Episode 3 of Survivor: Worlds Apart was not the most exciting episode of Survivor by any stretch of the imagination. Every season does have an episode or two where nothing really big or important happens, and that’s just fine. The episode still provided a few interesting talking points, and saw another No Collar tribe member get voted out at a somewhat unpredictable Tribal Council. The big storm of the season is coming when the tribe swap comes; there are plenty of gamers on this cast, and a couple of them could really use a little shaking up of the game to help them get to the end. Here are my thoughts on the episode that was:
- I’m still not really feeling the fact that we don’t get to see a challenge until the episode is more than half way over, but at least all of the camp scenes are setting us up great for the inevitable tribe swap drama. The great thing about these three tribe seasons is that the game splinters in a way that as many as six different alliances can form and seeing how the many different alliances continue on and change once it goes down to two tribes (assuming it will of course). On White Collar, we see a tribe that is unified for the most part, but you have to wonder about how Joaquin or Shirin would play given the need to survive on a tribe mixed in differently from the White Collar group. I think they have the best chance of any group to stay strong and the scenes we’ve gotten with Tyler and Joaquin do indicate a bond that could keep their group together, but I’m interested in seeing how any of them would manage in a splintered situation. Blue Collar has all kinds of tension, and I hope for Dan and Mike’s sakes they can get away from the likes of Rodney and Lindsay, because it’s a bit much watching all the tension within that group. It’s not making for good TV; it’s just all kinds of bad. As for No Collar, it was still Nina vs. the tribe. It was clear this episode that the real problem with this tribe was that they had one member who couldn’t even kind of mesh with the group. It seems like maybe, just maybe they’ll be able to work as a cohesive unit without Nina, even if Will is still a question mark for them. Will is the only one in that group who’s a real betrayal risk if there’s a tribe swap, but I also wonder if Hali and Jenn care too much about Joe in their end game plans. I think the two of them would be game for piggybacking off of some other alliance to get further in the game, even if it hurt Joe’s chances. Those two seem hungry to play the game for real, and I hope they get their chance to soon.
- The challenge was quite amusing this week, as it tested a balance of physical skills and strategy similar in some ways to the first episode’s challenge. For this task, the tribes had to make their way through a quick obstacle course with a bucket so that they could fill the bucket with water and return it back to a receptacle at the start. The caveat was that the bucket had many holes in it, so the castaways would have to do their best to keep as much water in their buckets as possible. The winning tribe was to get a nice reward of comfort items, while the second place tribe would win a tarp. It became apparent that strategy would actually come into play pretty seriously in this challenge, since there would be a lot of moving parts and people to get through the obstacles, and Joe made the first strategic decision for any tribe, telling Nina to go ahead of the bucket in an attempt to not have her slow them down. Having four members of the tribe carry the bucket instead of five ended up slowing them down, disproving the strategy almost immediately, and it became a shootout between Blue Collar and No Collar. The two tribes were neck in neck filling their buckets with water, but it was Blue Collar who pulled their bucket first and ran back with it only half full. White Collar couldn’t react fast enough to catch up as Blue Collar took the big comfort reward over White Collar. For the second straight week, and to no one’s surprise, the undersized, less athletic No Collar group lost a challenge, mostly because of bad strategy, and would have a date with Jeff Probst at Tribal Council. They were a mess in the challenge, but the loss probably ended up being a blessing in disguise for them in the end.
- The vote for No Collar was pretty simple in my mind; you get rid of Nina because she doesn’t mesh with the tribe and no one really wants her around to be the wet blanket. And it’s really nothing against Nina either; I think it had more to do with the collar theme that Jeff Probst and the producers have been really shoving down our throats. Nina was one of the casualties of the process, she was kind of No Collar by the definition that the show developed, but in spirit, she was not quite like the rest of them. There was really no begrudging them getting rid of her just because she was hindering them, not because of her disability, but because of her emotional weakness. However, the deliberation did get a little complicated, because for the second straight challenge Will was an extreme physical detriment to the team. Jenn and Hali, while deliberating without Joe, threw out the idea of getting rid of Will, who might be more apt to make decisions on his own than Nina would. In the end Hali ended up voting for Will, even though Nina still was voted out on a 3-2 vote. Her vote may have been to safeguard against the idol that Will made people think Nina owned, but I think it might be much more symbolic than that. While it’s easy to see Joe as the leader of that tribe, I think the pair of Hali and Jenn may be much more powerful in the long run. I believe they will vote and play as they please in this game, regardless of what alliances they make along the way. They are both intelligent and intuitive, and have the social skills to win people over while also flying under the radar in the game. If there’s anything I take away from this episode, it’s to watch those two from here on out, they can both win this game.
This episode wasn’t particularly special, but it did move the story along in some interesting ways. The cast is now whittled down to 15 remaining players, and with a double episode in store next week, there’s speculation that the second episode may include a tribe swap. Even better that, there’s been talk from Probst about a curve ball he throws into the game to shake things up, a twist that producers have been thinking about and holding onto for a few years that is supposed to really liven the game up. It was a really cryptic thing for Probst to tell the media, but the way he explained it makes it seem like the twist’s results are amazing for the game, so it has me wondering if a double episode would be a reason to show this twist. Nonetheless, I love one episode of Survivor any Wednesday, so two is just a treat, and I’ll be hoping for something really exciting to come for the second show. Until then, I’ll leave you guys with a couple final musings from my viewing of the episode:
- Shirin really needs to tone down the loony, it’s getting a bit much at this point, and it’s making her tribes’ eyes collectively roll (and the viewers alike)…I keep thinking that Joe might be a good player in this game, but every time I think that he misplays something. First, it was the vote from last week, then it was the stupid tactical decisions he made on behalf of his team today. I’m jumping off the bandwagon with him, not seeing him as a serious long term contender in this game…In all honesty, I can see this game being dominated in the end by an all-ladies alliance, much like Fans vs. Favorites and One World before. I think the women of this season are really in it to win, and given the lack of great male leaders on either Blue Collar or No Collar, I really think the 5 women on those two tribes could join forces and make it deep in the season.