This week’s Survivor starts with another Tribal Council walk of shame back to the beach, and everyone on Parma has bought into this “final six” concept, as if final six is a thing. No matter which way you slice it, there’s just no such thing as final six. As Kass says so eloquently, “the best laid plans end up sprawled out on a murder scene floor.”

The Cilantro tribe is no fun no more, with no scrambling and no trickery and no lying. Tree Mail sends everyone packing and over to the Parma tribe for the most anticlimactic merge in Survivor history. Parma has six, Cilantro has five plus two Immunity Idols, so who knows. Parma arrives with food, pillows, wine, and mosquito nets. The message from upper management lets them know that the tribes have merged, and a new idol with “different powers” has been hidden somewhere near the camp. What does that mean?

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Tony seeks out Sarah to try and repair their former alliance. He promises her they will go to the end if only she would flip and vote out someone from the Parma tribe. This puts her as the swing vote, which is both a good and a bad position to be in at any given point in the game. It’s good because the swing vote is not getting voted out at Tribal Council. It’s bad because you’re the bottom of whatever alliance you join.

Kass and Sarah are bickering over who to vote out from the other tribe, despite not having won or lost an immunity challenge. Tasha steps in to very reasonably try to get everyone back on the same page, but Kass is offended that Tasha is almost sort of not really taking Sarah’s side. Sigh. If everyone was smart, they’d vote out Sarah and sort it all out later.

The individual immunity challenge is all about balancing on very small slats of wood on a very wavy body of water. After thirty minutes, everyone is still in the game and moves to the most difficult rung of the challenge ladder. This one’s all about balance, and Spencer, Kass, LJ, Sarah, Jeffra, and Tasha and the rest can’t make the transition. Morgan’s out, it’s Tony and Woo, and Tony recovers as Woo does some sort of air surf thing. Woo is wearing those toe shoes I’ve been known to make fun of, and they do him good as he wins the first Individual Immunity.

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The beach scramble is boring, with Sarah insisting the Parma tribe vote out Tony and the Cilantro tribe insisting they vote out Sarah. But once at Tribal Council, chaos reigns. Tony busts out his Immunity Idol and declares it “the community idol” because he is going to use it for whomever on his tribe needs help. When they see the idol, the Parma tribe says that they are going to vote for “the other one,” which I guess could mean anything. Tony believes they mean LJ, so he tosses his Immunity Idol into play for LJ. Then, LJ takes out his own Immunity Idol and gives it to Tony. So…they saved each other? That’s kind of sweet.

Anyway, none of that drama was even necessary because there was not a single vote cast for Tony or LJ. Instead, all of the votes were cast for Sarah or Jeffra. Who is Jeffra? I have no idea, but Sarah wanted her out for some reason that went completely unexplained. With five votes for Sarah and five votes for this Jeffra chick, it all comes down to the final vote. Sarah. Sarah? Who flipped? It was Kass, who just didn’t like the way Sarah suddenly ran the whole game. Well, okay. I’m not sure what that does for Kass’s standing in the game, and as Spencer put it, Kass now has “no chance” of winning the game. But that was interesting.

Next week, more jockeying for position.

photos via CBS

 


Linda Sue Strong is the founder of entertainment blog TerribleTelevision.com and an occasional attorney. Her life has not yet been turned into a reality television show. Follow her at @themisslinda.

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