Welcome back to Give Me Five! Each week, Brent Sullivan will look at the top five impactful moments from the latest episode that could influence the rest of the season.
Well, here we are. The penultimate episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction. This has been a polarizing season with lots of people on both sides of the fence. Personally, I didn’t think it was a bad season, but we definitely needed longer episodes to show more of what was going on both on Extinction Island and in the actual game. I feel there was a lot of character and relationship building that we didn’t get to see because of having to show all of the different beaches, plus challenges and tribal council.
Anyway, on to this week. I believe that I could have almost picked Devens for all five of my impactful moments. The whole episode revolved around him pretty much. So, for the final time this season (before my season recap next week) here are the top five impactful moments of the week:
1. Devens. Like I mentioned above, the newscaster stole all the headlines this episode. Right out of the gate, we saw him telling everyone that the idol he played came from the Edge, hoping his tribemates would continue not to look for them around camp. Then, knowing he was still on the bottom, he woke up super early to go out and look for another hidden idol. After he eventually found it (see item number two below), he started playing mind games with people (running away from them when they look away, hiding behind logs, and even jumping out behind trees and trying to scare people). Rick is playing the game extremely hard, as well as having a lot of fun while doing it. The dude even won another immunity challenge and still has the idol to keep him safe at the next vote. Finally, Devens found someone who actually wants to work with him in Julie, and even though I think the decision was already made up, he made a big show at tribal like he was going to play his idol to save her. All of this leads up to the final episode with him having an idol in his pocket and an ever-growing target on his back. Will his plan of him and Julie working with the Edge returnee become a real thing and force a tie? Can he win one more immunity challenge and make it to the end? We will know very soon!
2. Idol play. Outside of Devens, the idols have been pretty non-existent this season. He has played one on himself and the other on his buddy David. Aubry was voted out with one in her pocket, and so was Kelley. That just leaves two more left in the game. I already mentioned the one that Devens has, but Lauren also has one that she’s been sitting on for nearly the entire season. That leaves two big questions. Firstly, will Lauren end up playing her idol and, if so, will she and Devens play them at the same time and cause a mini-Advantageddon? At this point in the season, I don’t know if any more idols will be hidden, so this may be it. The second issue is if the person that returns to the game is aware of Lauren’s hidden idol – when Kelley was voted off, she told the inhabitants of Extinction Island that Lauren had the Manu idol. I could see a scenario where someone like Chris comes back into the game and immediately tells the others about her idol to garner some goodwill. Either way, it should be exciting.
3. Gavin’s choice. This probably isn’t going to be that big of a deal since Aurora went home and she was the major one hurt by Gavin’s decision. He ended up choosing Victoria and Lauren to go on a reward with him, and not only was Aurora upset by this, but Victoria and Julie were also visibly upset for her. I’m not sure if that would be reason enough to vote him off, but it could hurt him if he makes it to the final three and Aurora, Victoria, and Julie are on the jury. Sometimes it’s the little moments late in the game that make such a huge impact.
4. Final Extinction update. This week, the group got to read letters that they wrote for themselves before the game. Sort of a weird gift to give them at this point, but some of them seemed moved by themselves from one month in the past. The big thing that I want to point out here is who we got to see reading their letters out loud. Eric, Julia, Joe, Chris, Aubry, David, and Reem all got more screen time with their letters than anyone else. It makes me wonder if it is one of them that wins the challenge next week and gets to come back into the game. Both Reem and Chris have been out there for awhile and have both been shown quite a bit during their time on the Edge. Someone like David was very prominent before he got voted out, but pretty quiet since then. Then on the far end of the spectrum, you have Wardog and Ron. Not only did they not read their letter aloud, but they also didn’t get a spot-on Extinction Island the episode after their vote out. I could be reading too much into the edit, but there has to be a reason why we were only shown these people.
5. Lauren’s endgame. I’m not sure what Lauren’s endgame is here. She has a (seemingly) tight alliance with Gavin and Victoria, and she was willing to throw it away to save Julie. That doesn’t seem like a very strategic move at this point in the season. She was lucky that they didn’t double-cross her and vote her out this week. She was on the bottom at Manu/Lesu when the three tribes merged and somehow, she has worked herself into the power trio running the show. She hasn’t said what her ideal final three is, but if she keeps playing this way she may be losing more jury votes as opposed to gaining them. Her relationship with Julie seems to be pretty good, and she mentioned that she and Gavin were close, but she was ready to toss Victoria to the side if Gavin didn’t step in and tell the plan to Victoria. No matter how she makes it to the end, she will have a fight ahead of her to get enough votes her way.
There you go. What moments from this week’s penultimate episode do you think made an impact?