Oh how wrong I was about Jeremy. One of the predictions I made on the blog last week was that the 40-year-old lawyer would be safe from elimination and that he’d even covertly orchestrate a blindside though it seemed like he was overtly targeting Natalie. I was convinced that he was being presented as a savvy and shrewd player that would make it at least further than the third boot of the season. He even had an emotional confessional early in Episode 3 about his relationship with his father, which, although I felt to be dissonantly out of place, still made me gather a general positive portrayal of him till then.
To sum up my reception to Jeremy’s narrative, my final thought is that the editing this season is much more designed and deceptive than I assumed it to be. With that in mind, I hope I’d be able to redeem myself in my predictions this week!
Everybody drop your buffs, it’s the swap! Tribe swaps make predictions slightly trickier because we can only guess new tribe dynamics. However, we can tell some basic things from observing the preview trailer carefully.
To begin, we see Davie, Elizabeth and Natalia standing together on what I believe to be the post-swap mat of the new orange tribe. Later on, we see Alec with an orange buff in the shelter with Davie. So as far as trailers go, we know that these four players will be on the same tribe, and probably on the original David tribe’s beach.
For this tribe, we were also given a confessional from Davie. “Now it’s really time to backstab and lie and play the game,” he says. While it does sound like a generic swap confessional when the players meet their new tribemates, I can’t help but wonder if it’s a cue that Davie and his idol have plans brewing. If his idol does come up in the episode, is he going to use it to gain the trust of some original Goliaths, or use it to blindside one of them and stay David strong?
On the one hand, as mentioned, on the same post-swap tribe as Davie is Elizabeth, who was part of the Jessica blindside against him in Episode 2. With more options available, Davie doesn’t necessarily need to stick to the people that voted against him, and hence could jump to work with the Goliaths. On the other hand, I also see Goliaths sticking together – Natalia and Alec are very much aligned, alongside quite a number of other original Goliaths. This would make working with them more difficult for Davie. My hunch is that he sticks with Elizabeth at least for the next episode.
With 17 people left in the game, it’s an odd number to do a tribe swap. I initially considered an 8-8 tribe swap with one person sent to Exile, following the likes of Debbie in Game Changers, and Julia in Kaoh Rong. However, CBS’ Episode 4 press photos revealed a third green tribe in the mix. A more likely split would thus be a 6-6-5, with five players on a new beach.
However, I can’t really convince myself of this outcome as well. So here’s my uncorroborated stream-of-consciousness thoughts that may or may not make sense. For starts, isn’t it pretty brutal to start on a new beach and have fewer tribemates? Of course, unless we’re really going with the theme of Davids! The underdogs! Overcoming! All! Obstacles!!!
Moreover, the preview trailer shows Carl looking for a coconut with a blue string – wouldn’t it be a piece of green string if he was on the new green tribe? Or perhaps there are multiple clues to an advantage, demarcating by different strings on coconuts? (And as a side note, I’m quite sure that the short cut of Alison is from the same scene shown in Episode 2 on the Goliath tribe, not from a post-swap scene.) This makes me think that there’s a gaping hole in the plot that we’ve not seen before, which is substantiated by “twist after twist after twist” in the trailer’s narration.
So what’s going to happen? Is Carl on Exile? What’s the advantage? Will there be a tribe of 5? How many twists are there going to be? So many questions, so few answers…
On a lighter note, the preview trailer started with a small moment highlighting Gabby, and Christian comforting her. At first glance, this is a worrying image for Gabby. So far we’ve seen her crying multiple times, insecure about the Lyrsa vote attempt, as well as thrown under the bus by multiple tribemates on David. Yet, we’ve also gotten some positive moments from her. Overall, I feel that Gabby has been given a lot of visibility and nuanced focus since the premiere, and this might be an attempt to narrativise her growth over the season. Nonetheless, this scene in the preview seems to be pre-swap so things will probably be up in the air again.
As for Christian, he once again makes it to the episode title, “Time to Bring About the Charmpocalypse,” for the third time out of four episodes this season. I feel like he’s heading into the swap in a decently good position, on healthy terms with most, if not all, original Davids, and with strong alliances in Nick and Gabby individually. I also feel like he can make a good case appealing to some Goliaths to work together as an “unlikely pair,” which seems to be a recurring strand this season. If anything, I believe his conversation with Gabby in Episode 3 explaining the logistics of Slamtown is foreboding of a possible alliance with John that we’ll get to see soon.
I’m aware that I’ve made fewer predictions and raised more questions in my article this week. But that’s really because of the natural unpredictability of swaps and unknown twist(s) on Survivor. Hopefully I’ve provided at least some speculative food for thought!
Do you have any wild guesses for Episode 4? Let us know in the comments!