While we have been a longtime fan of “Survivor,” we still have to be honest when we say that “San Juan del Sur” has been a letdown so far compared to other seasons. It was great through the first four episodes, but this was a tribe swap that really ruined everything. A great comparison here is “One World,” which set up a predictable narrative thanks to what happened here.
Luckily, merge episodes are typically fun … right? Well, watching Missy yelling at Baylor to stick with her and betray Josh wasn’t really fun TV. That’s the sort of mother / daughter drama that you want on “Parenthood,” but not here.
For the first 45 minutes or so, really the only two people on the show that mattered were Josh and Jeremy. They are the only two people playing the game, and these two were so desperate to butt heads, it became all about who was going to get Jaclyn and Jon on their side. This made for fairly entertaining TV, but we still really feel like these two would have been smarter to work together, to take a little bit of the target off of each one as individuals.
Then, there was Julie. She first of all decided to take a page from Kel from “Survivor: Australia’s” playbook, and kept some food to herself (trail mix) after the merge feast. Then, she decided that she was extremely uncomfortable to be in the game without him. Her head was gone from the game, and she was interesting in quitting the game.
To be honest, Julie quitting was the best thing to happen to this episode. She knew that she wasn’t going to be winning the game, but she didn’t want to give someone else a win because she stuck around. Thanks to her quitting, though, we didn’t lose Josh or Jeremy tonight, which is great for the game.
We wouldn’t have quit the game ever, but we’re not going to judge Julie for it. All we can say is that it’s better she leaves than someone who is great television and really wants to be there. The game goes on, and with her gone things could be even more complicated.
If nothing else, this made for some pretty compelling television, and got rid of that annoying teaser in the super-tease that has been haunting the game. Grade: B+.
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