Recap: ‘Survivor: Cagayan’ – ‘Mad Treasure Hunt’

04.10.14 4 years ago 26 Comments


Pre-credit sequence. “That was a cool Tribal Council,” Spencer announces to his fellow castaways as they return to Solarrion after Sarah's blindside. “I expect everybody to be mad,” Kass says, but Spencer claims he's not mad, just not appreciative of the move on a qualitative level. Somewhat stupidly, Spencer blames Kass' decision on being steered by “her estrogen.” “The No.1 rule of “Survivor” isn't 'Cater the person on top,' it's 'Wonder about the person on the bottom,'” Kass explains. She takes shelter with her new alliance, as her old alliance keeps peppering her with frustrated insults. “You talking strategy, just stop please,” Spencer tells Kass. “So, I pissed off five people, but I gained five friends,” Kass says, calling herself a free agent. I'm really not sure Kass understands “Survivor” at all. Or maybe Kass understands “Survivor” flawlessly and it's friendship she doesn't get? Dunno.

She's Lump, She's Lump. The next morning, Morgan is being lazy and restful. Kass wants Morgan to get water, which produces a low-wattage, low-energy fight. Kass compares Morgan to a 14-year-old dog that pees on the floor and just sits there. Morgan flips Kass off. “I think she's been ignored and made fun of all her life, so she should be used to this,” Morgan says, calling Kass “a bitter, ugly old lady.” There are no winners in this battle! “I think she hates me because I'm cuter than her and I've always been cuter than her,” Morgan says, vowing to get rid of Kass. Lord. Next themed season, we need a Humility tribe.

No Rules, Just Right. It's time for Reward, with the tribe divided into two teams. They have to go through an obstacle course, collect a chest, drag the chest up a tower and solve a puzzle. Want to know what they're playing for? A “Survivor”-themed Outback Steakhouse! They'll get steaks and a new Outback margarita, because there's nothing you need when you have no solid food in your system like hard alcohol! But do they also get a Bloomin' Onion? Or an Awesome Blossom? Or whatever Outback calls their deep-fried onion thing? Because that's all I want now. In the world. It comes down to Woo and Kass working on a puzzle for one team and LJ and Spencer for the other team. Woo & Kass have a reasonable lead, but LJ & Spencer retake the lead, giving Probst the chance to repeat “Outback” a couple times. LJ and Spencer finish the puzzle and gain reward for themselves and Jefra, Morgan and Jeremiah. Morgan is practically in tears at the idea of an Outback-branded margarita.

No Rules, Just Rice. Tony, Woo, Kass, Tasha and Trish may be the losers, but they get back to camp and prepare rice and coconut. Kass uses this as a time to stir up sentiments against Spencer. She's offered the chance to make the decision, but she scurries away from responsibility. “She seems sincere, but she's really hard to read,” Tony says. There's an Idol out there somewhere and Tony is determined to find the Special Idol. “It's a security blanket that I would love to cover myself with,” Tony says.

Survival is at steak. Meanwhile, in the in-episode commercial, a hostess with an Australian accent greets them with a bacon-and-pineapple margarita, which is pretty much the best thing Morgan has ever heard of. Will we get some body-shots? They start with a salad and then have stakes and baked potato. Then they get s'mores and milkshakes. Well, Spencer's being a pig and not wiping his hands, but when he goes to wipe… IMMUNITY CLUE! With Morgan having a beauty-freeze next to him from the milkshake, Spencer quickly pockets the clue. “I need a gamechanger right now and this could be it,” he observes. 

Pants off, Dance off. The winners return to camp in the midst of a downpour. Downpours are bad for paper clues, so Spencer is freaking. In the middle of the storm, he goes out wandering, which isn't at all suspicious. The clue is very, very, very detailed. Woo finally notices Spencer's absence and begins tracking, but only after mentioning Outback, because how can you not? Woo, it turns out, has a Ninja Stealth Mode. If any other character had suggested Woo possessed such a skill, they'd be racist, so I guess it's OK for Woo. And maybe he really is a Ninja. I mean… Sigh. Lurking in the shadows, Woo follows Spencer until he's caught. “I'm just taking a walk myself,” Woo says. Now for some reason, Spencer left his pants next to a creek-bed and for some reason he left the clue in his pants. Now I know you're allowed to search through people's stuff, but not to steal their stuff, but Woo gets around that because he throws Spencer's pants at him and the clue falls out on its own? Spencer goes running after the Ninja Thief, who's now comparing himself to Sonic the Hedgehog. “I knew that pandemonium was about to ensue,” Spencer says.

Am I a pillow or a person?/ If I'm a person then I'm a pillowy person. Woo gets back to camp and tells everybody about the clue. He hands the clue to LJ and off they go! Spencer returns and, outed, invites his “troops” to join him. “It's a race to see who gets it first,” Spencer says. “It's a mad treasure hunt for this Idol,” Tony says. Then Tony gets the line of the episode, declaring that you know the Idol hunt is serious because Morgan is looking and she's “the girl that you can't tell if she's a pillow or a person.” Love it. That's even better than Malnu-Trisha. Who will find the Idol first? Spencer is so ticked off he's kicking rocks and throwing things like a child. “Funny how our game has devolved into this,” Spencer says, while Kass tells him that what Woo did was karma for his behavior. So… speaking of karma, while Kass is reproaching Spencer for his behavior, Spencer finds the Idol and slips it into his pants while she isn't looking. The Idol comes with a clue specifying that it's a NORMAL Idol and that you play it after the votes are cast, but before they're read. God, I hope that doesn't mean the Special Idol can be played after the votes are read. That would be awful.

The only “Survivor” recap you'll ever read with a Petr Korda reference. Immunity Challenge time! For the challenge, you have to stand on your toes and balance a block between your head and the top of the frame. Oh. This is odd. Kass is first out, lasting only a few seconds. Jeremiah, Trish and Tony follow. After 25 minutes, Jeff instructs them that it's all about willpower. Morgan goes out next, with Woo going next. Is nobody worried that Spencer has a flat head? I sure would be. Throw in his vintage Petr Korda hair and this is an Immunity Challenge made for Spencer. Jefra is out next and in pain. It's down to LJ, Tasha and Spencer. LJ's out. Two Brains are balancing blocks on their brains, just as it should be. 90 minutes have passed and Jeff Probst is “genuinely impressed.” Tasha's comfortable. Spencer looks like he's in pain. Spencer lacks style, but Tasha goes out and Spencer wins! He's had a pretty good programming segment! 

Morgan McLeod's Coming Home. So now what at Solarrion? “That's the will that you need out here to survive,” Tony says of Spencer. The Brawn-y alliance strategizes. Tony wants Morgan out, because nobody would waste an Idol on her. Trish wants Tasha out, because she's actually good at things. Morgan is curled up in the shelter and Tony thinks she doesn't deserve to be there. So Morgan's the Plan A, but they agree that Tasha is the Plan B. Tony hopes that Kass stays with him. Morgan, who really doesn't understand this stuff, wants her alliance to vote Kass, but Spencer hopes Kass might flip and he wants to give Tony the chance to say something stupid to alienate her. He contemplates using the Idol for a big move and he goes to Kass and proposes another flip. “I knew this would happen,” Kass smirks, knowing that there will be many more betrayals. Kass worries that people might vote for Tony at Jury, while nobody will vote for Morgan. “I can either go with it or change people's lives,” Kass says. She claims that she believes in “trial by ambush” in her everyday life as well. Oh my.

Tribal Council. Sarah takes her place on the Jury. Tony affirms the massive power shift at the previous Tribal and Kass says that she is the wind that blew. Spencer is apologetic, once again. “It feels good, but it could feel a lot better,” Spencer says. Morgan tells everybody that she's not a physical threat, people don't like her and she won't get Jury votes. “Morgan brings up a good point,” Probst agrees. Trish wants to add that Morgan also doesn't help at camp. “I got used to it,” Morgan says of LJ and Jeremiah's cushy treatment for the ladies at Beauty camp, treatment that Probst suspects she's used to in her regular life as well. “I'm used to things being easier for me,” Morgan says. “If any person in the world decide to be ugly or cute, most would pick cute,” Morgan observes. What? You want to argue with her? “I will work harder,” she vows. Jefra slurs something about how their six-person alliance is all even and Tony says that Kass is in a good place. “I understand the game,” Kass promises. She says she doesn't mind beating her friends when they go to Vegas.

The vote. We see no votes. Probst goes to tally. Spencer doesn't use his Hidden Idol. Tony smirks. The votes: Tony. Tony. Tony. Tony. Morgan. Morgan. Morgan. Morgan. Morgan. MORGAN. “Good luck,” Morgan tells Tasha. Well that was disappointing. Morgan is proud of herself. She doesn't care if people say she was lazy or spiteful. “Grow up. You're 40. Get over it,” Morgan says to Kass. 

Bottom Line, I. Well, OK. Morgan wasn't contributing much to the camp or to her alliance and all she was contributing to the TV show was eye candy. And as much as I like eye candy… Farewell. In the process of making it so that she'd be a threat to nobody at Jury, she also made it so that there was no risk to voting her out of the game and if there was anything she could have done to protect herself, we got no hint. For all of her beauty and her success at getting men to do camp chores for her, if she made any effort to flirt her way to safety, we didn't see it. Heck, if she made any effort to do anything at all to get herself to safety, we didn't see it. She had no game in her game. It's entirely possible to make being beautiful and flirtatious into a key piece of your “Survivor” game, but it has to be third or fourth in your arsenal. Morgan didn't have an arsenal and as the Brawn-y alliance correctly deduced, nobody else on Morgan's side was going to fight to keep her, though I'm sure Spencer will look back and wonder if giving Morgan that Idol and getting rid of Tony would have saved him headaches. 

Bottom Line, II. The Idol Treasure Hunt was fun. Otherwise, that was a letdown of an episode after a string of tight votes and blindsides. I don't know if Morgan went into that Tribal thinking the votes were against her, I don't know if she thought there was any strategy that could spare her. I don't know what she was thinking of or hoping for. And that made for a real dud of a Tribal, even if I completely agree that I'd rather be cute than ugly. Throw in the extended Outback commercial and an Immunity Challenge that rewarded cranial flatness and that was a weaker installment of “Survivor,” one that left me with almost nothing resembling strategy to delve into. 

Anything pique your interest? Are you gonna miss Morgan? 

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