Loose lips sink the ship of Gen X’s boat captain in the latest episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.
If Episode 3 of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X proved anything, it’s that it doesn’t take much to change the status quo completely. “Your Job is Recon” set out to show that even the most minor of moments can have the largest of impacts.
Following the Mari blindside, life at the Millennials camp followed along voting lines, with the majority huddled in the shelter while Zeke and Adam licked their wounds down at the beach. After flipping her vote from Figgy to Mari, Hannah attempted to explain her rationale to Zeke, despite his obvious desire for some solitude. Her efforts quickly became obnoxious, and she failed to pick up on the obvious social cues.
A large part of Survivor is reading social cues and knowing when to pick your moment. When, and more importantly, HOW you approach someone can often be the difference between a million dollars and a trip to Ponderosa. For example, if we look back to last season and look at how Aubry dealt with Tai after leaving him on the outside of the vote, she waited for the right moment and appealed to his emotions. Hannah behaved like one of those annoyingly persistent clipboard people that ambush you while walking down the street. Zeke was not interested in signing up for her nonsense.
Zeke and Adam’s arcs so far have set them up as well-versed superfans, so the vote not going in their favor hit them especially hard, but it has likely set them up for some sort of redemption. This is especially intriguing when we saw Adam walking on the beach near the hidden immunity idol. On the whole, Figgy’s overconfident confessional combined with Adam’s “I’ll find my way back to the top” confessional foreshadows an eventual loss of power for the Triforce.
At Gen X, our attention is focused on the minority alliance. A conversation between David and CeCe seemingly solidified the minority as an alliance of three instead of the three on the bottom. Their major goal was to reveal Paul’s true colors as an inept and ineffective leader and a member of the majority. It’s only fitting that Paul, the man who struggled for control of the camp and his health last episode, was the one under the microscope. It didn’t take much to prove Paul’s ineffectiveness as he did an excellent job of that himself with his failed fishing excursions and general boastful attitude.
This episode’s major “twist,” the summit, seemed forced and out of place for me. In the past, these summits have played host to merge decisions (Borneo), tribe swaps (Amazon), and even drunken tell-alls (Marquesas). For this season’s summit, I was waiting for something (a twist, idol clue, anything) to be revealed, but to no avail. The summit, however, was effective in allowing short conversations to set up for larger impacts, such as CeCe telling the Millennials that Paul is in control and David pledging his loyalty to Taylor. I would be absolutely amazed if Taylor and David didn’t end up on the same tribe post-swap.
The immunity challenge did little to present either tribe in a different light. The Millennials have been shown to be team-oriented and adaptive by placing the “right” people in the right sections of the challenge and being quick to change strategies based on in-challenge adjustments. Gen X, again, proved to be firm in their ways to the point of it being detrimental, particularly characterized by CeCe’s elongated balance beam attempt. While the Millennials seem to have some great puzzle solvers, especially Michelle, Gen X appeared to have been shot in the foot by the extra moments spent on the balance beam. Unsurprisingly, the Millennials won and sent Gen X back to tribal.
After CeCe’s struggles at the Immunity Challenge, her fate seemed all but sealed according to the majority. Sensing their obvious place at the bottom and noting that they, “have nothing to lose,” the minority three set out to target Paul, who had failed to live up to his big talk. Recognizing the gender split in the majority, the efforts to turn the vote were focused towards the females; Jessica in particular. Jessica’s position as the head of the women, coupled with her Legacy Advantage, is really building her up as a player to keep an eye on.
In a conversation between Sunday, Jessica, and Paul to confirm the vote, Jessica brought up her concerns about a “guys thing” in a way that seemed very non-confrontational. Paul refuted the idea of an all-male grouping, basically stating “if there was a guys thing, which there isn’t, I’d let you know and we’d go our separate ways.” Paul’s words did little to appease Jessica, who read into his phrasing in a way that forecasted the guys turning on the girls. Paranoid and feeling vulnerable, the girls decided to change things up and target Paul. Tribal quickly focused on the merits of vinyl records and text-spelling but eventually ended with Paul getting voted out 6-3.
Overall, I thought this was a somewhat lackluster, but editorially necessary, episode. Most of the hour consisted of planting seeds to set up future events in a post-swap world. The good thing, however, is that it seems like most people are alright with deviating from their original tribe in order to play, making the post-swap and post-merge aspects of the game seemingly stronger. By the time you hit tribal council, Paul’s boot seemed fairly obvious based on the way that he was portrayed.
In all honesty, my favorite part of this episode was the “scenes from the next episode,” with jokes about “ta-tas,” a wave attacking Probst, a grueling physical challenge, and the emergence of Lucy as a dictator. In all, I’m hoping this episode, like the summit, proves to be a great launching point for better things to come.