Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Survivor relocates to Snooze Island for a by-the-numbers episode

Wendell Holland
Wendell Holland
Photo: Robert Voets (CBS Entertainment)
TV ReviewsAll of our TV reviews in one convenient place.

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • First of all, my apologies for the lack of a discussion post last week. I had been exiled to Ghost Island and a fill-in could not be located in time. All I can say about last week’s episode is that I was 90 percent certain it was building toward a satisfying Bradley boot, but fizzled in the end. At least it did a good job of establishing him as a weaselly villain.
  • Malolo returns from Tribal Council, with Michael now outed as more of a player than the others originally thought. His double-immunity bluff was a nice try, but the curse remains on James’ idol. Why am I going along with this curse nonsense?
  • Coffee and pastries are on the line at the reward challenge, which involves shooting sandbags at targets. Thanks to Chris, Naviti prevails easily. Probst is eager to sing his praises, to the surprise of no one. Stephanie loses the rock draw and gets sent to Ghost Island. I think Chris raps? It’s hard to tell, but quite embarrassing.
  • There’s no game for Stephanie at Snooze Is...er, Ghost Island. Seriously, what is the point of this? We’ve seen the “lone Survivor finding inner strength in exile” narrative a million times by now.
  • Chris is looking to improve his standing with the former Malolos and takes the opportunity to bond with Donathan about caring for ailing relatives back home. It might be somewhat sincere, but it looks like pretty smart game play as Donathan wavers on his alliance’s plan to oust Chris.
  • The immunity challenge has players operating a big wheel to crank in one tribe member riding a boogie board. Looks fun for the rider, anyway. Naviti builds another big lead. “Every Survivor fan knows that a puzzle isn’t over until every piece is in its place.” Everyone else knows it too, Probst! Naviti cruises to another win. Kellyn feels like she let Malolo down.
  • Will the ex-Naviti members stick together and give us another boring vote? Michael is willing to throw Stephanie or Jenna under the bus. Jenna tries flirting with Sebastian, offering to braid his hair. Everything about Sebastian is unpleasant. Stephanie offers herself as a pawn to Bradley. Michael insists he can help with challenges. This is terrible. The editors have nothing to work with here.
  • Probst can’t get anything going at Tribal Council, so the only “suspense” is over which of three original Malolos will get the boot. Each of the three pleads their case to stay in the game, but in the end it’s Stephanie who gets all the votes, ending the most boring Survivor episode in recent memory. This season badly needs a shakeup, and lo and behold, another tribe switch is coming next week.

My debut novel Charlesgate Confidential is now available from Hard Case Crime.