Edgic is a weekly feature analyzing each player’s edit, mapping characters to their story-arc. Note that our focus is not solely to determine the winner, as is typical of other Edgic sites. For more information on how Edgic works and rating definitions read our Introduction to Edgic article.
Under The Radar
Alison was one of only two people not to receive a confessional in this episode (the other being Bi). And she was the only Goliath tribe member not to get confessional time. Her one brief scene was when she was washing her shoes in the ocean and she got hit by a wave. “That was a mistake,” she said. Is getting splashed in the face by a wave a bad look? Well, it’s not great, but it’s not the worst thing in the world. It was part of a larger sequence of scenes showing the Goliath tribe laughing and having fun (the pirate-y music that Davie had last week was back).
What is a bad look is that the wave scene was Alison’s only real content across the entire 42-minutes. And in an episode that set up multiple relationships and connections on the Goliath tribe, that can’t be a positive sign for the physician. Other than her idol talk with Angelina in Episode 1, we have no clue where Alison stands on the tribe. We don’t know who she considers her closest allies. What we do know is only based off her premiere content, and that could be her saving grace. Last week, Alison told the group it was too early to make a decision regarding the first boot and that she was keeping her options open. That might be why we didn’t see Alison dropping her anchor into any specific plan this week.
Taking into account her mixed premiere and a weak follow-up episode, I don’t see Alison as a hugely significant character this season. She might be one of those people that only pops into action when it’s completely necessary for the story of that particular episode – like when her tribe goes to Tribal Council for example. There just isn’t any narrative emphasis on Alison right now.
Alec was a little more involved in the tribal dynamics this episode but his overall content was still very lacking. He had just the one confessional once again and it didn’t tell us anything about his own game or his personal life. His primary function was to offer commentary on the Daniel & Kara relationship. He told us that Kara is playing Dan and that the SWAT officer is blinded by her good looks. The edit backed up his read in this episode.
Other than the one confessional, Alec remained on the periphery of the Goliath tribe scenes. He appeared in group shots, like the crab-catching scene, and he was present at the well with Dan and John when they were discussing Natalie and her lack of self-awareness. He was also referenced as one of the three guys that the trio of Angelina/Kara/Natalia has under their thumb. He was specifically connected with Natalia. There has been no other mention of this Alec/Natalia relationship outside of this one scene (and the same can be said for Angelina/John), so it’s hard to put too much weight behind it. We certainly don’t know Alec’s thoughts on this relationship or any of his relationships for that matter.
Based on two episodes, it doesn’t seem like Alec will be one of the season’s main characters driving the action. And winning looks to be an extreme long-shot. However, he does now have some small story threads which could develop into something more substantial in the coming weeks.
Bi was the other person not to receive a confessional this episode along with Alison. It’s even more alarming for Bi seeing as she attended Tribal Council. That said, Bi still had a presence in this episode around camp and around the vote situation. It seems clear now that Bi’s content from last week, which tied her to Jessica, was as purposeful as suspected. Bi and Jessica were shown to be close allies throughout the episode and that relationship became part of the reason Jessica was targetted at the vote.
When it came to Bi’s tone, I found it really hard to read. The scene where she and Jessica blew off Gabby and couldn’t even look her in the eyes came off with a definite negative-tinge, backed up by Gabby’s confessional. Even the way that scene was framed made Bi and Jessica look like they were ignoring Gabby, paying more attention to their fingernails than the person sitting next to them. But then there was the post-challenge pep talk segment which I’m still struggling to wrap my head around. Were we meant to view Bi’s speech as motivational… or delusional? That’s the question I keep asking myself.
Here’s what we know, the challenge was a blowout, and the edit, combined with Jeff Probst’s commentary, made that clear. Back at camp, Christian said the challenge was “brutal even by Survivor standards,” and Gabby, Nick and Lyrsa all agreed the challenge was ridiculously tough and that the Goliaths are insanely strong. Nick continued this line of thought at Tribal Council when he said: “the Goliath women are like 6 foot tall.” But Bi ignored all that and said that height didn’t matter and that everyone is capable of winning. It sounds nice and positive but we saw Bi falling behind in the challenge because of her height, and we know she was pushing the vote based on challenge strength. It felt kind of contradictory, especially later at Tribal when Bi said she “just gave up” in reference to the storm.
I could have rated Bi negative tone because of the Gabby scene and the cockiness pre-Tribal (“simple and easy”), but because I found the pep talk such a mixed message of positivity and hypocrisy, I felt that mixed tone was probably more appropriate. What does this mean for Bi going forward? I’m not sure. She ended up on the wrong side of the vote and I don’t think the edit tried to protect her (like it did for Davie for example). Her closest ally has gone and we don’t know anything about her other relationships in the game. She did receive personal content last week, and maybe her pep talk was meant to foreshadow her fighting back after this setback, but with no confessional and the slight negative-leaning edit, I’m worried about Bi’s chances.
Middle of the Road
Natalia‘s edit moved away from being entirely Natalie-focused this week but there are still red flags for the young Industrial Engineer. On the positive side of things, we started to get a better sense of Natalia’s position within the tribe – or at least what she perceives her position to be. She was involved in the women’s alliance chat with Angelina & Kara, which tenuously linked her to Alec, and she received a confessional to complement this scene. However, that confessional was flashing with ominous warning signs.
The confessional came across as overconfident. Natalia said: “The girls are clearly in charge and we know it and we have the boys wrapped around our fingers.” But do they? Other than the Kara & Dan relationship, we haven’t been provided with much, if any, evidence that the girls have control of the boys. In fact, in the group chat, the girls pitched to vote out Natalie first because “it will make the tribe feel unified.” But we later saw Alec/Dan/John saying they felt bad for Natalie, and furthermore, John specifically said he wanted to work with Natalie. On top of that, Natalia said that only she and Kara know about the idol and “that means we hold the power.” That was immediately followed by Jeremy and Mike finding Dan’s idol. When the edit instantly undermines you like that, it’s not a great look.
Across this episode, we saw overconfidence coming back to bite people in the butts. Jessica and Bi were “comfortable” that the vote would be “simple and easy” and that nobody else was playing as hard as them, only to be blindsided at Tribal. Dan was wrongly confident in both his idol hiding skills and his alliance with Kara. Natalie was confident that she got along with all her tribemates despite evidence to the contrary. So Natalia being that confident in her position this early sets off alarm bells, especially as she is lacking in other key areas (personal content, no early intro in the premiere). It seems like classic foreshadowing of a blindside or some sort of wake-up call and I feel like it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.
This was a solid cooldown episode for Mike after such an in-your-face, tone-heavy premiere. He slipped into the background but without totally disappearing. We still checked in with him and got to hear his thoughts on his own game and the game as a whole. He was also mentioned by others, specifically, the women’s alliance, who said that Mike was “NOT public enemy number one or two” for them. That speaks to the fact that Mike was able to course correct and ingratiate himself within the tribe following his blunderous first episode.
We saw Mike interacting a lot with Jeremy, most importantly in the idol-finding scene. Jeremy discovered Dan’s idol and shared the information with the School of Rock writer. In confessional, Mike reflected on his game so far and his current position on the tribe. He talked about getting in trouble Day 1 due to his idol hunting, but now people like Jeremy trust him enough to share secrets. Mike said he has been given “new life” and that in this game “information is the advantage.” Remember one of the key themes of the season? Being able to work out what the advantage is and then capitalizing on that advantage. Mike is telling us that those with the info hold the power and that could be important moving forward.
I went back and forth on whether Angelina should be MOR or CP-lite for this episode. She was the one to pitch the women’s alliance to Kara & Natalia and explained how it would work with their individual connections to the boys. She also named their first target as Natalie. There were definitely CP elements to this strategy talk but because she didn’t get a follow-up confessional I was cautious about handing her the CP rating. It seemed to fall quite well into the MOR definition of “very strategic moments, but without the emotional and intellectual insights necessary for a complex edit.”
Angelina did receive a confessional but it was earlier in the episode and related to the storm rather than the strategy. She was crying as she talked about being in a constant state of wet and cold. “It almost feels like, is the end in sight?” she said. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this. Did it reflect badly on Angelina’s overall edit that she was breaking down over the elements? Or was it simply to demonstrate how bad the weather had been in those first few days? It’s hard to say, but my gut tells me not to put too much importance on this confessional. Especially because Angelina’s other content is far more interesting and potentially foreshadowing.
Much like Natalia, I think Angelina falls into this overconfidence category, we saw it last week with how she underestimated the David tribe and it was on display again in this episode. In the women’s alliance conversation, she told Kara & Natalia that she has John on her side. And then proceeded to name Natalie as the target to “keep the tribe unified.” But later we saw John, someone supposedly on Angelina’s side, saying he wanted to work with Natalie, the supposed consensus target. Later, Angelina told Natalie that there are no numbers to change the vote. Bold statements like that seem set up to fail – especially considering we saw at least one or two people willing to work with Natalie. The whole Natalie vote just seems too obvious (which I’ll go into more in Natalie’s write-up) and therefore when the time comes I think Angelina will be in for a surprise.
That said, while it’s certainly possible Angelina is blindsided, I see the potential to recover even if her current plans blow up in her face. Unlike Natalia, Angelina had a strong intro in the season premiere with two intro confessionals and some solid personal content. She also had the potentially foreshadowing confessional about women not finding enough idols. On top of that, despite saying her alliance could control “the next four votes,” she didn’t get the overt “we’re in power” confessional that Natalia received. Angelina’s current edit tells me that she will be a big gamer and potential antagonist of the season that will go through many ups and downs. Could she win? I have my doubts, but I definitely think there is enough substance to her edit to go far.
Carl took a bit of a hit this week after his quietly strong showing in Episode 1. I considered giving him negative tone based on the SPV (second person visibility) from Lyrsa and Elizabeth, who made it clear they were annoyed with him and his belief that Lyrsa was the weakest tribe member. But even though he was definitely presented as being on the negative side of the vote, I didn’t feel it was quite enough to warrant N-tone.
He only had the one confessional and it was mostly about needing to keep the tribe strong after losing Pat. It was a decent enough explanation of why he wanted to target Lyrsa, but not in-depth enough to warrant a CP rating. We never heard Carl talk about his personal game or discuss his relationships and alliances. Others talked about the connection between Carl & Jessica, but Carl himself never elaborated on this alliance. That could have been the edit protecting Carl somewhat, given that Jessica was later eliminated, or it could be a sign that Carl isn’t as important as some of the other David characters.
Carl’s third episode will reveal a lot about his edit and where his story might be heading this season. He certainly isn’t the most in-your-face character, but he’s had some notable content that could be built upon in future weeks. If I had to make an “edgicated” guess, I would say Carl is going to be a mid-tier character, never quite at the forefront but still present when necessary to the narrative.
Well, I did not expect Jessica to be gone this soon after her premiere edit. That said, in hindsight, there were definitely clues. As I mentioned last week, there was a chance that Jessica could be the CP female pre-merge boot. I’m not sure she fits exactly into that archetype but given that her boot was somewhat unexpected you could tie her into that category. More importantly, however, is something I only briefly touched on in last week’s write-up… Jessica’s many alliances.
In the first episode, Jessica said her plan was to make as many alliances as possible and we saw her putting that to work with both Bi and Carl. While I clocked this as a potential red flag, I did not think it was an immediate concern. I believed Jessica’s overall positive tone and personal content overshadowed the dodgy strategy content. Obviously I should have given it more credence. It was Jessica’s connection to Bi and Carl that was given as a primary reason to eliminate her this episode. She was seen as someone with multiple connections and therefore a solid target for the first Tribal Council.
The reason for the mixed tone is because I honestly found it difficult to lean one way or the other, and neutral just didn’t feel right. Her opening tearful confessional about Pat and how he was a morale booster for the tribe felt positively toned. But later in the episode, Jessica’s dismissal of Gabby, which was commented on by Gabby herself, and her overconfidence regarding the vote, seemed to have a negative-tinge to it. It wasn’t the worst negative content in the world, but it felt enough that an M-tone rating was the most appropriate call. Overall, MORM seemed the most appropriate rating for Jessica’s season rating. She had some decent personal and strategic content, but I don’t think she’ll be remembered as a hugely complex character.
Ahhh, Gabby. The most difficult person to rate this week. I originally had her as OTT because on an initial watch her actions seemed overly paranoid and emotional. But on subsequent rewatches, it became clear that the edit backed her up and she got to explain her reasoning. I also didn’t want to be too hasty with the OTT again as I feel like my OTTP rating of Bi last week was probably off the mark. So while I can certainly understand an OTT rating for Gabby in Episode 2, my gut told me that MOR was the way to go.
Before Tribal Council, Gabby approached Jessica and Bi to ask them which way they were voting. They both said Lyrsa. When Gabby asked who else was on board, the girls brushed her off and said that nobody wanted to talk about it because it was basically a done deal and they all felt “comfortable” with it. The way this scene was framed highlighted how Jessica and Bi weren’t even looking at Gabby. They had their heads turned in the other direction or were shown staring at their fingernails. Gabby then received a confessional talking about getting “weird vibes” from Jessica and Bi because they essentially “blew her off” and were speaking in “general cliches,” which the edit backed up.
On top of that, Gabby got to explain why she wasn’t comfortable with the Lyrsa vote, correctly pointing out that she isn’t much stronger in challenges than Lyrsa, and if the vote is based on strength, then she could be in trouble next. Even with the crying and histrionics, I don’t think an OTT edit would receive that kind of game-related reasoning. Yes, she did come off slightly paranoid when she thought Elizabeth was talking about voting her, and Christian did describe her plea as “begging,” but the fact that Gabby explained herself and ultimately got Christian to vote on her side, I think that speaks well for the tech writer. It was even verging towards CP-lite in places, but MOR felt more natural.
Now, did Gabby take a hit in terms of a winner edit? Possibly. I started to get Hannah/Aubry vibes from the way she was presented this week. Signs of potential paranoia and emotional play which could cost her later in the game. However, I think Gabby got to explain herself far better than Hannah and Aubry did in their similar episodes. She also didn’t get any negative SPV from her fellow tribemates – unless you consider “begging” to fall under that category. All signs still point to Gabby being a significant character in this season’s story and I wouldn’t count her out just yet.
John was another tough one to rate this week. Part of me thinks he could be CP-lite because he did talk about the future of his game. It was just so brief. And I’m not sure I can justify having John as CP if I have Angelina and Gabby as MOR. But as with last week, there are these emerging CP elements in John’s edit, and eventually, I expect him to a have a clear CP breakout episode.
His role in this episode was minimal but potentially significant. He was first connected to Angelina when she told Kara & Natalia that she has John on her side. That was highlighted with a brief cutaway scene to John and Angelina high-fiving and confirming they have each other’s backs. But that was all we saw of that relationship. I have doubts about it being as strong as Angelina suspects. And that’s because despite Angelina saying everybody would be on board to boot Natalie first, we later saw John saying he felt bad for Natalie AND that he wanted to work with her. He said in confessional that no one would suspect it and it could help him deeper in the game. We then saw him giving Natalie a heads up that her head was on the chopping block.
Last week, John told us he isn’t here as the Mayor of Slamtown, he’s here to find out who John is, setting up a potential journey edit. This week we saw him talking game and creating a possible alliance. Put those two things together and you have the makings of a strong edit with a decent sprinkling of foreshadowing.
Over The Top
This was another really fun episode for Davie. He continued his “Davie Crockett” provider role as he reminded us about catching the octopus last week. We then saw him catching a lizard and receiving praise from his tribemates. He revealed that his mom had given him his cross and that he’s been praying to god for something to help him in the game. He explained that while his main focus has been finding food, he has also been keeping his eyes open and surveying the scene. His hard work was then rewarded with an idol discovery.
The idol scene was positive. The music was uplifting. Lots of shots of Davie smelling the idol and whisper-screaming “Let’s go!” He told us that the screws are turning and that he will put the idol to good use when the time is right. What’s also interesting is that Davie was protected from the Jessica vote. Even though he ended up on the wrong side of the vote, we never saw him in strategic conversations, and we never saw him develop a relationship with Jessica. That gives Davie the opportunity to move on to new allies and new stories. Right now, Davie’s edit stays on track as a fun-loving, rootable character.
Last week I talked about Daniel‘s underlying edit and how it was setting up trapdoors for him to fall through at a later date. I didn’t quite expect those underlying negatives to rise to the surface so quickly, but hey, here we are. Dan was pretty much buried by the edit in Episode 2. He was made to look deluded and completely lacking in self-awareness (a common theme across the episode). The edit didn’t hold any punches at all when it came to the SWAT officer.
Dan started this episode by talking about how “life was golden” on the Goliath beach. He had rice in his belly, an idol in his pocket, and Kara by his side every night. He referred to it as his “dream life.” This confessional was intercut with scenes of Kara telling Dan to bury his idol in case somebody finds it. Dan laughed it off, assuring her that it was safe. “Listen girl, no one is gonna guess the idol is in an obvious spot,” he said in confessional. He went on to admit that Natalia and Kara knowing about the idol is already “two too many,” but stated that the one person he could fully trust is Kara. Again, the confessional was complemented by scenes of Kara telling Dan to chill and not make their alliance/showmance so obvious. Dan once again giggled at the situation, not particularly taking the warning too seriously.
What followed was a huge blow to Dan’s edit. Kara received a confessional where she admitted that being in an alliance with Dan is “really difficult” because “he’s so obvious about it.” We then saw that everybody was aware of Dan’s alliance with Kara. Jeremy told Alec that he thinks Dan is in a “showmance” with Kara, while Kara is in a “strategy” with Dan. Alec said that in his mind “Kara is playing Dan” and that Dan is “blinded by Kara’s good looks,” which backs-up all the “beautiful girls” talk last week. Even Natalie warned Kara to “chill” because she and Dan were being viewed as a potential power couple. Kara then explained that her alliance with Dan could be a detriment, and so she went “scrambling” to make a new alliance with the Angelina & Natalia. All three girls agreed that Dan was doing “too much.”
Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, what really pushed this into OTT territory was what followed with the idol. After being so confident it was safe, Dan’s idol was discovered by Jeremy, who said he wasn’t surprised he found it. “Dan’s playing with his heart and no strategy,” Jeremy said in confessional. He also told Mike that he doesn’t think Dan is that smart and probably doesn’t know how to use the idol. Now, that could be ironic foreshadowing and maybe Dan does end up outsmarting Jeremy with the idol in the long-run, but it doesn’t take away from how badly it reflected on Dan in this particular episode. This all contributed to Dan’s OTTN edit and I don’t think his scenes with, and about Natalie, were enough to counter the OTT rating.
Natalie had such an in-your-face edit this week which was undoubtedly OTTN. She received a whole bunch of negative SPV from several of her tribemates. She was a big representative of the episode’s theme regarding lack of self-awareness. The conversation at the well between Alec, Daniel and John centered around Natalie’s lack of social awareness. Jeremy told her to her face that she isn’t self-aware, and while Natalie strongly disagreed, the edit seemed to back-up his opinion. And yet I still see underlying positives in Natalie’s edit that suggest she isn’t in as immediate danger as the surface edit wants us to believe.
The edit right now really wants us to think that Natalie is the obvious first boot on the Goliath tribe. Angelina named her as the “unified” target in her chat with Kara and Natalia, while also stating later in the episode that there aren’t any numbers to change the vote. Dan told her there was nothing he could do for her because the whole tribe wants her gone. And Jeremy said he is going into turbo overdrive to get Natalie out. There is no doubt Natalie is rubbing some of her tribemates the wrong way. Her negative attitude was shown as a way to contrast the fun group scenes. She specifically said she is not there to have fun. We saw her telling Dan they should focus on fixing the shelter, but when the camera showed the group working on the shelter, Natalie was shown sat watching. She told us her plan was to “lay low” and “get along with everybody,” meanwhile the group talked about her being “crazy” and the main target.
However, there were a couple of other scenes that give hope to Natalie’s edit and longevity in this game. Firstly, despite Angelina saying Natalie is a “unified” target, the three boys, Alec, Dan and John, agreed that they felt bad for her. Then, John specifically said in confessional that he wanted to work with Natalie because people wouldn’t suspect it and it could help him deeper in the game. He then approached Natalie to warn her that her name has been thrown out and that she can’t fully trust Dan. That shows us right that there Natalie has connections to work with. Earlier in the episode, Natalie gave a heads up to Kara about people pointing the finger at her relationship with Dan, which tells us she does have some game-awareness, even if she doesn’t have social awareness. And while Natalie went on the offensive and clashed with many tribemates, specifically Jeremy, I think this is all a huge distraction.
Now, maybe the edit is playing things straight and Natalie really isn’t long for this game, that could definitely be the case. But when you look at her premiere introduction, the mixture of personal and game content, and the way many of her adversaries have been subtly undermined, I think when push comes to shove, Natalie will avoid that dreaded first Goliath boot… perhaps in spite of herself. I don’t see the point in scenes like the one with John if Natalie just ends up going home the first time the Goliath’s attend Tribal Council. Not unless that scene was instead supposed to be foreshadowing John sticking his neck out for Natalie and it backfiring on his personal game… but that is not the impression I took away. My gut tells me Natalie will be dropping napalm for a while longer.
Elizabeth was another one where I debated back and forth between MOR and CP. Initially, I didn’t feel like there was enough in her explanations to warrant CP, but that was focused mainly on her confessional. When watching the episode back, I realized Elizabeth did take control of the vote at camp AND explained the benefit of removing Jessica (even if it was repeating something Lyrsa first mentioned in confessional). Unlike, say, Angelina, Elizabeth was shown coming up with a strategy, putting it into motion and explaining the future benefits. I think there was just enough emotional and intellectual insight for a CP-lite.
The move to eliminate Jessica was instigated by Elizabeth when she pitched the idea to Lyrsa at camp. Elizabeth’s primary motivation seemed to be about protecting Lyrsa. The two formed a bond last week and promised to watch out for each other. Elizabeth followed up on that this week by warning Lyrsa as soon as she got wind of Carl’s plan to vote her out for being the “weakest.” Elizabeth told us she didn’t believe Lyrsa was the “weakest” and didn’t want to see her “best buddy” voted out and so it was time to “get into gear.” She then approached Lyrsa on the beach and gave her the heads up. If that was the end of Elizabeth’s content, then I’d have rated her MOR, but post-challenge, she kicked into gear by naming the target and gathering numbers. She also explained that taking out Jessica would cut her ties to Bi and Carl. That felt like CP content to my ears.
If I had a concern with Elizabeth’s edit it would be lack of personal content. She did reveal a small bit of personal info in her premiere intro, about not growing up with a lot, but it was minimal compared to others and there was absolutely nothing in that regard this week. Her CP rating was very much game related, rather than a mix of game and personal. That said, having a premiere intro in itself is a plus point. I feel like I need at least one more episode to get a firm grasp on Elizabeth’s edit. In episode one she was the David tribe “fighting spirit” mascot, and in episode two she was an emerging strategic force. It’s unclear right now which direction Elizabeth is heading in next.
This was a good episode for Kara which alleviated some of my worries I had about her edit last week. I was concerned in the premiere episode that Kara’s edit was going to revolve too heavily around Dan, and while she was still very much a part of that story this week, she was able to explain her thought process and start paving a potential path forward away from the Dan showmance narrative.
As with last week, Kara was shown to have a much smarter approach to the showmance than Dan. Not only did she tell Dan he needed to chill and stop making the alliance so obvious, but she correctly warned him to hide the idol in a safer place than his jacket pocket. In confessional, Kara explained how difficult it is working with Dan and gave her reasons for wanting to branch out to the girls and start showing them her loyalty. It was content still heavily linked to the Dan story, but it also told us about Kara’s personal game and the hows and whys of the moves she is making. She then backed up her words when she talked with Angelina and Natalia about forming an alliance and using the boys to their advantage. All of this accounts for Kara’s CP rating this week. There was also the theme of Kara being “charming” again when Alec said she was using her charm on Dan. That’s at least three references across two episodes of Kara having charm. Also, there was positive challenge focus of her tagging in and “taking one for the team.”
We didn’t hear too much else from Kara this episode but that is probably a good thing. She didn’t get the overconfident “we have all the power” confessional that Natalia got. She didn’t get the cocky “there aren’t any numbers to change the vote” scene that Angelina got. And she didn’t get the head-in-the-clouds content that Dan got. She was shown to be self-aware in an episode where many characters were severely lacking in self-awareness. That’s a very good sign. While I still believe the David tribe is more complex as a whole and therefore more likely to contain the winner, if anyone on the Goliath tribe was to snatch the crown, Kara is one of the stronger contenders on team purple right now. That said, I would still like to see her story move further away from Dan in the coming weeks for me to fully get on board with Kara as a serious contender. There is still potential for that Jessica Johnston edit where Kara takes the fall for the actions of her showmance.
Jeremy completely shot up out of nowhere this episode after having such a small, lackluster edit in week one. That always gets my Edgic senses tingling. He was a big presence throughout the episode, first calling out the Dan/Kara showmance, then finding Dan’s idol with Mike, and then his big scene with Natalie. We had a lot of Jeremy all at once and I’m very intrigued by what that means moving forward.
Early in the episode, Jeremy told Alec that he believes Kara is using Dan and that showmances never work. His content continued to center around Dan a few scenes later when he rummaged through Dan’s clothes and found the idol. He told us he’s willing to go through anyone’s stuff in this game and that he wasn’t surprised to find the idol because basically Dan isn’t smart and isn’t playing with strategy. He told Mike about the idol discovery and correctly called that Dan had told Kara about the idol. In confessional, Mike explained how his stock had risen to the point where Jeremy trusted him enough to share vital information, but he never elaborated further on whether he trusted Jeremy back or if they were in an alliance. Remember just last week Jeremy was saying that Mike was public enemy number one for going off idol hunting. It was a quick turnaround that wasn’t fully explained.
Jeremy’s most complex scene came later in the episode in his conversation with Natalie. He told us in confessional that he is a lawyer and used to dealing with difficulty. He wanted to share some advice with Natalie to help her out and expressed his sense of kinship with her due to both being African-American. Jeremy told Natalie that she lacks self-awareness and sometimes thinks “an idea is action.” Natalie adamantly denied this and told Jeremy she gets along with everybody on the tribe. Jeremy was shocked that Natalie wouldn’t listen and made it his new mission to get her out. Jeremy was correct in many of the points he was making and the edit backed him up, but rightly or wrongly, his approach failed.
The major concern for Jeremy is that he’s declared his primary mission as getting Natalie out. No talk of wanting to win or a larger strategy or any clear idea of his relationships and alliances. When a player is so directly connected to another player it is a red flag. Remember how much Stephen Fishbach’s edit in Cambodia focused on him wanting to take out Joe? And this feels even more worrying because at least Stephen’s edit included other relationships. Jeremy went from low-vis UTR to high-vis CP, and while his reasoning for wanting to take out Natalie was well-explained, we don’t know much else about his game or relationships.
So what is next for Jeremy? It looks like he is set to do battle with Natalie and if he manages to take her out then he could move on to new narratives (there is the connection to Dan’s idol which could become a bigger story, or it may play into his feud with Natalie). But given Natalie’s more substantial content, and the fact Jeremy wasn’t introduced in the premiere until the 32-minute mark, his chances of outlasting Natalie might not be as good as they appear on the surface. That jump from UTR to CP is really ominous to me.
Lyrsa received a ton of airtime in this episode which is somewhat to be expected given she was the alternative boot target. A lot of things in Lyrsa’s edit backed up what we saw in the premiere. On the marooning boat, she said she is used to people perceiving her to be weak, which we saw here when Carl and his group targetted her for allegedly being the “weakest” in challenges. Last week we also saw her form a bond with Elizabeth and the two women promised to look out for one another. That came into play this episode when Elizabeth warned Lyrsa that Carl was throwing her name out.
Obviously, Lyrsa got her fair share of negative tone for all the SPV about being weak – and the focus on her messing up on the puzzle at the Immunity Challenge might have been the edit emphasizing this point (along with her defeatist attitude post-challenge). But I don’t think her edit was straight N-tone because she got to defend herself, and Elizabeth agreed that Lyrsa wasn’t the weakest and that Carl was wrong. Also, when Lyrsa found out she was the target, she was shown playing with smarts and self-awareness. She vented about Carl in confessional, and even though she said she wanted to confront him, she knew that doing so would screw her. Compare that to Natalie on the Goliath tribe, who when told by John she was being targetted, went on the offensive and started confronting everybody. Lyrsa demonstrated restraint.
Lyrsa also gave solid reasons why Jessica would be a good person to vote out. While it was Elizabeth who first pitched voting Jessica, it was Lyrsa who first explained in confessional that removing Jessica would cut her ties to Carl and Bi and put a dent in that alliance. Add on top of that her Tribal Council answers and personal info about studying anthropology and you’re looking at a nice CPM edit. I have more faith in Lyrsa’s edit than I did after week one. She has a strong relationship with Elizabeth, a decent-ish amount of personal info, and a key storyline about overcoming negative perceptions regarding her supposed weaknesses.
Christian had what I like to call a classic CP edit this episode. Nothing overly complex from a personal point of view, but strategically complex, all his plans and alliances laid out with strong reasoning and explanations. He was also highly visible once again and fits quite comfortably into the role of the David tribe narrator, at least as far as gameplay and relationships go.
He started the episode talking about Nick, how he likes him and is glad he didn’t have to lose him at the first vote. He explained the current David tribe dynamics, pointing out how there is an ambiguity of alliances. He said that once the first vote happens, it’ll be clear cut and everyone will know where they stand. Based on how the sides split at Tribal, I suspect he was on the money with that one. We then had a significant scene of Christian forming an alliance with Nick. The two agreed a girl had to go next (which ended up happening) and they “virtually fist-bumped” on their new Mason-Dixon alliance. That is now two really strong alliance scenes involving Christian, the first with Gabby last week, and now this one with Nick. It tells us that Christian is a vital cog on the David tribe and within the current narrative.
Both of Christian’s alliances came into play this episode. In the pre-Tribal scramble, Christian was brought into the Jessica vote by Elizabeth and Lyrsa. He told us he was surprised how fast things changed but said he was encouraged because the hyper-frenetic style of gameplay works well with his personality. He was then involved in two separate beach chats with his two alliance partners. The first was with Gabby, who Christian described as “begging” him to vote her way. He said he is “telling her” that he is “with her all the way.” Interesting to note that he said that’s what he’s “telling her” and not necessarily what he means. That could be important later. He then had a conversation with Nick about the vote. Nick said Lyrsa makes more sense to keep the tribe strong. In confessional, Christian said he and Nick were weighing up whether to make the easy move or the risky move. He said the Mason-Dixon alliance were in the “power position” and that he could make the vote go the way he prefers.
Christian ended up on the right side of the vote and so you have to believe he is in the position he wants to be in. He is now part of an alliance that contains his two closest allies. Everything about Christian’s edit shows him to be an important part of the puzzle. We know where his head is at and we understand his alliances. He also had a strong intro in the premiere and hits a couple of the season’s main themes. His story right now is his two duo alliances, and perhaps there will come a point when he has to decide which person, Nick or Gabby, he wants to be more loyal to. Whatever decision he makes, I suspect Christian will remain a central part of the edit.
There is no hiding that Nick‘s edit really confused me last week. It was this weird mix of positivity and negativity. One minute he was been hammered for being lazy and inconsiderate. Then he was running around the place making alliances and giving them funky names. And then all of a sudden he was revealing deeply personal stories about his family and how that has affected him as a person. And he was a decoy boot in an episode that didn’t end up having a Tribal Council. That made it very difficult for me to get a grasp on what exactly Nick’s edit was or where it was going.
Do I have a better understanding of Nick’s edit after Episode 2? Not completely, but I have a much clearer idea of his potential story-arc now. The way Nick started this episode was almost like wiping the slate clean. He acknowledged how he was two hours away from going home and that he now counts each new day as a blessing. “I’m either gonna win or I’m gonna die trying,” he said in confessional, which is either a winner quote or the words of a player who will go far by playing big, even if it costs him in the end. This confessional was backed by positive music, which tells me that the audience is supposed to be on Nick’s side. That early negativity in the premiere seemed to be a launching point for Nick’s story of rebirth.
Nick’s other big story is his Mason-Dixon alliance with Christian. As I said above in Christian’s write-up, this relationship was given significant focus early in the episode. Christian spoke of how much he liked Nick and wanted to work with him. Nick talked about his connection with Christian and how the two of them share similarities to the relationship between JT and Stephen in Tocantins. The country boy and the genius. JT and Stephen obviously made it all the way to the end in their season, and Nick told us that the Mason-Dixons are in it for the long-haul. Given the overall positivity of Nick’s edit this episode, combined with Christian’s correct calls, perhaps we’re meant to view this as a serious comparison?
In terms of potential red flags, later in the episode, we did hear Nick tell Christian that they should just get Lyrsa out and stay strong. Obviously, Nick ended up voting out Jessica along with Christian. Does that tell us Christian is more in control of that alliance? And does it mean that Christian is more loyal to Gabby (who wanted to vote out Jessica) than he is to Nick? That could be a story moving forward. Also, at Tribal, Nick talked about the game being built on deceit and how trust is rare. The question is, will Nick be the one pulling off the deceptions? Or will he be caught out by putting his trust in the wrong people? I think Nick has a real interesting part to play in the story based on these first two episodes. Whether it’s a story heading to a JT-style win or a JT-style screw-up remains to be seen.
That’s it for this week’s Edgic! Let me know your thoughts in the comments.