PTR Senior Staff Writer
Was Mark Burnett a consult on this past weekend's episode of Crusoe?
'Cause it sure felt like some sort of Survivor meets American Gladiators cross-over special set in the 1700s. And since Mr. MB is the king of all-things reality television, well ... I dunno ... I had to kinda laugh at the tit-for-tat between Crusoe and Friday this week as they set about proving their skill (and manhood) through a variety of tests - Crusoe being the intellectual, I-passed-the-exams guy; Friday being the tribal son, having been put through his own paces.
And yet, it wasn't all laughs.
Emotional, but of course!
(Even though I did feel like singing: "Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you!")
The tit-for-tat aside, I once again found myself completely ensconced in the deep, soulful friendship that exists between Friday and Crusoe. Cripes, do they even make friendship like that anymore? I swear, watching these two makes me want to be a better friend to ... well, my friends.
When Crusoe just doesn't seem to understand how much it means to Friday that he can beat him at one test, and Friday leaves the treehouse in a huff (or what we would call a hissy fit if he were a girl), Crusoe tracks him down on the beach, brings him food, pokes fun at his own self and then delivers a great bit of dialogue that they are surviving this thing together.
Without each other, they are nothing.
Or specifically, without Friday, Crusoe is nothing.
Awww! (Seriously, I'm ready to marry Crusoe right about now, but that's beside the point).
Ne'er mind that all this chest pounding, prove-me-to-you stuff has to do with a failed test of Friday's childhood that left him less the warrior in his father's eyes. This leads to Crusoe's own confession that he doesn't think himself much of a man, either, given he had to abandon his wife and children. Both feel as if they are failures in their father's eyes (and fathers are theme this week at PTR, eh?)
Nonetheless, Friday saves Crusoe's hide once again.
From a seriously hungry crocodile.
And in that never-going-to-fail-you bond of friendship, and even with its bumps and bruises (literally), there is something both fathers could be proud of.
And how about the flashbacks this week? Crusoe WAS making a good living for himself in the West Indies as a plantation owner, sending money back to his beloved Susannah to pay off his debts only to be betrayed by Blackthorn and Co.
They have it out for poor Crusoe. And they keep trying to convince Susannah he's dead, but she does not give up hope.
I. Love. That.
And now we see how Crusoe is being tricked into coming home - a fake posting in the paper by Blackthorn to say Crusoe's children are in trouble. Soooo, he forks over the deed to his ENTIRE plantation to a Scottish sea captain to get him to sail him back to England.
But we know how well that did NOT go.
**PROGRAMMING NOTE: The next new episode of Crusoe airs in three weeks, on January 10th.
New episodes of Crusoe air Saturdays at 8 p.m. on NBC. Visit NBC's Official Crusoe Web site for the inside scoop on the series. The site is awfully cool - and that's not just the Pirates fangirl in me talking.