Hello all, I am back to recap the third episode. After two quality episodes to start the new season, I feel like this episode was a lot more straightforward from the previous ones. It was an episode filled with very poor gameplay and strategy from almost everyone. But I guess I can take solace in making fun of the poor strategic play, so there is that.
We begin the episode with the Chani tribe returning from Tribal Council, where Karla was the most recent member to have been voted out. Everyone is very distraught and the plan is to never go back to Tribal again, a little foreshadowing that they will definitely be going back this episode.
We hear a few quick confessionals from JT and Franky. JT points out that he is fine with the dwindling numbers, as long as he has a tight few that he can trust and work with. Franky, on the other hand, wants you to know that she does not trust JT at all. I feel like this is a random quote to have added in, considering he was one of the people who had just helped her stay alive in the game.
Chani is then shown being very miserable and hungry in their camp, which looks more like a sandbox than a place to live. It literally is so barren there, build something one time for me, please. I wanted to mention this because the immediate next scene is at Khangkhaw, specifically Adam, singing and dancing around the camp so happy. The complete opposite demeanor of the two tribes paints a terrific picture of the morale of both sides. Also, Adam is just the best.
I know it is early in the season, but we can already tell who will play a big role in the game based on the amount of airtime and confessionals each player gets. Adam makes a note that Tess will do anything for the tribe and that she is a darling. With that being said, Tess has been such a point of focus so far, especially when you consider the fact that she is on the tribe who has not even been to Tribal and she came into the game knowing nothing about it. Her ability to learn rather quickly is something that should be quite scary to everyone else.
The reward challenge is good because it is such a simple concept of knocking your opponent’s idol to the ground, but there can be an element of strategy in it. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see much of that today. I’ve never understood why more people don’t just throw their idol up in the air as high as they can and then rush after their opponent (I believe Skupin and Malcolm both used this tactic in Survivor: Philippines, and it was successful both times). It gives you like five seconds to rattle them and make them drop it. And given how the physical play was being allowed, you could just go tackle them and it will drop rather quickly.
Chani is able to get their first win of the young season, albeit Liam took an L by being broken over the bamboo fence, but they get their hands on some fishing gear for themselves. With rewards, there is always the chance for an idol or advantage clue being hidden within them. This is pointed out by many, but no one has the opportunity to go searching through the materials for it. That is until Eve stumbles upon the aforementioned idol clue. With this big surprise, a huge advantage in the game, Eve decides to use the great strategic move of announcing it to everyone she found a piece of paper. Now I would have expected this from someone like Liam, but Eve just completely forgetting she is in a competition cannot be forgiven.
With the secret being out, and everyone judging her for this brain fart, the tribe decides to go on a treasure hunt for the tribe idol that brings them to about a million different clues. It is kind of crazy how peaceful this search is, and how someone who thinks they are on the bottom doesn’t just go and try to get it before Eve does. The group decides that the idol will be kept for the tribe as a unit at the merge, but of course, this is all just niceties, as the idol is just for Eve, and will most likely be used on Eve.
After the hunt is over, we get JT having a crazy look in his eyes, determined to get the idol into his possession somehow. He mentions several times later in the episode that she could give it to him if she wants. This brought a good question to my mind. Would you rather have an idol and everyone know you have the idol, or give the idol away and take the pressure off of you? Now before you immediately answer to have the idol, think about how Eve quickly became a target because of this, when she seemingly was not on the chopping block beforehand. Everyone knowing you have this power in the game makes people want to try and backstab you to get rid of it. It is similar to the theory of if you get an advantage and everyone knows about it, like Fishbach’s vote steal, you use it the first opportunity you get so that no one else has it, but you are not being targeted for it. It is an interesting strategy to ponder.
Over at Khangkhaw, we get word that Kaysha and Dylan’s secret alliance is not so secret, so Kaysha turns to badmouthing Dylan to show they aren’t a pair. I mean I get the idea of separating from one another, but by badmouthing, it’s only creating a target on the other member of the duo. If this is your purpose, and you want out of the relationship, then great, but if not, maybe try not hanging out with the person as much. It would be better for the both of you. And I wanted to point out that I feel for Dylan. No one seems to like him, but I think he didn’t get a good draw on the tribes. He is with all the big, athletic guys and that just isn’t him. Hopefully he can pull it together and last in this game as I think he will be willing to make some moves.
At the outpost, Eve and Kaysha are sent after drawing the long straws. I wanted to touch on the Outpost concept, as I did not recap the last episode. I am a big supporter of this idea. This idea can have so many different strategic outcomes and forces players into playing the game. You definitely do not want to go to the Outpost and win though, unless you need an idol to keep yourself alive because no matter what happens, people are going to be suspicious and think you are lying. This is the exact scenario Kaysha goes through after her victory in the very same challenge that lost Malcolm his title of Sole Survivor, twice.
She receives some sweets and drinks for her personal reward but is unable to share with her tribe or the competitor. I wish one of them had asked before the duel if they would be willing to split with each other no matter the outcome, but it didn’t seem they were big fans of each other anyway. Still, I wonder what production would have done in that case. As I mentioned before, Kaysha goes back to camp and tells the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and no one believes her. That is what makes the Outpost fun; it creates drama. It even creates scenes where one contestant is asking to inspect another’s teeth for food. Adam is terrific.
At Chani, Franky has the chance to speak with Arun privately about how she wants to turn on Eve. It turns out though that Arun is closer with Eve than he is with Franky, and, spoiler alert, that does not turn out well for our girl Franky. Arun is playing a good game so far, everyone seems to trust him, and he is staying out of any controversy. I like his chances to go far.
The immunity challenge involves releasing puzzle pieces from underwater and solving the puzzle. I don’t want to spend much time on this as it was just an absolute bloodbath for Chani. They never stood a chance after Franky released the wrong piece first (although I don’t know why the order made things more difficult).
As we head back to camp, the two targets for tribal look to be Eve and Franky. Most people agree Eve is dangerous because of her idol, but that also scares them as they don’t want her to play it and send someone of her choice home. Franky looks to have Dave and Renee on her side, but a quick check of the math will show you that three people are not enough to save her.
Right before Tribal, Franky decides to throw out Renee’s name. This came out of nowhere, and I was convinced that it was production showing the only possible reason why Renee was voted out. Thankfully, my winner pick survived. But had that plan worked, it would have been one of the most last second decisions in Survivor history.
At Tribal, everyone gives their familiar, non-controversial answers about how no one is safe, they are all family, and there is no leader or alliances (which is the most unbelievable thing ever you expect our Old Mate Chisolm to fall for). The voting happens and it’s a clean sweep of Franky being voted out, with Eve receiving the only other vote from Franky. As she leaves, she says I still think a Chani will win this game. That’s the second episode in a row we have heard this; I think it is in there for a reason.
In the scenes for the next episode, it looks like we will be getting a very physical challenge, as well as Arun proving he will snake it to make it. And whichever tribe is at Tribal Council has a bad, rotten egg. Hopefully it isn’t JT.