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Well it’s that day of the week again and the pain from last week has subsided a little, but it’s still there and I’m not letting go. I’ve got no expectations or hopes for this episode, though it’ll start off in the negative I’m sure with Chris’ recap and trying to get us to by that what we saw was Courtney’s fault and not the hands of a writer who sucks at his craft.

And you know why it sucked? Because it didn’t have too. I thought up so many ways for that episode to turn out before it aired, it could have been great, if not just decent. The fact that I could come up with a better story, and not even have a college degree in writing (it’s in CIS), that’s pretty sad Fresh. So without further adieu, let’s go over quickly how this episode could NOT have sucked.

Have Mal Actually Play A Role:

For the last few eliminations, it’s all been on Mal, whether he’s getting rid of people who get too close to figuring out who he is or getting rid of those who already know to much. My question: Why did Courtney’s elimination have to be different? Mal would have had ample means and reasons to take out Courtney and it would have made total sense.

1. Scott and Gwen don’t really get along or interact. The sole link connecting them is Courtney. If Courtney is eliminated, then those two are on their own, while Mal maintains his alliance with Zoey.

2. Courtney is, quite honestly, the biggest threat he would face on the island competitively, since Zoey is as good as in his pocket, Gwen’s good, but lacks Courtney’s drive, while Scott is…Scott.

One way I could have seen him trying to eliminate her would be to drive a wedge between her and the others. There’s several ways he could have done it. He could have manipulated her based on her feelings of jealousy of Zoey’s budding friendship with Gwen, feed her paranoia that Zoey is trying to “steal” Gwen away from her or even turn her against her.

Maybe to add to it, he creates a “list” in crude pictures to make it look like Zoey did it (she’s a bit of a doodler), to make it look like she’s planning to make it to the top with Courtney going first at the bottom. Courtney pockets the list (crossing out Zoey’s picture on the top) and plans to show it to the others. However, before she can, Mal “discovers” the list and everyone assumes it’s Courtney’s by the cross-out through Zoey’s picture and herself at the bottom, seemingly the winner.

Given her competitive nature, the others are quick to assume she did indeed draw the chart and that they’ve been used, and leave both too angry and hurt to listen to her. With this action, Mal would have completely split the group in twain, keeping blame off himself, and making Courtney’s feelings and actions against Zoey (believing she was set up by her) seem like confirmation that she (Courtney) made the list.

Have This Develop Internal Conflict/Development For Courtney

Since the first season, we’ve seen two sides of Courtney: the emotional girl and the uber-competive winner. We’ve seen both of these sides in this season especially, with the shift changing as the season went on the relationship she had with Gwen improved. What would have been great, would be to see these two parts of her come into conflict. Courtney through the series has either been in a season where she’s had friends near her departure or not, so her feelings and loyalties to friends has never conflicted with her desire to win when the game neared it’s apex.

With the game so close to the end, Courtney finds herself thinking more and more about the Finale and winning the show, much more than she did earlier in the season where her main focus was just staying on her guard on the Villains’ team. Whether through Mal’s actions causing her friends to abandon her, or even her own competitive nature getting the best of her, Courtney would find herself thinking more and more about winning than anything else.

However, this could prove an excellent chance to show how much she’s grown and changed over the seasons. She’s really bonded with Gwen and Scott, they’re some of the few people she’s trusted and really connects with, especially Gwen after all they went through to get back together. She can’t just ignore those feelings, even by focusing on the million. If her own nature was what caused the split, and not Mal’s, she would feel even worse at seeing just how much her callous attitude and desire to win has hurt the only people she could rely on during the season’s run.

What I’m saying is, having Courtney choose between her desire to win something she’s been cheated out of for the past few seasons or the companionship of the few friends she has, would have been a great bit of character development and growth for her character. Much better than just knocking her back down to her Flanderized personality out of no where.

Have This Be The Cap-off To The Courtney-Gwen Friendship Arc

Like I mentioned above, Courtney having to choose between friends and winning would have been great for her character. But not just for her, but or the others she’s close to as well. We’ll go with Gwen, since she’s got most of the focus with her.

Since the beginning we’ve seen all the trials Gwen’s done to try and apologize and win Courtney back, early on seeming to make things worse off than before. But she endured and kept trying, eventually earning her way back into Courtney’s good graces and renewing their friendship. While Courtney forgave and accepted her back, it was mostly through Gwen’s desire to do right that got them back together.

This would have been a great chance for Courtney’s turn. Gwen treasures their friendship, obviously, and the same could be said about Courtney. But with the hurdle of this episode, that’s starting to come into doubt. That would be the million dollar question: Does Courtney treasure her friendship over a million dollars? Gwen went through great pains and sacrifices to renew their friendship, would Courtney be willing to do the same to keep that friendship?

The climax of the episode, in my mind, would have been Courtney finally making that decision, while those around her look at her with that same doubt from earlier in that episode. Courtney wins the challenge, but instead of letting someone else leave or accepting her prize, she volunteers to leave. Everyone gasps in shock at this, but Courtney says she’d rather lose and prove she would never betray her friends, than move on and have them think she was using them. Everyone is stunned at this, but Courtney will not budge and accepts the flush. But not before giving final farewells to Gwen and Scott, wishing them the best and hoping that they make it to the finals.

Conclusion

Courtney is sent home, once again denied the chance of winning the season. But this time she can go home with her head held high, knowing her leaving was not through the act of betrayal, sabotage, or Chris’ being an ass, but through her own choice. She can also leave happy knowing her friends are still her friends, their trust and bonds are as strong, if not stronger, than ever, and proud of her growth. 

This would have been a sad, but still fairly happy send off. Mal would have been angered that even with Courtney gone, Gwen and Scott are now more determined to work together for Courtney’s sake and that Courtney’s sacrifice puts his play with “Zoey’s” list under the spotlight. But though their eyes are squarely on Zoey at this point, they’re still too close to him for comfort. His next move will have to be even more daring to make up for this. 

So that’s how I would have had this episode end. What do you think? Would it have been any better? I like to think so. If you like, feel free to comment, fave, or what have you. Thank you all for taking the time to read this! Love you all!

Courtney FTW!

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