Worlds Apart – the merge episode

 

Hurray! After months of absence, I have time to blog today, and luckily it was a great episode to talk about.

It maybe the only time of the season I have the opportunity to write something, so I’ll try to make it count. Why do I still do it if I won’t do it weekly? Duh… Because I miss sharing my thoughts about the show, what do you think?

First, I have to admit, that I haven’t been too crazy about this season so far. Probst sold it as the best season since Heroes Vs Villains, I’m not convinced yet…

Sure, there hasn’t been any really boring episode yet (except maybe the double episode a few weeks ago) and pretty much all players are here to play the game and seem to know how to, which is rare. However, until now, I don’t find anyone really likable and I don’t really root for anyone at this point. Even San Juan Del Sur had more compelling characters I feel.

Now, this week was a pretty amazing episode and while “lines have been drawn” I feel that we’re not going to have any pagonging in the following weeks, so maybe we’ll have an amazing post-merge season, who knows?

 

Survivor Worlds Apart Merge

 

Carolyn Rivera: I kinda like her. She seems to be one of the most well rounded players this season: smart, good physical shape (especially for her age), good social skills. She has a hidden immunity idol and a rather positive edit. She could go far and is a potential winner. However, I’m not too sure why Tyler and her decided to go with blue collars. It’s better to be the 4th and 5th wheel than the 6th and 7th, isn’t it? I think that what we didn’t see is that Carolyn and Kelly had indeed become very close, and also she must have perceived that blue collars aren’t as tight as they seem. Also good move to not appear too close to Tyler, even though it will be more obvious after this week’s vote. I think Tyler and her can still navigate their way through the end though.

Dan Foley: Apparently, Dan is a huge fan of the show, and he must be doing a few things right seeing how he hasn’t been targeted by anyone yet when he seemed like an obvious first vote (the fact that his tribe won a lot of immunity challenges early in the game must have saved him). Yet, he’s presented as this silly goofy characters who’s not even really that likable. We almost only see him making silly mistakes (the non-apology to Sierra was epic), but he seems to be in a tight alliance with Mike and Kelly and now Sierra too. Or maybe nobody really respects him and they all see him as a goat. His edit is not really the goat edit though.

Hali Ford: Meh… She’s going the opposite direction from Jenn as far as I’m concerned. At first, I liked her, but the more I see her, the more I don’t think she’s that bright, and the more I don’t think she really knows the game that well, she just follows Jenn. Also, her comment this week about how the US constitution is the best blue print for a constitution ever, really rubbed me the wrong way. As a non-American, I can tell you that usually people who think that haven’t read that many constitutions that are not the US constitution, they just grew up with this “we’re the best” mentality and never really thought it through.

Jenn Brown: At the beginning of the season, she kinda annoyed me, but little by little she’s growing on me. Of course, her playing the idol was all sorts of amazing, however, I want to know what tipped her off that it was going to be her and not anyone else. My guess is that Shirin pretended at first that she was with Carolyn and Tyler and she was told it was going to be Jenn and she could spill the beans? Not sure who else could have tipped her. Where does Jenn go from here though? Mmm…

Joe Anglim: Malcolm 2.0 dodged a bullet this week by winning immunity. I don’t know what to think of him really. I kinda like him and I’m kinda rooting for him, but more by default than anything else. Probably because he reminds me of Malcolm a little, also he doesn’t have his eloquence and I’m not too sure about his game play just yet.

Kelly Remington voted out: She seemed like an interesting person, however, not an interesting character for the editors as she’s been invisible for most of the season. While I feel that this season nobody is really invisible, the big characters are getting too much focus again, and some things are becoming invisible when they shouldn’t. Like when Kelly tells us she’s “undercover” with the no collars, but the no collars didn’t buy it as soon as the merge happened. Why is that? We’ll never know. Thing is that Kelly wasn’t instrumental in anything, so she got that edit. It’s the way edit goes these days in Survivor. Oh well.

Mike Holloway: I don’t know what to think of the guy. On the one hand he seems to know the game pretty well. On the other hand, he’s the kind of guy who will get a huge tattoo of a Bible not even quote but line, reference, thing (I don’t know how you call those). On the one hand he seems to be pretty smart and mostly in control of the game at the moment, and he managed to keep Sierra in his alliance despite the general mishandling of her situation. On the other hand, he names the tribe Merica!!! I mean America would have been wrong already, but Merica?!? Really?
He’s almost getting the winner edit at the moment, but we know that in this day and age of Survivor, we gotta be careful with that (Hello to Josh and Jeremy from San Juan Del Sur). Still, if he manage to go to the final three with let’s say Dan and Rodney, he could win. However, I don’t see Rodney going to the end, and I don’t see Mike winning if there is someone other than Dan and Rodney in the finals with him.

Rodney Lavoie Jr.: Where did they find this guy? I mean, he’s hilarious to watch (his face after being blindsided with Joaquin’s elimination last week was priceless), but what a tool. What’s funny is that he thinks he’s a great strategist and he’s in control of the game. He is very entertaining indeed, however, I think we see a little too much of him. I’ve complained about it before, and I will again, but goofy characters make for fun TV on the short term, but on the long term, they take too much screen time away from less flamboyant things that would give us more insight on what’s happening. And even if we stick with him, we’re not getting the whole story. For example, he wants revenge from Mike for getting rid of Joaquin, but while he has the opportunity to jump ship at the merge he doesn’t. Maybe he realizes that’s not a great move and he’s not as bad of a player as he seems? Or maybe he doesn’t realize that Mike is very tight with the other blue collars? I feel that we’ll see that unfold next week a little more.

Shirin Oskooi: She is quite a character. Very intelligent, student of the game and no social skills whatsoever. She has no chance to win, and the edit hasn’t really shown us anything positive about her (Hey guys, I’m gonna do the dishes naked if you don’t mind!? Hey guys, watch, monkeys are having sex!!! Hey Dan, do you want me to pee on your foot?!), but she’s survived until now, and she may have been instrumental in this week’s vote. As I have mentioned in Jenn’s paragraph, I suspect that she pretended to stay with Tyler and Carolyn only to betray them to really become a part of the Joe, Jenn, Hali alliance. Good strategy. Yet, she doesn’t seem to realize that she’s just a number for them. Zero social skills. Announcing at tribal that she’s not a swing vote after Tyler says that the white collars are, is what makes me think this is what happened. Not very smart to announce it so clearly though. I guess she was drawing lines in the sand.

Sierra Dawn Thomas: First I wondered why she stayed with Mike and Dan despite all the issues they got together, but I guess that she realizes that she’d better be with them than solo. However, she’s not playing to win there, she’s just playing to last a little longer. Or does she think that going to a final three with Mike and Dan is her best chance to win? She’ll have to make some big moves though to get enough jury votes. Can she? If she sticks with them, I feel that she’ll be perceived as a coattail rider…

Tyler Fredrickson: I gotta say, I like Tyler. He seems to be sane, smart, very observant and more. However, it also tends to be on the wrong side of the vote a lot. I have a hard time seeing through his strategy and I wish we’d see more of it. Why didn’t he go with Joe last week instead of against him? Why did he side with blue collars this week instead of no collars? Both times it seems like a huge mistake, but he must have had logical reasons to do so. What are they? The more I think about it, concerning this week, I guess he saw Joe, Jenn and Hali as a too strong trio to break, while blue collars will implode sooner or later and Carolyn and him could use that to their advantage.

Will Sims: Why would he decide to go against his old tribe? I mean, sure he’s not tight with the three other members, far from it. But being more or less “solo” at this point of the game when you don’t have to is a quite dangerous thing to do. Nobody will trust you… Well, I guess now blue collars know that they can trust him as he voted against Hali, but he won’t trust them. If he was a better player, Will could actually get a lot of power from that position. While no collars and blue collars try to vote each other out, he could be a precious swing vote and last long enough until there is no tight alliance anymore. But from what we’ve seen from him so far, I don’t think he has what it takes.

 

Next week on Survivor:

Will Rodney and Will finally make their move against Mike? They may who knows? It’s the only thing that will prevent a Pagonging. Blue collars and friends still have a 7-4 advantage against No collars and friends. I guess this split in the majority will remind a lot of players that this is an individual game now, and that the lines drawn are not that dramatic as chainsaw or ice pick lines.

 

Who’s gonna win?

Honestly, I have no idea at this point. I think it’s one of these though: Tyler, Carolyn, Joe or Mike.

 

Links:

These blogs are way more interesting than mine:

Dalton Ross on EW.

Rob has a website and a real Survivor Empire at this point.

Stephen Fishbach at People.

Jeff Pitman at True Dork Times.

Andy Denhart at Reality Blurred.

Super Jude’s Super Blog.

 

 

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Frenchman, addicted to Survivor (yes, there is such a thing) to the point of having a blog dedicated to the show where I like to analyze and speculate about what we see every week.

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