Note, the following contains episode 2 spoilers!
If you’ve not read my recap of episode 1, feel free to do so here
As we snuff the torch on episode two and send it off to Ponderosa, my boyish grin is even wider than it was at this time last night. Finally we get to see some action, and tonight it was all about the Saanapu! The tribe I last night called the ‘boring tribe’ finally shows us some action in the form of bungles, blunders and bullshit from Bianca, Flick, and Conner. And much to my resentment and vexation, even Pistol Pete pulled out his impression of a sitting duck. That’s right, we say goodbye to our very own private eye, Bianca. Could she have avoided this? The intelligence I have gathered gives me a pretty clear answer, and that answer is ‘der’.
Well then Mr Smarty-Farts, where did she go wrong? Let me count the ways….
The Cover Story
Even the most pedestrian of Survivor fans knows that it is not uncommon for players not to reveal their true identities for fear it would put a target on their back. We have seen it with celebrities who are concerned that their competitors will vote them out on the pretext that they don’t need the money. More common though is the Bianca situation, where a survivor chooses not to disclose their occupation. I get it. And often it works. One only has to recall my personal favourite Survivor winner, The Great Tony Vlachos (yes that is supposed to be capitalised, it is his official title now), to see this strategy being used effectively. We see Evan have a crack at it too (more on that later), and I’m unsure whether Matt has revealed his hand either (see what I did there). If I were in Bianca’s situation, I would probably do the same thing. Where she failed in this though, in my opinion from my couch, eating fish and chips, is that in distancing herself from her true occupation, she also distanced herself from her tribe. She was so busy hiding her personality and ‘gathering intel’ that she failed to connect with her tribe mates.
Bianca’s plan was to give Flick the, er, um, flick. Bianca saw Flick, and particularly her emerging alliance with Brooke, as a threat. Understandable. I agree, that alliance is clearly a threat long term, but not to Bianca tonight. I imagine that she does feel that she is on the outside of the numbers, particularly if Pete leaves. If you’re feeling that way, you need to make moves to ingratiate yourself with the numbers, not distance yourself from them. What was she actually expecting from her conversation with Conner? That somehow she would be able to get another 3 people to vote against Flick? Surely not. If so, then she is deluded and has no idea where the heads of her tribe mates are at. The better move would be keep her plan to herself; go with the flow and vote off Peter; work harder to align herself with the numbers, yes that may unfortunately mean showing some personality (sorry B); and see how the upcoming tribals shakedown and if possible; leave this particular move until after merge. Also, what was with her display at tribal council?! Bianca, you know your tribe mates are there right? The tribe doesn’t stop listening when J-LaP asks you a question. My impression was that she gave off a very ‘I’m super strategic vibe and I’m sussing out everyone’ vibe. That was poor form, and potentially dug another nail into her coffin.
Incidentally, great work from J-LaP in the challenge and tribal council tonight. He knew what was going on and he again asked some sly ones in order to squeeze the truth out. Tick.
Conner, upon hearing that Bianca (who we think at this stage is his ally unless I missed something) has devious plans, immediately tattles on her to the Alicia SilverFlick (AFlickia Silverstone?) Like, totally uncool, you know.
I would never encourage alcohol abuse but if one chooses to get hammered while watching survivor, a fun way to do that may be by playing the Flick drinking game. Each time Flick says “y’know”, take a drink.
Was this the best move for Conner? Hmmm, I guess I don’t know where he stands in the Saanapu cool group. My gut feeling is that Saanapu has a core 4 of Flick, Brooke, Sam, and Matt, and on the periphery of that are Conner and Kylie. So at best Conner is 5th rung on that ladder. I suspect that by sharing this information, he does not manage to grip a higher rung (insert masturbation joke here) with this move. Perhaps he already saw that the Bianca train was heading to Ponderosa and he wanted to get off. Fair call. I do see merit however, in keeping Bianca close, advising her against making a move against Flick now and rolling with the Peter vote, thus potentially putting him in a stronger position later in that he could have the ability to play both sides. I really don’t see him in a good position at the moment. He’s close to the bottom of a tight group, and has nothing to bargain with. I may be under-rating his position in the tribe, but that’s what I’m getting based on what we’ve seen so far. Time will tell.
The Remaining Saanapuans
So where does this leave the rest of our remaining Poos?
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, if you get the opportunity to go on Survivor, you sure as hell don’t fuggin’ quit. When you do that you do a major disservice to those 15,000 of us who applied and didn’t quite make it. While it is arguable that Pete actually went that far, he may as well have. Tonight’s display was reminiscent of Johnny Fairplay’s disastrous second season (but with less drunken shambolity). Falling on his own sword and pleading with his tribe mates to vote him off. Though I feel for Pete personally and what he may have been going through at the time, I can’t help but feel some rage that I could have had his spot on island.
So where does he stand now? I guess he actually seems like a nice guy and if he can pull himself together I don’t see any reason why he can’t turn things around and form some stable alliances. I’d start with Kylie and take it from there, though I imagine his vote for Kylie doesn’t help him with that. Look for some cracks in the big 4.
I’m starting to like Matt, and while we are yet to see any strategy from him, I don’t think it is outside the realm of his capabilities. He seems in a good position, flying with the numbers, time to start making a solid bond with one person if he hasn’t already though.
Much like Pete, she seems to be on the outer, need to start making a solid two with Pete or perhaps one of the other boys and see what she can come up with.
I’m not quite sure what game Sam is playing. Hard for me to see what his next move is. Leave your thoughts in the comments.
Flick & Brooke
They have each other. Given how much of a sucker Conner is, my play if I were them would be to take him into their 3 as a solid number and feel free to ditch him if ever he looks wobbly. Could be a good goat for them. #molegoat
Aganoa and Vavau
Not much to see here from either of the other two camps. Some paranoia from Katie had us mildly entertained for two minutes, we didn’t see enough of this though to determine how this will actually play out or if it will have any sort of lasting impact on the game. There was an opportunity for Evan there to get closer to Katie. When Katie says to the three (I think it was Evan, Kat, & Phoebe) that she was ‘not alright’ my gut was screaming at me to say ‘well let’s go for a walk’. Instead what Evan offered was, ‘well, at least you know where your stuff is’. I can understand however that he may not have wanted Kat or Phoebe to think he was trying something devious. Evan unfortunately comes across as just a loveable douche, thinking that he can charm everyone, but everyone sees right through him. The man may be able to act in real life, but so far he ain’t fooling anyone. It may be one of those situations where ‘what does the actor that can’t act do? Teaches others how to act’. Though I do like his idea of a Lee shield, that only works if Lee is further down the pecking order than you are buddy.
Vavau, were they even in this episode? Oh yeah, they got fire. Hopefully we’ll see some more of them on Sunday. If the trailer is anything to go by, we will. I’m keen to see more of what Andrew has to say.
Of course all of the above is just one white, middle aged, man’s opinion. Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I got nothing else for you, head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers