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 read our Introduction to Edgic article.
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What Does This Tell Us?
Once again, the Ta Keo tribe dominated the edit due to the high drama taking place at camp and the fact that they attended Tribal Council for the second time in a row. The amount of time spent at the Ta Keo beach gives us a pretty good read on the majority of the characters on that tribe. Bayon is a little harder to get a grasp of, but we can safely assume that the characters that are getting screen-time on Bayon, despite the overall minimal footage, are characters to keep a keen eye on.
Oh, Monica. Starting the season with an UTR1 edit was a bad sign, but at least there was a still a small chance of recovery. But going from UTR1 to INV in the space of two episodes is pretty much a death knell for Monica’s second chance. Even in Samoa, Monica never received an INV edit. In this episode, Monica didn’t receive a single confessional nor any significant screen-time at camp. I think at this point it is safe to start calling her Purple Monica.
The edit pretty much rules out Monica as a viable contender to win. Not only that, but the edit tells us that her story will have no significant impact on the season. While the Bayon tribe as a whole has been under-edited, if Monica did play any sort of importance in the narrative, the editors would have made sure to include her at least a minimal amount to keep her fresh in our memories.
Under The Radar
Six castaways received an UTR edit this week: Ciera, Kimmi, Keith, Kelly Wiglesworth, Tasha, and Woo. All but two of them are from the Bayon tribe. So we’ll start with the two Ta Keo members.
Woo remains consistent with his Episode 1 edit. He was invisible until the final quarter when he appeared as part of Shirin and Spencer’s story. His one confessional about sticking to his guns and not following Shirin and Spencer’s plan may have been an example of growth from his first season, but he didn’t extrapolate on this nor did the episode give it the primary focus. This further indicates that Cambodia will not be Woo’s story; he will only be used when necessary to develop someone else’s narrative.
Wiglesworth is interesting because her edit in the premiere was OTTP. This week she had one confessional at the start of the episode about how the first vote blindsided her – and that was it for the night. Like we said last week, Wiglesworth is the entry point for the Second Chance theme. But as each episode passes, she becomes less and less useful as a narrative tool. Everything shown of her so far is through the eyes of Old School/Borneo/15 Years Ago. She is literally stuck in the past edit wise. This doesn’t totally rule her out as a potential winner or a key character, but a similar edit in the next two or three episodes would be dreadful.
Bayon had even less screen time in Episode 2 than they did in the premiere but the person to suffer the most was Keith. Not only did he not get a confessional this week, but he didn’t get any key focus at camp. Couple that with the fact that he didn’t receive an opening confessional in the premiere (unlike his UTR Bayon counterparts), then it does not look like Cambodia will be the season of Keith Nale. He is what he said was in Episode 1, he’s “99% of America,” along for the ride. Hopefully, Keith can find his niche as comic relief (that whole sentence rhymed) – but he will not be a major player.
Kimmi is another compelling case. Her edit so far doesn’t really tell us who she is as a player. We don’t know her strategy or where she stands within the hierarchy of the tribe. Now, this could simply be because Bayon hasn’t been to tribal council, and with the tribes switching next episode, maybe her place within Bayon is irrelevant to the overall story. But still, the editors are showing just enough of her to keep her present; she received a decent amount of focus during Savage’s wife story.
Kimmi also had that pivotal Angkor Wat opening confessional in the premiere. Again, while the edit doesn’t suggest she will become a strategic force, it does seem like her character will have a story arc – and perhaps that arc will be about redeeming her social game.
Ciera and Tasha are following the same path as Kimmi as of now. They are just about present but so far are not relevant to the main story-lines. We know from Blood vs. Water that Ciera is the type of player that comes alive when her back is against the wall, and up until now she has had no reason to worry. She did have the opening confessional in the premiere about wanting to play fearlessly, but the edit did not expand on that in Episode 2. Ciera is still very much up in the air as a character.
Tasha is similar, her second episode edit did not build on her first, but interestingly, they did show her “I’ll pray for forgiveness” confessional again in the “Previously on…” segment. Again, this seems to point to Tasha becoming a bigger character later on in the season.
Over The Top
Abi-Maria continues her impressive streak of OTT edits over two seasons. However, this episode gave us two sides of the Brazilian dragon. We saw the confrontational Abi in her argument with Peih-Gee and the sensitive Abi in her scene with Terry – a scene edited to elicit sympathy. This gave Abi a very mixed tone. But the amount of screen-time dedicated to Abi is still disproportionate to everybody else, and a scene of her crying on the beach does not a complex personality make. She is still very much a caricature and her chances of winning still hover around the 0% mark.
She was described as both “a cancer to an alliance” and “a tool to help win this game”. More on that when we get to Spencer and Varner. The editors have primed Abi-Maria as this season’s drama. She is not there as a strategist, or as a threat to win, she is there to cause conflict, and her edit suggests this will continue for a while.
Joe is the opposite of Abi. The editors rely on him for good vibes and to appease the casual fanbase. His edit is just as OTT as Abi’s. As the most recent popular player, he continues to get the golden boy edit. Joe is portrayed as a one-dimensional character; he’s good at everything. But we are never shown his strategy or how he plans to evolve his game. It is almost like Joe has just continued straight on from Worlds Apart, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he left in a similar fashion and position to his first time.
Middle of the Road
By far, the two most prominent characters so far on the Bayon tribe are Savage and Fishbach. They both received MOR edits this week, but while Savage was on the positive side of the scale, Fishbach was still dwelling in the negative zone.
Everyone may be in awe of Joe’s survival abilities, but it is Savage whom the tribe is emotionally drawn to. He was given the spotlight to share his story about meeting his wife, and while we at home may have laughed at how sappy it was, the fact is, it resonated with the Bayon tribe. Like we covered last week, Savage’s edit isn’t a million miles away from his Pearl Islands one – the strong tribe leader. His story this season is whether that can actually work, and so far the answer is yes.
Fishbach continues to be the odd man out on the love-fest tribe. Now, in reality, I’m sure that Stephen actually fit in pretty well day-to-day with Bayon. But the editors need some semblance of a story for the perpetually winning tribe, and the only thing they have right now is the minor conflict of personality between Fishy and Savage.
Fishbach’s misreading of Jeremy’s absence from camp was portrayed as negative. Even though Savage was overly harsh in his confessional, the fact that his reading of Jeremy was the right one, made him appear more positive.
The edit so far would suggest that the Fishbach-Savage-Jeremy arc is not over yet.
Kelley Wentworth was one of the star features of the premiere, and of course, a large part of that was her finding the idol. We talked last week about the concern that this could potentially have been another Carolyn in Worlds Apart edit – prime coverage in Episode 1 and then UTR the following week, before gradually disappearing from the edit. Luckily for Wentworth, that was not the case.
Her edit was quieter but in such a way that suggests she is in for the long haul, with a significant role to play. The key thing to look out for when determining which characters will play a vital role in the season, is whether or not they give reasoning for their decisions.
This week the vote flipped, and Wentworth had to vote out one of her former allies. Not only did we see her in conversation with Varner regarding the vote, but she received a confessional where we got to hear her explanation. The confessional itself wasn’t particularly entertaining – so it would stand to reason that the editors want us to know that Wentworth is thinking about her game.
I mentioned in my Episode 2 Review that the conversation between Varner and Wentworth was important. And it was. The editors didn’t have to show us that. If that relationship wasn’t significant, you could have just had a clip of Varner telling somebody that Wentworth was voting with them (or in a confessional). Instead, we got a back and forth exchange that painted them as an equal partnership. Watch the scene again and how they talk to each other. This wasn’t Varner mollycoddling Abi-Maria, or bro-ing it up with Terry and Woo. He spoke to her on his level. And listen to the way Wentworth answered back. Not afraid or apprehensive, but confident, reassuring and familiar “Varner, you’re not gonna see me talking to her today. I promise you.”
I believe the editors gave us this scene for a reason. Maybe Varner and Wentworth will continue to build a partnership? Or maybe they’ll eventually become foes? Maybe both?
Peih-Gee had larger visibility this week, but it continued to be in regards to another character’s story. That other character, for two weeks in a row now, was Abi-Maria. Like Keith and Woo, Peih-Gee was one of the eight not to receive an opening confessional in the premiere, and she will likely play a similar role to those two. She will be given focus when it is necessary to tell someone else’s story, and as unfortunate as it may sound, I think Peih-Gee needs to remain in Abi’s shadow to continue getting screen-time.
Jeremy is becoming the king of CP edits. He gets to explain his strategy and express his emotions. Last week he was shown putting his strategic game together and this week we got to see his emotional side.
While it may have been Savage’s story that started the emotional outpouring on Bayon, the edit used it as a platform to tell Jeremy’s story. He snuck away privately to tell the camera that he misses his wife, and how she is pregnant, and how he is unable to tell his tribemates in case they use it against him. The edit wanted to humanize Jeremy and make him a rootable character. Savage may be positioned as the leader right now, but the edit tells us that Jeremy is the thinker.
Kass was another person emotionally affected by Savage’s story. I know, Kass, emotionally affected – what is the world coming to? The edit showed personal growth for Kass compared to how she played in Cagayan, but it wasn’t necessarily tied to the game. We still don’t know where exactly Kass stands regarding strategy and alliances, and again, this could simply be because Bayon has yet to attend tribal council.
Right now, it ‘s hard to predict where Kass’s story-arc is going. Will this personal growth bring her greater success in the game? Or is her story like Kimmi’s? In that, a better social game and making personal bonds will be redemption enough. The jury is still out on that one. But the fact that Kass got a CPP edit in Episode 2 is a sign that she will have a big role this season.
Terry received his first CPP5 edit since way back in Episode 4 of Survivor: Panama. The edit wanted to show us that he had learned from his mistakes made in Episode 1. The key part of that was his chat with Abi-Maria on the beach where he performed the fatherly role to a woman in distress. Last week it seemed that Terry was only going to be a supporting character due to his MOR edit and lack of opening confessional, but things are now looking up for him. Unlike Wiglesworth, Terry was shown to be actively correcting his game and improving socially after his first tribal council blindside.
Much like with Kelley Wentworth, we always get to see Spencer’s decision process. We know what he is thinking at all times. This is a good sign for both a winner’s edit and that of a strong, long-term character. The story the editors are telling with Spencer is, can he change from simply a “game-bot” into a social player? He has now expressed in both episodes how he wants to be able to connect to people on a human level, yet this week we saw him failing at that, causing his downfall and the loss of his closest ally Shirin.
But we were also shown the game-bot crying. Like every sci-fi robot movie ever made – the machine eventually develops feelings. This episode seemed to be set up as a turning point for Spencer. A wake-up call if you will. He was spared at tribal council and again promised his tribe that he will change and work hard on building relationships. With a tribe swap approaching, this could be the beginning of Spencer’s redemption arc.
On the opposite end of that is Jeff Varner, the man causing Spencer so much misery. Varner has received a prominent edit in both episodes and is positioned as the current controller of the game. He, like Spencer, like Wentworth, gets to explain his thought process.
The problem that faces Varner is whether this is too much too soon. A character that is directing the narrative of the game this early is often set up for a big blindside around the time of the merge – we’ve seen this recently with Jeremy in San Juan Del Sur. If Varner continues to receive this dominant Godfather-like edit then that could very well be where his story is heading.
However, with a tribe swap next week, Varner could quickly go from top dog to lost puppy. An early fall from grace would actually be a positive sign for Varner’s chances of winning. If he suddenly becomes an underdog, then that merge boot story-arc goes out of the window, and he instead has a story about trying to reclaim that power.
There is a reason I put Spencer and Varner together too. I believe the edit is trying to interlink their stories. Varner right now is the Tony toying with the young lad. But that doesn’t mean Cambodia is going to have the same arc as Cagayan. The interesting thing to look at are those lines about Abi that I mentioned earlier. Spencer described Abi as a “cancer”. Varner described her as a “tool”. I believe that before all is said and done, that one of them will be proved right. Either Varner will use Abi to take down Spencer, or Abi will end up becoming Varner’s downfall.
We talked last week about how Shirin didn’t receive a long-term edit. All of her Episode 1 confessionals were situational, and she was described as over-playing. That over-playing is what did her in this episode and sent her packing. Although, the edit of the episode itself would have us believe that Shirin’s downfall came from not nurturing her relationship with Abi. While this was certainly portrayed as a negative, we did have Varner describe Shirin as a smart player who can emotionally connect with people, and Spencer openly wept about not being able to play with her. This gave Shirin an overall mixed CP edit.
That is it for Week 2 of Survivor Second Chance Edgic. Please let us know in the comments how you would have rated each castaway based on Episode 2.