Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 8 review: Really good vs. really annoying

Joe MenaSurvivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 8 kicked things off with the aftermath of everything that went down at the end of this past episode. The Healer tribe saw Jessica go home in a blindside after the merge — with that, they are now on the outside of the numbers. They felt that the moment that they got back to camp.

The show didn’t waste too much time on this though, mostly because we had a secret advantage reveal! Lauren uncovered a pretty interesting twist in the game back at camp, one that enables her to not play her vote at this Tribal Council and, if she wants, save it for one down the road. Given that it doesn’t seem like she’s even a remote target at the moment, she’s probably set up well with this.

The reward challenge tonight was mostly hilarious because of how it was going to be implemented — the winners were JP, Devon, Chrissy, Cole, and Ryan, but the person who mattered the most in the aftermath of this was Joe. He was randomly selected as the “lottery winner” when the players were chosen and as a result of that, he automatically got to dine during the family-style spaghetti dinner. However, he also had to determine the order in which people ate. They could only go in one at a time and the order was picked by Joe. What this effectively means is that someone (ahem, Cole) could go in, eat all the food, and leave nothing for anyone else. The cynic in us likes to think that this was designed with Cole in mind.

The one thing that made this reward all the more interesting was that there was a hidden immunity idol clue hidden — Cole saw it while scarfing food down, but so did Chrissy and Ryan. What we’re confused about is this: When Cole got back, why did he go pee rather than go dig for the immunity idol clue? Ryan grabbed it before Cole noticed — he instead saw Chrissy trying to cover it back up and pandemonium ensued. What made matters worse is that everyone assumed Cole had the idol even when he didn’t. Ryan completely schooled the guy with Chrissy’s help.

Here’s the good news for Cole: He won immunity! That’s terrible news for Joe, given that he’s the obvious target of the remaining Healers.

The strategic path ahead

While the dominant alliance has some great players (Ryan and Chrissy especially), it’s boring to watch the same group of people dominate. Therefore, we were rooting for chaos.

For the dominant crowd the plan was clear: Split the votes between Joe and Desi. Joe then tried to ruffle some feathers by getting Ben to blow up in front of everyone and causing a scene. The whole Marine Corps drama was certainly “unsettling” (to use Desi’s word), but we’re not sure that it did anything.

Throughout the time before Tribal Council there was one interesting wrinkle in here: Lauren’s advantage. If she doesn’t vote and the big alliance splits the vote, Ben could still go home.

The vote

Ashley coined it tonight: It’s hard to know if Joe is really good or really annoying in the game. We really like him, but it may be a little bit of both. We thought it was a given that he was going home, but then Lauren decided to play the advantage and keep her extra vote! That made things interesting. The vote itself added to that.

The person who left the game was … Desi. This was a weird vote, but it was one that sent Joe’s top ally (seemingly) out of the game. Apparently, the former Healers completely scattered their votes, knowing that their fate was likely sealed. Lauren using her advantage did by and large nothing. Picking Desi to go home over Joe? Questionable at best, even if she’s probably a better challenge player.

CarterMatt Verdict

This was an interesting episode, mostly in that the show did everything that it could to make an extremely predictable vote interesting — the one shock was Desi over Joe. What we fear at this point is that there’s a dull episode or two on the horizon — not only are the Healers outgunned, but they don’t have any of the advantages.

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