If you were blindsided by what happened tonight, it’s because you haven’t been playing along. Check out my analysis of the previous episode here.
Huzzah! We have some gameplay! The Brick has finally split in two, and it happened from within. Big ups to Flick for getting rid of the one person that nobody could beat in a final two (that breakdown is here). After the last episode I suggested that Lee and El be broken up first, so I’m a little disappointed that Flick didn’t listen. Regardless, let’s eat the dog and discuss whether this was the best move for the guys tonight.
Well done Flick. You recognised that Brooke was a threat to your game long term and you made moves to disable the threat. Textbook play too. I am a little worried that it may have been one move too early as Lee and El now still hold the power among the remaining players, and Lee holds an advantage. Though to be fair, had she waited one more tribal then it is likely that Brooke might have made the same play against Flick. Now that would have really been a world war three to behold. Let’s think it through. If El had gone, then that would leave Brooke, Kristie, Matt, Sam, Flick, and Lee. Lee would likely then approach Sam as his next closest alliance, and at this stage it does not look as though Sam is going to turn on Brooke. Giving Brooke the numbers to take out Flick. Ok, Flick IS smarter than I am. Now was the time to take out Brooke. Does this leave a target on her back? Potentially, but she’s done all that she can do to mitigate that in allowing El to come up with Brooke’s name (that was nice). She might now be able to sit back and make it look like this was El’s move and let her take the heat. That would be a fine line to walk there, to get the balance right between having El take the blame for the move in-game, but still be able to take the credit for it with the jury. The other thing to think about is Lee’s advantage. Does she know what Lee’s advantage is? If so I’m wondering if it would have been smart to try and influence him to use that tonight so that he could not use that against her next tribal. I’m not convinced that Lee and/or El would try to move against Flick now. If that’s the case then you want Lee to keep it this tribal so that you definitely have the numbers in a six person tribal. Turning six votes into five and avoiding a tie scenario. So who does Flick need to take out next?
To get through the next tribal I would say Sam. Play up that Sam was going to vote against Lee and keep Lee motivated to take him out. However, Sam is one of the few people that Flick can beat in a final two. Lee and El are the two people who likely could definitely beat her. I would even go as far as saying it’s becoming increasingly likely Kristie could beat her too. So you might want to keep Sam around. So the best move for Flick would be to try and break up Lee and El next. If Lee and El make it to final five and Lee still has his advantage (the last time it can be used is final five), then they pretty much have the game wrapped up. One of them would likely make it to final two and would be very hard to beat. Therefore what Flick needs to do, is appeal to Matt and Sam, tell her why she felt it had to be done, that Brooke was a threat who could not have been beaten, that the next threats are Lee and El and they have to stay together to take them out next, all the while pretending that she is still with Lee and El. Unfortunately this would mean that she would have to rely heavily on Kristie to flip on Lee and El.
Still Floating or Dropping Anchor?
We saw some nice play from Kristie tonight. Firstly, we’ve been shown a few times over the last couple of episodes that she has actually made some social connections with people. She’s had lots of little interactions around camp that tells us she might not be as much on the periphery as we assume. Two big chats with Lee, high-fiving Matt, water walks with Brooke. She’s clearly still keeping her finger in some pies. She’s also showed us how her mind works when she was determining what Flick’s motivations would be in coming to El about flipping. That was really good to see. But where to from here for her. She’s said all along and she reiterated again tonight that she has played an individual game, and it’s worked well for her so far. It has her in a pretty good position now. She can choose whether to stick with El and Lee, or to move elsewhere. Given that El and Lee are the biggest threat in the game right now, my gut reaction is to break them up. Kristie’s other threat however is Flick. If you’re Kristie, ideally you want to go to the end with Sam or Matt. If you’re Lee and El, you’d probably also prefer to go to the end with Sam or Matt, and not Kristie. Alright, I’ve just convinced myself, the best move for Kristie now is to break up Lee and El, then work on convincing both Sam and Matt that they could never beat Flick in a final two and hope that the final immunity challenge falls your way. This path is a definite possibility, she has a reasonable shot of winning this game now, she just needs to listen to me. My commission is just a fraction of the prize money. That fraction is 499/500ths. With flexibility as Kristie’s arguably greatest asset, is she actually now a threat?
Aganoa, noa, noa. Push pineapple. Shake the tree.
I’ve spoken a lot about how others need to take out Lee and El for the best shot at winning, so what can Lee and El do to make it through this barrage of attacks. Let’s talk advantage first. Obviously, the advantage is more powerful the longer you hold on to it. If they can use it at final five rather than final six then they have a better shot of making it to final two. So they need to find a way to get through the next tribal without using it. To have a majority they need two more. Though I have absolutely no idea where Sam’s head is at after that “big” blindside, I’m going to presume that Lee could spoon him back into an alliance. If they still have Kristie with them then they have the four needed to vote out Flick (provided Flick doesn’t win immunity). The other option, and the one that is perhaps a little more dangerous, is to turn on Kristie. If they can recognise that a) Kristie is someone that the three others could want to take to the end, and b) her flexibility makes her both unpredictable and a threat, then they could possibly form a bipartisan alliance to vote out Kristie. Then once she’s gone Lee still has the advantage to move against Flick.
If he has Sam at that point he may not even need it. If he doesn’t have Sam then the least that the advantage can do is cause a tie scenario, which is better than going home outright. Is there any value in Lee or El voting out the other now? Firstly, I don’t think they will just because they have been very tight all the way through. Secondly, as each of them are such big threats to everyone else, they need to keep each other around to a) have stronger numbers and b) have a meat shield, someone else who could be perceived as a bigger threat. If we end up with Lee and El in the final two I would be very disappointed, but it is a distinct possibility. That leaves Matt and Sam for us to ponder on.
TimTam Sam and Milk ArrowMatt (if you’ve got a better biscuit reference to apply to Matt I’m all ears)
Sam, Sam, Sam…. Brooke handed you a big move on a silver platter. As she was telling you that it was time to make a big move and break up Lee and El all I heard her say was “Sam, here’s my trust, you need to get out a big player, I’m never going to see it coming, here’s your chance, talk to your buddy Lee and you can have me out of the game. Or Flick if you prefer, it’s totally your choice”. Oh well. I guess what I heard was not what Sam heard. Regardless, result is the same, other than Sam had nothing to do with it and missed a chance at a move and feels on the outs. I have no idea how Sam and Matt are going to react to this blindside. As much as Matt thought that Flick and Brooke were the angels to his Charlie, we all knew the opposite was true. Sam and Matt were the Rocksteady and Bebop to Brick’s Krang. Brick was the brains and they were the meat that did the brain’s bidding. I mentioned above that I think that it is still possible for Flick to salvage an alliance with Sam and Matt, and to be honest, that is probably the best thing for those guys to do. Given the best shot that Sam, Matt and Kristie have in a final two is against each other, the move for Sam and Matt now is to stick with Flick and break up Lee and El, then take out Flick and fight it out amongst themselves for a final two. Hope you’re listening boys. I don’t want to see Lee or El in the final two.
Bye Bye Brooke
Sorry to see you go Brooke. You played an incredible game. Unfortunately when you play so well it makes you a huge threat and it was only a matter of time before somebody tried to neutralise you. I don’t think there was much you could do about it short of winning immunity. It seemed that you had some misgivings or uncertainty about Flick in this episode, as though you felt that she may have been doing something shady. It did seem in Flick’s conversations with both Brooke one on one and when she was talking to the original Pu-ans that she was hiding something, but I may just have been thinking that because I knew that she was. I would have thought that Matt would pick up on that. Perhaps if you guys had these misgivings about Flick then you could have had a chat to Kristie to see if she would give anything away. I think that you thought you had it wrapped up and didn’t need to. Anyway, we’ll miss you. Your probably played the smartest game out there, shame that it had to come to an end. I also never get to use ‘Brick’ again. I got nothing else for you. Head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers