Thoughts on the Episode:
- The Millennials are my new favorite mess on television. Seriously, they are delightfully quirky and kind of clumsy, but a lot of them really love the game and are struggling with it, which makes everything all in good fun. Hannah and Zeke’s non-conversation after Tribal Council was so hilarious, and really shows the levels of paranoia she’s fighting with. She should’ve got the message after one mention that Zeke didn’t want to talk at that very moment, but it took what appeared to be minutes of bickering for it to get through to her to leave the issue alone for the night. Such a mess, but great television. Then there’s still the issue of Taylor and Figgy, and I thought it was hilarious when Zeke and Adam gave those two all the credit after the vote, when in reality Michelle and Jay were the ones who really made the play. This tribe is everything it needs to be; enthusiastic and foolish like good millennial caricatures should be. But, hey, in fairness it’s a tough game, and it’s getting the best of some of them early on. I’m just happy I’m enjoying things, and it’s mostly thanks to this tribe.
- The Gen X tribe got a real awkward story arc this episode, and I really didn’t understand where it was going until the very end. The one great thing that happened is we got to see Ken front and center, as his hero arc started in earnest. Ken seems like the kind of person you root for, he wants to play honest, he wants to earn respect by hard work, and he wants to embrace the survival aspect of the game. He’s very old school in the way he approaches the game, but as a student of the game, I absolutely love someone being about that old school approach out there. I was really rooting for him when he was trying to talk to Jessica about Paul being the best candidate to go home next, and I really want to see his alliance with Cece and David get some traction in the game, because they seem like the only characters worthy of being rooted for on that tribe. I hope Ken is one of the heroes of this season, I think he embodies the right characteristics to be a legendary Survivor player.
- I’ll just come out and say it; that summit was such a disappointment. No twists in the game whatsoever, no idol clues, no swap, just a random group of people enjoying a snack for no really good reason. It was a perfect opportunity to swap, and instead we just got a whole lot of nothing, with the exception of a few fun interactions between Taylor and David. It almost feels like the show had a twist planned and the producers just called an audible and nixed the plan because they liked the tribes just the way they are. I’ll try to look on the bright side of it though; it’s rare in new school Survivor to get to keep a starting tribe together into a fourth episode, so we’re getting a little bit of a different look at the game than we’ve had recently. I do think there’s a lot of great story potential to play out with these tribes before they mix them up too haphazardly.
- Gen X lost the challenge, and they really only lost because one person took forever to get across the balance beam portion of the challenge, Cece. It was such a bad moment for her and the team that seemed absurdly clear that she should be next to go. Hell, I didn’t want her out, but I was completely ok with the tribe making that move going forward. But, something really funny started happening, something that was in some ways completely out of the blue but also very obvious all along. Conversations started happening at camp that made the tides shift against Paul, and suddenly an obvious vote was up in the air again. It all started with Paul telling Jessica that if the guys made an alliance he would be honest and let her know in advance. Somehow, she translated that hypothetical situation he used to invoke trust into the concept that Paul was going to turn on the women. It’s funny how misconceptions can make all the difference on Survivor, because Jessica went to the women, who didn’t seem too keen on Paul anyway, and they all decided that taking him out now would be a good plan. Tribal council had just enough suspense to it, because it was still hard to believe this rock solid alliance would actually fracture this early on in the game, but that’s exactly what happened. The men got blindsided 6-3 and Paul got his torch snuffed. As a viewer, it was kind of satisfying to see the head of one of the most boring alliances get voted out, but as a fan of the game, I was puzzled by the move. These are Gen Xers, they should’ve embraced the old school game, and they could’ve easily set themselves up well for the long-term if they stayed 6 strong, but a little paranoia crept in and just like that their boring, powerful alliance was destroyed. That was pretty good TV, but it was also really bad Survivor game-play.
Thoughts After the Episode:
- My player of the week honors go to Ken. The guy is incredibly likable, incredibly good at the survival aspects of the game, and is getting a real hero edit from the producers. I think his conversations with Jessica put just enough doubt in her head to get her to turn on Paul and the rest of her alliance, and I’m inclined to give him the credit here. I find myself rooting for him, and it might just be a production trick, but regardless he gets props from me this week for playing his own game and coming out in a good spot after this vote…My favorite moment of the episode was probably the point in time where David promises Taylor he’ll turn on his whole tribe in an instant to work with them. The concept of those two working together is the funniest thing ever; I’m not really sure why other than they are such different, yet wacky characters. I thought they were both total messes for players after episode 1, but now I find myself rooting for them to go far just so we can see if anything comes of this conversation…Lucy got to speak this week! I’m happy for her and all, but it looks like she’s gonna prove to be a nasty character come next week. Oh well, we haven’t had a good chance to get to know her anyway, so maybe she will be a ruthless tyrant after all…I’m surprised they didn’t merge this week in all honesty, it was a good opportunity to do so, but I guess Probst wants to keep making fun of generational differences even though he’s older than anyone on the cast. Jeff can be such a ham sometimes.