Has anyone noticed that Survivor has gotten rid of the “Previously On…” segment the last two weeks? That’s because the episodes have gotten so good, they simply don’t have time to spend on what went on last time. They need to get right into it! Seriously folks, Edge of Extinction has heated up and I think it’s time to stop hating on it (for those that have…) and give in to it. If tonight’s episode is any indication, there are tons more gameplay still to come!
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 8 of Survivor: Edge of Extinction. If you have not and don’t want to be spoiled, please come back later! It’s important to add that while we WILL hit on all of the important developments of the episode, this is not a linear “blow-by-blow” recap. It is more of a discussion and reaction of what we just witnessed together.
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The game got turned on its head tonight as the “Kama Six” finally turned on itself. It was bound to happen, it always does. And it might have been clever editing, but the self-proclaimed “puppet master” Ron and his closest ally Eric might have overplayed their hand this week by underestimating not only their opponents but their allies. From the way it was presented to us, good ole’ Wardog was able to talk some sense into Julia about the Kama Six pecking order, and she was able to orchestrate a big move…her first big “resumé” move, you could say.
Devens and David had been pulled in, but when Julia approached Eric about possibly voting one of them out, she was able to see that Wardog was right. As it goes on Survivor, being a so-called “front-runner” or a presumed “puppet master” is never a good place to be, because often the puppet master gets tangled up in his/her own strings.
Of course, David was right. At Tribal Council, he pointed out that it is not enough to just get to the end with a blank resumé, you need to have some big moves written on there as well. Ron and Eric dangling the “loved ones” challenge as a ploy to keep their group together was, let’s be frank, an amateur move. That sort of thing might have worked 15 seasons ago, but today’s player – this group in particular – is way more cunning than that. Take what Gavin said in a testimonial. Ron said he wanted his group to stick together to the loved ones challenge because he felt this would really be something they’d all buy into. But Gavin admitted the opposite.
Upon hearing Ron’s pitch about making it to the loved ones challenge, it actually reminded Gavin that he is there to win the game, for his family. Yes, Ron impressively has navigated his way through the game up to this point, expertly manipulating Joe Anglim along the way (which is, arguably, not all that hard to do). But he got too comfortable, and started playing “not to lose” instead of “trying to win.” We’re really going to see how good a player Ron really is, in how he is able to adjust and re-assess his game now that it has been turned upside-down.
On the other side of things, wow, how in the crap has Lauren and Kelley held on to BOTH of their Idols through yet another Tribal Council? Each time they don’t play it, it’s a gutsy yet calculated move, and so far they’re intuition has served them right. And each Tribal that goes by where they still have their Idols, they grow even more powerful. On the peripheral is Wardog, who when held up against the Lauren/Kelley power duo, suddenly isn’t anyone’s target. Could Wardog slyly be positioning himself to go deep into this game?
Another big development tonight was the semi-break-up of the Devens/David alliance. This pair seemed pretty solid, but it was revealed tonight that Devens is NOT going to be able to play with those that, in his mind, betrayed him earlier in the game by voting him out. It seems sad to me that Devens, by all accounts a likable player who had become somewhat of a fan-favorite, now seems blinded by emotion. David tried to talk some logistic sense into his brain, but he was not having it.
For real, I think David’s perception of things was the more accurate, although I admittedly might be blinded by the fact that I am always seemingly rooting for the underdog, and I would have loved to see the minority rally up against the majority Kama Six alliance. But after this vote, Devens is now truly floating around, and he too – like Ron – is going to need to re-assess his game if he plans to have a chance at winning, or even going deep. With just one-half of an Idol, his best bet is still to reconcile with David, and then maybe just let David take the reigns for a bit until Devens can sort of regroup emotionally.
The vote-out of Eric was huge for many reasons, but it also opens the game wide open. Anytime someone on the top gets knocked down, the deck is reshuffled, and clearly Eric was on the top of this game. With him now gone, and with just 11 left in the “actual” game, it takes six votes to have a majority. Julia, Gavin, and Victoria are now solidified as a trio, meaning that Julie and Ron are suddenly a duo looking for a place to rebound. As mentioned, Wardog/Kelley/Lauren just got a bit stronger, but they still have a long way to go to really get the game back under their control…although their two Idols definitely helps their situation.
With David and Devens at odds, it will be interesting to see where they fall. And where does this leave Aurora? Aurora, to this point, has been at the low-end of every totem pole, and it definitely didn’t help her social game when she seemingly was not even aware that Lauren was in an emergence situation as she talked – without a clue – to Victoria during the challenge. But she’s a wild card, and she has two votes now which could be huge.
Of all the players remaining though – based on her edit and her actions during tonight’s episode – she strikes me as the only player left in the game who doesn’t quite have what it takes to win it all…but if others realize this about her, she just might be the perfect person to sit next to at the end, meaning that the longer she’s in the game, her chances of making it to the end – or being taken to the end – increase tremendously.
With the limited time we were given at Edge of Extinction, we saw Aubry find that second vote advantage and give it to Aurora and we saw Aubry win herself a practice advantage. No one raised the white flag this week, although I was sort of hoping Joe‘s mustache would. And it was a small moment right at the very end of the episode, but I just love Reem – the “Mayor of Extinction” – who greeted Eric with a “don’t get too comfortable.” Extinction is like the opposite of Ponderosa, and I just love that Reem is there to make sure everyone’s arrival is as miserable as possible.
Episode Take-Away: This season has really heated up for me from right before the merge and through this week…I just thought this was another solid episode, and I had NO IDEA what was going to go down at Tribal. That’s a feeling I just love having. Now that the Kama Six has officially been disbanded, it will be very interesting to see how the remaining members pick up the pieces.
Voted out this week: Eric
Vote: No Idols played. 8 – Eric (Aurora, David, Victoria, Julia, Gavin, Lauren, Wardog, Kelley), 2 – Kelley (Ron, Eric), 2 – Lauren (Devens, Julie)
Next Week’s Episode: Devens and David discuss who “gets custody” of their Immunity Idol. The reaction of the jury says it all: Next week’s Tribal Council looks to be EPIC. Or as Jeff Probst puts it: “I’ve never seen anything like it.” So there you go.
Quick Note! I appreciate that you are reading this recap! Because of the new “Edge of Extinction” format, CBS is not giving weekly exit interviews this season. Because of this, there will not be an interview article on Thursdays like you might be accustomed to. Further, because of this twist, I’ll be putting my FilmSurvivor Podcast on hiatus temporarily. I may do occasional podcasts throughout the season. However, they won’t be weekly like normal. When I do post a podcast, I’ll link it here.
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TELL US – WAS NOW THE RIGHT TIME FOR JULIA TO MAKE A MOVE OR DID SHE MAKE A MISTAKE? WHO ARE YOU ROOTING FOR TO WIN AT THIS POINT? WHO ARE YOU ROOTING AGAINST?