Three episodes down and it is only Day 7 when we begin this episode. We are on pace for a measly 20 episodes in this the premiere Survivor New Zealand season. I love Survivor and all, but having more episodes than players in the game may be prove to be difficult to keep things entertaining. But without further ado, we move onto the recap of the fourth episode.
We begin with Sala and Lou returning to camp after witnessing the Redemption Battle. They inform their tribe that Tony is out for blood, especially the blood of those who voted for him. Shay’s face shows her fear if such a scenario would end up happening, while Tom is just worried that if he were voted out, he would have to spend a night sleeping with one eye open with Tony on Redemption Island.
The other duo who watched Hannah exit the game was Shannon and Georgia. The blabbering mouths of Tony, Lou, and Sala gave them valuable information in the game about alliances and traitors. Their choice of telling a half-truth that Tony is upset with being blindsided is a smart, strategic move. They make the plan to only tell their five about Shay being the flipper.
I think we are starting to see our first big mover and shaker in the game in Shannon. We got a hint of her abilities while flirting the line of both alliances in the tribe in the past couple episodes, but now we see her make some good cerebral decisions. Choosing to stick with a strong five over a weak two, and keeping knowledge away from those that do not need to know it. In Survivor, knowledge is power and the more you know, the farther you will go.
We flashback to Tony on Redemption where it seems his hotel has gotten bigger and he has been upgraded to a villa suite in the corner room. That shelter is seriously absurd for Redemption. Make them struggle a little bit production. Another side note, how many articles of clothing and luxury items are they allowed? All of them have raincoats big enough to protect against the snow, let alone rain. And sunscreen. What is that about? I remember when Cochran was so burnt he could barely move. Things just used to be so much tougher in the good ole days, huh?
We proceed back to Hermosa where they are having a rough go with the food situation. Their thought process is that since we only have four days of food left, we should eat two meals a day instead of one. It’s a great showing of the brilliant New Zealand education system. (Disclaimer: although I’m American, I did spend a year studying in that same education system I now am mocking.)
We also get some “locker room talk” from Jak about “getting on the board,” (see I can make fun of America too). Jak is taking on mixed feelings around camp, as Lee finds him entertaining to have around camp, but Barb is getting annoyed, which you can’t blame her for. I would be annoyed too if I was on the chopping block and another player is talking about the tribe’s bowel movements.
I want to make a confession. I love Barb and Nate. Tag-team duo of the year. They both seem to be knowledgeable about the game but were just dealt a poor hand with a tribe full of young, attractive people. I am hoping for a swap to save them, but with the old school vibe we are getting from this season, I find such luck doubtful.
In the Mogoton tribe, we have a revolving door of alliances. There is Avi and Tom, Tom and Izzy, Avi and Lou, Sala and Shay, the three girls, the three guys; basically, the entire tribe is aligned. A tight four of Lou, Avi, Sala, and Shay are mentioned, but when it comes time to vote, that tightness is disproven.
To me, it seems they are all just peaceful, religious hippies who get along so well with each other, but don’t want to hurt one another’s feelings. It reminds me of the Coach, Sophie, Albert tribe in Survivor: South Pacific. I really can’t wait to find our Brandon Hantz of the group – the crazy one, not the one willing to fall on the sword for his commitments made.
This brings me to the immunity challenge. Another classic Survivor challenge. I’m sensing a theme that old challenges will be reused, which is fine. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The competitors must balance between a wall with their feet on a peg that is 8mm wide. It is a challenge I would not be fond of being a part of, as it seems like it may cause you to be in just the slightest of pain. But as Jak would say from the bench while watching in comfort, “Pain is just weakness leaving the body.”
Anyways, the challenge only uses four players from each tribe (again, really low-budget). It comes down to the little country gal Lou fighting for her tribe against Mike, Georgia, and Shannon. Although she is able to outlast Shannon, she finally gives in to the pain and the rain, after showing some extreme fight. Hermosa wins again, as we are starting to get used to.
Back at camp, the girls congregate and decide on Tom, and the boys meet and decide on Izzy. I don’t quite understand everyone’s mistrust of Tom, but he must rub people (Shay), the wrong way. Luckily for Tom, he seems to have another one of the big players on his side, Avi.
Avi has worked harder through eight days to keep Tom safe than to keep himself safe. He has played it wonderfully, and as a strategist, it is great to see. He has positioned himself well with everyone left and wants to keep his most trusted ally in the game without word spreading that Tom is his number one. It has been magnificent.
Izzy, on the other hand, does not have a lot going for her, as her best friend (not alliance member, just a friend), is the other person being targeted. To add insult to injury, she can’t seem to convince people she is good in challenges, which to me is actually a valid argument from what we have witnessed.
We get to tribal and are not given much of value from the tribe’s answers. We do get to learn more maths though. If you were unaware, if you get to the merge with five players and the other tribe has seven, they can just pick you off one by one. In the end, Izzy ends up getting the boot and having to join the joyous Tony on Redemption Island.
This brings me to my rant of the episode. It’s all about Shay. I am not a fan. We will start with the fact that everyone she becomes “aligned with” gets voted out. Hannah, Tony, Izzy. Sala better watch out, or he is next for sure. That’s not all, not only do they get voted out, she votes for both Hannah and Tony! And votes for Lou instead of forcing a tie to save Izzy! But it gets better still, the whole time she has been targeting Tom, but she has yet to write his damn name down! You would think this would happen at some point, especially tonight given it would have been a tie had she voted for him. Perhaps she just misspelled Tony and meant to write Tom, so I’ll give her a pass on that one. Also, don’t choose to bring scripture out there if it is that special to you. There is no place to hide it from Mother Nature. End rant.
Going forward for the Mogoton tribe, they really need a win. If forced to go to Tribal again, I think it will come down to Lou’s vote. She seems to be the most connected and willing to work with both sides of Tom and Avi or Sala and Shay. This brings me to my last point about the episode, it turns out the reason they fold the votes hot dog style, is due to the size of the urn, not because they are lunatics. We really avoided a controversy on that one.
And now onto the next time on Survivor.
In the quick preview of the next episode, we get a glimpse of the plan Hermosa is making should the scenario arise where they go to tribal. We have been seeing that Nate and Barb are the clear outsiders and that seems to be the plan they are going to stick with. We also see a health scare, maybe possible evacuation of Lou. But I don’t think I have ever seen Survivor actually show the player who may be medevaced in the episode preview, so I would tend to side with that she will be spared and will stay in the game. Most likely she just has some dehydration.
And finally, in what looks to be my favorite moment of the season, Tony gets to give Shay a little verbal medicine during his Redemption Battle against Izzy, where we will get to see if she can back up her words about her being an asset in challenges.