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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As a cloud still hangs over this season due to the events of the merge episode, I’m finding it hard to invest in Edgic. It’s especially frustrating given that last week’s episode brushed past the sexual harassment situation as if nothing happened. It was business as usual, and as Austin Smith said brilliantly in his episode recap, that leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
It’s difficult to view this season from an entertainment point of view now because of the horrible circumstances and Survivor’s poor handling of the situation. There are so many other aspects of Survivor that need examining in detail, and right now, the edit does not come high on that list.
I’m still going to continue with Edgic, but I’d be lying if I said my heart was still in it. I will persist for completion’s sake, but I just wanted to let people know that the Edgic posts for the remainder of the season will probably be shorter and less in-depth than usual.
Under the Radar
In what has become a pattern in Elizabeth‘s edit, she returned to UTR this week following a CP the week before. She was very much second fiddle to the goings-on of the episode, with her only confessional relating to the weather and how she wasn’t going to let a rainy night break her.
When it came to game talk, Elizabeth was mostly just a sounding board for Missy. She was present for the formation of plans, but she wasn’t directly involved as far as sharing her own thoughts and opinions. She was used primarily for her reactions, both to the Aaron elimination and then Missy. The result of those votes left Elizabeth as somewhat of a loner… and this was foreshadowed in her earlier confessional when she said she had “no one to keep me warm but Missy.”
Is this set-up for an Elizabeth underdog story in the end-game? I mean, maybe, but I don’t see it. I certainly don’t see it lasting long if that is the case. Her edit is too inconsistent and lacking in personal connection. I could see her following Missy’s advice and trying to seek revenge on Elaine, but other than that as a potential short-term story, I think that Elizabeth is on borrowed time.
Another UTR here for Lauren really hurts her overall edit. We didn’t really hear from her until the end of the episode, where she basically reiterated the voting options: Janet is a big threat, but Aaron is a beast in challenges. There was no depth to her statements.
It’s interesting because, over the past couple of weeks, the edit has made it seem like the Lauren & Tommy partnership is important. This week, that pair was separated via the split tribe twist. And yet, with Lauren away from Tommy, she was barely seen. That kind of tells us that, as a lone player, Lauren isn’t particularly relevant to the overall narrative. You can also see that in how she hasn’t received any personal content all season.
What do we really know about Lauren? We know she can be a gamer when the time calls for it, but we don’t know who she is as a person. I think she has a role to play in relation to Tommy, but I don’t see an individual story, and that means her chances of walking away with the win are extremely low.
Middle of the Road
Aaron finally met his downfall. And it was rather unceremonious. He had low visibility and only two confessionals, both of which were relatively basic. In both confessionals, he recognized his precarious position due to not having Immunity but was hoping the vote would stay on Janet. There was no real depth or forward-planning, and that was probably a good sign his time was up.
It makes sense that Aaron would be eliminated in the same episode as Missy. Both have been tied together since the beginning of the game, and both have had similar flaws in their edits. Aaron, while presented as a gamer, had a negative-tinged edit and was often too hasty to make a move or cut an ally—although the reason he was targeted this episode was because of his challenge strength.
Overall, I’ve rated Aaron MORN for the season. He had a string of CPs in the late pre-merge, but he’s also had a few MOR, UTR, and OTT. In trying to settle on an overall rating, MOR seemed the most appropriate. Aaron talked a lot of game, but I don’t think we left with a complex, rounded view of who Aaron is. Other than that one scene about his son, we didn’t learn a lot of personal information about Aaron. And the three N-tones he’s had over the season (including two OTTNs) account for the overall N.
Even though he didn’t take center stage this episode, I still believe Tommy is the front-runner. His edit is the cleanest of those remaining. While others are cut-throat and looking at the people in the game as pawns, Tommy, we’re told, is treating people as humans. He told us he values Karishma as a person, not just a “goat” to carry to the end, and he related his own issues with bullying growing up to Karishma’s experience on the island.
Now, is it a flaw that Tommy didn’t realize he was the target until Elaine told him? And that Elaine was the one that came up with the plan to save him? Maybe. It reminded me of how Lauren had to snap him back into the game after the Jason blindside. But it also shows us that Tommy is succeeding in making relationships, where others come to him and want to protect him. There’s still time for him to step up his own strategy in the weeks to come.
It also reflects poorly on Elaine, who earlier in this season told us that Tommy was her biggest threat to win. The fact she saved him here when she had a clear shot is probably a bad sign for her winner chances. We’ve been told a few times now how much of a threat Tommy is—Missy, Elizabeth, and Karishma all said as much this episode. That is yet another reason why I believe Tommy is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to winner edits.
It’s ridiculous that the edit swept past everything that Dan did last week, but that’s what happened. Here, he made amends with Janet and was an active part of the pre-Tribal strategizing. I didn’t feel he gave enough for CP, though. He basically told us he was “50/50” on whether to vote Aaron or Janet, but didn’t explain why one or the other would be better for him—unlike Dean, who gave his reasoning.
That said, no matter what Dan’s edit becomes, we’re never going to forget what happened last week. His edit is tarnished and dead-in-the-water, and to be honest, it was even before the merge episode. So even if Dan does continue to take an active role in the game and strategy, he’ll always be associated with the harassment incidents.
Over The Top
Janet continues to be the underdog hero of the season. There was some complexity to her edit this week, but the overall vibe was OTT. It was all about her determination not to quit and take things day-by-day. “I don’t quit,”… “I’ll keep fighting,” these were the kind of quotes littered throughout the episode.
There was no real strategy from Janet. The closest we came to that was her conversation with Dan about finding “closure” after what happened between them last week (the actual events of last week were never referenced directly). But it was more about Janet living on a hope and a prayer. It was Noura that switched the vote to Aaron. Janet was simply there for reactions. “It would be unbelievable that I could still be here after what I’ve gone through,” she said.
There was some talk between Dean and Dan about how much of a threat Janet would be at the end. Dan even said that Janet would win if she got in front of the jury. While I’d like to believe that it is foreshadowing, I just find it hard to buy into Janet’s edit as that of a winner. She’s probably the next best edit after Tommy, but there are these big gaps, especially in her pre-merge, that don’t stack up. I think Janet is the hero of the season, but that doesn’t necessarily mean winner.
I struggled with Dean‘s rating this week. He didn’t seem to be a big enough presence for a CP, but when you actually look at his content, he told us the how and the why. It was a hard one to call. But I think probably contained just enough for a CP-lite.
Dean was worried about the target shifting from Janet to Aaron. And he told us why. He thought if the game was turning into “get rid of the physical threats,” then he’d be next in line after Aaron. It’s kind of ironic given that Dean has been anything but a physical threat in challenges this season. Still, that was his reasoning, and he wanted Aaron around for his short-term game. With that, he approached Dan and aired his worries, talking up how much of a jury threat Janet would be.
The problem, of course, is that Dean didn’t succeed in saving Aaron. And it’s not the first time Dean has told us what he wants to happen and then failed in achieving it. So even if that is a strike against his winner chances, at least it shows us that he’s thinking about his own game. As I said last week, Dean sort of has one of the better edits by default, because he didn’t get hit with any of the negativity last week. But does his edit have what is needed to win? It’s highly unlikely.
My initial read on Missy‘s edit finally came to fruition. It perhaps took longer than I originally anticipated, but I feel like I nailed the story beats and the foreshadowing.
It all came back to the Missy and Karishma storyline from the pre-swap episodes. The way Missy talked to and about Karishma in that Chelsea boot episode stood out to me. It seemed purposeful. Missy bragged about having Karishma in her back pocket as an extra vote while chastising her to her face at Tribal Council. This planted the seeds for Karishma to ultimately flip on Missy and bring about her downfall.
In that same episode, Elaine also aired her reservations about Missy’s game. She was scared of how quickly Missy dropped a name. This also felt like foreshadowing, along with the Missy and Elaine wrestling scene on the swapped Vokai tribe. It makes sense that Elaine and Karishma would end up voting against Missy and being the reason for her elimination. The clues were there all along.
Missy had a strong CP edit throughout the season, and that continued here in her final episode. She was always clear about her strategy and what she had planned. But she was also portrayed as a ruthless player that placed numbers over relationships. She didn’t hesitate to cut an ally. And her approach could come off as aggressive. We’d seen that in the past, and then again in this episode, as the way she spoke to Karishma came across as domineering and belittling.
Overall, I’ve rated Missy as a toneless CP for the season. I did consider N-tone, seeing as she received a lot of direct NSPV (second-person visibility) this episode from the likes of Karishma and Elaine, who referred to her as a “bully.” And her part in last week’s events was also a terrible look. But I’m not sure the edit intended to portray Missy has a completely negative person. She was a complex personality, someone who shared parts of herself, and someone who was almost always in game-mode. I think the edit wants us to think of Missy as a strong but flawed player, rather than a negative one.
This was a massive episode for Karishma after a few weeks of basically nothing. It was a mixed bag of positivity and negativity. Noura slammed her for her apparent lack of work ethic. Missy piled on her for her game style and supposed goat status. But she also had a positive, underdog idol find and received some positive SPV from Tommy.
Does this change anything for Karishma? I don’t think so. I still think she’s a journey edit. Her confessional just before her idol find tied back to an earlier scene from this season. After the swap, Karishma opened up to Jack & Janet about her marriage and how she felt distant from her husband. At the time, she said that this experience might help her figure out the next chapter of her life. Well, in this episode, where she felt alone and shunned by her tribe, she came to realize the importance of her family. “Someone like my husband, who chooses to be with me and love me, and me only, for the rest of his life, I mean, how can I not see clearer than ever how wonderful that kind of relationship is,” she said. It tied a neat little bow on that story arc.
Now, there was some game stuff here too. Karishma recognized that she was being perceived as a goat. And it was an accurate read. This is something Missy said outright, and Rob even picked up on it during Tribal Council. So is that Karishma’s fate? To be the goat? I think it’s unlikely because goats rarely understand that they’re goats. Karishma is now in a position where she’s is aiming to fight against that perception… and her move against Missy and the idol find play into that.
However, I wouldn’t get your hopes up of Karishma storming to the end and winning. Her edit just doesn’t support that story arc. Yes, she had the whole “don’t underestimate me” thing going here, but I don’t see long-term success. Perhaps she’ll make a splash with her idol, but I don’t see that translating into end-game victory. She’s had way too much NSVP, she’s been directly undermined (her Dean voting confessional being a stand-out), and she’s had three UTRs and two INVs over the course of the season.
Noura‘s had such a varied edit throughout the season. I’m honestly not quite sure what to make of her. I think she was CP here on account of her being the catalyst behind the Aaron vote. But there were still hints of OTT, especially early in the episode in the way she slammed Karishma, but also her “Aaron is like a deer in the woods, and we have a clear shot” confessional. However, she was the one that leaped into action and led the strategy group talk back at camp.
Where is her narrative going? Who knows?! As I said last week, Noura now has one of the better edits of those remaining, as she wasn’t tainted by any of the negativity of last week. But it’s almost impossible to see her as a winner contender given the OTT-ness of her edit and how often we’ve heard others calling her “crazy” or “bonkers.” She’s also really lacking in strong connections.
Elaine got the bounce-back she needed this week… sort of. While she was hit with some of the negativity last week, she was mostly shielded, especially compared to a lot of the other players. That gave her a better outlook than the likes of Missy and Elizabeth going forward, and this episode only continued that.
I think the edit wants us to have a positive view of Elaine. Her post-Immunity win speech was clearly positively toned and tied back to her theme of being an underestimated underdog. And she was also the driving force behind the Missy vote. It was Elaine who spoke to Karishma and Tommy about the plan, and in confessional, she told us why she wanted Missy out. She said Tommy going “didn’t work for her” and that she doesn’t like the way Missy speaks to Karishma. “Missy’s coming in hot… I’m coming with compassion and understanding.”
The downside here is what I mentioned earlier in Tommy’s write-up. Earlier in the season, Elaine pin-pointed Tommy as her biggest threat, and yet, with the chance to take him out right in front of her, she chose to protect him. That could certainly come back to bite her, much like how it did with Kellee when she saved Dean. We haven’t exactly seen any strong relationship forming scene between Elaine and Tommy, so I’m not sure it’s a partnership we can bank on in the long term.
However, it feels like the edit wants the audience to root for Elaine, so I expect her to be around at least a little while longer, even if her choice to save Tommy will ultimately cost her the game.