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Survivor: Island of the Idols Episode 2 Edgic


What is the edit telling us after the episode two?

Photo: CBS

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.

You can read all our Edgic posts for last season here.

Color KeyNewColours

Name EP 1 EP 2 EP 3 EP 4 EP 5 EP 6 EP 7 EP 8 EP 9 EP 10 EP 11 EP 12 EP 13 EP 14
AaronAaron MOR4 OTTN3
ChelseaChelsea UTR2 MORP3
DanDan CPN3 UTR2
DeanDean UTR1 INV
ElaineElaine CPP5 UTR1
ElizabethElizabeth CP5 INV
JackJack CPP2 MOR2
JamalJamal UTR2 OTTN3
JanetJanet OTTP3 UTR2
JasonJason OTTM2 CP5
KarishmaKarishma MORP3 INV
KelleeKellee CP3 CPP5
LaurenLauren UTR2 CP3
MissyMissy CPP3 CP2
NouraNoura MOR2 OTTM5
TomTom MORP4 UTR2
TommyTommy CP3 CP4
VinceVince CPP3 OTT2
MollyMolly MOR3 MORN4
RonnieRonnie MORN4

THE CHARACTERS

Invisible

DeanEdgEp2

Poor Dean; he was so absent from the episode that I had to use a screenshot of him from the premiere. Unlike last week, there was nothing here to scrape Dean an UTR1 rating. He’s still yet to receive a confessional, and he wasn’t even mentioned in passing.

What does this mean? Well, an UTR1 followed by an INV is hard to spin into a positive. No confessionals two episodes in would suggest Dean’s odds of winning are little to none. We still don’t know anything about him or his game. I think if you showed most viewers his picture and said this guy is on the season, they’d think you were lying.

Are there any pros? Well, I will say that the Lairo tribe as a whole had a really underwhelming edit this week. The only three to get real focus were Aaron, Chelsea, and Missy—and a brief confessional each from Tom and Vince. Everyone else was pretty much sidelined as the focus was on Vokai and the Island of the Idols. So Dean isn’t the only one in the Invisible boat this week, though he is the only person with zero confessionals overall.

It’s still possible that Dean’s story is currently in a waiting room until it’s necessary for the wider narrative. As I said last week, perhaps Dean makes it to a swap and makes important connections with members of the Vokai tribe. If that’s the case, it could just be that Dean isn’t relevant to the plot right now and so there is no point wasting air-time. That does suggest, however, that Dean’s edit is not a priority, regardless of how long he’s around.

KarishmaEdgEp2
Karishma joins Dean in the cloak of invisibility. The INV rating is never a great look for anyone, but unlike Dean, at least, Karishma had a solid premiere that introduced us to her and her game.

It would have been nice to hear at least a brief confessional from Karishma explaining why she voted out Ronnie. Last week, she was presented as a swing vote, so a follow-up here would have suggested editorial significance. We didn’t get that, so now we must question just how vital Karishma is to the overall story of the season.

As with Dean, the saving grace here is that Lairo was underedited throughout the episode. The two main scenes were the post-Tribal fallout with Aaron, and then Chelsea’s fire-making/idol find. Therefore, it wasn’t essential to hear from Karishma… as long as we catch up with her next week. If she’s absent again next episode, then we’ll really have to reconsider her part in this season.

Right now, Karishma is kind of on ice. She did say last week that she plans to be “cool, calm, and collected,” so perhaps it was a good thing that she wasn’t involved in the slightly heated post-Tribal tension. Not being out in the forefront currently works for her story, but she doesn’t want to disappear for too long.

ElizabethEdgEp2

Elizabeth rounds out the trio of Invisibles. It was certainly quite the difference from her overexposed first episode edit. But the fact she was such a big part of the premiere helps temper the INV rating ever so slightly.

As I said with Karishma, it would have been appropriate to hear from Elizabeth following the last Tribal Council. After all, she lost her vote last week and was also set up as being somewhat in the middle. But there was no follow-up on any of that. Does that mean Elizabeth’s edit is purely circumstantial and only received all that air-time last week because she went to the Island of the Idols? To an extent, maybe, but she did also get a solid introduction in the premiere before the IOI visit.

My read on Elizabeth’s edit right now is that she has mid-level importance. I think she’ll be the type of character who becomes relevant when her tribe attends Tribal Council, but when that isn’t the case, she’ll take a backseat to the more essential stories. A lot of her story last week revolved around being a competitor, and it felt to me like that would be a significant part of her character arc. There wasn’t really anywhere to slot that story into this episode, and therefore she wasn’t needed.

I still think given last week’s introduction that Elizabeth has longevity, but right now, the question is just how relevant she will be on a week-to-week basis.

Also, one last thing, which is relevant to all three of these Invisibles, is the factor of the Island of the Idols. The twist eats up a sizable chunk of the screen-time, and now that we’re in regular 42-minute episodes, I expect we’ll be seeing more INV ratings than we might have done otherwise. Therefore, that gives a little bit of leeway to these INV edits.

Under the Radar

ElaineEdgEp2

Elaine is another character that dropped significantly after such a massive premiere edit. She wasn’t completely absent, as we heard from her at the start of the episode in the post-Tribal sequence. There was no confessional, but she told Aaron why he was kept out of the loop and explained that she doesn’t want the Ronnie vote to tear the tribe apart.

Outside of that brief opening, that was all we heard from Elaine across the episode. A confessional would have been nice, especially as she thought she was in danger last week and had an emotional outpouring at Tribal. But as with Karishma and Elizabeth, there was no such follow-up, though, as mentioned, at least we did hear her discussing the vote result in camp.

What lands in Elaine’s favor is that she got such a significant introduction last week. We learned a bunch about her, she received a ton of positivity, she was part of alliances, and her personality really popped on the screen. So it’s not like people will suddenly forget who Elaine is because she disappeared for one episode. It does, however, slightly lower her winner chances, as I believe we would have had a post-Tribal confessional if that was the case.

With so much going on on Vokai and the Island of the Idols, I think we can somewhat forgive Elaine’s quieter edit this week. I still expect her to be a huge character of the season, though if she wants to be a contender, we’ll need to hear more game talk from her next week.

TomEdgEp2

A quiet episode for Tom coming off a semi-decent edit last week. There was no game talk or personal content here—no follow-up on his alliance with Elaine and Vince. He basically had a brief narrational confessional that was used to prop up Chelsea’s positivity.

I said last week that Tom needed more individualized content. That didn’t happen in this episode. His content mostly supports others: Elaine and Vince in the premiere and now Chelsea in this episode. He and Aaron were shown failing to make fire, only for Chelsea to come along and start it within minutes. “Chelsea, like, within two minutes, got the fire going, and it shocked us. Shocked me for sure,” he said.

It’s not the first time Tom has been shocked by someone else’s skills, he said a similar thing last week regarding Vince. I wonder if Tom’s shock is meant to highlight him underestimating his competition? It’s hard to say because it’s not as if Tom is negative towards these shocks. And he talked last week about how a successful team isn’t all about physical strength. But that’s now twice where Tom has shown surprise at the capabilities of his fellow tribemates.

The only other possibly relevant part of Tom’s confessional was the quote about Chelsea’s fire skills “ruining his male ego” for the rest of his life. He said it in a jokingly manner, but it continues the female empowerment narrative, which has been a strong element of the season so far. Perhaps Tom will eventually realize how dominant the women on his tribe are and attempt to do some damage to their alliance?

Overall, there still isn’t enough individual content to hook me into Tom’s edit. There is nothing about his personal game or where he sees himself going. So, while he’s at least receiving air-time, I’m not sure I can see where Tom fits into the narrative long-term.

DanEdgEp2

Not a great deal from Dan this episode. The situation with Kellee is still hanging in the air, but there was no follow-up on it this week. He was around the edges of the episode, but he wasn’t a central player, hence the UTR2 rating.

There was no confessional from Dan this week, but we did see him in a couple of conversations. He was mostly there to throw shade on Noura. Early in the episode, he said that he had to walk away from Noura because “she’s always complaining.” And later, we saw him in the shelter laughing with Molly about Noura’s various annoyances. It added to Noura’s negativity and painted Dan as part of Molly’s alliance.

However, Dan eventually voted against Molly, but we never saw his explicit reasoning as to why. The move against Molly was not told from his perspective, nor did we get his reaction when the vote flipped, as we did with say, Tommy. But he did touch on it slightly at Tribal Council. “I think the people playing this game are a little level smarter than ‘who’s irritating me today?'” he explained. “So, I do think this is gonna be more of a chess play than a checkers play.”

That quote told us that Dan was aware of the vote shift and that he wasn’t voting based on who was getting on his nerves (Noura), but instead making the smarter game move (Molly). You could also tie this back to the Dan and Kellee situation last week. Dan’s touchy-feely-ness was irritating some of his tribemates, and it could very well have blown up into a big thing. But Dan and Kellee talked it out and put aside the irritation and moved forward in the game.

It should also be mentioned, though, that Dan was proved wrong, as I suspected he would be. Remember last week, he said that Jason was doomed and that it was impossible for him to dig himself out of the grave? Well, Jason dug his way out of that hole and survived the vote. That suggests not to put full faith in Dan’s statements going forward.

JanetEdgEp2
Janet had a big spotlight on her in the premiere with her fire-making and challenge prowess, but she took a backseat in episode two. I’m still not quite sure what to make of Janet’s edit. There are parts of it I really like and then other aspects that have me scratching my chin.

The positive here is that, even though she didn’t receive a confessional, we heard Janet’s thoughts on the vote. She was one of the people Lauren approached with the idea to vote out Molly. In that scene, Janet shared her opinion on Molly, stating that she’s a “smart player” who has the “boys wrapped around her finger.” It was then Janet who approached Tommy to inform him of the change of plan. There was no further expansion on these thoughts, hence the UTR, but it was just enough to get an idea of where Janet’s head was at.

The downside is that we still don’t know much about Janet’s alliances or relationships. Compare that to others on Vokai—we had the majority six alliance last week, the Tommy & Jack bond, the Jack/Jamal/Molly trio, and Jason & Noura. It’s unclear where exactly Janet sits in the tribe. But that could be intentional. It does seem like Janet is somewhat of a mother figure who people trust and come to with their problems. We saw it last week when Kellee and Molly went to her with their Dan issues, and then again, this week, it was Janet who Lauren went to for her thoughts on Molly.

I still feel pretty good about Janet for now. She hasn’t received any negativity or any major red flags. But if she is going to be an essential character or winner contender, I would like to see a proper alliance or relationship set up in the next couple of weeks.

Middle of the Road

MollyEdgEp2
Ahh, Molly. I was kicking myself reading back my Edgic from last week. There were moments where I was hovering around the right idea and then kind of talked myself out of it. I guess I should have listened to Rob and Sandra and trusted my gut!

Looking back, there were definitely signs that Molly was in imminent danger. I touched upon it when I referenced her confessional about not wanting drama in the tribe and how she put all that blame on Jason. It was clear that there was potential for plenty of other drama on Vokai outside of Jason—some of it within Molly’s own alliance. “I do think it’s meant to tell us that there is more than one cause of drama on this tribe and how Molly handles that will be significant to her story this season,” I said last week.

But I was thrown off by one subtitled quote: “Molly, you’re so perceptive.” As I said in last week’s write-up, when a quote is “unnecessarily” subtitled, it must be there for a reason. At the time, I took it at face value to mean that Molly is perceptive and, therefore, one to watch this season. I didn’t pay attention to who actually said the quote. It was Lauren—the very person who spearheaded Molly’s ouster this week.

Now we know that the quote wasn’t there to prop up Molly, it was there to support Lauren. It told us that Lauren was aware of how smart and dangerous Molly is and that she would need to be taken care of quickly. That carried through to this episode with many Vokai members pointing out how much of a threat Molly was in the game. It ultimately led to Lauren leading the charge to take Molly down. And yes, that clam water attack last week WAS foreshadowing a blindside—I will never doubt animal Edgic ever again.

The whole vibe around Molly this episode was negative. It started almost immediately with Molly saying that “no one has ever picked on me,” which tied into this ‘high school cool kids versus the nerds’ story. A lot of the negative SPV (second-person visibility) came from Noura, who called Molly weak, catty, and lazy. Noura also referred to Molly as the “Queen Majesty” running the tribe—at first, we had reason to doubt Noura, but throughout the episode, this opinion was backed up by several other players.

There were some remarks that you could take as a positive. People saw Molly as a threat because she was “smart” and “charming” and “Parvati 2.0.” But I don’t think any of that was enough to quell the overall negative tone of her edit. The negativity of Molly and the Royal Trio was supported by the edit, which certainly favored the “freaks and geeks” over the “cool kids.”

Molly herself never quite moved into CP territory. Her confessionals were mostly surface-level—all about wanting Noura out because she found her annoying or “erratic” and how it would be an “easy vote.” It called back to last week with Molly wanting to keep a drama-free tribe. She saw Noura as drama and therefore thought it would be simple to just nip that in the bud and “have a nice afternoon.” But Molly lost sight of what was really going on in the tribe and paid the ultimate price.

JackEdgEp2

This was an interesting episode for Jack, and one that I think will prove quite important in the long-run. He was part of that “cool kids” trio and was blindsided by the vote, but you’ll notice that he was heavily protected throughout the episode. His low visibility felt intentional in my eyes.

While Jack was named as a member of the “Royal Party” alliance, he never received the burial that Molly and Jamal did. Molly was obviously the main focus, seeing as she got blindsided, and Jamal was shown to be overconfident and dismissive of his opponents. Jack, for the most part, took a backseat. He never received direct NSPV and wasn’t shown to be underestimating his fellow players. In fact, he was barely shown at all.

On top of that, in the one confessional Jack did receive, he revealed more of his personality and his goals for being on Survivor. It had no real correlation to the events of this episode—other than perhaps showing us that he didn’t dislike Noura in the same way his allies did. Speaking about Noura’s yoga session, Jack said, “Noura sounded exactly like all yoga classes. I love it. This is a unique experience, and I’m realizing that I don’t want to be sitting behind a desk, or wearing a suit, I want to have a freaking adventure and have a really good time. So yeah, I feel really good here.”

You could look at that last line as being a little undermining, given that he was left out of the vote at the end of the episode. But I think the main take away here is that Jack is soaking up the Survivor experience and enjoying every second of it. It also tells us that he is here for the adventure, which has elements of growth edit to it. Jack has set himself a goal outside of winning—he is having an experience where he will learn about himself and what he wants to do in the future.

The other positive for Jack is that he has other stories outside of this “cool kids” embarrassment. Not only does he have the adventure story, but he has a connection with Tommy. We saw the two of them form a bond in the premiere, and in this episode, Tommy spoke about Jack being his closest ally and potentially losing him if he voted against Molly. This sets up an intriguing fallout for the next episode.

So while this wasn’t a perfect episode for Jack by any means, there was enough editorial protection that suggests to me he has longevity in this game.

ChelseaEdgEp2
Chelsea finding an idol made perfect sense after her premiere edit. Her content last week was all about idols and paranoia, and lo and behold, she bags herself an idol this week. On the surface, this looked like a really good episode for Chelsea, but I still have my concerns.

First of all, the positive-tone to her edit was obvious. Not only did she start the fire, but she started it after the guys were shown to be useless at it. She received praise from Tom and her other tribemates, and the whole scene had a positive-slant to it. This was a potentially great launching pad to learn more about Chelsea and her game, but her confessional, honestly, left a lot to be desired.

We learned that she’s a “superfan” and that she feels like she’s in a “good position” because the “five girls” have the numbers. She then talked about how the girls are dominating and doing much better than the guys. There was nothing particularly complex here, hence the MOR rating, and it felt more about pushing this female-empowerment theme than it did building up Chelsea’s personal game.

Then she found the idol and gave a confessional narrating the moment. “I’ve dreamed of this moment, and I can’t believe it happened. I was pumped,” she said. It was a nice moment, but it didn’t have the pomp and extravagance of past idols finds—compare it to Kellee’s idol scene later in the episode. This one almost felt rushed.

The confessional then ended similarly to the first one—putting down the guys and talking up the girls. “Fortunately, these guys don’t know what’s going on. They don’t know there’s a girls’ alliance. They don’t know how to make fire. And clearly, they don’t know how to find a hidden immunity idol,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on in their head, but the game has started, and they’re behind.”

Why does this give me concern? There was a slight element of overconfidence—and we saw how that worked out for Molly and Jamal this episode. I’m also concerned that we haven’t seen any of Chelsea’s relationships. Yes, she mentioned the girls’ alliance, but we haven’t seen any one-on-one bonds. In fact, we haven’t seen any significant evidence of how tight the girls’ alliance is yet. Last week, we saw an emphasis on the Elaine/Tom/Vince trio, and this week, there was a deliberate scene between Missy and Aaron.

Those are my reasons for concern: the idols, the paranoia, the overconfidence, the lack of personal development and relationships. Next week we really need to hear more about Chelsea’s individual game and who she considers her closest allies.

Over The Top

AaronEdgEp2

Aaron was a tough one to call this week. I was stuck between MORN and OTTN for a long while. And originally, I thought that Missy saying she “understood” his anger helped quell the OTT-ness. But I think that was more of a reflection on Missy than it was Aaron. It showed that she has empathy, but despite that, Aaron still refused to change his ways. So OTT it is I’m afraid. 

This episode just wasn’t a great look for Aaron. He got bested at the first vote, but rather than try and understand what happened, he was shown to be petulant and dismissive. When Missy tried to reason with him and offer an olive branch, he just kept talking about how he couldn’t trust the tribe anymore. “Everybody is saying the right things, but I don’t trust anybody… at all,” he said in confessional. “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, that’s not gonna happen. And unfortunately for them, their day will come.”

All of this made Aaron look petty and vindictive. And just to add to how ridiculous Aaron was in this moment, the camera focused on Missy leaving the conversation with a look of shock on her face. As if that wasn’t bad enough, later in the episode, he was shown failing to make fire and then making an incorrect call in confessional. “If I was a gambling person right now, I would bet that tonight once again we’re gonna get wet, be cold, and it sucks,” he predicted. Then Chelsea immediately made fire. Good job he’s not a gambling man!

So, where does Aaron go from here? The negative, one-note vibe to his edit is certainly hurting his winner chances. And his incorrect calls don’t fill me with confidence in his game. But I think there is at least a glimmer of hope in that conversation with Missy. That must have been shown for a reason. It could just have been to show that Aaron is a bad listener and ruined his chances of a game relationship. But it could also be foreshadowing of a connection for later down the road.

There is also a suggestion that Aaron could seek revenge on his tribe at a swap. That’s not just because of the “their time will come” talk, but last week he specifically questioned Elaine’s loyalty at a swap—that could have been ironic foreshadowing.

VinceEdgEp2

Vince was another difficult one to rate. His visibility was so low, but his one scene and confessional was so one-note. OTT just seemed to fit the best in this circumstance.

Much like Aaron, Vince was shown to be angry coming back to camp. “How the f**k did my name come up?” he said. “Was I the weakest?” It was a little bit out of nowhere, seeing as he only received two votes, and one of them was from Ronnie, who was eliminated. The rest of the tribe assured him that he wasn’t weak. It was then Vince’s confessional that tipped the OTT scale. “We got back from Tribal, my ass was like, ‘maybe I should just be nice, like, it’s okay… it’s just a game,’ but I was like ‘f**k no,’ that’s not who I am,” he said.

This was quite a turnaround from the rounded, complex view we got of Vince last week. It showed us that he’s a character that isn’t able to hold his tongue. It also paints him as more of a personality than a player. That could potentially get him into trouble down the line.

There’s not much else to say for Vince this week. A lot of his edit is still relying on what we saw in the premiere. We know he has the connection with Elaine and Tom, we know Sandra likes him, and we know a little about his Hmong background. Now we also know he has a feisty side.

JamalEdgEp2

Jamal was absolutely buried by the edit this week. Like with Molly, I feel like I was hovering around the correct read with Jamal last week when he talked about how the tribe was chilling. “There was perhaps some slight editorial undermining here, given that what came next was the scene of Jason idol searching and the tribe turning against him. Maybe things weren’t as chill as Jamal believed?” I said.

Things definitely weren’t as chill as Jamal believed, as we saw throughout this episode. He was namechecked as part of the “cool kids” trio, and unlike Jack, he didn’t receive any editorial protection. Jamal was painted as arrogant and oblivious. “I have a tight alliance going on with Molly and Jack, where we’re trying to be this unsuspecting alliance who kind of moves the vote underneath the radar,” he said. “I think we’re really impressed with ourselves, and surprised that we’re handling this so well.”

Of course, Jamal’s alliance was anything but “unsuspecting.” As Lauren said, “a blind man can see that those three are running the game.” Jamal thought the vote was so straightforward that he recommended taking a “midday nap.” The camera then focused on Jamal sleeping at camp… twice. I’ve talked before about how it’s bad to be shown sleeping during the day when others are working or strategizing. It’s bad enough when it’s a brief shot, but this was a heavily focused on close-up backed up by words. Jamal was sleeping on the job while the vote was turning against his alliance.

His edit was already leaning OTT, but what really pushed it over the edge was his quote at Tribal Council about how the game was only in first gear. It was extraordinarily cocky and presented as such, all to make the upcoming blindside that much sweeter. The edit did not hold back from making Jamal look like a fool, which at the very least suggests he’s not as important to the overall season narrative as Jack, who at least was shielded from this blatant negativity.

Are there any positives for Jamal? Well, as with Jack, he was referenced as a close ally of Tommy. “If this happens, I’m losing two of my closest allies in Jamal and Jack,” Tommy said before the vote. That provides him with a connection and potential story moving forward. So, while I can’t imagine Jamal winning the season after this edit, it’s not impossible for him to recover game-wise.

NouraEdgEp2

Wow, what to say about Noura? This was a huge, highly visible OTT edit… but not entirely without depth. Yes, most viewers will remember the craziness and the dancing and the extreme yoga, but under the surface, there were some positives here.

As I said last week, Noura’s edit is strongly connected to Jason, and that continued to be the case this episode. The two of them have a strong ‘odd couple’ relationship, which is presented as real and authentic. We are meant to see them as “underdogs,” the “misfits,” the “freaks and geeks.” For all of Noura’s annoying personality traits, this relationship is coated in positivity, and that is why it’s impossible to give Noura a straight-up N-tone.

At the start of the episode, it seemed like we were in for a classic “crazy lady” downfall edit. Noura bickered with her tribemates about their work ethic and received a bunch of NSPV about her grating personality and constant complaining. But then Noura had a chat with Jason where he managed to (somewhat) calm her down. It was in this moment that we started to see another side of Noura. She talked about how dangerous Molly is as a player. She namechecked the core alliance of Molly, Jamal, and Jack (“the Queen, the King, and the Jack”), said that Molly is their glue, and called the “order of operations” as “me, then you (Jason).”

Everything Noura said was backed-up by the b-roll footage. When she said that Molly is weak around camp, we saw footage of Molly pathetically chopping a coconut. When she named the trio, we cut to scenes of them together. When she said that Molly is the “glue” and that she’d probably be targeted first, we saw Molly telling Jamal she’d prefer to take out Noura before Jason. “I can be convincing,” Molly said. The edit was telling us Noura was right, it was just hard to see at first due to all the OTT-ness, like the morning yoga class.

But as the episode rolled on, we continued to see that Noura had made the correct calls, as other tribe members began to pinpoint Molly and the trio as dangerous. Lauren even echoed Noura’s words, calling Molly, Jamal, and Jack, the “Queen, King, and Jack.” Soon, Noura’s “revenge of the nerds” dream had come true, as the majority of the tribe turned against the “Royal Party” and used Noura and Jason to take a shot at Molly.

The other positive for Noura is that she gave some insight into her personality at Tribal. “Most of my life, I’ve been on the outs, but that brought me success,” she explained. “But what makes you happy is fitting in… and some of my problems in actual life are being magnified in this game.” Even though she was piled on early in the episode, I think this ended on a sweet note for Noura. We got a better idea of who she is… though it wasn’t quite enough to tip that OTT into CP.

So, what now for Noura? The success of the “revenge of the nerds” plan could mean that that storyline is now over. If that’s the case, then Noura’s importance to the narrative might begin to dwindle. But the relationship with Jason still seems relevant. It’s such a strongly presented duo—where both players comment on each other—and those kinds of duos often have narrative significance in Survivor.

Complex Personalities

JasonEdgEp2
I think we can safely say now that Jason is more the David Wright/Mike White figure than the next Jacob Derwin. All the projections about him being dead to rights by the likes of Dan proved false. Jason bounced back this week with a CP edit and narrative agency.

While his confessionals alone might not have been overly complex, what pushed him into CP territory was his conversation on the beach with Noura. Jason showed an understanding of the game and provided some real, solid advice for his new friend. “This game is about how you handle your nerves,” he said, which is certainly relevant to this season with the Island of the Idols twist. He was also seen as a supportive friend, recognizing that Noura was painting herself a target, but wanting to help her because he “owed her one.”

Jason also gave another quote this episode that was not just relevant to the vote but to the wider theme of the season. Before Kellee left for the IOI, he told her to “think outside the box and assume nothing.” Kellee then repeated this refrain to herself. That is the kind of advice Rob and Sandra have been imparting on the IOI visitors, which suggests Jason has his head in the game. It also played a big part in the episode itself. The “cool kids” trio didn’t think outside the box; they played it safe and assumed they had the votes.

I guess you could dock Jason points for not controlling the vote. He was brought into the plan by Lauren and expressed his surprise and excitement in confessional. But he also acknowledged early in the episode that he didn’t have numbers and that it would take someone else stepping up. He also continued to listen to his own advice. He never assumed it was a done deal: “Now, am I a hundred percent certain of that? No, it sounds too good to be true.” And he also held his nerves while making sure that Noura kept in check too (“no dancing.”).

This episode made me feel even more confident that Jason is in this for the long-haul. It’s the classic “under threat on day one then ends up powering through by hook or crook” narrative. I think Sandra nailed his story during Tribal Council after he emptied his bag to prove he didn’t have an idol. “He’s trying hard,” she said. I think that is Jason’s arc. He is going to do his damndest to survive and will never stop trying until his torch is snuffed.

LaurenEdgEp2

I said last week that Lauren needed more game-related content, and she certainly got that in this episode. She was the driving force behind the Molly vote and explained to us exactly why she was making the move. She didn’t have a ton of air-time, but when she was shown, she was presented as perceptive and in control.

Lauren snapped into action after Jack and Jamal told her what the vote was going to be. We saw her approach Janet and Kellee to ask for their opinions on Molly. Janet put forward that Molly was a smart player who had the boys wrapped around her finger. That is what gave Lauren the ammunition she needed. “That’s why Molly has to be first,” she stated. As previously mentioned in Molly’s write-up, this ties back to last week when Lauren clocked that Molly was a “perceptive” player.

“The biggest threat right now is Molly, and a blind man can see that these three [Molly/Jack/Jamal] are running the game,” she said in confessional. “Why get out the people like Jason and Noura when I can use them? And I don’t have to be a sheep and be herded and be told what to do.” Lauren told us why she was targeting Molly (biggest threat, running the game) and how she was going to do it (by using Jason and Noura). And we saw her put her words into action as she approached Jason with the plan. All of this accounted for her CP rating.

All of this tells us that Lauren is a player, which she added to at Tribal when she acknowledged that the game is already in fourth gear. “When you step on that beach, you have to play wholeheartedly,” she said. So, while we still don’t know much (any?) personal information about Lauren, we can safely say that she is someone who is going to play hard this season. The question is whether making this move so early will turn her into the next biggest threat on the beach.

I mostly feel good about Lauren’s edit, but there are a couple of downsides. Like I said, we know very little about Lauren’s personal life—she mentioned being married in the premiere, but that was more about Tommy than it was Lauren. She hasn’t told us her job or her goals for being on Survivor. We also haven’t seen any deep connections. She was present in that majority alliance scene last week, but that alliance has already crumbled. We need to hear who Lauren trusts and wants to work with going forward.

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Missy teetered that line between MOR and CP this week. Ultimately, I felt that her confessional was individualized enough for a CP-lite rating. She put what was happening in the context of her own game and how it helped or hindered her. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough.

She was only really present at the beginning of the episode when Aaron was throwing his hissy fit about the previous vote. Missy told us that she understood why Aaron was mad, while also explaining why that is beneficial to her game. “But for me, that was perfect,” she said. “With a guy gone, the girls’ alliance is in control, but I know for a fact that me and him can still work together.” Missy then approached Aaron in private to try and smooth things over.

Now, Aaron didn’t really listen to what Missy had to say, or at least, he didn’t take on board what she was telling him. Missy was trying to offer him a lifeline, but he sort of threw it back in her face, which left her open-jawed at the end of the conversation. What I’m wondering is, are we supposed to take this scene as foreshadowing that Missy and Aaron will eventually work together? Or is it a set-up for them two butting heads somewhere down the line? It was definitely there for a reason, but I can’t quite put my finger on it just yet.

Missy’s edit is solid so far. She’s been CP both weeks and always gets to talk about her game. She was also one of the small handful of Lairo players to receive air-time this week. And she mentioned the women’s alliance again, which she received credit for setting up last week—so there is consistency there. Although, as I said in Chelsea’s write-up, we haven’t actually seen a lot of direct evidence of this women’s alliance. It’s mostly spoken about but not seen. And with that weird Aaron scene, it makes me question how much faith we should put into the girls’ alliance.

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Tommy‘s edit continues to hit all the marks of that classic CP-potential-winner edit. He wasn’t directly involved in the action, yet the episode still put a significant focus on his thought process and reaction to what was happening and how it affected his game.

He was mostly in the background until after the challenge, where he was suddenly thrust into this middle-man position. He was shown to be compassionate and conflicted—struggling to put aside his “teacher” side in favor of his “Survivor” side. “Everybody is on board to vote out Noura or Jason… I do feel bad for them,” he said. “Coming into this game, I knew it was gonna be really hard for me to take ‘Teacher Tommy’ and put that aside and become ‘Survivor Tommy’. But you can’t put your neck out for somebody… it’s every man for themselves.”

This confessional told us a lot of things. Firstly, it reminded us of Tommy’s job and gave us this narrative of the conflicted teacher. It showed us that he isn’t a complete game-bot and has feelings. And it also set-up his decision for later in the episode. He told us that in Survivor, you can’t put your neck on the line for somebody… which is what he would have been doing had he gone against the Molly vote to save his allies, Jack and Jamal. Also, I don’t read his “everybody is on board to vote our Noura or Jason” as too much of a negative, as at that point in the episode, that was very much the case.

However, the vote did eventually change, and when Janet brought Tommy up to speed, the episode became all about Tommy’s decision. “I do think it’s a little too early to make this move, but they’re petrified of Molly,” he said. “If this happens, I’m losing two of my closest allies in Jamal and Jack. I’m so torn, so torn.” Now, the fact he ended up making this move could suggest he made the wrong decision. Maybe he will end up losing Jack and Jamal as allies? However, acknowledging the pros and cons not only gives him story potential, but it also shows a level of care to his edit.

Tommy continued to worry about the vote leading up to Tribal. He told Kellee that it wasn’t the time and that the turmoil would be crazy. Again, this could suggest a major fallout for Tommy next week. But the editorial focus makes me believe he’ll be fine, at least for now. He received the final confessional before Tribal, where he talked about the “cool kids” versus “the nerds” and how it’s all about hanging with the right crew. He emphasized that even though he might want to hang with the “cool kids,” is that the right choice for his game? “Which one is gonna get me the Survivor million dollars?” he said.

Even though Jason and Noura were in the hot-seat, and the “cool kids” got a roasting, and Lauren spearheaded the vote, it was Tommy and his decision that felt the most important. That could be because it has immediate repercussions. The Tommy & Jack relationship was established in the premiere, and so we should expect new developments now that they’ve voted on opposite sides.

There’s definitely a chance that the edit is telling us Tommy made a mistake and is going to pay for breaking his day one alliance. But the amount of individual focus and personal content to me suggests a long-term character of importance.

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Kellee was this week’s Island of the Idols visitor, and so came with it the huge edit, just like Elizabeth last week. However, I liked Kellee’s content here a lot better than Elizabeth’s, and not just because Kellee actually succeeded in her test.

Last week, I was a little concerned that we didn’t get a proper introduction from Kellee. Her first introduction was as a “germaphobe” and directly linked to the Dan touching scene. And even though she handled that situation in a complex manner, I still wanted to hear more about her game and personal life disconnected from Dan. Thankfully, we got a lot of that this episode and so we can kind of look past the misgivings in her premiere edit.

As with Elizabeth, a lot of Kellee’s content was narration—lots of talk about freaking out and not knowing what to expect. But she also took on board Jason’s “think outside the box and assume nothing” mantra. She quickly took notice of the “test” mentioned in the IOI “oath,” which showed us that she had her thinking cap on. “They read it out loud, and there’s a line that catches my eye,” she said, before going on to share some personal info and how it applied to the situation. “I’ve been to Harvard; I’ve been to Wharton. And the reason I’m good at tests is because I’ve practiced for them. Going into a test totally blind like that is really scary.”

When Kellee was presented with the test, she took the time to think it over. “I’m just calculating everything,” she said. “I could have an idol, and that would be really useful, especially for three Tribals. Or I could lose my vote. It’s a really big risk.” While she was obviously overwhelmed by what was happening, she was shown to use her smarts, which earned her plaudits from Rob & Sandra, especially when she aced the test. “Kellee went to Harvard. She’s pretty smart and definitely possesses skills to win,” Rob said. “And her tribemates will be making a mistake to underestimate her.”

That last line from Rob could prove to a crucial one. It certainly seemed to play out back at camp when Kellee intentionally broke into tears to cover-up her idol (which she’d hidden in her hair). “I want to throw the suspicion off my back,” she explained. And her plan worked, at least that’s what we were led to believe. We didn’t see anyone questioning what she said or suspecting that she had an idol. This whole scene and the one at the IOI had a big, positive-bent to it. As I said, compared to Chelsea’s idol find, this was massive.

“I actually like wanna cry,” she said after gaining the idol. “And I know that’s not a normal reaction when you get an idol, but I put so much pressure and stress on myself. And I was just like… I think the fear of failure. I also have trouble celebrating, and I need to celebrate the fact I just got an idol.” There were some growth-edit elements to this confessional—overcoming the fear of failure, letting go of pressure, and learning to celebrate your successes. It will be interesting to see if those things become a consistent part of Kellee’s narrative.

Kellee also brought up the theme of paranoia, which was a key part of the first episode. During her “throw them off the scene with tears” scene, she talked about being really paranoid due to her IOI excursion. Jason later hammered this home at Tribal when he straight-up said, “This [game] has to do with paranoia” and that the IOI was praying on people’s paranoia.

The negatives to Kellee’s edit are that we still don’t know a lot about her in-game relationships. She’s involved in conversations with the likes of Janet and Lauren, but we haven’t seen her talk about any bonds or alliances. Her closest connection edit-wise is still Dan. There is still time to develop her relationships, especially as I now think she is set up to be around a while, but we’re going to need to see them within the next couple of weeks.

That’s it for this week’s Edgic. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!


Martin is a 31-year-old writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider, previously ET Canada and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull.



  • yeltra

    Excellent read as always. You will probably have this pointed out, and corrected, by the time you read this. In the last paragraph on Missy you referred to her as Molly.

  • Luiz Milagres

    Great article, as always! Just a note, in Missy’s segment, you called her Molly in last paragraph…

  • Nono

    I’m not sure I agree with Molly’s N tone. The N tone was mostly from Noura, and the average viewer is given content that doesn’t paint Noura in the most flattering light, either; the long montage of people being annoyed by Noura doesn’t really rally people behind the ‘freaks and geeks’ duo. Underdogs are rootable yes, but if we were really meant to root for them we’d be seeing more positive content.

    Meanwhile, most of the other content from people like Lauren are highlighting her ability to be social and charismatic. Being compared to Parvati isn’t so much a negative outlook as recognizing her threat status. Otherwise you’d also give that tone to Elaine last episode for being a social threat, or Libby from Ghost Island.

  • JennyWren

    Any other season my money would be on Tommy, but (it feels like to me) that we’re being consistently shown that the theme of this season is women power, I’m thinking Missy is the one to watch, with her taking Tommy and Jack to final three, insuring she’ll get the women’s vote. Lauren will be fourth. Excited to see how right/wrong I am.