I’m enjoying the story of this season of Survivor a lot. There are a lot of unknowns about just how all these players plan to win the game, and the caginess required to play on the fly this close to the end is making things interesting. Even though the votes have all been rather standard thus far, the chess game of positioning to get to the end is very fluid, and it’s building the anticipation greatly. I’m still very impressed with the quality of play this season, as there are multiple people who have good arguments for winning if they play their cards right going forward. I couldn’t even tell you who should be the favorite right now or who’s likely to get voted out next, because the game is changing by the day, and it’s keeping the show entertaining because of the future is unclear.
- Devon is definitely a player in this game, and he’s playing things very sincerely and honestly so far. Devon has the physical prowess and intelligence to survive in this game, but what seems to be setting him apart and helps him rise to top is his likability. People want to work with Devon, but they don’t assume he’s a schemer because he has such an easy-going personality. He’s been very successful at balancing the game with the relationships he’s building, and you can see he’s getting a lot of attention because of it. The interesting thing to see going forward will be whether or not Devon decides to make a move against Ryan or Ben at some point, and whether or not taking the lead on an ambitious move will out him as a more serious player than his demeanor suggest he is.
- Ryan’s game started coming apart a bit this episode when he made the choice to confide in the one person in his alliance he had no real bond with. I can understand Ryan’s perspective when he wants to give Ben information to build a bond, but after telling Devon this would be a secret, telling someone on the periphery of your inner circle is not necessarily a great move, even if everything works out. I think Ryan underestimated a few of the bonds he tried making, and with one move he may have lost a handle on the relatively large alliance he’s been trying to architect. If Ryan doesn’t get smart and start sniffing out the seeds of dissent that will be forming immediately now that the Healers have basically been crushed, he could find himself leaving the game with that idol in his pocket.
Who’s Going Nowhere:
- So at this point I’m just guessing that JP has zero game because the producers have decided he’s not really worth mentioning anymore. With ten people in the game there’s always going to be plenty of footage left on the cutting room floor, but it’s never a good sign to get as little mention as JP has. He has seemed a bit out of his element for a while anyway, so it’s no shock, but still worth mentioning. Ashley also should get a shout out in here since she got the nice mention from Joe in the episode about being a great Survivor goat. I love how meta the game is getting it really suits a Survivor nerd like me, and it’s safe to say that Joe makes a great point with his critiques of Ashley. They wouldn’t include that in the show if it wasn’t foreshadowing something.
- Player of the Week: Devon
- He’s talking to everyone and has everyone’s ear, and no one really seems to expect him to be crazy into the game, even though he sure seems to be. He’s successfully put himself into the wing man role for a lot of different players in the game, and because of that he’s got a lot of different options and ways to move forward. Options are good on Survivor, and Devon is in an amazing position simply because of his personality and demeanor.
- Moment of the Week:
- My favorite moment of the episode was probably just Joe being Joe going after Ashley and pissing off Chrissy at the shelter. Mike had a killer commentary just before that scene saying that he found Joe strangely amusing, and I can’t help but agree. The guy is such an over the top character, but his presence makes the show far more interesting. I can’t wait to see whether or not they’ll hide another idol for him to find!
- Fond Farewell:
- Cole had been drawing dead for many weeks, but it was still kind of sad to see him go. I think he brought a certain sense of innocence to the game, in a strange way, since he was very much just there for survival and to challenge himself, versus being there to win a million dollars. It’s nice to have someone like Cole on Survivor just because players like him balance out the television show a bit and humanize the experience, making it more relatable to the average viewer who doesn’t necessarily study the game intensely.