Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

Sadly, there was no rapping on Survivor this week, but that didn’t mean there weren’t battles to be had. Entering Wednesday’s episode, we were down to just 12 contestants left this season, and at last count I believe roughly 286 hidden Idols…give or take. For the newest member of this season’s Survivor jury, it had to be a frustrating end, since the person just couldn’t quite figure out what was making him/her a target. The larva grubs (or whatever the hell they were) weren’t the only things that were tough to swallow this week.

But before we dive in, as I do at the beginning of every Recap, please heed the following: Remember that this recap assumes that you have already seen this week’s Episode 9 of Survivor: Ghost Island, so if you have not and don’t want to be spoiled, please come back later! It’s important to add too that while we WILL hit on all of the important developments of the episode, this is not a linear “blow-by-blow” recap, and is more of a discussion and reaction of what we just witnessed together.


Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

So there’s good news and bad news this week…let’s start with the good! Early on Wednesday, CBS announced the renewal of 11 shows for the 2018-2019 television season, and as expected, Survivor was among them! That means that Survivor has been picked up for at least two more seasons, with Season 37 (!) slated for the Fall and Season 38 (!!!) set for Spring of 2019. Woohoo!

As for the bad, well, it’s not all that bad, but there sadly will not be an audio interview with Libby on this week’s podcast. Libby, who is currently working as a model, is in London so isn’t available for phone interviews, HOWEVER, I was able to submit five questions for her to answer via email and I will be going over her responses during the show. Because of this, I will be waiting to post the podcast until I have received her answers back, which I am being told could be anytime on Thursday…so those looking for the usual interview article and/or FilmSurvivor Podcast on Thursday might have to wait until Friday this week, or until I get her answers.

Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

Moving past the formalities, what did everyone think of Episode 9? There were definitely some interesting developments tonight, from Wendell trying to solidify his Final 4 with Dom, Donathan and Laurel, by revealing to Laurel that both he and Dom have hidden Idols, to Angela finally given a chance to show some personality this season. Like for real Angela, good for you! She has mainly been in reactionary roles all season, but now out of the shadow of her main ally, Chris, Angela showed tonight that she too is here to play this game. And also, that she can swallow a sea slug with the best of them. But not only did she dominate the classic Survivor “gross eating” challenge, she played a pivotal role strategically too by spilling the beans about Michael‘s plans. She took Michael’s trust and chewed it all up, before spitting it out to the rest of the tribe. Could this have earned her the good graces of those like Kellyn and/or Chelsea? Or did Angela just miss a golden opportunity to align with Michael and flip the game?

Michael has been one of the stand-out players this season, made more remarkable that he is the youngest player ever to play Survivor…you would never know it watching him play. After misusing an Idol earlier in the season, Michael got it right today, trusting his intuitions and playing it correctly on himself. It literally saved his ass. And three more days is all you can hope for on Survivor, especially at this stage of the game. I find it hard to believe that the others would let him remain in the game for much longer, but with the former Naviti tribe set to begin devouring one another, Michael might be positioning himself perfectly for a long run. And when Michael said tonight that he will probably only play Survivor once? I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

With Michael‘s Idol now out of the game (way to go, Ozzy‘s stick!), we know that both Dom and Wendell have Idols, but don’t forget that Kellyn still has an “extra vote” advantage. Ghost Island dropped another turd this week with its lame “No Game For You” parchment, given to none other than poor Jenna, who is definitely the one contestant this season who just can’t catch a break, and who seems to be swimming upstream from the get-go.

Yes, Libby was truly a casualty of war, whose game basically ended due to the fact that she is closely aligned with a major threat, who just so happened to play his Idol at the right time. It was an “easy” vote for the majority alliance, and probably worked out perfectly because they were able to not only flush Michael‘s Idol, but they took out his closest ally in the meantime. And if Angela‘s actions were any indication, Michael truly has very few other options remaining other than trying to win out at challenges…something Michael is definitely capable of doing.

Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

Episode Take-Away: I liked this ep in the sense that I had no flippin’ idea who was going to go home when we headed into Tribal. Man, I love having that feeling. It wasn’t just between two people, and it could have been anybody. My editing-radar didn’t reveal any hints either, as both Wendell and Libby had gotten a lot of screen-time this episode. I found it interesting that Laurel referred to Wendell and Dom as having all the power, as in actuality I think that the duo of Laurel and Donathan are far more dangerous in this game. Laurel could very well be Wendell’s blind-spot, as Wendell clearly trusts her with his life in the game…why reveal his Idol otherwise? While everyone else scrambles and tries to figure out just how to take out Dom or Wendell, Laurel and Donathan will just follow right along.

Laurel could very well be positioning herself as the winner this season, and that didn’t occur to me until tonight. Imagine if this powerful Final 4 did make it to the end…is it in either Dom‘s or Wendell‘s best interest to sit next to the other? One of them is going to fall. That could leave Laurel and Donathan right there at the end, and as of now I just don’t see Donathan being the sort of player that jury members would vote for to win the game. Add to this, Laurel has quietly shown to be a challenge beast all season long, and she has the strategic awareness to match it. Look out for Laurel!

Strategic Movie of the Week: I’m going to give this to Angela this week, simply for getting involved in the game. She was close enough to get Michael to trust her, but she took what he told her and tried to turn it into something positive for her game by sharing it with the others. Did it work for Angela? Time will tell.

Voted out this week: Libby Vincek

Won Immunity: Angela (first individual win)

Vote: Michael played an Idol on himself, negating all votes against him. 4 – Libby (Desi, Kellyn, Chelsea, Laurel), 1 – Wendell (Michael), 0 – Michael (votes negated by Idol: Sebastian, Donathan, Dom, Jenna, Wendell, Angela, Libby)

Survivor: Ghost Island Episode 9 Recap: Casualties Of War

Next Week’s Episode: It looks like Desi will find herself at the center of a potential big move, as the original tribal lines begin to blur even further. Next week is Episode 10 people! That means we are only a few weeks away from the Survivor Finale, which we know to be set for August 23rd!

Quick Note! Remember that this week’s  FilmSurvivor Podcast may be delayed until Friday, or until after I get Libby‘s emailed responses back! I also encourage you to check out my weekly movie reviews (like “I Feel Pretty” and “Super Troopers 2” this week) as I am also the national film critic for and am a movie critic/TV personality in the Detroit area. As always, the easiest way to get all of my Survivor coverage and movie reviews is to follow me on Twitter – @tomsantilli – or on Facebook.


Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe


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