Survivor: South Pacific - The wages of sin (spoiler alert)
Let's see: Contempt for women? Check. Outbursts of self-righteous anger? Check. Lying and manipulating? Check.
Yep, he's Russell Hantz's nephew all right.
Throw in a tendency to flagellate himself when his actions aren't god-like enough (not physically, he's not that hardcore of a Christian) and you've got what Coach calls "the epitome of a SNAFU."
The fun and games started on Wednesday's episode of Survivor when Brandon returned from tribal council, mad at himself for lying to try to torpedo Mikayla. "I came into this game wanting to not be like Uncle Russell," he lamented.
(By the way, anybody else wondering how Uncle Russell feels about that?)
After God "chastised" Brandon, he knew it was time to tell the truth to the whole tribe, so off came the T-shirt and out came the "Li'l Hantz" tattoo and an apology for lying about his identity.
It didn't buy him any points with Mikayla, though, who took Brandon for a walk in the woods to get to the bottom of his beef with her. Isn't it just like an uppity woman not to accept a guy's apology? Next thing you know, Brandon was chastising Mikayla for her "attitude" and calling her out in front of the rest of the tribe for verbally attacking him.
"I don't want no more of this from anybody," Brandon fumed. "Keep me out of this drama."
Geez, Brandon, that's kind of hard to do when you're the one causing the drama, don't ya think?
The dust-up left Albert shaking his head, Mikayla in tears, Sophie calling Brandon "a devious jerk" and Coach lamenting that Brandon was causing uneasiness within his alliance.
"It's a different kind of aggression than Russell had, but it's an aggression nonetheless," said Coach. "I hate to say it, but I do see a little Russell in him."
Brandon was also in tears for letting "my flesh get hold of me." If by that, he means the fleshy parts that form his lips, yeah, time to get those bad boys under control.
"I struggle every day. This is like a constant battle for me, good, evil, good, evil, good, evil, and I really want to do good.
"Lord, please don't let me sin anymore," he implored. As if.
Over on Ozzy's Savaii tribe, meanwhile, drama was pretty hard to come by. Papa Bear belly-aching about how he, Cochran and Dawn were low in the pecking order wasn't exactly news or all that interesting.
Ozzy, however, did something that could come back to bite him on the ass. He blabbed to his new bestie Keith that he has the immunity idol and Keith promptly blabbed to Whitney, making her promise she wouldn't tell Ozzy that she knows. This discussion took place as Whitney rocked Keith in the tribe's hammock. What was up with that?
Best to cut to the immunity challenge before Savaii's lack of drama bores us all to death.
But first, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the first Redemption Island duel took place, between Semhar and Christine. Initially, I thought Semhar had come up with some wacky strategy to throw Chistine off balance when she started reciting poetry. Nope, she was just calming her nerves.
What's so calming about lines like "I would give birth to 10 of his children without using any drugs to ease the pain"? Beats me.
Anyhow, since the duel involved balancing wooden totems on top of ever-lengthening poles and not something that required brute strength, I thought Semhar might stand a chance of knocking off the Long Island toughie.
Naw, Christine won, much to the chagrin of Coach, who was spectating.
Luckily, Semhar did not recite more poetry on her way out of the game, but she told host Jeff Probst that being sent to Redemption Island "brought back a lot of memories from my past. I felt like I've been abandoned so many times in my life. I just don't understand how people can be so cruel."
And this is why you have to love Jeff. He replied, "And yet, you sought out this game."
Then Semhar talked about how she played the game "faithfully and as a good person," and I started to doze off.
The immunity challenge proved to be, well, more challenging than the duel. Tribe members had to race one at a time across a floating bridge, carrying a bodyboard attached to a rope attached to a winch. At the end of the bridge were five bags that had to be brought back to shore one at a time, with tribe members cranking the winch to pull their teammates over the water on the bodyboard. Once all bags were retrieved, two more tribe members standing atop a wall had to use grappling hooks to lift the bags, then unfurl the long banners inside each bag to from their tribe's flag. Got all that?
Besides immunity, the winners also got a reward of tea, coffee, milk, sugar, cookies and chocolate, and another clue to the hidden immunity idol secreted somewhere at camp.
Upolu took the lead when Savaii members kept choking up on the rope, preventing Ozzy from getting to the end of the floating bridge. They worked it out eventually, and fast work by Dawn and Ozzy allowed Savaii to tie things up. But Coach proved to be a whizz with the grappling hooks. And some excellent teamwork with puzzle-mate Edna and the rest of the tribe, who shouted directions from the beach, allowed Upolu to take back immunity.
At Savaii's camp, Papa Bear quickly became a targeet of the looming vote, seeing as how he totally sucked at the challenge. I actually wondered at one point if he'd have a coronary trying to work the winch.
Papa Bear knew he was on the chopping block, despite being told it was Cochran's turn to go, so he ran, literally ran in a "dead sprint," in Elyse's words, into the woods to hunt for the immunity idol.
Of course, he came up empty-handed, but rather than admit defeat he stuffed his briefs with some wood wrapped up in fabric and pretended he'd found the idol. As Cochran put it, "About five minutes later, Papa Bear comes waltzing into camp with this big smile on his face and an extra large bulge in his pants." Ewww.
The only real question was whether the gamble would fool the tribe into voting for Cochran instead. And the answer was no. Nobody voted for Cochran except Jim, who did it just in case Papa Bear really did have the idol.
Papa Bear didn't go without leaving a little collateral damage behind, though.
He told Jim that he should be more worried being one of an alliance of five, than Papa Bear, Cochran or Dawn should be in their group of three.
That seemed to give Jim something to think about, so much so that it looks like he considers teaming up with Cochran on next week's show.
The promos tell us Cochran is "the new mastermind" on Savaii. And it looks like more fun and games with Brandon as he accuses Albert, Mikayla and Sophie of being in cahoots. Plus, there'll be another Redemption Island duel between Papa Bear and Christine. My money's on Christine.
You know I'll be watching Wednesday at 8 p.m. on Global and recapping it right here.
Let's chat. What do you think of Brandon's shenanigans? Will Christine get her wish and be this season's Matt? You can comment here, tweet me @realityeo or visit my Facebook page.