Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X episode 10 “Million Dollar Gamble”

That other Thanksgiving is over so it’s time to talk about the tenth episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X and the Great Rock Color Injustice.


Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Millennials vs Gen X episode 10 “Million Dollar Gamble”

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In this episode, Andy and John discuss:

  • Great episode, or GREATEST EPISODE?
  • Rock color complaints.
  • That Tribal Council tho…
  • Was David going to play his idol for Hannah?
  • Did David jump the gun in going after Zeke?
  • Did Zeke?
  • What Hannah’s amazing skills of deception say about her chances of winning this game.
  • Should Jessica have flipped on the re-vote?
  • Could Chris have won if he just got over his vendetta with Jessica?
  • David’s growth arc.
  • Adam and his letter.
  • Bret and Zeke and why Survivor MIGHT be better than revolving chairs listening to music.
  • If it was a mistake for everyone to take their eyes off the ball when it comes to Jay.
  • Jay’s suddenly strong position in the game, which we were told could never happen due to his massive mistake in voting out Michaela.
  • How you can help support our site – this week only! (Well other weeks too, but especially this week).

For this season, we hope to do a weekly mailbag segment, so if you have questions for next week, you can comment here, @ us on Twitter, or send us an email.

127 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X episode 10 “Million Dollar Gamble”

  1. As quite possibly…just maybe the most vocal Hannah fan here, I will say that going into this week I didn’t think she will win but she had a shot. I liked the connections she was starting to make with other people, especially David and Ken. I thought she had different avenues to get further in the game. She was also not viewed as a threat. I didn’t worry about her going home anytime soon. She was in a good spot to make that finals and while it would have been a giant uphill battle for her to have a really good FTC, I thought the relationships she was building could, not likely, but possibly be enough for the jury to award her the million.

    After the events of these two episodes, it’s a near impossible sell for Hannah to win. I don’t think she was planning on turning on Zeke so early, but when the opportunity presented itself, I think it’s a decent move to separate yourself from him. The execution was so bad though. He didn’t suspect anything. She could’ve come out looking impressive. After that conversation though, she was awful and painted an unnecessary target on her back. I thought maybe as this season went on, Hannah would be someone who got more comfortable in those high stress situations. Somehow she has gotten worse. That’s something I can relate to, I suck at situations like the ones Hannah finds herself in. I really question how she can handle future situations There are not going to get any less stressful or intense the less people there are. I love Hannah, she’s been my favorite this season and will continue to be. Without a doubt I would want to see Hannah play again if she wanted to. I don’t see how Hannah can win this game.

    That all being said, I don’t think she has a zero percent chance. I feel that she can still maneuver her way to a top spot and not just because the world think she’s a goat. Then at the end, maybe it doesn’t matter how Hannah can actually win. Maybe the people around her can find a way to lose. That doesn’t make for the most satisfying winner, but it’s still a winner.

    So, fuck it, I’m never leaving the bandwagon. The rise of Hannah continues. Hannah forever! We are all witnesses.

    1. Hannah is like SJDS Keith Nale, Cambodia Stephen Fishbach, or Koah Rong Debbie, where at a certain point she’s gotten so far and gotten so much screentime that I start to honestly think it’s a winner’s edit, but then of course as soon as they get voted out I realize they were the comic relief edit the whole time.

      That being said, Fabio did win a season once, so I think Hannah still has a shot, even if she’d have to end up sitting next to Will and Adam to make it happen.

      1. I think Keith’s edit was actually a combo of the underdog/comic relief edit. Keep in mind (despite Probst’s narration), Jaclyn and Missy were not underdogs until F6. Keith was the true underdog. But the other two are fair game for the comic relief edit.

      2. I was just going to say that she has a tiny sliver of hope if she takes Will and Adam. But it’s so remote, and it’s also predicated on her doing something to prove her worthiness, such as an immunity run or some strategic moves at the end. I really like Hannah but I don’t see a win in her future.

      3. To the shows credit no one left has anything resembling a typical winner’s edit. Zeke,Bret and Jay’s edit is far too heelish, Sunday and Will who are probably playing strong games are far too much of background charecters to ever win. David and Hannah feel like “journey” /losing finalists edits. And Adam’s being shown far too schizo.

  2. So during the liveblog discussion, I ranked the too ten earliest obvious winners of Survivor. This made me think of a different list to do. The players who didn’t win that I would say were the favorites to win the deepest into the season. They may not have been clear favorites or obvious in some cases but if asked during the season who I thought may win, they would have been on top of the list at various deep points in the game.

    Note: Australian Outback, Africa, Thailand, All Stars, Gabon and Nicaragua (haven’t watched) aren’t qualified because I knew the winner before I watched.

    Top ten deepest into the game favorites to win who did not win.(I need a better title)
    1. Aubry (Kaoh Rong)
    2. Parvati (Heroes vs Villains)
    3. Rob (Amazon)
    4. Rafe (Guatemala)
    5. Kathy (Marquesas)
    6. Malcolm (Philippines)
    7. Cirie (Panama)
    8. Amanda (China)
    9. Coach (South Pacific)
    10. Russell (Samoa)

    1. Nice list. I’d say Boston Rob in All Stars would definitely be in my Top 10. I was in high school when those early seasons aired and I don’t remember a lot about my own predictions (nor did I know what a “winner’s edit” was back then), but I definitely remember being floored when Amber won.

      1. Knowing that Amber wins beforehand changes how I viewed the season. Events that occurred I look at from a different prescriptive with the information I have. Going in blind I may have missed the signs that Rob wasn’t winning that I was able to pick up. That’s the only reason Rob didn’t make the list.

        1. It’s interesting how knowledge of the winner affects one’s perception of the edit. I went into China knowing that Todd was winning, and I thought the show made it pretty obvious that he was the frontrunner. In retrospect, I can see why somebody coming in blind would have picked Amanda as the winner.

          1. With China, I thought they were telling a story of Todd’s downfall. I thought that conversation he had with Jean Robert would be a significant example of that point. Even though they were partners, I thought Todd would get the blame and lose. It wasn’t until the Peih-Gee boot Tribal did I start to think Todd was winning the season. Amanda was so flustered while Todd was smooth.

          2. Definitely. The Peih-Gee boot it was more subtle, the Denise boot it was more blatant and obvious that Amanda was overmatched.

      1. From strictly a gameplay standpoint I can see that. The way the story was being told though felt more like Parvati is winning more than Cirie. From the Ozzy boot on I thought Parvati was the favorite.

          1. It’s funny that we’re talking about Micronesia. I’m finishing up my write up on 15-13 of the greatest episodes list and the Ozzy boot episode is included. It’s interesting how they did frame it as Cirie’s idea but as Parvati’s big decision.

          2. Yeah, it’s funny that we are talking about the greatest episode list aka how I am going to prove that you are a worthy list maker (although Ozzy’s blindside is fine, I can’t deny you that).

            Are you including any MvGX episodes are your list?

          3. No, I decided what 33 episodes would be included when this season started and already started to write ups the Friday after the premiere. This past episode would’ve have been a lock though to make it.

      1. I thought Jeremy was the favorite the whole time. He played the perfect game for him and I didn’t see anyone beating him.

    2. you have to have Ozzy in Cook islands. I mean i love Yul but that was always 50-50 just like Malcolm and Denise

      1. I get what you’re saying and it was basically equal the whole way but for some reason I just always thought Yul was winning Cook Islands and if I was ever asked who was the favorite, I would say Yul.

      2. O/T, I’ve now listened to the last two episodes of MBMBAM and I’m hooked. I was looking at my queue and was thinking “I really should listen to this new episode of Can I Pet Your Dog?, but it’s just gonna make me sad that Travis isn’t on it anymore.” Which is funny, because Can I Pet Your Dog? was the first McElroy-affiliated thing I ever listened to and I really could not deal with his voice at first.

        I also listened to both episodes of ‘Til Death Do Us Blart, which were amazing.

  3. Hannah’s conversation with Zeke reminded me so much of Amanda trying to convince Parvati to use her idol in HvV. Was it too hard to just say “I am with you Zeke”?

    1. Nor do I. My point now and my point then is that it was a move to make winning easier, a benefit he is getting closer to experiencing. Most everyone else was focused on the short term, confident that he had doomed himself.

      Obviously, he did not.

      1. (Disclaimer: haven’t listened to the podcast yet) I’m definitely coming around to your POV as a general principle. There’s never a bad time to take out a threat to win the game, having a clear path to being a non-winning finalist is hot garbage, and people overestimate the negative consequences of blowing everything up (because they underestimate the fluidity of alliances). However, what Jay did runs up against another of my principles: you play the pre-merge game to not lose and the post-merge game to win.

        I think you’re being a bit results-oriented here. I still think getting rid of Michaela was on balance a mistake. Not because it “doomed” Jay, but because it was unnecessary, and made his path much more precarious (and to his credit, he’s navigating that precarious path well).

        (Insert disclaimer about counterfactuals) As much as we all loved Michaela, she was not a threat to win–she was destined to be an early post-merge boot. Moreover, if they had booted Bret instead of Michaela, the Mills would have had an 8-5 numbers advantage at the merge and Jay would be in a fairly solid majority alliance within the Mills, even discounting for the fluidity of alliances (Jay, Will, Taylor, Michelle, Michaela). If you think of the game from the merge to FTC as 10 eliminations where you have to send Not You home, Jay had a clear path to filling several of those slots with Not Him (best case: the GenXers being Pagonged; worst case: Michaela being sent home). Instead, he’s been fighting from the cliff’s edge the entire time.

  4. Here’s my Rankings based on who has the best shot of winning:
    Tier One: No Chance
    9. Adam-LOL
    8. Will-Will started the game at a disadvantage because the only way the jury would reward an 18-year-old a million dollars is if he played one of the best games ever…Will did not do that.
    7. Hannah-She’s proven herself to be so incompetent that her only shot is a Will/Adam/Hannah final 3.
    Tier Two: Bret and Sunday
    6. Sunday
    5. Bret- Bret’s slightly ahead of Sunday because of this season’s misogynistic trend and that he could probably commandeer more Gen X votes. This could change if he continues to be rude during Tribal Council.
    Tier Three: One of These Guys is Going to Win
    4. Zeke-Played aggressively far to early and has a shaky alliance (Adam/Bret/Sunday). I also question how well he is really getting along with everybody; it reminds me of a high schooler attending a lot of clubs just to pad his resume.
    3. Ken-Same position as Jay but with no idol and currently less under the radar.
    2. Jay-If Jay makes it to the Final Three he automatically wins but he pretty much HAS to win the final two immunity challenges.
    1. David-In the great position of appearing harmless but being likeable and doing enough to win the game.

    1. At this point a Hannah win may serve as an important lesson in the Survivor: Big Moves era. If it is a Hannah/Adam/Will final three, basically all the big shots knocked each other off and the last one remaining couldn’t win the final immunity. Sometimes players focus too much on getting out a threat right this second. While I agree that it’s better to make a move earlier than later, there is such a thing as too soon. Once you confirm that you’re a mastermind of the game, you can’t take that back and if there are no more other people like yourself than it’s tougher for you to move on, especially with so many people left. Patience could be key. Instead of taking out the threat themselves, take out an ally of theirs or the free agent less likely to work with you.

      1. FWIW the analog to Hannah won Australian Survivor. Kristie was less of a charming neurotic and more of just a spectrum-ish weirdo, and it took some strange circumstances for it to happen, but it did happen (very, very condensed version: the big strategic threats all went out early in the post-merge and Kristie managed to win the final immunity, which is basically the path for Hannah you’re describing).

        1. You left out the part where at FTC Kristie magically transformed from a stammering mess into someone who could articulate every single thing she did.

          I think she was still beating Lee at that point, but not by that margin.

          1. I was trying not to discourage @disqus_3Sm0bOf1sj:disqus. Yes, Hannah would also have to convince the jury she was Keyser Soze all along.

    2. To be fair I would bump Zeke to two and move everybody else down one. This is mostly because I think Zeke has more paths to get to the end and then be able to win.

    3. I agree with the list mostly, although in a Adam-Hannah-Will final 3, I could still see Will eek out a win over Hannah.

  5. 33 Best Survivor Episodes Part 7

    15. Survivor: Cambodia episode 11 “My Wheels Are Spinning”
    For Stephen Fishbach, his second chance goals were to not stick with the unbeatable “golden boy” until the end and to not come off as the super cerebral threat. He’s built a reputation as this super smart “know it all” after Tocantins and in his life as a podcaster. Also he just gained a mysterious advantage in the game, making him a wanted man. The episode starts with a return from the previous Tribal where Jeremy used his idol to save Stephen. Spencer is worried that he’s the odd man out despite Jeremy’s attempts to reassure him. The result of the reward doesn’t make him any more comfortable. Speaking of the reward challenge, that was incredibly fun. Probst tells a story and contestants have to go from station to station to answer five multiple choice questions. Such a great sequence of events. We get to see contestants running through the jungle at night. We get the funny with Keith being completely out of his element with the questions and Abi casually walking from each station. We get the exciting with Wentworth finding another idol clue and we get the intensity with the Stephen/Spencer battle. A continuation of their swim for an advantage a few episodes ago, Stephen comes out on top again. He selects Jeremy and Tasha to go on the reward with him, leaving Spencer as the odd one out. Spencer sees this as another sign that he is not as high up on the food chain. At the reward, Stephen reveals his advantage that he can steal a vote from someone else at a future Tribal and again pushes the idea of voting for Joe. Stephen has been obsessed with getting out Joe since the start of the game. He’s compared this goal of his to Moby Dick. He’s been brought to tears by the frustration of not being able to eliminate this man. Finally reinvigorated from being saved at Tribal, winning reward and getting his closest allies on board, Stephen can finally see a light at the end of this path in his quest to beat Joe. Back at camp, the rest of tribe is worried about Stephen. He’s super strategic and now has an unknown advantage in the game. In Spencer’s case, Stephen is taking his spot as Jeremy’s runner up. The plan for them is to take out Stephen, to the great relief of Joe. Joe has been greatly aware of the target on his back and knows Stephen is the most vocal member of the plan to get rid of him. Besides getting a plan together to get rid of Stephen, Wentworth has an additional task to try and accomplish. The idol clue stated that the idol is right at camp. She needs to find it and not be seen by others. Wentworth is such an entertaining storyteller and her narrating her idol search enhances the scene so much. She waits for everyone to leave but Abi just won’t go. Wentworth desperately needs Abi to move so see can retrieve the idol. She pretends to sleep while Abi is still around and once Abi is gone, Wentworth pops into action. It’s a mad fury to find the idol, which is located under where they sleep. She gets it right before the others return. At the immunity challenge, Joe finally loses, to the open delight of many of the other players. Stephen finally can rid of Joe but there is some worry that Joe may have an idol. They decide to split the votes. Here comes the wonderful little ball of unpredictability in Abi. Probably the worst person to split any vote with. She’s convinced she is going home and has heated conversations with Stephen, who wants Joe gone and Spencer, who wants Stephen gone. She declares that she will make her decision at Tribal, which is always welcome news for other players. Stephen plans to use his advantage at Tribal, and tells Spencer, who he thinks is still on his side. At Tribal, Stephen steals Joe’s vote and does it with amazing glee. He savors the moment in the voting booth, slowly explaining that his vote will be for Abi and Joe’s vote will be for Joe. Finally, Stephen’s season long quest to oust Joe will be successful. Survivor has haunted Stephen for so long after Tocantins but now he will finally get rid of his JT. Survivor can be wonderfully cruel at times. Stephen is blindsided and eliminated in a Tribal where had two votes. A satisfying conclusion to a brilliant arc.
    Episode MVP: Stephen

    14. Survivor: Micronesia episode 10 “I Promise…”
    A big question in Survivor is when to pull the trigger on a blindside. If you turn your back on an ally too early, your game may crumble. If you wait too long, the opportunity may never come. The question becomes more complicated when the target of your blindside also has an idol. For Cirie, she is incredibly worried about Ozzy being a popular challenge beast with an idol. He’s currently sitting in the best position in the game. Along with the idol, he has the showmance with Amanda, a loyal follower in Eric and the power alliance with Cirie, Parvati, Amanda and James. Plus he’s one, if not the absolute best challenge competitor Survivor has ever had. The episode starts out after the events of “it’s a fucking stick,” where Eliza revealed that Ozzy has the idol, which he did admit through his bouts of laughter. Ozzy having an idol has Cirie worried. While on a miserable trip to Exile Island, she sees her game slipping away. This is the moment she needs to get Ozzy out. For Ozzy, Jason remains the target. He’s not the disciple of Ozzy that Eric is and he’s the biggest challenge threat to Ozzy. At the immunity challenge, it’s a test of endurance vs the temptation of food. There are some entertaining eliminations like Alexis losing before a food item is revealed, her facial expression when she learns she doesn’t get the food and Probst giving zero fucks about Alexis being upset or about Alexis in general. There is James laughing and losing concentration and Amanda opting out because she has to pee. After 6 hours, it’s down to Jason and Parvati. Desperate for Jason not to win immunity, the idea is hatched that he should bow out and win food for everyone as a way to bond with tribe mates. Jason needs a promise from everyone that he will not be voted out, as if those words mean shit. Everyone does and Jason opts out of the challenge, leaving Parvati as the winner. Back at camp, everyone is astonished by the dumb move Jason made. Cirie sees this as a perfect opportunity to blindside Ozzy. He is at his most comfortable and will not use the idol. Now she just needed the support for the plan. The person who she has been closest to during the game, Amanda, was out of the running because of her relationship with Ozzy. Cirie goes to Parvati, who is not only also allies with Ozzy but also has a history with him from Cook islands. Parvati also realizes how much of a threat Ozzy is and has the support Cirie needs with Alexis and Natalie. Together, with Jason, they plan to blindside Ozzy. Poor Ozzy never saw it coming. He was at the highest of highs and now out the door with an idol in his pocket. We also get to see the Eliza jury face, which is amazing. Underrated though is when Ozzy turns around after his torch is snuffed. The look on his face was fucking priceless and the Black Widow Brigade was born. This wasn’t even their best move but we’ll get to that at a later time.
    Episode MVP: Cirie

    13. Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains episode 6 “Banana Etiquette”
    So much goodness this episode. Full of laughs and really impactful gameplay. Let’s start with the Heroes side. After Tribal where Tom is eliminated, it’s heavily stated that no one could trust Candice and she needs to be taken out next. It’s revealed that both Tribes are going to Tribal Council and instead of team immunity, it’s an individual immunity challenge. Since we basically get so much time of being told Candice is a threat, she wins immunity. Survivor foreshadowing 101. The most intriguing development to come from the immunity challenge though was Colby’s performance. His body language screamed total dejection. He performed horribly in the challenge. In the words of James, “He got beat by a fat man (Rupert) and a cripple (himself).” As Survivor has evolved, the focus has shifted from the big adventure of lifetime with some social experiment to an extremely complex social experiment that happens to take place in an unfamiliar setting. Colby doesn’t seem as comfortable in that setting. It’s not that he can’t excel in this new environment, we still see flashes of the good game player Colby was, it’s more that he doesn’t want to. This is the rock bottom for him and he seems close to content on leaving the game. Though there is the case of James. James has injured his knee in a previous challenge. He can’t perform like he has before. It’s like Colby, but for a different reason. The tribe is worried about his knee and decides he’s should test it in a race against JT. The exercise seems pointless but it’s fun to see them race down the beach. But the shining moment is when Amanda explains to James he has to run and also explains that the tribe is frustrated with James’s eating habits. Apparently James eats all the bananas, when he should be offering his tribe mates a banana when he gets them. I find this whole thing ridiculous and the Heroes food rules weird (I blame Rupert). James reactions sells this though. He offers JT a banana after the race, which is one of the best cut to commercial moments Survivor has ever had. The conversation continues in Tribal where James gets more good lines in about Banana Etiquette and how Colby is “Superman in a fat suit.” An entertaining way to go out of the game. On the Villains side, the Rob vs Russell showdown continues. They talk it out at night where it’s clear the lines are drawn. There is no working together between the two man. Boston Rob though has the numbers and wins individual immunity for himself. Parvati is the target and Boston Rob suggests splitting the votes between Russell and Parvati because of Russell’s idol. They want to flush the idol and get rid of Parvati. This is welcome news to Tyson, he can get rid of Parvati and eat hotdogs. Russell approaches Tyson and tells him that he knows he could no longer protect Parvati and is throwing in the towel. Tyson uses this statement as the go ahead to switch to Parvati and eat hotdogs sooner. I’m never going to get this move. It’s been explained to me a million times. I guess I understand what his thought process but I don’t get understand how we get to this point. It’s just so fucking dumb. Just stick to the plan and Parvati goes home, if not Parvati then Russell and Parvati next time. The hotdogs will still be there if you have to wait an extra 20 minutes. At Tribal, Russell plays the idol for Parvati, says some bullshit about honor to Coach and Tyson is gone. This was the shot Russell needed in his battle against Rob. So Tyson votes himself out and James learns Banana Etiquette. I love Survivor.
    Episode MVP: James
    Next time: 12 and 11, two episodes that hold a special connection for me.

      1. Well, this is the last Cambodia episode on the list. I also have to resist the urge to make the next Palau episode I write on not one long paragraph demanding you watch Palau.

          1. I guess so because I don’t remember that at all. Doesn’t have the same impact as watching the whole story unfold. But I guess it would’ve been weird to talk about an episode you already saw while telling you to watch it.

          2. The way I’ve talked about the two episodes that comes before the finale earlier in my rankings, it was a logical conclusion that the finale will make it. The only question now is if that episode tops the list. Bonus points if anyone guesses the top episode.

          3. Not yet but it will. Also none from Pearl Islands yet, which is another top 5 season of mine. I will say that the 12 episodes left on the list is represented by 10 different seasons.

          4. That’s a relief.

            EDIT: There are some definite contenders in play here.
            Palau finale
            The Great Lie
            Pearl Islands Premiere
            Cagayan Premiere
            Cagayan Merge
            HvV Merge
            Trial By Fire (which may be hard to write about now, but it is still a solid episode)
            Erik’s Micronesia Boot
            It’s A Turtle
            Borneo finale

            I know my personal favorite is Trial By Fire, so I’m going with that.

          5. I don’t. You pretty much nailed what I have left on the list. Though there are a couple of omissions that I find particularly interesting knowing what seasons you’ve watched lately.

          6. Those are the two others that have yet to appear on the list. So those plus the 10 you mentioned yesterday are the top 12 in some order.

          7. Dead Man Walking is so great. Jam packed with so much fascinating stories and strategy. I don’t think any season has juggled so many different storylines as beautifully as Philippines did.

          8. I feel like that season and Guatemala are two seasons I greatly enjoy as a whole but couldn’t single out a one particular episode to make the list.

          9. That’s a good guess. Matt guessed “It’s A Turtle” from Fiji. I think those are the only two guesses so far. We’ll see if either of those are correct.

          10. guessed my ass. I told you “It’s A Turtle” if you don’t listen, I can’t be held responsible

          11. Oh shit, my bad. I’ll correct myself. There are two official guesses and one definitive statement on what my top episode is.

    1. For some reason I thought your last teaser was for a certain South Pacific episode, but I suppose Brandon’s arc before it wasn’t exactly brilliant. That Cambodia episode is definitely one of the highest points in the season and got me very excited after being bummed about my girl Ciera going home.

      1. Oh damn, that episode was really good and would’ve made the list if it was a top 40. It’s still an episode I want to talk about.

        1. As long as it was considered, I am satisfied, because I feel like people forget that it was even good. I’d probably put it in my top 10, partly because it’s so far outside of what Survivor is usually like.

          1. I guess both of his boots are very dark and outside of Survivor’s norm. I am referring to the one where Brandon gives up immunity for Albert, and Coach uses God to justify voting Brandon out of the game.

          2. That is a fantastic episode that highlights how truly dark that season is. What Coach and Albert do to Brandon is so sad, especially after watching Brandon through the way that Probst plays on him at that TC.

          3. That episode was powerful. It was incredibly sad and so cruel. From a storytelling standpoint it was such a fitting end to the Brandon arc.

          1. I know I hinted about talking on the episode. I meant as an honorable mention selection. Even though it missed the list, it’s very unique and worth talking about.

          2. If I were to guess, would this mysterious episode be Survivor MacGyver or possibly Bunking With the Devil?

          3. I think they’re the two best episodes not on the countdown. They gave both Woo and Shirin good pre-merge storylines, and in Bunking With the Devil’s case you also had a clear understanding of why the vote went the way it did (which could be a problem in other Cambodia episodes). I don’t know your Ciera opinions, but her coming alive in that episode is part of why I loved it so much. Also, Carrie gave it an A on the AV Club so I knew that at least some people thought it was a standout episode.

          4. I am kinda mixed on Ciera partly because I saw Cambodia before I saw Blood vs. Water (which I am almost done with, but so far, so good). I am a little mad, though, that they didn’t give credit for Woo’s vote where it should have went-to Abi because that would complete their pre-merge story perfectly.

            But that is not this episode’s fault. That is merely the editor’s fault. What we do get is what I wanted to see throughout Cambodia. Two fun and dynamic challenges that were Survivor classics and gave character development to people. In fact, if you were looking for why Stephen’s arc is so fantastic, this episode is a big reason why. In fact, him crying over Joe is one of the few confessionals ever that just gave me chills (the other one being Colby’s final confessional in HvV). But, we also got a quick glimpse into the two tribe dynamics including what may be one of my favorite disaster tribes in Survivor history in Ta Keo 3.0. Man, one more week with them and my life would be complete. Of course, the fact that we lost Terry due to unforeseen circumstances (which was well foreshadowed in the premiere by him mentioning how Danny helped him prepare for Cambodia-Good job, editors there) is overshadowed by the fun and manic energy in this episode. And, we got Woo blindside face for one last time. So good!

          5. Nice! Blood vs Water is one of my favorite seasons. I’m guessing you prefer the more fleshed out Ciera to her eye rolling Cambodia self? I forgot about the Abi thing, it should have been in there. It felt like they had so much good material that they didn’t have enough time, though perhaps the episode has one of those redundant Spencer confessionals that were all over the season that could have been cut.

          6. I think that episode may just have all of Spencer’s Kass related content for reasons. I have definitely liked Ciera more in BvW (although it is wild how different she looks from her look in Cambodia) because she feels more human. She genuinely talks about her family and feelings, instead of just using that as strategy.

            I feel like they wanted to set up why Ciera and Kass were the targets for the Bayon Bros while Abi skates by, hence they have the opportunity with Woo’s boot.

          7. The more and I more think about it, I think You Call, We’ll Haul is a bit overrated (this may change when I watch it again). For now, I would say the premiere and Bunking with the Devil.

            EDIT: No worries, BD.

    2. This whole writeup is excellent, BD. Can you imagine telling your week-ago self that you’d have to bump #33 off the list in favor of Jessica’s boot episode?

      1. Thanks. I never thought I would be saying that a Jessica boot episode could bump a top 10 episode off the list but here we are. Though I would need to reflect without such a recency bias but that episode has so many aspects of Survivor I love.

  6. One point of the episode that I had forgotten about, but was another brilliant juxtaposition by the editors: Ken saying how at that hour, you could look directly at the sun and it wouldn’t hurt your eyes, while Hannah is staring at the bright beautiful star that is Ken.

    1. I’ve only rewatched the first episode, but on a rewatch the little details the editors are throwing in are just amazing.

      (two-shot of David and Hannah)
      David: Did you hear what Will told Zeke?
      Hannah: No, what?
      (smash-cut to close up of Zeke)
      Zeke: Jay has an idol.
      (pan to: Hannah)

  7. I stand by everything I said about David. Except the parts where I thought he was being strategic about it.

      1. That he wasn’t trying to do anything gamewise, he just can’t resist throwing a pity party for himself.

        1. As someone who’s been through a few decently similar situations in the last year or so, I completely see why David would react so emotionally. I’m sure David realizes that this could be helping his story, but I completely agree that he’s not trying to win the game like this. If anything, I’d think David is smart enough to realize that crying doesn’t really help his game.

          1. He’s probably smart enough, but smarts and self-awareness are different. I know I’m in the minority here, but I think Zeke and Bret voiced legitimate frustrations with his behavior.

          2. I haven’t watched the tribal council again yet, but I think the problem here is the tone. If they didn’t have the condescending/bullying lift to their voice, there wouldn’t be as much of a debate here.

        2. I’m not going to say that David’s level of putting himself down and constant self-depreciating isn’t a character flaw, but as a character flaw I share I’m not going to be anything other than sympathetic.

          There are legitimately times where I feel immensely frustrated in my capabilities and feel like I can’t do anything right. And yes, I go to my friends and tell them how I’m feeling at that stage. Am I fishing for compliments? Sure, but they’re compliments I feel I need to lift myself up while I’m feeling miserable. It’s not a matter of getting others to tell me how awesome I am because I want to feel awesome, it’s a matter of knowing you aren’t mentally in a good place and reaching out to others to get them to help you feel better.

          I understand feeling like it’s being a manipulative creep, and I understand those who think it’s kind of pathetic. But man, I’d rather be manipulative then continue to do nothing those times my self esteem is tanking.

  8. It’s so funny because the whole conversation about Bret and Zeke having their little moment at tribal has been around whether it was mean or bullying.

    And here I am, being like, no it was just dumb.

    They just came across as two dummies totally unarmed in a battle of wits.

    Bret says their are no clusters, it’s every man for himself. David pretty much calls it out for the total bs that it is and asks Zeke’s alliance to raise their hands.

    Then, completely unrelated to the game, and completely unrelated to anything, Peter Griffin… I mean Bret, just comes back with “are you going to cry?” And Zeke jumps in.

    Like a couple of 11 year olds! David is just sitting there, smiling and looking between the two of them, because it was just such a cringey moment. I was actually embarrassed for Bret and Zeke. Not because it was mean. Because it was dumb.

    I know they aren’t dumb in actuality. But with a tiny bit of heat on them? Mess.

    1. As the person who has invested in applauding Zeke and Bret, I’m gonna double down on this.

      Posit that I’m right, that this is a completely natural reaction to David crying about things all the fucking time. Look at that jury, it’s Michelle, Taylor, and Chris. Do you think they’re incensed that two people are piling on David, or do you think they’re like “finally, someone is calling David out?”

      Who among that group is thinking “man I would totally vote for Zeke/Brete, but then he made fun of David?”

      1. Through this lens, I completely agree. Michelle and Chris are probably thinking, “Not again”, why Taylor is frustrated by the bug on his shirt…so yeah it is definitely the former in that regard. I wonder how that the jury handles Jessica and more importantly how Jessica handles whoever makes it to the FTC, especially if David/Hannah/Zeke are there.

      2. I mean… My point wasn’t that they were being mean or piling on or that the jury would be mad. It was that they made themselves look kinda dumb… Like, really, THAT’S your rebuttal?

        David was also pretty distinctly unbothered by the whole thing? He totally gave it the response it deserved: laugh it off.

        1. I stood up and applauded the first time I saw them do it. I’ve watched it five times now and it’s still great. Someone had to call David out for his brattiness.

          Also, he didn’t seem unbothered, he seemed pretty whiny about it.Like I said: “Personal attack” is some bullshit people trot out when they know you’ve cut them to the quick and want to pretend that it’s the other person’s fault for seeing through them. Zeke and Bret nailed it. Good for them.

          1. I mean we certainly won’t agree on this one!

            I don’t think anyone is seeing though him… and if you think he was cut to the quick? I don’t see it at all? He could not have cared less. All he did was point out that he wasn’t getting personal. And Bret and Zeke just had a juvenile outburst because David called out Bret’s “every man for himself” baloney. As they head into a deadlock vote. Please…

            If David was taking about being nervous about the vote, or feeling like he was being ganged up on… maybe they’d have a point. But the fact of the matter is, he was totally composed and in game mode. And Zeke and Bret were… just totally without ammunition so they used the only thing they could come up with

          2. “I don’t think anyone is seeing though him”

            I see through him.

            Look let’s just kill this one. I don’t think David could do anything at this point for me to not see him as a manipulative creep, and I don’t think either of us is gonna convince the other.

  9. Favorite part of the podcast: When y’all were discussing Brett’s adroitness at locking on to the person who just betrayed him and voted out his captain, it suddenly became crystal clear that Brett’s strategic gameplan is to be an angrier and savvier version of Woo.

    Now Brett is my favorite person in the show not named Zeke.

  10. Quick edgic question: We got 1 Ken confessional in the two hours (which is not promising at all). However, what is most intriguing is the content of that confessional. Ken says that he will never write down David’s name. Does that mean that either Ken is in the final 3 with or without David or that if David is in the F3, Ken will not vote for him to win?

  11. Season 34 talk: I could be wrong, but I think Ozzy’s been name-checked at least twice this season. Winner’s edit?

  12. I have a slightly different take on the tribal council. I think enough comments were made by players in TC to figure out what really was going on.

    – First, I think the votes were locked in 5-5 before going into the council. This is supported by the fact that David was brazen enough to call out for Zeke’s alliance in such an open manner.
    – Given above, it means Hannah/Adam whispering stuff does not mean that they were nervous of forcing a tie (if Adam had any thought of choosing other side, he would have done so over rocks. But if you look at it, besides Zeke he has zero connections to any one else on that side. And even Zeke has twice admitted to wanting to vote him out, something Hannah probably revealed to him). Instead, they put on that act to cause chaos at the tribal. Hence why you had ‘TC is a theater’ and ‘smokes and mirrors’ comments. Not to mention Bret playfully trying to listen on their whispers.
    – That act seemed to be geared up towards getting the other side to reveal who they were voting for. May be Hannah thought, just like TC2, they would try to sway her at last moment and wanted to open that door. Hence, why you had her try to check in with different people about their plan. But since she was the target, they were never going to tell her the correct name!
    – Finally, I don’t believe David was playing it for Hannah. Happy to be proven wrong if he confirms otherwise in exit interviews. I am certain that Hannah-David scene at the camp was one of many within that 5, trying to guess the target of other side. I won’t be surprised if they had thought Ken was a good contender to be targetted anyway.

    I was one of those who said in post show comments that Hannah is gonna win but having rewatched the episode, I am gonna walk it back, not because of game reasons but edit ones. I think last episode’s edit was bad for her. If she wins, they don’t show that convo with Zeke by the well.

    Overall, the edit this season has been amazing. Last time, I was this unsure of the winner was Cagayan.

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