Person Non Grata
Original Air Date: Mar 13, 2013
Ryan O – Staff Writer
Well, you probably expected this episode. I was. I was also dreading it and hoping it didn’t happen. The episode where Brandon breaks down.
It’s not pretty. It’s not fun. It’s funny. It’s disturbing. It’s unsettling. It takes away from the game. Yes, it’s memorable but so is burning your hand on the stove. I am not a fan of this hour.
Night 10 . Fans. It’s right after they voted Laura out. Someone, either Reynold of Eddie, says, “No hard feelings toward Laura …” Whatever, dude.
Reynold tells us, in a much too victorious tone, how great it was telling the rest of the tribe they suck at challenges and they need him if they want to win and he played his idol.
Reynold tells the rest of the tribe that bygones are bygones.
As a reminder, here’s who remains after Laura was sent packing last week.
Gota — The Fans
Bikal — The “Favorites”
Brandon Hantz, 21
John Cochran, 25
Night 10. Favorites. Brandon is telling the tribe how much passion he has for his family. He tells us it was completely selfish of him to leave his wife and children while he plays Survivor. Again, he is a father to two people. Crazy. He continues with the tribe, telling them that it’s a waste being there and that the next tribal council, he’s volunteering to be the one to be voted out.
Malcolm tells us he’s annoyed with Brandon, although not in so many words. He points out Brandon’s decision has an impact beyond the Hantz family. It impacts the game.
Brandon then tells people he thought about lighting the shelter on fire and peeing in the beans and rice. Corrine expresses her sarcastic gratitude. He apologizes for the thought.
Corrine tells us she wants him out immediately. She doesn’t trust being around him any more and I don’t blame her. He’s clearly mentally unstable. It’s not fun to watch.
The next morning, Brandon gathers everyone around the fire. Now, he’s saying he’s changed his perspective. He’s going to stay for his family. He’s going to be intense for his family.
Two people from each tribe will hold up a net of their own while people from the other tribe try to throw coconuts into the net. The tribe that keeps their net up longer wins steaks, sausages, and veggies to grill.
Andrea, Dawn, and Erik are sitting for the Favorites.
Phillip and Brandon are holding the Favorites’ nets while Matt and Michael are holding the Fans’ nets.
Reynold is throwing coconuts into Brandon’s net. It gets heavier and heavier until Brandon can’t hold it any longer and he is the first one out. Then, Matt is out for the Fans. Michael and Phillip are working hard to hang on but Michael gives up and drops his net. The Favorites’ win.
The Fans must be glad they still had Reynold and Eddie to win challenges. Hmm, what’s that? They lost? Oh. Huh.
Day 11. Fans. Sherri tells us the muscle isn’t paying off. She also says she has to find the idol.
We see Reynold, Sherri, Julia, Michael, Eddie, and Mat looking for the idol.
Reynold finds it. He tells us he’s not going to tell anyone. Well, except Eddie.
So, what I love is that we see Eddie and Reynold doing EXACTLY what they hated Shamar doing: laying around in the shelter.
Favorites. Andrea tells us Brandon looks sullen and dead-eyed. Brandon tells us he’s annoyed that Phillip is taking credit for winning the challenge. So, as they’re sitting in the shelter, he calls Phillip a dictator and says Phillip should let someone else have an opinion.
Corinne tells us she doesn’t know what to do about Brandon any more because he’s unstable and unpredictable. Malcolm says Phillip didn’t do anything out of the ordinary but he was just in the way of one of Brandon’s downward swings. Malcolm thinks at some point, he’s going to be drain on camp.
Phillip tells us that he thinks Brandon should be out of the game but if “they” want to keep him in the game, “they” can but Phillip will be playing a different way.
Brandon goes to apologize privately to Phillip. Phillip cuts him off and tells him he “slapped the gift horse.” Phillip says he slotted Brandon to finish higher than he had previously. Brandon wants to know if Phillip gets to make that decision. Phillip shakes his head.
Brandon tells us he has to control himself with regard to Phillip but that might be hard. Phillip tells us the two of them are not okay and that Brandon is persona non grata. The first opportunity to eliminate Brandon is when Phillip will eliminate him.
Day 13. Fans. Now Matt, Eddie, and Reynold are all in the shelter doing nothing. It’s raining pretty hard and it’s rained for two days straight.
Brandon starts yelling at us and referring to himself in the third-person. It’s unsettling.
Phillip says he would normally never consider throwing a challenge but in this case, he will. He considers it an act of compassion for both the tribe and Brandon.
Phillip tells Andrea that Brandon has to go if they lose. Andrea, who you’ll remember would prefer to have Brandon in their alliance over Corrine, asks Brandon about Phillip and he says he was the bigger man and he apologized. He thought everything was fine. Brandon asks if Phillip is going to throw the challenge. Andrea says it isn’t going that far but if they lose, there will be problems.
Brandon pulls Phillip aside and asks him what’s going on. Phillip stays pretty calm and asks what Brandon means. Brandon says that Andrea said Phillip still wants Brandon out. Phillip says he’s still not happy with what happened. Phillip says there are trust issues and he shares information. Phillip goes on to say that “one of of the requirements of Stealth R Us is,” but Brandon cuts him off, asking him to drop the Stealth R Us stuff since it’s demeaning and childish. Phillip says it’s a lot of fun for everyone. Brandon disagrees and says everyone hates it and hates Phillip. Phillip says if that’s true, they’ll vote him out.
(I’m going to present the rest of the episode without much commenting until the end. This is going to be long enough as it is.)
Brandon says, “Well, let me give you a reason to vote me out.” He walks over to the shelter and announces, “Ladies and gentlemen! I’m gonna give you a reason to vote me out!” and grabs their basket of rice and dumps it all out onto the ground. Then, he grabs their bag of beans and tries to untie it to empty when Erik comes over to try and stop him but I think he does get a good share of the beans on the ground before throwing the bag.
Phillip has walked off down the beach. Brandon is shouting at him, “Come on! Come get some!”
Meanwhile, people are trying to recover the rice that they can. Dawn tries to calm Brandon down. He walks down to the beach again, “I am the author of my fate!” and shouts about no one disrespecting him now.
Dawn tells us they’re considering just forfeiting the challenge so they can go straight to Tribal Council and voting for Brandon.
Immunity Challenge! Immunity! Back up for grabs!
The two tribes show up. Jeff asks the Fans how they’re doing and Reynold says the game is tough and they’re all suffering in the same conditions.
Jeff asks the Favorites how they’re doing. Brandon addresses the Fans and says they’re the underdogs and they deserve a second change. Corrine tells Jeff that while the Favorites respect the game, themselves, and the Fans, they’re choosing to forfeit immunity so they can deal with the situation at hand in an appropriate venue. Brandon says that’s a load of crap about respect.
Jeff calls Brandon over to where he’s standing. Brandon gets to yell at everyone for a while. The Fans all look concerned. Reynold looks ecstatic because he’s a giant tool.
Jeff tries to talk him down. Brandon says he had a really rough time after the first time he played (what a great idea for him to play again!). It changed everything about his life. He swore to himself if got the chance to play again, he wouldn’t be the guy to get walked all over again. He wouldn’t cry and he is proud that he hasn’t shed a single tear this season because he’s callused himself. He says everyone in his tribe all care about themselves, which is pathetic and will get them nowhere in life or in the game. Well, actually, that’s the point of the game.
Jeff asks Phillip what he’s thinking. Phillip says he’s tried to embrace Brandon when he came to him asking to be part of Phillip’s alliance.
Andrea starts crying. She says she’s grown close to Brandon and it hurts to see two people she likes say cruel things to each other. Phillip says he hasn’t said anything cruel. Brandon cuts in and says Phillip, “Super Spy 3.0,” never says anything wrong. Brandon starts shouting and edging toward where the Favorites are standing on their mat. Phillip tells him not to walk over there. Jeff tells Brandon to stay where he is.
Jeff puts his arm around Brandon and says no one wants him to get physical. Brandon says he won’t get physical for Jeff.
Jeff, after mentioning Russell, asks Brandon if people ever ask him if “it” is in his blood. Brandon says he thinks it is, that Hantzes speak their minds and he’s proud of that. Ugh. Screw you. Probst.
Phillip says he never had any bad feelings toward Brandon (which, yes, is a huge lie) and he doesn’t know where any of this is coming from. Brandon’s idea that Phillip is in charge is just a figment of Brandon’s imagination.
Phillip gets into it a little more about Brandon disrespecting his elders and how he probably disrespected his aunt who is helping to take care of his kids (yeah, seriously, remember that Brandon is a father?). Brandon shouts back at the mention of his kids, which is to be expected.
Jeff confirms the Fans want to forfeit. The Fans give the immunity idol to the Favorites. Jeff says Tribal Council will be right then. Brandon votes for Phillip. Everyone else, one by one, votes for Brandon. Dawn is visibly shaken by the whole thing.
Brandon walks out.
Okay. This shouldn’t have happened. Here’s why.
First, the producers. Brandon shouldn’t have been cast the first time, let alone a second time. He had no business being in the game, especially after how he behaved the first time. Shame on them for putting the Favorites tribe, the crew, and Brandon in that position.
Second, Brandon. Obviously. He’s responsible for his own behavior.
Third, Phillip. Phillip handled Brandon so poorly. He had no sense of how to deal with him at all. Everything he did made the situation worse.
Fourth, Andrea. Andrea only antagonized (albeit unintentionally) Brandon by telling him Phillip wanted him out. Sure, she wanted someone else in the alliance instead of Brandon but you have stable and trustworthy Erik right there.
There are two interesting things about this situation’s fallout. First, will production restore some or all of the food that Brandon poured on the ground? Second, will the Favorites be able to build some momentum off of this?
What do you expect to happen in the coming weeks? Let’s hear your Two Cents!