By Jeff Neuenschwander / November 16th, 2012
WARNING: Due to the graphic nature of BTOOOM!, discretion is advised.
Well, I got one prediction wrong about this episode: it was not a Taira-centered episode. However, we do learn a bit about his past, as well as see the relationship between him and Sakamoto grow. And, one of my previous predictions was true at the end. But we’ll get to that later.
Episode 6 of BTOOOM! starts exactly where episode 5 (Attack) left off. Himiko, Sakamoto, and Taira are being stalked by Komodo Dragons. Sakamoto goes for the supplies while Taira gets Himiko to higher ground. Sakamoto gets the supplies back but Taira is stuck trying to fight off the dragons. Sakamoto tries to help but the Cracker he throws doesn’t explode.
Here’s the issue: the bombs can only work for the person they were given to. If that person is killed, they’re up for grabs. However, I believe whoever gets them first is entitled to use the bombs, which would explain why Sakamoto had so much trouble with the bombs. The Crackers he took from Kira in episode 4 (Best in the World) weren’t the kid’s original bombs, but Kira used them first after killing his dad and was left alive by Sakamoto. This would also explain why Himiko is able to use the Crackers she has: the Teacher was killed by the Bandana Guy (The Bloody High School Girl) but she was the first to use the bombs.
Anyway, Sakamoto is finally able to find his bombs and tosses a Cracker at the dragons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t before Taira was bit by one of them, leaving a potentially bloody mess.
The three decide to make their way down stream in the water. Well, Taira and Sakamoto decide. Himiko is unconscious. I’m not sure if this is still residual effects from the shock in the previous episode. I think this has more to do with being tired. If you look through it all, Himiko has been through a lot and I’m not sure if she’s had a chance to sleep yet. Speaking of which, when would they be able to sleep on this island? I’d imagine it would be dangerous to do so with everyone around you armed and looking to kill you.
Moving on, we get a glimpse at what Taira was like before being nominated. It’s not as in-depth and lengthy as Sakamoto’s or Himiko’s backstory, but it’s still noteworthy. At home, he was friendly and loved by his family. But as a realtor, he was ruthless and would do whatever it took to get the deal.
Not only do we get a reasoning as to why he was nominated but there’s a bit more solid evidence to my theory of Taira’s strategy. He says that he doesn’t want to play the game but he will do whatever it takes to get home.
During this conversation, Taira asks Sakamoto why he stayed and helped them. It’s a fair question. Remember, we may have seen this for the past six weeks but this is still Day 2 for them. Taira and Sakamoto just met that day. From what it looks like, they want to trust each other but can’t quite make up their minds on it. Before the night is done, that potential trust will be tested.
As a matter of fact, it’s tested right away as the dragons attack again. Taira takes off down the river but Sakamoto can’t follow as he gets side-tracked by one of the dragons. He and Himiko end up in the woods. He tries to use the radar to find Taira but is unsuccessful. Remembering that Taira has the supplies, he believes that he’s been betrayed and left to die.
But, as it turns out, Taira has not left. Instead, he reveals his bomb type right here. Taira is carrying Homing type bombs. They’re perfect if you want pinpoint accuracy with little splash damage. However, this lack of splash damage will come into play later as they keep trying to hold off the Komodo Dragons.
And in case you doubted Taira’s commitment to helping Sakamoto… I understand. However, after thinking about it, I realized that this is still a good plan for Taira. He knows that he can’t go it alone in his condition; even the biggest game players on Survivor would recognize that. In his current state, his best bet to get off the island is to stay with Sakamoto.
By the way, if you’re wondering why Taira isn’t crumpled up in a heap from the bite, that can be explained in two words: adrenaline rush. Picture this for a moment: the 50 meter freestyle is the shortest contested race in swimming at the Olympics and lasts about 22 seconds (25 for women). In training for this race, swimmers are taught to never breathe. The theory behind this is that as you get further in the race, you’ll want to take a breath. However, if you don’t breathe, your adrenaline will kick in and almost will you to the finish so that you can finally breathe again.
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