eye contact. Every single person I know has just become more bearable, by comparison.

Erinn agrees that Brendan would be a better leader than Coach, and there’s talk of Coach being passive-aggressive, not owning his ideas, and possibly having an ego issue (c’est impossible!).

And after poor, sick Jerry sits through all that, he’s voted out. Coach’s vengeance upon his smiling nemesis will have to wait.

Photos: Monty Brinton/CBS © 2009 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved