Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Episode 4 – Edgic

Inside Survivor analyzes the edit of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4, mapping the stories, characters, and winner contenders. Edgic is a feature co-written by Martin Holmes and two-time Survivor player Shirin Oskooi.

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.

You can read all our Edgic posts for last season here.

Color Key


Name EP 1 EP 2 EP 3 EP 4 EP 5 EP 6 EP 7 EP 8 EP 9 EP 10 EP 11 EP 12 EP 13 EP 14
Adam2Adam MOR3 UTR2 CP4 CPP5
Bret2Bret MOR4 UTR1 UTR2 MOR2
Chris2Chris MOR4 MOR2 MOR3 MORM4
David2David OTTM5 CPM5 CP5 CP5
Figgy2Figgy CPN3 OTTN5 CPN3 UTR1
Hannah2Hannah CP3 OTT3 OTTN2 UTR1
Jessica2Jessica CP4 INV CP3 MORN4
Michaela2Michaela UTR1 CPM5 CP2 OTTP2
Michelle2Michelle MOR2 CP3 UTR1 INV
Sunday2Sunday UTR2 UTR2 MOR2 UTR1
Taylor2Taylor OTTN3 OTTN3 MOR3 OTT1
Will2Will UTR2 UTR2 UTR1 INV
Zeke2Zeke OTTP4 CP3 MOR2 UTR2
Paul2Paul UTR3 OTTN3 OTTN5
Mari2Mari CP3 MOR3
Rachel2Rachel OTTN4

What did this episode tell us?

Survivor essentially put us on hold this week. Just look at all those UTR ratings! Six characters without confessionals. The episode revolved around a small selection of players and everyone else was shuffled into a holding pen until next week.

Why is this? It’s most likely due to the upcoming tribe swap. The players and dynamics are about to be switched up and therefore there wasn’t a need to create or follow new stories on the Millennials tribe, especially as they didn’t attend tribal council. We know the key dynamics of that tribe – there is the Cool Kids alliance in the majority, Adam and Zeke are on the outs, Michaela and Hannah are kind of positioned as potential swing votes. There wasn’t any need to hammer this home again and therefore we heard very little from the Millennials tribe. Only Adam received significant airtime and that was mainly due to his idol find.

Gen X attended tribal and obviously received more airtime as a result. The action primarily revolved around David, Ken, Lucy, and Jessica. Last week’s vote and story led directly into this week’s events. And, of course, we had the sudden emergence of Lucy, followed by her quick departure. It was a simple downfall edit that almost felt like production just wanted to get Lucy’s short-arc over and done with before moving on with the rest of the season.

As for themes, Jeff certainly played up the Millennials/Gen X battle at the challenges and seemed to hammer home the Millennials way of doing things to be better (even though they lost the reward challenge). There was also a small theme of taking control, of going for it and getting it, mostly seen with Adam and David, and Michaela in the reward challenge to a lesser extent.

The Recap

The Previously On segment reminded us that “Zeke and Adam were betrayed after a blindside” while showing us Zeke and Hannah’s argument with Zeke saying “I am upset right now.” Followed by Adam’s confessional, telling us “Now I’m going to have to play from the bottom.” It put the story firmly in the hands of the outsiders and specifically in Adam’s who got the game content. That was, of course, followed up this episode with Adam working and succeeding to find the idol.

On the Gen X tribe “David found an idol and thought he might need to use it.” We were shown a David confessional reminding us that himself, Ken and Cece were on the bottom. The reminder of the idol was clearly inserted due to David using the idol this episode. Concerning last week’s vote, the credit (blame?) was given to Jessica. “But Jessica wanted to turn on the majority alliance.” We then saw a Jessica confessional telling us, “Voting off Paul will be the best thing for our tribe.” However, we saw this episode that it certainly wasn’t a good thing for the tribe or herself. Last week we said the recap would tell us a lot based on who got credit for the Paul blindside, Jessica or Ken. But the edit didn’t sell this as a smart move. Therefore Jessica getting credit did her more harm than good. Ken in a way was protected.



Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Michelle

The true definition of a character on hold. Michelle was barely seen this episode other than a couple of brief shots in challenges, but that isn’t enough to warrant UTR – she was invisible. Is it damaging to her long-term potential? It’s never a great thing to get an INV rating but what else did we really need to know about Michelle here? We received some personal content in Episode 1, she dominated the strategic and social game in Episode 2 and received all the recap credit in Episode 3. So the rating here hasn’t done irreparable damage.

But it does further clarify our reading of her edit last week, that Michelle plays the game when she needs to but stays out of the limelight otherwise. It’s a little similar to Ciera Eastin’s edit in Survivor: Cambodia, when she attends tribal council and there’s a move to be made, her hands are all over it, but otherwise, she disappears into the background. Michelle is still a contender but slipping ever so slightly – her swap episode will tell us a lot more.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Will

Will, like Michelle, was barely present in this episode. He was part of the goat hunt scene but merely as a smiling face. He had a couple of mentions in the reward challenge that could be potential foreshadowing – “Ken has stripped Will of the ring” and “Will cannot catch Ken.” Maybe Ken will become a problem in the game for Will at some point? Or this could just be pure challenge narration. But often there is micro foreshadowing in these scenes and this reward challenge, in particular, had loads of lines that felt they could be hints to the future of this game. But overall Will had no impact on this episode. No confessionals, no game talk, no personal content. Added to his streak of low visibility UTRs and it doesn’t look like Will has winner potential, but there is still a chance he could play a role in a post-swap world.

Under the Radar

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic CeCe

The only reason CeCe isn’t INV is because she was named as the decoy boot and received a vote at tribal council. She was also in a short scene where David told her to vote for Lucy. It doesn’t really speak well of CeCe’s chances or long-term character arc that she is rarely given the opportunity to explain her thinking or comment on her position in the game. We know she’s on the bottom but it’s usually David and Ken or other castaways telling us that. After four episodes the edit is telling us that CeCe has no long-term significance to this season’s story – she is a vote and sidekick to bigger characters.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 – Edgic Sunday

Sunday was another character that would have been INV if not for a short scene. At the start of the episode, she was shown talking to Lucy about last week’s vote and asked, “Did we make a mistake?” Firstly, this showed that Sunday was aware that the Paul vote was a potentially bad decision in relationship handling because it pissed off Bret and Chris. Secondly, like we said last week, it continued the theme that Sunday cares about people’s feelings in the game. Then she disappeared.

Lack of airtime can be a bad thing, but it can also be purposeful and meant to protect. Working out which is which is the hard part. Right now, it does seem like the edit is protecting Sunday. Jessica took all the heat for the Paul vote. Lucy was shown as the aggressor trying to get revenge on Jessica, and it led to her downfall. Sunday, however, was kept out of all of this. She ended up voting with the majority against Jessica, but you wouldn’t really know. Ken mentioned Sunday as someone they needed to get to vote against Lucy. Sunday is seen as an option for both sides, and this shows us that she isn’t tightly tied to anyone on Gen X. Why? Maybe Sunday’s story hasn’t begun yet, and her main relationships will not involve any of the Gen Xers?

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Figgy

Figgy had her quietest edit so far, but the entire Millennials tribe was quiet this episode, so it doesn’t stand out as significant. She told us, “Guys I’m like losing my mind out of hunger.” More emphasis on her struggles with the survival portion of the game. “Let’s go kill a pig! Ayayay!” she exclaimed while donning her buff like a highwayman and swinging the machete around wildly. That’s her style of game – out in the open, no subtlety. She asked “A goat. Where is it?” (subtitled) during the hunting scene, which could be some ironic foreshadowing. Also, in the hunting scene, Jay told the group to talk quietly, and Figgy snapped back “I know!” (subtitled) – a continuation of the theme from the last episode where Jay shushed Figgy after the immunity challenge (we’ll talk more about this in Jay’s section). Overall, like the majority of her tribe, Figgy is on hold until next week.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Hannah

Hannah was another one with a near INV episode if not for a quick scene. That scene was when she noticed Adam searching for the idol and shouted, “How’s your idol search going?” It was a comical scene that was meant to add a little tension to Adam’s search but also showed that Hannah is trusting of Adam not to question him further. It also continued the theme of Hannah turning up in places she’s not wanted. It showed that she has some awareness, she knew what Adam was up to, but not quite aware enough to realize he’d actually found the idol. It kind of sums up Hannah’s game so far, she’s in the right but not seeing the bigger picture. She voted with the majority against Mari but wasn’t clued into why the vote switched. With no confessionals and no game insight, Hannah is another player on hold.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Jay

For the first time this season, Jay was the one talking about the theme of the season and what it meant to be Millennial vs. Gen X. In what could basically be a word-for-word Taylor confessional from the first two episodes, Jay said that “the definition of Millennial would be, like, a young person with a lot of dreams ready to go out and conquer the world. And I appreciate that because I’m a dreamer.” We’ve now seen Taylor and Jay talking about being dreamers while seeing David and Adam talk about actually achieving their dreams on Survivor.

Jay continued, disparaging Gen Xers for the first time this season, “Gen X is like,” imitating a Steve Urkel nerdy voice, “‘High School. College. Nine to five. Get a life.’” I don’t want that.” As we mentioned in the premiere, there’s a theme of showing humility and respecting the other tribe vs. being egotistical and assuming your tribe is superior. We did see Jay, last episode, wanting to see the Gen X way of doing things as if he were open-minded and willing to learn, but this confessional closed the loop on that, showing him to reject them outright: “I don’t want that.” It’s especially bad because the phrase he rejects is, “Get a life,” and just like that, his life in this game is hurt.

During the goat hunting scene, he was shown saying, “Talk quietly,” and Figgy snapped back, “I know!” This continues the theme from the last episode where Jay wants to play stealthily and is continuously silencing Figgy, who’s the opposite.

Finally, at the immunity challenge, when Jay was about to take on Chris in the water, he said to Chris, “Come on, Hulk” and fist bumped him. Contrary to his earlier confessional, this showed respect for his opponent, good sportsmanship, and appreciation for playing hard. Also maybe it foreshadows a working relationship with Chris down the line? Thus Schrodinger Jay continues to get his good and bad, right and wrong moments throughout the episode, which points towards longevity in the game but hurting his chances at winning.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Zeke

Zeke was shown in the goat hunting scene talking about the pig tracks seen on the beach. He was the only person shown effectively making the reward challenge “difficult” for the Gen X MVP Chris. He then got a confessional talking about the challenge, reminding us that Chris is “the size of three of [Zeke],” which makes his feat of holding Chris back all the more impressive.

He was also quite down on the Millennials performance in the challenge, calling it a “nightmare” and saying “We just get demolished.” Contrast that with Adam who had a positive outlook on it, “We just mis-strategized this time. If we would’ve strategized it right, we could’ve won.” This was just like Episode 3 when Zeke harped on what fools he and Adam were for being blindsided whereas Adam got to talk about having hope that he’s not out of it just yet (as we were reminded in the recap – Zeke was “upset”, Adam had to “play.”). And it was further highlighted this episode as Adam actively tried to improve his game by looking for and finding the idol. This juxtaposition continues to bump up Adam’s chances and bump down Zeke’s, as he’s depicted as more negative, almost defeatist.

Middle of the Road

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Bret

Bret was mentioned in the recap as having been blindsided. While Chris was shown to be livid, Bret was shown with Chris but without as much of a voice to describe his own reaction. Lucy pitched him on voting out Jessica, putting him squarely in the gameplay, and he was shown commenting on Jessica’s game in confessional. While he applauded Jessica’s “huge game,” he implied that she put a target on herself because she’d “shown [her] cards.” This game content is what gave him his MOR rating for the episode: straight narration of how he’d vote and on what the mood was about Jessica. His comments about Jessica were indeed her story for the episode, so Bret was, for once, accurately describing the majority mood of the camp. However, as we saw, the vote didn’t swing his way, so in that way, he still ended up wrong.

After winning the reward challenge, when we went back to Gen X camp, Lucy said, subtitled, “Everybody saved their sausage.” The scene immediately cut to the men talking. Bret said, “We still have peppers and onions,” and Ken said, “I haven’t been this happy since I’ve been here.” The subtitled line of “Everybody saved their sausage” could be a cheeky way of pointing to the whole tribe saving the men and targeting the women, game wise, backed up by the immediate cut to Bret and Ken, neither of whom were targeted at all this episode.

Overall, Bret’s edit remains stagnant. There isn’t a lot to sink our teeth into. He is similar to Chris, but less rounded and lacking in personal content. It would be a surprise to see Bret win unless something dramatically changes. Can he still become a prominent character down the road? Possibly, but another week or two as a toneless UTR/MOR and that’s probably out the window too.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Chris

The episode opened up with the Gen X tribe coming back from Paul’s blindside at tribal council, and the first thing we heard was Jessica appealing to Chris. Chris then got the first confessional of the episode, depicting him as a petulant child, barely containing his anger about not getting his way. “I was, quite frankly, pissed off. I mean, that was a big blindside. I was about to just take the rice and throw it in the ocean and make my own tribe of one, is what I was about to do.” Because of one tribal council not going his way, he was going to destroy their food and forsake the entire tribe. This shows entitlement and that he easily gives up. We then saw a scene of Lucy and Sunday talking about fixing the relationship with the “two guys,” Bret and Chris. The entire episode beginning sets up Chris’ emotions as driving the Gen X tribe.

When Jessica spoke to Chris at the start, she said, “So Chris, I would like to talk,” and he angrily responded, “I’m not talking to you tonight.” At tribal council, he said he “might be hit in the mouth again,” which visually painted the picture of his mouth being closed. Last episode, we learned that Chris’ strategy is all about keeping his mouth shut. These two moments lend further to that as his approach. He’s so focused on keeping his mouth shut that he’s not building deep enough relationships for his vote to count, and once again David one-ups him by playing his idol and thwarting Chris’ plans, actually silencing Chris’ vote.

When he confirmed the voting plan with Lucy, he said to her, “But do you think Dave’s with us?” His instincts were correct to question David, but he was wrong to trust Lucy, almost exactly like last week when Bret asked Paul if they should be worried about the women and Paul said they were fine. Furthermore, it highlighted Chris’ lack of connections. He continued to show a lack of respect for David (and now Ken also) as a human being when he said in confessional, “Lucy feels like she has Dave and Ken in her pocket.” We, the audience, know that neither Ken nor David tolerates being controlled (Ken revolted when Lucy tried controlling him, and David took the game into his own hands by playing his idol). Chris should have known for himself whether David was with them, and he would have had he bothered with respecting people and building relationships.

Chris was shown dominating physically in the reward challenge, being called “huge” and “unstoppable” many times and in many different ways, e.g., “Hulk,” and he was shown breezing through the physical portion of the immunity challenge with ease. He is unquestionably shown as one of the best competitors this season at challenges, which explains his value in a tribe despite the bad attitude. This was why Chris received Mixed tone for this episode, the amount of positive SPV (second person visibility) for his challenge performances balanced out with his negatives at the beginning of the episode (wanting to dump out the rice, etc.).

The takeaway about Chris this episode is mostly the same as before: he’s amazing at challenges, he narrates what’s going on in the Gen X tribe, and he plays the game badly. The new development is that, despite trying to play with a “cold heart” and shutting his mouth all the time, he’s actually the opposite: egotistical and easily angered and bases his game decisions on these. But the fact that we get more insight from Chris than we do most of the other Gen Xers except for David and Ken does speak towards him having longevity in the game.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Jessica

This was not a good episode for Jessica. She was portrayed as wrong, out of the loop, and received a bunch of negative SPV. She was given credit for the Paul blindside in the recap cemented with her confessional “Voting out Paul will be the best thing for our tribe.” Her prediction was immediately undercut when we started this episode with Bret and Chris pissed off and the tribe divided. Later in the episode, when accused of masterminding the Paul vote, she told us it surprised her greatly “…because I thought we all came up with it together.” She was wrong and out of touch – the recap told us it was her idea.

“I’m hoping this wasn’t a bad idea,” Jessica told us early in the episode. But it was, Lucy immediately started plotting Jessica’s blindside and Chris and Bret were all but ready to “zap her ass.” Bret said that she’d “shown [her] cards” and Chris said he “can’t stand her.” It wouldn’t have looked so bad had Jessica realized the tide had turned against her but she remained oblivious, not trusting Ken when he told her her name was on the chopping block. This all led to Jessica being left out of the vote at tribal council and having to be saved due to David’s hidden immunity idol. “Who’s the sucker at the table? Who’s the chump who’s playing that shouldn’t have been playing?” Chris said at tribal. Isn’t the answer to this Jessica?

There was more focus on her relationship with Ken too. Last week, Ken called Jessica humble, and he went to her to try and convince her to turn against Paul. Jessica spoke of how she understood Ken’s position. When Jessica decided to vote against Paul and talked about how the tribe needed to come together, she looked directly at Ken at tribal council. That was followed up this week with Ken trying to warn her about Lucy, but Jessica didn’t trust Ken enough which “shocked” Ken because he “felt the connection that [he] had with Jess was genuine.” At tribal, Ken said “I’ve wavered all day. And that’s what happens when someone I was really loyal with wasn’t so loyal.” The camera panned to Jessica rolling her eyes, which was a bad look, given that we knew Ken was right and she was about to receive votes. When Jessica asked Ken if she was just supposed to trust what he was saying 100% he answered with a simple and stern “Yeah”, while staring daggers into her eyes. Jessica was the one that looked bad in this situation because we knew everything Ken said was correct.

Ultimately, Jessica was saved due to David and the episode ended with Jessica touching David’s shoulder and saying “Thank you” (subtitled). It shows us that Jessica is now grateful to David and perhaps foreshadows her willing him her Legacy advantage later in the game if she’s voted out. And it certainly seems like Jessica will be voted out before Day 36, her edit is flawed; she’s consistently shown trusting the wrong people and making bad decisions.

Over the Top

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Taylor

Taylor was barely in this episode, but when he was, his content was OTT. It should be noted with Edgic that rating and visibility are separate. A character can still be OTT despite low visibility depending on what the edit chooses to show us. For Taylor, his main focus was his deranged roar/scream at the reward challenge (the second time this season he’s done this now) which Jeff even commented on “An excited Taylor…” This is Taylor’s character – brash, in your face, no subtlety. The perfect companion for Figgy. He was in the hunting scene but didn’t receive much focus. Instead, he was following Jay’s lead, which is pretty much how he is in the game. Taylor is on hold.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Michaela

Michaela was the only other Millennial besides Adam that received a decent amount of focus this episode. She didn’t receive a significant amount of content but what she did get was super positive and memorable. The feeling amongst the players and the audience after this episode was that Michaela is a beast! She got her “tatas” out and kicked ass in the challenge. That’s OTT!

Jeff was super complimentary about her at both challenges,”Huge effort from Michaela. Lost her top in the process. Did not care. That is what it takes to win on Survivor.” Did Jeff just say that getting topless is what it takes to win on Survivor? Joking aside, an inserted “That’s what it takes to win on Survivor” from Jeff is definitely a good sign. Michaela also followed this line of thinking in her confessional when she said, “I just like to win, you know?” Her tribemates were also super positive – “an Amazon woman”, “Impressive”, “MVP”, “Michaela Valuable Player.” All of this is a good look for Michaela. We need to see her start making some bonds soon, but right now she’s up there as a contender and a long-term character.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Lucy

Poor Lucy the Tiger Mom. Practically invisible for three episodes and then OTTN and booted. It was obvious after three episodes (hell, after the first episode) that Lucy wouldn’t play a significant role in this season and even in her boot episode the story seemed more interested in setting up the dynamic between David, Ken, and Jessica than it did telling Lucy’s story. There were CP elements in Lucy’s edit this episode, she did lay out her strategy in regards to blindsiding Jessica, but it was overpowered by everything else: “Tiger Mom,” “my husband and kids dislike me a lot of the time,” “dictator.” People aren’t going to remember Lucy for pulling together the numbers this episode, she will be remembered as the controlling Tiger Mom – that’s OTT.

When speaking about Ken, Lucy said, “Why start having emotions about voting people off right now? The whole thing is, at least you’re in the game still, right?” That was bad. We’ve been told over and over again, not just in this season, that you have to connect with people emotionally in this game to succeed. Lucy wasn’t connecting with people emotionally, she was dictating to them and in the end, she was the one no longer in the game. Overall, her season rating is UTRN, despite being OTT in this episode, when looking back at this season when it’s all set and done it’s unlikely people will remember much about Lucy – the reaction will be oh yeah, what did she do again? She was bossy, right?

Complex Personalities

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Adam

This was an excellent episode for Adam. As we’ve mentioned in previous weeks, Adam has been our reliable narrator, what he says we can take to the bank. Last week, he added a small slice of personal content to his edit which was a good sign. And this week, wow, tons of personal content and a super positive edit. There is an argument for OTTP here as his confessional about his sick mother after his idol find was highly emotional and heartbreaking. But there was just enough strategic talk about why he needed the idol (he was on the bottom after the Mari vote) to make him CP, and he also got to talk about his lack of capabilities in physical challenges, which was another reason to find the idol. It was kind of MOR strategic talk, but MOR + OTT = CP here. It felt like we got a well-rounded view of Adam as a person and player.

Even during his search for the idol, he was still our narrator: “They are all the way up there, oh my God. They can’t be actually hunting, right?” He was literally narrating the actions of his tribe. And he delivered on his promise from last week, that he had to work his way back to the top and we shouldn’t count him out. He used the time when his tribe was away to look for the idol, and he succeeded. “I finally went for it today, and I got it.” Is that his theme? Sometimes Adam goes for it and sometimes he doesn’t (like at the reward challenge when “Very easily Adam gives up the ring with no fight at all.”). But when he does go for it, he gets it!

Adam is also hopeful. Right from the opening of Episode 1 when he told us that the Millennials would beat Gen X in the first challenge despite their trash talk. He always sees the positives and never gets down even when things aren’t going his way. We saw this last week when he took the Mari blindside in his stride and complimented the opposing alliance. He then talked about facing his first #Blindside and how he had to work his back into power. This week, the Millennials lost the reward challenge but he didn’t get down, he just chalked it up to a bad day “We just mis-strategized this time. If we would’ve strategized it right, we could’ve won.” He’s always hopeful. And it also gives the audience an excuse for Millennial fallibility – given that the rest of the time Jeff is telling us how the Millennial way is the right way.

Jeff’s comment about Adam giving up with no fight at the challenge is a little knock on him, but other than that, Adam’s edit is looking strong. He’s becoming a real contender to win and to have a significant impact on this season.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic David

David remains one of the season’s biggest characters – if not THE biggest. The majority of the Gen X tribe action revolves around him and his decisions. Are those decisions always right? That’s what we’ve got to question with David, and it’s something that David questions himself. “I think the smartest thing for me to do right now is to go where the majority is leaning,” he said this episode in regards to the Jessica vote. But, in the end, he went against what he called “the smartest thing” and saved Jessica. But he did get to explain why, “I think the safest thing for me is just to vote Jessica, but if I do that, I end up right back on the bottom.” Despite it being the “smartest” and “safest” move, he took a risk to help his long-term game rather than playing from the bottom tribal to tribal.

We’re also gradually seeing David take more control in each episode. He started in Episode 1 as the paranoid wreck, completely out of his element and begging others to spare his life in the game. In Episode 2, he was still on the outs but went to work looking for the idol and built a bond with Ken. In Episode 3 he was growing in confidence, he’d found some allies in CeCe and Ken, and was making new connections with the Millennials at the summit. This episode, he took firm control, this was seen not only in his bold move at tribal council but in the way he told CeCe to vote Lucy. David is taking the game into his own hands because unlike Lucy, “at least you’re still in the game” isn’t good enough for David, he doesn’t want just to be still in the game hanging on at the bottom – he wanted more and went for it.

Yet David continues to be underestimated. Chris called him a “puppy dog” that they just try and keep busy in Episode 2, and then David went a found an idol under their noses. Chris talked about how he was going to learn info at the summit, but it was David connecting with the Millennials, while Paul just mocked him. It all led to his idol play this week. Lucy kept talking about how Ken was a snake and could ruin her game, completely dismissive of David and his role in the story. But it was David who was ultimately responsible for her exit. It’s representative of how everyone has viewed and treated David all season. Just like him starting the fire in Episode 2, the idol play contradicted them all.

“It’s completely unpredictable,” David said at tribal; which is pretty much a summary of himself in this game. But even with his big idol play, David showed grace and humility, speaking to the tribe beforehand. He understands that words and actions have consequences and affect people emotionally. When talking about Lucy’s approach, he said, “…out here you have to be careful not to say the wrong thing or rub people the wrong way because you can really piss some people off.” He was very aware of this when playing his idol, making sure to say the right thing and not piss people off. In the end, his move achieved its desired effect, in saving Jessica and earning her gratitude (she thanked him, subtitled). 

There are some similarities between David and Adam’s edits. They’re both big Survivor fans that have talked about living their dreams. Both are described as smaller when it comes to the challenges. Both described as on the bottom. They both found idols. And in this episode, they both “went for it and got it.” Adam went out and found the idol. David went and played his idol to try and position himself in a control of the tribe. The big difference is that David has now put himself out in the open. Will his gamble pay off? We’ve been told not to underestimate him.

Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 4 - Edgic Ken

Ken’s interactions with people became the main story at Gen X camp this episode: being treated disrespectfully, not having others’ trust, and then not getting his way…until the one person whose trust he does have made it happen for him. Lucy the dictator approached Ken and David, told them “we’re gonna get Jessica out,” and then ordered them not to talk to anybody else or she’d get upset. She specifically focused on Ken during the interaction to make sure he was on board, pointing at him, editorially pointing to Ken as an important person. Even though Lucy was correct about the majority voting for Jessica and Ken, indeed, had “nothing to worry about” for this vote, Ken was rubbed the wrong way by Lucy’s demeanor. He told David, “when you and I were schooled and told not to speak to anyone, I was done,” and David confirmed, “you can really piss some people off. And that’s exactly what happened because now Ken wants to vote [Lucy] out.” Note all the focus on Ken here, hammering home how he feels, and it continued until they left for tribal.

We saw Ken approach Jessica and say, subtitled, “Sweetie, Lucy wants you out… They don’t trust you at all. The only way we stay is if Lucy goes.” On the one hand, we knew he was telling the truth. On the other, he approached Jessica bluntly, told her a plan that he expected her to go with blindly, and used the word “Sweetie” to soften the blow, which showed how close he feels towards her, but it can also read as patronizing. It didn’t come off as harshly as Lucy did towards him, but there were parallels to Lucy and Ken’s approaches. They were both telling the truth and were correct about what they said, but both methods were off and clearly failed. Jessica questioned Ken during the interaction then immediately betrayed him to Lucy, proving that she didn’t trust him.


Following that scene, Jessica and Lucy had a chat about Ken. Then Lucy talked about Ken with the rest of the tribe. Then it came full circle back to Ken, and he had a bit of a blowout with Lucy at camp. Again, note that all of these scenes were about Ken. Ken said, “I’m shocked. I felt the connection that I had with Jess was genuine.” He not only couldn’t clinch a genuine connection with Jessica, but he also misread the depth of their relationship. In a game all about connections, Ken botched his connections this episode, and this is the first time we’ve registered flaws in Ken as a player. He got to describe his mistake again at tribal council, though in a less damning way this time: “I’ve wavered all day. And that’s what happens when someone I was really loyal with wasn’t so loyal.” In this case, he framed it as a loyalty question, and the flaw was clearly Jessica’s to have misread his loyalty towards her.

Although all these scenes revolved around Ken, we got snatches of David and his commentary throughout. Ken may not have deep relationships with Jessica, Lucy, or the others, but we know he maintains a close one with David. David asked Ken his thoughts, caring about what Ken wanted to do. When Ken wanted to vote out Lucy, David said in confessional, “to be honest, it sounds like a really great idea.” Ultimately, it was David who dictated the vote, and he swung it in the direction that Ken had wanted. Ken was surprised, mouthing “Wow,” subtitled, showing shock and that he was even out of the loop with his own ally.

All in all, it seems the edit intended for us to side with Ken throughout this episode. He was trying to save a person whose refusal to trust him nearly led to her own downfall. However, this was also our first glimpse at Ken’s imperfections. He’s only human, much though people want him to be that plastic Ken doll. He had strong enough relationships to carry him through the day, but not so strong that they went about smoothly and in the way he wanted. Same outcome, a different way of getting there, as Sunday once said about Millennials at tribal council. He is still a contender and looks to continue as a significant character of the season.

Stories in Play

-Millennials vs. Gen X – the theme of the season, expected to continue throughout.
-Disproving Millennial Misconceptions – Will the Millennial players prove or disprove the negative stereotypes? Adam introduced this concept in episode one. The Millennials won the immunity challenge this week and Jeff keeps emphasizing that the Millennial way of doing things is better. Also, after the Gen X reward win, we went back to the Millennials camp rather than the challenge winners, which tells us that the Millennials are more important to the story.
-Cool Kids vs. Misfits – the Cool Kids have the majority numbers on the Millennials tribe. The Millennials tribe didn’t receive much depth this episode but Adam did remind us that he was on the bottom.
-David Out of Water – David still has one of the biggest edits and each week he is getting more and more comfortable in himself and the game.
-Humility/Connections – There was a lot of talk last week about being humble. It kind of continued here, Adam, who has been shown to be humble throughout, was rewarded with an idol find. David, even when using his idol, showed humility. It also tied into the emotional connections. Not treating people as numbers and speaking to them on a humble, human level.

That’s it for this week’s Edgic. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Written by

Martin Holmes

Martin is a freelance writer from England. He’s represented by Berlin Associates for comedy writing and writes about TV and entertainment, currently for TV Insider and Vulture, previously Digital Spy, ET Canada, and Yahoo. A finalist for the Shortlist Sitcom Search in 2012 for “Siblings,” Martin received his BA in English with Creative Writing from The University of Hull. Martin is the owner and editor-in-chief of Insider Survivor.

11 responses to “Episode 4 – Edgic”

  1. Loved your breakdown as always.

    The one thing I was surprised that you didn’t mention was the episode giving Zeke credit for the puzzle solve by leaving his Someone vs Somebody comment in. This is twice the edit has gone out of it’s way to show him making a positive decision in a challenge (the balance beam in Ep1 is the other) and if you combine this with the positive reward challenge performance/confessional seems like a lot of challenge based material for someone who wouldn’t normally get that kind of attention.

    I wonder if editors are doing this to try and show him as a well balanced player or more interestingly maybe they’re foreshadowing a surprise individual immunity run.

  2. Chris pretty much became the personification of “brute force and ignorance.” Great in physical challenges but very lacking in strategic and (especially) social acumen. The pettiness doesn’t help, either.

  3. Terrific Edgic article, as usual!

    One minor nitpick: You twice misspelled the noun “subtlety” as the adverb “subtly”, in Figgy’s and Taylor’s write-ups. Sorry for being a grammar nazi!

    (Feel free to correct it and then delete this comment if you wish, I don’t mind. :P)

  4. Great and fair analysis, however, given all the OTTP pre-show hype [including not only a pre-pre-show but a ‘special invite only – see even more pre-pre show’], Probst’s constant hammering it home [millennials do, say, think, text it better], and let’s face it, Survivor’s need to survive [ratings have been steadily in decline since season 22], I predict a millennial sole survivor this season. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Survivor fan, never missed a show since season 1, episode 1 and follow a set ritual routine for watching [I’m that dedicated] but I’m just stating what I see as the obvious here. —>YMMV <— [yeah, that dates me I suppose but WYSINWYG ;-p ] And as if all this isn't enough to convince viewers of the age bracket winner, take a look at all the tv commercials, online advertising shown during the show.

    • I’ve heard this narrative about ratings decline a few times this season, I’m not sure where it’s come from.

      Viewers fell from 20million for Palau down to 12.6million for HvV. In the twelve seasons since, they’ve not had less than 10.8. This over a 6 year period where viewers have declined in general much more sharply. It’s seen Survivor rise significantly in terms of its overall rank, both in total viewers and demo viewers, because of it’s LACK of decline in the ratings.

      Admittedly there was a dip after the RI/South Pacific year (a bad year by any standard) – but since it’s resurgence from Philippines on it really isn’t bleeding viewers at all.

  5. The only five that can actually win in my opinion are Ken, Michelle, Michaela, Jay and Adam. Out of those 5, Adam probably has the least chance of winning. Ken’s got the best shot.

  6. So far Ken’s edgic chart looks pretty good, but I wonder where you would rank him if you had to list most likely people to win. From Paul’s exit interview on RHAP he said that the majority alliance tried to bring Ken in and he wasn’t interested, and then in episode 4 he was put off when Lucy told him what the majority of the tribe was going to do. I wonder if he has some sort of complex or something that makes him resist going with what is the popular opinion. He seems to want to go against the grain, and he chose to side with David who was clearly at the bottom of the tribe in episode 3. As a viewer i always root for the underdog, but he seems like he is purposely positioning himself in the minority at times so he can stay an underdog. What do you think?

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