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

I do have to pause for the cause and give props to Phillip for his performance in the challenges this season. I don’t know if he truly is the next Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, as he claims, but the guy has played hard and played well. On the “not playing well” side, you have the Fans. Back at their beach, there is a full-on scramble to find the newly placed hidden immunity idol. Sherri, Michael, Matt, Julia, and Reynold are all busy searching high and low for the HII. But what Sherri, Michael, Matt, and Julia do not know is that they only hand out hidden immunity idols at the cool kids table AND THEY’RE NOT INVITED! So, due to process of elimination, Reynold finds it, exclaiming “This is how you play Survivor!” which is certainly a more potent way to play it than, say, forming a four person alliance in a tribe of 10.

Later, the rain falls hard and fast on the Fans as we are treated to lots of disgusting close-ups on Matt’s feet. “I want my mommy,” complains Duck Dynasty. “I wish something good would happen to our tribe.” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what they call a cue.

Okay, we have to get back into this now. Are you ready? I’m not sure I am, but let’s just do it. For the most part this season, Brandon has been on the outside of the tribe looking in, and that has to be hard when a guy like Phillip Sheppard appears to be in a position of power. Add in the fact that Phillip has been the hero in multiple challenges, and you have a ready-made recipe for jealousy to take hold. “Phillip Sheppard, this dumbass spy agent, whatever you want to call him, thinks he won the challenge,” says Brandon back at the Favorites camp after the contest. “And it’s really, really, really pissing me off. Right now I’m a little aggravated, and I feel like venting a little bit.”

Vent he does, telling Phillip to “shut the f---up and let someone else have an opinion.” What we’ve seen from Brandon both this season and last is that the guy is an emotional rollercoaster — high one day, low the next. You never know which side you are going to get. Says Corinne: “I think we can all agree that Brandon is definitely unstable and unpredictable.” Of course! Why do you think they cast him on the show?!

Now the back and forth begins. Brandon tries to mend fences with Phillip, who tells Lil’ Hantz that he is the one controlling how long Brandon stays. Brandon actually remains calm during the conversation, later telling us that, “As long as I can keep myself under control, I’ll be good. But by damn, that might be a really tough thing to do.” Brandon ends up keeping his cool for roughly the time of one commercial break. “I don’t need no old 54-year-old punk bitch telling me don’t bite the hand that feeds you!” he fumes while looking entirely possessed. “He doesn’t feed me! I’m a Hantz! I feed me!” This will become a running theme of the episode. Apparently, Brandon is very concerned that everyone know that he is capable of feeding himself. It seems like an odd thing to focus on, but I’m pretty sure logic already got the hell out of dodge a long time ago.

NEXT: And there goes the rice. And the beans.

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