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?
Episode 6 was the last episode before the merge and the perfect chance to set-up the important post-merge characters. Some arcs came to their natural conclusion, such as Terry and Woo, whose edits always had a limited shelf-life. Other edits quietened down, signalling a change in pace and direction for the season – mainly referring to Abi-Maria. This made way for the arrival of fresh characters whom may have a much more significant post-merge arc – like Ciera.
Under The Radar
It is getting harder and harder to find things to say about Kelly Wiglesworth. Her edit is almost non-existent. If it weren’t for her brief quote about being a parent after Terry’s departure, she would have been invisible this episode.
It has now been four episodes in a row without a Wiglesworth confessional. She isn’t providing anything in terms of narrative, entertainment or strategy. It’s almost like she is a crew member that has wandered onto the set and nobody seems to have to noticed. There is no story for Wiglesworth – she truly is the new Purple Kelly.
Keith had a nice little visit over to the MOR ratings last episode, but now he is back home amongst the UTRs. The only key scene with Keith this episode involved him having a half-joking/half-serious argument with Kimmi about cooking a fish over the camp fire. It was a small character scene to show Keith and Kimmi as non-strategic threats, while everyone else around them was plotting and scheming.
Episode 5’s check in with Keith, where we heard his thoughts on the five-person Ta Keo alliance, now seems to have been included just so we know where Keith lies alliance wise. It wasn’t to signal a turn in Keith’s character from lovable comic relief to master strategist. What it did was let us briefly know where Keith is placed in the game ahead of the heavy strategy that is likely to come at the merge.
Kimmi’s edit has mirrored Keith’s for most of this season so far. They have both spent the majority of the pre-merge as background observers. They both suddenly increased in screen-time in Episode 5 (Kimmi more so due to Bayon attending tribal council) before returning to the UTR ranks in Episode 6.
Kimmi and Keith are just numbers; likely on opposite sides. But they both fulfill the same role. Kimmi talked last episode about keeping Bayon strong and working for her team. Keith swore his allegiance to the Ta Keo five. It is no coincidence that they were featured in the same bumbling, comedy scene together this episode. The edit tells us that they are there to be loyal alliance members in somebody else’s story and potential victory.
The edit for Tasha in Episode 6 was a little worrying. She had such a great run over on Angkor where she was the key player and main story-teller. She was in control of not only the game but the narrative on the Angkor beach. But a return to the Bayon beach sent her right back to where she was in Episode 2 – UTR1.
We didn’t get any check in from Tasha letting us know her thoughts on her new tribe. But we did see her brought into strategy talks, so at least we were made aware that she wasn’t in immediate danger. What this tells us is that on Bayon, Tasha is a secondary character to the likes of Jeremy, Joe, and Stephen.
On Angkor, Tasha had depth, but on Bayon her character is very one-dimensional. She is strong – backed up by the “Ali shuffle” at the immunity challenge. Also, the fact we didn’t see Tasha run the slip and slide reward challenge is questionable. Why not show her round? Was it because she lost and the edit didn’t want us viewing Tasha as “weak”? Maybe. This episode also reminded us that Tasha is “in lust” with Joe – with the close-up shot of her ogling him at the reward challenge – making us take her less seriously as a player.
What does this all mean? It goes back to Tasha’s quote at tribal council in Episode 4 when she said the vote was about choosing strength or loyalty. Her voting out Varner that night meant she had chosen strength over loyalty. It appears that her alliance with “strength” and the alphas will continue but at the expense of a more rounded edit.
Yes. Don’t worry. You are reading this correctly. Abi-Maria had a UTR1 edit! This may be Abi’s quietest edit in history; including her episodes in Survivor: Philippines. For somebody that has dominated the edit pre-merge, with a combined total of 18 confessionals over 5 episodes, it was quite a shock to see… or not to see Abi in this latest episode.
This is significant because it wasn’t as if Abi was neglected from the episode simply because nothing interesting was going on with her. After all, her tribe went to tribal council, and the person voted out was Woo – one of her main enemies this season (he voted for her twice!). We didn’t get a single confessional from Abi about her vote or her thoughts on the new tribe.
Why was this? Well, this episode included a lot of strategy on new Ta Keo, mainly from Ciera, Kass, and Savage. Abi is irrelevant when it comes to actual strategy. She is only shown when being crazy. Her craziness has indirectly led to people getting voted out prior to this, but lest the world mistake her craziness for strategy, this was proof that it’s not.
She is a cancer to an alliance. That is her story. Her allies get burned. Savage was the latest victim; he said she was loyal and solid. She flipped on him. Just like she flipped on all of her other allies. There is no real logic behind her moves, so the edit didn’t think it worth showing her decision making. Instead, Kass got the majority of screen-time and was the one portrayed as the middle-man.
Her decisions are always emotionally driven and not game-related, and her lack of air-time in this episode could suggest a shift in the edit. As we head into the merge, strategy will become more and more of a focus, and Abi will not.
Middle of the Road
Joe continued where he left off in Episode 5, talking about needing numbers at the merge. He went out of his way to try and protect Kelley Wentworth, further solidifying their alliance and the Ta Keo five agreement. But while Joe was protecting Wentworth, nobody was protecting Joe.
In fact, the opposite was happening. Stephen was trying to plot Joe’s downfall. His game is unchanged from Worlds Apart. He is still the biggest physical threat heading into the merge and therefore a huge target. Jeremy and Wentworth may want to use him as a shield to hide behind, but even that is a temporary strategy until it’s time to take him out.
Joe’s only complexity is his talk about numbers, but it is very broad strategy and lacks any real depth. He is still viewed the same way as last season: a shield and a target.
We might as well start calling Kelley Wentworth Miss Consistency. Five MOR ratings in a row, and four of them MOR2 edits. Her edit may lack depth and a personal touch, but she is clearly highlighted each week for a reason.
In Episode 6 it was made abundantly clear that Wentworth was the odd person on out new Bayon. It was highlighted by Probst at the swap, by Stephen in a confessional, and even by Wentworth herself. She is consistently the odd one out but manages to slip and slide through by consciously using others to protect her.
In Episode 2 when the tide turned on original Ta Keo, she used Shirin and Spencer as her shield; sacrificing them and jumping ship for her own game. After the first swap, she used Terry as her shield, kicking him under the bus to her new tribe members. Now, after the second tribe swap, Joe is her new shield, and she is happy to use him.
Ultimately, the idol is her shield, and while I cooled down somewhat on the “Wentworth idol-arc” last week, this episode she mentioned it again. It seems that when Wentworth runs out of human shields, the idol will become not only her greatest shield but perhaps her greatest weapon.
Last episode, Woo had perhaps his most positive edit in his entire Survivor run. This episode, it all quickly came crashing down and he didn’t even see it coming. “If everything goes according to plan, we’re all going to vote Spencer,” Woo said optimistically. “Feels like I’m finally in tune with this game and I get to play.” By the end of Episode 6, the edit clearly told us that Woo was never in tune with the game.
First, he tells us he trusts most in Savage. Then we see Savage making the plans and Woo going along with it. Savage was his replacement Tony for this episode. He rode his coattails, proving that he has not changed his game, and exactly like last time, it backfired. This whole episode for Woo was a miniature repeat of Cagayan. Repeat your past mistakes and you will be voted out.
The silver lining and why overall Woo had a positive edit, is summed up in his post-tribal council vote out quote: “Win or lose it was the achievement of a lifetime.”
This goes back to what we said about his mother and his game last week. We knew that Woo was not going to win, but he was going to try hard nonetheless and make the most of it. He was along for the ride, he had fun, he’s just incapable of playing this game.
Over The Top
When anybody leaves the game under tragic circumstances it is hard not to portray them in anything other than a positive light. Terry had to deal with some very hard news in a very hard situation and he handled it the best way he possibly could. We heard the “good dad” confessionals from his fellow tribe-mates, and the “we love you Terry”. It ended Terry’s second chance journey as a beloved figure; even if this wasn’t completely accurate with what was happening game-wise.
The edit had made it clear that had Ta Keo lost an immunity challenge; Terry was very likely the next to go. He had abandoned the social and strategic game, and the only thing that would get him to the end was winning immunities. So while it’s tragic that he had to leave on such terms, we are at peace with his ending.
This is a season filled with family themes. We heard about Terry’s kids in the premiere, and everyone is referring to their tribe dynamics as family. Terry’s arc also ties into the story about Woo’s mother from last episode and her heart surgery. Fighting and surviving are winning even if you don’t win the game of Survivor itself.
Terry may not be a great Survivor player, but he is a great fighter and a great father.
Andrew Savage achieved his moment of glory back in Episode 4, and now he is nothing more than a caricature of morality. He is so over-the-top because all he ever talks about is honor and loyalty with such gravitas. But as this episode beat us over the head with – he is wrong and a hypocrite.
“I got Abi and Woo… we’re rock solid.”
“If I can just regroup with my original Bayon folks, Kass and Ciera, that’s the most perfect equation you can imagine. I’m not going anywhere.”
“Everyone is voting Spencer; he’s voting Ciera. This is going to be one of the most devastating, unexpected blindsides in the history of Survivor.”
“Identifying the folks who are trustworthy and loyal and I think I’ve done pretty well at doing that.”
“I haven’t seen Chaos Kass yet. I’ve seen a loyal, loving person.”
“I don’t have any doubts about tonight.”
This episode couldn’t have gone out of its way any further to show us just how wrong and out of the loop Savage was. He was completely off-base and repeating his mistakes from Pearl Islands; thinking he could dictate to those lower down on the totem pole and expecting them to follow suit.
The reason for his mixed tone is because Ciera and Kass talked negatively about him. Although Spencer talked about how much he liked Savage and wanted to work with him. On the surface, and for people that aren’t as familiar with him, he’s a good guy. But those that know him well, like Ciera and Kass, they expose his hypocrisy. The people he assumes he has, Bayon strong, are the ones talking crap about him and in the presence of Abi, who he also said he was rock-solid with.
When Savage tries to take control, things don’t go well. He had much more success playing big brother to Tasha on Angkor. Heading into a merge, Savage may find himself returning to that position.
Jeremy returned to his comfort zone within the CP ratings this episode. Not quite as overt as his previous CP edits but enough complexity to place him a step above the MOR ranking. Jeremy’s edit is one that is handled with care. We have been presented with a perfect combination of personality, depth, and strategy.
While everybody else is running around scheming, or arguing over the camp fire, Jeremy is again shown calmly chilling in the hammock with people coming to him to pitch their ideas. When we hear his thoughts on how to proceed, rather than just take whatever is presented to him, he’s shown rationally and thoughtfully analysing what is best for HIS game.
He’s once again shown talking about family; comparing his tribe to a happy family. We see him being fatherly to Stephen at the reward challenge telling him that the tribe has confidence in him. Jeremy is the father figure – we already know he is a dad with a newborn on the way. He’s the rock. Stable and steady. That is why we see him sitting and lying down all the time. He is literally the image of stability.
He is also confident. The way he snuck a bite of the half-eaten balut after the immunity challenge. It was a bold move. But also could be viewed as a cocky move, if judging by Ciera’s reaction. It was the strong rubbing it in the faces of the weak. And we have already talked about how big the idea of strength is this season. Jeremy’s Episode 1 plan was to hide behind the meat shields and he is certainly going to need to do this if others begin to percieve him as too strong.
Stephen’s edit seems to have found its groove after Episode 5, and it continues into Episode 6 with another CP rating. This time, it goes one better though because it also has a positive tone.
Despite his failure to land a ring in the reward challenge, Stephen received very positive SPV (second person visibility) from Jeremy – “We have confidence in you.” He also cried in a confessional about his love for the game and his need to do well in the game. It doesn’t get much more positive than that and it over-rides the slight negative SPV from Joe “She (Wentworth) is stronger than Stephen and Kimmi.”
Stephen realises he’s a weak person in a strong man alliance, and he knows he needs to make up for this in social game. But he’s struggling to do it. He’s not convincing them. He’s bugging them. Because he doesn’t fit in. But he sees it all. It’s not lost on him. He’s trying. He cares. This all makes Stephen a very sympathetic figure. And again, it ties into this strong versus weak storyline that is becoming ever more present.
But he also had a really important line in this episode: “To just wait for the game to come to you and pass you by would be such a waste.” It was a line that not only related to Stephen but to many players this season. Lots of people are wasting their opportunity by not correcting their mistakes – Woo, Terry. The winner will be someone that corrects their mistakes. And that is what Stephen realizes; he has to change to succeed.
His success at the immunity challenge and Probst’s surprise “Look at that, first to finish!” tells us that Stephen is still in this. Don’t count him out just yet.
Speaking of not counting people out. Welcome to the game, Ciera. We have been saying for weeks that Ciera has late-bloomer potential and that she is the type of player that comes alive when her back is against the wall. Last week’s UTR edit almost led us into writing her off but with her first trip to tribal council in Episode 6, she is back on the board with her first CP edit of the season.
While she didn’t receive a confessional in Episode 5, we did see her putting together the five-person Ta Keo alliance, which demonstrated her strategic ability. In Episode 6 we got to see her taking strategic control even more, as she switched the direction of the vote. The Woo blindside was told from her perspective.
“I want to be a team player. There are certain times I am willing to take things for the team. This is not one of those times.” Unlike Kimmi last week, who talked about this not being an individual game yet but a team game, Ciera showed balance. She recognises when it’s time to play for the team (her valiant attempts at the gross food challenge) and when it’s time make an individual move (the Woo vote-off).
She fulfilled her goal from her opening confessional in the premiere: “I want to play from the get-go.” The first time she went to tribal council, she played hard and dictated the vote. She managed to get Kass to go against her deepest desire (to eliminate Spencer) and side with her against Savage and Woo. She even had Abi quiet and nodding along with the plan. All very positive for Ciera.
The family theme of the season returned too, tied into Ciera’s original playing “fearless” quote from the premiere. “…so I can go home to my family and say I gave it my all.” Her arc isn’t necessarily about winning. She just wants to give it her all and be proud of her game. On that front, she is now fulfilling her goals.
Kass returned from her UTR dip last week back to the CP leagues in Episode 6. She had a positive tone in her teary confessional about Terry. Also her teary moment at the immunity challenge about letting her tribe down had a light positive tone. But there was also some negative tone, mainly coming from Spencer. “Bunking with the devil” and “My fate tonight lies in the hands of Chaos Kass” both had negative connotations.
“It’s my first tribal of my second chance. Which Kass is coming? Is it Calm Kass or is it Chaos Kass?” The fact that she stuck with her relationship, Ciera, instead of going with her dark “lightning/thunder clap” desire to vote out Spencer thereby giving him 0% chance of winning, actually demonstrated growth. In Cagayan, old Kass voted out Sarah and didn’t stick with the relationships she had from the Brains tribe, whom she was with the whole time. New Kass stuck with Ciera, whom she has been with the whole time.
This is good news for Kass in a sense, as we can see her changing. However, the edit still made it appear as if Chaos Kass was returning. Spencer referred to her as Chaos Kass in his voting confessional at tribal council. Also, her saying “Spencer Bledsoe 0% chance of winning this game” and then deciding not to vote him out, in effect, keeps his chances alive. Proving herself wrong, for now at least.
A large part of Kass’ arc has been about changing people’s perceptions. Savage described her as a “loyal, loving person” and Spencer described her as “the devil”. In an episode that went out of it’s way to show Savage as been wrong, it makes his perception of Kass wrong. In her premiere opening confessional Kass promised to unleash the chaos if she made the merge. Whether she intends to still do that or not has become irrelevant because the edit is taking us in that direction.
Spencer has had by far the biggest edit of the season so far. 22 confessionals in six episodes. At this point, the season of Second Chance is the story of Spencer’s second chance, and third chance, fourth chance and so on. He is the perpetual underdog that is never quite in the loop.
While this could look bad for Spencer, being out of the loop is never a good thing in Survivor, it isn’t detrimental to his chances or his arc. Everybody knows by now that Spencer’s story is about building solid bonds and relationships and hoping they carry him through the game. In Episode 5, he consciously stepped back from scrambling and over-strategising and relied on the bonds he’d made on the new Bayon tribe to keep him alive. And they did.
It was a similar case in Episode 6. Spencer felt he could trust Savage – even though Savage was the one plotting his demise. But that ultimately didn’t matter. Spencer set up what needed to happen right after the second swap. “How I can get along with my arch nemesis (Kass) is going to determine how this game goes for me.” It didn’t really matter if he got suckered in by Savage because what he needed to do to survive was work on his relationship with his former enemy, Kass. He did that, and Kass chose to keep him in the game. Success.
Can Spencer continue to do this for the entire game? Perhaps. But it would seem likely that to evolve this from a journey/growth edit into a winner’s edit; Spencer would need to transfer his social game into a solid strategic game. He has made enough bonds now to make this happen.
That is it for Week 6 of Survivor Second Chance Edgic. Please let us know in the comments how you would have rated each castaway based on Episode 6.