Survivor San Juan Del Sur

Survivor: Whodunit

Welcome back for a double feature Survivor night. Frankly, I need a break from an obsessive 24/7 serial podcast bender I’ve been on for the past three days. If you don’t know what that is, basically, it’s the most downloaded podcast in the world right now….I mean, other than Rob Has A Podcast (close call– I could see my termination email almost being sent there). It’s a podcast about a murder that happened in 1999, involving a high school victim and her ex-boyfriend who was convicted of the crime. Basically, it’s like an elongated Dateline NBC episode, but for whatever reason way more engaging. I can’t stop listening to it.

I guess maybe all of us are suckers for a good mystery. I don’t think I’m in the minority when I say that I have always liked a good “whodunit”. Maybe in a way, some of these traits that we like in murder mysteries are similar to traits that we like in Survivor. Right now, at this stage of the game, we all have theories on who we think “it” is going to be (the winner), but none of us can know for certain. We have our suspects, Missy, Reed, and Mr “Stick to the plan and ruin a potential great move” Keith. We don’t know who is going survive and we don’t know who is going to perpetrate a move that will pave their way to the finals. Like have I talked about over and over again, all of us viewers have a different perception of what is unfolding each episode? As I see Missy as the best player so far this season, there might actually be somebody who sees Alec as the mastermind or best player….doubtful, but I’m sure there probably is. What makes this fun is being able to pick up on “clues” or gut-feelings throughout the season that fulfills theories that you have. Let’s look at our suspects.

Alec: Really clueless at this point. He doesn’t seem to have a good feel for what’s going on around him in the grand scheme of the game. None of the players seem to take him seriously and it’s probably only a matter of time until his name is called by Jeff at a Tribal Council.

Jon: It took a gigantic Keith gaff during Tribal to preserve Jon’s Survivor life in my opinion. Natalie telling him to play his idol was also huge for him. Jon doesn’t seem to have great instincts at all. It’s tough to see a way for him to win this game, as he made his choice for his destiny when he walked right into the Missy lion’s den.

Jackie: Not a big surprise, but I’m not a big fan. She didn’t speak at all until Jon joined her tribe and then slowly started carrying herself like she’s Cleopatra and must be treated with the utmost respect at all times. Was it really that shocking that the other guys weren’t talking “game” to her when Jon was sent to Exile? I think Jon will get voted off and then she will slink back into the shadows and possibly get taken to the finals as someone the jury would never vote for (Jon excluded).

Keith: I had really high hopes for Keith, but telling Reed at Tribal to “stick to the plan” was unforgivable. IT completely will have swung the game, I feel. All you had to do was play along with Reed’s acting. I mean, how many viewers last week were shouting “Shut the f**k up, Keith!” at the same time in unison? It was probably the greatest collective “Shut the f**k up” moment we have had as a country since Sarah Palin went on Oprah. Look, I like Keith and still will kind of root for him; I just don’t see how he can win now. He screwed himself and possibly others out of dethroning Missy.

Reed: Keith, like we just covered, kind of screwed up Reed’s potentially game changing move last week. Reed showed a lot of guile last week, not rolling over with Josh gone; instead, he has completely stepped up and has been playing the game hard since. I think he is playing with bad cards right now and he needs some string of breaks to go his way starting tonight. IF he can’t get any luck on his side, I think he is too big of a threat for the others to keep in the game and he will get ousted soon.

Natalie: Playing hard and is fun to watch. For whatever reason I struggle to see a scenario where Natalie will survive long enough to make it to the finals. I think her move is turn on Baylor/Missy now and really shake up the game. I just don’t see her doing that, and therefore, I don’t see her making it to the finals. Like Keith, I will be quietly rooting for her though.

Baylor: She looks and acts like of the members of the Mean Girls gang, only one of the parts that doesn’t really speak but makes really effective “bitchy looks”. I think if Missy continues to play the puppet master then maybe Baylor will be sitting with her mom watching her win the money. I think Baylor would have zero chance with a jury to win the game.

Missy: I still think this is her game to lose at this point. She didn’t sniff out the Reed plan last week, but I think you have to cut her a little slack there because really that would have been a great move if it had worked. Sometimes, it pays to be lucky and Missy has continued to get all the luck to go along with her skill this season, which would have to make you think that at this point she is our number one suspect.

Anyways, it’s just about time for the show to start. We’re going two hours tonight so beware I might get a little punchy and start oversharing. It’s really cold here in Portland, Oregon as we now arrive at 8 pm……

8 pm:

Previously on Survivor: We had an idol orgy. Jeff again highlights Keith’s indefensible “Stick to the plan” as Reed looks on horrified and I’m pretty sure gave us a Macaulay Culkin Home Alone homage:

Is it weird that Macaulay Culkin is probably thirty-five years old now? Think about that for a second.

8:01 pm

Black-and-white vision: Back from Tribal and Reed confronts Keith about giving away their plan. Keith doesn’t seem to understand at all. This is kind of sad to see. Reed speaks the absolute truth when he says “There’s nothing worse than angry girls”….truer words have never been spoken.

Jon’s trying to play it off like he was going to play the idol regardless of whether Natalie said something. This leads to an awful exchange on such a cliché level. Jon and Jackie now alone… Jon tells Jackie not to give credit to others about his “brilliant move” to play the idol, which he claims he completely came up with on his own. This leads to a little tiff with the couple about how each are acting selfish. It’s shitty to say, but does Jackie really feel like she is going to win the game? I mean, let’s get really honest here: is there any scenario where Jackie wins this game? Absolutely not. I’ll bet anyone anything on that. Both of them are just awful.

8:06 pm

Commercial: Can we agree that we’re finally at the stage with Modern Family (the TV show) that the kid (he’s probably actually 34 years old) who plays Manny has outgrown his fat kid cuteness and now it’s clear that his acting can’t keep up with the show’s writing? He does the thing where he overly uses his hands for every line.  It’s really hard tough to watch now. It’s like on Full House when Stephanie Tanner grew past the “How rude!” stage and the writers had no idea what to do with her for the rest of the seven years of the show other than a token “peer pressure” episode or the highly controversial baseball episode where Stephanie was the star pitcher who had to decide whether or not to strike out her boyfriend in the “big game”.

I’d like to point out that Joey Gladstone was the announcer for the game, Danny Tanner was the coach, and D.J went to the mound which I think is illegal since she’s not a coach. Safe to say everybody in that town was sick of the Tanners and their over-involvement in everything. There was probably a town hall meeting about possibly planting some coke or other drug paraphernalia in Danny Tanner’s car to sabotage the whole Tanner look…That would have been a fun episode.

8:07 pm

Reward challenge time. The winners get to ride horses which is something I’m sure they all really want to do right now. Forgive me but I hate riding horses…I had a bad experience when I was a kid. We were in Lake Tahoe, at the Bonanza set(yes the TV show  was filmed in Tahoe and they kept the set and Ponderosa there). Anyways I was on a horse that might have a blood alcohol level of 2.8 as it couldn’t walk straight and almost threw me off about fourteen times.

The game is answering questions about the other players and if you get it right you get to try and take somebody else out of the game.

8:10 pm

Reed gets taken out first. Then Alec gets the boot. Then Keith gets taken out

Jeff has seen enough once the rest of the players start talking about who they want to win. Jeff sees this and gets utterly disgusted with everybody and stops the game. Missy gets the token victory. Jon goes to exile and Jackie gets left with the three boys who lost.

8:14 pm

This leads to an awkward exchange where Baylor starts acting like a brat, which leads to Reed calling Baylor a brat which leads to Missy confronting Reed like he just called Baylor  the “C” word or something. Glad to see Reed not backing down in this exchange with Missy.

8:15 pm

Commercial: I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas already. One good thing about being single is not having to worry about that X-mas shopping for a girlfriend experience. I keep trying to talk myself into the need to settle down, but I think I would rather spend my Friday workday not having the  “I’m so glad it’s Friday. I can’t wait to get home and….oh wait….I forgot…I have to go home after a long work week and now have to go get that ugly X-mas sweater for the ugly X-mas sweater party that my girlfriend’s work friend is having tonight…Great, she wants to drink so that I means I can’t drink and that means I get to stand in a corner for 320 minutes wishing I was home watching sports and now she is starting to get sloppy drunk and showing how wild she is because she’s dancing with another girl, grinding and making sure everybody is seeing how wild she is…” conversation with myself.

8:20 pm

Back from commercial with master strategist Jon at Exile Island. Jon is excited that he gets to hunt for another idol that he probably will find and not know when to play without help.

Jon then finds the idol….gross.

8:22 pm

The producers throw a little extra money on an aerial shot of the reward challenge winners as they are riding horses. Again, was the horse ride really needed or are they just bored with ideas for these rewards?

Natalie shares with Missy that she found an idol. Somehow Missy hears “Baylor found an idol” and says, “I’m so proud of her”.

8:24 pm

Back with the losers of the challenge and Jackie is stewing that Missy didn’t pick her, saying that was a “dumb move”.

Reed pitches his case to Jackie, who seems a little skeptical in one moment and then more receptive in the next. I think she is really lacking in the critical thinking department. I think her only thoughts are “You no choose me, Missy…Jackie no like you”.

8:27 pm

Commercial: Can we all agree that the best X-mas movie is Christmas Vacation? Twenty-seven years later and I think the question of how Randy Quaid was not nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award still lingers and is a black stain on our country today.

8:30 pm

The three girls come back from the reward challenge and want to focus their attention on making sure Jackie wasn’t swayed.

Out of nowhere, Alec thinks his charm has won over Jackie. Please never change, Alec. Alec talks to Jackie about going out in Downtown Orlando, talking like he’s the Godfather of the town…..Maybe the highlight of the season.

8:33 pm

Immunity Challenge time… You’ve got to think that Reed is playing for his Survivor life in this comp. At least it’s not a puzzle tonight; the comp is balancing a group of balls on a paddle.

8:37 pm

Keith wins the comp. Good for Keith, bad for Reed. Reed really has to try and swing Jon and Jackie.

8:38 pm

Commercial: Before going to commercial, Reed said he has to try to take out Missy tonight. How crazy would that be!? I don’t see that happening, but if it did, I don’t even know who I would think is the favorite then…I mean, would all the momentum then shift to Reed? Until this moment, I never considered the possibility that Missy could go at this point, but maybe the Survivor gods are upset with how she acted towards Reed when he called Baylor a brat. It was pretty ridiculous.

8:43 pm

Back from commercial and we’re at camp. Jackie lays out her choices.

Jackie and Jon go off and talk. Jon talks about just wanting to chill out and spend time with Jackie like they’re at Maui. They get into a fight, and Jackie fake walks away…which is always a crowd favorite.

8:46 pm

Wow, new “best moment of Survivor this season” as Jon winks at Reed in the most obvious way seventeen times. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Jon then talks to Missy and tells her that he has an idol. Jon then goes to talk to Jackie who gets up to leave as soon as he starts talking. Women really are a ball of fun, aren’t they?

8:49 pm

Jon and Jackie start fighting again. This time Jon is pissed at Jackie. This is so dumb. Seriously, Jeff should come to camp, grab the two of them, and then drag them off the show never to be seen from again.

8:52 pm

Tribal Council time:

Alec and Jackie’s flirting becomes a mini-trial with Alec trying to hide his satisfaction with this topic.

We’re going to the votes and it seems like Reed is screwed because Jon and Jackie couldn’t pull it together on the island earlier.

8:56 pm

We tally the votes and……………………………….Reed gets the boot. He really shone for the past two episodes. Like I said earlier, Reed was playing with bad cards since Keith spoiled the plan last week. Good game, Reed.

8:58 pm

Back from Tribal and Jon and Jackie apologize to one another and gross…I mean, gross…..

Alec shares that he just realizes in this moment that he’s not a part of a majority alliance. It’s what…Day 33?

9 pm

Jon shoots straight with Alec that he is not going to leave #TeamMissy. He then tells us in a confessional that he hasn’t misread anything so far this season. I think, for the second week in a row, this leads the viewers in a collective “Shut the f**k up” moment.

9:02 pm

Commercial: Why is Samuel L. Jackson doing commercials? Quickly, think of a non-Tarantino good movie that he was in….thinking….thinking….A Time to Kill?

I can’t think of any other good movie…I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but my god, A Time to Kill came out nineteen years ago. I guess that answers my question about why he is doing commercials now.

9:05 pm

Ok, time for our second reward challenge tonight. I guess we’re going with another balance competition….I have a size 14 shoe…so you know what that means…No, not that…It means I would suck at this competition and therefore it’s not fair. They’re playing for food being served on a bed…Do they get to keep the bed?

Alec sets a record by falling out of the comp in under two seconds…Congrats, Mr. Orlando.

9:11 pm

It comes down to Jackie and Natalie, with Jeff droning on and on about how Survivor “pushes you past your limits”…We get it, Jeff…We get it.

9:12 pm

Natalie claims the victory this season. This is the first moment that Natalie seems like she may have a shot at winning this season. I have to hand it to her; she may have a shot. She even makes a smart choice to invite Jon and Jackie to join her on the reward. She knows how big of a dummy Jackie is and how Jackie will definitely stay with her side now. Jon looks like he is going to collapse at any moment. I’m not sure he knows where he is.

9:15 pm

Commercial: My weekly social media site etiquette rant. Is there truly anything worse than a new mom taking a picture of her 2-month old and posting the picture on Facebook or Instagram and then listing all of their baby’s favorite things… only they write it as a letter that they’re writing to their baby? “Your Favorites: Bottles, sleeping, being held.”

In twenty years, is that baby going to grow up and go back to his mom’s Instagram that won’t exist to search for what his favorite things were at two months? “I just got home from work. You know what I want to do? I want to go back and see that letter/message thingy on Facebook that my mom wrote to me about my favorite things when I was two months old,” said nobody ever.

I get it. I know I’ve covered it. I don’t know why it bothers me, but it does. Yes, I’m very passionate about it. The picture gets posted and then all the friends take a look, size up their own kids’ pictures, passive-aggressively decide that their kid is cuter, then proceed to reply to the picture with “Seriously, cutest thing ever….You should totally consider having your baby model”.

Cute baby/toddler pictures are awesome… no argument from me there. It’s just the extra “Hey, look at me. I’m pretending that my intention to write this letter is about a mom/child special moment, but in reality, it’s just an excuse to show off in a lifelong competition with my other friends to see who can dress their kid up the cutest and look like the best mom”.

9:18 pm

Back from commercial and we get to check out the bed reward that Jon, Jackie, and Natalie get to enjoy. Natalie tries to keep Jon and Jackie’s paranoia in check.

Natalie shares that her deepest, darkest plans are to avenge Jeremy by backstabbing Jon. A very entertaining plan… but would that be in her best interest?

9:21 pm

Meanwhile as Natalie is smiling and nodding but secretly plotting Jon’s death, Jon apparently is trying to sound like he’s sitting with Virginia Madsen and Paul Giamatti in Sideways talking about wine, which was really obnoxious.

9:23 pm

Commercial: Doing a two hour running diary is harder than it looks..I would take a diet/energy pill…but we all know the road that doing that leads too:

What was the alternative drug the producers were going to use if the energy/diet pill angle didn’t work? Clearly, a Saturday morning cartoon was not going touch the “hard stuff” so what would have been the backup plan? Sniffing glue? Maybe huffing paint thinner?

9:26 pm

Back from commercial and Natalie cannot hide her contempt for Jon as she blasts him to Baylor. Baylor and Natalie talk about possibly hatching a plan to not tell Missy about voting Jon out. Baylor talks about how this is her mom’s pattern (helping out men and then getting screwed over). She doesn’t want Jon to “screw her over”. Let’s think about that statement for a moment. They’re playing Survivor…isn’t the object of the game to basically screw everybody over? I mean, this isn’t a show where the object of the game is to start a new, pure lovable civilization is it?

9:27 pm

Maybe the producers on the fly wrote a script for this specific segment to give to Baylor and Natalie because everybody knows the plan is to vote out Alec.

The producers probably told Baylor and Natalie that if they went along with it and read the cue cards word for word off-camera that they both will get cameos on The Bold and The Beautiful or something?

9:28 pm

Keith is not happy about Jon’s lack of productive time around camp. He makes a plea to Missy.

Jon and Jackie pick up on some weirdness with Natalie. Maybe they stumbled upon one of the producers’ cue cards because I doubt their ability to “read a room”.

9:30 pm

Immunity Challenge time: Baylor and Missy share a good cry. Every other player stands there frozen like Zach Morris just called a time-out (I know two Saved by the Bell references, but it’s a two hour show tonight).

9:33 pm

Basically, the comp is pulling a rope that you have to balance while you try to complete a puzzle.

Alec Orlando continues to suck in competitions…That is all.

9:36 pm

And the winner is…..Jon….Why?! Why Survivor gods….Why!!???

9:40 pm

Commercial:

New Star Wars trailer… Do we all get to agree and pretend that the three prequels never happened? Did J.J. Abrams put a restraining order on George Lucas? Here’s hoping that Harrison Ford stops acting like he’s completely stoned and punch drunk, because I don’t think I could handle seeing Hans Solo like that….it would be too jarring. Even though Carrie Fisher is pushing two bills, will she don her Return of the Jedi skimpy outfit again? These are the questions I have with the new Star Wars movie.

9:43 pm

Back from commercial as Jon breathes a sigh of relief that he won the challenge. Would it have been his night to go if he wouldn’t have won? I guess we will never know.

9:44 pm

It looks like the plan is to split the vote between Keith and Alec.

I can really do without the Jon and Jackie lying down together camera shots….Please.

9:45 pm

Alec shares with us that he knows he is screwed but that he’s not going to go down quietly. Alec talks to Baylor and starts trying to present himself as the dark brooding guy with the heart of gold….I bet that plays well in Orlando.

Natalie gives Keith a pep talk. Natalie is thinking about trying to flip the vote towards Alec and keep Keith around to compete against Jon in the next Immunity Challenge. I feel like Missy is being shown as docile tonight and Natalie is hitting her stride at maybe the right time?

9:49 pm

Tribal Council time. Jeff tries to flush out where the votes are going to go tonight. Everybody naturally looks too hungry and tries to put up a poker face.

We get some tears from Jon talking about his dad who unfortunately is fighting cancer. Jeff points out the elephant in the room when he questions if they, after hearing Jon’s story, would want to sit in the finals against him. I’m too tired to make a joke.

9:54 pm

We go to the votes……….

9:55 pm

And……the next person voted out is………………….Alec!

 

Wrap-up:

I’m One-Eyed Willie right now, trying to stay up and process where we’re at now in this game. Prior to seeing the previews for the next show, I was going to say that this was now a two- horse race between Missy and the emerging up-and-coming Natalie. Tough to tell with these “Next on Survivor” clips, but if we take it at face value, it would be really sad to see Missy go out of the game because of injury. IF that happens, then I hope to god Natalie or Keith can find a way to steal this game because the alternative is something too horrible to even write down.

We need Missy to be okay because I want to see the best players in the game fight it out in the end. I want to see how it would play out with Natalie and Missy with Baylor in the middle. You have to admit that would be one crazy scenario. If Missy does go out with an injury then Baylor, Natalie, and Keith flip on Jon and Jackie and pray that one of them doesn’t win the Immunity Challenge because Jon’s idol lurks.

Thanks for sticking with me tonight…It was a long one.

 

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