Weighing maybe 90 pounds and barely able to focus his eyes, Mitchell went down betrayed, and exposed some fault lines in the quickly withering Ogakor tribe along the way. By the end of Week 4 of "Survivor 2," the once-wiry singer-songwriter was staggering about like a wounded gazelle, just begging Michael to appear clutching his blood-stained knife and put one in his throat.
After feeling the sting of Texas-style betrayal in the first round of voting, Mitchell sweet and noble Mitchell sat silent while Keith pleaded his case in the tiebreaker. Then he resigned. He told the tribe to go ahead and put him out of his misery. Imagine "you won't have Mitchell to kick around anymore" with a weepy, dying Bob Dole instead of Nixon.
It was a pathetic moment. And Tina, explaining her vote at length (again) had to go and rub his face in it.
Well, maybe Colby didn't make much of a Judas. He liked Keith fine, and Jerri's appeal for him is definitely flattening out. But he didn't join Team Tina. This was a sensible cowboy's vote time to shoot the limping horse and he needn't worry about the visibly miffed Jerri's allegiance next week. She needs him more than he needs her; she's got a lot more enemies than he does. Mitchell was the Ogakor tribe itself, hungry and tired and fraying at the middle, and it was his lot to give his flesh for all tribekind.
If CBS got a new editor for Episode 4 or just got lucky with the way reality shook out, keep it up. This was as close to Shakespearean as this baby gets dark destinies, noble deaths, all squabbles on the way down. And the mental challenges the cosmic-sized puzzle game for the chickens, a good old-fashioned trivia contest for the immunity idol make for a better plot device. More pointing and plotting, less grating summer-camp supportiveness.
The episode was the first one in which the drama seemed fresh, the sequel taking on an identity of its own. The generation-vs.-generation angle is still simmering, but the cliques are fracturing and the plot is becoming complicated. Who's next? Tina, if Ogakor's poverty keeps it slipping into extinction; Kimmi, if Kucha stumbles, because she's always shrieking around the kill.
Speaking of which, CBS, I know this is pre-taped, but I'd keep an eye on Michael. He may be keeping the tribe in bacon and pork chops, and he certainly provided the show's grabber moment in the Killing of the Pig. (The bloody, Hitchcockian slaughter was even preceded by a "Violent and Explicit Content" warning, though potentially a Topless Immunity Challenge would have been a better choice to follow it.)
CBS, we realize the editors make the drama, but Michael is clearly going native. Is Week 8 the one where he names his knife, takes to the bush, and becomes convinced that he has just been offered a "Survivor" spin-off based on "The Most Dangerous Game"?
And if so, will you run it opposite "Frasier"?