mercredi 3 août 2011 | By: Patrick

Rewatch: Survivor: Borneo "Quest for Food" (Episode 3)

Episode 3: "Quest for Food"
Original Airdate: June 14th, 2000
American Ratings: 23.3 million viewers

By the time the third episode of Survivor: Borneo was aired, it was now obvious that this new reality show would be the runaway hit of the summer. "Quest for Food" saw CBS increase its TV ratings by more than 22% compared to the previous week for the second episode. And little did they know that they would continue to skyrocket.

You are aware that my biggest concern when I began this rewatch was that, with everything that has happened in the following 21 seasons of the show, Survivor: Borneo wouldn't have aged well. My fear was that, with all the shocking and unexpected twists and turns we have seen since then, the very first season of Survivor would seem a bit dull and bland. And yet, regardless of the quality or lack thereof, of all the seasons that came after, Survivor: Borneo is nearly has good now as it were in the summer of 2000.

Which demonstrates once again just how important the casting turns out to be. It's no secret that the last two seasons (Survivor: Nicaragua and Survivor: Redemption Island) were probably the worse Survivor seasons in the history of the show. It doesn't matter how much you invest in gimmicks and gadgets. In the end, it's the castaways who will make or break a season. And those last two seasons were sorely lacking in that department. So much so that anyone involved in the casting should have been fired and never allowed to work in that field again.

What made (makes) Survivor: Borneo so memorable is the wonderful blend of disparate personalities. Sure, there are those you love, those you hate, and those you love to hate. But that's what Survivor is all about. That first season would never have been as great without colorful characters such as Rudy, Sue, Richard, Gervase, Greg, and the rest of the gang. Over the years, it feels as though the production invested a lot of money to design new challenges that likely took forever to be built, when most viewers don't give much of a damn about said challenges. It's the bonding, the clashing, the mind games, the backstabbing, the manipulating, the relationships between castaways, etc, that brings us back week in and week out. And in order for that to take place, you need a good core of participants. In that regard, Survivor: Redemption Island was a veritable travesty.

But I digress. . .

They must work together to build shelter, find food, and survive the island. But ultimately, it's everyone for themselves.

Day 7

With their food stores dwindling, at the Tagi camp Stacey, Kelly and Sue embark on an early fishing trip. Yet once more, all the fish traps are empty. "That saying: There's a lot of fish in the sea," says Sean. "Not this sea."

On the raft, Rudy is once again a topic of conversation. The younger girls feel that the ex-Navy Seal eats too much and doesn't put in the effort that should be expected of a man like him. But Sue feels that Stacey is the weakest member of the tribe, and as such she'll get her vote. Stacey, for her part, realizes that she likely cannot trust Sue.

"We want food!" complains Jenna. With their food supplies diminishing rapidly, starving is becoming a growing concern on the Pagong beach as well.

During their wanderings, Greg and Colleen stumble upon a mud volcano. When they return to tell the others of their discover, the entire tribe decides to go on a field trip together. The time spent at the mud volcano helps the team bond, a task made easier with the absence of the strict B. B. "We're going to be here 39 days," says Jenna. "You got to keep yourself happy."

Back at the Tagi beach, Dirk reads his Bible. He feels that his praying, meditating, and praising God give him the strength and energy he requires. But his preaching annoys certain members of the tribe.

I've gone 23 years without sex. I think you guys can go for 7 weeks.

Pure and righteous Dirk has a little crush on Kelly, but Stacey doesn't think he has a chance in hell. "You should try it some time. You might like it," opines Sue upon discovering that Dirk is still a virgin.

As a matter of course, Richard's talking about sex and homosexuality doesn't sit well with the extremely religious Dirk, whose virgin ears are not used to such vulgar and lowbrow discourse.

Jeff Probst introducing the reward challenge to viewers is sort of a waste of time, ewpecially given the fact that Survivor is a one-hour show (40-something minutes if you take away the commercials). Getting rid of such footage in future seasons was no great loss, if you ask me.

According to tree mail, the reward challenge will include diving and/or holding your breath under water. Gervase, who is not a very good swimmer, always struggles in aquatic challenges. Still, the Pagong tribe is confident and they enter the challenge area dancing.

To win fishing supplies, the tribes must swim out, dive down to the bottom of the sea to retrieve a chest, and bring it back to the beach. Colleen and Greg do basically all the work for Pagong. Gervase, one of their strongest players, is not a factor throughout. With the whole team contributing, the Tagi tribe wins easily. In the end, they're the ones dancing and getting the last laugh.

Day 8

At the Tagi beach, there is a little fishing contest going on. With the mask, snorkel, and spear, Richard hopes to silence his critics and prove that he can catch something to eat. Meanwhile, armed with patience and the Superpole 2000, Dirk and Sean head out on the raft, hoping to beat Richard and shut him up.

Unfortunately for them, Richard proves once and for all that he can talk the talk and walk the walk. After catching three rays during his first foray underwater, Richard is well on his way to become the provider of the Tagi tribe. Sean is envious of Richard's success and can't quite hide his jealousy. Too bad the Superpole 2000 worked so well on Gilligan's Island but not in real life. . .

My position with the tribe. It's probably going to increase as a result of this.

With the entire tribe starving, the rays taste like heaven. "You just need to keep me and I'll provide you with all the fish you need," jokes Richard, obviously enjoying his newfound status within the Tagi team.

Day 9

Joel and Colleen go on a fishing expedition with the raft, but they return empty-handed once again. After nine days on the island, with all but depleted food stores, the situation has become dire indeed.

Oh, I'm so ready to eat rat!

Having no viable alternative to fall back on, the Pagong tribe begins to hunt for rats for sustenance. "Rats aren't bad. Rats are rats," Greg rationalizes. "The questions of their edibility only have to do with your perceptions."

Joel is the first to have the courage to taste one. When asked about the taste, he replies, "Almost like chicken a little bit. Use your imagination." Gervase and Ramona look on, disgusted.

"Am I using a lot of imagination?" inquires Ramona. "As poor as we get in the ghetto, we never eat the rats."

Starving, Ramona caves in and gives rat meat a shot. To her dismay, she actually likes it. She hands a piece to Gervase who, after taking a bite, exclaims, "We got to kill some more rats tonight!"

Tree mail instructs both tribes to build a stretcher to carry their smallest members. At Tagi, Rudy is in charge of the set-up, building it to Kelly's size and weight. A bit clueless but enthusiastic at first, Pagong comes up with a number of great ideas, chief among them the straps that allow the stretcher to be turned upside down without Colleen falling off.

Simulating a place crash, Kelly and Colleen are hidden in the jungle, dangling in parachutes from tree branches. The remaining castaways must find them, place them on their stretchers, and be the first to return to the first aid tent to win immunity.

Pagong takes an early lead and get Colleen to the finish line to win immunity. Once again, Jeff not narrating and commenting on the ongoing challenges during that first season feels more than a little odd.

I don't think it's going to get any easier. You know, every time we go there it's going to suck even more.

The mood is a bit subdued during the meal before tribal council. Stacey first believed that it was a done deal that Rudy would be voted off. Yet now she realizes that it's her card which could get pulled. Rudy concurs, knowing that it's either him of Stacey going home tonight. He has a feeling that the younger members might band together to get rid of him. "I'm going to vote Stacey out at the council tonight, because I don't like her. And I never will!" he explains.

Richard hoped to have a discussion pertaining to their vote before the tribe left for tribal council, but his idea was collectively shut down.

The wind picks up in intensity and a violent thunderstorm unleashes its fury on the castaways as they reach the tribal council area. Jeff attempts to get the Tagi members to open up and reveal stuff they wouldn't necessarily talk about at camp, but no one really steps up to the plate. The rain begins to pour as the vote begins.

Drenched, Jeff reads the votes. Though Rudy received two votes, Stacey racks up the five remaining votes and is forced to leave the island. Due to the bad weather, Jeff allows the rest of the Tagi tribe to remain at the tribal council area for the night, or at least until the rain stops.

To purchase the Survivor: Borneo DVD boxset: Canada, USA, Europe.

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