Survivor 43 Episode 4 Recap: I’m Not Paranoid, You’re Paranoid!

It’s a scarcely talked about attribute, but being able to handle your own paranoia is a key component to being a winning Survivor contestant. Sure, in a game such as this one, paranoia is impossible to avoid completely…in fact, if you have ZERO paranoid thoughts while playing Survivor, there is a strong likelihood that you have either already been sent home, or are about to be.

Not to get too deep into the psychological aspects of this, but for example, are you really “jealous” if in fact your partner IS cheating on you? “Jealousy” implies you are upset about something that you perceive to be true, but it isn’t. But what if it was? In that instance, you wouldn’t be “jealous” or paranoid, you’d be right.

This though, doesn’t quite apply to what happened to Lindsey during Episode 4. In reality, nobody was conspiring against Lindsey…she was in fact safe. But her uncontrollable paranoia actually became a self-fulfilling prophecy, where she was so vocally worried that people were lying to her and wanted her out, that the others ended up deciding that they needed to lie to her and voted her out. In Lindsey’s case, her paranoia or her worry was not based in reality, but her demise actually was her own doing…it was ultimately something that James, Karla, Cassidy and Ryan decided was too detrimental to even their own games.

One good thing about Lindsey being sent out of the game was at least it gave us our first real look into the dynamics of the Blue Tribe. The fact that they were even attending their first Tribal Council of the season was do to a dramatic development during the Immunity Challenge. The Red Tribe, who had been down-and-out after heading to two straight Tribal Councils, had a fire lit underneath them this episode (which was ironic, given that they were not able to make a fire back at camp). They dominated the challenge, but once they finished in first place, they made no secret of the fact that they were helping the Yellow Tribe finish the final puzzle. Knowing that the Blue Tribe had yet lost a member, they most likely decided that it was in their best interest that Blue loses, so that they don’t enter into the merge too powerful to overcome. I can understand the frustration of the Blue Tribe, but hey, this is Survivor.

Up until this week, we had all grown to love Karla, but didn’t quite know where things stood with the rest of the Blue Tribe. As it turns out, Geo is a bit dismissive and a bit arrogant, shown to be approaching the game from a position of presumed power. Despite his apparent delusions as to who is really in power, Geo was not able to get anyone else to vote with him against Cassidy. That would lead us to believe that Geo is now on the outs of his tribe, with Cassidy, Ryan, Karla and James the power alliance. And speaking of James, his calm-and-cool demeanor was in polar opposites of Lindsey‘s. He stayed and was not even mentioned as a target, while Lindsey was sent out.

The only real drama we got over at the Yellow Tribe was more friction between Gabler and Elie…this has been a “slow burn” storyline that each of the first four episodes has devoted air-time to thus far, which leads me to believe that we will get some kind of immense payoff on this story at some point in the game. I was just happy that the boats we saw in last week’s “Next Time On…” preview had nothing to do with any sort of medical evacuation, which I had feared given how they have also dedicated air-time to Gabler’s physical struggles on the island.

That boat was actually related to the other big storyline that took up the first half of Episode 4, where the Red Tribe (dominating) won a Reward Challenge and got to steal something from an opposing tribe. Cody was sent over to steal one item, and the Blue Tribe was chosen to be the victimized tribe. Dwight and others over at Red Tribe were a bit nervous that Cody would be the one doing the talking, but Cody you might remember, is a skilled salesman. He turned up his charisma and was able to negotiate leaving the Blue Tribe with their fishing gear and some food…much more than they had actually come to retrieve.  Cody continues to be a stand-out player this season, yet with his outward personality, can someone like him actually win Survivor?

Episode Take-Away: I always love when the season gives us early vote outs from each of the competing tribes, and so far through four episodes we’ve now seen each of the three tribes at Tribal Council (with Red having been sent there twice). This not only gets us to see all of the season’s contestants, but it evens out the numbers heading into the merge, where it then becomes less likely that one alliance “runs the table.”

I’m continuously impressed with Karla, who has become the fan-favorite through this first stretch of episodes…don’t forget that she also possesses an Immunity Idol (and it was so surely not going to be Karla sent home this week that the show didn’t even make mention of her Idol during the episode). Equally impressive is James, who thus far is making Survivor look easy.

In addition to Karla‘s Idol, you have Gabler with one (that expires), Cody with one (not sure of expiration) and also Noelle with a Steal-A-Vote advantage. We’re down to 14 players left in the game, which means that we are still one or two weeks away from the merge, so it’s now pretty much a given that at least some of these Idols/advantages will be in play come the merge. There is still so much Survivor left to play, but I am really digging this cast, their unique personalities, and all of the possible players left to root for (or against).

Erik Reichenbach DabuDoodles Art. We’re honored here to be associated with Survivor legend Erik Reichenbach, who just so happens to be an amazing artist. As always, we’re thrilled that he shares his talents every week on my column and with my audience with a new piece of Survivor artwork each week. His latest piece will appear here usually in the days after the show’s airing, so if it does not appear here now, check back usually by the weekend following an episode and give this page a refresh. All of Erik’s work can be found and purchased on his site,, and I urge you to support this fantastically skilled former Survivor player!

“Is It Me??”

Art by Erik Reichenbach –

Out this week: Lindsey

Won Immunity: Red Tribe and Yellow Tribe

Vote Result: No advantages or Idols were played. 4 – Lindsey (Karla, James, Cassidy, Ryan), 1 – Geo (Lindsey), 1 – Cassidy (Geo)

Current Advantage List:

  • Gabler – 1 Immunity Idol (expires after one more Tribal Council for him)
  • Cody – 1 Immunity Idol (unclear if/when it expires)
  • Karla – 1 Immunity Idol (unclear if/when it expires)
  • Noelle – 1 Steal-A-Vote

Next Week’s Episode: The Cassidy/Geo friction gets heightened, but most of what is teased comes from the Yellow Tribe, where we hear Owen tell us he may have a new power in the game, and we hear Gabler say how this power could “change the game dramatically.” Can’t wait to see if the Gabler/Elie rivalry comes to a head next week!

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[Photo Credit: CBS/Monty Brinton/Robert Voets/Timothy Kuratek/Jeffrey Neira/Michele Crowe/David M. Russell]