Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thoughts on Survivor: Blood vs Water Episode 3

Okay... where do I begin? Three episodes in and Survivor already has me gritting my teeth as I watch from the couch. And yet, the fact that it is only Episode 3 means there is a lot of game left to watch (aka scheming, strategizing, and lots of blindsides for sure!).

The CBS promos leading up to this week's episode has promised that the first 10 minutes of the game is going to be a shocker! Actually, I expected that Colton wouldn't quit at all because if the promos suggested the same, then that wouldn't be a shocker, right? Turns out that Colton went ahead and quit the game as the rest of the tribes looked on in shock and distaste. The first few minutes of the episode exemplified a lack of social skills in Colton as he insisted on playing strategy. Not to say that Colton had perfected the social game last time out, at least he did a better job of trying to connect with certain people whereas this season he alienated himself from everyone else and did not even feign attempt to build relationships. Although strategy might be an integral part of the game, you are not one to jump ahead of your tribe. Aras points it out to him but he does not seem to grasp the idea that while he is in danger, his game is not over yet.

A clearly ticked off Jeff Probst called out Colton during the duel about feigning his illness the last time. But because Colton has insisted on his initial decision to quit, Jeff let him leave the game but refused to give him the opportunity to throw his buff in the urn on his way out. What a waste of another person's spot in the game!

Meanwhile, when the Galang tribe found out that Rachel was voted off, Tyson was smart enough to catch up to the other tribe's strategy. Thankfully, he and Rachel outsmarted the male alliance's strategy of trying to get Tyson to switch. Rachel also outed Brad as being the orchestrator over at Tadhana, to which Marissa seconded with some vulgarities at him. Brad gets the brunt of the wrath from the castaways (and their loved ones) that had been voted off so far. This is where Vytas' excellent ploy last episode worked for him because it was his plan to vote off Rachel to weaken the other tribe, but he did present it in a form of question so it would appear as Brad's idea.

As for the actual duel, Candice smoked this challenge yet again. She finished the challenge way ahead of everybody else. The competition between Marissa and Rachel end up being neck-and-neck with Rachel being a few seconds behind Marissa. And with that, allow me to highlight one of the sweetest and most touching moments we've seen in Survivor as Tyson walks up to Rachel after she lost the duel.

With Candice winning, she also hands the second immunity idol clue to John. Again, I cannot fault Candice for giving the clue to John yet again! However, it can put a lot of ideas into the other castaway's mind about not only John gaining a huge advantage in the game by finding the idol but also in terms of solidifying Candice and John as a unit. But John finally comes to his senses and decides to share the clue to Brad. At this point, I thought it was a good move for John to share the idol clue to Brad because it would create a sense of security in Brad's mind about being the kingpin of his tribe. In a sense, Brad is also the head of their all-male alliance and there is no need for him to share the information to the rest of his alliance-mates. In Survivor, it is important to keep the information under control.

John, however, lacked proper execution here. He shared the clue to Brad but he is still holding back. This causes Brad to feel like John is being shady as he won't commit to looking for the idol together. As soon as that doubt starts to creep in (and it's not like this is the first time that they had been skeptical about John), people within your tribe are going to start wondering if you have the idol or not, especially if you are being secretive about it.

As for the immunity challenge, it was a physical one. Even before this challenge started, I already thought that Tadhana will finally get their first win and Monica might be in serious trouble. Her loved one, Brad, had been in the heat of things at the duel so they can orchestrate a revenge by voting off his wife. That is not going to happen, though, as the girls of Tadhana had a poor showing. Katie was beat twice by older ladies (her mom Tina and Laura) and same goes with Ciera. Thus, Tadhana books another date with Jeff at tribal council.

Initially, the ideal scenario is to vote off Brad. But if the rest of the guys are smart, like they've shown they are, they decided to get rid of John. In doing so, they eliminate two threats - John as a strong physical and strategic player who can potentially reunite with Candice post-merge, and the hidden immunity idol. The idol has been put in the air over the past couple of episodes. Since John got the first clue (publicly at that), everyone in his tribe has been kind of tip-toeing around the idea that he might have already found it. It is almost a cardinal sin to not have shared it to his alliance. But his decision to keep his tribe in the shadows about the status of the idol might've been too big of a threat to ignore. They can take care of Brad later. And with the amount of hate that he's been getting so far, he is actually the ideal guy to sit next to.

What do you think of this episode? Personally, loved it although the first half was too intense that the second half might have paled in comparison. Excited to see what comes down at the duel next week though as this time it's going to be Candice vs Brad!

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