Survivor slows down before the inevitable tribal conflagration

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Previously on Survivor, Mike and Ryan have idols, there was a strong seven person alliance, Joe called out Ben, Lauren saved her vote with her advantage, and Desi was voted out to join the jury.

I feel like one of the good things about this point of the Survivor seasons is that there aren’t enough people to worry about covering everyone. That said, I think it’s time to catch up and see where everyone is and where they might be going.

Starting from the bottom, Cole was becoming mildly interesting, but he’s sort of like a pretty goober. He’s not entirely without capability, but he hasn’t really played well the entire game, at least not from a strategic perspective. We had heard, including this episode, about his history of eating too much, but the main reason he was voted out was simple: Ben pushed a reason that made sense.

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Cole was a challenge threat, and obviously so in this episode, being the “almost but not quite” of the Immunity Challenge. Hard to say what else Cole might have tried out there, but he’s not a huge loss to the season’s story.

Joe and Mike both have different, interesting personalities that have emerged. Joe is a bombastic wildman, knowingly hurting people to make himself a goat like he accused Ashley of being, but it seems to have worked, considering that Ben mentioned that as a reason to keep Joe around. Mike went for broke this episode with quite a few schemes, including the one at Tribal where he tried to get the target on himself.

It was a risky, fun move, but I think he should’ve realized he wasn’t going to switch people’s votes at the last second. Sure, it’s happened before, but rarely. Still, I like the effort, much more than Joe’s annoyance strategy.

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Lauren is just being a solid player, which means she will likely go near the end of the game. Devon and Ben made a little sub-alliance, but it’s hard to say if that will last. Ben has his specific personality quirks, but I don’t know if he’s really loyal to Devon. Devon plays with a lot of heart and emotion, which is nice to see, but it’s hard to see him winning.

Ashley has had nothing for a while except an argument to Joe, and Chrissy is very insidious. She’s lasted through a lot, and doesn’t seem to be a real target by anyone. That strikes me as strong, dangerous game play.

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Ryan is playing but I think foolishly. He tipped his hand too much with his attempt to get the trust of Ben, and why should he trust him at all? A mistake that will likely lead to problems. The seasons with one dominant alliance often get dull Pagonging episodes, so I hope this alliance really does fall apart soon.

It was a decent episode, but not quite as exciting as it has been. Once people get mad, I think it’ll get more interesting again.

Next time, the alliance seems strong, but starts to crumble and Mike gives a great pull quote.

Survivor airs Wednesday at 8:00 PM on CBS.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us what you think!


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