Thursday, October 20, 2016

Survivor Season 33: Millennials v. Gen X - Episode 5 Recap

Previously on Survivor:  Boom chick a wow wow.  Figs, I'm so glad you and I came on Bachelor in Paradise.  I'm a tiger mom and everyone hates when I boss them around so I'm totally going to boss everyone around.  They'll love it.  I found the hidden immunity idol...clue.  No wait, take two.  I found the hidden immunity idol.  For real.  As soon as I can open it.  Do you have a pick ax or a screw driver you can lend me?  Oh hey Adam, whatcha doin' buddy?  Where's the beef?  Jessica, you're in trouble.  Says who?  Um, the tribe?  Oh what a cool and totally unnecessary obstacle course before the puzzle.  Stop staring at me, Ken, I'm totally safe.  Despite what Lucy just said.  Jeff, before you count those votes.

The night after David's bold (stupid) move to save tribe pariah Jessica and blindside tribe tyrant Lucy, David is ready for everyone to yell at him.  Except of course for Jessica who will vow her undying gratitude to him for playing his idol on her and being one of only two votes to save her.  Right?  Not exactly.  Jessica takes Ken aside and thanks him (despite the fact that he just voted against her), apologizes for not believing his soulful blue eyes when they tried to tell her the truth, and offers him her first born, a kidney, and anything else he wants.  Oh, and the legacy advantage should she get voted off.

The next morning, the hunt is on for the hidden immunity idol that is back in play.  David has the advantage of knowing what he's looking for and it pays off when he sees the tribe logo on a tree branch.  After summoning all the strength he can muster (which is usually not enough to open an envelope without help), he revels in having found his second idol.  Hopefully, he'll play this one more wisely.  Last week, Adam's idol-discovering confessional was about a young man in a time of great personal crisis finding happiness in fulfilling dreams. This time, it was about an older man who has waited 42 years to feel a real sense of victory.  And that was sad in its own way.

Someone is not happy
After 33 seasons, it was about time for Jeff to admit that luck plays a factor in Survivor and things happen that will change the game that you have zero control over.  That a fourth word should be added to the motto - outluck.  And with that said, it's time to "drop your buffs."  Two tribes will become three and the Figgy/TayTay romance may be in jeopardy.  But have no fear, fans of Figtails, they remain together, now on the purple tribe.  They may be happy, but one person who is not happy is Michaela.  I assume Michaela is not a poker player because she has zero filter and the most expressive face on the planet.  She is #pissed, #overthis.  She ends up on the new green tribe which will have to start from scratch, building a shelter, getting fire, finding food.  Plus they have the longest, most difficult to pronounce tribe name.  It's a raw deal and she's not going to pretend it's anything other than a raw deal.  She tells Jeff that he did them wrong and he really can't argue.

But she's not the only one who's upset about the reshuffling.  Zeke is complaining that he went from being in the majority, almost-never-lose Millennials tribe to being in the minority in a five person tribe.  But if Zeke were being honest with himself, he went from being in the bottom two of nine, to the bottom two of five. So really not much has changed for him.  Taylor on the other hand is facing some real hardship.  Now that they're on a new tribe, Figgy tells him they have to be on the down low about their romance.  No cuddling, no kissing, no canoodling.  It's torture.   Poor guy.

Adam is frustrated that of all the Millennials he could be joined up with, it had to be Figgy and Taylor.  He is not in their alliance, he is one of only two remaining players to have voted against Figgy, and he knows they have less than no loyalty to him, numbers notwithstanding.  But there is hope.  He talks to Ken who tells us later that Adam is the nicest kid ever.  Adam admits to Ken that he was at the bottom of the Millennials totem pole and Ken sees in Adam a ray of hope for him and Jessica.  Adam sees it a little differently.  He went from being expendable to being a key fulcrum between two pairs.  So post switch, Adam is as happy as Michaela is pissed.

But we're not done.  Now Debbie Downer comes out of the shelter the next morning, looking like her pet rat just died.  Michelle was sitting on top of the world over at the Millennials tribe and now she is one of only two at her new tribe and, to make matters even worse, she's there with Zeke who she is not aligned with.  But certainly she can use her looks and charm to work her way back into the majority.  She starts by having everyone introduce themselves.  As soon as she finds the Christians, she'll drop in about her missionary work and she'll be good to go.  Only...Chris mentions he's from Oklahoma and guess where her arch nemesis Zeke just happens to hail from?  Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plains.  And where young boys grow up idolizing the local college stars - like Chris.  Zeke can't wait to work with the big ginger-haired football player.  And as it turns out, Chris wants to work with the Sooners fanboy as well.

So the two Okies bond over Chris' awesomeness and Michelle starts making plans for the pre-jury trip and wonders what she could possibly talk about with Mari, Rachel, Paul, and Lucy.

Back over at the green tribe, Jay and Bret have had no luck making fire.  They're over it.  So Michaela steps in.  In her confessional, while we watch her work on the flint, she tells us that every time she has wanted to give up in life she just pushes herself a little harder and we know that there is a hundred percent chance that we will be seeing a spark that illustrates how her hard work and determination will pay off. #winnersedit  We then get Bret saying Michaela saved us today (spoiler alert, she'll be saving them again shortly) and how happy he is for her.

Michaela was overcome with emotion and went off to process what she was feeling - pride, relief, happiness.  This gave us another glimpse of how Survivor is so much more than just a game show.  It reveals things about people that they may not have known about themselves.  We've already had Zeke talk about how Survivor has shown him a better version of himself.  Today Michaela was moved by reminding herself that she really could overcome and dig deep, surprising herself with her own strength and determination.  Put to the test, she aced it.

The Immunity Challenge also revealed things the survivors may or may not have known about themselves.  David sucks at challenges.  CeCe does more harm to her tribe than good.  Cross walking along a balance beam carrying a 40 pound bag and swimming with a buoy as things CeCe is capable of doing.   But she is Simone Biles/Michael Phelps compared to David.  Jeff's play-by-play tells the tale.  David cannot get out of the water with the buoy.  David loses the buoy.  Disaster.  Zeke asks what we all were thinking, "is he throwing this?"  It looks like David may never get on the platform.  And he's lost the buoy again.

Michaela saves us, part deux
As lame as David is, and lame does not do his pitiful performance justice, that is how adept Michaela is.  She's Steve Nash/Stephen Curry/Rick Barry all rolled up into one amazingly beautiful and athletic goddess.  My favorite part of watching her in this challenge was noting how she would toss or spin the balls before shooting them.  Totally bad ass.

The orange team ultimately loses to the purple team, even though Ken had trouble sinking the shots.  David and CeCe had put their tribe at too much of a disadvantage for Chris to make up and eventually Ken was able to get all his balls in.  #obligatoryinnuendo  Despite their horrendous performances, David and CeCe are unfazed as they return to camp.  They have the numbers so they feel they have nothing to worry about.  But Chris is not so sure.  He has no allegiance to David or CeCe, who have consistently voted against him, and he has this new bond with Zeke.  He'd like to see them get rid of some of the dead weight.  And by dead weight he means CeCe.

Interestingly, Chris goes to David and tells him the plan.  In his own words, he's trusting in someone who has blinded him twice.  This would not seem the wisest course of action.  Especially, as we know, since David again has an immunity idol that he could use to mess up Chris' plans.  David has a lot to think about.  Does he make two boneheaded moves in back to back episodes, playing his idol for someone else too early in the game, or does he vote with the majority knowing that at worst he's safe if they go to tribal council three days hence?

Michelle is told the plan, told she's safe, but she doesn't know who to trust.  She goes to CeCe and tries to sell her on David being the weakest link but CeCe immediately goes and tells David what Michelle was planning   This could have blown up in her pretty face, but David ultimately had to weigh the risk of backstabbing Chris a third time versus keeping someone in the game who is a potential vote against him.  Add to that the threat of being the first person choked at tribal council as Jeff looked on, David had a lot to think about.

At tribal a lot was said, but the decision was in stone.  As David said before they got there, no matter what is said, let's stick to the plan.  So while Zeke sounded desperate and worried, Chris talked about repairing past fractures and Michelle explicitly named David as the most logical target.

Oh, so this is what it feels like to be blindsided
CeCe was so sure the majority Gen X alliance would keep her safe, that when the third vote against her was called she could only muster a stunned "wow."  She walked up to Jeff, put her torch in the hole and walked away before her flame was snuffed out.  Since I've been doing recaps, I can't remember not being able to screen grab someone standing behind their extinguished torch.

Did David do the right thing? Last week I thought it was a huge mistake to waste an idol on someone who had no loyalty to you, especially so early in the game.  This week he had to decide whether to play the idol on the only person who has consistently voted with him and would be loyal to the end.  If he played his idol to save CeCe and vote out Michelle, and they went to tribal next week (and unless the immunity challenge was for one player to hold the rest of their tribe on their shoulders, they're due for another trip there) would Chris really risk a tie and vote to save Zeke?  I think David made a mistake.  Now he's in the minority and will probably have to play his idol at the next tribal council.

CeCe was a dead woman walking from the beginning.  She and Rachel were on the outs from the main alliance on Day One.  After Rachel left, Cece was in the bottom still, this time with the tight duo of Ken and David.  She was spared last week only because Jessica had put a huge target on her back and Lucy managed to make herself a bigger threat.  She finally had the numbers but was such a challenge liability that her lack of a bond was more than she could overcome.

Want more CeCe?
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