Survivor

Survivor Blog: The Impact of Luck on Survivor Philippines

How Denise and Malcolm had the benefit of Luck on Survivor Philippines How a little bit of luck will affect the games of Malcolm and Denise on Survivor Philippines

The following is a guest post from RobHasAwesbite.com Survivor Blogger, Sarah Freeman (@ChannonSarah)

This week, I shall start with a little grumble against the producers. We were informed at the start of this season that there would be three tribes because they were tired of the day one alliance of five going through to the end. It made for boring television. I was in full agreement.

So, on the fifth episode, the much anticipated switch up came, and the producers chose to divide Matsing between the other two tribes, with no other players moving. In other words, Tandang’s and Kalabaw’s day one alliances will remain intact, while Malcolm and Denise are easy targets (OK, this isn’t how it worked out, but that’s not due to the producers’ efforts). I know that this was the precedent set in All Stars, but considering their motive for three tribes this time around, it seems such a ridiculous idea.

I’d rather they reshuffled the three tribes in episode four, but if they had to go to two, I had assumed a tribal make-up of three Kalabaw, three Tandang and one Matsing (which was the basis for my predictions last week). Maybe do a schoolyard pick with Denise and Malcolm as team captains. Anything but what did happen. What were The Powers That Be thinking?

At least Malcolm and Denise were prepared, and I will give Malcolm full props for finding the idol without a clue. Yes, they were able to knock ideas back and forth with each other without worrying about somebody else interrupting them, but figuring out that monkey decoration still required thinking outside of the box.

As he observed in his online confessional afterwards, this is now Malcolm’s rather than Denise’s. He confirms that they were looking for it together on the understanding that they would share it, but of course, there can be only one holder. He’s willing to let Denise use it (on condition that it benefits his game!), but it’s still his idol. This was recorded before they were split between Tandang and Kalabaw, so he didn’t add the other important point: that he has access to it before the merge and Denise doesn’t.

It’s clear that he and Denise anticipated a merge and that they could be split up. What is not clear is if they strategized for that event. Last week, I theorized that they might agree on targets in the event that they became a swing vote on their new tribes, trying to weaken the competition before rejoining at the merge. This week, seeing them in action, I wonder if they had the motivation or optimism for that. After all, the priority for either of them was to try and avoid becoming the easy target on their new tribe.

I do, however, hope that they at least agreed on a story for the Matsing idol, whether it was “No idea who has it!” or “It got played already.”

Tandang – When Pete Met Malcolm

When I first read the profiles for this season’s cast, it struck me that we had two players who were, for all intents and purposes, the same person. Pete and Malcolm, the smart, athletic younger guy who was well-educated but had put aside his qualifications for a more hedonistic career. He loved the show, was eager to play a Russell Hantz game, and knew he would win.

Accordingly, I was more than a little curious to see what would happen when these two met… I envisioned some butting heads, some territorial aggression. Instead, it appears that Pete is very welcoming towards kindred spirits. In fact, he’s recognized Malcolm as his Survivor soulmate, and in his webclip this week, he refers to their similarities and says he has no problem bringing Malcolm to the top. This explains why he also had no problem with revealing his (technically, Abi’s) idol to Malcolm.

Before the game began, I gave Pete the edge over Malcolm because of his engineering background. I figured that he would take a logical approach to the game, and this seemed to be supported by his matter of fact video. After this week’s episode, he declared on Twitter: “My logic is unquestionable.” And yet I have questions.

Firstly, how on Earth would it be a good idea to consider Malcolm as a finals opponent at this stage of the game? If Malcolm gets to the end, he has one of the best underdog stories in the history of Survivor. Right now, the only person who Malcolm would lose to at the end is Denise.

This is where I am obliged to point out the bleeding obvious: I’m not on the island. I spent most of South Pacific wondering why Sophie would go to the finals with Albert when history showed that the reserved girl never wins against the charming guy. As it turned out, she had a better insight into the game than I did (go figure). But she also wasn’t taking her own intention at face value. She kept aware of Albert’s probability of winning, tried to show him up at Tribal Councils, and ultimately, did consider voting him off at the end before events made that redundant.

So Pete might follow a similar path. Or he might be arrogant enough to think he could beat anybody (he is taking the Russell Hantz approach after all). Or perhaps when he says ‘top’, he actually means ‘top five,’ but I should hope his engineering studies produced a better pedant than that!

Similarly, telling him about the idol seems unbelievably rash – especially when you have to add: “They don’t know, don’t tell them!” I’m normally in favor of sharing idol information, but not with somebody who you’ve only just met. It’s possible that that conversation actually took place a few days after Malcolm’s arrival, and that it was a reaction to RC’s attempts to bring Malcolm on side, but it still seems premature. Has Pete told Lisa and Artis about the idol? We’ve not seen it, but if he’s this free with the information, it’s certainly possible his whole alliance knows.

I am going to assume that shortly after reaching Tandang’s camp, Malcolm would have discreetly checked the top of the rice barrel. It would be the obvious thing to do. So obvious, in fact, that Abi and Pete might well have kept an eye on Malcolm to see if he would check the rice barrel and if he gave any reaction to seeing that the idol had gone.

This could provide Pete with another reason to tell Malcolm he had the idol, much like Jonathan did with Jeff: to gain control of the flow of information. If Malcolm knew the idol had been taken, his logical next step would be to find out who possessed it, and Pete might not want to raise RC and Michael’s suspicions just yet (assuming they still haven’t realized the coconut shell is hiding an empty spot). By telling Malcolm directly, he prevents Malcolm from asking awkward questions.

It also gives Malcolm the perfect window to reply: “Oh, I have an idol too.” It would be a long shot, but a more naïve player might well have felt compelled to exchange secrets. Alternatively, Malcolm might have coughed up some other information about Matsing’s idol, without Pete having to interrogate him. Pete talked about being passive-aggressive before going into the game, so this could be the kind of tack he meant. Malcolm didn’t volunteer anything however, which is in itself a warning sign though we don’t know if Pete worried about it.

Regardless, Pete’s given Malcolm a very choice bit of information in order to gain his trust. But it also ties Pete to Malcolm. If Pete changes his mind, he can’t take that information back. If he votes Malcolm off, what’s to stop Malcolm from pulling an Eliza and revealing the idol holder before his torch is snuffed?

I should mention that Pete gave Malcolm the impression that he, Pete, held the idol, not Abi. This wouldn’t make a great deal of difference if Malcolm took the information to RC, but it reduces the likelihood of Malcolm cozying up to Abi and pushing Pete out of her right-hand-man spot. Instead, Malcolm’s energies will be focused on cozying up to Pete, though possibly not in the same way. If this is deliberate on Pete’s part, then Abi almost certainly doesn’t know he’s told Malcolm. Otherwise, she’d make it very clear to Malcolm just whose idol it is.

Any way I look at it, Pete still placed a huge amount of confidence in Malcolm very quickly. Was it love at first sight? Pete was probably assuming that he’d have at least one other young guy on his tribe, and might well have missed having somebody from his peer group to talk to and laugh around with. Also, unlike Abi-Maria and RC, Pete was not hurt by the day one misconceptions on Tandang, so remains confident in his own ability to read a person.

Malcolm > Michael

While Russell said he identified Malcolm as a player as soon as he hit the beach (and we have to bear in mind that he said that with the benefit of hindsight), Malcolm seems to have done a great job of getting himself welcomed into Tandang – I’m sure the squealing over the cookies contributed hugely to the innocuous impression everybody has of him. In fact, everybody speaks glowingly of Malcolm, saying what a nice guy he is. No doubt, Matsing’s plight has earned him their sympathy, which is another clue as to Malcolm being a fatal choice to take to the end. Still, he’s got himself accepted into the tribe and the two rival alliances. As ever, I’m dubious of how long he can fool them that he’s playing nice, but he’s only got to make it a few more days to get to the merge, at which point his options change again.

Malcolm is certainly being cagier than Pete. When he found out about Pete’s idol, he started considering the possibility of getting that one played for him while saving his own. In a confessional set after the immunity challenge, Life’s Pretty Good, he’s pleased that he can have a few more days to consider his options before picking sides.

Obviously, this means RC was being pessimistic when she saw the chemistry between Pete and Malcolm. Despite her concerns and Pete’s confidence, Malcolm isn’t committing himself to anything. Pete felt sure that Malcolm would never go to RC because they wouldn’t have the numbers. It would be three against four. Of course, from our point of view, Lisa is a risk to flip to RC and Michael’s side. It’s possible that Pete has a reason we don’t know about for trusting Lisa, but equally, Malcolm seems to think that either side is a valid option. Either RC is lying through her teeth to him (it’s Survivor, she could be doing that anyway) or Lisa’s in on the negotiations with the rival alliance.

I am, at this point, ruling Artis out as an option to switch sides. In his webclip this week, he shared Pete’s sentiments that Malcolm’s addition to the tribe made Michael expendable, but he took it a step further calling Michael ‘the cancer in the tribe.’ (He’s a cancer survivor, so I suppose he’s allowed to use that particular trope.) Clearly, Artis is not a Michael fan.

While the producers have eagerly shown us Abi’s and RC’s differences, we’ve seen nothing of why Michael is so disliked. RC and Lisa don’t have a problem with him, but everybody else from the original tribe is looking forward to voting him off. Since we’ve seen so little of Michael aside from his stream of injuries, our best guess is to look back at Australia for clues. On that season, Michael (who was, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, a complete loon) rubbed his tribe up the wrong way early on by assuming a leadership role. He also led them in prayer circles on occasion, which didn’t seem to hurt his standing on Kucha, but might not go down so well with Tandang if he’s trying to do the same thing there.

The problem with that is it was eleven years ago, and Michael could have a very different take on things now. But my best guess is that he’s committed the same fault as Russell Swan in taking a leadership role without necessarily taking on board his tribemates’ opinions. I could easily be wrong, but he’s definitely done something to make himself so unpopular with half his tribe.

Even more frustratingly, Michael has become the new Carter with absolutely nothing to say regarding his situation. His only online confessional this week is Entertainment Weekly’s deleted scene, in which he raves about what a great addition to the tribe Malcolm is. Is he blind to the politics, or is he too old-school Survivor to gripe about his tribemates in his confessionals? Is he leaving the strategizing to RC? Or is he taking the “We’re just going to keep winning immunity and everything will be fine,” approach?

Luckily for Michael, he’s got RC fighting in his corner, even though she’s struggling. On her facebook page, she explains that she had tried not to jump straight into an alliance without getting to know the person first this time, only to realize that she had lost Malcolm to Pete as soon as they reached their beach. Kudos to RC for trying to learn from her mistake and for keeping on fighting, as she said in episode.

There’s an extended version of that confessional online (I’m A Fighter) where she goes on to declare that she’s ten times smarter than Abi. It’s a little worrying that she’s still focused on Abi, not Pete, even though she was aware that it was Pete who drew Malcolm into that alliance. Is she letting her emotions influence her gameplan? Abi has the same issue, since in her webclip (I Sat Out Another Challenge) she talks about how Kalabaw’s misfortunes get her closer to voting off RC. Not to the million, but to getting rid of her self-created nemesis.

What I would really love to know is Lisa’s thoughts on all this, but this week we’ve been denied her assessment of tribal dynamics. Still, I will assume that she’s going about her game of making social connections with Malcolm. She has to, since he and she have effectively become the two-person swing vote. They can stick with Pete and make it a five-two split, or they can go to RC, and have a four-three majority. Technically, it’s always going to be better to go to the smaller majority: if you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, you want a shorter climb to the top.

For Lisa, going with Michael and RC has to be the smarter route. They should be more loyal to her than to Malcolm, which virtually guarantees her final three. Michael stands to be a tough finals opponent, but if he’s antagonizing people as much as he seems to be, his iconic status might not be enough to compensate.

In Malcom’s case, he should probably stick with Pete. Pete likes him and apparently wants to take him to the end. I’m not so sure about Abi and Artis, but I don’t think RC, Michael or Lisa will betray each other. On the other hand, Pete and Artis are perhaps more of a challenge threat to Malcolm. While RC is probably capable of beating him in the water, the other two men are more likely to rival his strengths in the individual challenges.

Besides, with Malcolm, I would not expect him to be making any alliance now with the intention of seeing it through to the merge. Even if he’s unable to rejoin Denise, it’s got to be harder for him to feel any loyalty to a group who have no idea what it’s like to lose and who have been able to cherry pick their players in all but two challenges.

Kalabaw – The Curse of Denise

One of the more interesting revelations in the webclips this week is that after Malcolm and Denise drew their buffs for their new tribe, they had a chance to swap. Artis explains that either Malcolm or Jeff (he interrupts himself, leaving it unclear, though it would seem a really stupid thing for Malcolm to do) asked Denise if she wanted to switch, but she said no. It was probably the right move, yet who could have blamed her for swapping after the golf clap Kalabaw gave her?

Kalabaw would indeed have preferred Malcolm, and Denise likely knew she’d be the consolation prize for either tribe. As Malcolm himself explained at the previous Tribal Council, he’s a foot taller than her, not to mention almost two decades her junior and has all the strength advantage you’d expect of a man over a woman. Still, Dana’s possibly the strongest woman in the game, the other contender for that title being RC who gave more details on the reward challenge on her facebook page:

“I went up again Denise 2x- the match-ups were best 2 out of 3 and Denise and I always went to three. I won the first time and Denise won the second time.”

It could be argued that it makes more sense for Kalabaw to have Denise to balance out RC, both strong women and both strong swimmers, for any gender head-to-heads. But that still means you’ve got Carter up against the combined force of Malcolm and Pete, and although from his resumé (crossfit for the win), I would think Carter would be the most athletic, he seems to have the most trouble out of the young men in handling challenge pressure.

Meanwhile, you’ve got Jeff and Jonathan up against Artis and Michael, and although Jonathan’s physical enough, he doesn’t appear to be at the level of the other older men; his real strength is as the puzzle person – as RC tweeted: “Tandang ALWAYS need a lead going into the puzzle solving since @SurvivorPenner is too smart for his own good!”

So have a care for Denise, who went from one doomed tribe to another, has yet to win a challenge and is on track for attending every Tribal Council of the game (though if she does succeed in that streak, she’ll probably win, so it’s not all bad). Not only that, but within 24 hours of Denise joining Kalabaw, they lose their other female challenge strength, Dana, who after being sick all season started feeling strong stomach pains on the way back from the reward challenge.

Yet in spite of all that, Denise managed to get her foot in the door. The women pulled her into their alliance before Dana left – I’m not sure how committed Denise was to that, since she would only have known them a few hours; it was likely she was following the rule of: “If somebody asks you to join their alliance, you say yes.” </Winston Zeddemore> Indeed, Jeff Kent observed that she had started off agreeing with everybody, and being a “yes-sir” person. Which was what everybody in Kalabaw expected; they knew she wasn’t going to ruffle any feathers.

Jeff (who was speaking after the immunity loss, so Denise had been with them a few days) went on to say that she was starting to have her own opinions now and was clearly feeling more comfortable – most importantly, he said all this in an approving tone. Denise has successfully made her transfer. Her challenge value speaks for itself, and Dawson noted on the podcast that she would talk about her life without ever giving anything away about her game. In other words, she made those important social connections, but was sufficiently self-possessed not to get aggressive and start scrambling.

Even so, was it really a good idea for Kalabaw to keep a new recruit instead of maintaining a united front against Tandang? Challenge strength won out this week, but with the merge surely just around the corner, they might well decide to keep Katie over Denise if they lose again (and another loss against the stacked team of Tandang seems probable).

Up Dawson’s Creek

Yet Denise has more to offer them than simple challenge strength. Also from the podcast (and if you haven’t listened to it, do so; two engaging interviewees and loads of info on Kalabaw), Dawson interpreted Denise’s evasiveness as meaning that she was still allied with Malcolm and tried to persuade Kalabaw to vote her off, because she would only flip back to Malcolm’s side after the merge. However, as my husband pointed out, Denise’s connection to Malcolm is actually a strength. As soon as Dana left, Original Kalabaw was down to five, making it almost impossible for them to go into a merge with a majority over Original Tandang. However, if they give Denise security within their dominant alliance (and she’s bound to be above either Jeff or Jonathan on the totem pole), it’s very likely that she could bring Malcolm over to their side.

If Denise’s strength helps them win one immunity challenge before the merge, Tandang does not vote off Malcolm, and Malcolm flips, Kalabaw could have a majority alliance of six-five or tie things up at five all. It’s a huge gamble, since it’s also possible Malcolm could flip Denise to Tandang or be voted off himself before the merge. Still, they will need to flip somebody, and the Denise-Malcolm alliance represents their best chance.

Or maybe it was simply challenge strength. Jeff has always favored the strong, which was part of the reason he took Penner up on his alliance offer in the first place. Dawson sat out every challenge she could this season, and that hurt her. Though perhaps this wasn’t her fault; Dana and Dawson explained on the podcast that Carter invariably pushed the men forward in challenges and called for the women to sit out, which frustrated both of them. I don’t know if Dawson directly protested her exclusion, but it’s certainly happened before that a perceived weak player is sat out at the tribe’s request rather than their own (Edna from South Pacific springs to mind).

Either way, after Dana’s departure, Jonathan rated her as a hell of a competitor, and I’m sure that had a lot to do with her participation in challenges. By sitting on the sidelines, Dawson was denied the chance to compete with her tribe and that crossed over to hurt her social game.

A great shame really, since Dawson was the social gamer of the season, taking a very different approach to all the would-be puppet-masters and smart to boot. She dropped the ball with her knowledge of Jeff Kent’s identity, since she never found a way to leverage it properly, and that might indeed have been the turning point in why Jeff voted for her. But why was she picked over Katie?

Carter wanted Katie gone. Despite Dawson’s rather damp assessment of him on the podcast, she thanked him on Twitter for trying to keep her with the hashtag: “redpantsalliance”. I’m not going to consider a Twitter hashtag definitive proof of an alliance, but it may as well go on the record. Carter replied, “killed me watching you leave”. So Carter liked Dawson and either disliked Katie or liked her less. Dawson and Dana’s secret scene showed Dawson and Katie having crass conversations which bothered Carter. Perhaps Katie was the lewder of the two?

Jonathan’s choice is more intriguing. After the challenge, he acknowledged that Katie had dropped the ball, but he was trying to pin the blame on Dawson getting in his way during the puzzle challenge. The puzzle was not Dawson’s finest hour, but I don’t see how you can’t say that Katie was the real letdown that challenge. Even she admitted she was (which Dawson agreed with, in the best post-challenge conversation since Vanuatu’s Chris informed his tribe that he wasn’t so good at balancing). Bear in mind that state-trooper-wannabe Katie was slower in that challenge than former teen star, mother of three, Lisa.

For Jonathan to try and turn facts around like that in his own mind, he must have really wanted either to keep Katie or get rid of Dawson. We’ve seen very little interaction between him and either woman, so really all we have to go on is a comment in an online confessional a few weeks back that Katie and Carter would be ideal opponents for final Tribal Council. Although he admitted then that he might not be able to get them to the end, it does make sense for him to preserve Katie over Dawson, if he considered her the better finals goat.

But does this really mean that Jonathan thought Dawson had a chance of defeating him? While I think Dawson might have been able to pull off a win against him, I’m not sure Jonathan had that much respect for her gameplay. Perhaps it has more to do with something Jeff Probst said about Dawson being too zany and unpredictable for anybody to ally with her. That’s a sweeping generalization, but I could see Jonathan agreeing with him.

On the podcast, Dana said that Jonathan had asked her to be in an alliance with him on the first day, and Dawson commented that he’d made an alliance with everybody. However, in an exchange on Twitter, Jonathan asked “When did you think we had an alliance? You never told me!” to which Dawson replied, “We shook on it day 4.” It’s possible one of them is lying, or (simplest explanation alert!) Jonathan forgot he’d made that pact because it had never mattered to him. I don’t think his gameplan ever included Dawson.

The Fallen Women

Chance has played a large role in the downfall of Kalabaw’s women, for all the men have been playing harder. Dana and Dawson were both pretty clear that while Jonathan was making alliances in the early part of the game, his focus on the idol had kept everybody ready to vote him off. Matsing’s constant failure in the challenges kept the women from going to a three-two majority early on.

It’s less clear when the women started to strategize together as a separate voting bloc, but Dana explained on the podcast that the real trigger was when Jeff talked to her about making her the decoy target for the vote when they would really be voting for Dawson (proving that Dawson was on the chopping block long before this Tribal Council; it seemed that only Carter was interested in saving her). As Dana so perfectly put it, there was no reason to follow somebody in that plan when she could lead the girls.

This story supports my belief that the men always considered Dana the fourth in their alliance, and probably explains why Jeff only approached Denise for an alliance after Dana left the game (if we trust the ever unreliable editing). The only conflicting evidence is that Dana claimed she did not know Jonathan had the idol (despite the episode hinting that everybody had guessed), although it’s certainly possible Jonathan only wanted to reveal it to his inner circle.

So the women roped in Denise as soon as they got the chance, but we’ll never know how committed she was to this alliance, because as soon as Dana left, the women lost any chance of a majority through gender. Their proposed boot was Carter. The young male makes for an odd target at this stage of the game, but Jeff has performed just as well physically as Carter and Jonathan of course is their puzzle person, so (since the women don’t want to vote off their own majority) Carter was their most practical choice; however, we can’t ignore the fact that Dawson and Dana both cited his chauvinism as the principal reason. In Denise’s case, I’m not sure how willing she’d have been to vote off one of their challenge assets, after being in a losing tribe all season. Even if Dana hadn’t left, the woman’s alliance might have foundered here – unless she and Malcolm had planned to get rid of challenge beasts where possible.

Dawson tried to make Denise the alternative target for the vote, which possibly means that the tribe discussed (while Denise was filming a confessional or taking a bathroom break) voting off Denise before the immunity challenge. Jeff’s webclip certainly implies that she had been an acknowledged target at one point.

Unfortunately for Dawson, the men reached the conclusion that Denise would be a good replacement for Dana before their first Tribal Council. In the course of a single episode, what could have been a promising alliance was annihilated. This round goes to the men.

Med-evac vs Quit

It’s not in my usual remit of gameplay speculation, but I’m going to weigh in on the “Did Dana quit or was she a med-evac?” debate. Technically, yes, she quit. She chose to leave before she reached a point where the doctors might have removed her from the game. But on the other hand, the doctors had not given her the all clear either. They wanted to reassess her in twelve hours with the possibility (probability?) of pulling her then.

Indulge me as I relate this to my own experience. Both times that I’ve given birth, I went for the “I’ll get the epidural when I’m good and ready for it,” approach. In the case of my son, I never got to that point. I’m not saying it didn’t hurt like buggery, because it did, but I always felt that I could keep on for another hour or so. As it turned out, the painful part of labor only lasted four hours, so it was over before I could be worn down by it.

Compare that to another time of my life where I was admitted to hospital because I was unable to keep anything down, severely dehydrated and in a great deal of pain to the point where I couldn’t stand up straight for several days. I was on pain medication then, but I remember crying with despair one day because I was in so much pain and it was another four hours or so until my next dose.

My sympathies are with Dana on this one. She had apparently been sick since before the game began, throwing up and trying to hide it from her tribemates. She blacked out once on a boat going to a challenge, and Jonathan had to catch her before she fell overboard. She’d been trying to ride it out the entire game, but after the reward challenge, she started deteriorating. Both Dawson and Jonathan talked about her deterioration in their webclips, and both clearly had full sympathy for her condition. Dana knew she’d not been able to beat her sickness in the eleven days out there; twelve hours was unlikely to bring improvement or rehydration.

Of course, this season, Dana’s departure is in stark contrast to the returners’ med-evacs. All three of them were pleading to stay as they were carted off by the medical team. But all of them, even Russell, had been feeling good up until they were evacuated, and only Michael was enduring chronic pain while waiting for the medical team to get there. Jonathan considered Dana’s departure to be a med-evac, described her frustration at having to give in, and was genuinely upset that she fell victim to “bad luck”. He should know.

It’s arguable that she could have tried to tough it out until Tribal Council. Even if she ended up getting voted off, that would have saved Dawson. But if she hadn’t been pulled twelve hours later, she could have been pulled in the next twelve hours. Or the next. The odds of her making it even to the challenge were slim to start with, and it seems pretty cruel to make her suffer in that condition just to help another woman on a gameshow.

Still, it was a frustrating turn of events all round, all the more so because of Jeff Probst’s pre-season comments about their difficulty finding “memorable women” (insert binders joke of choice here). They were under-edited, but Dawson was a big character (something press members who interviewed her before the game have commented on) and even though she hadn’t played a perfect social game, I would have loved to have seen her take on the post-merge tribe. Meanwhile, both Jeff Probst and Jonathan were full of admiration for Dana, who proved herself hard as nails when it came to challenges and strategy. It’s certainly a shame to see these two go while such bland fodder as Carter and Katie hang around.

Unfortunately, their early departures alone mean they’re unlikely to return. This season notwithstanding, it’s rare for players to be asked back if they don’t make the jury. Add in their invisible edits and Dana’s technical quit, and some future game has lost out on two solid characters. Prove me wrong, Powers That Be.

At least we have plenty of other quality characters (of both sexes!) left this season. I’m not going to run out of writing material anytime soon. Feel free to drop your own thoughts into the comments below, and I’ll be back next week!

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