Survivor UK Episode 13 Recap – Lock and Load

What went down in Episode 13?


This past week saw some fans criticizing the gameplay of the Survivor 45 cast simply because someone dared to reveal a plan to their closest ally and another player chose to vote out a fan favorite. That was nothing compared to tonight’s Survivor UK, which contained some of the worst and most baffling gameplay in the show’s history.

Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m not complaining. This terrible gameplay made for one of the funniest episodes in franchise history. It was a real comedy of errors from top to bottom, a pure farce that only seemed to get more deranged as the episode went on. That the season’s most comedic caricature of a character was voted out at the end of it all was just the cherry on top.

The buffoonery started with a lobster trap that had mysteriously washed up on the beach. A note informed the tribe of an idol inside the trap and a key hidden in the jungle to open it, though it took a couple of castaways to even figure this part out. Soon, everyone was out searching, well, everyone except Pegleg, who was more concerned with keeping the fire going back at camp.


For Nathan, an idol was a necessity. After losing his closest ally, Tinuke, at the last tribal, he felt like the pressure was on, especially as he could no longer trust his old Caleton tribemate, Matt. Nathan and Matt did chat about what happened, with the latter admitting he thought he was a third wheel in the alliance. But the conversation didn’t do anything to bring back the trust on either end.

As for Matt, fresh off his big move against Tinuke, he felt reinvigorated and ready to play a more ruthless game. This meant getting his hands on the idol, which he did for a brief second or two. It was actually Chris who discovered the key, but Matt took it upon himself to open the trap and check the contents, agreeing to share the idol with Chris later.

This is where things fell apart. For some reason, Matt didn’t take the idol, instead choosing to leave it inside to not tip the others off that it’d been found. It was a fair idea in theory; we saw something similar play out in Survivor 44’s bird-cage twist. But why not replace the idol with a stick or a couple of rocks? Leaving the idol in the trap and waiting to retrieve it pre-tribal seemed like a big risk.


But it should have been fine, given that Matt and Chris had the key. All they had to do was lock the trap, and nobody else could get in. Except Matt clearly hasn’t had much experience with padlocks. While he shut the lock, he forgot to close the clasp, meaning the door on the trap was still open. The camera crew had great fun here with the constant zoom-ins on the open clasp as Matt talked up his “master plan.”

The hilarity continued post-Immunity Challenge, which Chris won, saving himself from what looked like another sure boot. With Chris safe, the plan flipped back to Nathan, with the majority happy to send him to the jury bench. Pegleg, Hannah, and Laurence agreed to put their votes on Nathan, with Chris and Matt seemingly on board to do the same.

Nathan saw the writing on the wall, so he openly confessed to going on an idol hunt and headed back to the lobster trap to see if the note had any more clues as to the whereabouts of the key. But he didn’t need a key at all because he soon noticed the clasp was left open, and, more than that, the idol was still inside. Hilarious.


There were a lot of things Nathan could have done with the idol in his possession, but what he chose to do still has me confused. He decided to show the idol to Hannah and Laurence while simultaneously telling Laurence that he was considering voting for him (or Matt). Not only this, but he said that the pair should just vote for him, and he would play his idol.

What was his thinking here? Did he just want to make a flashy idol play to impress the jury? Maybe, but I don’t think that was his intention because why tell Laurence he was thinking of voting for him? Was it reverse psychology to make them vote elsewhere, and he could save his idol? Obviously not, seeing as he ended up playing it at tribal.

The farce kicked into high gear once Hannah spilled the news about Nathan having the idol. Chris was dumbfounded at how such a thing could have happened and asked Matt if he actually locked the trap. Matt’s “What?” and utter look of shock was pure television gold, and it only got better as he and Chris went back to the trap and realized he’d left the clasp open.


“It’s like Dumber & Dumber,” Chris said as he chastised Matt for his lack of padlock efficiency. Matt tried to keep calm and said they could still put the votes on Nathan. But the rest of the tribe saw the flaw in his plan. Voting for Nathan would mean whoever Nathan voted for would go home. Matt’s solution? Split the vote 4-2, an idea he shared… in front of everyone. Of course, nobody volunteered to be the split.

Meanwhile, Nathan told Leilani about his idol, while Laurence let Matt know that Nathan was coming after him. To say it was a mad scramble would be an understatement. But amid the chaos, the one solid plan of the episode emerged. Matt told Chris and Peg that the three of them should put their votes on Laurence as a safety assurance.

And so it was that Laurence had his torch snuffed, receiving five of the six votes, with even Nathan writing his name down. After putting his foot in his mouth and admitting his final three plans originally included Tinuke and Matt (leaving out Leilani), Nathan needlessly played his idol, putting a cap on an episode of major highs and lows.

I’m not sure where this season goes next, but I can’t lie; the post-merge has been entertaining every step of the way.

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.

2 responses to “Survivor UK Episode 13 Recap – Lock and Load”

  1. So happy to see you covering the UK season every step of the way.

    Have been a massive massive fan of Survivor for about 19yrs now and a fan of this website for quite a few years too.

    I got to the last stage of casting for the UK one but unfortunately didn’t get picked. (Still gutted, waited years and years and was convinced I would be picked lol)

    Keep up the great content Martin and hopefully I can be on season 2 and make it entertaining as hell 🙂

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