Colton Cumbie is going to send Lindsey flowers after this episode, right? The least he can do is spring for an Edible Arrangement, after Lindsey so easily took the “lamest quit in Survivor history” crown from him tonight. She quit because she got in a fight with Trish? And she was afraid to do something she’d regret? Lindsey: After looking at this episode, I’m sure there’s something here you’ll still manage to regret: namely, that you quit for no reason.
Once Lindsey’s ridiculous drama is over, this episode settles into something far more conventional, focusing on the continuing evolution of tribe dynamics at Aparri and Solana. Without Redemption Island in the mix, the show has time for two challenges per episode again. We get to see just why Reward challenges are important when Solana wins the reward of getting to raid Aparri’s camp, and in the process Tony decides to put a target on Jeremiah’s back by giving him a fake immunity idol clue. This one bit of trickery affects the entire rest of the episode, ripping through both Aparri and Solana like a twister. At Aparri, Jeremiah suddenly finds himself in the spotlight as a potential defector to go and join Tony after the merge. At Solana, Tony’s sudden confidence after pulling off the move causes him to get a bit too comfortable, raising flags of his own.
The entire episode is basically Alexis versus Jeremiah, and once Aparri loses immunity this fight becomes even more pronounced. Aparri is in an interesting situation because it is made up of three former brains, three former beauties, and Sarah. Logically, Sarah should likely be the one picked off first as she’s an “easy” vote for both factions of the tribe. However, it’s abundantly clear that no one from the old beauty tribe can stand each other, so instead of taking out Sarah they immediately start coming after each other instead. The amazing thing is that it’s all because of what Tony did. Tony wants to put a target on Jeremiah’s back, and it works to a certain extent; Alexis is immediately suspicious and comes gunning for him, and Spencer is definitely wary. What’s funny about the whole thing, though, is how instead of targeting Jeremiah it ends up biting Alexis in the ass instead. She comes after him and comes after him, and in the end she is the one who gets unanimously voted out.
It’s hard to know exactly where Alexis went wrong, simply because the editing in this one was vague in order to keep the ending a surprise. Did everyone just not believe her? Did Jeremiah have separate conversations with all the brains where he explained what happened with the idol clue and they believed him? Or did Alexis simply play too hard to get Jeremiah out, freaking out the rest of her tribemates into thinking she was the dangerous one instead? This was one of those times knowing just a little more of what was going on might have made for a more interesting episode, especially because the “surprise” ending really didn’t turn out to be much of a surprise.
As for Solana, Tony took much more of a leadership role in his alliance once Lindsey and Cliff left, which is an interesting tactic for him to explore considering his affinity for pulling sneaky maneuvers. His trick on Jeremiah with the idol is a smart move on its face, and caused some hilarious drama over at Aparri. Where things get weird is when he returns to Solana, admits what he did to Jeremiah, and then admits that he isn’t a construction worker but a cop. It’s like he was so giddy from pulling off the Jeremiah lie that he immediately got cocky, and if there’s one thing that can hurt you when playing Survivor, it’s getting cocky. And sure enough, as soon as Tony gets cocky and admits his past lies, LJ becomes far more suspicious.
It doesn’t help that when Solana wins immunity Tony shouts “Top Five,” completely alienating Sarah on the other tribe, who up to that point was firmly in his pocket and planning on rejoining him in the event of any merge. Tony has a lot of ideas but that’s just it; they’re ideas. His execution still leaves much to be desired.
- Lindsey’s CBS bio says her claim to fame is “Rising above all obstacles with a smile, by myself.” How’s that working for you, dear?
- NaOnka and Kelly’s quit in Nicaragua was also very, very lame. But at least in that situation it was raining! A lot!
- LJ did some fine work on that puzzle at the end. He has a pretty decent mix of smarts, observational skills, and interpersonal skills. I have a feeling he might go far.
- “So to solidify that he is trustworthy, Tony exposed that he lied. Different.” Yep, LJ is definitely growing on me.