We are back with episode three! The final episode of this epic three day season premiere week!
There have been many instances in Survivor history where an immunity idol has been used to secure and strengthen the relationship between two players. We can all recall Jeremy Collins using his idol on Stephen Fishbach back in Cambodia, the iconic double immunity played by Parvati Shallow in Heroes vs. Villains, as well as David Wright’s use of an idol early on to save Jessica Lewis in Millennials vs. Gen X. However, these idols were all played with a purpose – they saved the very person that they were played on. In AK’s case, he played an immunity idol on someone who received zero votes, and that’s where we begin this episode.
Upon walking back from tribal council, AK is immediately confronted by a confused Jarred who fears that AK’s antics have exposed his “under the radar” game in front of the entire tribe, effectively leaving him guilty by association. Don’t take my word for it though, Jarred definitely explains it the best: “Yeah I don’t know, that was crazy.”
Many will say that it is at tribal council where an alliance is tested and consolidated but it is what happens on the bumpy bamboo logs at night that really solidifies social bonds. It is common place for the castaways to cuddle for the sake of warmth (as was the case for cuddle brothers Luke and Jericho) but it’s not until the legs begin to interlock and fingers start to slowly caress one’s body that heads start to turn and things start to get said. Love is in the air for Samantha and Mark. W and the entire Asaga tribe can smell it.
Henry and Jacqui are inevitably the most vocal advocates against the blooming power-couple that is Sam and Mark. W, threatened by their potential. After establishing a tight bond surrounding an immunity idol (take notes AK), Henry devises a plan to take out Sam for being too big of a social threat – a plan that would later turn out to be throwing the immunity challenge.
As the sun rises for another day on the Samatau beach, a new alliance of “misfits” (as Locky likes to call it) has formed consisting of Locky, Peter, Jarred, Anneliese, Amy, Tara, and AK, leaving Tessa, Kate and MarkZan on the outside looking in. Tessa and Kate are well aware of their new found position on the bottom of the totem pole and after a “wishy-washy” conversation with Tara, have her firmly in their sights.
But before then we have a reward challenge, and I only have two words: Big. Balls. Big bouncy balls in fact. However, we Australians are much classier than that because Jonathan LaPaglia just calls them boulders. As the challenge begins, Samatau takes a slow and steady approach whereas Asaga decides to use brute force to get the ball across the obstacle course. Ultimately, Samatau’s tactic prevails, and they go back to camp with a few comfort items but not before Ziggy falls face first into a giant hole of oblivion. Locky snaps at Mark. H for not listening to him and Mark H claps back with a great pearl of wisdom: “We are in a bloody challenge for s**t’s sake.”
Upon getting back to camp, Samatau wastes no time whatsoever in redecorating their shelter with their new goodies. But the tarp, described by Mark H as “the size of a bloody handkerchief,” becomes the source of conflict between Locky and himself. This conflict can only be described as the proverbial ‘clash of the testicles’ where two alpha males are trying to point out flaws in each other’s masculinity. It was a small scene in the context of this episode, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a recurring conflict moving forward.
After a quick check-in at the Asaga tribe where a montage of Sam’s paranoia begins to show cracks in her game, we are back at Samatau with Kate and Tessa continuing to scramble. The pair starts weighing out their options and agree that trying to flip AK and Jarred in order to get rid of Tara would be their best bet. Kate, the queen of subtlety, aims to appeal to his sense of security by warning him that he will be the next to go after herself. In case he didn’t get the message she repeats it three times: “Then you’ll be gone, then you’ll be gone. You will be gone.”
AK revels in his ability to turn his game around after his shaky previous three days and is confident that he can build upon this new beginning. Meanwhile, Tessa manages to appeal to Mark. H’s sensibilities to convince him to look for an immunity idol for her. Later on, Tessa decides it’s time to give flipping the votes a good ol’ crack by reinforcing the fact that the seven-person “misfit” alliance won’t keep AK safe long term. This is a sound and logical argument considering that three days earlier he would be going home if Adam didn’t self-destruct his own game. AK confesses to the camera that he doesn’t want to make a move for the sake of it but rather when the time calls for it – how did that idol play work out for you again buddy?
Back at Asaga, Sam’s control freak tendencies cause her to call an “emergency core alliance meeting” where her alliance agree to split the votes between Michelle and Ben. However, after Sam instructs Mark W to disrupt Henry and Jacqui’s strategy talk, Henry decides it’s time to take matters into his own hands and throw the immunity challenge so they can vote Sam out.
At the immunity challenge, Henry does his part in throwing the challenge such as paddling in the opposite direction on the raft, forgetting the key and just generally slowing his tribe down. Yet, they STILL won immunity! They don’t call the puzzle the great equalizer for nothing.
Coming back from the immunity challenge, the “misfit” alliance weigh the pros and cons of voting out Kate and Tessa. The group agrees that Kate will benefit the tribe physically whereas Tessa is a strategic threat and will be unlikely to stick with them in the event of a tribe swap. Thus they decide to split the votes and, as AK correctly points out, leave the door wide open for Tessa and Kate to potentially gather the numbers to flip the vote. Shortly after we get the beginning of a conflict between Tara and Tessa that will only grow stronger as the night progresses.
Tribal Council soon arrives and as expected Tessa is quick to point out that the alliance of seven will fracture due to Tara’s flip at the last vote-off. At this point, we get a full five minutes of back and forth of Tessa accusing Tara of betraying her alliance with Adam, and Tara being unwilling to admit that she ever “flipped” – apparently it’s not a flip if you were emotional at the time. Tessa outs AK as being on the bottom of the alliance, Kate says words about trust, Peter says words about SOMETHING (finally!), and it’s time to vote. Ultimately Kate is eliminated, something that not many viewers were expecting given the edit of the episode. What did Jarred say at the start of this episode again? Ah, yes.
“Yeah I don’t know, that was crazy.”
It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of Kate because she did seem like she could have potential Mama C vibes from Survivor Worlds Apart but I think I can speak for the majority of viewers when I say it could have been worse.
We’ll see you back next week with Alice Barelli’s review of Episode 4. In the meantime, you can check out the recaps for the Premiere and Episode 2, and stay tuned for the first ever edition of Australian Survivor Power Rankings with Season 1 castaways Flick Eggington and Nick Iadanza coming very soon.