Survivor recap: The Meltdown Everyone Saw Coming

Brandon Hantz was brought back to create drama, and he certainly delivered. But should he have even been there in the first place?
Ep. 05 | Aired Mar 13, 2013

CALM BEFORE THE STORM Brandon before everything went completely haywire

Monty Brinton/CBS

The episode begins with the Fans tribe looking pretty upbeat for a bunch of people that just lost their fourth straight member. They all say it is a turning point now that they have voted out that weakling Laura. At least that’s what the guys all say. Sherri is upset because her closest ally is now gone, and if they keep voting out the weak, well, she could be next. Meanwhile, Reynold says how happy he is that the idol is gone because it was such a source of division. Reynold should hope there is never a challenge involving being a good liar, because if there is that will be the one he will not completely dominate.

Then something very unusual happens. We head over that same night to the Favorites tribe. I can’t recall an instance were we got post-Tribal Council night footage of the winning tribe that was not even at Tribal Council, but here it is. And here’s why we have it: Brandon is telling the others how selfish he feels for leaving his wife and family. “I can’t do that anymore. Enough is enough,” he says. “Next Tribal Council, if we have to go to Tribal Council, I am volunteering for you to vote me out of the game.” He then proceeds to tell some of them about how he almost burned down the shelter and peed on the beans and rice. I’m not really sure what that has to do with missing his family, but I guess it all makes sense to him.

However the next day, Brandon has — surprise! — changed his mind, saying that he now believes he needs to tough it out for his family. “You’re gonna see the most intense Brandon you’ve seen so far,” he promises us. “And it’s going to be awesome. I’m excited. I’m freaking myself out. I don’t know what I’m going to do!” Truth be told, you are kind of freaking me out as well, Brandon, but let’s both settle down and go check out the reward challenge.

The challenge sticks with this season’s theme of brawn over brains as two members from each tribe each hold a rope attached to a net for as long as they can without dropping it while the other tribe shoots coconuts into the nets. The winners get a BBQ complete with steak, sausage, veggies, condiments and — just for Corinne — lots of wine. Because the Favorites have three extra players, they sit Andrea, Dawn, and Erik. Michael and Matt hold the Fans' nets while the ones for the Faves are held by Brandon and super duper straight-from-the-dead guest star Bob Marley, who randomly starts yelling out oddly intimidating Rastafari jargon such as “Jah, mon” and “I and I.” Whether that is somehow distracting or Sherri just stinks at throwing coconuts remains unclear.

Meanwhile, Reynold is once again a beast, dropping his coconuts into Brandon’s sack at will — wow, that sure came out wrong. No wonder Brandon is so upset! Sure enough, Brandon drops out first, and then so does Matt, leaving Phillip to battle Michael. Against a mere man, Michael might have a shot, but against the Gorilion? Forget it. The Faves win again and go to collect their bounty, with Corinne making sure she gets her mitts on the booze. Hey, I don’t blame her. If Probst was handing out Milwaukee’s Best, I would have been shotgunning them on the spot.

NEXT: Please don’t attempt to feed Brandon Hantz

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