I will agree with some people on Twitter and say that this was a great episode of Survivor. However, for some reason, I still can’t find myself getting excited for it like I do with scripted shows. I don’t look at Survivor as a reality show, because we typically relate reality shows with ridiculousness and the outrageous. So, it’s hard to see Survivor in that same mold. So, I think that is why I can still agree that this season has been such a standout from the past few, but still not get me overly excited for each Wednesday. I still think they are diluting the water too much by having two seasons each year. They should settle it down a bit. But, the show still gets killer ratings, so I don’t see them taking my advice one bit.
Anyway, the episode starts off with Penner back at camp, not understanding why his alliance didn’t move forward with their plan to vote out Pete. We learn something we didn’t know last week, and that Penner knew they were going to vote for him to leave, so his plan was to use the idol all along, but that all of them would stick together and vote out Pete. If I was Jeff Kent, I don’t know what I would have seen wrong in that plan. I understand he wanted Penner to play the idol so that they could vote him out the next tribal council, but why go after RC instead of Pete? If the plan is to still get rid of Penner’s idol and vote him out next week, you can still do that without Pete’s vote. RC would have gone along with that plan the same Pete would have. So, for this argument, I’m on Penner’s side with how he just doesn’t understand what the hell happened. He understands when Jeff and Denise tell him that they really just didn’t want to go down with a sinking ship, so they had to abandon and grab the life vest thrown from the ship across the beach, but had they voted out Pete, they would have been in control, and once the numbers dwindled (or even the next tribal), they could have teamed up against Penner to get him out. Eh, whatever. This happens every season. People win Survivor because other people are idiots. It’s that simple. Yes, Jeff Kent, you are an idiot.
At the reward challenge, Skupin proves his ability to suck once more. He practically blows it for his team by not being able to unhook the latch underwater, giving up valuable time to the other team, who eventually caught up after falling behind. Surely, that isn’t the only reason they lost, because in the end they actually got slaughtered, but had they had the extra time he did lose them, they may have had enough of a lead to pull out a victory. But, what can you do? There will be other rewards.
At the reward meal, all the talk goes towards the Good vs. Evil dynamic back at the camp. The “Evil” team consists of Abi, Pete, and Artis, who are just negative nellies, always finding something to complain about and taking things out on other people at camp. Penner sees this as his opening, trying to use everyone’s frustrations towards them to his advantage. As much as you want to agree with him, you have to heed Lisa’s advice that this game is not about playing the noble way, but instead keeping around not the people that you like, rather the people you know you can beat. So, yes, even though Lisa wants to jump Penner’s bones, she still has to vote his @ss out, because if she was sitting in the final three with him, she probably wouldn’t win. Although, on the flip side, if I’m Lisa, I may have to remember how NOBODY wants a second-chancer to win this season, so it may not be a bad idea to keep Penner and Skupin around until the end, seeing as how people may vote for you just based on the fact they don’t want a returning player to win. Hmm…I may have stumbled on to something here.
Feeding off of what she was just saying, Lisa wants to take Skupin and team up with Abi, Pete, and Artis once Penner is voted off, making them the five member alliance versus the remaining four players in the other alliance. Of course, I think she’s forgetting about Malcolm, and how Pete and him have somewhat hit it off and probably will stick together for a little while, making it more difficult for her to persuade Pete to vote him off when they need to. I think Pete is cunning, but not intelligent. I think he’d probably vote off a Lisa before he did a Malcolm, just because he’d rather have bro time by the beach.
Everything has been leading up to this Immunity challenge. If Penner doesn’t win, he’s going home. So, we all know it’s going to be intense. And, from the jump, it is just that. Intense. It’s a close race the entire way through, and Penner JUST barely nudges out Skupin for the third and final spot in the final round of the challenge. And, just as he’s about to be counted out of the final puzzle round, he stages an amazing comeback, notching piece after piece after piece, finishing the puzzle just ahead of Jeff Kent, and saving his @ss from having to sit in on every tribal council as a member of the jury, rather than a member of the tribe! I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying it’s the best thing you’ve ever done in your entire life, but it was a miracle victory. And, it’s always funny how Survivor makes you want to root for the underdog. I have always liked Penner, but wasn’t 100% behind him this season, but during that challenge and immediately after it was over, I felt myself pulling for him and then happy once he won. I guess that’s how you know a television show is doing what they’re supposed to do. Make you feel.
Back at camp, I wouldn’t have thought it would have been as difficult a decision as they were making it out to be. It seemed as if everyone wanted Penner out, and then Skupin, so it should be an obvious choice just to vote out Skupin this time and hope Penner doesn’t win immunity again next challenge. But, scramble they do.