Survivor recap

Love was in the air this week on Survivor, but for one contestant, there was nothing but heart-break in the end. I guess that beats having a heart-attack, as another castaway was feared to have suffered tonight. Yes, there is a lot to cover, and we will be talking about much more than puppies and butts when we dive into Episode 2 of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen-X. Let’s do this!

As always, I’ll try to keep these first two paragraphs “spoiler free,” so only read further if you have already seen Episode 2, or if you don’t mind it being spoiled. You’ve been warned!

CLICK THE CONTINUE READING BUTTON FOR MORE, AND THIS IS YOUR LAST *SPOILER* WARNING!

What a difference a week makes! David, who one week ago looked as lost and confused as a fart in a fan factory, had an amazing few days on the island since. Of all of the Gen-Xers, it’s David who first is able to get fire, which is a miracle if you consider he couldn’t break a twig in half using both hands and a knee and was afraid of loud chopping noises just last week. Or as David puts it, he’s “More of a Cochran than an Ozzy.” Not only does he make himself useful with building fire, he concocts a smart plan to hunt for the hidden Immunity Idol, under the guise of searching for large rocks that the tribe can use as seats. He knew he got pretty filthy when searching for Idols a few days back, so the “rock chair” cover was a perfect ploy, since his tribe would be none the wiser should he return with a rock, covered from head to toe in mud.

It’s clear that the rest of his tribe – “Paul‘s Posse” as Ken calls them – have definitely already passed judgment on David and they have labeled him unfit for this game, and he is wholly underestimated at this point. It may be a great place to be. Because incredibly, David becomes the first person this season to find a hidden Idol, when he finds a marked coconut (let’s thank the producers that they didn’t show what was probably several long hours of David trying to open the darned thing). Kudos to him for then sharing it with Ken, a man who is the yin to his yang (in that he is a man’s man), solidifying what is the unlikeliest of alliances. Along with CeCe, these three are still in the minority of the Gen-X tribe, but with an Idol at their disposal, they are ready and in prime position to shake-up the game in a major way.

David Wright on SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 33rd season with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 21 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Speaking of shaking up the game, we almost had yet another medical evacuation situation this episode. Paul – you know, the 50-something “Gen-Xer” – had a little spell and fell to the ground, in what was definitely the scariest moment of the season thus far (if you don’t count each of the scowls given by Lucy thus far…I mean, the woman hasn’t said but a few words through two episodes, but hasn’t smiled since her pre-season press photo…oh wait, she didn’t smile in that either!  Like, they have not yet released a shot of Lucy not looking totally miserable or annoyed.  Come on Lucy!  We know you can do it!) Luckily for Lucy “outsmiling” the other contestants is not part of the slogan that makes up Survivor’s moniker.

Lucy Huang on SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, when the Emmy Award-winning series returns for its 33rd season with a special 90-minute premiere, Wednesday, Sept. 21 (8:00-9:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Paul‘s scare fortunately turned out to be nothing major, just a mix of heat exhaustion and dehydration.  Soon afterwards he was good to go, and even helped win his tribe this week’s water-obstacle-course Immunity Challenge. Between Paul, David and Ken (who was also seen catching an octopus, proving that this dude is a legit outdoors-man), we got very little air-time tonight with any of the other Gen-Xers, as much of the drama played out over at the Millennials camp.

Ken McNickle on the second episode of SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, airing Wednesday, Sept. 28 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Yes, in an episode called #LoveGoggles, there was a lot of time spent with Taylor and Figgy, who two episodes into the season, are already a full-blown showmance. Neither of them of course are talking about how they are attracted to anything substantial, it’s all physical attraction. We got a great look at the Millennials tribe dynamics this episode, with Jay and Michelle trying to navigate the happy couple further and further into the game, and with Michaela growing increasingly frustrated with Figgy. The way things played out, you get the feeling that a lot was lost on the cutting room floor, because it wasn’t made exactly clear how Figgy ended up getting seven votes to keep her.

Clearly Michelle influenced Hannah at Tribal Council, and Jay might have gotten to Michaela, telling her that she was next in the pecking order after Figgy, but the latter was not made blatantly clear, and with how mad Michaela seemed to be towards Figgy, it does seem odd that she would want to keep her and align with her in the short-term. But by the vote’s end – with Mari getting blindsided – it was made pretty obvious that Zeke and Adam were on the outside and had no idea what was going on.  It also appears that Michelle is the one pulling the strings, and even though it might have been a risky move to put her own neck on the line in order to save one half of a showmance, Michelle came out on top and swayed the power of the Millennial tribe, for now, in her favor. If they stay true to their generational stereotype however, it’s possible that many of them are only playing for the short-term, instead of their long-term in this game, which means that none of them are safe.

And how about a moment to mourn Mari? She seemed tough, smart and ready for this game…the exact type of person who usually either goes really deep and wins or goes home super-early because she is seen as a tremendous threat. Mari’s the type of player I would love to see play the game again, the sort of contestant that you know had more to offer than what was actually shown over the course of just two episodes.

All the hoopla between Michelle and Hannah that occurred at Tribal was pretty interesting, and it’ll be interesting to see next week what exactly went on, what Hannah’s thought process was, and what the aftermath of her decision will be. You’ve got to love Hannah’s indecision to cast her vote though, culminating in the best photo/video bomb of all-time when Jeff Probst leaned his head into the background of the shot to check in on the beleaguered voter.

Hannah Shapiro, Will Wahl, Justin Starrett, Michaela Bradshaw, Mari Takahashi, Adam Klein, Michelle Schubert and Ezekiel/Zeke Smith on the second episode of SURVIVOR: Millennials vs. Gen. X, airing Wednesday, Sept. 28 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2016 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Episode Take-Away: It was a lackluster episode in that we hardly checked in with several of the contestants that we got to know so well in the first episode (Jessica, where are you?). Zeke had but a few quips and nothing more, and the vast majority of the Gen-X tribe was hardly shown at all. Of course, this is typical of early-season episodes. But we did get a strong look at the Millennial tribe and we learned that while Figgy is safe for now, even her closest allies see her as someone they can get out later.

The youngest dude out there, 18-year-old Will, might have been prophetic when he said that letting a person like Figgy survive early in the game could be a total disaster, as he’s seen players like Parvati and Cochran thrive when given the chance. But love endured, at least during tonight’s episode, and with David in possession of an Idol and now aligned with Ken, there are definitely some fireworks lined up once the focus shifts back over to the Gen-X tribe next week.

Strategic Move of the Week: This has to go to Michelle working the votes in Figgy‘s favor, not only in convincing Hannah live at Tribal Council, but in working with Jay to sway Michaela. Michelle seems like an incredibly dangerous player, surrounded by others not quite as game-savvy as she. Her aggression might put a target on her back sooner rather than later, but she’s the type of player that might just end up striking first. Anyways, kudos to Michelle for keeping her alliance intact, and setting herself up nicely for next week.

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Voted out this week: Mari

Vote:  7 – Mari (Figgy, Taylor, Jay, Michaela, Hannah, Michelle, Will), 3 – Figgy (Mari, Adam, Zeke)

Next Week’s Episode: Zeke and Adam, rightfully so, feel betrayed by Hannah and they waste no time in confronting her back at camp following Mari’s blindside. But also teased is a major game twist, and we’re shown a shot of Michaela reaching into a bag provided by Jeff Probst, and pulling something out. They wouldn’t do a tribe shake-up at Episode 3 already, would they? We’ll see you next week, and thanks for reading!

TELL US – WHAT DID YOU THINK OF TONIGHT’S EPISODE?  DID MICHELLE JUST PUT A BIG TARGET ON HER BACK BY GOING OUT ON A LIMB TO SAVE FIGGY?  WHO AT THIS POINT DO YOU FEEL IS IN THE BEST POSITION TO WIN THE GAME?

Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets

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