It was another great episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart this week, with one player going on a fantastic challenge run, another player making a fool of themselves in the social game, and the first member of the jury being decided by a complicated vote. You know it’s a good episode of Survivor when you have to think about how the votes went down after they were read, I truly didn’t know how at least half of the tribe was voting. This cast as a whole are playing a tenuous game, with alliances and intentions intermingling and sometimes crossing, and the resulting uncertainty is continuing to make for really entertaining television. Here are some of my thoughts on this week’s episode:
- After the debacle at tribal Council that saw Jenn play an idol to save herself while Kelly went home, Rodney did not take his eye off the prize for a second. In a smart move, Rodney began to sow seeds of discontent with Will about Mike’s mismanagement of the vote. He knew that telling Will to vote for Hali could work to his advantage, and he used to firm up his plans to turn the tides on Mike and the other Blue Collar guys at final seven. I’m really starting to come around to Rodney, and it’s not because I think he’s funny or because he’s gotten better in the social game; it’s because he’s a really strategic player who understands how to play the short and long games in Survivor. He’s been loyal to his alliance and allowed Mike to run the show, which is brilliant because it takes the heat of the others off him, yet he’s actually thinking about the final three and how to get there. Now, I don’t think Rodney is going to go down as a fan favorite, but I think he has to be respected because he may be playing this game as smart or smarter than anyone else out there. I stand by my comments from last week, calling him the dark horse to win; that’s what he is. It just all depends on whether or not his fellow players respected him enough in the moment, which is something I can’t quite figure out.
- Joe Anglim is turning into a Survivor legend pretty quickly. Not only does he seem like a proper mix between fan favorites Ozzy Lusth and Malcolm Freburg, in game play and personality, but he’s also going on an Ozzy-esque challenge win streak as well. After winning immunity in last week’s episode, Joe not only won the next reward challenge but also his second straight immunity challenge too! This guy is a beast in this game, it’s just too bad he’s peaking so early and has a huge target on his back. I don’t think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell he can stick around ‘til the end without winning out in some freakish Herculean show of might, but I have to give him props for the ways he’s played this game 100% all out. I also have to give Joe a lot of respect for his decisions regarding who to take on reward with him. Instead of taking his alliance, who were realistically going to vote with him any way (or were they?), Joe thought his picks through by bringing the 3 former White Collar members, Tyler, Carolyn, and Shirin, and Will, who had secretly defected his alliance before the last vote. His picks showed that not only is Joe a solid physical threat, but he’s also thinking about votes and manipulating the alliances in his favor. Joe is doing everything he can in this game right now, and as a fan of the game, it’s hard not to love the show he’s putting on in the game.
- Dan is such a fool. I mean, is there really anything great to say about his game play right now. This episode we saw him berating Shirin for her game play, for no apparent reason, complaining about the way she’s gone about things when he hasn’t played any better than she has. For somebody who claims to be a super-fan, it’s simply mind-boggling how horrible his social game has been. I really just think Dan wasn’t made for this game, there are clearly just attributes of his that make him a terrible player, but you know it’s bad when you are clearly the easiest person to beat at final three and people still want to vote you out. He’s really the one dark spot in this otherwise great cast.
- The vote tonight was extremely interesting because, according to the edit, a lot of people had a lot of different options to choose from. The whole tenor of the game could’ve easily changed depending on how the votes shook out tonight. After Joe won immunity, everyone’s’ plan to get rid of the biggest threat in the game got squashed for the second straight vote and whole new plans needed to be concocted. While Mike seemed interested in taking out Shirin, the rest of the Blue Collar alliance seemed to take a more rational approach, deeming it time to take out Hali and in essence eliminate the No Collar voting bloc. While this plan seemed like the likely outcome, given the numbers from the last vote, another one that could really drastically change the game was discussed. At camp, as Shirin told Jenn, Hali, and Sierra about Dan’s nasty comments toward her, Sierra discussed her interest in an all-girls alliance, similar to the one we saw on Fans vs. Favorites, targeting Dan. Along with Joe, if the women banded together they would have had the numbers to decide the rest of the game, and it seemed like a diabolical plan to change the entire game up and leave the guys dumbfounded and helpless. Unfortunately, the moving parts in this alliance plan were too hard to corral, and Sierra and Carolyn never got on board with the plan, as they kept with their voting bloc to eliminate Hali in a 7-4 decision. It was kind of a confusing vote since the seventh vote wasn’t read, and for a second I really had a tough time figuring out where the lines were drawn. I really thought Sierra was on board for getting rid of Dan, and I thought that maybe it was Joe flipping on the women that resulted in Hali’s departure, but after seeing the votes, it was clear that no alliance broke down at all from the last vote. Once again, Sierra missed an opportunity to change her game, but without the sixth vote, it was probably a moot point for her to flip anyway. Hali was fun to have around, her confessionals were some of the quirkiest of anyone, but maybe she was a bit too keen for her own good, and voting her out was a great play by the majority alliance.
Survivor was great again this week; the vote was a moment so predictable that it actually ended up being unpredictable (If that makes any sense). With Hali gone, the spirit of the No Collar alliance is basically dead, so it will be very interesting to see just what Jenn, Joe, and Shirin can do with their games now. I think they’re all just sitting ducks at this point, I just hope that Jenn doesn’t throw in the towel like the previews tried to insinuate, that would just be weak. Without a real alliance to work against, I wonder if next episode is when we might see the seven in the majority start turning on each other and changing up the pecking order a little bit. I still haven’t the faintest idea how this is all going to turn out from here, so I can’t wait for next Wednesday already! Until then, I’ll leave you all with my final thoughts on the episode that was:
- Mike finding the idol should’ve been a big triumphant moment, so why did it not feel particularly grand to me watching it? I predict he gets voted out with that idol in his pocket, I just don’t think he has the foresight to see his demise coming…Tyler’s awareness with Joe and the idol clue was brilliant. He’s playing a perfectly understated game so far, and I’m really rooting for him to snake his way through all of the power plays and backstabbing that’s going to take place…Mike was very clear to say he found the Escameca camp idol from before the merge, but I’m wondering if that bit of editing should be an indicator that there still will be a re-hidden idol put back into play? It’s weird that it wouldn’t happen directly after Jenn played her idol, but hey, we are waiting on some weird twist to come into play, and maybe an idol that can be played up until final three is on the table.