What an episode! I had goose bumps at tirbal council. That hadn’t happened in many seasons. Heroes Vs Villains maybe? Love, love, love this season. I’m now sure it will end up being one of the best ever.
So were do I start?
Maybe by the fact that I’m blogging this week when I told you last week I was not going to?
Well, how could I not blog about this episode!?
Ok, to be honest, I wish I was not in a position to blog this week, but instead of having landed in Japan two hours ago and now enjoying a nice dinner with my Japanese family I’m still at home in France. Air France screwed my flight (this was not their first attempt over the years but this time they won, assholes…) and my big move has been postponed until Monday. If you want more details, you’ll soon be able to read them on David + World, but I know you’re not here to read about my life but about our common geeky passion: Survivor!
So yeah, this episode was amazing in so many ways, and what is even more amazing today is the debate that’s raging on the web about whether Cochran made the right move or totally messed up. I’m sure there has ever been such a debate before, and I love every minute of it right now (even if I haven’t taken part, just read various blogs and tweets).
I think that I tend to be on the side of “Cochran made the right move” but maybe it’s simply because I hate pagongings with a passion and him flipping may prevent that… We’ll see…
The Merged Tuna Tribe
(No, I don’t even want to know where the name comes from and I need to thank the editors for cutting the explanation… yes I know, it’s one of the “secret scenes” on cbs.com but I don’t have the courage to watch it… on the other hand watch the other ones from this week, they give good insights about a thing or two)
– Albert Destrade: Not that much about Albert this week, but he actually seem to be instrumental in Cochran‘s flipping. I just mentioned the secret scenes, and there is one that is so important (for understanding Cochran’s move, although it may have no influence on the rest of the game). We see Albert promising final four with Sophie and Coach to Cochran. This is an offer that one cannot refuse. Regardless of whether it is genuine or not, regardless of whether you buy it or not, you just can’t reject it. And actually it should have Albert thinking about his long term game now. What’s the best final four for him? He’s tight with Sophie and Coach, but are they the best people to go with to the final four with? Not so sure. Cochran on the other hand… More on that in a few lines.
– Benjamin “Coach” Wade: Did Coach make his single greatest Survivor move this week? Luring Cochran into flipping instead of rejecting him and targeting him for being a double agent? I tend to believe so. I wonder how Coach managed to read Cochran so easily, and I wonder if Ozzy wasn’t stupid enough to talk about the first draft of this plan even before the game started (as we all know Ozzy had thought about it before the game started and not in a dream). In any case, it was brilliant of Coach to not alienate Cochran but befriend him. Now, the question is how genuine this new “alliance” is? Is Coach playing Cochran or will he play with Cochran?
Here is the thing. Coach knows that if he wants to win this game he has to go to the final three with two goats. His closest allies are Sophie and Albert, but seriously if those three go to final tribal council, Coach will have a hard time winning. Coach needs two goats. He thought he had them with Brandon and Edna, but Cochran is even a better goat now than they are. He has just made four bitter enemies (all of Savaii but Dawn) that will most like be in the jury and not vote for Cochran. You see where I’m going here, don’t you? Yes, Coach has to think about his end game and whether Cochran is not worth keeping until the end after all.
– Brandon Hantz: Surprisingly, not much about Brandon this week and no meltdown at tribal council (let’s just be patient, for the next one, it can’t be too far). The interesting thing about him this week is what happened just after Keith was voted out. He stood up for Cochran. Let’s go past the irony (and hypocrisy?) that’s contained in this behavior (all this talk about putting loyalty above everything but siding with the guy that just betrayed his tribe) and let’s see what it could mean. Brandon wants to be the hero, this is all he wants from Survivor (well, he wants to clean the Hantz name, but he wants to do it by being the hero), so protecting Cochran is the perfect opportunity for him to do so, even if it may seem a bit comical from the viewer’s perspective. How far will this protection go? Could they form an alliance? Unlikely. Yet, what about this “stay close to me” at the very end of the exchange. Why was it left in the edit? Could it be foreshadowing of something? I just wrote that Coach should pick both of them as the perfect goats to win the game. Am I unto something here?
– Dawn Meehan: Of all the people who screwed up this week, I have to admit that Dawn wins the palm for the biggest screwing up of the week. She basically had two options. The first one was flipping with Cochran. I’m not sure of the long term consequences if she had done so, but it would have been interesting, really shake things up, and destroy all tribal lines (no more Savaii, and Ozzy/Jim/Whitney possibly splitting Upolu, reaching to Edna or Albert/Sophie or Rick?). The second “safer” one was to rat out Cochran to the rest of Savaii. This definitely was the better option for her game. She didn’t do it for some reason (because she understood why Cochran did it I guess), and nobody wants to be a snitch. yet, she is the one who screwed herself and rest of Savaii over, even more so than Cochran. I saw this moment when she was going to take matters into her own hand, and become a potential winner. Instead of that, she’s now on the fast track to the jury and becoming a somewhat unmemorable player.
– Edna Ma: Not much about her, expect for her splendid performance at the immunity challenge. She seems very safe right now and in a position to make it relatively far. However, her edit seems to be indicating that she’ll continue being inconsequential for the game and that she’ll be voted out as soon as Coach doesn’t need her anymore (that is when Savaii is done and he had realized that he’d be better with Cochran in the finals than her)
– Jim Rice: I kinda sorta feel bad for him. He had laid out the perfect plan for the vote, and I’m sure he had a good end game involving Cochran. And it all went to hell because of Cochran. Yeah, I understand that he’s angry. However, had he been friendlier to Cochran, and not just nice only when it was convenient to vote Elyse out and such, maybe things would have been totally different. Karma’s a bitch, and maybe it’s not exactly Cochran who messed up there.
– John Cochran: So… Did he make the right move? From a viewer’s perspective, definitely. Now we can almost be sure that there won’t be a pagonging. I don’t even think Upolu will vote out all of Savaii now. The Savaii members will scramble, and they may manage to find some cracks in Upolu. Now, for his own endgame, did Cochran do the right thing or did he mess up?
Some people argue that he’s going to be the sixth wheel to the seventh wheel and as such it was a terrible move. It could be true.
Yet, had he stayed loyal to Savaii, he would definitely have been voted out when there were 6 of them left. Some people say that Jim would rather go to final tribal council with Cochran and Dawn than with Ozzy and Keith. Sure… But I think that even Jim would have taken Whitney and Dawn to the final tribal, not Cochran.
And what is Cochran’s outlook now that he has flipped? Being voted out as the last member of Savaii? Possibly. He could also become a swing vote and play a Sandra-like strategy. And as previously mentioned, it could be very beneficial to Coach for him to keep Cochran until the end. So yeah, all in all, I think Cochran made the right move.
Can he win? It’s very unlikely, for the simple reason that he will have a lot of people that are pissed at him in the jury, but it’s not entirely impossible. Dawn could feel proud of him for making it to the end, the Upolu members in the jury could be pissed at the Upolu members in the final three. Anything could happen at this point.
– Keith Tollefson sent to Redemption Island: I almost like Keith once. But he’s been unnecessarily mean and a bully to Cochran several times. So it’s all fair that he got voted out by Cochran. This is something I like.
– Ozzy Lusth: Oh Ozzy… Don’t you know that less is more when you’re acting (I’ll let others make the jokes about Ozzy’s past experiences with acting, yes, I’m looking at you Super Jude)? You didn’t convince anyone. It’s interesting how his move was going to be the ballsiest move in Survivor’s history or the stupidest one, and it ended being neither. Ozzy did beat Christine, he did return to the game, Cochran even gave him the idol back, but all for nothing. Actually he would have been in a such better position if he had actually sent Cochran to Redemption Island. Christine would have returned in the game, she would have aligned with Savaii, and could even have screwed Upolu. Oh, and he would most likely still have his idol. Now, Ozzy will be voted out as soon as he doesn’t get immunity.
– Rick Nelson: What’s wrong with him? Even when he is the target of six votes we don’t hear him speak. Was he so uninteresting?
– Sophie Clarke: Is this me, or does she keep on getting the Tina Wesson’s edit? She’s present in every important conversation but she never appears to be the dominant strategist, although she is along with Albert and Coach. But can she win? It will be hard. She has little chances to win alongside Albert and Coach in the final three. She too needs two goats, and I’m afraid she’s not really aware of it at this point. Also, I feel that she’s being under-edited for a winner. In other words, she still makes me wonder just like she has all season long.
– Whitney Duncan: Do I have anything to say about Whitney? No, not really.
– Christine Shields Markoski: I’m really sad to see Christine go, even if it’s not really a surprise (her edit or lack thereof did imply she wouldn’t return into the game). She left the game like a chief, no crying, talking about “adventure” silliness. So long Christine, I liked your 15 minutes (and if you still read this blog, do not hesitate to drop us a line now that I assume you’re allowed to as you’re not in the game anymore)
Next time on Survivor:
Will Hall have no fury like a Savaii tribe that’s mad at Cochran?
The preview definitely implies that yes, they will be mad at him to the point of trying to have him voted out. Will it work? I doubt it, I seriously doubt it.
Who will be sent to Redemption Island?
If Ozzy doesn’t win immunity, it would be stupid to not vote him out at this point. If he wins it, Jim is in a lot of trouble.
My pick for the winner at this point? Even if it’s unlikely, I feel more and more than Cochran is getting the winner edit. And I’m starting to believe in a Cochran, Brandon and Coach final three.
What do you think?
Ok, this time I am actually waving you goodbye for a few weeks. I hope my flight on Monday will go fine, and as previously said it will imply that I won’t be able to blog for a weeks. Let’s keep our fingers crossed both for my flight going fine, and me being able to return to this blog before the end of the season.
And just like last week, I’m not leaving you alone, but with some of the finest Survivor bloggers out there:
- Super Jude: awesome analysis from Jude every week, a must read Survivor blog.
- Jeff Pitman’s True Dork Times and his always funny and smart awards.
- Dalton Ross at EW, not only you get rich and funny recaps, but you also get a lot of inside info (no spoilers).
- Rob Cesternino‘s Website. The “Rob that sucks” has a great website. It’s mostly podcasting, but the best Survivor podcasting on the web.
- Stephen Fishbach also has always great analyses, he is after all one of the best players that game has ever seen. However he doesn’t have a blog (Stephen if you read this, get one!) he just writes for people.com. You can still follow him on Twitter (by the way, most of the people I’m mentioning here are also on Twitter, you can find links to their handles on their sites).
- The Midside: a great blog that I just recently discovered. Its author analyses the game in terms of storytelling, which always makes for very interesting posts.
- Gordon Holmes: I like his style a lot, but his recaps are a bit too descriptive and not enough analytic in my opinion. However, he has a very fun duel with a past contestant every week, this season it’s with Andrea Boehlke.
- I may forgetting someone, but those are the people I read/listen to religiously every week after each episode and so should you.