Survivor: Winners At War

Episode 6 – The Edit Bay

What is the edit telling us after episode 6?

Photo: CBS

Hello all, welcome to the Edit Bay, a swanky island resort located just south of the Edge of Extinction. As you may know, I’ve decided not to write Edgic this season due to a mix of fatigue and not having the time or desire to do a deep dive edit analysis on a season with the EOE in play. However, because readers have been asking for some form of edit-based content, I’ve decided to create the Edit Bay as a happy compromise. I won’t be assigning ratings or breaking down every character, instead, I will offer some “hot takes,” if you will, on the narrative arcs and top winner contenders.

THE STORIES

“MAIN HEADLINES”

FIRE TOKENS REPRESENT YOUR LIFE — Until now, the primary focus of the fire tokens has been at the Edge of Extinction, but the latest episode saw them begin to creep into the main game. While we had the scene with Tyson and the peanut butter at the Edge, back at the tribe camps, castaways started bartering with tokens. This was seen between Parvati and Wendell and even more dramatically between Denise and Sandra.

I expect the bartering and trading of fire tokens to become even more relevant as we head towards the merge and therefore result in an important part of the season’s narrative.

TONY ON PROBATION / JEKYLL & HYDE — Tony’s probation story took a turn in the last episode as he reverted to his old bag of tricks. Until now, he’s managed to keep his worst tendencies under control, instead channeling his frenzied energy into arts & crafts and various camp activities. These have all helped lower people’s guards around him. However, here the paranoia returned, and he was back in his spy shack.

This turn of events spun off into a separate story of Tony as this Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde type character. “He gets like this on Tribal days,” explained Kim. “He’s like a split personality.” Jeremy backed this up by stating Tony had been fine until it was time to vote. With the merge approaching, it could very well point to the return of Cagayan Tony. 

The question is whether this is just a bump in the road for Tony’s story or if it’s the start of his downfall. He’s had one of the most consistent story arcs of the season, and we always check in with him, so it will be intriguing to see how this develops in the coming weeks. 

LIONS VS. HYENAS — The “big threats vs. non-threats” story continues to be a major talking point of the season. This time it was Jeremy and Tony selling the need to keep the big threats together as shields, pointing to the loss of Boston Rob as a hit to their gameplan. This has been part of Tony’s M.O. from the beginning, but once again, it was Sandra that put a stop to it.

It was Sandra that pushed for Amber’s elimination in the premiere. Sandra pushed for Tyson a couple of weeks back. And here, Sandra wanted to save Denise, hoping to see Jeremy or Tony leave instead. But in the end, as was foreshadowed earlier in the season, it ended up costing Sandra her spot in the game.

Will the big threats continue to fall? Or will this be a wake-up call? Also, has Denise now made herself a big threat? I suspect this storyline to continue going forward.

BAD ROMANCE — The tension between former romantic partners Michele and Wendell continued in the latest episode. There was a bit of spat regarding the fire tokens. And Michele again reminded us she got burned by Wendell in real life; therefore, it’s hard to trust him in the game.

There’s a chance this could just be a short pre-merge storyline if Michele or Wendell leave next week, but it’s had enough focus now to potentially become a long running arc into the merge.

“SIDE STORIES”

ADAM’S ALL ALONE — The only real story on Yara in the latest episode was Adam feeling on the outs. He recognized that Ben had developed better relationships with Sarah and Sophie than he had, putting him in an awkward position.

“I’M WITH YOU” — Nick made this statement back before the swap, and there was a small follow-up in the latest episode. “Either grow some backbone or not, but somebody is gonna get backstabbed and screwed over,” he said at Tribal Council. I thought last week this story could have been heading towards Nick flipping to join Parvati & Michele, but obviously, that didn’t happen. However, it could just be a wider thematic story of this season becoming increasingly cutthroat as we move into the merge.

THE CONNECTIONS

“ALLIANCES”

NICK, WENDELL, & YUL — The three free agents are still together, and all voted the same in the last episode. However, we did see Nick begin to question Wendell’s motives. And it’s also somewhat concerning that we haven’t heard Yul’s strategic thoughts since the swap. 

“TENUOUS RELATIONSHIPS”

MICHELE & WENDELL — The jilted lovers connection remains a strong focus of the narrative.

BEN, SARAH, & SOPHIE — This wasn’t officially cemented as an alliance, as we never heard from Sarah or Sophie, but Ben did talk about how he’d grown close to the two women.

JEREMY, KIM, & TONY — Again, not officially confirmed as an alliance, but the three of them did work together on the last vote. 

DENISE & JEREMY — Even though Jeremy voted against Denise, she used an idol on him, which could cement their bond going forward.

THE CONTENDERS

The below list is just the edits that currently stand out. It doesn’t mean that all those not mentioned are out of contention. 

SARAH

Pros:

  • A clear alliance with Tony, which received significant focus for three episodes in a row and both members talked about the alliance in confessional.
  • Highly likely to make the merge to reunite with Tony to continue the Cops R Us story.
  • She has a secondary alliance with Sophie, though there was no direct follow-up this week.
  • Ben spoke highly of her in the latest episode.
  • She received some emotional content when she was shown offering Yul a hug after his talk about Jonathan Penner’s wife and her battle with ALS. 
  • She’s had a decent amount of strategic content throughout the season so far. 
  • She’s had a flashback to her previous season.
  • She has received some personal content about her job as a police officer.
  • There was a weird focus on her relationship with Tyson a couple of episodes ago, which perhaps was setting up something for the future.
  • She started on the complex tribe.

Cons:

  • An underwhelming premiere edit.
  • Tony was presented as the more important member of Cops R Us.
  • She didn’t speak about her alliance with Sophie in confessional and there was no direct follow-up on that duo in the latest episode. 
  • No real content in the latest episode, though it was a jam-packed episode, and she did still receive a mention via Ben.
  • Even though the blame was put on Sandra, she didn’t get her way in keeping Tyson, and that could suggest a downfall if the big threats continue to be targeted.
  • She said Cops R Us could work as long as nobody knows about it. This might mean the alliance falls apart later down the line if it becomes public knowledge. 

SOPHIE

Pros:

  • Strong premiere edit. 
  • She had an established duo alliance with Yul in the premiere.
  • She was named as part of the “free agents” group.
  • She has a secondary partnership with Sarah, which she talked about in confessional.
  • Ben spoke highly of her in the latest episode. 
  • She’s had a fair amount of content, whether narration or strategy and has mentioned long-term plans (Yul being a nerd-shield, Sarah being someone who wants to work with her until the end). 
  • Was shown to have empathy for those living on the Edge, which shows her in a positive light.
  • She started on the complex tribe.

Cons:

  • She kind of disappeared in episodes three and four, which is a little 
  • concerning, especially in the episode where Dakal went to Tribal.
  • No real content in the latest episode, though it was a jam-packed episode, and she did still receive a mention via Ben.
  • Her alliance with Yul has had no mention since the premiere, nor has she given her personal perspective on the free agents group.
  • We didn’t hear Sarah’s thoughts on a potential long-term alliance, which could suggest Sophie has the wrong read on Sarah.

TONY

Pros:

  • Strong premiere edit.
  • A clear story arc and strategy about playing down his threat level and lowering the guards of his fellow players, though he reverted to old ways in the past episode.
  • A secondary story tying to the “lions vs. hyenas” arc.
  • A third story regarding his “split personality.”
  • A clear alliance with Sarah, which received significant focus for three episodes in a row, and both members talked about the alliance in confessional.
  • Highly likely to make the merge to reunite with Sarah to continue the Cops R Us story.
  • Presented as a likable presence around camp, even when he’s acting like a mad man.
  • He is shown to be aware of the danger the big threats face, and his reasonings are validated by others, even if he hasn’t gotten his way at the vote. This could be leading to a “last lion standing” underdog arc.
  • He started on the complex tribe. 

Cons:

  • Even though he’s been shown to be right about the big threats needing each other, he has got his way in saving them. This could suggest a downfall if the big threats continue to be targeted.
  • He fell back into bad habits in the latest episode, and his tribemates were shown to be suspicious. 
  • Kim was shown to be wary about working with Tony due to his paranoia. 
  • Sarah said Cops R Us could work as long as nobody knows about it. This might mean the alliance falls apart later down the line if it becomes public knowledge. 
  • The focus on Tony’s likability around camp could be setting him up as a social threat this time around. 

MICHELE

As I’ve said before, I’m pretty low on anyone who originally started on Sele winning, but I like to at least keep one or two in the conversation for the sake of balance.

Pros:

  • She has a clear storyline of wanting to prove herself, which was first mentioned in the premiere and has been reiterated in subsequent episodes.
  • She now has a secondary story with Wendell, which continued in the latest episode, and she is shown in the more positive light.
  • She’s had a decent amount of focus throughout the season so far.
  • She was given credit as the first person to name Ethan as the target in his boot episode.
  • She had an alliance with Jeremy, though it wasn’t directly talked about in confessional.
  • She was presented as a decision-maker on the original Sele tribe.

Cons:

  • She had a very under the radar premiere.
  • Even though she has alliances, none of them are particularly well defined or directly talked about in confessional.
  • Her “proving myself” story could be more of a journey arc than a winning narrative. 
  • The story with Wendell could potentially lead to a downfall.
  • She was shown to be somewhat duped by Rob in the previous episode when she ate up his lie about Adam.
  • She didn’t start on the complex tribe.

YUL

Pros:

  • Strong premiere edit.
  • He’s had a mixture of strategic and personal content, especially with the talk of Jonathan Penner’s wife and her battle with ALS.
  • He had an established duo with Sophie in the premiere.
  • He formed the “free agents” alliance in the premiere.
  • Nick validated that Yul is one of his closest allies.
  • He started on the complex tribe.

Cons:

  • He’s disappeared since the swap, and we haven’t heard his thoughts on the game, his strategy, or his alliances.
  • He once claimed that the free agents alliance is strong and unsuspected, but we saw that others were well aware of this group.
  • No follow-up on his alliance with Sophie since the premiere.
  • Sarah was subtitled telling him “not to get cocky,” which felt similar to the episode when Yul talked about how good he feels, only to be immediately undercut by Sophie saying the “good times are a facade.” 
  • Was one-upped by Tony in episode two’s breadfruit scene.
  • Sophie previously referred to him as her “nerd-shield,” which means he could be voted out ahead of her.

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.


5 responses to “Episode 6 – The Edit Bay”

  1. I’m glad to see that you’ve still got Tony listed as a top contender. I wish I shared your optimism, but I’m skeptical. His chances of winning took a major hit. I can’t rule him out for sure, and I do think it’s a good sign for his chances that the Next Time On Survivor teaser is showing him as the person in danger (because those are always misdirections, and it puts doubt on his chances). But this week he went directly against his own plan of slow and steady. That’s an awful contradiction. His spyshack was mocked, we saw how he was hurting his own game, and his obliviousness to the danger he was in was a really bad look. To make matters worse, he might not have actually been in danger, because Sandra explained online that she had actually told Denise to vote for Jeremy, not Tony, and yet the episode gave us the impression that Tony was a sitting duck who barely dodged a bullet he didn’t even see coming. Can his edit recover from that? Is that how they would portray the Winner of Winners? On the other hand, the spyshack was such an entertaining moment that it pretty much had to be shown. If, next week, he is shown to be aware of how he screwed up and working to fix the problem, maybe his story could be salvageable. Plus, pretty much everybody has some warts on their edits. Everyone has either been ignored at a key moment, overshadowed by an ally, or shown being fooled. The best thing I see working in favor of Tony’s story is how last week’s episode was edited in relation to this one. Last week Kim was presented as the swing vote between Dakal and Sele, and Tony was shown to be aware of the problem and working to pull her over. This week that was dropped completely, and it was mostly Dakal strong. So why did we need to see Kim as the swing vote last week? To put doubt, an additional obstacle, in front of Tony, and to show that he was aware of the tribe dynamics and that he was working to get the numbers. All this to say that Tony’s edit is all over the place. There are positives and negatives. Who knows what’s going to happen to him? I expect Tony’s story to get a lot clearer next week, because we’ll see how he deals with the fallout from this episode.

  2. I think Adam’s getting overlooked here. He gets a lot of confessionals which are mostly about strategy. He (again) got the post challenge confessional and again after his tribe winning, which is pretty rare.

    • Plus the “winner” statement about how when he puts his mind to something, he is able to do anything. I know in context it was about the challenge that they just won, but still…

  3. Martin these are fantastic but they just make me ask all these crazy Edgic questions… What was the Sandra foreshadowing that you speak of? Keep up the great work, here and at Vulture

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