I have watched every episode of Survivor since Richard Hatch sat on a tree branch and proclaimed Season 1, Episode 1 that they should make out the million dollar check to him right then. That season we saw the birth of Survivor strategy with the creation of voting alliances, the use of deceit and misdirection, and the manipulation of people based on personality traits and interpersonal relationships. It's what made the show so delicious to watch. Last night, we saw some of the worst Survivor play in the history of the show. And, still, the episode served up another tasty treat and by the end, when Drew Christy got his karmic comeuppance for his multitude of mistakes, I cheered.
The episode began with the Coyopa tribe celebrating the end of the John Rocker era. Baylor Wilson, who had once again had votes cast against her at tribal but lived to see another day, was the most relieved and quickly pegged Dale Wentworth as the new low man on the totem pole. Dale, who was the only one not to know about the plan to blindside John, realized that he took being in a dominant all-guy alliance for granted and better work on his social game. This is the theme for tonight folks, on Survivor do not take anything for granted.
Back on the winner's beach, all is good. They have the new flint and, looky here, there's the old flint. Well, gosh darn, they didn't lose it after all (Jon Misch points out, that means he didn't lose it after all)! But it also means that they gave up fishing great for nothing. That's so funny! Okay, maybe not to them. And certainly not to Drew who is the greatest angler the world has ever seen and would have fished the area dry by now if only he had a snorkel. But Drew has a masterplan, one of many. He will charm Jeff Probst into exchanging the extra flint for the fishing gear and also get him to throw in a grill, some paella and a nice Merlot to go with it.
"That's what a good leader does," "without me these people would be nothing." So says Drew the Delusional as he makes sure to let us know that he's running the successful Hunahpu tribe and he doesn't have to listen to the little people, he'll let them know what's what. Boy, life with Drew as your older brother must have been a blast, right Alec?
At Heroes Arena Julie McGee and the Hunahpu tribe see that Coyopa took their (primarily Natalie Anderson's) advice and voted off Julie's boyfriend John. Hunahpu keeps it classy by clapping and celebrating while Julie tries not to show any emotion. You almost feel sorry for her, and then you reember she chose to date John Rocker and you get over it. Then Drew interrupts Jeff to try and barter a new, never-struck flint for some of the long gone fishing gear and Jeff strings him along for shits and giggles before letting him know the answer is not no but never.
The actual loved-ones duel pits Jon against Jaclyn Schultz and it's close, but Jon gets the win and the honot of sending his girlfriend to Exile Island. He also gets to pick someone from his tribe to go with her and wanting to protect his grilfriend and make sure she's safe and comfoted of course he sneds...DREW??? "I trust Drew, he pulls his weight (unless he's napping)," says Jon to explain his choice and I can think of seven other people who would have made a better choice. Even Jon must realize how dumb that was as he later quips that, knowing Drew, he bets Jaclyn is doing most of the work!
Meanwhile, Alec Christy asks, after his team's 87th straight loss, "Are we going to be the worst tribe in survivor history?" Well, maybe, but your brother has a different idea! But first, Drew, the ladies' man, is out to strategize and manipulate minds on his way to be the greatest Survivor player ever. His first brilliant plan is to throw the next challenge, to get rid of the "snakes" on his team. And, he's goig to tell someone on the other tribe his plan.
.Back on Hunahpu, Keith Nale is looking for the immunity idol. When he doens't find it, he decides that Jeremy Collins probably aflreay found it as he also had the clue to the idol's location. So what does he do, thinking his Firefighters R Us alliance member Jeremy has the idol? Does he go to him and ask him? Does he keep the knowledge to himself? Or does he BLAB TO EVERYONE ELSE ON THE TRIBE? Pick the dumbest answer and you'll be right.
Reed tells Jeremy that his buddy Keith just dropped a dime on him and now Jeremy is out for blood and making sure everyone knows that Keith cannot be trusted. Keith is so dumb, I'd sit and marvel at his stupidity but there's no time, because now Jeremy wants to take the title of dumbest player by telling his fellow tribemates how disappointed he is at Keith BECAUSE HE HAD HIS BACK. You know, your fellow tribemates (especially the girls who thought you were in an alliance with them) do not need to know you had a secret two person alliance with Ketih. Keith redeems himself by going back to check again for the immunity idol, which he finds when it literally jumps up at him, and by not blabbing about having it.
Baylor and Alec have a tense relationship. He feels bossed around by his brother Drew, so the last thing he wants is to feel inferior to Baylor. But she manages to push all the same buttons and where, in past seasons, their bickering would look like a precursor to some showmance, this looks like it'll need a visit by Dr. Phil very soon.
The immunity challenge involves running, swimming, fetching, retrieving and tossing and the Hunahpu tribe sits out three of its stronger players. Despite this, Hunahpu is still in it when it's time for the tossers to land five rings on their pegs. That's where Operation Throw the Challenge comes into play as Drew makes sure he's the only one throwing rings for his team and he throws as well as Ray Charles plays darts. Coyopa "wins" their first immunity challenge and they believe that hard work, positive thinking, the absence of a negative influence like John and god's love all meshed to give them their first victory. Jaclyn knows the real reason, but she's not letting on as her tribemates go off feeling good for the first time all season.
The kingpin of his tribe Drew is happy that things are going just the way he planned. Jon, the other alpha male on the tribe, has Julie in his sights. She's not in the guys' alliance, she doesn't have a loved one still in the game (like Keith, Jon, and Drew) and she's a threat. She should be the next to g... Hold that thought, says Drew "Kanye" Christy. Imma let you finish...actually I'm not. Drew has a better idea and it can't wait. Kelley Wentworth, that's their next target. He does not want to hear what Jon has to say, Drew knows who's next and that should be the end of the discussion.
Jeremy, the third alpha male on the tribe, is gunning for Keith. He is furious with Keith for turning his back on their alliance, for being shady and untrustworthy. He should be the next to g... Now it's Drew's turn to interrupt Jeremy. Drew has a better idea...Kelley. She's the biggest threat, she should be their next target, blah blah blah. You have to hand it to Drew, when he gets something in his head, he does not let it go.
Natalie, who is playing a great game without her twinnie around, goes to tell Missy about Drew's plan. It somehow never occurred to Drew that if Kelley is the head of this deadly all-girls alliance, that maybe he shouldn't be talking smack about her in front of the other girls! Natalie realizes that the guys are splintered and that Drew would have nothing to fear from the girls if he had basic math skills. If the guys agree on a common target, their five votes are enough to carry the vote. But if the guys do not work together, then a four-strong girl alliance might be enough. So she and Missy focus on which of the guys is the biggest physical threat after merge and decide to target him.
Drew is so convinced that things will go his way that he talks about his plan to get rid of Kelley IN FRONT OF KELLEY. "Let's get Kelley out tonight and then all these bitches will come to us," Mr. Sensitive says, loudly, at camp. He obviously thinks the girls post-show will be swarming the guy who calls women bitches and this is just the tip of his delusional iceberg. He also thinks that telling someone they are the target will not lead them to do anything, that saying you are the head honcho makes it true, and that hubris makes you bullet proof.
Natalie goes to Jeremy with the plan to get rid of Drew. Jeremy is not adverse to the idea of getting rid of the "moron," (query, if we all agree with the insult, even if not PC, do I still have to put it in quotes?) although it does make him nervous. .But with every utterance from Drew it makes keeping him around more of a liability. Even his friend Jon calls him a jackass.
At tribal council, we quickly learn that this is a highly-splintered
group. Jon and Drew are tight, but it's not good when your friendship has you pegged early as a strong alliance. The tribe has "too many chiefs,
not enough Indians" and half the tribe is lazy as hell. As Jeff
continues with his questions, the tribe keeps their answers pretty vague
until Jeremy decides to lay his cards out. He tells Jeff - and his
fellow tribemates - that he felt betrayed by Keith WHO HE WAS IN AN
ALLIANCE WITH. Now, this may have surprised the girls who Jeremy had
formed alliances with on Day One and also surprised the other guys who thought they were all on equal footing. But mostly it surprised all of
us who knew Jeremy is a super fan who's been trying to get on the show
forever. How did he not know to keep his mouth shut about this alliance?
Somehow, though, Jeremy comes out of this mess in pretty good shape as
Natalie comes to his defense against Keith and Jeff, while rolling his
eyes, does not call Jeremy out on his strategic blunder. Keith, shows
himself to be a neophyte at the game, not realize that sub-alliances are a
thing on a show that is in its 29th season. Drew says that he's heard a
lot of names being tossed around at camp including Keith and Julie, but
he has his eyes on another "bad energy" in the tribe. Coincidentally,
so does Kelley, only she points out that not everyone is agreed on who might that bad seed be.
Natalie the Captain Obvious for tonight's show tells Jeff that the tribe is "scatterbrained" and
that a few stray votes can change everything. And with that hammer of
foreshadowing still echoing in our ears, it's time for a vote.
"We're a hot mess," says Natalie. Jeff chimes in that it's about to get a lot messier, and it does in for the first time in I don't know how long, there are four separate players - Julie, Kelley, Keith and Drew - each getting at least one vote. With the girls, plus Jeremy, joining forces it's Drew who is the fourth person kicked out of Survivor San Juan Del Sur Blood Versus Water 2. As much rejoicing as there will be among the girls, especially Kelley, to be rid of the deranged Drew, how happy will Alec be that he outlasted his older brother? Should make Thanksgiving dinner a little more interesting - Drew, who gets the biggest slice of pumpkin pie now, bitch?
Next week it's "drop your buffs" time and there'll be a mixing of the two teams. Will we finally get a Reed confessional? Will we finally get the rain that's been threatening? Will the cameraman stop beating us over the head with shots of snakes slithering around the island? Will another immunity idol be buried back at Coyopa's camp? Come back next week to find out.