Edgic is a weekly feature analyzing each player’s edit, mapping characters to their story-arc. Note that our focus is not solely to determine the winner, as is typical of other Edgic sites. For more information on how Edgic works and rating definitions read our Introduction to Edgic article.
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Davie‘s edit has taken a real dip since episode five and his merge episode did not provide the recovery he needed. He was the only person not to receive a confessional. In fact, he didn’t speak at all. No camp scenes, no challenge commentary, no Tribal Council questions. He was Invisible.
The merge is a significant milestone within the game and an important checkpoint in the edit. To not hear from Davie at all is a major strike to his chances of winning. Just for comparison’s sake, the last person to receive an INV rating at the merge was JP in Heroes v Healers v Hustlers. Now, Davie had a much better pre-merge edit than JP, but he does have a similar lack of connections to the wider narrative. He doesn’t really have a place in the story, and this merge episode edit is a further emphasis of that.
This doesn’t mean Davie will remain Invisible. He is a character used to bring color and fun soundbites. When an episode requires a little bit of spice, Davie will be right there to sprinkle on top. But it’s telling that in a merge episode, where the focus is on the wider story and shifting dynamics, Davie was nowhere to be seen.
Under the Radar
After her CP-breakout last week, Alison was back to her familiar UTR territory in episode seven, though with slight positive tone. I don’t usually consider challenge wins as tone unless the content goes beyond the victory and/or is lingered on. I felt that Alison tearing up and talking about how her family would be proud of her was just about enough for light P-tone.
As for the rest of Alison’s content, there was some decent stuff here, but while there were emerging elements of MOR/CP, the overall feel was UTR. Her one confessional was simply narration about the boats arriving at Tiva and how it signaled the merge was here. “The game starts now,” she declared. That could have been the kickstart of a big CP episode for Alison, but that wasn’t the way it panned out. Even though she was included in the strategy, she felt very much on the periphery, and we never heard her personal thoughts on the current status of the game or her game.
Alison was part of the newly formed Strike Force alliance featuring herself, Alec, Mike, Christian, Gabby, and Nick. Signs of this were planted in last week’s episode when Alison bonded with Gabby and talked about the timing of blindsiding Daniel. Alison has never been shown to be close with the likes of Dan and John nor was she brought into Angelina’s women’s alliance back in episode two. However, what I find worrying is, we never saw any relationship between Alison/Alec/Mike back on the Goliath tribe either. Their sudden working relationship came out of nowhere.
It’s very telling when alliances/relationships pop up all of a sudden, especially ones that seem to have been established earlier, based on what the castaways are saying, yet never featured in the edit. It shows a lack of care and consistency and that suggests those characters, or at least those relationships, are not of primary importance. And so that doesn’t fill me with much hope for the longevity of this Strike Force alliance, and it continues to tell me that Alison is a secondary character at best.
Wait, what is Nick doing all the way down here with the UTRs?! For the first time this season, Nick falls out of CP territory and into UTR. It was a tough call actually between UTR and MOR. Nick was a part of a couple of strategy scenes, and he did share some brief comments, but much like Alison, he felt on the periphery of the action – he even admitted as much at one point, when he said he just walked down the beach and got invited into an alliance.
It’s hard to say right now whether an UTR merge episode for Nick is good or bad. On the one hand, it could be perceived as a nice cooldown after a strictly CP pre-merge. After all, we still got a follow-up with the Mason-Dixon alliance, and he was brought into the Strike Force group, so it’s not as if he was completely absent, like Davie. He wasn’t out in the forefront, plotting and scheming, like Nick of old, and that could be a good sign, as the edit isn’t painting him as an immediate merge target. In fact, we heard multiple Goliaths say they trusted Nick, which could come back to haunt them.
Or perhaps he is going to be a Ryan Ulrich or Ken McNickle type figure whose CP edit falls off post-merge, which, if so, could suggest Nick is a losing finalist. I’m not sure I quite buy that just yet, it would require another episode or two of UTR/MOR ratings before I see Nick slipping into that sort of story arc. There is still a lot of substance to Nick’s edit based on his pre-merge content. He has a connection with Christian, and Mike, and the lingering story of trying to sever the bond between Christian and Gabby. As I said last week, these relationships are not particularly deep when you crack below the surface, but they’re a consistent focus which requires Nick’s participation.
I think next week’s episode will give us a better handle on where Nick’s post-merge story is heading. There are certainly some gaps in his edit. For example, we never had any follow-up on The Thoroughbreds alliance with Elizabeth (he didn’t comment on her being the boot at all), which suggests that was only included to show that Nick is a schemer. We need to know his true feelings about this Strike Force alliance, other than “it could get me further.” And we need to know if his opinion has changed on Gabby, who he suddenly finds himself working with, despite trying to get her booted pre-merge.
Middle of the Road
John had an okay edit this week but it wasn’t the strong merge episode he needed to put him back into top contention. He didn’t share the most detailed thoughts, but he did tell us what his strategy was going forward. However, that strategy seems to be simply staying “Goliath-strong,” and given the themes at play in this season, I’m not sure that is a great sign for John’s overall chances.
At the merge feast, John got a fun little personal confessional about how he’d been losing his gains and was looking forward to “going to town” on all the delicious food. But he was also shown to be aware of the game going on around him. He told us that everyone is here to play and that his plan is to stay with the Goliath majority, “whittle down the Davids,” and do battle at the end with the remaining gentlemen and ladies. It’s interesting that during this confessional he mentioned that he liked Christian, but was still willing to boot him and stick with the Goliaths; he reiterated this later after Angelina suggested voting Christian when he told Dan “It makes sense in the context of the game.”
We’ve heard over the past couple of episodes that “David vs. Goliath is over” and that to win Davids are going to have to work with Goliaths and vice versa. And so for John to be banging the drum for “Goliath-strong” is slightly concerning, especially as we saw the likes of Alec, Alison and Mike making cross-tribal alliances. But John is never hit with negative tone. We never hear anyone talking badly about John, and the edit doesn’t present him as a villainous character or a person in need of comeuppance, especially when compared to fellow Goliaths like Angelina and Dan. Perhaps this is protecting John so that if the Goliaths do take a hit, he will be able to recover and find a way back in with Christian.
He isn’t even perceived as a threat, at least based on what the edit is telling us. When Dan found out his name was on the chopping block, he couldn’t understand why his name was coming up and not John’s, which is a testament to John’s social game. So while I think John is on the wrong path edgically at the minute with the whole “Goliath-strong” thing, I do feel as if he could still be around a while based on the protection and lack of negativity in his edit.
I really liked this episode for Christian. He was a pivotal part of the plot yet his airtime wasn’t excessive. He didn’t quite reach CP, but he commented on the tribe dynamics in an insightful way. He had a ton of PSPV from at least half the tribe. He had doubt built into his edit, in the sense that he was set up as a potential target, but he was saved because of his social charm and multiple connections. Oh, and he finally didn’t feel quite so tied to Gabby’s story-arc.
The first big scene for Christian in this episode was his reunion with Nick. Christian was “so happy” to be back with “good ol’ Kentucky Nick” and he was able to gain some “actual actionable intelligence” out of the conversation. Nick told him about Dan having an idol. “That’s a huge piece of information!” Christian stated. The theme of “information = power” has run throughout the season and it’s been particularly associated with Dan’s idol. And given what we’ve talked about before with the Christian/Dan relationship, and how Dan is underestimating Christian, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was foreshadowing Christian blindsiding Dan in the near future.
Christian was next approached by Alec who talked about wanting to form an unlikely relationship that others wouldn’t suspect. That led into the formation of the cross-tribal Strike Force alliance. Alec told Gabby that he wanted Christian to be part of it and Gabby vouched for Christian, saying that he’s been her “person” throughout the game. Christian didn’t go that in depth with his thoughts on the alliance, mostly just narrating its members and giving it the “Strike Force” nickname. His comments were mostly about Alec, how Alec is a person who “walks the walk” and was the one “spearheading” the alliance.
After the Immunity Challenge, Christian kind of disappeared, though his name certainly didn’t. Angelina brought up Christian’s name as a target, calling him the biggest threat on the Davids and someone that could “beat all of us.” Following on from his “David that becomes a Goliath” theme from last week, Angelina referred to him as “a Goliath in his own right.” While the Goliaths initially agreed on Christian as the target, the vote flipped back to Elizabeth in large part because of Christian’s relationships. Alec didn’t want to lose trust with Christian and the Strike Force alliance. And Dan felt like it was “ripping his soul out” to vote his “brochacho,” on top of not perceiving Christian as a major threat. “We’re gonna be able to get rid of Christian eventually,” Dan said.
The only real fault I could find with Christian’s edit in this episode is not speaking about his own personal game, but given how involved he was in everything else, I’m not sure it matters too much. He was a central figure of the episode who was simultaneously presented as a threat and underestimated. With Dan saying that they’ll be able to take out Christian whenever, logic would dictate that Christian will actually last a while, at least longer than Dan.
Kara had a really strong pre-merge edit, especially for someone of her archetype. She received at least one confessional per episode and we always heard her perspective even in her UTR moments. It’s somewhat of a surprise then that her merge edit was rather underwhelming. It wasn’t terrible by any means, but there were red flags that need to be addressed.
The majority, if not all, of Kara’s content this episode revolved around Dan. She reunited with the SWAT officer and he told her about his second idol, echoing a similar scene from the premiere. In confessional, Kara told us she is feeling good knowing that she is in an alliance with two idols and the majority numbers. “We’ve got the golden ticket to just keep it going,” she said. “Just don’t mess this up.” This could be perceived as arrogance, but as with the first Vuku vote, Kara recognized that no matter how good things seem on paper, something can always mess it up. And based on all the foreshadowing (the b-roll showed Kara step on something and mouth “Ow!” during her confessional), something (or someone) is definitely going to mess this up.
Kara’s next scene was very confusing. She was in bed with Dan and told him “I might not win it over you… I would love to see you win.” Within the context of this episode, this scene was included because it inspired Elizabeth to aim her target at Dan. But why did the edit show that particular line? Elizabeth said they were whispering for two hours, so it wasn’t as if the edit was short on material to choose from. And yet it picked Kara telling Dan she might not win over him. Is it ironic foreshadowing and she WILL win over him in the end? I don’t see Dan’s edit pointing to a place at Final Tribal Council, so that scenario is unlikely. Is it there because eventually Kara will see Dan as a threat and want to get rid of him? I’m not sure, but I found the inclusion of this line intriguing.
The night-time whispering led to Elizabeth targetting the Dan/Kara duo and Alec informed the possibly-romantic pair of what was up. Kara reacted calmly and logically to the news, while Dan threw a tantrum and stormed off. Again, Kara got to give a confessional where she distanced herself from Dan’s negativity. She recognized he was overreacting: “Get yourself together. Slap yourself into shape. It could be so much worse!” Kara’s eye-rolls and exasperated reactions towards Dan could be foreshadowing the eventual breakdown of this relationship.
Here are my two main worries for Kara right now: 1) Her story revolves too much around Dan, who is a negatively portrayed character. 2) She has yet to receive a question at Tribal Council, despite attending three of them. Now, on the flipside, the story with Dan is obviously important, it was set up in one of the first scenes of the premiere and has been present ever since. So at least that means Kara is relevant to the narrative. But she needs her own story away from Dan. Yes, she distances herself from him in confessionals, but narratively speaking their stories are still interlinked. Dan leaving in the next couple of episodes would be a big boost to Kara’s edit.
Over the Top
As suspected, Carl‘s beef with Elizabeth continued into the merge, and that was essentially what Carl’s edit revolved around this episode. Elizabeth… and booze. That last part is the reason for the OTT rating. The edit, somewhat weirdly, portrayed Carl as a drunk who couldn’t keep his mouth shut.
Carl had the second confessional of the episode and it started off well. “I think the merge signifies that you really start playing strictly for yourself… So, I’m gonna have to try to build some different relationships because I don’t think that, y’know, I will be able to just simply trust the Davids,” he said. I thought we were in store for a MOR, potentially CP episode for Carl, and then the drunk montage happened. “[Elizabeth] gets under my skin, and I mean, at this point, I’d be willing to get rid of her, but as of right now, all I want to do is taste the beer, y’know?”
What followed was various shots of Carl necking beer and then a montage of Carl telling everyone within earshot that he can’t stand Elizabeth and wants her gone. “Carl’s drunk, and he’s telling me that he’s annoyed with Elizabeth,” Dan said. I mean, honestly, Carl didn’t even look drunk, but the edit certainly presented it that way with Dan’s confessional and the subsequent montage. It was just odd and OTT and didn’t give me much faith in Carl’s edit as a serious character or contender. He did ultimately get his way and get Elizabeth out though, but he was given no agency in the story after his initial boozed-up bitch-fest.
The edit was not kind to Dan this week. It feels like his downfall is fast approaching and the edit is setting up all the pieces to make it as satisfying as possible. Dan talked a lot this episode, but his portrayal was steeped in negativity and irony and a lack of self-awareness.
As soon as the merge happened we heard Dan yelling “Brochacho!” to Alec as the boats arrived at Tiva beach. A sign that Dan is not subtle about his relationships in front of others. He then told us that his number one priority is to take out a David and keep Goliath strong. As I said in John’s write-up, that kind of rigid gameplay is not exactly a good thing. Dan then reunited with Kara, and just like in the premiere, he told her about his second idol. “I can’t help it,” he said, which has become a theme of his. Dan gets himself into trouble because he can’t contain himself. He’s admitted as much. And that’s exactly what happened in this episode.
Dan was overheard whispering to Kara all night by Elizabeth and she correctly presumed that they’re a tight duo. When Dan found out his name was on the chopping block, he went into full-on tantrum mode. He couldn’t understand why his name was out there “…and not John,” not recognizing that John is playing a subtle social game while his game is all out in the open. In confessional, Kara distanced herself from Dan, pretty much calling him out for overreacting and telling him to pull himself together. Kara and Alec both tried to calm Dan down, but he stomped off like a petulant child and left Kara shouting after him.
The OTT tantrums continued post-Immunity Challenge. Dan wasn’t happy about Angelina switching the target to Christian instead of Elizabeth and he became hotheaded and condescending in his confessionals. “Christian ain’t going to win the next nine immunities, sweetheart,” he said. “We can take him out. How hard is that to understand? It’s basic!” He reiterated this later when he said: “We’re gonna be able to get rid of [Christian] eventually.” Based on everything we’ve seen of the Dan/Christian relationship so far, foreshadowing would suggest that Dan is going to regret keeping Christian around – and it won’t prove as simple to get rid of him as he expects.
Dan pretty much scripted his own Edgic in his final scene of the episode. He was talking about Angelina, but it was clear, based on everything we’d seen up until that point, that Dan’s words could just as easily apply to himself. “It’s eating her up that it’s not her decision. She needs to f-ing grow up,” he said. This was the guy who stormed off when he heard his name on the chopping block. The tantrum, the NSPV, the complete lack of self-awareness, the mid-challenge pep talks (“Keep telling yourself how awesome you are”), all of this contributed to Dan’s OTTN edit.
On first glance, you might lean towards a MOR rating for Mike this episode, based on his low visibility. But visibility should never influence rating. Mike’s content may have been minimal but what he said was complex, at least enough to warrant a CP-lite.
Mike only had the one confessional but he perfectly laid out his strategy and his plan for moving forward. “My strategy from the beginning was to figure out who I can work with amongst the Davids and who amongst the Goliaths I still feel like I connect with,” he told us. He went on to explain how he likes Alison & Alec and how he hopes to bring Nick into the fold. “We know that like the Goliaths are going to fall apart at some point,” he continued, “and I just want to have a solid six so that we can make sure to monopolize the game.”
That confessional was solid CP strategy, especially as it was backed up in camp scenes as we saw the Strike Force alliance coming together. Mike was also the first to suggest voting off two Davids early so that they could “keep the Goliaths in the dark” until it was time to pick them off. That plan was arranged and executed across the episode.
The worry for Mike is the same thing I mentioned in Alison’s write-up. We never saw a connection between Mike/Alison/Alec back on the Goliath beach. This is the first we’re hearing of it. That doesn’t fill me with faith that this Strike Force alliance is going to last. Now, Mike’s pre-merge edit was a lot better than Alec and Alison’s, so there is potential for his edit to move in a different direction should this alliance breakdown. He still has the connection with Nick, however, in this episode, Nick’s bond with Christian was given more emphasis than the Rock Stars alliance. Mike’s trust in Nick could potentially cost him down the line.
Gabby is another one that on first watch you might view as a MOR or even OTT edit, but upon further analysis, I feel confident she was CP. The edit made sure to fill us in on her story every step of the way. We always get to hear where her head is at. And her decisions always make sense, even when she is having these big emotional reactions, the edit backs her up.
At the merge feast, Gabby was shown to be perceptive. She was aware that some kind of idol or advantage is often hidden at the feast. She worried if it was just paranoia talking, which is a common theme in Gabby’s narrative, but as always, her paranoia was justified. The cameras kept focusing on the palm-tree merge logo, which suggests that that IS indeed a clue and Gabby was on the right track, even if she didn’t work it out herself. What this tells us is that Gabby is focused on the game, even amongst all the high drama and emotions.
She was then approached to be in the Strike Force alliance. She chatted with Alec and reiterated that Christian is “her person.” She talked to the benefits of a “cross-tribal” alliance and agreed that Elizabeth would be a good person to take out first to keep the status quo. All of this was decent content, but it wasn’t until after the Immunity Challenge where Gabby’s edit took a turn for the CP. What she said to Carl could become very important and also help to frame her edit in a new light. “The story that we’re selling [the Goliaths] is that we’re so pathetic,” she said. “And there’s so few of us that we’d rather turn on ourselves… like anyone but me. And acting like we don’t have power.”
That’s an interesting statement because it turns Gabby’s underdog story into an intentional strategy. Using her David image to her advantage. However, in her next confessional, she did present herself as an underdog with no power. “Originally, I was fine with voting off Elizabeth as a sort of a sacrificial lamb, knowing that after this vote I have people that want to work with me,” she said. “But, to be a David and feel like an underdog and to see in play out in real time, where the Goliaths walk up and down the beach… It is so infuriating to feel like an underdog this whole game and have to just sit there in the shelter and hope that it’s not you.”
Gabby talked a lot last week about how “hope” is not a strategy and we saw her go to work in trying to gain Alison as an ally (which worked). She did something similar here, as she told Elizabeth to throw Angelina under the bus to the Goliaths. It might not have got Angelina out at this vote, but it served its purpose in forming a crack in the Goliath group, and the way the camera kept cutting back to Gabby at Tribal Council, the edit certainly seemed to be supporting Gabby’s plan. All of this post-IC content was CP – Gabby talked through her thoughts, told us her plans, and put one of those plans into motion. Her reaction to Angelina at Tribal Council did have OTT elements, but as I’ve said before, that is just Gabby’s character at this point. She is full of emotion. But it doesn’t negate the complexities in the rest of her edit.
Where does her story go next? Well, I’m intrigued about what she said to Carl. Is she going to play up her underdog role? Or is she going to be an underdog regardless of whether it’s strategy or not? Perhaps it can be both. It seems, based on her reactions at Tribal Council, that Gabby wants to stick by the Davids, and that could mean the end of the newly formed Strike Force alliance (which wouldn’t be surprising based on its sudden appearance). Remember in the premiere, Gabby said that the Davids’ advantage is that they are “scrappy” and know how to “work together and use each other to succeed in this game.” Despite losing Elizabeth at this vote, I wonder if this is where Gabby’s story will go next, trying to rally the Davids for a scrappy fight against the Goliath majorit
Elizabeth‘s story ended exactly as I thought it would. She went down swinging; fighting until the very last second. From the moment she was introduced in the premiere, Elizabeth was presented as the mascot for the David fighting spirit. She had a never-give-up attitude and it was clear that wherever she ended up, that was going to be her lasting impact.
Her OTTM-edit last week was an ominous sign, made even worse by her former ally Lyrsa getting eliminated. Elizabeth was entering the merge with very few connections, plus a beef with Carl/Davie. There had to be a purpose of showing the Elizabeth and Carl confrontation last week, and, of course, Carl was the first person to throw Elizabeth’s name on the chopping block in this episode. But while Elizabeth received NSPV from Carl, she found support from Gabby, and even Angelina, who despite whether she was angling for a jury vote, praised Elizabeth with PSPV.
Elizabeth was definitely CP. She explained herself throughout the episode and filled us and others into her strategy. She overheard Dan & Kara whispering throughout the night and correctly called them as a power couple. She approached Alec, who had voted with her on Vuku, to try and get him to flip to the Davids and take out Dan. The problem was, the game was moving faster than Elizabeth could keep up. She wanted to try and keep the Davids together, but the Davids were already splitting off and forming cross-tribal alliances or throwing her under the bus. For example, she kept sharing info with Carl, the man who set the ball rolling against her.
But, as I said, Elizabeth never gave up. She never cowered away, even after she learned she was the target. “I’m not gonna back down because I am here to win!” she stated. And at Tribal Council, she gave it her all, throwing Angelina under the bus and trying to get the Goliaths to flip. It didn’t work, but it fit Elizabeth’s story perfectly. And it’s why I’ve rated her as CPP for her overall season rating. Yes, she had a bit of negativity these past couple of episodes, but it came mostly from Carl, who is certainly not a tone-setter. I think people will remember Elizabeth in a positive light, as a character who fought hard right until her torch was snuffed.
For the second week in a row, I started to doubt my read of Angelina‘s edit. And yet she survived again. I need to have more faith in my own Edgic! As I’ve said before, “Angelina the antagonist” is a story with legs, an arc that could run for a while yet. Angelina’s villain edit was on display again here, and yet she is never boxed into the OTTN category like Dan.
Here’s the interesting thing about Angelina’s edit. She is often right. What she says is usually valid. Like what she said in the premiere about women not finding idols. Or when she said Natalie “would be an easy next out” and followed that through by eliminating her at her next Tribal. But it’s her delivery which is all wrong. She doesn’t have the right approach. Perhaps lacking in the social charm which has been such a prevalent theme. As she said at Tribal, she wants to be seen as an “authentic person,” but to others, she comes across as “fake” and “unconvincing.”
Angelina started this episode by gaining information from loose-lipped Carl about what happened at the Natalia vote. She learned that Alec flipped. “It seems like a careless and emotional move,” she said in regards to Alec’s move, which could have been ironic foreshadowing for what she did later in telling Elizabeth about the vote. But she was also shown to be aware of the danger Alec posed. “I need to tread lightly with Alec. He’s already shown how quickly he’ll flip… If one person wants to flip, they can completely change the game.” So when Alec later said “[Angelina] has no idea I could take her out right now,” he wasn’t exactly right. Angelina is well aware of Alec’s shadiness.
After the Immunity Challenge, Angelina set her sights on Christian. She pinpointed him as the “biggest threat on the Davids” and stated that Elizabeth is only a “medium threat” with “no allies or social graces.” Again, Angelina was right, up until that point, the edit showed us that Elizabeth had no solid allies (everyone was okay with booting her first) and she was rubbing the likes of Carl the wrong way. Meanwhile, Christian was killing the social game, as we saw multiple people wanting to work with him.
However, John was the only one that said: “[The Christian vote] made sense in the context of the game.” Others found her approach too aggressive. They saw through her use of military language to “get them fired up” and went behind her back to flip the vote back to Elizabeth. When they told Angelina the voted had flipped, she said she was on board even though she “disagreed” with the decision. Alec and Dan said she was “so mad,” even though from what we saw she reacted calmly in the moment – compare it to Dan storming off earlier in the episode. It wasn’t until a private moment when Angelina started crying.
She then approached Elizabeth and told her that her name had been thrown out. This is when things really blew up for Angelina. Earlier she had talked about not letting your enemy know where you’re going to hit, and here she was telling the next boot they were the target. Now, you could argue that Elizabeth wasn’t Angelina’s enemy and that she was providing the info to help, but regardless, it backfired when Angelina took all the heat at Tribal Council. She was accused of trying to secure jury votes. But again, it was Angelina who recognized what was really going on. She said the Davids were just trying to form cracks in the Goliath alliance and get them to flip on her, which is exactly what Gabby had told Elizabeth pre-TC.
So where does Angelina go from here? She is clearly a villain who lacks in social charm and yet the edit often supports her game-reads. She is a rare complex female villain. Her next step could be to flip on the Goliaths. There is certainly enough setup. In this episode, Angelina said that she will “ride the Goliath wave as long as that wave is stable,” which gives her a valid out. She also said: “[Dan] makes me super nervous now. Now I don’t even feel safe in my own home; in my own alliance.” Which gives her an incentive to flip on Dan in the future. The wheels are going to fall off Angelina’s edit eventually, but right now I still see her story pushing forward.
This was a big episode for Alec, one which is either going to be the start of a post-merge CP boost or the set up for an impending boot. On paper, everything Alec said seemed to be the right thing. He detailed his plans, he talked about the wider themes of the season, and he went to work in forming new alliances. But there’s just a nagging feeling, perhaps based on his weak pre-merge edit, that not all is hunky-dory in Alec land.
The first red flag is that before Alec even went to work in building his new Strike Force alliance, he was already pinpointed by Angelina as a danger and a turncoat who would need to be approached with caution. Carl informed the Goliaths that Alec was the flipper in the Natalia vote and that news obviously spread because later Christian said “[Alec] apparently flipped the script at that infamous Vuku tribal council when Natalia went home…” If everyone is aware of how willing he is to flip, then I’m not sure if that is a good sign for Alec’s game.
However, Alec was CP throughout the episode, getting to explain his strategy in great detail. He was aware that “David vs. Goliath was over” and that it was time to “jump on board with the Davids” and “form those connections.” And he put that into action. He approached Christian about forming an “unlikely relationship.” He “spearheaded” the Strike Force alliance, bringing in Alison, Mike, Gabby, and Nick. He told us that he couldn’t agree to Elizabeth’s plan because he “needed to play double agent” and didn’t want to “show his cards too early.” When Angelina shifted the vote to Christian, he explained why that would be bad for his game. “If I were to vote out Christian, I lose trust now with not only Gabby, Nick and Christian, but I lose trust with all the Davids…”
“This game isn’t about just numbers”, Alec said at one point. “You gotta form connections, build relationships. That’s how you’re gonna get farther and farther in the game.” That was a great confessional, but has it come too late? Has all of this solid CP content come too late? If Alec was getting these kind of confessionals pre-merge, I’d be much higher on his edit. But his pre-merge was tragically UTR. Now we’re supposed to see him as this strategic mastermind? I’m not buying it. If his Strike Force alliance was going to be important then we’d have surely seen signs of a connection with Alison and Mike much earlier in the season.
I think what this episode is telling us is that Alec plays fast and loose. In the words of Christian, Alec is a player who “walks the walk,” he is ready and willing to shake things up. But his moves and relationships are not based on anything. There is no solid foundation. No follow-through. For example, Mike told us he likes Alec, but why? We’ve never seen those two bond on any sort of personal level or even a game level before this episode. And on top of that, people are aware that Alec is a flipper, and so he isn’t as smooth as he thinks he is. While this episode on its own looked good for Alec, his edit’s overall lack of depth and consistency makes me believe his story isn’t going to end well.