Survivor: Worlds Apart

Survivor: The Treasure of the Survivor Madre

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’s Tribal was quite the finish to the episode with Mike trying the ole Bait and Switch with the idol.

You can make the argument that Mike didn’t have the foresight to make the kind of move that really would have shaken up the game, but granted, it would have been a hard move to have the courage to make. The result in this case, will be easy to determine: if Mike makes it to the finals then it was a good move, but if he doesn’t then you can go back to this moment to determine why (Obviously, we are unable to take into account whatever happens moving forward).

I’ve made this comparison before, but Mike really does remind me of Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

In this classic movie about greed, Bogart is obsessed with finding his gold and gets more and more crazy, reckless and dangerous as the movie goes on. Mike has shown some of these same characteristics. He has been focused solely on winning the game, not really plotting his moves, just impulsively crashing one move into the next. I mean, he clumsily tried to pull a fast one on everyone at the auction. He awkwardly tried to sell that he was going to give his idol to Shirin.  For god’s sake, he swallowed a scorpion in the first episode…not that that example played into this, but it should always be noted. Regardless, Mike has been an entertaining player and whether you agree with his style of play or not, you have to admit you would rather watch a player like Mike than a player like Jenn or anybody else who basically quits when things don’t go their way.

Mike is trying to win the game at all times and that is what you want in any Survivor player. Sure, you might pick apart his approach at times, but at least he gives a shit. Yes, at times, he can be annoying and comically transparent with his “moves”, but again, at least he is trying. The aftermath from last Tribal Council is what we want to look at to see if Mike’s “big move” or lack thereof, paid off or not.

I have a feeling that Tyler would be able to smooth over any lingering bad feelings that Dan might have due to his name being written down. Where does Carolyn fit in here? Last week, I hinted that she may be in the best place again in the game, but after some thought, it seems like every player in the game literally hates her…so you have to think that if that’s true then maybe she is screwed. Maybe Tyler turns on Carolyn even?

I think Mike might force Tyler to move before he really wants to. Mike is like that annoying card player who bets every hand, and he keeps getting the cards he needs. I think Mike is going to force Tyler to “go all in” and make some tough choices very soon. So I say it again, thank god this season that Mike is playing the way he is because it really is making it way more interesting!

Let’s get to the show, but first forgive me, I drank coffee for the first time in a year prior to tonight and feel like I’m going to be all over the place. Skip past the commercial parts if you want to strictly stick to Survivor as I have a feeling I’m going to write over 3,000 words tonight!

8:00 pm

Previously on Survivor:

We are reminded that Dan has an extra vote. Who wants to wager on Dan using that vote wisely? Would you even say the odds are 50/50 that he makes the right choice? I do like the shot of Mike making sure Dan heard him say that “Dan still got two votes” as Rodney was celebrating.

8:01pm

We go to camp post-vote, and Dan is understandably a little on edge. Will shouts: “Let’s not do this. Let’s not do this!” Even though he was one of the people who “did this,” voting for Dan in a rattled state.

Mike is taking a step back to enjoy his work that he either knowingly or inadvertently created (depending on your view of Mike) with his performance at Tribal.

8:02 pm

Meanwhile, Tyler is trying to do damage control with Dan to justify his vote. Dan seemingly understands that he is at the bottom of the food chain. He gets really comically intense when he looks Will in the eye and says “you and me aren’t going anywhere”. You know he made sure the camera was pointed at him and probably paused until he was certain that they were getting a close-up of his face. He delivered that line like he was Harvey Keitel telling Tim Roth that he was going to be “okay” in Reservoir Dogs.

Commercial:

So I will admit I’ve relapsed and gone back to online dating. This past year I really have mastered the three-week relationship. I think I have had nineteen of them since January. I’m deeply flawed; I have issues with quality women, just because of the stupidest, littlest things.

For example, I can’t deal with the “nature selfie”… I mean, I really can’t. Every girl that has an online dating profile has some stupid photo where she’s on a hike, and for whatever reason, she feels compelled to pull out her  iPhone  to camera mode. She then gets in the pose which is the profile of the face, looking at nature with that absolutely awful “I’m so grounded. I wish everybody else just stopped and appreciated nature like me” face, then she tries four or five filters to make it look even more contrived and annoying. I just don’t think I can be with any woman ever who does that, and the sad part is that I think that takes 97 percent of all single women off the table for me, but a man has to have his principles.

Also, thank god I’m tall because I can see it sucks to be a short guy in the dating world. Even though every woman’s profile says: “All I really care about is a man who is nice, funny, and caring”, what her profile really says, if you want to know the truth, is “I really don’t give a shit about nice or funny; what I really want is someone over 6 feet who makes enough money to take me out and isn’t really fat”. For the record, I’m 6’3’’  ;).

Granted, the men’s profiles aren’t much better. Every man’s profile is basically saying this: “I’m a horny dude who is really trying not to sound creepy and I’m hoping I can trick one of these girls into thinking I’m cool enough so I can hopefully engage in “relations” with her tonight without having to do the token “Let’s meet at a coffee shop first to see if the magic is there” phase one date.

The problem is that online it’s probably one halfway decent woman to every twenty guys online. Basically, you have women who at best are a 5 getting to carry themselves like they are the belle of the ball because it’s such a thrift shop online. Anyone halfway decent sticks out and looks way better than in real life.  Yeah, it’s a mess out there in the online dating world.

8:07 pm

Back from commercial, we join the crew in the morning as we find out it’s Rodney’s birthday. Rodney has not won any reward yet this season and he’s banking on getting to go tonight, because I guess there is a law on Survivor that if it’s your birthday you’re guaranteed the reward.

8:09 pm

With that, it is time for the reward challenge. Jeff showcases the reward for this challenge with this is the “We do good things reward” as a truck pulls up with bikes and other fun supplies. Once again, everybody has to pretend that they are so “happy”– that this is the reward they have been looking forward to the most. Dan wins the reward this season as the player who best oversells his fake happiness that he’s playing for this instead of an all-you-can-eat taco bar.

How much do you want to bet that Rodney gets picked for this reward challenge, goes to help the less fortunate and then with a gun pointed at him off-camera is ordered to say how “This is the greatest birthday gift/day I have ever had”?

8:11 pm

We go to a schoolyard pick to determine who has to sit out. We don’t see how it played out, only getting to see the aftermath, and Will I guess was not picked or volunteered to sit out or something.

8:16 pm

We get a cool challenge that gets really tight, but the team of Mike, Carolyn and Sierra pulls it out. This leads to the awkward moment of Rodney once again being on the losing team, only this time it’s clear that he has convinced himself that he is going to get picked to go, as he thinks one of the three will step down for him.

8:17 pm

This leads to an even more awkward moment as none of the three are stepping down. It’s clear that when Rodney said, “It’s up to them if they want to give me their spot. I won’t put pressure on them”, what he really meant was:  “Somebody, I don’t care who, better give me their spot, or I will shank one of you back at camp” as he brandishes a shank that nobody knows how he got the supplies to make.

Commercial:

Another thought I always go back to when I think about dating is how in god’s green earth people did it the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s? This has to be why everybody from that generation got married at like 19 years old and had kid after kid…and then, most likely over half got divorced, because without online dating in those days, you had to play it safe. It’s like standing on a 12 in blackjack; you want to take a hit, but you don’t want to risk busting, so you stand (got married back then early).

Literally, with no cell phones or online dating, you just had to hope on a Friday or Saturday that you could organically bump into someone you like,  then get their number, then wait two-three days before calling them (to prevent coming off like a tool),

and then hope they were there when you called because back then, if they were not home when you called on Friday, you were done. You had no chance, unless you guessed right and drove to the right place where they were at, which kind of comes of a little creepy. I guess, though, when you look at things, maybe if it wasn’t the way it was back then, then any of us born between 1970 and 1999 wouldn’t be here today.

8:21 pm

Back from commercial as we join the victors who arrive at the village with all the cool stuff to give away. I guess they’re at an orphanage. All the kids there look confused with the random, stinky Survivor players.

8:23 pm

The three victors all justify their reasons for not wanting to give up their spots. They are joined by two of the orphans who were clearly placed there by the producers, and they look horrified, afraid to move.

8:24 pm

Carolyn contemplates joining up with Mike. It seemed like one of those Survivor confessionals where they’re trying to throw us off the scent or give us an alternative point of view, but I’m not sure I buy it.

8:25 pm

We are back at camp with Rodney, who is pissed about the lack of vegetation at camp. He’s literally kicking things on the beach and having a mini-breakdown. It should be pointed out that Rodney really has not caught any breaks this season. His plans haven’t worked, he hasn’t won a reward, and now he feels betrayed by Carolyn.

8:26 pm

Rodney, in a rage, tells Tyler, Dan and Will that the plan should be to say that Rodney wants to be voted off next to attempt to make Mike not play his idol and then vote him out.  None of the other men seem to feel that this plan is iron clad.

8:28 pm

Tyler thinks that Mike would see this plan a mile away…maybe, but I really, really want to know if he would. If he didn’t, it would really confirm a lot of negative opinions of Mike’s game…I really want to know if Mike could sniff out such a transparent plan. I mean, I think he would, but honestly there is a part of me that feels like maybe he wouldn’t.

Commercial:

I always watch Modern Family after Survivor on Wednesdays. Modern Family is really the only network “comedy” show I can somewhat stand, but it’s really sad, once these shows age and all the kids grow up and the writers don’t know what to do with them.

Kids never age well on sitcoms. I think the reason is that every kid character is given very specific “cute” traits that they do in short bursts on every show, and as they get older, it just seems more and more forced.

Take a look at the “kid” who plays Manny (even though I think he’s 37 now). When the show first started, he was the “chubby, kid who talked like an adult. Now that he actually is basically an adult who’s no longer “kid cute”, he’s just a bad actor that talks too much with his hands.

The other major problem is that by the fourth season you have basically covered every storyline you could possibly cover, so it’s just one shark jump after the next episode to episode. The sad part is that Modern Family is still the best “comedy” on network TV, which speaks more to the fact that network TV is dead.

8:31 pm

Back from commercial, the victors from the reward return. Rodney immediately starts his fake vote-me-out campaign.

8:32 pm

Okay…sad. Mike saw the plan immediately. Kudos to Mike.  😉

8:33 pm

Tyler and Carolyn have a heart-to-heart. Tyler is wondering out loud if Carolyn would give him the idol if need be.

Carolyn shares with us, that she feels like she is in charge of things. Usually in Survivor that means that person is the next to go.

8:34 pm

Immunity challenge time. This week they have to balance on a perch while holding on to a rope the whole time. You fall in the water, you lose.

8:36 pm

Shockingly, (brace yourselves) Will and Dan are the first two to drop…I know. I know. Crazy.

8:37 pm

It comes down to Mike, Carolyn and Tyler. For some inexplicable reason, Mike is doing this competition with a makeshift toothpick in his mouth. The Survivor gods punish Mike harshly for this as he drops next.

8:39 pm

Carolyn is your winner tonight. Dan takes us to commercial, telling us that he feels he is in danger heading into Tribal tonight. Will we get to see Dan’s “advantage” swinging one of the votes this season?

Commercial:

This season, more than any recent one that I can remember, has the feeling that we have no idea who the hell is going to win. Do other people feel this way? It just feels like with almost any combination of a final three that one of five people could potentially win. That seems high for this stage of the game to me.

8:42 pm

Back from commercial, Carolyn is having a good episode with competitions as she gets props from everybody. Carolyn throws out “girls write Mike / boys write Tyler”. I guess that answers the question of whether Carolyn was super-loyal to Tyler or not.

8:43 pm

Tyler and Will talk and decide to vote out Dan.

8:44 pm

Tyler and Carolyn talk. It seems like Carolyn is conflicted about whether to take out Tyler or vote out Dan. Carolyn seems as if she is leaning towards voting out Tyler.

8:47 pm

We go to Tribal. The jury joins the party and it’s time to find out what the hell is going to happen tonight.

8:48 pm

So far it’s tough to tell which way the wind is blowing on the votes, but it feels like Tyler is going home. It is tough to summarize this Tribal as everybody is playing their cards close to the vest.

8:51 pm

We go to the votes….First, Mike does play his idol. Now we go to the votes:

Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Tyler, Tyler!

Tyler is voted out and I have no idea who is going to win this season.

Recap:

So here we are. Tyler, a huge target this season, is gone. Has Mike now ridden the wave to a safer place than where we started tonight? What is going to happen now? Carolyn is cold-blooded and playing cutthroat, which is a dangerous game when you factor in jury management. If she gets a jury that respects the “any means necessary to get to the finals”, then she will be fine, but if she gets a bitter jury that doesn’t want to separate Survivor gameplay from real life, then she could be in real trouble.

Can we call this a two-person race to the championship between Mike and Carolyn where whoever is left standing at the end wins? If it is a bitter jury and Carolyn is sitting next to Dan, and say Sierra, who gets the win? …Sierra?

To me, like him or not, Mike has willed himself so far into this game, that if he makes it to the final, it’s hard to see him not walking away with the money. You have to think Carolyn will not allow/or attempt to allow Mike to make it any further in the game, but I’m excited to find out because I have been awful at predicting this season.

Thanks again for reading this mess. See you next week. Over 3,000 words… told you!

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