Survivor San Juan Del Sur

A Bunch of Pigs

After Blood and Water merged, Jeff reminded us that there were two battling alliances: one led by Jeremy; the other alliance led by Josh.

Both were fighting for Jon and Jaclyn (who were shown strolling on the beach as if without a care in the world).

We heard Jon saying that they were in the middle for the 3rd time and he talked with Jaclyn about the importance of the decision.

It was Josh that convinced them to join his alliance and blindside Jeremy.

Fortunately for Jeremy, Julie made a shocking decision… throwing a wrench in Josh’s plan to take out Jeremy and leaving the game up in the air.

Quite ironically, we heard Josh say that Jeremy was on borrowed time and didn’t realize it.

This was quite a straightforward recap but it does drive the point that Jeremy was saved by Julie’s quit.  Jeff could have easily spun a little uncertainty in the outcome.  Anyone saying that Jeremy will be our victor has to explain this choice of editing line.  The editors would be willingly opening their victor to harsh criticism, everyone saying that Jeremy won only by luck.  Does the same apply to everyone in Jeremy’s alliance?  Players have won even if their leader and their whole alliance got wiped out so I don’t think we can transfer Jeremy’s luck directly to them.  

On the other hand, Keith’s supporters must have been encouraged to hear Josh say that they would give the money to the firemanJeremy isn’t the only fireman in that cast. Unfortunately, this episode would show that only one fireman would be worthy of the title and it isn’t a member of the Nale family.  

On Vacation On Vacation[/caption]

 

I don’t think it was good to show Jon and Jaclyn strolling on the beach when Jeff underlined their critical situation.  It made it look as if they didn’t care about the game, only about being together. 

There is one thing that was brought up in this recap that wasn’t answered in this episode: Is Jeremy living on borrowed times?  We will have to look closely at the scenes if we want to offer an answer.

 

A Bunch of Pigs

Huyopa – Day 19

The tribe was sitting next to the fire when we heard Missy say: “I am so pissed that Julie quit that way.  I woke up going: Are you serious? You don’t quit.”

Missy had the first confessional of the evening: “Because Julie quit, we didn’t have to go to Tribal and it really threw a wrinkle in the plan I think for everybody.  My alliance has their plan: Vote Josh out.  We were ready to go but we can’t do that until we get to a Tribal.”

I’m sure this confessional is going to be interpreted in different ways.  Some will say that it’s bad for Missy’s future that she was so out of the loop that she was still talking of the plan to eliminate Josh as if it was going to work.   Others will say that it doesn’t matter since the plan did work in the end.  For me, I will say that the important thing is that Missy was given airtime.  She got to tell us how Julie’s departure affected them.  Winners often get the first confessional of the evening, especially when the outcome of the previous episode had repercussions on their own game.

Jon asked Jaclyn if they were playing the game or just being deceitful by promising different things to different people.

What Game Are You Playing?

What Game Are You Playing?

 

That comment was underlined by a very noticeable rattle, the sure sign that we just heard something dumb. Jaclyn’s facial expression left no doubt about what she thought of Jon’s qualms.  This is Survivor, she seemed to be saying.  This is another indication that Jaclyn is the smarter player in this couple.

Jon gave an interview: “We didn’t have a Tribal last night so nobody knows exactly where Jaclyn and I stand right now.  They think I’m solid on that side, I’m solid on that side, but the fact is we decided on taking out Jeremy.  Jeremy is going to be going home very, very soon.  Originally, we told him that we were down with voting out Josh so I don’t think that he has any clue whatsoever that Jaclyn and I have flipped but ultimately, I have to decide what my best path is and my best path right now does not include Jeremy.”

While we heard Jon’s confessional, we had images of a worry-free Jeremy, simply sitting next to the shelter.

I found it interesting that Jon kept using the words “right now” considering that he switches his mind every time someone new talks to him.  According to Jon, his best path doesn’t include Jeremy but they will be travelling together for a little while longer at least. Does that mean that Jon took a bad path?  We can also wonder where Missy fit in his plans since we only heard him say he was going after Jeremy.  Was he thinking that he could boot Jeremy but stay with Missy?  As for Jeremy, I found it troubling that he was shown completely relaxed when Jon was talking of booting him.  It made me think that, despite the irony of Josh’s recap confessional and the outcome of this episode, Jeremy is living on borrowed times.  Both big rivals could be proven wrong before long.

The Reward Challenge

It was played in teams and Jeff mentioned a schoolyard pick.  Unfortunately, for those of us that enjoy seeing the picks being made just as much as we enjoy seeing a coconut chop style challenge, the editors didn’t include the formation of the teams. We simply saw that team Yellow had Reed, Jeremy, Keith, Wes and Natalie while team Blue had Baylor, Jaclyn, Jon, Josh and Alec.  Missy wasn’t picked by either team and had no shot at the reward. 

The press images gave us a hint that Reed and Baylor were the team captains so let’s see if we can figure out the picking order. Jon had to be the first overall pick so that means Baylor held the first draft choice.  That would mean Reed picked Jeremy, the next strongest man with his first pick.  Baylor’s next two picks would have been Alec and Josh leaving Reed to counter with Wes and Keith.  That would mean that Jaclyn was the first woman picked followed by Natalie.  If it did go that way then the players went for strength before allies or Loved Ones.  Or maybe Reed and Josh talked about it before and decided to stay apart to have ears on both sides.  That would be very smart but we didn’t hear about it since these two players won’t matter in the end.

If an ice tea maker was thinking of sponsoring Survivor, the players didn’t help CBS sell the advertising: They were all Ooooh!  and Aaaaah! at the mention of beer and margaritas but when Jeff mentioned ice tea, it was more like “You can have mine.”

The team with 4 men got an early lead and never relinquished it.  The only interesting comment that I picked up came from Natalie who said: “Guys, I’m going to run up, OK?”  She did climb up the temple and Reed, Jeremy, Wes, Natalie and Keith won reward.

When those five had to choose one person to go to Exile Island, we heard Keith say: “I’d feel bad about sending Missy.”  Natalie asked: “Who hasn’t gone?”  Someone replied: “Jon and Alec.”  Keith spoke for the group: “We are going to send Jon.”  Asked to explain the decision, Keith said that Jon was a big guy and Wes added that he could make it on his own.

That was a particularly strange choice considering that everyone was courting Jon for his vote.  Jon certainly didn’t flip back to Jeremy’s side because Keith and Wes sent him to Exile Island, but it would have been wiser to keep him happy.  Like Cirie in Micronesia, he should have been carried around on a chariot-type thing instead of sent in Exile.  Sending Alec away and leaving Jon in camp to talk with Josh would have certainly been a better decision.

After the commercial break, we followed the victors to a taco bar that was set up on the beach just a few yards away from the challenge area.  Everyone went for the margaritas and they toasted to the “W”.

Reed had an interview: “We won the reward which was amazing… What was so strange is that we have a really eclectic mix of people from two different alliances together that don’t have anything to talk about necessarily and we’re all just trying to keep things calm and kind of keep that homeostasis.”

If Reed was the team captain then he is partly responsible for this strange group that offered no openings for tactical talks.  If anything, he should have picked Missy (or encouraged the one making the pick if it wasn’t him) instead of Natalie in order to separate the mom from her daughter.     

Reed and Wes mentioned that Josh had been looking for this kind of reward.

To the group, Natalie asked if they should be talking about strategy like other people do during rewards.  Jeremy laughed at that.

Natalie in confessional: “There is no real alliance between anybody here.  It’s kind of Jeremy and me on one side and Reed, Wes and Keith on the other.  You know, if we had Missy or Jon over here, we would be strategizing the entire time.”

Keith then spoke up: “I don’t know about you all but, last night, Julie was kind of my pick and then she quits. If they had said Julie is gone but you are still going, man! I had no idea.”

Wes agreed: “If he had said we were going to Tribal, I would have been screwed.”

Jeremy in confessional: “Keith comes up and said: If we had to vote somebody out yesterday, I don’t know what we would have done, like we were all up in the air.  He’s telling me this and I’m looking at him like come on:  I know you guys were targeting me.  Get out of here.  It tells me that Keith is at least trying to play the game but I don’t think he is very good at it.”

Either Jeremy is right and Keith isn’t very good at this game, or Keith really didn’t know what was going on.  Both options aren’t good for those that think Keith can win.  It won’t be the only time that Keith’s character takes a hit in this episode. 

Not listening to his father’s advice, Wes ordered a pile of extra food with extra toppings and alcohol.

Wes in interview: “My dad said, slow down and enjoy it. Of course I didn’t at all… I wish I had the will power to control myself.  It was all fun and games until I felt like crap.”

Keith had an interview: “Wes is a good kid. He hasn’t been in jail yet but he does make some mistakes.  I can only give him some words of wisdom; that’s all I can do.”

Wisdom? From Keith? Poor Wes!  I cracked up when I heard Keith’s definition of a good kid is one that avoids jail time! All kidding aside, Keith is wise in his own way but I doubt it will be enough to help Wes who, as a Survivor player goes, hasn’t shown us anything. 

Too Much Tequila

Too Much Tequila

 

The funny thing is that Jeremy didn’t look much better than Wes!  It’s good for Jeremy that the editors didn’t linger on his present condition.  Some will say that we were shown both Tom and Brian when they had a little too much to drink and that it served to flesh them out but, here, the context is totally different.  First, mentalities have changed and being drunk isn’t as acceptable today as it was just a few years ago.  The context of this season is also different because the rice incident told us that overindulging isn’t a good way to play this game.

Huyopa – Day 19

After preparing some snails for lunch, Josh had a confessional: “Needless to say, we lost…It could not have gone better as far as the people I needed to be talking to. And the people I needed to be bonding with.  I’m going to put my feelers out there one more time with Baylor today and try to get the target off my back.”

Taking a walk away from the shelter, Josh told Baylor: “I think you owe me at least one to not vote me out… I feel I stuck my neck out for you a couple of times.”

Baylor’s interview: “It was uncomfortable when Josh came up to me and said that you owe me.  I almost feel like I am being blackmailed a little bit.  To me, Josh doesn’t seem like a guy who comes from a Christian family…I thought you should give a gift without expecting anything in return, so I feel like I don’t owe him anything.”

This sounded a lot like hollow rationalization and saying that Josh’s actions constituted blackmail was simply wrong.  Baylor simply had to tell us that she didn’t trust Josh and that she had chosen a different course of actions and the viewers would have accepted it. Thinking this way tells us that Baylor still cannot own her game. She has to revile Josh, turn him into a villain, in order to justify her actions.  That won’t work on a juror.  Of course, this is another example that tells us that Baylor will have to defend her actions in the end.  She is turning into a very interesting goat, isn’t she?  

She told Josh that she heard others say that he was dragging her along just to use her as a vote.

Josh in confessional: “I was trying to secure her and Missy’s vote for the couples just to get us a couple more numbers, but Missy is kind of controlling Baylor right now and I don’t think they are going to vote with the couples so, at this point, I am pretty fed up with Baylor.”

Next, Josh talked to Jaclyn about Baylor: “I told her, here is the deal Baylor: I did save you.  It would be great if you just gave me one vote at one point.”

Jaclyn replied: “Well, then it wouldn’t matter anyways because me and Jon aren’t voting you.”

Josh’s confessional continued: “I am really hoping that Jon and Jaclyn are being truthful.  But all I can do right now is hope that they are and keep that relationship going.”

Some viewers will point to this conversation and say that Jaclyn wasn’t fair to Josh when she said no one talked to her.  I will point out that she said no one campaigned for her vote and Josh was engaging more in gossip than in strategic talks.   After seeing that Baylor was a dead end, Josh should have been offering a Final Four pact to Jaclyn but he evidently wasn’t ready to go that far.  Anyway, we can also ask when this conversation actually took place.  By placing it here, it lets the viewers think that nothing had changed, that Jeremy was still on his way out but what if Jaclyn was only humoring Josh?  Was she being phony? This conversation could have actually happened after Jaclyn had talked to the other women and vowed not to vote with the guys.  If this exchange had been shown after the Immunity Challenge, after Jaclyn had told Jon that she wasn’t voting with the guys, then it would have told the viewers that Jaclyn had a good poker face but placed here, it doesn’t have that effect.

Exile Island Day 19

Jon: “Exile Island is extremely desolate and being out here by myself sucks. I miss Jaclyn… she has obviously been helping me make all the decisions.  With me away, it gives Jaclyn a chance to build those relationships up so she is not seen as simply the tag-along.”  He reaches the urn and reads the clue: “It’s a clue to a new idol that is here on Exile instead of back at our camp.”

Being at low-tide, Jon went directly to the rock sticking out of Exile Island.  His search started with the sound of a bass drum being hit 3 times.  The music grew in intensity and tension as he searched the ground around the big rock.  Finally, he climbed it and saw a small stone that was covering a hole.  The joyous music and his laughter told us right away that he had found it.

Jon: “Found me an Immunity Idol. She is a beauty.  That’s a game-changer.  It’s exciting to have that power in the game because now, whatever I want to happen is really going to happen.”

A Game Changer?

A Game Changer?

It’s funny that, on the first vote after Jon said he’d get his way, he failed!  His idol certainly didn’t help him convince Jaclyn to ride with the boys.  However, I don’t think this was the intent of this scene.  The dramatic music told us that this idol will play a big role in the game and it’s possible that Jon will get his way when he uses it.  For now, it’s interesting to note that the two players holding idols are targeting Jeremy.  The fireman’s supporters will say that it creates doubts about his chances so that it’s good for him but I think we are being shown that Jeremy is really living on borrowed times.   There is something missing in Jeremy’s story when it comes to the idol.  We never saw him looking for one despite the clue he received and we never heard him wonder if someone could have found it.  This tells me that he could very well fall victim to one of these idols.  We heard inside information that he actually did look for the first idol but the edited story is that he is oblivious to the idols so it could cost him the game.

Huyopa – Day 21

The reward winners were back in camp and Wes was complaining, saying that it hadn’t been worth it.  He talked about puking, Alec talked about burping and farting, and Keith kept spitting.

That led to a confessional by Jeremy: “Wes, Alec and Keith, they are just rude.  They are not even trying to hide it and they are laughing about it.  As firefighters, we act like that at the firehouse sometimes… but as soon as a woman comes in the room, you shut it down.  Everyone is on their best behavior because that’s how you act around women.  But these guys, they are the first ones to eat; they jump in front of the girls.  I’m like: What are you doing?  Have some manners.”

In the middle of this confessional we heard Missy telling Jeremy that he and Jon were the only gentlemen there. “The rest of them, they are a bunch of pigs.”

After the confessional, we saw Alec handing trash to Baylor, telling her to throw it out to sea.  She said he was making her feel like a slave but she did while Jaclyn and Missy observed the scene.

Baylor in confessional: “Alec treats me like I am his baby sister who he wants to bug and that has been the case since day one.  I am kind of over it.”  Missy told Baylor that Alec was like that to all the women. Baylor’s confessional continued: “My mom says just let it go.  Unfortunately, I get bugged easily.”

It was Keith’s turn to order Baylor around, telling her she had to get some wood.  Jaclyn saw this also. Keith went on: “It’s hard to get good help.  If you had been my kid, you would have got whooped 7 times today.”

Missy in confessional: “It’s the most chauvinistic group of men I’ve ever met and I’ve seen rude people before but these guys are the worst.”

This scene practically ends Keith’s chances to win because he is associated too closely to the frat boys.  He will continue to be an interesting character, one of the few that can make us (and Jeff) laugh but he isn’t very good at this game.  Still, I can’t rule him out completely as our winner which is great.

Alec then turned to Jaclyn, Natalie and Baylor and said: “Girls, keep the fire going.” He added:  “I know Natalie will but I don’t know if they will.”

Jaclyn asked the other women:  “Shouldn’t they be trying to be nice to me?  They need my vote and what I really want, Jon will do.”

Jaclyn’s remark really amused Natalie and Baylor and it made me wonder if, after this episode, the jurors will start to see Jon as the tag-along?

Jaclyn in confessional: “The guys in this tribe are really arrogant and rude.  I already knew that but, after Jon left, oh, my gosh! I saw such a difference in the way they treated me.  I was like: Screw you guys.  Without me and Jon’s vote, you don’t have anything.”

Jaclyn told Baylor and Natalie that she wasn’t voting with them.

Outside of camp, Keith and Alec were talking about the need to get rid of Jeremy.  Keith said he wanted to touch base with Jaclyn but Alec said she was good, that she was voting with Jon.  Keith argued that she had been talking to Baylor.  Alec was confident that Jon was riding with the boys.

Alec’s interview: “I feel as comfortable as I probably could right now because Jon is a smart dude.  He knows that Jeremy is a threat and he trusts me and that’s big and I know that Jaclyn is going to do whatever Jon says. So, this alliance is sticking together and, as long as Jeremy doesn’t win Immunity, we are going to vote him out.”

Alec may feel comfortable but the camera showed us that an alligator was lurking while he was shown to be close to the ocean.  I’d say that he should be a bit more careful.  At this stage of the episode I felt as if Alec could actually become the consensus vote.   If Josh had felt the wind changing, he could have easily offered up Alec and still kept his numbers for the next vote.  Unfortunately, Alec will continue to stink up the island.

The Immunity Challenge

Jon was eliminated on the second symbol of the first round. Jeff said it was an indication of spending two days on Exile Island but I say it’s because Jeff didn’t show them menu items.  I’m sure Jon would have been able to memorize any menu.

For some bizarre reason, Reed, a guy who should be able to memorize lines in a play, showed a temple, an image that wasn’t even part of the list. He went out right after Jon.

(Maybe the first round had more than 4 items or Reed threw the competition.)

Wes and Alec both missed the 4th item on the list.  I certainly can understand that.

The next list had 7 icons (Stephen’s magic number!)  Natalie missed on the list’s first icon and Baylor followed her to the losers’ bench on the next one.  Jaclyn missed the third so we were down to 4.  The 5th icon got both Keith and Missy, leaving Josh and Jeremy to battle it out.  Someone whispered: “Come on, Josh” and it seemed to be Jon who had turned to Jaclyn.

Jeremy won the challenge on the next icon.  His reaction was very mild, just a small fist pump and he hugged Josh.  That was the mark of a true competitor.

Huyopa – Day 21

Arriving back in camp, everyone congratulated Jeremy.  Then Jaclyn hugged Jon and he said to her ear:  “I have the idol.”

Jeremy in confessionals: “I won the Immunity Challenge today and it’s a beautiful thing.  I know that Josh and his goons were coming after me, so it’s huge.  I’m pretty sure that our alliance is all set with voting for Josh.  The two of us have been battling each other for control of the game, but now it’s all about Jon and Jaclyn and I’m hoping they are on my side because, if they’re not, I’m going to have to continue winning this beautiful thing in order for me to stay alive.”

Talking with Reed, Wes and Alec, Josh put the new target on Baylor.  Alec agreed saying that Keith wanted to see Baylor go.

Josh (solo): “Right now, the plan is to vote for Baylor tonight.  I tried to get Baylor on my side but she didn’t go for it. So, she’s got to go.  Right now, we are relying on Jon and Jaclyn to be on my side because if not, today is my last day out here.”

If everything depended on Jon and Jaclyn maybe Josh should have considered asking their opinion.  He could even have sacrificed Alec if it would have gotten him those two precious votes.  The guys were acting as if Keith’s vote was the most valuable one to secure.  It was a really dumb move by Josh to impose his personal agenda at such a critical stage.  He should have been thinking of getting on Jon and Jaclyn’s side instead of trying to drag them to his.

The camera focused on another image of a vulture feeding on some carrion and then we saw Jon and Jaclyn taking a walk towards the ocean.  Jon wanted to know how things went while he was gone.  Jaclyn answered: “I don’t like the guys anymore, at all.” She told him that she didn’t want to vote with them because the guys don’t talk to her when he isn’t there.  She added that they would be harder to beat in immunity challenges.  Jaclyn said it would be easier to beat Natalie, Missy, and Baylor.  Jon objected that they wouldn’t beat Jeremy in the Final 3.

Jon gave us an interview: “Coming back from Exile, I had initially thought that Jaclyn and I were going to be aligning with Josh and the guys, but then Jaclyn brought along some interesting information: While I was gone, the guys were completely ignoring her the whole time and made her feel like crap. (Alec was the one the camera showed at that moment). I mean, this is the love of my life talking; however, this is a game and you can’t be acting just on emotions.”

After this, we saw Reed join them in the ocean and told them that the plan was to vote Baylor.  He added: “Everyone wants Baylor out because she is annoying.”  Jon agreed so Reed left.

Jaclyn in confessional: “Jon and I have to decide which way to go.  I thought that Jon would have my back but he is worried of teaming up with Jeremy because his story would win over our story in the Final 3.  So, Jon’s thinking really far ahead which is stupid but now, I feel that there is this all up in the air with everything.”

Talking to Jeremy, Natalie and Missy, Keith asked whose turn was it to go.  Missy asked him if he was voting with the guys.  Keith said no but he added: “I hate to be blunt but Baylor don’t do ___…What gets me is we ask Baylor to do something and she says she is too tired and you (pointing to Missy) jump in and say “I’ll do it.” That fires my ass.”  Missy countered: “But you protect your son, too.”  Keith disagreed.

Missy gave a confessional: “I’ve been through this gunning for Baylor for a while now and I got my ear bent already today by Keith (imitating his voice): “Baylor don’t do anything”. It doesn’t feel good ever to have your child picked on but I am going to back her; she knows I love her and that’s all that matters.”

Missy told Baylor that Keith pointed the target at her.  Baylor couldn’t believe he told her mom that.  Missy said he did, adding: “He’s not very smart.”  Missy realized she needed to talk to Jon.

Baylor in confessional: “I just found out that Keith spit out my name to my mom which is stupid.  You don’t tell the mom that you are voting for the daughter, period.  But now, I am obviously on the chopping block.  I have sickening butterflies in my stomach so I just have to be prepared and hope my alliance pulls through.”

We saw Missy walking along the beach with Jon, telling him that they had to stick with the plan to vote out Josh.  Jon simply said, “Cool.”

It has to be noted that Missy made the same mistake as Josh by telling Jon how to vote instead of asking him for his preference.  The difference and I think it’s a big one, was that Josh had already been discussed by the group while Baylor was a new target.

Jon in confessional: “Tonight, Jaclyn and I have to make a really big decision and the success we’ve had so far has been the result of Jaclyn and I working together very well but this time, Jaclyn is not on the same page as I am.”

In the shelter, Jon told Jaclyn, Josh, Reed and Alec that “they are voting Josh.”   Alec replied that they were in control of the game and could get Baylor out.

Looking back to the shelter, Jeremy told Natalie and Missy that he didn’t trust Jon.

We heard another portion of Jaclyn’s previous interview: “I don’t want to have anything to do with those guys but it feels like Jon just doesn’t care.”  She was seen telling Jon that she felt comfortable with Missy and Jeremy before her confessional resumed: “After tonight, there is going to be a good portion of people mad at us no matter which way we go.  It’s hard because you have to weigh so many different things and we are still going back and forth.  Hopefully, we will figure it out but, no matter what happens, somebody is not going to be happy.”

Tribal Council

Asked about winning Immunity, Jeremy told Jeff that he knew people would have written his name down if he didn’t have Immunity.

Josh said he felt the same pressure as Jeremy.

Asked if the alliances were known, Wes said they were and he mentioned that Reed, Josh, Alec and he had teamed up with his dad and that the others knew they were tight.

Jeremy told Jeff that he could be in with Natalie, Missy, Baylor, Jon and Jaclyn. He wasn’t sure though.

Jeff asked Jaclyn where she and Jon were in terms of alliances.

Jaclyn said: “Well, Jon and me, we have been approached by both sides so that puts us in the middle which is interesting.”

Jeff was surprised that Jon and Jaclyn had been so often in the middle.

Jon said that they weren’t looking to be in that position, but that they must have a sign that tells people to come to them.

We heard a thunder strike while Jon was trying to joke about the situation.  Besides Jaclyn and Missy, no one was laughing.

Asked about the situation, Natalie said she felt protective over the original Hunahpus and that Jon was someone they felt they could trust from the beginning.  Jeremy and Missy nodded in agreement.  Natalie brought up the point that the guys act in camp as if they don’t need Jaclyn.

Jaclyn jumped in saying that it was SO frustrating.  She added: “Everyone goes to Jon and when he went to Exile, nobody bothered to campaign with me. The second he got back, it was all about Jon.  Me and Jon, we talk; we make decisions together.”

We're Screwed

We’re Screwed

 

As soon as Jaclyn expressed her frustration, the camera went to Josh who frowned, probably realizing exactly how and why he had failed.  Alec and Reed looked stunned when Jaclyn said that she was part of the decision process.  Their shock made me think that they hadn’t even considered the possibility that she could think for herself. 

Jaclyn then told Jeff that a few people didn’t respect her.

Missy told Jeff she could clear this up for him: “I am watching a couple of these younger guys pretend like they are in a frat house.” Jeff figured she was talking about Wes and Alec.  “You got it” answered Missy: “They literally belch, fart, and spit. They don’t care if there are females there or not.”

Keith intervened: “But we’re not at the Hilton, Missy… I haven’t heard Wesley fart lately but I have a little bit of gas and I’m sure everybody on this panel has had gas.  It’s just a normal body function.  This is Survivor and stuff like that’s going to happen.”

Everyone, including Jeff, laughed at that!

Asked about the perception, Reed said he had been very respectful of the women out here.  He wanted to counter Natalie’s pitch to Jon by saying: “If you side with a group of singles what is to say that they don’t turn right around on you and vote you guys out?”

Jeremy interrupted him, saying: “So you guys aren’t going to turn around and get him out because Jon is the biggest threat.”

Reed said: “Absolutely not.”

Shaking his head, Jeremy simply said: “All right.”

Asked if he would prefer not to be in this position, Jon said that it was a positive for now but these decisions were game changers and that could be scary.

His voice was partially covered again by the rolling thunder when he said that.  It seemed to be telling us that Jon has reason to be scared.

For good measure, Keith turned around and spit on the floor before Jeff sent them to vote.

We saw Alec voting for Baylor saying that she couldn’t hang out with the big boys.  Baylor’s vote was the only other one revealed and she explained: “You are a strong player, but I stopped trusting you the first tribal when you wrote my name down and didn’t tell me.”

By a vote of 6 to 5, Josh became the first member of the jury.

Jeff sent them back to camp after asking: “Is this a line in the sand or is tomorrow a whole new game?”

The Story

The frat house behavior was strongly underlined in this episode.  We saw how the guys acted stupidly during the reward and in camp.  Male chauvinism even crept in the strategic discussions when we heard Alec say that Jon was riding with them so they didn’t need to touch base with Jaclyn.   This is certainly not the Hilton like Keith said and Josh wasn’t directly responsible for this behavior, but it still does fit in a story where the women come out on top to show these guys that they cannot be taken for granted.

The Characters

Three Different Pigs: (Ha Ha, charade you are)

Wes:  Before Tribal Council, Wes was just a dumb kid, but he wasn’t bad like his father said. Then, with one answer to Jeff, we saw that he is a bad player.  “The alliances are known” he said. “Reed, Josh, Alec and myself have aligned with dad and the others know that we are tight.”   He may as well have told Jon and Jaclyn that they were getting 6th and 7th place by going with them.  Alec’s inclusion in the alliance completely undermined Reed’s plea that the couples had to stick together.  It didn’t make much a difference for Jon and Jaclyn who already knew that but, to the older viewers, it had to remind them of Jerri’s dumb remark during the Outback’s 3rd TC.

Alec:  Isn’t he just like the other Christy brother?  He was totally shocked when Jaclyn said she makes the decisions with Jon.  If I were him, I’d be careful of alligators… and voters!  It can’t be too long now before his exit.

Keith:  He was right when he said that they weren’t at the Hilton so that leaves him a small opening to the victory despite his rough exterior.  He does have moments of wisdom but I see him mostly as the “Dumb Player” that is used to make the audience laugh.  Jeremy said that he isn’t very good at it and we have to agree with Baylor that it wasn’t smart to tell the mom that you are voting the daughter.  Still, that honesty tells us two things:  He still hasn’t ruled out playing with Missy, and people will not worry that he is lying to them.  Keith is an honest man, maybe too honest for this game unless that turns out to be the message of the season. Could Jon’s qualms be the theme of the season and the road to Keith’s victory?  Were they playing the game or just being deceitful by promising different things to different people?  If they are just being deceitful then there is a chance for the honest man.  Would a jury reward an honest man or punish the dumb man?  I think it would be suicide to let Keith anywhere near the end game because the jury would give the money to the fireman.  By the way, does he have two kids?!

The Desperate Man

Reed:  Can he have a future now that his partner is gone? Obviously not since Josh dominated their story.   He won’t go down without a fight but his antics could very well speed up his exit.

The Gentlemen:

Jeremy: His edit is almost perfect for a winner and we saw that he is a true competitor when he didn’t showboat after his crucial Immunity win.  Can he win after he was so definitely saved by Julie’s quit?  It could be said that it wasn’t luck; he saved himself by winning Immunity but then we never saw him talk to Jon or Jaclyn to rally their votes.  He wasn’t credited at all for the turnaround so that is even more inauspicious for him.  It doesn’t get better when we consider that he seems oblivious to the idols.   I do believe that Jeremy is living on borrowed time.  Jon had to express his worries about Jeremy to Missy before agreeing to eliminate Josh, but we certainly didn’t hear their whole conversation.  What if Missy promised him to target Jeremy as soon as the pigs have been slaughtered?  We know that Jeremy doesn’t trust Jon and he has good reason to be worried but he doesn’t know that Jon has an idol and maybe more votes on his side.

Jon:  Jaclyn said it was stupid that Jon was thinking as far ahead as the Final 3, but for us, it gave him a hook into the end game.  Jon is worried that Jeremy would beat him in the Final 3 but it seems that he is forgetting that he could lose it even if Jeremy isn’t there.  By staying in the middle for so long, Jon has made a lot of people angry at him.   Jaclyn’s firm stance during Tribal Council also told the other players that she influences his decisions and may even be the smarter one of the pair.  That will be tough to defend to a jury of players that put their trust in him.  He said that his best path didn’t include Jeremy and, while we will never know how it would have turned out if he stayed with Josh, it’s very possible that he will be proven right.  The rolling thunder that accompanied his interventions during Tribal Council tells us that he has the “Survivor gods” against him!

The Women:

Jaclyn:  She is a smart woman and she chose her preferred path, but will it pay out in the end?  If she had received the same exposure in the first few episodes as she has shown since the swap, then Jaclyn would be our front runner for the title of Sole Survivor. However, there were too many missed opportunities to portray her as a lovable underdog when she was the target of the alliance led by Rocker.  Instead, the editors turned one of her TC remarks to show her as someone that almost killed the plan to get rid of the ex-pitcher.  In this episode, she could have been portrayed as an even better player if her talk with Josh had been shown after the Immunity Challenge.  Showing it during the segment where Jon was on Exile Island made it look like she was simply going along and then acted only on emotions.  When Jaclyn said it would be easier to beat Natalie, Missy and Baylor, it made me think that she could very well be wrong and lose to that trio in one of the last Tribal Councils.

 Natalie:  She is turning into one of the best players this season but we still hardly see her on our screen.  Her intervention during Tribal Council was the catalyst for the vote:  It enabled Jaclyn to express her frustration with the guys and it told Jon that he was still a trusted member of the original Hunahpu.  That was a great argument and must have solidified the vote.  She has too few confessionals and no real end game connections. Her portrayal tells us that she won’t make it in the end.  What would a juror ask her right now?  They wouldn’t care that she volunteered to go to Exile Island so that leaves her with very little else to discuss.

Baylor:  We had another example that the cheerleader can’t own up to her game.  Josh wasn’t blackmailing her; he was simply saying he had saved her so she owed him.  Considering that she gets bugged easily, the jury should have a lot of fun grilling her.  I envision an epic meltdown.

Missy:  She expressed the audience’s thoughts about quitters and then she worked diligently to change Jon’s mind.   I think we’ve had two interesting developments in this episode that point us even more to a win by Missy.  First, even Jaclyn seemed to have abandoned hope to rally Jon because she told us he didn’t have her back.  Josh didn’t need Jaclyn’s vote because Baylor would have been eliminated if Jon had voted against her.  It was only after talking to Missy that Jon changed his mind.  Next, we saw firsthand how playing like mama bear can get Missy to the end.  By protecting her kid, Missy advanced her own game tremendously.  Did we really need to hear Keith telling Jeremy, Natalie, and Missy that the group was voting against Baylor?  We really didn’t because Jon’s vote would have been needed even if they didn’t know who the target was in Jeremy’s alliance.  It wasn’t necessary to show that Missy had to protect her kid against such a direct threat yet the promotion department played up the scene by giving us this tease before the episode aired: “The claws are out when two parents protect their children in a heated exchange”.  There was certainly more hype in that promotion than the argument deserved.  The promotion department is starting to make their winner’s case.  Of course, like the reference to the jury giving money to the fireman, some will argue that this is making Keith’s case instead of Missy’s, but his story is certainly not centered on protecting his child.

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