I’m not too happy with this episode. While interesting things happened, I’m pretty annoyed with the fact that editing decided to focus of drama rather than on gameplay. That gave us one of the most predictable episode ever, from the very first minute when Ciera says that her mother has to go, we knew what was going to happen. The episode really could have been edited in a different ways. The thing is that what Jeff Probst wanted with the Blood vs Water format was more emotion in the show, except that he didn’t get that much, instead he got great gameplay every week, so as soon as some emotion showed up, he wouldn’t let game play and strategy get in the way.
The challenge was a bit weird, why did they need to get three balls if they’re only going to use one? In any case, this ending was very compelling with Tina Wesson dominating and then almost losing, but finally saving herself and eliminating Aras Baskauskas.
Then, we had to witness this embarrassing moment when Probst tried to turn Survivor into a day time talk show, insisting on Aras and Vytas Baskauskas to have an emotional, life lesson learning moment. The brothers didn’t play along much, they’re smarter than that, even if they gave him a bone (I almost feel that they had to do several takes of the conversation with Probst insisting that they somewhat answer his question). Please, Jeff Probst, stop trying to create drama. Survivor is a great show because when there is drama it’s natural and organic, not forced and artificial.
– Caleb Bankston: He’s been more or less relegated to the role of extra since he ousted Brad. I guess that tells us what his part will be in the end game, not a big one.
– Ciera Eastin: Of course, she is the one that everyone talks about this week. Opinions seem to be divided on whether voted her mom out was a good move or not. Mmm… Let’s start with the conversation she had with her. I really liked that conversation. It is the kind of conversation that “should” happen before any betrayal. Of course, it doesn’t usually happen, as if it did the betrayed person would fight back, Laura on the other hand, couldn’t. Partly because it was her daughter, partly because Laura understood that Ciera was right. Laura had no chance to win, and even if Ciera’s are very slim, they’re higher than her mom. So yeah, Ciera did the sensible thing, there. Then, props to her for her conversation with Katie, there was no better way to find out whether Katie had the idol or not. From there, it went downhill though, and while I have gained some respect for Ciera, I’m not convinced she did the right thing. Here, she’s kinda playing the goat game, hoping to be brought to the end because she’s weak, non threatening and all that. She’s not taking matters into her own hands. The other thing that she could have done was to try to take control of the game with her Mom, Katie, Caleb and Hayden. Also, voting for her mom was kinda unnecessary. Everyone would have understood if she had thrown her vote at someone else (well, at Katie at least), Tyson even kinda suggested it. Does that tell her alliance she’s tight with them? Maybe. Does that tell them that she could do anything to get further in the game, even voting her own mom out? Yes, that too.
– Gervase Peterson: Not much of him this week.
– Hayden Moss: He gets more confessionals than Caleb, but still, we’re not seeing any game play from him, his confessionals are mostly about narrating what other people are doing. I don’t think he’ll go much further than final five. That’s one of the thing that really bothers me with season having returning players against newbies. As good as the newbies can be, they never stand a chance, because they just can’t play at the level, pace and intensity that the returnees can play. We saw it in Caramoan last season, we’re seeing it again this season. People like Sherri (last season) or Caleb and Hayden this season, play quite well premerge, they would all be threats to win in all new players seasons, but once they end up in tribes with people like Cochran, Dawn, Tyson and more, they become quickly become mere extras, because they simply don’t have the experience.
– Katie Collins: Talking about lack of experience… Katie should have realized that as she wasn’t a threat anymore, she actually could become a swing vote. But no, she didn’t try anything, except try to find the idol, which could have put a new target on her back. At this stage, she’s just expendable, and she’ll be out anytime soon. She has become one of the least threatening players in Survivor history, however, she can’t make it to the end, as she could win.
– Laura Morett sent to Redemption Island: Strange to see how easily she folded and accepted her fate. I didn’t expect that from her. I guess she must have realized that her game was over, although I believe that Ciera and her could have tried something. Although maybe they did and it was not shown because it was completely unsuccessful? Not sure, it doesn’t seem like they did.
– Monica Culpepper: I don’t have much to say about her, including her decision to give the reward. I think that at this point no one really care about her, and she will most likely make it to the end because of that. I don’t think that she’ll get many votes though, if any.
– Tyson Apostol: This is definitely Tyson’s season. He’s still playing a great game, controls what happens, he’s being trusted by pretty much everyone, he has a hidden immunity idol (that actually is hidden), he even manages to not seem to be making all the decisions. He wins this week’s don’t-let-that-fool-you award, not for any important thing he has done this week, but for his game play in general, and for ousting Laura without causing any waves. After all, he’s the Big Bad Wolf.
Next week on Survivor:
It seems that Hayden and Caleb (with Ciera and Katie?) are going to blindside Tyson. Of course they’ll fail, and of course, they’ll be send to redemption island for that foolish attempt.
Next person voted out:
Mmm… Could Caleb or Hayden be the next one voted out?
Is there any way that Tyson doesn’t win at this point? (I should say the same about Gervase, except his edit is definitely not the one of a winner).
You want to read more about Survivor? You should read those fine people’s blogs:
- Super Jude’s blog. One of the best Survivor bloggers out there.
- Rob has a website, a podcast and an amazing know-it-alls analysis.
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times is a must read every week.
- Stephen Fishbach’s blog too (now with illustrations by Erik Reichenbach)
- Dalton Ross’s recap on EW is much much more than just a recap.
- Andy Dehnart at reality Blurred.
- more to come… or not…