‘Survivor: South Pacific’: Cochran’s big move

He went for it.

Has there been a better episode of “Survivor: South Pacific” so far? We don’t think so — as a matter of fact, you would be going back to “Heroes vs. Villains” before you found something similar in terms of exciting for a social and strategic standpoint.

While many people may have disagreed with Cochran’s decision to flip, we love it — and it is headlining our newest “winners and losers” segment.

The winners

Cochran – Yes, it’s quite possible that Cochran doomed himself to seventh place during this episode by flipping to Upolu. The problem? They’re forgetting the fact that there was a small chance (but still a chance) he would have been voted out otherwise. Never leave this game to luck. Ever.

Ultimately, Cochran did probably torpedo his chances of actually winning this game … but he never really had much of a shot anyway. We love that this move has made things exciting, and it has also shown some true colors from Jim, Whitney, and Keith in the process. It is still possible that the guy could find a chink in Upolu’s armor — we saw one there previously when Mikayla was voted out.

Brandon – For the first time all season, we loved Brandon this week. The anti-bullying movement has been overdone on some scripted shows, but we liked how natural and sincere he was when he offered to stand up for Cochran after Jim called him a “coward” at tribal council. (As for why wanting to ensure your safety is cowardly, that’s a different story.)

Coach – His speech to Cochran may have been the smartest thing Coach has done in three plays at this game. It perfectly appealed to Cochran’s emotions, and gave him a place where he could realize that Coach understood where he was coming from when it came to feeling like an outcast. If Coach makes it to the end and Cochran’s on the jury, he could get a vote out of this.

Sophie – We haven’t seen much of Sophie this season, but this episode yet again showed that she is a capable, smart player. She’s probably going to be the last person Savaii targets, and that makes her safe for a while.

The losers

Christine – We really feel bad for Christine. We’ve heard wonderful things about her, and she really just became a victim this week to a move Ozzy didn’t have to make. The woman is a fighter, and we’d love to see her have another crack at this game after finally losing at Redemption Island.

Jim and Whitney – Just on their treatment of Cochran alone, we have to wonder what these two were thinking. Everyone is an equal in this game, and judging from the way they treat him next week, they could certainly be shooting themselves in the foot in the event that they ever need him.

Dawn – We’ve reserved a special place for Dawn here because she really wronged everyone. She didn’t side with Cochran, but she also didn’t tell Savaii she knew about his plan. In effect, she did the worst “Survivor” move of all this week in letting her game sink into the mud.

Keith – Hey, the guy did leave the game! We thought he was a strong player for a while, but he also was too arrogant — and now, he’s going to have to head over to Redemption Island and contemplate his amazing resemblance to Alcide from “True Blood.”

Ozzy – Yes, Ozzy is back in the game — but he is clearly still in a bad situation. In sending himself to Redemption, he ruined a chance to get rid of Cochran and put himself at risk for no reason. With no numbers anymore and no immunity idol, the guy is in deep trouble.

What do you think about Cochran’s move?

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