This season of “Survivor” is completely bananas, and that is true no matter how you slice it. We’ve now had two straight blindsides, interesting strategic thinking, and then constant shifts of power to go along with it.
Before we get too much into the strategy side of things, let’s just give a pat on the back to Terry Deitz, who handled his situation in precisely the right way. After learning that his son had been hospitalized (it turned out that he needed a heart transplant), he said goodbye to his tribe immediately. This wasn’t a tough decision for him to make, but it still sent a powerful message about the significance of family and holding your loved ones close no matter want. Terry is someone who we know has come so close to making it back on this show many times since “Panama,” and yet this second chance for him meant nothing when faced with real hardship. Hopefully we’ll get to hear more of his story when we talk to him in the morning.
In moving into the strategic part of Wednesday’s episode, there is an interesting question that needs to be asked: What if Spencer and Kass are playing up this whole rivalry thing as though they are WWE wrestlers having fun with all of us? While they may not claim to like each other, the reality is this: They know each other, and also know that they can use each other. This is probably why Kass made the decision to keep him and send home Woo, someone she knew had no loyalty to her at all. We think she saw this as a chance to save someone who could have a debt of gratitude towards her versus someone who she knew was strictly loyal to Savage.
Was siding with Spencer after the tribe swap on the new Ta Keo, and then going over Woo in the vote the right move for Kass? We’re not sure, since the reality is that she kept someone who could easily win the game versus someone who would have a harder time. Also, Spencer is indebted to almost the entire cast at this point, so Kass’ generosity really means nothing. We want to give Spencer a lot of credit for what’s going on, but it seems more just like people are making decisions and then cluing him in on it later than anything else.
Ultimately, Savage and Kelly Wiglesworth now find themselves at the bottom of this group after previously being so confident. Note to the editors: If you show us Savage saying that almost nothing can go wrong, something probably will. Also note: Where was Abi-Maria? The real MVP on this side is Ciera, who woke up after a long silence in the early going and proved that she is someone who can make the right move at the right time. In Savage saying to her that she was the fake target whose name would be floating around, he diminished her as an important person in the game. Someone needs to tell Andrew that “there are no small parts, only small Survivors.” He is not the hero of the narrative.
The Bayon beat – When is the right time to take out Joe? Judging from the way discussions were happening over on this beach, Stephen and Kimmi may have lucked out. Joe wants to keep his new ally Kelley safe, and take out a member of old Bayon in the process. This angers some members of the tribe, but at the same time Jeremy’s not really that interested in getting rid of Joe just yet. He still realizes the value of the meat shield, and wants to keep him around however long he possibly can.
The dynamics of these two tribes going into next week are in such disarray that we have zero clue what is going to happen, and that’s exciting. We like Woo, but seeing him go home this week ultimately means even more surprising moves can come down the road. Episode Grade: A.
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