Survivor had a pretty decent episode as drama begins to increase

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Previously on Survivor, there was a small alliance of three pretty people on the Millennials, David is afraid, Lucy says nothing, and Rachel went home. And what looked to be a serious medical emergency in the preview for this week turned out to be heat and dehydration that resulted in no impact to the game.

So spoilers of course, and here’s a new surprise. Guess who also said nothing this week? If you said Lucy, I’d say “you noticed?” An invisible edit for Lucy Huang, that’s weird; why nothing so far?

The two tribes had a few little dramas and intrigues, with the majority of the aftermath in the Millennial tribe. Over on Gen-X, things got interesting with a few explanations. Apparently CeCe had allied with Rachel from last week, so that’s why her name was put down. Makes sense. But then the new underdog alliance began to form: David, Ken, and CeCe.

Lucy is a cipher, Paul is obsessed with control, Chris is condescending, Sunday is empathetic, and Brett had nothing of note. They clearly consider themselves the big dogs, assuming CeCe is nothing and Ken is on board with them. But I liked how we saw a new side to Ken, the socially awkward side. I actually sort of buy it from him, the guy who lived off the grid. A loner who doesn’t get people, despite his looks.

We had some beautiful shots underwater as Ken went spearfishing, and some fun tension when David found his idol. His plan of distraction was pretty good, and perhaps it saved him. The new underdog alliance may also do him a lot of good, unless he screws up and lets off that he has an idol.

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On the Gen-X tribe, Ken had the best episode, showing some humility and self-reflection along with enough good game play to learn about someone else’s idol. David was alright, starting fire and finding an idol are good points, but he did poorly in the challenge. Nobody else stood out as good or bad otherwise, but we have some good drama points setting up later episodes.

The Millennials had a fascinating episode, because Mari lost, as I see it, for two reasons. Slight arrogance and misreading and getting outplayed. That second one is harder to manage, so I don’t blame her for that. The first part wasn’t too bad, but let’s be honest here and look at what happened.

Taylor and Figgy hooked up, causing tension on the tribe because Michaela found it annoying and lost her temper. She was one of several people who made good points in interviews and did stupid things. This led to the Zeke/Adam/Mari/Hannah group and the Hannah/Michaela/Will group initially agreeing to vote out Figgy. Yes, I said Hannah twice, but she’s playing a pretty great, low key game so far.

Mari was targeted for being too obviously talented. That’s a really hard target to ignore, because it requires a very savvy player to notice.

So we had six players on board to vote out Figgy, a clear majority. Then the real trouble began for Mari (although it hadn’t happened yet), when Zeke and Adam revealed the plan to Jay. They shouldn’t have done that, it was a clear mistake because the three had already been noticed as a group together. Then Zeke gets too honest, another misstep, citing Michaela as the next boot. Now if he had lied and said the current boot, that would’ve been smarter I think.

Jay had a mixed episode, correctly identifying the power couple as stupid, although when he said they never last, I guess he had forgotten Rob and Amber, who were indeed the final couple in their season. But really, it’s fair, because that’s why people started targeting couples after that season. And Jay also was a bit sexist, talking about how girls ruin “bro” time. But he also played well later, bringing up to Michaela that Zeke brought up her and Figgy’s names.

Michelle or Jay would’ve been smart to bring up Zeke’s name then to feed Michaela’s fears, but then Michelle brought up Mari to Will. And why? Because she’s good at challenges and is too strategic to trust. Great reasons, but the fact she noticed means Mari wasn’t as savvy as she seemed. So she convinced Will to target Mari, which was probably enough numbers to get Michaela to vote against the Mari/Zeke/Adam/Hannah bloc.

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That was the votes: The triforce (Taylor/Jay/Figgy), Michelle, Will, Michaela. That’s six, which is enough against the other four. Yet Michelle then went even further, which was a huge risk. She pushed at Hannah using their previously established connection to get another vote for Mari. That’s an overwhelming majority.

Mari/Adam/Zeke should’ve addressed it, but I’m not sure what they could’ve said unless they got them to blow up their spot. At that point, Mari was a goner, although I realized that after Michelle talked to Will, because like I said, the numbers were already there.

I did like Mari, and I’d be happy to see her again on another season, but she was simply outmaneuvered here. I think she’d do better on an all-returnee season where everyone plays hard.

Next time, Zeke and Adam feel betrayed by Hannah, a twist does something.

 

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