We’re going to rejoin Jack and his group of Merry Women (rob from the stores and keep it for themselves) at the latest camp on the banks of Elimination River, where the boomerang has just landed. Australia, home to some of the deadliest wildlife on the planet, has just had all those crocs, dingos, poisonous spiders, and reality TV producers go running for the first plane off the continent. The #1 slot on the ‘this’ll kill you’ hit parade has just been taken over by a relative newcomer to the nation. Something bipedal. Something with sharp teeth. Something with a forked tongue. Something that, around three a.m, deep in our worst nightmares, speaks with the voice of Marissa.
Of course, this is reality television. Which means we’re never gonna wake up… Roll opening credits.
The nightmare picks up right where it left off: Jack is still hugging Marissa. Natalie looks shocked. Meri-De is a little confused. Maria is nauseous. I’m pinching every part of my body within casual reach. But it’s real. She’s returned. Did you ever think ‘graves giving up their dead’ would be an improvement?
JD explains the hidden definition of the women’s ‘elimination’ vote: they were told they could ask someone to leave, but not that they could send someone home. Only Jack has the power to permanently remove contestants, just as only Marissa has the power to permanently evacuate the contents of the viewer’s stomachs. No one leaves until Jack says so, which also means ‘In the event of a direct Marissa attack, please stand still and try not to spray blood into the camera lens.’ They were three: they are now four. (There’s a brief pause while the producers pull out a few charts, graphs, and flash cards, then go over the concept of three vs. four with Natalie until she can nail it one time out of twenty.) She Has Returned and We Are Stuck With It.
Obviously, everyone has a lot of catching up to do, especially in regards to their Ralph worship time. JD leaves them to it.
Meri-De introduces herself to Marissa, who gives her a handshake that probably didn’t last long enough to spread a contact poison before sitting down at the table and asking ‘Did everybody miss me?’ Yes, and if we can just get Jack to train the others in some traditional Outback weapons before your elimination, they won’t make the same mistake twice. As-is, dead silence is her only response, which she meets with a canary-eating grin.
Marissa’s naturally curious as to where her new victim came from, so the others take a minute to update her on the last few episodes. Marissa’s response is to turn her back and resume depleting the bird population. In confessional-tell, Meri-De lets us knows she could feel the cold front coming in across the plains as soon as Marissa arrived – and most of it was blowing off Marissa’s back, because that’s what they were all seeing of her. Every time someone tried to speak to her: turn away, look off in another direction, spit out feathers. Meri-De thinks Marissa is a little bit fake. And she figured this out within ten seconds of Marissa’s arrival. Not bad.
Jack c-t says it won’t take long for Marissa to win his heart back, but he’s not going to show his emotions over her return in front of the others. Hopefully, he can hold his agony back in the same fashion when she tears his heart out of his chest and shows it to him.
‘Interesting how the twists play out these days, huh?’ Marissa smugly asks the others.
(At this point, I pressed Pause and proceeded to go on a screaming rant about For Love Or Money, which I blame for all of this. A lot. For hours on end. In great detail. Pushing Play…)
Natalie can c-t feel the drama in the air and feels the game is about to become ‘more clawy.’ Or at least more toothy, which is the next point of attack on Marissa’s schedule. No, not more biting of the other contestants: everyone’s been sprayed down with bitter apple. Marissa just noticed Natalie wearing Jack’s croc fang necklace (given to her as a gift during their date), and that’s the cue for a minor c-t freak out – immediately followed by an interrogation session.
In rough paraphrase for Marissa and fairly mild paraphrase for Natalie:
Marissa: ‘Where did you get that necklace? What have you been doing to my Jack? Have you been sneaking out after dark to make out with Jack under the night vision lenses? Because that’s my trick, you scheming ditzy witch! Mine!’
Natalie: ‘Umm… this necklace?’
Marissa: ‘That necklace!’
Natalie: ‘Oh, this necklace…’
Marissa: ‘Did you win it? Did JD host the ‘biggest moron’ contest while I was out? Was Adrienne gone by then, because that would have been the only way you could have come in first – no, it would have been a however-many-women-there-were tie for first place and they decided to give you the necklace because they thought you’d look the dumbest wearing it!’
Natalie: ‘I didn’t win it.’
Marissa: ‘Then how did you get it? Did you steal it? Did you rip that from my Jack’s neck? I’m the only one allowed to remove dead or soon-to-be parts from his body! What have you been up to?’
Natalie: ‘I don’t know. I just have it now.’
Marissa (in c-t): ‘What’s the big deal? Tell me! I only kill people slowly when they don’t give me information I want!’
Natalie: ‘By the way, how can I be scheming and a ditz at the same time?’
Marissa: ‘Shut up!’
Natalie (in c-t): ‘It’s none of her business how I got the necklace and I don’t feel a need to rub it in. Does this make me the personality contrast opponent in the Final Two or what?’
Meri-De, who’s made more of a connection with the others in two episodes than Marissa managed over the entire series, notices how much Marissa likes to separate herself from the others. Natalie tells her to get used to it. Please make a check mark on your official Outback Jack Foreshadowing Sheet (available from SB for $2.95 plus shipping or as an Adobe download, no shipping cost) now, just in case.