Australian Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains

Episode 4 – Going Rogue

What went down in Episode 4?

Photo: Network 10

In an episode that ended in Rogue’s torch being snuffed, with a split vote along agreed-upon lines, the Australian Survivor storytellers gave us tension, laughter, romance, beauty, and the breaking of a curse, in a thoroughly enjoyable slice of Survivor goodness.

Rogue’s abrasive and self-satisfied manner had her tribemates and viewers wondering what she was doing in a game she neither understood nor sought to understand. And one she clearly took no pleasure in playing. She expected real guns at Tribal Council; she thought a tribe labelled Heroes opposed to a tribe labelled Villains would be full of “real heroes,” whatever that meant to her.

But before we get to Rogue, the episode opens at the Villain’s camp, where George is looking for his hat. Simon threw it into the fire after the previous Tribal and desperately wants George to be perturbed about its whereabouts. But George says it doesn’t matter. Simon is very bad at subterfuge and is downcast that George isn’t more annoyed. Still, at least he has an idol. Or does he? As Jordie remarks, why doesn’t the idol have a string? He should also be asking where’s the note that came with it.

Over at the Heroes camp, Gerry says he feels good in himself, but he’s buggered up an old injury. He doesn’t want to be sooky, but he allows the younger folk to do things for him as they tell him to sit down like a grandpa. Sharni even asks Gerry, “Are you still wet?” in the tone of a mother of a wayward toddler.

Gerry might be wet a while longer because here comes the rain. And here comes Rogue. “I told them, I told them,” she says as the rain starts pouring and tells her tribe they are being ”silly” about not protecting their firewood from the wet. She also calls them the brawn tribe, not the hero tribe. In confessional, Hayley dryly observes that her life’s work is to relieve pain, and Rogue’s is to inflict it.

Meanwhile, Flick and Hayley go idol hunting using George’s tips about where the idol might be. This is a great duo, and I’m so happy to see them working together. They’re two strong players physically, mentally, and strategically, with the added wrinkle that Hayley’s was the single vote to send Flick home her last time out (in Brains v Brawn).

The Reward Challenge is a kick-a-football challeng for a Survivor pizza party. Given that AFL legend David Zaharakis is on the Heroes tribe, the result is foregone. But the challenge provides some interesting moments, between David and Jordie’s banter and Rogue tackling Shonee for no reason, much to the shock of both tribes. Despite that, the overall vibe is a delightful rough-and-tumble with good-natured name-calling. “Pressure is on pink panties,” George calls out to David.

Back at the Heroes beach, there is plenty of screaming and excitement for the pizzas, until they open the boxes and discover they’re frozen. There is barely a blip in the heroes’ excitement, though, as they hop into the frozen pizzas, fire be damned. David has something extra in his box, though. He glances down, notices a clue, and subtly calls Sam over to snaffle it.

Sam plans to keep the clue a secret between himself, David, and Shaun as the three drift off into the jungle for a confab. Shaun reads out the clue and kindly explains to Sam what the word “knoll” means. Even though Sam knows of the grassy knoll at Bondi Beach, he doesn’t know of any other knoll.

Hayley correctly surmises that the reward held a clue, and if she doesn’t have it, someone else does. She also considers the risky move of throwing the Immunity Challenge to get rid of Rogue, hoping to break the “winner’s curse” in the process. She feels out Shaun and Benjamin on the idea, and they’re not opposed. But it does put Shaun’s antenna up; Hayley is a brilliant player, so would this be the perfect time to blindside her?

At the “sloth” Immunity Challenge, Hayley follows through on her plan to throw. The Villains are thrilled by their win and celebrate in a big way. There is a great moment when Stevie drops from the bar into Simon’s waiting arms, causing delight amongst Survivor fans and providing a romantic meme to rival An Officer And A Gentleman.

It’s now time for the Heroes to scramble ahead of their first tribal council. The plan is to vote out Rogue, with a split vote on Gerry in case of an idol play. Hayley reflects on how it’s always a risk to throw a challenge and brings up the “winner’s curse” yet again. In Australian Survivor, every returning winner has been voted out at the first tribal council they attended in their returnee season.

The more Hayley chats with her tribemates and says, “It’s a simple vote,” the tenser I become watching her. We’ve all watched Survivor before, we’ve seen how this story plays out, and Australian Survivor editors have us just where they want us.

While the details of who is voting who are worked out, Hayley takes Rogue aside to “see where her head is at.” Shaun stalks them through the jungle, employing the Sandra Diaz-Twine Invisibility Cloak method of standing behind a palm frond.

Worried about Hayley plotting something behind the scenes, Shaun feels out Flick about a possible Hayley blindside. Flick’s not opposed in theory and goes to Nina about the idea. “Hayley is a lovely person, but she’s a ‘limited time’ person,” says Nina, a perfect way to put it, in case we had forgotten that Nina is excellent at reading group dynamics.

Meanwhile, the idol hunt is on: Hayley with the intel from George and Shaun with the pizza box clue. And it’s Shaun who finds it, and he reads out the note that comes with the idol (see, Simon?). Now he knows that Hayley doesn’t have it, it makes this “the perfect time to blindside her.”

As tribal draws near, Rogue tells us in confessional that she’s not nervous. She doesn’t really know what a tribal council is and says that a “real tribal counci” would have guns. Fans of 22 years of the game of Survivor don’t need guns to make Tribal exciting.

At the gunless Tribal, JLP lofts a softball to Rogue, asking if the honeymoon is over. But Rogue won’t play ball; she denies there was ever a honeymoon period to begin with. Rogue digs her grave further when the question of “real heroes” is brought up. Gerry feels he is on a tribe of real heroes, with everyone being a hero in their own way. But Rogue declares there are only three heroes on the tribe — the pilot, the lifesaver, and herself. This statement rankles Paige, who shares her definition of hero.

Nina then brings up her first interaction with Rogue, stating that she might find more heroic tribemates if she spoke to them less rudely. Rogue says she’s a complicated person, which is what badly behaved people say to excuse their ill manners and self-centeredness. Then, out of the blue, she says she’s “listening” and “sensing,” and asks to be voted off.

Rogue needn’t have worried, as the votes were coming her way, and not because she demanded it. Also, asking to be voted out is known as a “quit’ in this game, but I’m sure she doesn’t know that either.

JLP reads the votes, with Rogue smugly saying “thank you” after every parchment with her name on it. When her vote for Paige is revealed, she says she is “sharing the love,” but Paige rightly notes, “No worries mate, no love there at all.”

Although it was a “spicy” tribal, the vote goes down the way the plan was laid at camp, with four votes for Gerry and the rest for Rogue. There is a wisdom to putting up with annoying people on a tribe, but from what we saw, including the Villains’s reaction to Rogue, her presence went well beyond merely annoying to heroically annoying.

Written by

Sarah Carradine

Sarah is a writer, director, editor and podcaster living on Gadigal land in Sydney, Australia. Her plays and her opera have been produced throughout Australia, New Zealand, and in the US. She podcasts about reality and scripted TV. She co-hosts a true crime review podcast for RHAP called Crime Seen.

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