Entertainment, Survivor

Survivor: San Juan Del Sur – Thoughts After Episode 4

This week’s episode Survivor had a little bit of everything, but mainly it had a lot of Drew making his case to be the worst Survivor contestant in history. The whole episode was one big spiral of drama and confusion, and while it wasn’t the best game play I’ve ever seen on Survivor, it was fairly entertaining overall. Here are my thoughts on the episode that was.

  • I’ve usually tried to go in some chronological order with my thoughts, but I have to scrap that this week and get to Drew. Drew played one of the most ridiculous, delusional games of Survivor I have ever seen in the seventeen seasons I’ve been watching the show, and it had me asking myself ‘Could he be the worst contestant of all time?’ For a quick review of his blunders in this episode, Drew made enemies of his tribe mates by insisting he could trade back the flint they recovered for some of the fishing gear they gave up (which Jeff promptly dismissed), threw a challenge to force his tribe to vote someone out, insisted the tribe vote out Kelley when no single person believed it was a good move and plotted it mere feet away from her, annoyed everyone to the point where they wanted to vote him out, and was so egregiously arrogant about the game in general that he didn’t even see his undoing coming at all. Drew had one of the worst episodes I’ve seen of any contestant on this show, forcing his tribe’s hand to vote him out by being a pretentious, obnoxious jerk at every turn. While I haven’t seen every Survivor player of all time, I have to imagine he may go down as playing one of the ten worst Survivor single seasons ever. There’s a social aspect to Survivor, just about every winner of the game has played the social game to perfection, and it was painful to watch Drew be completely clueless as to how to get along with his tribe mates in the simplest way. His attitude turned him from a challenge asset to an overall liability in the matter of a single day, and he truly deserved to go home. Now his tribe’s handling of the vote…that’s a different matter altogether.
  • It was quite the day for Coyopa as they finally got their first immunity challenge victory of the season, besting a Hunahpu team that sat two of its strongest guys and had another one deliberately mess up. Sure it wasn’t the cleanest victory, but Coyopa really needed a moral victory more than anything else, and I think the win could unite the six of them going forward. Hunahpu fell into complete chaos when they arrived back at camp, knowing they had to vote someone out for the first time. There wasn’t even a hint of team unity when they deliberated who to vote out as it seemed everyone had an idea, no one could back up their ideas rationally, and no one was willing to budge on their convictions. The big losers on the tribe ended up being all the men, as it was the women who were able to amass as a block and swing the vote to blindside Drew. Jeremy really showed poor judgment in being so impassioned with his cries to vote out Keith. Sure, Keith really misplayed the idea of telling the tribe Jeremy has an idol (which he later found out wasn’t true), but Jeremy was far too emotional and self-interested with his rallying to get Keith out. It didn’t show well for him, and the fact that no one but an admittedly clueless Jon was down to vote for Keith makes me question whether or not his tribe mates are actually listening to him. Drew ended up getting voted out after a scatter-brained tribal council, but the votes showed a shockingly low level of cohesiveness. You had Drew sticking to his Kelley vote as he walked out in shame, Reed and Keith sticking with an early non-consensus vote of Julie, Jon picking a name out of a hat and settling with Keith, and the women and Jeremy voting for Drew. It was such a bad showing by a lot of individuals on the tribe strategically, downright cringeworthy to watch for a fan like me.
  • We didn’t see a whole lot of the Coyopa tribe, as much of the drama surrounded Drew and the strategic chaos surrounding the Hunahpu vote. The one scene that was highlighted, however, was one where Alec and Baylor were fighting with each other over the way they talked to each other. It was quite a silly scene where both players showed their youth, but it likely wasn’t a throwaway scene either. With Alec having a confessional explaining how much harder he had to work than his brother all his life, and with Baylor feeling like an underdog in her tribe, the producers seem to be setting up a story with both of them, even though I’m not sure what story that will be. This makes me think both of them will be players to watch going forward, especially if they can put their differences aside, since their alliance looks like it could be the strongest currently in the game.

This episode was chaotic and fun from start to finish, but it was definitely not well played by most of the contestants. Of course, a glimmer of hope for the season was shown in the previews as Jeff uttered one of the most intriguing phrases in any season “Drop your buffs.” With a tribe switch coming, all bets are off and I legitimately have no idea what to expect. Getting through to the merge is going to be a matter of luck and loved ones this year, I think, and the chaos has only just begun. Until next episode, here are my final, rapid-fire thoughts:

  • Keith having the hidden immunity idol is such an awesome wild card for the game. Seeing as he’s on the outs with his tribe, Wes and he could make some moves if they get united, which could really change this season’s narrative…Kelley is on my radar now; her orchestrating of the vote against Drew was a silver lining in the whole Hunahpu debacle. She could be a spoiler on this season if the tribe switch works in her favor…With the amount of people that seemingly aren’t playing the game too actively, I really wonder if the prevailing theory on the season is to survive to the merge and work with your loved one on something when united? That strategy didn’t have the best results on the first blood vs. water season, but it certainly would explain the ever-shifting and rocky alliances we’ve seen so far. This season’s game play has been uncharacteristic to say the least.
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