Sunday, November 21, 2010

What Andy’s Watching: Survivor

Survivor: Season 21, Episode 10 “Stuck in the Middle” (A+)

It's not a stretch to say that this was one of the most exciting episodes of Survivor this season.

It's also not a stretch to say that no one on the island is particularly bright. And not in the “how the hell do they not vote out Marty when he failed to play the immunity idol a few episodes ago” way. No, this was just a clear lack of thinking. So the castaways wanted to protect their fire from the elements so it doesn’t go out. Makes sense. So before they leave for the Reward Competition, they surround it with wooden chests. That contain all of their food and cooking utensils. That promptly burn down.

It's a little disappointing that they don't show the complete aftermath. How did the second half of the tribe react when thy returned from their reward?

Furthermore, isn't the game about survival? How are they going to cope with barely any food left. I really hope future episodes address this. I want to see more of thier mental anguish, their hardships, their instability. I don’t care as much about the plotting against each other. That happens in every episode. I want to see something new and original.

As much as I normally dislike NaOnka, in this episode I was actually quite impressed with her. One might argue that it was a huge mistake to turn on her good friend Brenda, but I would say that it shows that she is actually putting emotions aside and thinking about the game. Not only was she willing to turn on Brenda, but she actually pulled Fabio, her enemy, aside and told him her plans. Without Brenda’s support I don’t really see a way that NaOnka will stay in the game, though. What use does anyone have for her, save Chase and Sash? Way to go Holly for convincing every single person (except for Purple Kelly, but more on that later) that Brenda was a huge threat.

Also, a rare occurrence happened at Tribal Council when Jeff asks Purple Kelly a question, thus giving her an actual opportunity to talk. Of course when she does it makes no sense at all. Furthermore, she is totally out of loop with regards to anything that is going on with her tribe. At Tribal Council, everyone voted for Brenda, except for Brenda who voted for NaOnka and Purple Kelly who voted for Benry. They don't show how this odd voting came to be, but this is what I imagine: The people trying to vote out Brenda figured that if they told Purple Kelly, she would just tattle on them. (Not sure why it was ok to tell Chase though) Also, Brenda figured that Sash would give her the idol and with Chase they would have enough votes to vote out NaOnka, thus telling Purple Kelly the plan might jeopardize the operation, and it wasn’t necessary in the least bit. So everyone basically kept Purple Kelly in blissful ignorance.

Was is smart for Sash to turn on Brenda and not give her his idol? In a way, it was really the only move he could make. If he gave her the idol, they both are safe for this week, but next Tribal Council, both of them will be targets. This way, Sash was able to gain the trust of the rest of the tribe-mates.

Very poor decision by Brenda not to scramble. In Survivor, miracles do happen. Brenda could have probably convinced a lot of people to blindside NaOnka (Fabio hates NaOnka, Dan will vote whatever, Holly witnessed NaOnka stealing).

And lastly, very impressive for Jane, the oldest tribe-member to once again win an Immunity Challenge that’s strength based. Of course this might paint an even bigger target on her back, but it’s very good for her personal morale and might be one of the most precious things she
takes away from the game.

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