A Survivor puzzle flips the script

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The early part of the Survivor season is always hard to ruminate on simply because there are so many new people to get to know. And by having everyone split into three tribes this season, it’s even harder to focus on one without pushing another one into the background. But the producers tried mightily to give us some insight into the mindset of the three tribes in the top half of the show before the Immunity Challenge that helped throw everything out the window.

On the Heroes tribe, naturally everyone was still a bit on edge after being the first tribe to head to Tribal Council. You never expect the physically strongest tribe to be the first to lose a member but it seems to happen that way more often than not. But they always usually have at least one expendable tribe member who won’t affect their performance moving forward in the challenges and the Heroes tribe had that person in Katrina who barely made an impression except for being one of the two older people on the tribe. But the Heroes have a loose cannon in Alan who decided to break up “power couple” JP and Ashley. Okay, they’d been on the island for a day and a half when Alan decided they were a power couple. On Big Brother, maybe, but not Survivor. Just because two people of the opposite sex hit it off doesn’t mean there’s anything going on, especially after a day together. So Alan thinks he’s put a target on them and Chrissy used that to her advantage (being the other possible target last week), hitting up every member of the tribe to form an alliance while also trying to sell Alan down the river because of his behavior. Of course, talking with Alan, she threw JP and Ashley under the bus as well. The only member of the tribe not in anyone’s crosshairs is Ben, and he could be the most dangerous of all because he seems to be a very sociable person.

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Over on the Healers tribe, Joe is trying to be social but still trying to make everyone believe Mike has the Hidden Immunity Idol because if they all think he has it, no one will go look for it. Except Mike has very little time to himself to look, but fortune smiles on him while half the tribe is getting water and the rest are fishing. And he finds it … except all he found was a clue painted on the side of a tree which he wrongly interpreted to mean he need to go to the raft to find the Idol (which had been moved already so how he would be expected to find an Idol at that point is unknown). Luckily he’s confided in Cole that Mike does not have the Idol and he found a clue and Alan realized that the symbol was not the raft but the well. So they snuck over to the well and dug up the Idol and now Joe is in possession of it — which could come back to bite him if he starts rubbing people the wrong way. But why did Cole go back to the tree and hack the map off? Leaving it there for others to find, and then not finding the Idol, would have supported Joe’s suggestion that Mike had the Idol. At least that’s how it would have worked in my head.

The Hustlers tribe is a mess. Patrick is driving everyone crazy, particularly Lauren and Simone, with his man-boy behavior, always carrying on, making face and weird noises and just attempting to be the social center of attention. A little goes a long way when you’re stuck with the same group of people day in and day out. But Simone is a bit of a problem too with her social awkwardness. Most of the tribe has no relationship with her, but she’s trying, including offering to clean a fish for dinner (because she read up on how to do it before joining the show). The tribe actually seems to appreciate her efforts until …

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The Immunity Challenge. This was a pretty interesting challenge that got very exciting by the end. Three tribe members had to get in the water, grab a basket and get three sets of puzzle pieces out of a submerged cage while the other two waited to put the puzzle together, this one a sign post with various names of other Survivor locations. And the post rotated so that all the pieces had to move freely past obstacles on a stationary post. It looked easier than it was. Surprisingly, the Hustlers took first place by a wide shot in gathering their pieces and got to the puzzle assembly first. Healers were second and surprisingly the Heroes were last. But everyone was pretty even when it came to getting the puzzles assembled (and Joe sat out for Healers while Lauren sat out for Hustlers). And even though they were second to get to the platform, the Healers were the first of the two winners of Immunity.

So it came down to Heroes and Hustlers, the last and first tribes to get to the platform. Both had issues getting the right pieces in the right places to spin the sign freely but in the end it was last place Heroes who got their first win, sending the Healers to Tribal Council. But who would be sent packing of the two possible tribe members. Patrick, of course, suggested Simone and his buddy Ryan seemed to agree. But Ryan and the rest of the tribe were buzzing around like bees — Patrick or Simone. Simone started to turn on her sales pitch, targeting Lauren and Ali first, knowing how Lauren feels about Patrick and assuming Ali feels the same way. But Ali has been with Patrick since day one, so while he’s a child she has to watch every minute, he could still be a good ally in the game and an asset in challenges. I mean, he is arguably the strongest guy on the tribe. Isn’t it just a bit too early to get rid of him?

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But Patrick almost made a huge error at Tribal when talking about trust, saying he trusted most of the people on his tribe. When Jeff’s eyes lit up, he quickle amended that statement to “all” and immediately recognized that a foot in the mouth at Tribal can be the easiest way to get voted out. And Jeff made sure to play off that, basically throwing the big lug under the bus (and Jeff Probst really has to stop leading the tribes like that during Tribal Council). But when all was said and done, it ended up being a “unanimous” vote for Simone (of course she couldn’t vote for herself), and she took it gracefully. But from the looks of next week’s preview, Patrick is going to have a whole lot of trouble on his hands as things come to a head with Lauren.

Or not because Survivor is known for its terribly misleading promos.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Did the right person go home? Tell us what you think!

 

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