Survivor: Worlds Apart

Survivor: The Break-Up?

Hello. Welcome back. It’s almost 8 pm here, but allow me to share some of my ADD random thoughts heading into tonight’s episode.  Last week, Jenn’s survivoring came to an end, as it turned out with all her potential, Jenn was not very survivorish after all. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

Once Jenn started to go into the tank, the week before last, I wanted to react like a crazy girlfriend who, when you get in one minor, nothing fight, immediately goes to a dark place where she blows up the relationship, deletes you from Facebook, and starts having private meltdowns.

That is how I felt about Jenn. I wanted her to join Tyler and Carolyn as the only real players I see this season. Surprisingly, it turns out, I cannot affect a game that was filmed over six months ago and has already completely run its course.

I feel lost with how this season is going to play out. I mean, last week, one of you commented that Rodney is going to win…and at first, I was like “ Oh cool, Rodney’s dad reads my blog and comments on it”, but then when he explained how, and I realized it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility I was stunned.

There might be a world where Rodney wins this season of Survivor. It would just take Will and Dan sitting by him, but I guess that is on the table. I just think we might have a completely different game if Nina didn’t tell Will that Vince thought Will couldn’t last out here. Maybe Will would have voted another way and the whole dynamic of the game could have changed.

I realize you can probably do that game with a lot of different moments in a given Survivor season, but I remember commenting at that time that something that small could alter the whole game and here we are. We don’t know where this season is headed now; we’re in the back stretch. It’s wide open. Normally, we kind of know where we’re headed, but this season there are so many different paths and so many vastly different outcomes that are in play.

The cast this season is probably on the wrong end on the list of most likable Survivor casts ever, so it’s not like we have heroes to root for. This season is like Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up:

There’s been a long history of success in the past with our relationship with Survivor— great memories, great trips, tons of selfies, a few coordinated Halloween costumes where the boyfriend looks like a hostage, a few “life is so deep” hiking selfies together, but right now we’re missing that spark. There is no real storyline that has kept us riveted, but like in The Break-Up, we’re stuck sharing the same space and we need a change.

I would really like to see a huge curveball tonight. Maybe Rodney will completely snap, throw off his mic and run into the jungle to start a real war that leads to Jeff Probst confronting Rodney and then this unfolding:

Short of that happening, I would be happy to see Tyler take control of this game, maybe do something that he can put on his resume to justify a win this season for himself. This season needs a little fire; some move that none of us see happening would be cool. It’s 8 pm now, so let’s start the show:

8 pm

Previously on Survivor:

We get the recap of the turmoil last week with Will and Shirin. Looking back, it really was ugly on Will’s part. He came off looking really bad, especially when he really hasn’t had a lot of camera time. When his most showcased moment of the season is verbally abusing a woman, it’s not a great look.

8:02 pm

We join Dan as he shares with Sierra that he no longer trusts Mike. Dan also believes he is not at the bottom of his alliance and that he has “schemes brewing”. Dear lord, can we even attempt to guess what Dan’s “schemes” are and what they’re “brewing”?

I would love if they made every player write down their plans that they have for the game and then have those posted online so that the viewers could find out what everybody’s real plans are. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see Rodney’s thoughts on paper for every episode? I would pay at least 20 bucks per episode to read those.

8:03 pm

Shirin, still very hurt from the Will attack, shares her pain to Dan. Dan tries to be empathetic with her, and I’m sure he’s genuine and a nice guy, but watching him look into her eyes overly sympathetic like he’s Danny Tanner talking to D.J. about bullies is a little much.

8:04 pm

Luckily, I don’t have to feel bad, as thirty seconds after confronting Shirin, we see Dan’s confessional where he calls Shirin a “drama queen” and being “overdramatic”. So, I guess Dan really was acting before….Well done, Dan. That was a type of acting quality close to De Niro in Raging Bull right there.

Commercial:

This weekend I went to my mom’s house and one night I happened to flip to an episode of Matlock:

Now when I was a kid, I used to be unable to sleep after watching Matlock, because apparently I was a weirdo who liked to watch Matlock, and then since I was a kid, I thought I was going to get murdered afterward.

My point is that I probably watched a total of like 20 episodes as a kid out of the 500 or so that were made. Of course, this past Saturday night I caught one of the episodes I have literally seen over and over again over the past twenty-five years. That specific episode is about a baseball umpire that gets killed. In typical Matlock fashion, he completely and illegally gets his client off by somehow randomly getting the real murderer on the stand who admits, basically, that he committed the murder. It’s quite the feat to constantly get your clients off a murder charge with a last second Hail Mary solve the murder strategy that he employed over and over again.

Don’t you think the prosecution was probably thinking that if Matlock was taking the case that maybe they should take a step back and re-evaluate their case because chances are they are charging a completely innocent person? Does anyone else wonder if the people of the county where Matlock worked ever got really concerned that innocent people were being charged with murders they didn’t commit just left and right? Was it just a revolving door of District Attorneys stepping down one after the other as regular, tax-paying people are being charged with murders they didn’t commit?

Matlock also had two African American private eyes. One for the first three seasons, then another one after the first one left the show or was fired. I have never seen any of those two actors again in ANYTHING…Seriously, I want to know if they have been in anything else…

8:07 pm

We come back from commercial as we get ready for the reward challenge. Jeff is looking good in his daiquiri ice-colored shirt. He announces the prize is bacon cheeseburgers. At this point in the game, I think more than half of the players would willingly chop someone’s foot off for this prize. I would like to know how far a player would go for food. Like what level of bad would one go to, to get food at this stage of Survivor? You can’t tell me that if Jeff gave Rodney a gun and told him he had to shoot one player of his choice in the kneecaps and then he can have the burger that Rodney wouldn’t do it in a heartbeat. Almost like one of the games in a Saw movie.

8:11 pm

Basically, the comp is walking on top of barrels that they have to move around a sandpit without touching the ground.

8:12 pm

The winners surprisingly are: Tyler, Carolyn, Dan and Will. Carolyn, before we go to commercial, shares that the plan is to make Dan feel as comfortable as possible as he has been identified as the big swing vote and they want to prevent him from going back to Mike. Dan feeling popular is not going to be a good look for anybody.

Commercial:

You know when you’re watching TV and you flip it to a movie channel it shows you how many stars the movie got? Like, the Godfather has 4 stars for example. Does anyone else wonder who decides how many stars these movies get because I would really like to have a word with that person, and I’m not going to lie…It would probably be a heated conversation. I just happened to flip it to Jurassic Park 3…which somehow was given two stars, even though there is no one with an IQ over 90 who has ever liked that movie… or better put, thought it was a good movie.

Jurassic Park 3 is nothing but a giant money grab, with Sam Neill literally reading his lines badly from cue cards off-camera. The same person who gave that movie two stars only gave American classic Red Dawn one star…Yeah, you read that right…one star. Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen and C. Thomas Howell saving our country gets one goddamn star. Watch this and you tell me this is not at least a 3-star movie!

8:18 pm

Back from commercial as Mike is not exactly taking the competition loss with “grace”. Next, we join Rodney and his thoughts about not winning any rewards and hating life so far.

8:19 pm

Sierra voices that Tyler is going to win this game. I think this is the first time a player in the game has voiced that Tyler is a threat. Sierra and Rodney contemplate taking him out now instead of Shirin.

Rodney then disagrees that Tyler is the biggest threat as… wait for it…..he says “I’m the biggest threat because I’m running the show”….That is not a joke. He is not getting that none of his plans have worked. Nobody has wanted to follow him. He hasn’t exactly galvanized the other players to follow his lead.  He is like Fredo with the temper of Sonny:

He leaves us with his intentions to gun after Mike first.

8:21 pm

We join the reward challenge victors as they embark on a sail boat. Dan takes some shots at Mike…that they won because they didn’t have Mike on their team. Dan formally pledges his allegiance to Carolyn, Tyler and Will.

8:22 pm

Carolyn and Tyler explain to Dan the craziness of Mike and clearly are playing Dan like a fiddle. (Does that term “playing him like a fiddle” still work nowadays? Do people still play fiddles? Can’t you envision Dan playing with fiddles as he grew up?)

Tyler points out that Dan is struggling to see the whole landscape of the game and that he fits in perfectly as a “6th place” type of Survivor player. Tyler is survivoring very well tonight.

Commercial:

There is a big fight this weekend when Manny Pacquiao fights Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Who does everybody like? I boxed for 7 years and there is nothing like a fight of this magnitude. Honestly, it has to be the biggest fight since Rocky Balboa fought Ivan Drago in ‘85. Will either of these two fighters be able to end the Cold War like Rocky did? …No, probably not since the Cold War ended over twenty-five years ago.

Rooting for Pacquiao, but gun to my head, I would have to take Mayweather sadly.

8:26 pm

Immunity challenge time. I like this one; it’s the one where you have to hang onto the handles, but they make sure to weigh it fairly for everybody. This one is all about heart. I don’t know who the favorite is, but I feel like women always do well in these types of competitions. Endurance competitions and taking “forced, contrived, profound selfies” are the two competitions Survivor women dominate in.

8:29 pm

Sierra and Tyler are the first two out, which kind of struck me as odd.

8:30 pm

Rodney is looking gaunt. He’s about three days away from looking like Christian Bale in The Machinist:

8:31 pm

It comes down to Mike and Rodney. Carolyn wins the women’s necklace. I guess there are two immunity necklaces to win tonight.

8:33 pm

Mike pulls out the big victory, outlasting Rodney who just can’t catch a break. Will this victory put Mike in a position where he can kind of get in with some people again since they know they can’t get him out? Mike is a bull in a china shop, but I’ve got to give him credit for always giving 100 percent in the game.

Commercial:

While we’re waiting for the commercial to end, has there ever been a “Mike” type of player to win Survivor? By that, I mean a player that didn’t really have tact or finesse in their social game, but just sort of hurricaned their way to the end and won?

I’m arguing that Mike has not had a great social game. Is that fair? I think Mike got dealt a good hand regarding whom he started the game with and he has won the competitions when he has needed to the most. How are other people seeing Mike’s game? How do you feel about him… like/dislike him…just from a game standpoint?

8:38 pm

Back from commercial, Carolyn shares that the plan tonight is Shirin, but I’m guessing other people have different plans.

8:39 pm

Shirin makes her pitch to Dan. Shirin throws out Tyler’s name. Dan is not taking the bait.

8:40 pm

Next, it’s Sierra’s turn for the pitch. Sierra wants to make the move but shares that she would need two other players first.

8:41 pm

Tyler steals Dan’s bag to look at Dan’s advantage. Tyler shares the secret with Carolyn. Tyler is nervous about Dan and Shirin flipping.

8:42 pm

A lot is happening here. Mike and Dan go to have a talk. Dan gives Mike a free idea of Mike playing his idol for someone else. Mike plays it off like he already thought of that, but it’s clear he hasn’t since he has an “Oh shit…I never thought of that” look on his face.

Mike throws out Tyler’s name. Mike is unhappy that he can’t win Dan’s trust back. Mike throws out the idea now to give the idol to Shirin, but I really don’t think he has the foresight to do that. Maybe I will be proven wrong, but I just don’t think he has the ability to think like that in this game.

8:45 pm

Tribal Council time: It’s an eyeroll-off, as first Shirin talks and then Dan talks. Everyone else sits there like a statue wanting nothing more than for both Dan and Shirin to stop talking. Rodney hasn’t blinked.

8:46 pm

Will gets the opportunity to apologize to Shirin, but he doesn’t. Shirin quickly takes the opportunity to advocate a Tyler take out.

8:47 pm

Mike makes his plea to the remaining Blue Collars. Will Mike play the idol?

Just as I say that, Mike pulls out his idol and says he’s going to give it to Shirin. I think it’s a bluff. I think it’s a bluff. …I think it’s a bluff….

8:51 pm

We go to the votes…Mike doesn’t play the idol!

Tyler…Shirin…Dan…Tyler…Shirin…Dan…Shirin… Shirin!

8:53 pm

Rodney gives Shirin a taunting goodbye wave on her way out, which was fun. I don’t know what the hell just happened, but it was pretty entertaining.

Recap:

So did Mike’s plan work? I mean, I think inadvertently because his only goal was to save Shirin, but that move did flush out the fact that Dan is the bottom of that alliance. I don’t think Mike thought beforehand that this would be a good byproduct for him.  Regardless, it did work. Dan knows his name was written down twice. Will he now go back to Mike? I don’t think so.

Tyler will be able to smooth it back over with him. Tyler has flown under the radar for the majority of this season and then tonight he was named as the number one threat in the game. Is this going to kill his game? Everybody knows now that Mike has a hidden idol, so who will the focus go to next vote? Will it be Dan, Will, Sierra or Tyler? Is Carolyn going to be completely loyal to Tyler?

There are so many questions heading into the first few minutes of the next episode to see how this tribal council immediately shook out. I don’t think I’m ready to break up with this season of Survivor now. Like any relationship it takes a few mini-break-ups before you finally do it. You keep talking yourself into the person even when you’re getting smacked with red flags.

Tonight’s tribal was just what I needed to reinvigorate my love for this season. I think I will end tonight thinking that Tyler is the one seed, but maybe Carolyn is really in the catbird seat?

Thanks for reading!

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