Previously on Survivor, Spencer and Tony have been on opposite paths…
(We were shown a replay of the rock draw during the auction).
…Everything has gone right for Tony: He’s been at the top of a majority alliance and has multiple idols, even finding one with different powers.
For Spencer, it’s been a different story: His life in the game has been a constant struggle. He wasted his only idol and his allies have been picked off, one by one, but things started to turn around. He won immunity and the majority alliance was turning on each other. He even made a Final 3 pact with Kass and Woo and they targeted Tony but, at Tribal Council, it fell apart once again. Kass realized that Tony had enemies. (It was implied that Tasha was the one that made Kass realize this because we heard her say that Tony put everyone on the jury).
She decided to keep him.
Spencer could only watch as the majority alliance took out his only ally.
Even if it had been evident for a while, this recap really reinforces the idea that this season is all about Tony and Spencer. It’s hard to determine exactly what role this recap is giving to Kass. She could be seen as the arbitrator that will decide which way the game goes between Tony and Spencer, but I see it as being part of Spencer’s story; she added another obstacle on his road to the end game.
With the story reduced to a confrontation between Tony and Spencer, it’s easy to see that the viewers are encouraged to pull for Spencer. He is the one that has been struggling while everything has gone right for Tony. It would be incredibly dumb for the promoters of this show to diminish the accomplishments of their winner and that is exactly what they did to Tony here. After all, we could have been told that he was in difficulty at the merge and his alliance found a way to flip Kass.
Of course, Jeff saying that Spencer wasted his idol could be seen as a red flag, but it was part of Spencer’s hardship story.
It’s Medication Time
Solarrion – Night 33
The players returned to camp under a driving rain.
Spencer immediately asked what the point of all the shenanigans was. In front of Tony and Trish, he asked Woo and Kass why they made a Final Three deal with him.
Woo said he already had a Final 3.
Spencer had a confessional: “Woo and Kass voted for Tasha, so it turned out that the deal that we had was a lie. So I left Tribal kind of confused.”
Kass, after telling Spencer that lying was part of the game, had a confessional: “At the end of the day, I realized that Tony has been a jerk to just about everyone at some point in the game. Maybe I’d rather go to the end with Tony who has burned so many bridges and has been so obnoxious that nobody wants him to win.”
In the shelter, Tony cut in the conversation to tell Spencer that they were toying with him.
That led to the continuation of Spencer’s confessional: “I’m playing against Tony who has played all these people like a fiddle and three foolish players who don’t think for themselves. (Right then, the camera showed us Trish who put her buff across her face to go to sleep. That was clearly telling us that she wasn’t a player, but we don’t have to worry about Trish’s chances anymore.) I’m almost definitely the next to go, but if I have any hope in the game, it’s the fact that I am playing with people who understand it so little.”
There are two possible interpretations of this scene: Some will say that Spencer is still the inexperienced kid that got fooled and that he is reacting negatively by insulting his rivals. I see it as part of his learning curve and that he is not being arrogant when calling Tony’s followers foolish because that is exactly what we have seen. They are handing Tony the game and seeing Trish hiding her face in her buff right then was the image that symbolized it.
Tony and Woo took a boat ride, telling each other that they could win the next immunity challenge. They also used the time to clear the air. Tony asked Woo about Final 3, adding that Kass would be a perfect person to take to the end since she would get no votes and the two of them could battle it out.
Woo in confessional: “I did consider blindsiding Tony, but it’s a move that I decided not to make because, honestly, I feel like sitting next to Tony at the end of the game. Top 3 would be a lovely thing since we started this game together. I need him to see me as someone that wouldn’t backstab him, someone who would be loyal to him to the end. So I decided to fill him in on what went down at the reward.”
Woo said that Spencer brought up the idea to vote Tony out, adding that Kass was in on it and suggested they should be the Final 3. That really caught Tony’s ear, but he laughed it off, telling Woo that it was good to hear.
Tony in confessional: “Woo has been with me since the beginning. He has proven his trust and his loyalty to me throughout. The kid is genuine and it just tears me apart that I’m going to have to eventually blindside him. You don’t want to take someone like Woo to the end because he will have a shot at getting a few votes. He might get a lot of votes and that’s not good for business. I’m just thinking about my family. My wife told me: “Tony; when you go out there, don’t do anything stupid. Try to win the game.” Taking Woo to the end is stupid. I’m going to listen to my wife on this one.”
The juxtaposition of these two confessionals underlines Woo’s lack of understanding about the game. He is still thinking of what a “lovely thing” it would be to stay with Tony to the end, but that’s not how the cop sees it. For Tony, this was a great confessional, reminiscent of Brian’s business trip confessional at the start of Thailand. This confessional is the first of two quotes from Tony that could be seen as hints that he wins. I see it as a hint that the season will have its climax when Spencer and Tony’s battle end at the Final Immunity Challenge. The title of Sole Survivor will come down to one challenge victory because the vote will be quite anti-climactic.
The Reward Challenge
Jeff’s words about comfort food and home delivery made me think that this could have been the reward that had been planned for the family visit. After all, staying in camp isn’t much of a reward unless it enables the winners to give their loved ones an understanding of their living conditions. (If that is true, then I wonder if the loved ones would have been running in the mud!)
Jeff once more mentioned that you can never give up in this game and the image that followed was Spencer diving into the pit, but it’s not as if he was immediately recognizable!
Despite Jeff’s admiration for mud structure on top of Kass’ head, it was clear that Tony was running away with this challenge. He should have asked for a bigger bucket. While Jeff mentioned how Woo and Kass used their hair to collect the mud, we didn’t see any particular trick to explain Tony’s success, but they didn’t even have to weigh the buckets. When asked who should share the reward with him, Tony chose “Anorexia.” Woo and Kass looked a little upset.
Since the camera didn’t show us Tony’s tactics to dominate the competition, the viewer is once left with the impression that it was too easy for him.
The Terracotta warriors got back in camp and it was time for a confessional by Kass: “I’m actually glad that Tony picked Trish for the reward because it solidified that those two are locked together. Tony is the alpha-male out here and she’s the female. They are like a couple of baboons. I’m surprised she isn’t picking ticks off him right now. They are attached to the hip and everyone can see it and, in my view, no one in this game should have that much power.”
The episode really stressed Tony’s closeness to Trish so the viewers that didn’t pay attention to the voting booth presentation at the end of the episode will think that Tony got fooled. Those who realized that Tony actually voted against Trish will think he made a huge blunder. I don’t think he did, but in analyzing the edit we have to say that the editors presented this in a way to make us think that things are unraveling for Tony.
When the helicopter came into view, Spencer gave us a confessional: “The pizza reward is kind of like a metaphor for what’s going on in the game: Tony is winning, he’s taking along Trish, his right hand person, and no one seems to be bothered by that. Everybody seems to be handing Tony this game, much like the pizza, on a silver platter.”
If Spencer thought the delivery was a metaphor for the game then I’d say the way Tony went at the food reflected his strategy. He was scarfing down that pizza much like the game itself.
Trish told Tony to slow down or he’d throw-up. Trish had a confessional to tell us that she never saw someone snort a pizza down like Tony.
When they started talking about having to beat Spencer, Tony told Trish that he had both idols. He said he could use one at five and one at four.
Tony’s confessional: “Both the idols that I have now, even the idol with special powers, have to be used when it’s down to five Survivors left. My intentions are to lie to them and act like the special powers idol… I’m allowed to use it when there’s four Survivors left. If they do believe my bluff, I am guaranteed Final Three.” After we heard the two agreeing that Kass would be easier to beat than Woo, Tony’s confessional resumed: “The game right now is in my hands. I have the power right now, I am in the driver’s seat, and I want to stay strong with Trish and Kass because those are the two less likely people to win more votes over me. I know I have Trish, but Kass and I, we have to solidify some kind of plan.”
Tony asked Trish if you can beat having a helicopter delivering pizza. Trish said you don’t, but Tony was quick to reply: “Unless you win a million dollars!”
That could be seen as the second winning quote from Tony and his idea to lie about the idol is brilliant. It’s not his fault if production is dumb enough to keep the rules secret; his job is to use them as best he can. Still, it sounds like he is about to take a fall.
(Apparently nothing happened on Day 35. Tony probably needed a full day to digest that food!)
Tony and Kass went out to collect Tree Mail.
Tony asked Kass how she felt and told her it was an important day because one of them would have to go if Spencer won immunity.
He told Kass that he wanted to go to the end with her and Trish despite what Woo had told him in the canoe.
Kass in confessional: “Tony decided to confront me and say “I heard that you were conspiring against me. I want you to know that Woo told me all that and I’m OK with it, but you shouldn’t be doing that.” It was stupid of Woo to tell him, but it was stupid of Tony to tell me. (The scene below was inserted here.) Tony pledged on his wife and baby that he was still going to take me to the end so I have been forgiven by the Mafia Boss, but if I’m going to sit next to Tony in the Final 3, I need to show everyone that Tony is a bully, that he’s an extremely unlikeable person and he won’t get any votes from the jury. Chaos Kass is back.”
In the middle of Kass’ confessional, we heard Tony say that he was telling her that so she would feel comfortable working with him. He added that Woo would beat him in the end but that, between them, it was 50-50. He swore on his wife and baby that they were going to the end.
The fight they had last week was started by a misunderstanding while this one started from a different interpretation of events: Tony told Kass he knew about her plan to overthrow him in an effort to clear the air between them, but Kass only saw the confrontation. If only she was doing this on purpose, it would be easier to consider her as a player.
As soon as she arrived back in camp, Kass confronted Woo about spilling everything to Tony.
Something was off in the timing of these scenes because Kass didn’t read tree mail when they got back. We clearly saw her carrying it into camp so we should have seen everyone huddling to hear the instructions. Kass’ clothing wasn’t the same during her confessional as when she talked with Tony so some of this may have happened at a different time.
When confronted by Kass, Woo looked shocked. He first denied saying anything. Since Tony walked into camp just then, Kass turned to him, saying that Woo didn’t tell him anything.
Tony was upset that Kass was investigating him. He was upset that Kass revealed one of his secrets, revealing Woo’s secret in the process!
As soon as he walked away, Kass told Woo that Tony swore on his wife and kid that they would go to the Final Three. Again, Woo looked shocked.
Kass in confessional: “I told Woo that Tony swore on his wife and baby that he is taking me to the Final 3 because, at this point in the game, you want as much paranoia as you can stir up, especially among tight, tight people. So, he just screwed himself because now, maybe Woo doesn’t trust him.”
Tony got so frustrated with Kass that he decided to talk “llama” to her.
Woo was seen deep in thoughts during that scene.
Tony in confessional: “That was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. It’s like: Are you kidding me? Strategically, Kass is perfect to bring to the end, but she is such an insult to this game so, as far as I’m concerned, we are done.”
The next segment started with Tony asking Kass to leave it alone. He then got up to check out the coconut tree and Trish followed. That left Woo, Kass and Spencer in the shelter.
Kass in confessional: “The typical strategy would be to get rid of Tony, but he has at least one idol that we are aware of plus he is such a jerk that I think I can beat him in the end. So, I think the best option for me at this point is to pull in Woo and Spencer and screw up Tony’s game.”
After having to admit that Tony didn’t swear on his wife and kids to him, Woo told Spencer and Kass that Tony would probably not take him to the end since he doesn’t have a bad rep with the jury.
Woo in confessional: “I’ve been a close ally with Tony, playing with him since day one, but it’s come out that he promised Kass on his wife and baby girl that he would take her to the Finale Three. Which means that I know for, almost for, a fact that Tony was going to blindside me so my trust in Tony has gone down tremendously.”
Spencer pointed out that Tony and Trish would decide who joins them in the end and which one goes home. Kass completed Spencer’s thought by saying they had to take out Trish, Tony’s goat.
That’s when Trish was shown walking into camp.
Trish, in confessional, told us that she heard Kass calling her a goat and that they should vote her out. She felt insulted because she had exhausted herself trying to be nice to Kass.
Spencer had a confessional: “Going into today, my game was basically: Win immunity. Now, there are some cracks I can work with which appears to be good news, but at the same time, I’m not stupid. I know that I am still target number one. So, even with everything going on at camp, I need immunity and I’m going to fight my ass off for it.”
The Immunity Challenge
There were some very interesting quotes that not only summed up the game between Tony and Spencer up until now; they sounded like Jeff was telling us the way this game will end.
- “First stage, very simple…Tony off to a great start… Woo and Spencer struggling…”
- “Big early lead for Tony…Woo now in on it…This is a long challenge. Don’t panic: Focus”
- “Tony has been leading this challenge from the beginning…He is flying through this challenge.”
- “Trish, Woo and Kass falling out of it.”
- “It is now between Tony and Spencer…Tony has got a big lead.”
- “Tony sliding pieces all over the place, rapidly. Does he know what he is doing or did he just lose his mind after 36 days?”
- Tony, sliding pieces around like a madman, Spencer is studying the puzzle. Two very different approaches (Which brings us back to the shark and the sea anemone!) ”
- Tony continues to work at a feverish pace. Spencer, very methodical…but it’s working… This would be a huge comeback.”
- “You solved that so fast; I barely saw it happen.”
Tony had a confessional while the players filed out: “Worst case scenario came through for me today: Spencer has won immunity once again so now we have to speed up the process of elimination from our own alliance which is going to be very, very hard.”
Back in camp, Tony admitted he couldn’t do puzzles.
Spencer gave us a confessional: “Winning immunity didn’t just feel good; it was Nirvana! I mean, this was a win of epic proportions. My back was against the wall, I had to win and I did. Now that I have immunity, these four are going to have to turn on each other and cannibalize each other and I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the show.”
If Spencer was a Journey Player, this confessional would have been the zenith of his story. Is there more to come? I certainly think so, but I could be wrong.
Trish asked Kass if she thought she was stupid or deaf.
Kass said she knew Trish was listening.
Spencer intervened, but Trish told him she understood where he was coming from and wasn’t holding it against him. She wanted Spencer to know that Kass plays both sides and then paints herself as the victim.
In confessional, Trish said she wasn’t passive-aggressive, that she confronts people directly while Kass is an agitator. She went on to describe Kass’ constant grin very accurately.
Kass also had a confessional: “Trish went totally off the hook on me. She looked like Skeletor with those big blue eyes popping out and her skeleton fingers waving in my face.” We heard Trish say that Kass was vicious and cruel, adding that everyone saw it except her. When Tony suggested they go take a walk, Kass continued with her confessional: “Trish is upset that I threw her under the bus which is part of the game so get over it. Is it going to cost me my game? It could.”
Left alone in camp, Spencer told Kass that they needed to get Woo, adding that they couldn’t do a thing if those three were together.
In the woods, Tony told Woo that he was now making a promise to him and that Kass was done.
Tony had a confessional: “Today, I had to do a lot more scrambling, a lot more lying all because Kass blabbing her mouth to Woo, telling him that I was taking her to the Final 3. The problem is that I didn’t make any promises to Woo to go to the Final 3 and now he is suspicious of me. Kass may be a beautiful person on the outside world, but as far as Survivor is concerned, she is absolutely horrible. Why would she go and tell that I said all this stuff unless she was looking to blindside me? Therefore, she is going home, period.”
After getting Tony to swear on his dead dad, Woo had a confessional: “Tony is making all these promises pretty much to everyone. So, at this point, I don’t feel like I can trust him. The problem is that, at the end of the game, I am sure that Tony is going to save Trish over me so I’m thinking that maybe it’s time to make that big move.”
Woo went to Kass, telling her that he was voting out Trish.
Kass in confessional: “Woo came over and said he was voting out Trish which would be amazing, but, unfortunately, I am skeptical because he has before said he was going to do something and then decided not to. I don’t know how serious Woo is about this.”
Woo confirmed his decision to Spencer, saying he was thinking long term.
That’s when Tony noticed the trio talking and he came closer to spy on them.
Woo, Spencer and Kass made a pact to the Final 3.
Woo (solo): “I’m the swing vote at this point. I can either take out Trish or I can take out Kass. I haven’t made up my mind at this point, I’m still trying to figure out what’s best for me so I have to make a huge decision and time is ticking.”
The camera showed us that Tony and Woo talked while walking along the beach.
We heard a voice-over confessional by Tony: “I just saw Woo talking to Spencer and Kass and I’m thinking to myself what the hell just happened?” Tony was telling Woo that it was an injustice to bring that girl to the top. Tony went on: “I just have to make sure that me and Woo are on the same page. If not, I may have to break my promise and change the plan. I don’t want to do that, but we will see what happens tonight.”
Jeff went right away to “the good part”, telling Tony that one of the four was about to go home.
Jeremiah was all smiles hearing that.
Tony: “The challenge beast…prevailed”
Asked about the mood in camp, Kass told Jeff that Trish railed into her like a “wild skeleton blue-eyed banshee.”
Tasha grimaced at that remark, but Jeff didn’t quite get it.
Kass said Trish was showing her capacity for hatred.
Jeremiah and Jefra were shocked by that comment.
Trish simply said: “Kass, unfortunately, is always the victim and she likes to be a trouble-maker, but then she doesn’t like conflict. If you are going to be an agitator and you are going to plot Woo against Tony and Tony against Woo, don’t sit back and say: “I didn’t do anything. Everybody is being so mean to me.” She has a fight with everybody, every day. I haven’t fought with anybody on the jury or had a confrontation with anyone outside of Kass.”
The jury was eating her words, but Trish, that is why you are now part of the jury.
Kass had a remark that made the jury frown.
Spencer said things had gotten crazy and that his win sped up the process.
Woo said their foursome was breaking up, adding that he saw it as three Brawns versus two Brains. Woo told Jeff that Kass was back with Spencer, making her very vulnerable.
Asked about her loyalty to the alliance of four, Kass said she didn’t “expect psycho-bitch to come out” at her.
LJ and Jeff were once more shocked by Kass’ choice of words.
Tony said Kass was delusional. He went on to imitate Kass much to the delight of the jury.
Kass said it went the way she wanted which Tony found very ironic. Kass continued by saying Tony’s anger showed Woo that he couldn’t be trusted.
That’s when Tony really scored points against Kass by saying he shows his emotions by facial expressions while Kass always has the same grin no matter how she felt. He even pointed to it, saying: “Look! There is is!”
Everyone found that very funny.
We then had Tony talking like an animal again so that Kass could understand him.
Jeff could only say “Wow” while Trish found it awesome.
Jeff was surprised that Spencer looked disgusted by this.
Spencer said he did find it funny, but that he felt like he was in “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Trish said: “And it’s medication time.”
Once more, everyone laughed at that remark.
Woo said he felt stuck in the worst family possible: “Tony being Dad and Trish being the Mom, Kass being the sister and Spencer being the son and I’m just like that foreign exchange student…you want to tell these guys to shut up and concentrate on the game.”
Jeff was surprised that so many people were laughing when someone’s dream was about to fall 3 days short.
Tony said the vote would not be emotional, just game play. He added that he was definitely not going home which got him to take out his bag of tricks once more. He took out “the new special one.”
Like Jeff said, that brought some big reactions.
Spencer said that Tony was the biggest threat to win the game, but that his idols complicate things.
Jeff sent them to vote.
Spencer voted by saying: “This cat fight has to be resolved somehow. Sheesh!”
Trish voted against Kass: “I suggest a book on self-awareness,” she said. “It will be helpful for you in the future.”
After Jeff returned with the votes, Tony stood up saying: “I don’t need to play it, but I have no use for this thing. It stays on the island.”
Kass clapped her hands when Jeff read the 3rd vote against Trish who walked out wishing everyone good luck. Kass answered that by raising her middle finger which shocked Sarah and displeased LJ.
Jeff told the Final Four that it was anybody’s game to win.
Quite surprisingly, we would discover that even Tony voted against Trish.
Despite all his arguments with Kass, his vow to get her out and his promise to take Trish to the end, Tony voted against Trish. The editing was heavily manipulated because we didn’t hear his reasons. Tony must have talked to Woo about voting against Trish but we never saw that scene. There was that scene in the canoe at the beginning where they agreed they’d go to the end with Kass, but that was before all the upheaval we witnessed in this episode. It seems that, in the end, they simply went back to their original idea but we can’t know for sure.
Of course, the editors’ decision to keep us in the dark about Tony’s intentions were done to preserve the suspense of this episode and could have no bearing on the end result, but it’s still part of the story that we have to analyze. Woo looks much smarter, much less like the loyal soldier with this presentation while the part of the audience that didn’t pay attention to the vote reveal will think that Tony got fooled. Even those that know how he voted will think that he missed a glorious opportunity to save Trish by giving her that old idol. On the other hand, it gave us the impression that Tony’s road to the end has gotten much harder.
Kass: Every time Kass talks at Tribal Council, we get a reaction from the jury. That alone tells us that Kass will have to answer to them in the end. Add the fact that every player sees her as the perfect goat and she has a reserved seat for the Final Tribal Council. That’s something we’ve seen for a while now and the general impression is that Kass will be raked over the coals during questioning. Can this seasoned lawyer turn things around? The spunk she shows during Jeff’s questions and Tony’s comments could be appreciated by some jurors. Like us, the jury likes a good show and how many players have flipped the bird and used words like psycho-bitch during TC? The reactions we’ve been shown, however, are all negative so it seems like the jury has already reached a verdict where Kass is concerned.
Woo: For the first time, Woo took charge of a mission and it succeeded. Besides being a nice guy, he now has a solid case to make to the jury. Like he said, he has a good reputation with them so he’ll get the majority of votes if he makes it to the end. The martial artist will be dangerous in a challenge that doesn’t involve a puzzle, but we don’t hear anyone worrying that he could win his way to the end. Usually, when we don’t hear anyone worrying about a potential challenge threat, it’s because that player won’t win the important one.
Tony: Did he make a mistake by letting Trish go? The immediate reaction is yes and that’s probably the editors’ intent. We could look back and say that he lost the game when he didn’t give his idol to Trish. However, I think Tony did this after making some very complex calculations. The first advantage he gets from this vote is that Trish won’t know that he voted against her. (Unless she recognized his handwriting, but I’m almost sure production kept Tony’s vote in the urn.) She will not only be a sure vote for him in the end, but she is also going to sing his praise at Ponderosa for the next three days. Tony’s second advantage comes from keeping Woo in the game. Tony wasn’t going to use his idol to save Trish in order to boot his perfect goat, Kass; he would have used it to eliminate Woo. Woo is Tony’s back-up in his fight against the challenge beast, Spencer. The problem is that Tony will have a hard time beating Woo in the end. Tony will need a Final 2 to make this gambit work.
Tony will certainly win a vote if he is alone against Kass in the end. Some think that he will crumble under pressure and lose many votes to Kass who, as a lawyer, knows how to handle a jury. This Tribal Council showed us that Tony has the jury eating out of the palm of his hand when it comes to arguing with Kass.
The main problem I see regarding Tony’s chances to win came to light in the recap of this episode. Jeff’s words told us directly that Tony has benefitted from an easy ride: “Everything has gone right for Tony” he said. Normally, the editors try to show us how a player overcame the odds so the wording of the recap diminishes his accomplishments. I don’t think that’s a winner’s edit even if things didn’t go right this time.
Spencer: I think we only have to listen to Jeff’s words during the immunity challenge to feel confident that Spencer will complete his comeback. He was methodical while Tony was going at it like a wild man. All of the hype around Spencer’s story could still have been done to hide a certain win by Tony, but it doesn’t seem likely. Even with the cracks in the alliance, Spencer knows his best chance is to win immunity and it now seems like a real possibility that he will do it. Spencer should win the title of Sole Survivor.