Pre-credit sequence. Bats! We’re starting Wednesday’s (April 11) episode with bats! It’s gonna be a good week. Anyway, Day 23 at Tikiano. Jay is beginning to have prophetic dreams, which I had thought was Kat’s thing. Poopy Pants and Troyzan discuss the reality of their gender situation. “Those kids are plotting to knock us out one-by-one,” Poopy Pants says. Troyzan, however, doesn’t want to hear it. He’s convinced Mike was coming after him and that Mike was nothing more than another vote with the Women. Troyzan reminds us that he has an Immunity Idol of his own and he’s prepared to switch things up if he needs to. Foreshadowing?
Square pegs. More bats. Tree-mail comes with a tote board and an assortment of challenge implements. The players, Kat specifically, make it sound like this is a tremendous relief to them to have challenges on-site. But really, any challenge that doesn’t involve constructing a massive set or taking Jeff Probst out of mothballs is easier and cheaper for production. Yay! It’s a Do-It-Yourself Reward challenge and it just involves throwing stuff around numbered pegs. Want to know what they’re playing for? It’s a trip to a secluded island for a BBQ. Kat jiggles enthusiastically. They pick rocks for teams. Troyzan, Jay, Poopy Pants, Kat and Alicia are on one team, which must mean that Kim, Chelsea, Christina, Leif and Sabrina are on the other. Troyzan also nominates himself as host so that we can appreciate Jeff Probst’s Emmy-winning grace all the more. Team Poopy Pants is victorious. Yay?
Islands in the stream. The winners head to their island, quaffing coconut-rum drinks before they even arrive. They have an island all to themselves and while a native guide begins to whip up fish and crabs and lobsters, they get hammered in the sun. Before eating, Jay and Kat have a little conversation, centering on Jay’s confusion about Mike’s elimination. Jay wants to stick to the New Salani alliance, but he’s suspicious of the Women. “There’s definitely gonna be some blindsides coming up. I just hope it’s not me,” Jay says. More foreshadowing!
Are you there, Chelsea? Back at camp, Kim is expressing minor concerns about the Mike vote, telling Chelsea that it may trigger worried responses from the men. “My hope all along has been that everybody will think I’m just kinda calm and soft-spoken and maybe a little forgettable and not calling the shots, but I do think at the end of the game if I can sit there with the three, I do think the people on the Jury will know that I was making most of these decisions,” Kim says. Kim’s determined to pick off the men, but she hopes to do so without stressing them, with Troyzan or Jay up next. Chelsea isn’t down with that, because she’s made promises to both Troy and Jay. Chelsea whining about how much this part of the game sucks and Alicia’s not down with that and neither is Kat, who goes to Sabrina and reveals Chelsea’s uncertainty. “Going to the end requires some big girl decisions. You’ve gotta put on your big girl panties and make a big girl decision,” Sabrina says.
Chelsea lately. Jay approaches Troyzan and says that while he understands why he targeted Mike, it broke with the plan and that they have to get some women out to set things right. Jay’s first female target? Alicia, over Christina, because he views her as two-sided. Jay also doesn’t trust Kat. Troyzan and Jay agree that it would be great if they could go to the end together. This is not what Jay’s really thinking. He’s not down with Troyzan’s ability to win friends and influence people. Jay wants to go to the end with Kim and Chelsea. Jay tells Kat that the next vote should be against Alicia, that he and Troy made a sacrifice at the previous vote and now it’s time for her to sacrifice. “I can’t think with my heart,” Kat says and before agreeing with Jay, she calls her women over. Kim nods and agrees that Alicia or Christina will be out next. Chelsea is relieved that she doesn’t have to say anything. “I hate to be that deceitful. I don’t know if I can do this,” Chelsea laments.
The line must be drawn HERE. We’re still scheming after the commercial break. Kim is reassuring Alicia’s Cleavage that no matter what she hears being whispered, either Jay or Troyzan is going next. “Do not freak out,” Kim tells Alicia. “I’m ready to draw the line. It’s been muddy for long enough. I feel like it’s time for the guys to know where the women stand,” Kim tells us. Troyzan sees this conversation from a distance and he realizes what the numbers are telling him. Off in the woods, Jay is confident that the vote is going against Alicia and he trusts Kim and Chelsea. Troyzan isn’t nearly that certain, sensing blindsides coming around every corner. “I feel like I really have to win,” Troyzan says.
But what would you do for a Klondike bar? There’s Probst. Immunity is back up for grabs. It’s a “Survivor” favorite. Players stand on a beam with their arms tethered to a bucket of water. Arm moves? Colored water pours on their heads. And Probst will also try to tempt them with food. Poopy Pants goes out instantly. Christina goes out next. Probst presents two cookies and a glass of milk and Sabrina jumps at the chance. Kim and Kat drop out for cupcakes. Alicia bails for a bowl of candy and chocolate. Troyzan wobbles and goes out. Kim grins. It’s down to Jay, Leif and Chelsea. Jay exits the challenge for chicken wings and beer. “He don’t even drink beer,” Chelsea laments. Chelsea tells Leif that he’s less of a threat if he steps down, but he isn’t having it. Up next? Three burgers, chips and a beer. Chelsea won’t even look at the food. She finally convinces Leif to pull his own tether and she wins Immunity.
Floating four options. This was the best case scenario for Kim, who got to eat cupcakes, drink milk and devalue her status as a threat. The challenge also made Chelsea realize the dangers of progressing with Jay and Troyzan. She’s a good person, but… “I love money.” Chelsea has decided that because Troyzan didn’t give up, he’s made himself the biggest target, while Jay, who gave up for food, is less of a problem. Kim is smart. She knows the possibility that Troyzan could have an Idol and she wants to split votes between Jay and Troyzan Kim reassures Jay that nothing crazy is coming. “Cool beans,” Jay agrees. Alicia, Christina and Poopy Pants are the “Jay” votes. Kim also reassures Troyzan that he’s OK, but he thinks that she protested too much. This causes him to dig up his Idol and also to tell Jay about his intention to play it. Jay gets big eyes. “I ain’t heard the slightest inclination,” Jay tries to tell Troyzan. Here, Troyzan proposes a counter-plan in which they attempt to get Poopy Pants and Christina to write Kim’s name down, but Jay isn’t interested in hearing it. He’s so uninterested in hearing it that he goes to Kim and outs Troyzan’s Idol and the whole plan, offering his own counter-proposal that they can vote Alicia this time, flush the Idol and get Troyzan next time. There’s no time to consolidate before Tribal Council, so Kim is just crossing her fingers.
Tribal Council. Troyzan agrees with Probst that the Women have the upper hand. Poopy Pants attributes it to a loss of will. “The girls are a lot smarter than the boys,” Poopy Pants says. Jay admits he doesn’t feel safe. Kim and Troyzan also agree that they aren’t confident. Kim laments the “funky vibe” after the Immunity Challenge. Chelsea’s ready to go with her gut and hope people are being honest. “In my mind, it’s mixed up like hell,” Troyzan says of the state of the game. There’s a lot of paranoia regarding who may or may not have an Idol. Alicia, in particular, is a student of Tribal Council shorts-wearing. She’s noticed that Troyzan isn’t wearing his swimming trunks and his shorts have a lot of pockets. Poopy Pants repeats, for the 5000th time, that the game is afoot.
The vote. “Too crazy,” Leif says. Jay writes Alicia’s name. Troyzan writes Kim’s name down. Kat writes Troy’s name, but says, “I love you, Monkey-Man.” Troyzan plays his Immunity Idol, vowing not to be voted out with it in his pocket. Alicia looks confused as Jeff goes to tally: Troy. Troy. Kim. Jay. Alicia. Jay. Alicia. Jay. JAY is the latest guy voted out. “That’s the game for you,” Jay says, adding that he came in Tribal Council with an eerie feeling.
Bottom Line. Some last minute scrambling came close to salvaging what was otherwise a REALLY dull episode. If Troyzan hadn’t been totally duped last week, you’d praise him for his attempts to re-contextualize the game and his proper recognition that Kim was the head of the serpent. If Jay had listened to Troyzan, they might have been able to turn things around. But maybe not. The truly ballsy move on Troyzan’s part here would have been to bluff strong on playing the “Idol” and then keep it in his pocket. Had he bluffed and sat on the Idol, Jay still goes home and Troy still has that Idol for next episode or whenever necessary. But that would have demanded an insane amount of confidence and I understand why Troyzan couldn’t do it. The theme of the episode was definitely the repetition that Kim’s in charge, but Troyzan’s attempts to mobilize people against her might have been dangerous. But he ended up being the only person writing Kim’s name, so probably not that dangerous. Mostly, Jay just became the latest “I came to play the game with dignity” guy to get duped by women he thought he was going to the end with. The exact scenario has played out dozens of times on “Survivor.” And when something has played out dozens of times on “Survivor,” that makes for some boring TV.
Bottom Line, II. There’s good foreshadowing and there’s bad foreshadowing. “Survivor” has fallen into a lazy rut of bad foreshadowing this season. Jay had a dream he was killed. Troyzan said he was prepared to use the “Idol.” That was all established before the credits. I kinda didn’t need to watch the episode anymore at that point.
What’d you think of Wednesday’s episode?