Thoughts on the Episode:
- After last week’s vote, the Takali tribe kind of had some awkward moments coming back from tribal council. Adam was hilariously apologetic to Taylor afterwards, rambling on and on to him about how he ruined his game, and he put him in a bad spot, etc. I’m not really sure what Adam was attempting to accomplish with that conversation, but it was a great TV moment nonetheless. It’s a little out of sequence to discuss this, but it was very interesting to see the producers throw in a scene of Ken and Jessica bonding with Taylor a little bit later in the episode. I’m curious if those scenes foreshadow any possible union between those three down the line should certain things shake out later in the game, but I still have to believe Adam is firmly with the Gen X alliance at this point.
- David made one of the most peculiar moves of the week by showing Zeke his idol. This scene seemed a little bit out of the blue, and perhaps it wasn’t considering we don’t see most of their days, but to me this looked like an unnecessary move. I’m all for David making an alliance with Zeke, I think it’s undeniably clear that he’s not in the mix with the Millennials as a whole, but perhaps he needs to keep the idol very close to his chest, at least until a bit later in the game when alliance-making will make a huge difference. I think David is the kind of player who wants to align himself with someone steady to guide him through his paranoia, like he did with Ken earlier, so from that perspective maybe this is an OK move. But, if the Millennials find a way to get back together with Zeke and Adam, David may end up in trouble because he gave up too much information to the wrong person. I might be getting way ahead of myself speculating about all of this, but either way, this was a very pivotal part of the game from this week’s episode, and I think it deserves some analysis.
- After another circus-like immunity challenge where immunity hinged on how well players could hit long range targets by slinging beanbags, The largest squad left in the game, Ikabula, lost and would be forced to drop a number. The scene after their devastating first immunity loss was kind of amusing, as it featured the tribe sitting side by side on a log in silence just thinking about everything. It really summed up the mood of the tribe fantastically; this appeared to be the least divided tribe of the 3, and the sense between them all was that no one really wanted to vote any of the others out. But, still, someone needed to go, and the 4-2 Millennial numbers indicated that Bret and Sunday were the likely candidates. All 4 of them believed Bret to be the bigger threat in the game, based somewhat on the perceived occupation lie, but they still wanted to be thorough and split the vote even. I remarked while live tweeting the show that it was a pretty slam dunk option to get rid of Bret here, it made sense, it didn’t rock the boat, and it would deflate the strength of the Gen X bloc, but other options started creeping in to peoples’ minds. Michaela began strategizing a 39 day plan for the four of them, which really concerned Jay and Will, who didn’t trust her not to outsmart them or backstab them somewhere down the line. Jay and Will were both justified in their paranoia of Michaela because they were rudely interrupted celebrating their idol find by Michaela, who has shown a bad temperament and a willingness to sway with the wind. There was a good amount of debate between Jay and Will about whether or not a pre-emptive strike against Michaela would be in their best long-term interests. Going into Tribal Council it was still tough to say which way they would lean, but as the votes were being read Michaela went from amazed to pissed off pretty quickly once it was obvious that she was double crossed, we got to witness one of the greatest spontaneous reactions in the show’s history. In typical Michaela fashion, she turned to Jay and exclaimed “Did you do that?” what’s going to make this scene iconic was Jay’s reaction, as he coldly met her stare and replied by saying “Yeah. I did that.” The moment was remarkably great because Jay stood his ground and owned his deceitfulness. I’m really loving Jay as a player more and more each week, he’s a key part of what’s making this season wonderful. I think time is going to tell whether or not his vote was the best decision, but I think it’s worth noting that Michaela brought her exit upon herself. I said it in my blog last week, and I’m happy to say I was dead on the money when reviewing her game. Her loud, boisterous personality was going to get her eliminated from the game sooner or later, it just ended up being a bit sooner than even I expected. It may not have been time for Michaela to leave the game just yet but I’m ok with it all, and the way Jay took charge of the game and owned his decision was great. I’ve got to tip my cap to this cast, they’re really bringing it so far!
Thoughts after the Episode:
- My player of the week honors go to Jay this episode. Only time will tell if Jay made a winning decision during this voting cycle, but I give him a great deal of credit for playing a strong, steady game so far. Jay has shown a great knowledge and respect of the game, and his ability to sniff out a rival among friends shows that he’s in it to win it. With an idol in hand, and likely four strong in his alliance, Jay is going to be a player in the post-merge game…My favorite moment of the episode has to be the scenes where the Ikabula tribe debated whether or not Bret was lying about working at a Funeral Home. Not only was it funny because the concept of lying about one’s occupation is ridiculous, but also because Hannah and Jay really reverted to their millennial stereotypes talking about it. Hannah went all Nancy Drew over the situation and Jay had a great one-liner about running away from cops after making bon fires on the beach. The casting of this season was really spot on, especially in regards to the season’s twist…The merge is coming next episode, and it will be, to my knowledge, the first time 3 tribes have merged into 1in a season. This is going to create an interesting dynamic because the amount of overlapping alliances and sub-alliances is going to be crazy. There really is no way to tell how the game is going to shake out. And the best part about all of this might be the idea that the first vote probably won’t even show us how the alliances are going to stay. Some seasons seem like a straight forward shakedown, but I have a feeling this season could be very fluid and very unpredictable…just the way I like it!