If you haven’t read my analysis of the last episode, follow the co-ordinates here.
Raaargh! I got dressed up for the letdown. So much potential in this episode and that is where they end it?! I’m not saying it was a bad episode, but Channel Ten, if you’re going to wine me and dine me, then at least have the decency to seal the deal with a real tribal. Anything less is just plain rude. I was all lubed up with some tantalising twists ready for a wet and wild spa splashdown. Then you leave me hanging like that. Not cool Channel Ten. What am I saying, I can’t stay mad at you. I guess I should know better by now than to expect there would be a boot tonight. Now no result tonight means not much to talk about here, but we can keep chipping away and find something to get our teeth into.
You Can Call Flick the Pig-Catcher (‘cause she saved Lee’s bacon – I’m so sorry)
Flick starts the episode saying that she is loyal to Lee and El and wants to go to the end with them. Are you crazy woman?! Have you not listened to a thing I’ve been saying?! Last episode we finally had some people talking about who they might beat in the final two. This episode all of that seems to have gone out the window. At least she has the sense to have a good chat with Matt to suss out what he is feeling after being blindsided last week. Not only does this give him the opportunity to let off some steam at Flick and calm him down, but it just might keep the lines of communication open so that she is aware what Matt’s next play is. I’ll say it again, as much as Flick may come off cold and cutthroat to the camera, she really does play a good social game on island. She is very good at talking to people. Thankfully Matt is actually working on a plan.
The Victim, Playing
Finally we see Matt start playing, only a little bit, but playing nonetheless. I wouldn’t say he was going down swinging necessarily, more like blindfolded swatting at a piñata with a soggy tea towel, but it’s more than we’ve seen him do for some time. To be fair, big swings are probably not the best thing for his game now, this is the point where you don’t want to be seen as a threat. Big moves might sound good on a final two resume, but at the wrong time they will only hurt his chances of getting there. He has the nous to realise that El and Lee are unstoppable as a twosome and the only way that he can break those two up is to use Flick. When he questioned Flick on who the two biggest threats in the game are I thought this was a really nice way of getting her to reconsider her loyalty to Lee and El. Now I’m not naïve enough to believe that she possibly hadn’t already thought this, but at least he’s playing, and it lets Flick know that he is open to a move with her. If you can show someone that you are an option for them to go ahead with then you would think that the likelihood that they vote you out decreases. I had hoped that his great reward win would give him the ability to strategise some more, but alas. It didn’t work out that way. Incidentally, there were a few things about that challenge that had me thinking. Firstly, could you just choose not to count and remember the items in the box and just start digging? If this is allowable maybe that would have been a better strategy to employ. In fact I’d like to see them use that option in the future. There have been a few challenges in the last couple of years, and in the current US season where players could choose from different strategies. Usually choosing between a slow, but easier option and a fast but hard option. That could have worked well for this challenge. Hope you’re listening producers, I’ll expect a cheque in the mail. It did look like those puzzle pieces were pretty deep though and so if it was allowable, it may not have been wise in this instance. I also wondered whether players, after having grouped and counted the items, could then write the number of items in the sand next to them, so that if they had to come back to refresh their memories they didn’t have to tally again. Food for thought, I’ll have to remember that for if I ever get a shot on island (hint hint).
Hip to be Square
Once we heard what the reward would be my mind went straight into, who would you want to take with you, strategically? When it was announced there would be some sort of tribal tonight to determine, that changed everything completely. You can’t strategise when you have no idea what of the pieces that you’re playing with, let alone what board you’re playing on. It made me question if I would even want to win the challenge. Sometimes the last place you want to be is away from the tribe. It gives people the opportunity to strategise without you, potentially putting you at risk. You would actually want to keep an ally with the rest of the tribe so that they can fill you in on what went down in your absence. Of course there is also the possibility that an idol or clue will be at reward, that’s something you don’t want to miss out on, or worse, let somebody else have. The way it worked out though, Matt didn’t get any strategic advantage from winning reward at all. He didn’t get to pick who was coming with him, it looked like Flick made that decision. However, the two people that he will be at reward with are the two people he would most want to be there, Flick and Kristie. Meanwhile Sam, who we assume is Matt’s tightest alliance at this time, is sent to exile beach, far away in time, with El and Lee the enemy. I think it’s safe to assume that there is an idol or a clue at exile beach, far away in time, hopefully there’s also one at the spa. Speaking of bathrooms…
Floater in the Dunny
Has our floater finally found a strategy to cling to? Well, she was as elusive and vague as ever in her pieces to camera. In true Kristie form however nothing is off the table for her. She really did some lovely play this episode. She was humble with Lee (good on him for taking the time to have a chat with her by the way) and let him vomit out where he stood. After he had coughed up that info she then pointedly, yet casually asked about Lee and El’s relationship with Flick. This is the information she really needs to be able to determine whether Lee and El are likely to stay Aganoa strong or give Kristie the flick, as it were. She also noticed that her alliance was chatting without her and again was able to ask them pointedly about what they were talking about, which of course, they totally bumbled. This gave Kristie all the motivation she needed to run to the toilet (what a terrible name for Matt) and look for other options in this game.
She also put herself in an important conversation with Flick and Lee, where they were discussing splitting the votes, if this was to go ahead and K didn’t like it she would potenitally have the power to flip a 2-2-2 vote into a 3-2-1, sending home the player of her choice. All in all this was a great episode for K, she again has put herself in a position where she has options and none of them are particularly hopeless.
Next time on, Survivor
So although nobody went to Jury Villa tonight, it’s fair to say that the scene is set for an unpredictable episode tomorrow night. Not only do we not know which way Flick and Kristie are going to move, there could be up to two idols in play, plus let’s not forget that Lee still has an advantage that is only good for two more tribals. Tomorrow night should be a cracker, though I should probably lower my expectations lest I be disappointed, again.
Until then, I got nothing else for ya. Head back to camp.
– Russell Feathers