The NTOS preview continues the Cassidy versus Karla narrative that has stretched across a couple of episodes now. Cassidy says, “I’m not an idiot, Karla,” which cuts immediately to a confessional from Karla saying, “She’s dumb as hell.” They may be addressing the vote from the last episode, where Karla was left out of the plan and ultimately blindsided, or just confronting each other as they aren’t working with each other any longer.
At this point, I feel like it’s in Cassidy and Karla’s best interests to work with others than salvage this alliance, as there clearly isn’t trust between them. I wondered if they’d put their suspicions of each other aside and work together to have numbers. However, it’s unlikely they can convince one of the remaining guys to join them to form a majority. Hence, I stand by my prediction from past weeks that Cassidy will best Karla in this rivalry, with Karla placing fifth as she’s vulnerable without her idol, untrusted by the remaining players, and seen as a strategic threat to win.
The next portion of the preview is a series of shots showing Owen venting his anger on coconuts and sand, ranting, “I am furious.” I’m guessing this links to a later scene in the preview where Gabler reads a final advantage clue. The clue has Gabler’s name labeled on it, which makes me think everyone has one and will all be hunting for the advantage on the new beach they’re at. Perhaps Owen’s frustration may be because he narrowly misses finding the advantage, which is definitely important at this final stage of the game with only five players left.
I think this advantage will be something that helps the player in the final immunity challenge — we’ve seen this surface a couple of times before in past seasons where the player has an extra chance in the challenge or a slightly easier task to complete. No matter how slight, though, an advantage is always useful and gives the player the upper hand.
The remaining portions of the previews feature many soundbites from players sharing their hopes for winning and being at the last stretch of the game. Overall, I think we’re seeing all the traditional signs of Jesse being the winner. He’s been portrayed as a strategic and under-the-radar threat for a few votes now, making cut-throat moves but not presented as aggressive or mean, but astute. He has also delivered a couple of emotional confessionals about his dreams of winning the game for his family. With the idol from Jeanine and Dwight that the rest of the players do not know about, Jesse is guaranteed to reach the final four.
However, we’ve been fooled by non-traditional editing often this season. In the finale promo preview, there’s an interesting black-and-white flashback to Cody relating to Jesse about how they “got them right where we want them” from the last episode before Jesse blindsides him. I wonder if this scene was added to establish how Jesse has commanded the game, setting himself up in the best places with the best people falling in line in service to him. Yet, there’s a fire-making challenge in the way that he arguably cannot have the same control over. Perhaps Jesse leaves the game here just short of the final tribal after an otherwise unparalleled strategic game.
Thus, in anticipation of the show bamboozling us, I predict that Jesse, unfortunately, goes at the final four, losing the fire-making challenge to Gabler, whom we have been fed confessionals of him hyping up a big move. In this scenario of Owen, Gabler, and Cassidy as the final three, I think Cassidy wins as she’ll have the support of many on the jury, especially the former Coco players and the short-lived majority alliance from early merge days.
What are your predictions for the season finale? Share them in the comments below.