I was convinced that Elizabeth would be able to stay another episode. I was really anticipating a Goliath to go home because we’ve been seeing so many fractures there, and relatively stronger bonds amongst the Davids. That being said, with the new “Strike Force” alliance of six – three former Goliaths, Alison, Alec, Mike, and three former Davids, Christian, Gabby, and Nick – I think it’s safe to say that original tribal lines are only a provisional fixture. So the question now is: when will the Goliath alliance implode?
For starts, I feel like one of the strongest proponents of a Goliath blindside is Alec, who seems to be treading a very dangerous game. There isn’t much focus on him per se in the preview trailers, but the merge episode accented some of his gutsy plans, as well as some responses from his former tribemates when they found out he had turned on Natalia on Vuku. While I’m extremely captivated by the dexterity of Alec working on the peripheries of the Goliath tribe alliance, I feel like he won’t be able to play double agent for long. Of course, the ideal situation for him would be to sustain his dual role for as long as possible, but I feel like he’s established himself in a good enough position working with the Davids to tide him through the attacks he’ll be getting from the Goliaths.
Personally, I feel that this week’s episode previews offer much less coherence than previous weeks. The narrative seems more oblique than usual, teasing conversations which my gut tells me won’t actually be the central focus of what’s to come. In other words, we can’t deny that these ideas are floating around the Kalokalo merged tribe, but I think their significance has been augmented for the preview.
One such case would be Gabby, whom Mike remarked, “is not taking this alliance seriously.” We’re then given a confessional by her #1 ally Christian, responding, “that’s a weird thing to say.” Instinctively, I find these comments to come quite abruptly. Following Gabby’s journey over the weeks, we’ve been given some good strategy, pretty solid social bonds, and emotional moments that make her character a fascinating one that we can root for rather easily. My prediction is that her performance at the last tribal council drew attention to her as a strategic player, but I don’t think her alliance, including Mike, would be cannibalising on one another just yet.
Segueing to another portion of the preview trailer, Angelina, in a post-tribal scene, outs an unnamed “she” to have “spun and manipulated.” I think that this likely refers to Gabby, who directed quite a bit of her statements at tribal towards Angelina. As such, I feel like if we do see Gabby as a target this week, it’ll be spearheaded by the core Goliath-strong alliance.
Another narrative teased in the trailer is a #BrochachoBlindside, with the intercut suggesting that Christian would be its target. As with last week, we’re being baited with the elimination of one of the bigger characters this season. Similarly, I think this is us being deliberately misled, because although Christian is recognised as a charming social threat in the game, it feels too soon to take him out at a stage where we see fractures in every form everywhere. I think it’s difficult and perhaps too late for Christian to downplay his social bonds to be safe till the end, but my prediction is that he’ll be able to tide it out for a couple more episodes.
Instead, if there were to be a #BrochachoBlindside, I suspect that it will come at the expense of Dan. For so many episodes now, the edit has been either undermining his moves or highlighting his overconfidence, that even such a conceptually positive moment of a successful idol hunt was intentionally undercut. Collectively, all these sequences got me waiting for a Dan blindside. In the previous episode, we were given a scene of Nick telling Christian about Dan’s first idol. Besides reinstating the tightness of the Mason-Dixon alliance, I feel like that piece of information would not be there if it wasn’t a cue for us to yet again anticipate Dan as a target.
To sum, based on the preview trailers, I think Gabby and Christian’s names may be thrown around this episode, but neither would be going home. Of course, with my luck this season, I may very well be wrong. I think that Mike and Nick are in the safest positions, well away from being targeted and the centre of drama. Angelina would definitely be climbing an uphill battle after being called out last tribal council, and I think Alec joins her once he becomes too suspicious a character. I know I’ve been saying this for a couple weeks now, but my vote is for Dan to be eliminated in a blindside, or else, it’ll be a safe vote for a David without ties with the Goliath majority.
It’ll be interesting to hear what you guys make of this week’s preview! Feel free to write in the comment section below.