We walked away from Wednesday night’s new episode of “Survivor” with what we can best describe as a complicated series of emotions over precisely what we ended up seeing take place. First and foremost, it was joy at a great blindslide. There’s nothing quite like that rush that comes with seeing someone who is extremely overconfident like Nick be blindsided, especially since he ironically went so long without actually going to Tribal Council.
However, at the same time we’re left wondering this: Is it time for the show to reconsider some of their editing practices? We hate to talk about in some ways, but for the diehard fan we wonder if this episode was tampered somewhat by expectations that Nick, like Neal the episode prior, were destined to be early boots after the merge. Both parties were absent for significant stretches of time in the pre-merge, and Nick only really emerged the past two weeks as a big character, someone who occasionally did good things but also was sometimes terrible at his execution and his demeanor.
Tonight, he was downright bad with certain things, from overtly giving up in the immunity challenge when the Brains tribe was out of it (did he really think that this would win him jury votes?) to him questioning Julia about a women’s alliance the moment after she got back from hanging out with the other ladies. He’s a smart guy, but he got a little caught up in how everything was going to go down.
There was another weird editing choice tonight in the form of the vote. We were told that this was a story of the men versus the women (plus Joe) voting together, and yet Tai voted for Jason! Why in the world would he do that, knowing that he was close with Scot? This was one in a series of questionable Tai choices tonight, given him also declaring that he needed to beat the Brains at the immunity challenge. Another one? Assuming for some reason that everyone knew about the whole super-idol twist to the game at tribal when clearly Julia knew nothing about it. Tai and secrets clearly do not mix. Our guess is that someone must have told him that the vote was Jason, just to see if they could trust and work with him down the road. Still, why not show us that rather than Jeff Probst talking about captains for the reward challenge?
It was a weird episode overall. There was a blindside, but at the same time it was a guy who we never had confidence based on screen time would make it far. When it a blindside not a blindside? Maybe when the viewers feel like someone’s clearly being set up for a fall. Grade: B.
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