Ha! Merge episodes. Who doesn’t love them? Very often the best episode of the season, as we never know what will happen, and usually what happens decides for the rest of the game (even if it entails a lame pagonging for the next few episodes sometimes). Will we have a pagonging this time? Hard to tell really, although Katie, Tina and Vytas are now in big trouble.
Usually, duels at redemption arena are mostly puzzles to make sure everyone has the same chances. So why exactly have an endurance challenge with totem poles for the most important duel? It’s always the smaller woman who wins that one, and it was not a surprise at all that Laura Morett won it.
Bye John Cody and Laura Boneham, I never really cared about you and probably never will.
I like the color and air time wasn’t wasted with a lame explanation for the name, so it’s all good.
– Aras Baskauskas sent to redemption island: Last week I wrote that he had become too confident and that’s what got him voted out. To his defense, there was no way he could see it coming and he had every reason to trust Tyson and Gervase. However, thinking that nine people were going to be ok with voting Laura M. or Ciera was an avoidable mistake. During his time in Tadhana, he had to have noticed that Caleb and Ciera were very tight. That should have been a warning sign. Although, I don’t think that at this point there was anything he could have done. His downfall started almost on day one, when he kinda became the leader of the tribe. He got outwitted.
– Caleb Bankston: He’s become quite invisible (and silent) lately. Does it mean that his only act worth mentioning was having Brad voted out? I’m afraid so.
– Ciera Eastin: I need to give props to Ciera. She’s much smarter and has a much better reading of the game than I gave her credit for. Being uncertain about her mom coming back, then becoming her mom’s coach. Those are smart ways to play the game. Still, she’s in a position where if she wants to win, she’ll have to make some big moves and I’m not sure she has that in her. We’ll see.
– Gervase Peterson: This episode is an historical one, because 13 years after playing the game the first time Gervase made a big move. Before the start of the season, I was not sure how Gervase would play this game that has changed so much since the first time he played. I was especially uncertain about how he’d manage the strategy aspect of the game. So far he has managed it greatly. And this week he made a huge move. Editing tried to tell us that Laura and Ciera were the swing votes but they were not. Ciera was tight with her alliance, and there was no way Laura M. wouldn’t agree with voting ut Aras. Gervase on the other hand… His first alliance in the game was with Aras and Tina (that pre-game alliance that has been talked about everywhere except on the show itself), plus Gervase and Aras have been good friends for a few years now. However, Gervase understood quite early on (when Marissa was voted?) that he’d be the fifth wheel in this alliance, and instead of idiotically staying there until he gets voted out in final five, he took his destiny into his own hands, found a “replacement loved one” in the person of Tyson and decided to roll with him. Now they’re both in control of the game and could easily take each other to the final three. For that big move Gervase gets his second don’t-let-that-fool-you award of the season (after all, he named it) and this time it’s a good thing.
– Hayden Moss: He’s not in a too bad position right now. Kinda in the middle of his alliance, he’s safe for a while and not a target. However, to go to the end, he will need to make big moves, and so far, there isn’t anything that implies he will.
– Katie Collins: Her game play seems to be reduced to doing like mom. I was expecting more from her. Maybe now that this strategy can’t work anymore, she’ll start playing for herself? We’ll see.
– Monica Culpepper: It was smart of her to not stay with Tina and Katie, now she has to be careful with her social game. In her conversation with Tyson, I’m starting to see what her problem is (and probably what made Kat target her), and she doesn’t make herself more likable, she’ll be at the bottom of any alliance she’s a part of.
– Tina Wesson: She’s played a great game until now and suddenly the huge blunder: telling Monica that she’s number five in the alliance. You never ever ever tell that to anyone, ever! Sure, it didn’t make a difference, Monica’s vote didn’t really matter in the end, but it could have. Now Tina is in serious trouble, and I’m not sure how she’s going to get out of there alive. Had she kept Monicas in her good graces, she maybe could have tried something. Now, she can’t.
– Tyson Apostol: Wow, I didn’t think Tyson’s plan to vote Aras out would work, it had been introduced and made too obvious for too many episodes. And yet it did work. Not only Tyson is playing his best game ever, but he’s also playing an amazing game overall. Right now, he’s the one in control of the game, and he should remain in that position for a little longer. And he also now has an hidden immunity idol that no one suspects (he has to keep it secret until it is played – too many people always spill the beans, but I believe he can keep it a secret). Right now, that’s his game to lose.
– Vytas Baskauskas: I feel a little bad for him. He has played a great game so far, but he’s now screwed because he’s Aras’s brother. I’m not sure how he can recover from that.
Next week on Survivor:
Tina is angry, lines will most likely been drawn, but that could mean the beginning of a boring pagonging…
Next person voted out:
Tina or Vytas. Vytas because he could go on an immunity run, Tina because she remains dangerous, even with not having the numbers right now.
It’s Tyson’s game to lose. Gervase’s ranking has gone up too.
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.
- more to come…