Hello all, welcome back to the Edit Bay! This weekly feature takes a dive into the edit of the latest Survivor episode, analyzing the key stories, main characters, and top winner contenders.
While intended as a condensed version of Edgic, for this season, I will be including my ratings for each castaway at the end of the article.
While the gameplay of this season has become somewhat predictable, the latest episode at least gave us some new Edgic insight. It was an episode that put an end to some storylines while reaffirming some others. And it also saw some previous winner contenders beginning to slip as others started to emerge.
It turned out Jeanine’s underdog story did not have longevity. That said, she continued her theme of fighting to the end. Despite her various setbacks, she tried to mount a comeback. However, it wasn’t meant to be. As those early undermining scenes on Baka told us, Jeanine was never going to be a winner contender.
Elsewhere, Sami’s near-flawless edit started to slip, as the edit provided us some insight into how he might lose the game. James also started to fulfill his early game premonitions of villainy, while Cassidy returned to her premiere mantra of making her own fate.
Let’s take a look at the individual edits after Episode 8.
This was a mixed episode for Cassidy, one which you could interpret in a couple of different ways. On the one hand, she actually had a presence in the episode, which she desperately needed. And she had a confessional and a game move that directly tied to her intro confessional from the premiere. She now has a consistent theme, a rivalry, and a plot point moving forward.
Toward the end of the episode, Cassidy voiced her opinion over the string of women being voted out. “I’m tired of seeing women go home. I know that’s nobody’s intention, but it’s frustrating to me,” she said. Her preference was to vote out Ryan, someone who tried to vote her out back on Coco. “He’s burned me in the past and tried to vote for me, so he’s proven that I can’t fully trust him,” she explained, adding, “He also is a threat in challenges.”
Yet, Cassidy’s opinion seemed to be brushed off. As she noted, people don’t want to rock the boat and would rather stick with the majority. “But I’m ready to fight for my game, so sometimes you have to rock the boat,” she said. “Like, this is a cutthroat game.” If that quote sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost a repeat of what she said in her intro confessional: “I’m not gonna sit around and wait for other people to determine my game. I make my fate. I make my game.”
And so, Cassidy stuck to her guns and voted the way she wanted. The episode specifically showed us her vote for Ryan. Now, this could be showing us Cassidy failed to get her way, and maybe her Ryan vote will end up rocking the boat and getting her in trouble. After all, it’s usually a bad sign for a player to be shown making a move and failing.
Yet, it didn’t feel like the episode was undermining Cassidy. It felt like we were meant to agree or at least understand where she was coming from. Women have consistently been voted out over men this season. And players have backed off from big moves to play it safe in the majority. We saw that happen in this episode, with Sami leading the charge to flip the game, only to retreat back to the safety of the numbers.
So, part of me wonders if we’re meant to root for Cassidy and applaud her for standing her ground. Will she continue to take her fate into her own hands and turn this game around? Will she finally get her revenge on Ryan? That’s one option. Or will she be the next Jeanine, a doomed underdog fighting against the tide only to be swept away?
It’s finally time I start reevaluating Cody’s edit. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop with Cody due to his early “play fast and hard” mantra and how Karla cottoned onto his tactics. But it has yet to happen. And even the cautious move against Dwight worked out in his favor, as he received none of the backlash hinted at in the previous episode.
He was the first to comment on the previous tribal, explaining what happened and detailing the new tribe dynamics. And he was also the calm head keeping everyone in the majority seven on track. As everyone else was running around and going back and forth over Ryan or Jeanine, Cody appeared to be the voice of reason, making sure the vote stuck on their original target of Jeanine.
Since the merge, we haven’t seen much of the kooky, risk-taking, hard-and-fast Cody. He’s become a more level-headed and cerebral player. Is that a good thing? Perhaps. He looks like a capable strategist with a firm grasp of the game. But there is also a lack of consistency with his original character arc. He’s gone from a personality edit to a strategic narrator, and, in doing so, it’s taken away some of the fun. But if he is the winner, maybe that’s what the show wants, a more traditional male strategist edit.
That said, I still can’t shake my fears surrounding the Cody-Jesse-Karla dynamic. Even though Karla hasn’t brought up her pre-merge concerns about Cody, I still feel it has to come back up eventually. Jesse and Karla have grown closer in recent weeks, including a bonding scene in this episode, which could become a source of tension.
And I remain convinced that Cody has become too trusting of Jesse. Just look at this week when he said of the idol, “But when you hand that thing over, you got to hope and pray that you made the right decision.” Meanwhile, Jesse has Cody’s idol and was in confessional, revealing he has Jeanine’s idol too, something no one else knows about, including Cody. “I already have Cody’s idol that he gave me and he hasn’t asked for it back yet, so, like, in a way, I kind of have two idols here,” he said.
Something has to give there. But perhaps this is a Wendell and Dom situation with Cody and Jesse, the duo that closely works together all season while also fearing the other as a threat. Could they make it to the finals together? Maybe.
This was a pretty good episode for Gabler. He actually fulfilled the goal he set out last week of sinking back underwater and taking the target off his back. He recognized his position on the bottom and set out his goal to blend in, curry favor by helping Ryan fish, and follow the numbers. And that all worked out for him.
Now, if you look at the game from Cassidy’s perspective, Gabler is guilty of the things she talked about. He is afraid to rock the boat, scared of being on the wrong side of the votes, and playing it safe by following the majority. That can be smart gameplay, but does the edit want us to agree with Cassidy and look down on those playing it safe?
It’s certainly quite the change for Gabler’s narrative, as he’s previously been portrayed as a loose cannon and unpredictable. So I wouldn’t expect him to toe the line for long. The AlliGabler will surely rise up once again before the season is all said and done.
I think this episode set James up as the big bad to overcome in the remaining episodes. There was a slight villainous undertone to his edit. Now, that said, everything he did game-wise was understandable and explained well. He was right to distrust Owen after Owen had voted for him twice, and his wanting to stick with Ryan over Jeanine also made sense, as we know Ryan trusts James.
However, despite being justified in his actions, the edit certainly presented James as the one calling the shots. The moment where he tried to convince Owen to sit out of the immunity challenge, in particular, felt very pointed, as if to show James being too cocky in his position. Owen immediately called this out after the challenge. “Spare me that crap. I thought that was pretty patronizing,” Owen said of James.
This continued with the conversation at the beach when Cassidy felt like James wasn’t listening to her point. It gave the impression of James being somewhat of a dictator. If we remember back to the premiere, James said, “someone that was nice and sweet can be a villain,” which I said could have been referring to himself. Well, it seems that might now be coming to fruition.
After the talk of stepping his game up at the merge, we’ve seen Jesse follow through on that over these past couple of weeks. Firstly, he made a move against Dwight, which had red flags but seemingly went off without backlash. On top of that, his reason for voting out Dwight became more apparent when we found out Dwight had passed him Jeanine’s idol. Jesse now looks to be one step ahead of everyone.
“I’m keeping the idol to myself,” he explained. “That way, I can make big moves that people aren’t necessarily seeing until it’s too late.” This looks to be the smart way to play in a season where we’ve seen people telling others about their powers only for it to backfire. In addition, Jesse once again got to talk about the tribe dynamics, detailing the new alliance of seven and how it might play out going forward.
He also had a really nice scene with Karla, where he talked about meeting his dad’s family and not being able to speak Spanish. While this was ultimately a setup for Owen’s personal scene, it still provided some great insight into Jesse and furthered his bond with Karla.
I think this episode moved Jesse further up the contenders’ list. He didn’t receive any heat for the Dwight vote, and his idol reveal painted him in a positive light. If he continues to make big moves in the background, he could position himself with an excellent shot at the title.
I’ve previously described Karla’s edit as flawless, but this was the first episode where I saw a potential chink in her armor. Firstly, it needs to be noted how Karla has kind of fallen into the background at the merge, at least compared to her pre-merge, where she looked to be running things. While she’s still in the majority and involved in game talk, she isn’t the one pushing things forward, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Karla’s two confessionals were primarily focused on the food situation and the rice negotiation. Her “dream” scene and accompanying confessional about being starving were there to set up Jeff’s rice offer at the challenge. And her second confessional was about Ryan, where she said, “I love the kid, but he doesn’t… where’s he at right now? He’s fishing. He’s been gone for a few hours. Bro. Like, strategize, right? Like, we finally have rice. I don’t care about your fish.”
While the edit certainly had fun at Ryan’s expense, this confessional from Karla did come off just a little ungrateful, especially as she’d previously spoken about how hungry everyone was. But, more importantly, she spoke of how excited she was about possibly blindsiding Ryan because “It’s a great move; it’s a big move. We get a guy out; we get a strong guy out.”
But Karla did not vote Ryan out. She stuck with the majority in voting for Jeanine, despite Cassidy telling her they needed to take control. Now, Karla did at least offer her reasons for backing off the Ryan vote. “That might be questionable for some of the people in my alliance, in the seven,” she said, referring to the possible backlash. Much like we heard from James and Gabler, her reasons made sense, but it also fell into this category of playing it safe and not taking risks, which has been a part of Karla’s story from the beginning.
That said, it was nice to see Karla’s edit get a couple of negatives because it had been too immaculate until this point. It’s good to have at least a couple of downsides to make things less obvious. And it’ll be interesting to see where her story goes from here. Does she finally listen to Cassidy and make a bold move? Or does she continue to play it safe in the majority? Her choice could determine where she ends up.
There wasn’t much Noelle content in this episode. She did get to comment on the Dwight blindside, saying, “That’s shame on me because people started playing this game before I did, and that’s just a kick in the ass.” And she recognized she was on the bottom with Owen, Jeanine, and Gabler. So, at the very least, she had self-awareness.
“I don’t believe the seven people that voted last night are seven strong, and they’re gonna be like, “This is gonna be the final seven.” I don’t believe that. That never works out,” she added. We can’t say for sure whether this was an accurate take or not yet, but at least it seems to be heading in that direction. While the majority did vote out Jeanine, Cassidy voted against the seven, and Sami had shown a desire to flip the game.
Noelle’s lack of screen time here, though, confirmed to me that she is a secondary character of the season. She isn’t the main driving force of the action and is unlikely to be the winner. She is a character that comes into focus when necessary for that particular episode and has a solid side story of overcoming setbacks and not giving up.
This was a really good episode for Owen, even if his position in the game itself is precarious. He had the classic underdog story of the public enemy number one who manages to save himself with a clutch immunity win. The question is whether this was a partly circumstantial one-episode arc or if it ties into Owen’s overall narrative for the season.
As with last week, Owen was shown to be perceptive, recognizing his position within the tribe and the dynamics at play. He’s well aware that he hasn’t played the game he’d hoped coming in. But what stood out this time was that Owen connected his position in the game with his personal story, sharing some key backstory details.
“Being Asian was what made me different and I just wanted to fit in,” he said. “I wanted to be a ‘regular kid’ and just, like, get the same haircut, and it just, it was isolating. And now this game reminds me of my childhood. Being left out of the vote two Tribal Councils in a row, it’s hard to not blame myself and wonder what’s wrong with me.”
He then added to this by comparing his spot in the game to his job as an admissions counselor. But despite his unfortunate circumstances, he remained hopeful. “I just need to take a breath and reset and remind myself I’m here to have fun and that we all are on our own personal journey,” he stated. “I have hope that there’s room to maneuver and that there are some people who feel left out, feel on the bottom, and that we can start a little uprising of sorts.”
For a while, it seemed like Owen’s hopes would be fulfilled. Sami wanted to mount an attack on the majority, bringing aboard Owen, Jeanine, Noelle, and Gabler. “Thank God. I feel like my game has a little bit of hope. We just need one other person to maybe try to turn the tables and take down some of the big players who are starting to get big heads right now,” Owen said. However, this didn’t last, as the vote soon reverted back to the status quo.
But Owen never looked bad here. It was Sami leading the charge, so when the plan ended up falling apart, Sami took the brunt of the negativity for giving false hope. Owen, meanwhile, recognized that he wasn’t yet in a position to pick and choose. “I don’t want to get too cocky,” he said. “I need to get my footing, get a majority, and find myself on the right side of the numbers.” That is exactly what he did, even if it wasn’t the way he would have hoped the vote to go.
This episode also heated up the James and Owen rivalry. James made it clear that his target is Owen, even to Owen himself, who figured out James’ intentions at the challenge. “Like, spare me that crap. I thought that was pretty patronizing. So that gave me a little extra fire to–to win today,” Owen said about James after the challenge. So this sets up a nice little feud and story for Owen going forward.
And let’s not forget about those pre-merge premonitions of Owen being a dangerous player if he makes it deep. He’s just won his first individual immunity, which could be the start of those concerns coming true. I feel like Owen’s hope will pay off eventually.
Ryan loves fish — that basically sums up his edit this week. On the one hand, Ryan’s provider role painted him in a positive light, especially as he talked about how far he’s come from a kid with cerebral palsy to a man out in the Fijian wilderness catching fish. And he received positive reinforcement from the likes of Gabler.
But, on the other hand, the excessive focus on fishing made Ryan look out of the loop with the rest of his tribemates. Sure, he explained why he was doing it, to curry favor with the tribe, but it presented him as a non-strategic player. That said, Ryan was included in the seven-person alliance, he did rightly name Jeanine as the target, and he ended up being safe despite spending three hours out in the ocean.
Yet, Ryan’s attempts to remove the target from his back didn’t exactly work. While he survived this vote, we were shown that the majority of the tribe was more than willing to boot him. He was referred to as a challenge threat and a strong guy. And Karla, specifically, didn’t seem to care about how many fish he caught. Plus, Cassidy still has it out for him.
I expect the Ryan vs. Cassidy feud to continue over the next episode. And whether Ryan comes out on top or not, I don’t think his game will be respected based on the edit we’ve been shown.
After a purely narrational episode last week, Sami needed an episode to reestablish his goals and form some new relationships/alliances. For the majority of this episode, it seemed like that’s what was happening. Early in the episode, he explained why he joined up with the majority and what his intentions were going forward. “I’m trying to set myself up at 19 to win this game. Not to make it to the end and not get any respect,” he said, tying back to his theme about being the youngest Survivor winner ever.
His goal was to flip on the majority, leading an uprising with Jeanine, Owen, Noelle, and Gabler. “This is where good players survive and great players thrive,” he said as we saw him having conversations and putting the pieces together for a blindside. “I want to screw up this entire operation to try to make a move and try to kind of break away and make this game my own,” he added later in the episode.
It seemed like Sami’s plan would work, especially when the tide started to turn against Ryan. Sami even explained why Ryan was the perfect target. “I think getting out Ryan would make the damage control with that group that I just ditched a lot easier. He’s not really making tight bonds with anybody, except for the fish.” And so Sami pitched the Ryan boot, with people in the majority and minority seemingly agreeing.
But then, it didn’t happen. Instead, Cody and James turned the vote back around to Jeanine. And Sami did… nothing. Despite promising Jeanine he wouldn’t target her at the start of the episode, Sami once again sided with the majority and voted out a potential ally. Worse still, he didn’t get any sort of mea culpa to explain his decision. Perhaps he’ll get that at the start of the next episode, but right now, it doesn’t look great.
I feel like this really hurt Sami’s chances because he was the one waving the flag for the big move. So to see him back down with no recourse or explanation made him look like a weak player. He certainly didn’t make the decision and control his own game like he hoped for. And he wasn’t thriving like a great player. Instead, he looked to be another follower playing it safe with the majority, as detailed by Cassidy.
There’s still time for Sami to bounce back, especially as his edit has mostly been strong throughout the season. But if he continues to talk a big game and then not deliver, perhaps his fears of making it to the end and not getting any respect will come true.
With all that said, who are my remaining Contenders?
Top Tier: Jesse (Rising)
Second Tier: Cody (Rising), Karla (Falling), Sami (Falling)
Maryanne Possibility: Owen (Rising)
Erika Possibility: Cassidy (Static)
|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|