‘Survivor: Cagayan’ episode 5 review: Talking Tony

Tony Vlachos -How good is “Survivor: Cagayan” getting? While we are worried about the post-merge game becoming slightly all about one alliance starting to slowly pick off the other, the game so far has been as crazy and unpredictable as any season in recent memory. Having great new players plus no Redemption Island has made this entire season supremely entertaining, and last night’s events were no exceptions.

The baffling – We don’t know Lindsey, so it’s hard to necessarily sit here and try to figure out why in the world she would make the decision to quit. This is clearly someone who had a supreme dislike for Trish, and also has some sort of demons that she is battling within her that she is afraid will comeback to haunt her. We don’t feel like she quit because she wasn’t able to handle the conditions, but was instead afraid that she would do something that she wasn’t proud of.

In a way, this was “quitting because things weren’t going her way,” because had the plan worked out and LJ was sent home, she probably would’ve had no problem dealing with Trish at all. That is the part of this that is frustrating as a viewer, and we’re sure that it is even more so for the people out there who would love to go on “Survivor” and would never quit. But an interesting parallel here to draw may be between Lindsey and Brandon Hantz. The last season that Lindsey watched, thanks to when the show filmed, was “Survivor Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorites,” which is when the whole Brandon meltdown happened. That sort of thing may have been in her mind still, and given what she knew about herself, maybe she didn’t want to run the risk of getting into some sort of altercation.

With that, we don’t really know what else we can say about Lindsey for now. Better to move on…

The Tony show – We’ve made no secret of our Tony Vlachos love. He’s a huge personality, and the funny thing about his is that he’s almost a villain and a hero at the same time. He’s making moves that are devious and sneaky, but he’s doing them with such blind zeal and excitement. He’s like a kid who has been handed three toys on Christmas morning and he doesn’t know which one to play with first.

The biggest problem for Tony as a player is that the vast majority of his moves are completely unnecessary. While seeing him try to make Jeremiah a target on Aparri after Solana won a reward and an opportunity to “raid” them was great theater, this could have easily blown up in Tony’s face. Those are a solid six people that you don’t want to turn against you, since they could all get to the merge and vote your butt off. We would’ve just taken the idol clue and gone back to camp with it rather than try to puppetmaster a tribe that you’re not even on. Jeremiah didn’t even end up going home in the first place!

The other moves were even more questionable, from his basically telling everyone on his tribe that he’d been lying to them (which we only see as beneficial to his game if he went to the end with Sarah and was afraid she would call him out on his job) to his “final five” chants after Solana won immunity. We want to believe (our unabashed Tony love is probably making this so) that maybe this move was some sort of direct result of him wanting to make Aparri feel like Sarah wasn’t in his alliance, and he wanted to save her. We just cannot say without being in Tony’s crazy, twisted mind. As it is, he may have cost himself an ally and a valuable person at the merge.

Alexis -Did Aparri make the right move? – Probably. Jeremiah is not going to be someone you ever have to worry about. While he lied previously, he didn’t seem to take any pleasure in it and would much prefer to be a non-devious person. Meanwhile, Alexis is a schemer. She tried a little too hard to convince people of what she wanted them to do, and it didn’t take long for others to catch on to that. Jeremiah is much more likely to be loyal to this group at the merge than someone who already has Jefra and LJ potentially still out there to join back up with.

Overall, what a fun episode. So many big moves, so many alliance changes, and above all, more great “Survivor” entertainment. Hopefully this is a sign to CBS that you really don’t need anything more than just a great cast to have good episodes; everything else (returning players, twists) don’t matter nearly as much. Grade: A-.

We’ll have an exit interview up for this episode shortly, and you can check that out at the link here. Also, be sure to sign up if you want to get some more updates via our CarterMatt Newsletter.

Photo: CBS

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