Survivor: Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers episode 11 began slightly before 9:00 p.m. Eastern time with the aftermath of the big blindside. We’d feel a little bit worse for Chrissy and Ryan after being left out of the JP vote were it not for one thing: Them acting so confident for most of the game until now. They have to scramble to come up with a plan and there’s a big problem: Ben. They think that he is still on their side. We were slightly nervous about this plan when Devon first came up with it, but through a few minutes of episode 11 it was working brilliantly.
Yet, times often change in the game rather quickly. You have to remember that as this episode goes along.
Reward Challenge – Joe, Ben, Devon, and Ashley (basically, four of the people in power) ended up winning what was a classic Survivor series of obstacles starting with a physical component before getting into a puzzle after the fact. It was exciting to watch, but it’s fairly run-of-the-mill by Survivor standards.
The reward proved to be surprisingly entertaining after the fact, mostly because Joe wasn’t let in on the fact that Ben was the mole playing both sides. Also, back at camp Ryan tried to campaign to Mike, which really fell on deaf ears because Ryan had ignored most of Mike’s strategy talks for weeks. The same goes for Lauren’s response to some of Chrissy’s pitches. Chrissy was having a hard time and for the first time in weeks, we really started to feel for her when she sat inside the shelter with Mike and had some sort of comforting conversation.
Immunity time – Technically, there was still a way for Ryan and Chrissy to guarantee themselves safety — if one of them won immunity and the other one played an idol. The challenge was also one with a physical and mental component, but unfortunately for Chrissy and Ryan it felt pretty clear in the early going that they were behind.
The one thing that helped them? The puzzle at the end was a word scramble, which is basically the sort of thing that is a total crapshoot. Given that Chrissy is great at thinking of possibilities, she had an upper hand at this. She was able to win, and this officially made things interesting going into Tribal Council.
The latest plan – The target, at least for Lauren’s alliance at the moment, is Joe. They’ve told Joe that Lauren is going to use the advantage, and they are going to split the vote in order to ensure Ben goes home. Devon and Lauren completely punked Joe and Mike in the process.
Joe and Mike are in the dark, but they’re almost the treasure-hunters who are stumbling over treasure in the night. They don’t really know anything, and yet they end up being okay in the end. Going into Tribal Council, it seemed as though that could happen yet again. Ashley proposed the idea of targeting Ben instead of Joe, and we entered Tribal with him waffling over the idea of taking the mole out.
Tribal Council – What we saw tonight could have been one of the most interesting, meta blindsides we’ve ever seen on Survivor. Ben thought he had an alliance and was playing along with the idea that he was going to be the target. Yet, he felt safe … only to later realize that he was the target. Wouldn’t that have been great?
Well, that didn’t happen but the result was still interesting in its own right. Joe was gone from the game, and it was an interesting blindside given that one episode ago he would’ve seen this coming. Now, he was shocked to see things flip around.
This is why we watch Survivor — even when you can telegraph the outcome based on the edit (luckily, we didn’t), there’s something fantastic about watching a blindside play out in real time. We thought for sure that Ben was going to be leaving, but Joe Mena the goner instead. He was a villain at times, but he was super-engaging to watch and a great character. We wouldn’t mind seeing him back.
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