Thoughts on the episode:
- The vote from last week didn’t end up creating much drama for this episode to feed off of because it was unanimous, so this episode had a lot more of story moving forward with all tribes. A big point of emphasis in the early part of the episode was Jay stumbling upon an idol. I thought it was a pretty great moment, since he just sort of spotted something that he thought was odd and out of the normal. It ended up being an idol hidden in plain sight, and it ended up being a cool moment for Jay and Will, who was with him when he happened upon it. The only bump in the road in the whole scenario was that Michaela happened upon them when they were celebrating their victory. She knew they weren’t going to share that with any of the rest of their alliance, and even though she’s in the know about it now, it seems like it could easily backfire on Jay because of Michaela’s volatility. They are really gonna have their hands full reigning in her competitiveness and keeping her from wavering from the alliance. I like Jay, I think he’s a smart and interesting player, but I have a sneaking suspicion this idol will actually work against him in the long run, and it will be all thanks to Michaela when it blows up!
- Figgy had a bad episode from start to finish. She had a very clear losers edit throughout, foreshadowing the ending of the episode pretty clearly. At the reward challenge, she got a little excited when she watched the Vanua tribe march in with Michelle. Figgy let her emotions get the best of her and cheered in excitement, causing Probst to really start going after Figgy. The whole thing raised some eyebrows, especially with Zeke, who clearly saw the alliance lines laid out in her emotional outburst. That was bad moment #1 for her on the night. Moment #2 was her failure to win a reward as tribe caller at the blindfolded reward challenge. They could’ve still got some reward if they finished second, but nope, Figgy really kind of failed at her task in that challenge, and Jeff had nothing for them by the end (whomp, whomp, whomp). Bad moment #3 came when Figgy had the brilliant idea that she was going to graciously come forward to Ken and Jessica about their relationship with Taylor. Jessica took the conversation very nicely, but her and Ken made it clear to them that they already knew and were terrible at hiding their feelings. It was a somewhat embarrassing moment for her actually, simply because she got the sudden shock of realizing that, in a game of lying and deceit, she was apparently really bad at both. And of course there was a fourth bad moment later, but I’ll get to that in a little bit. The point here is that, like in life, in Survivor sometimes you’re winning at everything and doing it all right, and sometimes you can’t do anything right, and for Figgy, everything went terribly during this voting cycle. That’s just the way it goes sometimes!
- The immunity challenge was interesting. It was interesting mostly because it featured Michaela berating her teammate Hannah en route to victory. It was a weird situation, and Michaela was extremely aggressive and borderline rude while leading her team to victory. The end part of the challenge was a tilting maze where two players would have to maneuver a ball through a maze and around holes and edges where the ball could fall off. Michaela quickly figured out that if she manipulated one side while Hannah held it still she could manage the maze. But, instead of calmly and rationally explaining that, she decided to yell and scream at her teammate in an extremely obnoxious fashion. I guess the status quo opinion of Michaela is that’s she’s a gamer and a fighter, and she has a great spirit for the game. That’s cool, so here’s my opinion; she’s obnoxious and loud and I can’t imagine that playing like that is really going to help her win this game. Just my opinion, I don’t enjoy her personality much, but I’ll admit that her personality is creating some interesting issues so far. We’ll see what becomes of Michaela moving forward, but if she keeps acting the way she has, I have to think she won’t make it to the end.
- After losing the challenge, we quickly got to see the denouement of the ‘Adam in the Middle’ storyline that was foreshadowed last week. With Taylor and Figgy voting as a pair and Ken and Jessica doing the same, Adam was forced to decide which group he wanted to move forward with. This was a difficult decision for him, one with a lot of layers and pros and cons galore. Staying with the numbers of the Millennials had its perks, but considering he was at the bottom of the pecking order at that tribe, it may not have been as good a bet as numbers might make it seem. Adam clearly seemed to like Jessica and ken, but admitted he hadn’t gotten to know them enough to really put great trust in them, so if he were to flip it would be a leap of faith more than a notion of trust. Tribal council was really fun as they all bantered and went back and forth, in a civil, respectful manner mind you, about which pair Adam should move forward with in the game. In the end, Adam decided to vote Figgy out, tearing apart the beloved Figtails showmance that had really been growing on me. I will miss Figgy on the show she really started to grow on me, but this was kind of a move that had to happen for all of the foreshadowing to really hit hard in the end. Adam had to get his vengeance, and Ken has to eventually reunite with David, so seeing Figgy go, while sad, was necessary for this story to make any sense. The question now is what will Taylor do without his better half? No offense to him, but I do believe she was the brains of the couple, so it will be fascinating to see how he plays the strategy of Survivor going forward by himself.
Thoughts After the Episode:
- My player of the week honors go to Adam this time. He made a really bold, brave move by turning on his original tribe to vote out Figgy. I think in the end, we’ll see this was a wonderful move for Adam, one that will open up all kinds of options for Adam to slither between alliances all the way to a good later position in the game. In Survivor, you have to pull the trigger on the right big moves, and Adam just did that…My favorite moment of the episode (season?) was when Jeff Probst, ordained minister, offered his services at Tribal Council to Figgy and Taylor, asking if they wanted him to marry them right there on the spot. That was such a marvelous moment in the history of the show, it really was Jeff at his campiest, most presumptive, most interfering moment and I was dying laughing watching that whole conversation. Jeff is really bringing his A game this season as host, I’ve been impressed…I’ve remarked this before, but this season is really wonderful because of how fluid and wide open the game play has been. We keep seeing these alliances melt together in non-definitive ways, last week with Chris, Zeke, and David coming together to vote as a strange bloc, and now with Ken, Jessica, and Adam coming together as a voting bloc. I’m not sure if it would go down like this in the game, but it would be pretty interesting if these blocs could find a way to come together and slyly work their way to the final 6 through a little bit of deception. Part of me is saying this because these are some of my favorite players on the season, but also because it would be magnificent to have 2 idols in play at the final 6 vote again! Hoping for this scenario, one way or the other.