Do you know what a great episode of “Survivor” is? It is when you finish still giddy like it was just Christmas morning, and you just at an entire chocolate Santa while playing video games. This was one of those rare episodes; this may go down as one of our favorite episodes in years, and one of the best ever … even if we don’t particularly understand or agree with some of the decisions made from a strategy point of view, we don’t really care when we are this entertained.
Let’s not even bury the lead here when we start with Chaos Kass. First of all, the nickname is awesome, and it’s so nice to see a female player being the one to really take the bull by the horns when it comes to this game. Heck, we’re ready to promote her for an All-Star season after tonight, even if we don’t really think that this was a particularly safe move to flip on her old Aparri tribe, including her two fellow Brains, and join the former Solana members. She’s never played with any of them, and now she trusts them with her life.
This is the pro for her going with Solana and taking out Sarah: It was very likely that these two were going to implode at some point, anyway, and she got her before she could be on the receiving end of a shock vote. There may have been a point where Sarah, Morgan, and Jeremiah came up with a new group (possibly at seven) to take out the Brains, and this keeps that from happening.
Here’s the big con for Kass making the move: She’s going to face a heck of a bitter jury if she makes it to the end, and good thing she’s a lawyer and knows how to talk her way out of terrible situations. Odds are, she may really need to rely on this by the time she arrives at that final tribal council.
Then again, maybe she can make this con into a pro? Think about it this way: Who wouldn’t want to go to the end with Kass now? There are eight jurors, and if five of them are on the former Aparri, those are five votes that are for sure up in the air. Even the former Solana members are probably going to vote with old alliance members over her.
We don’t want to spend too much more time on this, but the mistake that Sarah made was acting too much like she was Queen of the Castle as the swing vote. She tried too hard to not tell lies, and made it too clear to Tony that she wasn’t with him anymore. She also tried to hard to enforce her opinion on a group that didn’t fully agree with her. The irony here is that she eventually bent to their will when it comes to getting Jefra out of the game, and they didn’t even vote for Tony … but there is a reason for that.
The other irony? That we ranked Sarah #1 going into this episode, thinking she would be safe on all fronts.
Theatrical Tony – Did Tony need to play an immunity idol? No, but we would have in his shoes. He certainly made a huge production out of playing it, and he looks kind of silly for giving it to a guy in LJ who already has an idol. We can’t really say that he did the wrong thing, anyway, mostly because he was the target going in. (We don’t know why in the world LJ decided to play his idol there, but it was a nice gesture.)
We still have no clue whether or not Tony’s antics are going to get him to the end, given that he is a major threat strategically and also does very well in challenges. We won’t be shocked if come final eight or so, the groups band together to get him out. Tony’s doesn’t really have a second-in-command; he thinks he has Trish, but we feel like her connection to LJ will keep her with him.
The wonderful Woo – Woo won the first immunity, and with the new “Tyler Perry Idol” (named that by the internet after Jeff Probst got a text from him) out there, it’s possible he could find that too. In case you are wondering, this idol gives you the power to save yourself after a tribal council vote.
In going back to Woo, this is a guy who has to be a major darkhorse the rest of the way! It’s really easy to like everything Woo is bringing to the table right now since he’s also not ruffling (or rustling, as Hayden would say) any feathers.
Overall, just a wonderful, wonderful hour of TV. The season is going to have a very hard time living up to this, but we at least feel like we’re not going to get a Pagonging of one person from an alliance after another going home. This looks like it has the makings of being insane for many more weeks to come. Grade: A+.