And with that, we’re at the season finale of Survivor: Edge of Extinction! On top of three immunity challenges, three tribal councils, the fire-making challenge, and final tribal council, the episode also features one more challenge which will determine which eliminated player on Extinction will re-enter the game. With so many variables up in the air, I’m inclined to think that any prediction of what’s to come is us being prematurely confident. The narratives this season have been far from straightforward, and we’ve been given surprise votes that completely threw us off guard at times. Nonetheless, that’s what makes speculating all the more exciting, so without further ado, let’s look a little deeper at some scenes that might reveal what’s going to happen in the finale this week.
For the second time this season, there’s going to be a player from Extinction re-entering into the game. Out of the 11 players on the island, I think we can narrow down the potential returnee based on the scenes of them reading their letters to themselves in the last episode…
The sequence first opened with Eric speaking of the adventure of playing Survivor. I found his segment similar to Joe’s, in that they were simple reflections on the experience playing the game. Then, Julia gave a tearful confessional of her discovering the impact of her journey, stating that “this too has a purpose.” Aubry spoke of finding validation from within, which is another suitable lesson for the Edge of Extinction, while David mentioned the maturing effect of playing the game, sharing how Survivor helps one grow. Immediately, I was reminded of the awkward superfan from the first episodes of Millennials vs. Generation X. This comment from David does seem pretty in line with his overall character growth arc across the seasons.
The most picturesque sequence of the lot was definitely Chris sitting on a large rock in the ocean, talking about wanting to play a perfect game, something which he had brought up previously as well. Personally, it’s one of the more interesting reflections to me, and one that I’ve been attempting to decipher. Next, Reem shared about being self-sufficient and independent, and that “everything will come full circle,” a poignant line as the first person voted out this season. Unfortunately, we didn’t hear from Wardog, Wentworth, and Ron, although we saw visuals of them reading their letters.
With this in mind, I find the notable confessionals to be from Julia, Chris, and Reem, hinting that one of the three would be the returning player. However, I feel we might be able to rule out Julia because of her relatively quiet edit when she was in the main game, save the live tribal where she was eventually voted out. I think that although Reem’s confessional stood out, it might be due to her being the first player eliminated and the longest survivor on Extinction. I don’t think she’ll be returning either, especially after seeing her slight struggle in the sneak preview of the re-entry challenge. That would leave Chris, based on the content the players on Extinction received in the last episode.
On top of this, there’s also Aurora, the latest player to get voted out and hence the final player on Extinction. She has proven to be a challenge threat, having won a couple of individual immunity challenges earlier in the season. As such, I’m guessing it’s between Chris and Aurora as the player returning from the Edge of Extinction.
As for my predictions for the rest of the finale, it’s very much based on what we’ve seen in, and how we’ve viewed, the last few episodes, since the trailers don’t offer many additional clues. One thing’s for sure – there’s going to be talk about getting Devens out again. I feel like even Julie, who worked with him the last episode, would probably want him out as he’s too big a threat. At the last tribal, Devens proposed that the numbers will fall 3-3, with Lauren, Victoria, Gavin on one side, and Devens, Julie and the Extinction returnee on the other, with Devens leveraging his idol. I feel like, while this may be the case at first, the Extinction returnee will probably also realise sooner or later that Devens is far too great a threat to be kept around. The number one target will inevitably still fall on Devens.
One of the threads that struck me was of Lauren wanting to work with Julie and take her to the end. I think Julie believes (probably with reason) that Gavin and Victoria aren’t willing to work with her. In this case, I won’t be surprised if she sticks with Lauren to get to the final tribal. Another dynamic that was cemented in the last episode was how close Gavin and Victoria are aligned. I think it’s safe to say that Gavin wants to go to the end with Victoria, though I’m not as sure about the reverse, as we didn’t get to hear about this relationship directly from Victoria. Nonetheless, I think they’re sticking together through these final days of the game.
With that, my predictions for the finale episode are that either Aurora or Chris re-enters the game, making it a final six again. There’ll be a 3-3 split based on pre-existing alliances at the start of the episode; however, Lauren jumps to Julie’s side, making it a 4-2. Devens plays his idol which he revealed at the previous tribal council, and Gavin is voted out. Five players left, Devens doesn’t win immunity, and he goes, Lauren plays her idol to be safe, leaving Victoria, Lauren, Julie, and the Extinction returnee. At the final 4, I don’t see Victoria or Julie winning the challenge, so it’s between the Extinction returnee and Lauren. Lauren had a sneaky one-liner about making fire, which might be a Chekhov’s gun that she would be competing in the fire-making challenge.
Following this, the Extinction returnee would win the final immunity challenge, and I think he/she’ll take Julie as she’s seen as unpredictable and someone who’s been left out of many votes. Victoria and Lauren make fire and Lauren wins. At this point, I think Lauren wins in the end, over Julie and the returnee. I’m personally okay with that, though I’ve been rooting for Victoria and Gavin. Lauren’s portrayal so far just seems more well-rounded and interesting.
I know that the sheer amount of air-time and confessionals may also indicate Devens as the winner of the season. However, I think it’s going to be really difficult for him to get to the end unless he goes on an immunity run and finds more idols. I’m more inclined to believe that he’s just a fun and entertaining character to watch than him being the eventual winner.
Share your predictions for the season finale in the comments!