SurvivorSurvivor Cagayan

The Domino Effect

 

 

Previously on Survivor, after Tony and LJ sacrificed their idols for each other and Kass flipped, the power shifted to a new majority alliance of six led by LJ and Tony.

 With the hierarchy of power intact, everyone’s attention shifted to finding immunity idols. Fortunately for Spencer, he found one though it wasn’t the idol with different powers … and at the Immunity Challenge, he outlasted all the rest.

Facing Tribal Council, the majority alliance was worried about a possible hidden immunity idol.

At Tribal Council, they stuck with the safe vote.

There isn’t much to analyze in this recap except that it settled the debate regarding Spencer’s idol. There’s still at least one idol to find and Spencer should be the only one that knows it.  Will he figure it out?

The Domino Effect

Solarrion – Night 22

A curious night creature looked on as the Castaways returned to camp.  Like us, it seemed anxious to see what would happen this week.

What we first saw was Tony putting his torch to rest on the side of a tree and knocking out five of his competitors’ torches.

We can assume that Tony’s action in this episode will have ripple effects for the rest of the season. Will all five of his alliance fall because of him?

Immediately, Tony asked Spencer why it was a compliment that they tried to get him out for the second time.

Spencer said it meant he was a threat.

Tony explained that they voted out Morgan because she wasn’t worthy of being there.

(I guess Goat only means Greatest of all Times to Tony)

Tony had the first confessional: “When Jeff turned that card and it said Tony, I probably pooped on myself…

 

Nearly?

Nearly?

…I didn’t expect to see my name. I am a forty year old bald old man. You have Woo that’s clearly more athletic than me, you have LJ who is younger and more athletic than me. Why am I a threat? Why is everybody trying to get me out? Now, here we are again: Six against three, but it’s never that easy just because you have three sitting ducks. I can be done tomorrow. I am not going to sit there and make a fool of myself by saying: Yeah! I can’t wait until we get to the six. That chance might never come for me and it’s definitely not going to come for some of them.”

 

 

Spoiling the outcome of the night’s vote, the camera gave us a close-up of LJ right then. The chance certainly never came for him. 

 

Out of Luck

Out of Luck

 

Too bad the angle didn’t widen to show a few more targets, but then again, spoiling one episode at a time is more than enough. Give us a chance to speculate, please!

 

 

 

The next morning, Trish and LJ were discussing Tony’s paranoia, wondering if those votes were going to put him on scramble mode.

Trish in confessional: “I think a lot of trouble in this game comes when people start getting paranoid, people start getting impatient. Tony definitely has a lot of paranoia and OCD stuff. He spins a lot; his brain is going all the time, but this is a game of patience right now so hopefully he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

Tony took a walk in the jungle with LJ, already planning to set him up.

Tony in confessional: “Looking at LJ is like looking at myself in the mirror. He’s sharp; he’s keeping himself two or three steps ahead. So, I want to see LJ gone but I don’t want to be the bad one to get rid of LJ because he is in my alliance. We are tight and he trusts me 100 percent. So, I have to try and trick LJ into making him break a promise that he made to one of our six. Once he does that that is my safe way out. I am not only leading the horse to the water, but I am going to make the horse drink the water. That’s my goal right now.”

Tony may not want to be perceived as the bad guy and many viewers didn’t see him as the villain but his words typify a villain’s confessional.  He sees himself as being smarter than everyone else so he tries to fool them all. His plan was a lot like Kim’s when she got Troyzan to target Mike but he wasn’t in the same position: She only needed to convince Troyzan because her core alliance was in on the deception. She didn’t think she could fool them all. Tony was planning on getting his whole alliance to buy into his scheme. He only wooed one member of his alliance so resentments are bound to surface.

Tony’s plan was to tell LJ that Woo had found the idol but was keeping it secret so Woo had to go before he could use it. We heard his explanation when his confessional resumed: “I’m telling LJ that Woo has an idol but it’s not true.  LJ proposed to me: Let’s blindside Woo. That’s all I needed to hear. So, I’m going to tell people: You don’t know what he is thinking. He’s quiet and he’s sneaky and that’s more scarier (sic!) than a person like me. You know; I’m in your face but LJ on the other hand; he’s been thinking about all of you guys since day one behind your backs and you wouldn’t know about it. That’s what I have to do: I have to pin everybody against LJ.”

Solarrion – Day 24

After Kass read tree mail, we heard Jefra saying how much they needed a spa day.

Tony gave us another confessional: “Today we get tree mail and it says it’s going to be a reward challenge and when you go with the reward and you get pampered and people get sensitive and the emotions come out, they might form bonds. There’s a possibility of talk there, there’s the possibility of strategies being mentioned and scenarios so it’s very scary so that’s why I want to win this challenge. If anybody strategizes and comes up with plans, it’s going to be me.”

When Tony mentioned that rewards could lead to talks of strategy, we had a close-up of LJ and it reminded me that LJ didn’t use his reward time to form those bonds. Maybe the image was telling us that he missed his opportunity. He will miss another one later.

The Challenge

The random draw put Tony on the most athletic team with Jeremiah and Spencer. LJ was teamed up with Trish and Jefra while Kass, Tasha and Woo formed the third team.

Jeremiah gave his team an early lead, but LJ’s team wasn’t far behind. Tasha had to switch with Woo because their team was falling behind.

When it came to throwing the bags through the tunnel, Jeremiah kept his team in the lead but we heard Jeff say: “LJ; I don’t think he missed one. He made up a lot of time for the orange team.”

(Sure Jeff, now you recognize LJ at his true value… A little too late but that’s precisely why we heard it only now.)

Sensing the win, Tony took over and started bouncing the sandbags on the trampoline and into the five baskets. He got on a roll and his team won before either of the other two teams made a single basket.

Tony had a confessional as they left the arena: “Winning a challenge sometimes, it can be crucial in the game. I am going to talk with Spencer and Jeremiah because I am thinking of blindsiding LJ. You can call me the opportunist because, if I see an opportunity, I am going to jump on it.”

The way Tony pronounced “…and Jeremiah…” certainly sounded that the viewers’ perceptions are accurate: Tony considers Spencer as being the best person to discuss any future plans while Jeremiah was more like an afterthought. 

Solarrion – Day 24

Woo had a confessional: “Coming back from the challenge, I was seeing myself getting my mani and my pedi on while grinding down on a nice chicken wrap and following that bad boy with a nice cold mimosa. But, Boom! I snapped back into the reality, like Oh Man! I am probably going to be spending hours on the fire and, you know, eating a plate of white rice.  On a lighter note, it’s kind of nice to know that my boy Tony is going to keep an eye on Spencer and Jeremiah and make sure that they don’t jeopardize our game plan.”

It’s hard to say if the editors are presenting Woo as comic relief or if they simply want to feature him. Woo has a naturally funny demeanor which is amplified by his confessional close-ups but that isn’t really editing manipulation.  The one thing that was included that was truly funny though was his last sentence: He thought Tony would make sure Spencer and Jeremiah wouldn’t jeopardize their plans, but little did he know that Tony was the one jeopardizing them!  

Right after, Jefra said: “They earned it. They kicked our butts.” Trish agreed.

This suggests that the three men will earn their way deeper in the game. It goes back to a thought we had at the beginning of the season when the men were falling one after the other and the women had the numbers to take control. We figured the men would recover and, even if LJ left, this episode saw the men – and Tasha – start to take control.

Jefra had a confessional: “Everybody’s down because we didn’t win the reward but personally, it doesn’t bother me. As great as it would have been, I am still here in the game and I really do believe in our core six and I think we all know it’s best if we stick together right now.”

This confessional is telling us one of two things: Jefra gave us a rare confessional because she is going to be voted out soon so they may as well show her before the end. Or, Jefra will remain in the game, and even if she doesn’t win anything, she will be happy just being there.  If Jefra isn’t voted out in the next two weeks, there is a real possibility that she plays the role of Natalie Tenerelli in this season’s finale.  Finishing as a runner-up again! I mentioned the irony of that possibility but hardly believed we’d see it. The next scene made me think that there is still a long way to go for Jefra before she gets crowned runner-up.

LJ, Trish and Jefra were sitting on the boat, discussing Tony’s paranoia and how he was targeting Woo.

 

The Dominos

The Dominos

 

If Tony’s actions will create a domino effect then these three are the dominos. First LJ, then Trish followed by Jefra?

 

 

 

LJ in confessional: “The fact that Tony got a lot of votes at Tribal Council, it made him feel like: “They want to get rid of me, they want to get rid of me”, but it doesn’t matter because I built a strong bond with Tony, proving my loyalty to him. I pulled my idol out for him and we’re in it to the end. I trust that he will do the right thing.”

When LJ said that Tash, Spencer and Jeremiah had to go next, Trish said: “If anyone of those three make it to the end, they win.”

Now that’s a nice sign that one of those three is our winner.  I thought it was too obvious that Denise would win when Swan and Malcolm said she would so I’ve learned my lesson: Being too obvious won’t stop these story-tellers.  We have to conclude that Tasha or Spencer (and probably even Jeremiah) is going to win if one of them makes the Final 3. Now we have to hope that none or more than one make it to the end if we want some suspense.

Trish had a confessional: “Tony is panicking because he thinks Woo may have found the idol and I know how to get to Tony. I can tell Tony that he needs to relax.”

Trish is just one more player that has delusions about Tony.

LJ gave us more of his thoughts: “I made a plan for the future and it relies on patience. As long as we go with the plan, we can control everything.”

When LJ talked about his plan and needing patience, the image of Gregg in Palau sprang to mind. In addition to their physical similarities, those two suffered similar fates for waiting too long.

The scene ended with Trish saying that the six staying strong is the best scenario for the three of them, suggesting they should be the Final 3.

Now that we know it won’t happen, we are left to wonder if they are the next three.

The Reward

Spencer was seen in confessional as soon as they got their first drink: “For me, reward challenges are a chance to better my position in the game. Right now, I definitely have the odds stacked against me, I’m not in a powerful position and I am down, but I am not out and I’ve been down before and I got back up so there’s no reason I can’t get it back. I was really happy to be paired up with Jeremiah who is kind of my right hand man at this point and Tony, the guy I’d like to hear from and see where his head is at. Who knows? Maybe it will give me new life in the game.”

This confessional goes nicely with Jeff’s comment that you can’t give up in this game.

Tony turned to Spencer and asked him about his thoughts. Spencer said it depended on Tony. Jeremiah, who appeared to be more preoccupied with the shower than the talk, jumped in, asking Tony if he felt comfortable. Tony said he never feels comfortable. Tony added: “Wait until the time comes.” Spencer wondered if the time would come. He told Tony that they were like pawns.

Tony in confessional (we were all expecting one, no?!): “Talking to Jeremiah and Spencer is allowing me to have another big move that is going to get me to the top. I just need them for one vote when it’s time to get LJ out and then I will go back to my alliance, but right now they are desperate. When people are desperate, you do the thinking for them. So, whatever I tell them, they got to go with it. If they go against me, they’re sealing their own fate.”

Does anyone think that it will be as easy as Tony thinks to go back to his old alliance? I certainly don’t. He burned the bridge with Trish, Kass and Jefra and he will need to get them out or they could easily be the ones to go with Spencer, Tasha and Jeremiah. 

Jeremiah had a confessional of his own (now that one was less predictable): “Tony is guaranteeing that he’s got my back, he’s guaranteeing that he’s got Spencer’s back. I mean, his wheels are turning and he’s trying to play the game. Right now, I have to believe him a little bit, but still I have my doubts. He might be playing us, he might be getting us pumped up, making us feel all good and then our names get written down.”

Spencer’s confessional followed: “Right now, I will be honest; I don’t trust Tony that much. Tony is playing a lot of people right now, he’s juggling a lot of balls and I’m just one of them. He doesn’t know this but I have an idol and, if I feel uneasy, I will not hesitate to use it, but I will tell Tony that I trust him 100 percent because, if he can take me a little further down the road, I might find a little detour that can take me all the way.”

This reward was missing something: A clue to the idol. Why didn’t anyone find it? Could it be that there are no more clues to give? That could mean that the special idol is hidden in the same wall of mud as the first or that it is hidden in plain sight and no clues are needed.

Solarrion – Day 25

Tony and LJ were chatting about the reward while Tasha looked on.

Tasha in confessional: “It’s day 25 and I’m in a three-person alliance up against a six-person alliance. It doesn’t take a CPA like myself to do that math. So I need to convince someone to flip or make a big move. I think LJ is smart enough to realize that Tony is not going to take another strong guy to the end.”

Tasha invited LJ to discreetly meet her in the jungle so that they could talk.

LJ had a confessional where he told us that he didn’t want to meet Tasha because Tony was a “flaming ball of anxiety.” Anyway, he didn’t feel that she could help him in any way.

Tasha in confessional: “I invited LJ to rendezvous with me to discuss some strategy and he stood me up. If LJ was man enough to make a big move, he could take Jefra, Spencer, Jeremiah and I and blindside Tony, but it’s clear that Tony is running the show around here and everyone is under Tony’s thumb. So, unless something changes, I am screwed.”

I wonder if this scene was shown only to make LJ look bad. It could be part of Tasha’s story and I can imagine her answering LJ’s Final Tribal Council question about her actions in the game by saying something along the lines of “I was always trying to make plans but some of you were simply not ready to play, feeling comfortable in their position. I had to make other plans and they worked well enough to get me here.” 

On a funny note, this is the second guy to refuse a discreet rendezvous in the woods with Tasha! Garrett and LJ should know that you don’t stand up a beautiful woman!

After LJ read tree mail, Tony had his 92nd confessional of the night: “This challenge today is huge. I am thinking in my head that LJ is a clever guy; that it’s going to be the matter of who throws the first punch between the both of us. Timing is everything and this could be my time to strike so, if LJ doesn’t win immunity, he could be the next one going home.”

The Immunity Challenge

In this memory test, most of the players didn’t do too well. Trish was eliminated on the 2nd tile of round one. Woo joined her on the next tile.

The second round saw Jefra, Kass, Spencer and Jeremiah fall on the 6th tile. The 7th was the decisive one and Tasha beat out Tony and LJ.

It was funny to see that LJ was as confident about being right that he was during Tribal Council.

LJ had his confessional placed in the “kiss of death” spot: “When Tasha won immunity, immediately my mind starts cranking. Tonight, all we need to do is split the votes 3-3 between Spencer and Jeremiah so, pending everyone sticks to the plan, one of them is going home.”

Solarrion  – Day 25

When the castaways returned to camp, they congratulated Tasha.

Tasha (solo): “I’m so excited. This was a do or die challenge for me today. I knew that I had a one-third chance of being voted out tonight so this pretty little thing around my neck secures three more days for me. So: In your face, LJ! Ha-ha!”

Seeing Spencer and Jeremiah walking out of camp and Tasha probably still in confessional, LJ proposed splitting the votes. Tony asked if he was worried about an idol. Trish said no one would flip at this stage of the game.

LJ had a confessional: “For the first time in this game, I feel comfortable… Tony is concerned that Woo has an idol and that we should do something about it which is so stupid…We just need to stick with the plan.”

Jefra proposed that the girls vote for Jeremiah while the guys vote for Spencer. They agreed.

Tony was heard in confessional: “Here’s the deal: I won’t wait to get a punch thrown at me by LJ. He said he was willing to blindside Woo, It’s true; I kind of set him up, but I don’t care. I am going to try to pin all the trouble making around camp on LJ because that is what I have to do. LJ is a threat so I have to strike now before he gets the idea of doing it to me. But first, I have a lot of work to do.”

Tony went to work on Woo, telling him that LJ was willing to break his promise to him.

Woo in confessional: “I was 100 percent down with the six, but apparently LJ, mister con-man, for some reason wants to blindside me. If he is coming to Tony, my closest ally, and saying that Woo has got to go, we may have to make a big move before he does. I trust Tony that he’s got my back so it’s great to have him on my side and, if all goes well, it’s going to be another huge night at Tribal Council.”

Tony’s next step was to tell Spencer that LJ was the target.

Spencer gave us an interview: “Tony initially wanted to save me and Jeremiah for a later move, but apparently LJ is plotting to get out Woo. Tony is ready to make a big move now.” After agreeing to get Jeremiah and Tasha on board, Spencer’s interview continued: “I’m stoked. It’s like Christmas morning. I woke up expecting to see nothing but ashes and coal under the tree and there’s this present of “Let’s vote out LJ”. It’s kind of too good to be true. This could be a big lie so that I don’t play my immunity idol. Still, I’m going to take anything I can get right now. If I can get just a little further down the road, have a few votes go my way, it’s a whole new game.”

Compared to Tasha, Spencer’s mind is shown looking much further ahead. It isn’t just three more days, it’s a few more votes and a whole new game that he is contemplating. Contrary to Woo, he sees that Tony could be lying to him but he is weighing his options. This connects well with his comment to Jeff that he is willing to risk being voted out early if it gives him a better chance to win down the road. And, as game play goes, Tony would be more likely to lie in order to get him to waste his idol than to have him keep it for later.

Spencer told Jeremiah that they could just let them kill each other but that they’d still have to keep an eye on Tony because he was smart.

Letting them kill each other is another hint that we could be seeing the dominos fall one by one.

  The crazy bats returned when Tony went to talk with Trish. He asked about the conversations that happened when he was on reward. Trish said: “LJ was concerned that you were worried about Woo.”

(Right there, Tony should have realized that his plan had been busted, that he couldn’t pin all the blame on LJ but he trudged along anyway.)

Tony went on with his lie: “I wasn’t concerned, he was concerned.” Trish was adamant; LJ was clear that it was Tony who wanted to eliminate Woo. Tony replied that LJ was sneaky, that he wouldn’t be content with 4th place.

Trish in confessional: “Tony is getting really paranoid. He told me today at the well, that LJ was trying to break up the six, but LJ told me a completely different story. He said Tony was totally freaking out. He wants Woo gone so I don’t know what to believe now. It’s definitely possible that LJ is up to something. I think LJ is up to a lot because he wants to win, but Tony has also played me and I am gullible, but I am not stupid. There is no way I am going to break up the six.”

Back in the shelter, Trish was resting next to Kass who wanted reassurances. Trish told her that Tony was pissed because of the four votes he received.

Kass gave us a confessional: “I love a good blindside, but it’s too soon. No one wants to make a big move right now. You’d be stupid and I think Tony knows that. All six of us are in a great position as long as we stick with our alliance.”

I just love irony and, in that regard, this confessional was priceless. In fact, it could be the most ironic we’ve ever heard in the history of Survivor and we have had some memorable ones. What Kass just said could apply word for word to her own position at the merge. That other alliance of six was in a great position, it was too soon and if you’d be stupid to make a big move now, imagine back then

For some reason, the camera briefly showed us Spencer and Jeremiah again, saying they weren’t completely convinced that Tony would go through with it.

Tony then had the last confessional of the episode (I don’t want to write the last confessional of the evening because maybe he had another one during your late local news): “Right now, I have a huge plan in play, but Trish is telling me to keep the six strong. So, if I get rid of LJ, there’s going to be a lot of hard feelings. Trish has been with me since day 1, she is my closest ally, but if I do this, she might turn her back on me and the whole thing could blow up in my face. If that is the case, I may have to stick with my alliance. I’d rather make my power move now but, in life like in Survivor, you have to know when to kiss ass, you got to know when to kick ass. Unfortunately, I’m in a position now where I might have to kiss ass and get rid of Spencer and Jeremiah.”

The only reason to show the exchange between Jeremiah and Spencer was to let us know that they aren’t completely fooled by Tony. They are the only ones that haven’t fallen for his lies so that bodes well for their future.  Note that Tony will be disregarding the premise of his original plan now and will forge ahead even if he knows that he will look like the bad guy.

Tribal Council

Once more, it was Tasha that was shown making a connection with the jury.  Sarah looked very pleased to see her with the necklace.

Yeah!

Yeah!

I Feel Good!

I Feel Good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff first addressed Jeremiah about the tribe’s division.

The male model told Jeff it was a tight six but the camera showed us Tony.

Jeff turned to Kass, asking if she had empathy for her three former allies.

 

Who is That?

Who is That?

The jury showed they had no empathy for Kass.

Kass, who had nicely been seated right next to her three “friends”, said: “I feel like it’s the game, Jeff…You can’t play this game and not get a little dirty.”

 

 

 

That seemed to encourage Tony in his plan: “When you come into this game you are accepting the fact that you are going to be deceived and stabbed in the back. That’s why I brought my bags of tricks.” He would only tell Jeff that the bag was helping him feel a little more comfortable.

Jeff pointed out to Tasha that Tony wouldn’t need a bag of tricks if it was such a tight six.

Tasha said she was glad to be wearing the necklace.

(That scored another point with the jury)

 Tasha added that it was good to stick around longer because fractures might appear in “tight alliances”.

Jeff pointed out the air-quotes Tasha used.

LJ said it was just a reality check for Tasha. That remark seemed to offend Sarah, but it only drew a small smile from Tasha. LJ added that he was vaguely approached but that he didn’t want to cause anxiety inside the group. He said that loyalty was huge in his line of work so that he had a good eye to gauge it.

Asked about his line of work, Tony repeated the lie about being in construction, forgetting he had told his whole alliance that he was a cop.

Only Sarah seemed to react to the lie, but the viewers had to wonder why he was keeping it up.

Kass said that loyalty matters in her life but that she checked her life at the door when she entered the game; that you have to be selfish to win this game. 

The jury didn’t like hearing that either.

Woo said that paranoia was inevitable but that their six was still strong and he was going with the flow.

Spencer couldn’t say who was on the bottom but he knew someone had to be. He added: “If you are being told that you are part of a tight six then maybe you are on the bottom.”

Astutely, the camera showed “we are just links on a chain-Jefra” at that moment and then moved to LJ.

When Spencer said it was time for people to start thinking of putting themselves in a position to win, Woo and Tony were shown.

Trish said their “Brady Bunch” would soon become dysfunctional and would start to break. Jeff remarked that it was only a question of when it will break. Trish said it could happen tonight but that she was unaware of anything.

Spencer didn’t play his idol but we saw his reaction when Jeff turned the final ballot.

Take That!

Take That!

 

 

 

 

 

 

LJ simply said: “Well played” Jeremiah was relieved, Jefra and Kass were shocked.

 

This is Getting Good!

This is Getting Good!

 

The jury could hardly contain their joy while Tasha also expressed her relief.

 

 

 

 

Jefra wanted to know who flipped while Jeff said that Survivor was an individual game.

I rarely use the player’s last word but this time LJ talked about the difficulty of finding the balance between patience and making moves. His explanation of the dangers of moving too early coincided with Kass’ appearance in the voting booth; another indication that she moved too early.

The Story

The season’s story has always revolved around the reactions of the players to the realization of their precarious position in the game.  Time after time, we saw players advance when they didn’t overreact to adversity but calmly found a way to remedy the situation.  It has led us to our main themes of the season: “It isn’t bad to be on the bottom” and “You should never give up”.

This episode showed a player (guess which one, you may have seen him once or twice tonight) completely loose his bearings after receiving four votes. Making it worse, those votes were practically meaningless. Granted, Spencer had said they could be useful if Tony was going to do something stupid, but that was supposed to get Kass to flip at the previous Tribal Council. He never mentioned they could get Tony to flip in this episode but that is exactly what they did.

This episode also showed us that it isn’t easy to handle Tony and that most continue to fall for his lies.  Considering what happened to the first player he fooled, Sarah, we expect that all those who blindly followed Tony will fall like dominos, like those torches that fell to the ground.

The Characters

The Dominos

Trish: She was in a good position to warn LJ, to get him to talk with Woo before Tony poisoned the martial artist’s mind. She could have done that when the cop was still on reward so that Tony would have been completely boxed in. Instead, she relied on the belief that she could handle Tony.  Her future will depend on her reaction in the next episode, but we’ve seen that she is very emotional.  She could very well be the next domino to fall.

Jefra: She was one of the three dominos shown on the boat with Trish and LJ and she was the first one to wonder who flipped. It is to be expected that Jefra won’t handle the betrayal calmly, that she will not accept to let Tony back in the alliance. We can only wonder if she will oppose Tony directly which would lead to her immediate elimination or if she will find new allies in the pawns that Tony used.

Kass: Some will say that the repetition of Spencer’s quote: “Kass: Zero chance of winning the game” is telling us that she will indeed find a way to win it all but this episode made fun of Kass on numerous occasions including her own confessional where she said that it would be stupid for someone in a solid alliance of six to move so early. The jury’s reaction told us that Kass will never get their votes if she makes it to the end. Granted, Sarah and Morgan only have two votes but, by showing their reactions, the editors are already setting the tone for the reception that waits for Kass.

The Follower

Woo: The one who sees Tony as his closest ally is fast becoming a fan favorite to win the season, but his story is in grave danger. One conversation with Tony was enough to get him to break up his strong alliance. There is no doubt that he will continue to follow Tony, but if the story is to be believed, that should lead him to his elimination.  

The Player

Tony: What can I say about Tony that hasn’t been said already? His plan failed. Sure, he was able to eliminate LJ but that wasn’t his plan. He wanted to pin all the trouble in camp on LJ so that his whole alliance would want to get rid of him. Only Woo followed. He didn’t want to be seen as the bad guy but that is exactly what he accomplished. He wanted to use Spencer and Jeremiah for only one vote and then return to his alliance. He may have to hook up his wagon to theirs instead. LJ did say that it was well played, but I doubt that he will be so generous when it comes to award the million. We heard so much about the need for the alliance of six to stick together that Tony’s move became a copy/paste of Kass’ betrayal.  

The Pawns (If one of them makes it to the end, they will win)

Jeremiah: After being neglected for most of the season, Jeremiah acquired a certain importance in this episode. We saw that Tony waited for him to get in the shower to start the real discussion with Spencer but Jeremiah jumped in and asked a very relevant question regarding Tony’s state of mind. Then we saw that he wasn’t fooled by Tony. That could mean that his story is getting close to its end but that would go against the Domino theory so I suspect that he is simply seeing more airtime because he is going to cast doubt on the eventual winner’s chances. Viewers will think that he will take up a spot in front of the jury or that he could earn a few votes because of his charm.

Tasha: The jury’s favorite has to be considered a strong contender. Doubts surround her chances of making it to the end, but she would collect many votes if she makes it. Can she be our hidden winner? Her story was very good early on but it disappeared for most of the middle part of the season so I’d see it as an incomplete story, but it could happen.  My only reservation was that we mostly heard her talk about the immediate security that her necklace procured.  She told Jeff that she was looking for fractures in the “tight alliance” and she wanted to blindside Tony but that was still only one move.    If we go further with the chess analogy then it must be noted that a pawn can become a queen, not a king!

Spencer: Since he is a good chess player, Spencer must know that using too many pawns too early is deadly. By getting Tony to use him, Jeremiah and Tasha so early, he has severely weakened his rival’s position. Some of Tony’s other pawns are now “up in the air”, ready to be taken and the lines of attack have been left wide open.  He told us that he only needed one or two votes to go his way to envision a whole new game. Now that he’s had one vote go in his favor, we expect that the next move will be the key to the season. A chess player usually knows when he reaches that crucial point; the moment when the next move will decide the whole game.  It seems he will have two options: Continuing the Tony Gambit which could cause all the dominos to fall or turn those dominos into pawns that could overwhelm Tony. Since he continues to talk about his end game, Spencer is still the top contender for Sole Survivor.

 

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