Pirate Master: Episode 7

Joe Don’s departure will probably make Pirate Master a lot less competitive.

In case choosing two strong guys for his officers wasn’t enough to ensure victory, Captain Azmyth kept the crew’s food to a minimum and forced his two strongest competitors into hard labor. Louie had to climb the rigging and secure the sails, while Joe Don dove into the water to remove barnacles from the ship’s hull.

The members of this week’s Red Crew — Joe Don, Louie, Nessa, Christa, and Kendra — were plenty tired when it came time for the treasure hunt. But it didn’t seem to matter, as a misreading of a clue left the Black Crew — Azmyth, Ben, Jay, Laurel, and Jupiter — trailing behind the Red Crew.

But, as in many previous challenges, skill and strength weren’t required to win. Both teams had to spin dials and randomly try different combinations of the numbers 9, 4, and 2 to open a lock. The Black Crew unlocked theirs first, and Azmyth retained his captaincy.

Hoping to avoid receiving a second consecutive Black Spot, Kendra approached the puppet master, Jay. She said she’d vote whatever way he told her to if he convinced Azmyth to spare her this week.

Jay presented this proposal to Azmyth and Ben, and they agreed to give Black Spots to Joe Don, Louie, and Nessa. Nessa would likely buy the pardon from Joe Don, and Louie was popular enough that he would probably survive a vote. So long as the crew didn’t vote to keep Joe Don around for his strength in the challenges — a move that would be in their own best interests — the captain’s plan would work.

And, of course, the crew voted out of sentimentality, and not in the interest of self-preservation or accumulation of wealth. An indecipherable speech from Joe Don didn’t help his cause. Nessa bought the pardon for $5000, and the votes were split between Louie and Joe Don, 3-to-1.

Surprisingly, the only vote for Louie came from Kendra — after she’d promised Jay to vote for Joe Don. Kendra gambled that the normally rational Laurel and Christa would want to keep Joe Don, even at the expense of their shipboard father figure, Louie.

But the gals didn’t want to disappoint Daddy, so Kendra had better bid high for the pardon next week. Jay is sure to make her pay for her insubordination.

A scruffy Joe Don gave Nessa a prolonged kiss before boarding his tiny raft and being cut adrift — only to appear in the next shot on his raft clean-shaven and wearing different clothes. Next thing they’ll tell me is that all those skeletons on the island are fake!

Next week, talk of a mutiny heats up, and Jay thinks about abandoning his cash cow, er, captain.