Millennials vs Gen X

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Code Red 

Each week, Scott Gallagher breaks down the show minute by minute in Survivor Pop Culture Recap. It’s live blogging complete with commercial breaks.

Survivor Pop Culture Recap: Code Red

Welcome back everybody. Last week was kind of a blur with all the election stuff going on here that maybe for you Survivor kind of slipped under the radar. I feel like we lost a pretty dangerous player last week in Michelle. The week before we lost the most overtly dominate physical player in Michaela, and then the next week, we lose the most overtly cold-blooded social player you could argue in Michelle. I almost feel like the other side didn’t even realize how dangerous of a player they just took out– like it was just blind luck due to them thinking that an idol would be played for Taylor or Jay.

The fact that Taylor is so jarringly stupid gamewise I think is being underestimated by everybody and it laid the groundwork for Michelle’s demise. It was another week of a Millennial going down, which in my best view, the only Millennials that potentially could be standing long-term are Zeke and Adam…Everybody else can’t seem to see the forest through the trees. With that said, let’s take a look of where I biasedly think everybody is standing heading into tonight.

Chris: People in the comments section keep telling me that Chris is in a better place than maybe I’ve been giving him credit for. Maybe. I think Chris just looks like such a threat to everybody even though the team physical competitions are over, so it’s not like they will have any individual immunity gladiator-type of challenges like Bloodsport or anything, right?

I think Chris does have more potential, though, than I’ve been giving him. I look for Chris to stay laying in the weeds like he has been doing and not doing anything rash or impulsive.

Bret: Poor man’s Chris is kind of hanging around. I really still can’t get over his “I’m a funeral home director because if people found out I was a cop, it would mean I would be immediately voted off” plan of attack. I really don’t think Bret can win this game. I do think he is somewhat out of the woods, though, for a while, unless he and Chris somehow become targeted specifically tonight.

Jessica: Still not there yet….Still can’t get over your awful moves this year….Jessica probably deserves more respect from me. I mean she competes hard and is willing to play a cold social game. I just can’t get behind her at all…It’s not rational. I just don’t like her vibe. I just have a feeling that she will be the catalyst that leads to likable players losing to unlikable players….if that makes any sense?

Sunday: I don’t think Sunday is going anywhere soon. She right now seems like the girl everybody else who thinks they are going to win wants to take with them to the finals, because in their minds, Sunday can’t win the game because she hasn’t done anything…Then depending on the hostile, bitterness of the jury somebody like Sunday wins the game. Maybe they should just take Sunday out now.

Zeke: Zeke is tough to read….I can’t really tell what his standing is in the game. Is he liked by everybody? Is he lower on the food chain than we think? Is he the actual swing vote guy now moving forward? Any of those scenarios seem believable to me. I’m not sure where he falls. I think I need to really focus on Zeke tonight to try and get a better feel for where he is right now.

Will: It was a big episode for the kid last week. Will demonstrated some will-to-win in that immunity challenge that might have saved his Survivor life. Will is fully in bed with Jay and Taylor, though, and that is like being Ben Affleck’s nanny when everybody is fully on Jennifer Garner’s side….Will needs to try and separate himself from that group, but it may be too late. Will’s days are numbered.

Adam: Adam got wayyyyyyyyyyy too cute with his play last episode and ultimately it may have crippled his chances to win the game….As DUMB as Taylor has shown he is in the game, even that move of trying to plant the Will seed in his head was so telegraphed and transparent that even Taylor could see through it. I like Adam, but he is going to have to some real damage control and lay low if possible tonight and the next couple of weeks. He could be a target tonight though too…I like Adam but he went kamikaze last week.

Taylor: I think in Taylor’s mind he thinks he’s The Count of Monte Cristo, a man who is sophisticated and cunning and brilliant with motives that nobody could possible see coming…..

Yet in reality he’s more like Johnny Utah, “I’m an FBI Agent!!”

Let’s be honest. For the integrity of Survivor, we need Taylor gone from this game. He brings down the quality of the game with every move he makes. I hope this is the episode that he’s gone.

Jay: Jay would be such a more interesting player without Taylor around. He has already proven that. I think the longer Taylor is in the game, the worse Jay’s chances are at winning this season. Jay needs to step up his social game, get with a Gen Xer or three to have any hope. It may be too late for him, though.

Hannah: Hannah is just a body in the game right now, just a vote at Tribal. Hannah has zero chance to win the game. I think Hannah is just a vote at this point and is not influencing the game in any way, shape or form. Maybe that will change, but that is where I feel we are at now.

David: David still has the tools with the idol and appears to be in a good social spot in the game. He doesn’t seem to be on anybody’s radar the past couple of weeks. David has come a long way in the game and each week it becomes more apparent that David might actually be in the best position to win this game…(Sorry, David, if this is a huge jinx and you immediately implode tonight).  

Ken: The player I would most like to win, personally, is Ken. I have covered the reasons over and over each week…I just love the way Ken delivers every line. I will be shocked if he, Ken, doesn’t end up on a soap opera…Has anybody ever been more suited to find out, after being in a coma for six months, that his nephew is actually his son from a woman he thought was dead five years ago who is actually alive and behind a terrorist plot to blow up the town than Ken? I say no. Keep hope alive, Ken…Stay strong….Lay low.

So that leads us into tonight. Will we finally get a clearer picture of who is in control in this game? Which block of people are calling the shots? Who is on the bottom? Will everybody set aside their differences and just say f**k you to Taylor and vote him out? Will another Millennial bite the bullet? These questions and more hopefully to be answered tonight! Let’s get to the action as it’s 8 pm Portland, Oregon time!

8 pm 

Previously on Survivor 

Okay, we recap last week’s episode with the Gen Xers all sticking together and bouncing Michelle from the game. Early on in the game, the Millennials were thick as thieves and now one by one they’re being picked off…


We join everybody post the last vote, and Jay is openly hostile about the defectors from the Millennials….Every man for himself. Jay come on.

Chris tells us coldly that he likes his place in this game.


Taylor and Jay have a “laugh” abut their plans going up in flames…Taylor wants to approach Adam about still being on “good terms”…Um…What? What is Taylor talking about? Is he high? Would you be shocked if the answer to that was yes?


Taylor and Adam have a one-on-one meeting. Adam and Taylor both agree to hold each other’s secrets…Taylor toughly tells us that he will rat out Adam’s advantage in the game if Adam tells everybody what literally everybody already knows about Taylor stealing half the food for himself.


The next moment, we get Taylor alone digging up his stash of food like Winnie the Pooh with honey. He tells us that “nobody” knows. What the hell is he doing? Seriously? He’s going home tonight…has to.


The next morning, we join Hannah and Jay having a meeting of the minds. Jay looks generally confused like he didn’t even really know who Hannah was and why she was here. Apparently, Hannah still feels like she has a chance to win this game. For some reason she feels like she has some sway in the game….Poor Hannah.

Commercial Break

Please tell me you are someone reading this who is watching Westworld. Finally, we have a show that is legitimately good. It’s probably the first great show since Fargo season 2. There are so many questions I have about the show, but none of my friends are currently watching it…Maybe that is a bad sign? I think it will catch on. I really do. Breaking Bad took a while for people to realize how good it was and I think Westworld will too. It’s like Lost combined with Game of Thrones…ish. I just need everybody to trust me and if you have HBO start watching Westworld (Obviously, start from episode one, or you will be so lost it’s not even funny).


Back from break, time for the reward challenge. Bret looks ten times tanner than anybody else. That has to be the biggest upset of the year so far. The white, heavy cop from Boston being the tannest at this stage of the game is something that needs recognition.

The winning team gets to go to a resort for cheeseburgers and cocktails. Pretty much everybody looks like they would commit a homicide for this reward.


So they are split up into two teams– schoolyard pick. The captains were Hannah and Sunday and basically its Millennials vs Gen X with the exceptions of Taylor and Jessica.

Sunday’s Gen Xer team is dominating.


Yeah, just like that it’s over. The Gen Xers and Taylor get to sit poolside with cheeseburgers and cocktails.

Hannah recaps for us how awful of a team she picked for this challenge and it’s really hard to argue with her there. I mean, this wasn’t a puzzle competition. It was strictly athletic.

Commercial Break 

One of the sadder developments, depending on how you look at things, is this daily Facebook friend recommendation that shows up when you look at Facebook on your iPhone. IF you’ve been single and/or online dating for a while you get a visit from the ghost of Xmas past daily, because let’s be honest, you put phone numbers in your cell, but you don’t ever delete them.

Then you go on Facebook and it’s: “ Oh look, there’s that one girl that showed up blackout drunk, or there is that girl that didn’t look anything like the pictures she sent and I told her a day after our date that I had a family emergency that for some reason meant I also couldn’t communicate further. Or there’s that one girl that I made out with randomly on my lunch break from work…Oh good, she’s married now with three kids”. Literally, tonight was just a stream of twelve girls I’ve gone out with that range from vaguely remembering to “God, I hope they find me here”. I really need to settle down and grow up.


Back from break, we join the victors post-challenge. Taylor shares with us that he has an advantage, because he is used to eating since he has stolen food. He thinks he is in good shape next challenge because of this….Okay, yeah, Taylor is going next.


Bret decides that since it’s happy hour at this reward, so to speak, that he is going to take full advantage and get wasted. Good for him, he might as well get blacked out and belligerent– maybe tell people how you really feel.


Sunday comments on the overall state of the union with the Gen Xers and tells us that they are really a fractured group and that she wants to make a “proactive move”…Oh, boy…What the hell does that mean Sunday? 


Back at the camp with the losers of the comp, we join Jay and Adam trying to hash things out. Adam tells Jay that he is on the bottom of the food chain, but Jay seems confused by this statement and so Adam simply explains to Jay based on the votes last tribal it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to determine that you are at/near the bottom of this game.


While Adam stays in the water, Jay goes back to camp to tell on Adam to everybody there. Zeke comments that Adam is being a little douche about everything and really Adam needs to lay low here.

Commercial Break

Why are George Clooney and Danny DeVito doing Nespesso commercials? Did the Nespesso people set up Clooney like the Senator in The Godfather: Part II?

I mean, seriously? Why are they doing this commercial? It’s bizarre. I would guess the money is fantastic, but you’re George f-ing Clooney. The only explanation is blackmail. DeVito I could kind of understand. It’s been a few years since Twins, or Batman Returns, but Clooney is harder to stomach.


Back from break, we join Sunday again. Sunday shares with us that she and Jessica have an unspoken feud..It might be paranoia from Sunday, though. It’s tough to tell, but clearly Sunday is itching to make a move tonight.


Sunday shares with Jay that her arch-nemesis is Jessica and Jay obviously is down to vote for literally anybody that will save him…Sunday is playing Survivor at warp speed tonight.


Okay, it’s time for the immunity challenge. The competition tonight is standing on a balance beam with a bow that you have to keep a ball on.

Jeff, before we start, offers food for people that feel safe and don’t want to compete in the challenge. Zeke and Will take Jeff up on that offer. It seems a little a cocky for them to opt out of even trying, but Will explains that this challenge is geared for surfers and he knows he’s not going to win….Hey, wait. Taylor is a surfer…Dear lord, are the producers trying to keep Taylor in this game???

Jeff tells Will he is not allowed to have any beer. Will glares at Jeff for a few seconds and tells him: “I know”. Too bad.  I was hoping we could get a glimpse of “drunk” Will. CBS could have made a whole “Very Special Episode” like the old days…and then Different Strokes took it to a whole other level with the child molester episode that thirty years later you still can’t fathom ever aired on television.

(Why on earth is the laugh track still going on here? What on earth was going on in 1983? I was too young to remember, but wow).


Okay, back to the competition…Basically everybody has dropped like flies. It’s down to Jay, Adam, Taylor and Ken.


Quickly Jay and Adam drop and we are down to Taylor and Ken…Oh screw you Survivor producers with this competition…Come on Ken…Now is your time to shine!!


Yes!!!!!! Ken wins immunity. Ken accepts the necklace like he just won an Olympic medical in the swimming medley.

Commercial Break

Okay, this is the synopsis for the Code Black preview that just came on and I promise you this is word for word.

“New tonight. Two doctors go on a secret assignment…aboard a crippled Russian submarine….and a prison riot erupts in the ER…New tonight on Code Black!!”…

If that is a real show on network TV, then for the love of god, does somebody know somebody that could get me a job writing for a TV show, please!!? Working at a non-profit is good and all, but if I can make six figures writing absurd, illogical plots for bad TV shows, then please sign me up. I have what it takes! I want in on this racket.


Back from break, we get some ominous music in the background like something bad is going to happen. Please for the love of god, can we all rally together to get Taylor out?

David, Zeke, Adam, Chris, Hannah, Sunday and Jessica decide to split the votes between Taylor and Jay.


Sunday shares with Bret that she doesn’t want to vote for Jay and wants to move against Jessica, but maybe the problem is that you are Sunday and don’t have any power in this game? I mean, not to be a prick here, but we have seen Sunday speak this season a total of forty-six seconds.


Jay and Taylor laugh at the “bunker of food” that Taylor has stashed. Jay tells us that he isn’t sure what to do with his idol. Should he play it? Should he give it to Taylor (God, no), or should he keep it in his pocket and pray to god that Taylor gets voted out.


Taylor feeling frisky and tells Jay about Adam’s “advantage” in the game, the ability to steal a reward from someone. I’m sure Jay was hoping for something better. Taylor tells us that he is “Figgy’s avenger”…Well they can avenge together in another season of Survivor or play the Survivor home game.


We head to Tribal. It looks like it’s either Taylor or Jay going tonight. Jay and Taylor speak up first, knowing they are screwed, but then Jeff asks Chris to chime in and Chris basically tells them not to give up and that there are always cracks to be found…..

Which then leads to Taylor doing this:

“I wasn’t trying to be sneaky with the food that I stole…but I did stash and bury two jars of food”…Everybody is generally confused by how idiotic Taylor is sounding, like he can’t really be this dumb.

This leads to Taylor then pointing to Adam and telling everybody that Adam was his accomplice in this crime against Survivor humanity. Adam screams back. Somebody asks Taylor if there is still food left in that stash, which leads to Taylor then inadvertently ratting out Jay about eating the food as well as he tells everybody that they were like: “Screw it. One of us is going home anyways”.

Everybody is confused due to Taylor acting and carrying himself  like he’s about to get Jack Nicholson to admit he ordered the Code Red on Santiago.

Taylor then spills the beans about Adam having an advantage in the game, trying to tug at their heartstrings telling them that he will prevent them from getting to see one of their loved ones. Everybody again, looks confused and horrified.

Adam tries to explain himself to everybody– that it doesn’t impact the game and that his advantage isn’t that big of a deal. This leads to some people not really agreeing with Adam on that, but Taylor puts the cherry on the top with the unintentionally funny move of pointing to his heart and his head while saying, “It impacts here and here”….Wow, this is hard to keep up with tonight.


The next battle is between Jay and Adam who argue about who has the moral high ground between not eating the food but not telling anybody about it and eating the food and owning up to it. This is getting heated.

Bret tries to sum everything up by saying they need to vote for whoever is the most culpable here….whatever that means. Not sure what he means…What does he mean?


Okay, we go to the vote. Jeff asks if anybody wants to play an idol….and……no..Jay does not play his idol.

We go to the votes:











9th person voted out and second member of our Jury: Taylor!

On his way out, Taylor apologizes for stealing food. So long, Taylor. You’re probably a great guy, just not a good Survivor player.  


Okay. That was the most explosive Tribal Council we have had this season. Adam survived the battle but I think he lost the war tonight. I don’t see how he can recover from his reputation taking such a shot. To be fair, he basically did all this damage to himself. He didn’t get screwed. He played Survivor too hard and there is no excuse for trusting Taylor at all….I like Adam, but overcoming that will be tough.

Make no mistake, the Gen Xers are in control and one of them is winning this season. It seems like once again the team will be fractured, though, and it will be really interesting to see how the sides will shake out. I think Chris is, in fact, in a better spot than I thought. I do think there is no question that David is the favorite to win this season. He has the ammo in an idol and he seems to be safely in the middle of both sides– not on anybody’s radar. You know I love Ken and I haven’t given up hope on a world where Ken wins Survivor, but I just think they aren’t showing a lot of Ken to us, so it’s hard to imagine that he is going to be there standing at the end.  My power rankings, though, right now:

  1. David
  1. Ken
  1. Chris
  1. Zeke

Those are the four I’m looking at right now as being in the best places in the game. God knows what Sunday’s obsession is with getting out Jessica but I don’t think that will affect my current power rankings. Let me know who your top four are right now.

Thanks for reading! See you next week.

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