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.
Merge baby! As I have said in past seasons, the merge episode is almost always one of the best and most exciting episodes of the season, and this one was no different. Pretty much everything that happened this week was either directly related to the merge or the player retuning to the game… or both. We also had our first two official players quit the game in Wendy and Keith, who both decided to raise the mast after initially going back to Extinction Island. Before I jump into to everything, I have a quick house-cleaning note: from here forward, Rick will be known as Devens in my article. It honestly feels weird to call him Rick at this point. It even confused my wife as she had not seen anyone named Rick play yet. Okay, now that the important stuff is out of the way, let’s get to it:
1. Back from Extinction. This was a huge episode for Devens in many ways, and it will show as he’s mentioned in four of my five points this week. The mini-arc that was the first part of the Edge of Extinction twist came to an exciting end right out of the gate. We didn’t even get a recap of what happened last week. Instead, the tribes came in, and then Jeff welcomed in the outcasts and big reactions were had by all. It was a nail-biting challenge that had a ton riding on it. Both Wendy and Chris had great chances to win and had their ball right at the top of the snake, but it was Devens who pulled it out in the end. There were a lot of tears shed, and it appeared that he and Chris grew close while out there – which is good for Devens since Chris is now on the jury. So, what sort of impact does this have on the game? Well, first of all, the big winner (other than Devens of course) is David. His closest ally is back in the game, so now he has someone to work with again. The other impact is that Chris, Reem, and Aubry go back to Extinction Island to get another chance later, but how much will they have left in the tank after a whole season of no food or shelter?
2. Devens bonds with Julie. Apparently, his old tribe (Manu/Lesu) wanted to vote for him to go back to Extinction Island already. But it appears that Devens may have found a new friend in Julie. Thankfully for him, Julie had a heart and didn’t want him to go back that fast. They made a bond, but I’m not sure exactly how strong it is quite yet. Julie liked Devens enough to save him from another vote-out, but not enough to clue him in on the vote for Joe. Honestly, it probably wasn’t a bad idea, the Kama 6 easily had the numbers (out of 13?), so any chance of Joe catching wind on what they were planning had to be kept secret. I’m sure there are a ton of conversations that we didn’t see, but this Julie/Devens relationship could help them both down the line.
3. Another idol. Devens moment number three. So, not only did Devens win his way back into the game, but he also found a surprise in his bag. He was gifted an immunity idol as part of that package, but it had some rules attached. It was two halves of an idol, and he had to give one half to another player for one tribal, and if both of them survived the vote, the idol would then again power. He chose to give the half to David. Probably a good move here since David is clearly the only one that he can trust. It would be tough for him to give to it to someone else, just to have them vote him right back out again. David will surely give it back to him, and now all three idols in the game belong to members of the original Manu tribe. It is surprising that none of them have played one yet since they have been to so many tribal councils, but one is sure to come out soon, especially since all their names keep coming up as potential votes.
4. That vote breakdown. The way that the votes went down at tribal council was eye-opening. Six votes for Joe, three votes for David, two votes for Devens, and two votes for Kelley. Clearly, the Kama tribe was in charge of the whole result here. I’m sure that they told David and Devens who to vote for and I’m also positive that both Joe and Aurora thought they were voting with them as well, plus Wentworth and Lauren had conversations with the Kama girls. The problem that the Kama Six have now is that they have to hope that the other six don’t line up their agendas and start aiming for them. Taking out Joe while he is not immune is a fine strategy to implement, but they didn’t have a plan in place for what happens afterwards. Aurora should have no issue with jumping ship, and the others can surely work together again against a common opponent. I’m anxious to see how this plays out in the next episode, should be plenty of fireworks!
5. Joe on the Edge. Finally, an impactful moment to discuss without mentioning Devens… oops. Anyway, Joe is away to the Edge of Extinction and he is taking all his bitterness with him to fester for a few weeks. Even though he just lost an individual challenge, everyone knows what a huge challenge threat Joey Amazing is, and he has an excellent shot and winning the next battle to return. Even if he is out there hungry and tired for three weeks, other than Chris, there are not many people I think have a chance to beat him in any one challenge. The big question here is that if he spends that much time at Extinction and wins his way back at the very end, will he be sitting in the final three and would anyone vote for him if he is? This is the big question regarding the twist this season and Joe might just be the one who gets to see firsthand how that person would be treated at a final tribal council.
There you go. What moments from this week’s merge episode do you think made an impact?