AFTER ONE HUNDRED SEVENTEEN DAYS: What does it take to win Survivor? [spoiler-protecting page break removed]
YES! YESYESYES! Not only did Boston Rob win, but Philip delivered one of the most entertaining final tribals ever, capped off with David's closing argument telling the jury what we all knew to be true: you can't play a better game than what Rob Mariano did this season. "Genius," as David said, "is what that was."
That brilliance was extended to the very end: Rob hand-picked a pair to join him in the finals who could not win -- the sycophant and the psycho. The needle: threaded. (I think that was an 8-1-0 vote.)
The only thing that could have made that better? I missed the absence of the Dead Homies sequence. But damn that was one fine season of television.
added: Rob talks to EW: "I didn’t tell anything to Amber either. Obviously I came home and I’m 150 pounds. She knows my sister went out for the family visit so she knows I went deep, but she didn’t know. I actually led her to believe that I was voted out at the final four. So last night when she was backstage in the green room with the kids — she’s watching the last challenge and she sees that I win the last challenge and I’m going to be in the finals. And all of a sudden things start clicking in her head. It was nine months of me keeping a secret and the payoff was worth it."
Matt Zoller Seitz: "Mariano's greatest gift was his ability to make every player he allies himself with feel as though they were the confidant and co-conspirator who was special and wonderful and different from all the others and would never, ever be betrayed.... His dominance was so total that after a certain point, it became obvious not only that he was probably going to win, but that there would be no traditional suspense this season -- just the more detached sort of excitement that comes from watching a master do his thing."
added: The unaired Fallen Comrades sequence.