Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X episode 3 “Your Job is Recon”

Emma steps in for John to discuss the third episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. Here we are now, Survivor. Entertain us.

Purple Rock Survivor podcast: Millennials vs Gen X episode 3 “Your Job is Recon”

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In this episode, we discuss:

  • How¬†Hannah’s behaviour was an indictment of Emma’s entire generation.
  • How we felt about Paul getting the boot.
  • Whether or not we can probably evaluate the decision made by Jessica, Sunday, et al based on how we felt about Paul getting the boot.
  • Ken: the whole fishing, shirtless throwing, vinyl-loving, bullied for being Ken Doll package. (Phrasing)
  • Why didn’t Ken and Paul get along.
  • The brilliance of structuring an entire week’s advertising campaign over some people meeting up to have sandwiches.
  • How these motherfuckers screwed us by not showing the purple rock.
  • Adam’s less than smooth alliance building with Michaela.
  • Jeff Probst telling us how the kids these days text and more ranting about the theme.
  • Mail bag questions, including what’s the best and worst themes and who is our favourite dumb Survivors.
  • Who will win the World Series.

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.

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Andy and John are the hosts of the Purple Rock Survivor podcast.
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173 thoughts on “Purple Rock Survivor Podcast: Millennials vs. Gen X episode 3 “Your Job is Recon”

  1. I think the biggest scene of the episode was Ken’s conversation with Jessica. I like the way he approached the Idea of getting rid of Paul. He could’ve gone on and list a bunch of faults but instead just left a question out in the air for Jessica to ponder over. Ken is the total package.

    As for World Series pick, I have an anyone but Boston type of attitude. So I’ll go with San Francisco over Toronto to maximize some Purple Rock trashtalk.

      1. The same attitude that Ken is the total package?
        I’m working on the next segment at this very moment.

          1. Oh, what’s your reasoning? I like hating on Boston, the team that should actually have the level of hate that is thrown the Cards way.

          2. I root for teams that have yet to win something or not won anything in a while so I am against the Giants and Red Sox. Now watch as that becomes the Worlds Series.

          3. So I take it you wouldn’t mind a seat with me on the Nationals bandwagon? There’s room! And it’s been 25 years since we had a good sports story in DC.

    1. I’m a Jays fan from Chicago, so Jays over Cubs gives me what I want with the added benefits of a good matchup and a tragic narrative

  2. I feel like with your Cambodia praise and your Cardinals hatred, you are coming straight for where I live.
    I am currently on Episode 3 of One World, so I feel a bit qualified in saying this: I hate that Kat wears her buff over her clothes especially the pink hoodie.

      1. To be honest, I don’t follow baseball that well but they have been my team since childhood. It also doesn’t help that their minor league team is based in my college town. In fact, I have a newspaper picture of me along with several other elementary school students wearing Cardinals paraphernalia after Mark McGwire broke the HR record, so Cardinals has always been my team.

      1. I am honestly trying to process it. I think it has an extremely underrated merge. I’m not saying it’s great (the Brandon v. Mikayla stuff brings it down), but it is pretty damn good. Production just did a good job of balancing out the tribes in regards of strength (definitely not in regards of beauty because Savaii may be one of the hottest non-beauty tribes and Upolu is well…yeah). I also love the different dynamics of two tribes that represent the returnee. Coach gets a cult and Ozzy gets a cool kids club that leads to the nerdy kids revolting against him and the nerdiest of them all to take him out (albeit not permanently). Then we get to the merge and boy howdy, we get hit over the head with religion and bullying and it is hard to watch. Fascinating but tough to watch. The Brandon boot is on my personal list of underrated episode but not for the reason you may think. Yeah, it is fun to watch someone give up immunity, but it becomes depressing once you realize Brandon’s full complicated story at that moment. This episode may also include the bitterest alliance implosion I have ever seen on Survivor (although it sounds like Ian/Katie/Tom wasn’t pleasant) with everybody screaming at everybody else except Coach.

        Still better than Nicaragua….and Redemption Island (oh yeah, I said it).

        1. I agree with most of what you said, especially on Brandon’s boot episode. I also think it might have the best final tribal council of the series? But yes, much better than Redemption Island. I have it low on my season rankings, but I think I might underrate it because it’s very interesting. Rob C actually put it at 18th out of 30 seasons on his rankings, which is maybe the highest I’ve seen anyone put it.

          1. I think I have it like 22-24? I think South Pacific might be better though the more I think about it. I don’t think Nicaragua is very good but it is consistently watchable and never boring and I don’t think it’s particularly unpleasant. It has a few pretty entertaining characters (Fabio, Naonka, Holly, Marty) and alliances are also very fluid, making the post merge like a non strategic Cambodia. A few other seasons have stretches that are reallllly boring which is the main reason it isn’t so low.

        2. I also think the Brandon boot is underrated. Perhaps I may have more thoughts on that at a later time.

          1. RI is highish because I could see my self actually recommending someone watch it in order to see a flawless game.

        3. While South Pacific was awful to watch the one thing I actually enjoyed about it was Coach’s Cult. It was such a perfect microcosm of organized religion it really blew me away. The bullying, the going along to get ahead (Sophie), the hierarchy, the power dynamics. It was all SO on the nose it almost seemed intentional. But knowing it wasn’t and that all the Christians watching thought it was great just really tickled me wonderfully!

  3. As a fella who really digs the artsy-girl-in-overalls look, She’s All That was just The Breakfast Club all over again for me. So thanks for bringing up those old wounds.

    And since I haven’t spoken to actual Survivor content in weeks, lemme say it’s interesting to have a season where I don’t actually care about anyone. Every single player is powerfully uninteresting, I don’t mind if anyone gets voted out, and even my Pick 4 hasn’t sown any investment in the ultimate outcome. After the emotional minefield that was Koah Rong, it’s kinda nice not to have a horse in the race. Michelle is a fine winner when everyone is a Michelle.

      1. I don’t like reading pre-game stuff, so my picks were informed only on name and photo. David, CeCe, Jay, and Paul (rip). But even beyond the Pick-4, there isn’t a single player that sticks out to me as someone I *want* to win. They might have their goofy traits and whatnot that will make the show watchable, but I’m not going to be disappointed with anyone going home, which is such a unusual feeling. I guess it’s only ep 3 though so who knows what’ll happen.

    1. I still have faith in this season. There are definitely some good characters, and I think as long as the show figures out how to ignore all Gen X-ers except Ken and David (like last week), it could be pretty decent.

  4. Two weeks ago I started counting down what I think are the best 33 episodes in Survivor history with the 33-31 selections. Today is number 30-28.

    30. Survivor: Heroes vs Villains episode 7 “I’m Not a Good Villain”
    The culmination of the feud between Russell and Boston Rob. The need for control is something that drives many Survivor contestants but no one obsesses about it as much as Russell Hantz does. Russell is driven mad by the idea that Rob is the leader of the Villains Tribe. That people look to someone other than him. He needs to get rid of him. Boston Rob also has a pretty healthy ego and wants to vanquish the man coming for his crown. Both are blinded by this singular desire and it’s obvious that one of these men are leaving with Jerri and Coach in the middle. Jerri has decided to jump from Rob to Russell’s side and wants Coach to jump along. Coach is conflicted by this. He is close to Jerri but he has developed an admiration for Rob. He has given his word to him, something that’s really important to Coach when it’s convenient. After the Heroes fuck around and actually solve a puzzle, the Villains are forced to go to Tribal Council. Coach’s solution is to keep the tribe “strong” and to avoid picking a side in the Rob/Russell duel. He suggests cutting Courtney but the idea falls on deaf ears. It’s either going to be Russell or Rob. Rob has a conversation with Jerri that curiously offered no deals or promises, just a vague idea of her knowing what to do. I think this conversation serves as Rob’s death blow as Jerri votes with Russell and Rob is ousted 4-3 with Coach, who may be a little man, goes off on his own to vote Courtney. With that, the hero of the Villains Tribe is defeated by the ultimate villain, Russell Hantz.
    Episode MVP: Russell

    29. Survivor China: episode 11 “Ready to Bite the Apple”
    In Survivor, being in possession of the hidden immunity idol can be a huge strength that puts you on an elevated position. Having two is a ridiculously great advantage, especially when it’s down to the final seven. James has found himself in this position in China, as well as being in the majority alliance with a 5-2 advantage. He is feeling good and wants his group to stick together and oust the remaining Zhan Hu tribe members. He proceeds to then make what could possibly be my favorite analogy in all of Survivor. He wants to sick to the plan and not bite the apple. The apple that Adam and Eve bit that prevented them frolic naked forever (He actually first makes this analogy in the previous episode but it works great here too). He just wants to frolic with Amanda, Courtney and Todd to the final four. Amanda, on the other hand is ready to bite the apple. She sees James as a big threat with his double idols and wants to blindside him while he is off frolicking carefree. She gets Courtney and Todd to go along with the plan and awkwardly tells Peih-Gee that she’s safe. James doesn’t win immunity because he is no Courtney Yates, who beasted a challenge two episodes before this (take that Coach). He also doesn’t play either idol, despite only have three more opportunities to do so. James is blindsided and eliminated. What makes this episode so great is not only the move but the cast here is so entertaining. James and Courtney are some of the best sound bites ever. Amanda, Todd and Peih-Gee hustling to work their plans is captivating and the end result of the episode is memorable. I could frolic in Survivor: China forever.
    Episode MVP: James

    28. Survivor: Palau episode 13 “It Could All Backfire Here”
    In Survivor, where people constantly lose their shit over peanut butter, winning something like a car is majorly unbalanced and can easily put a target on your back. When Ian goes and wins a fucking Corvette, that has to be bad for him. Expect that the car is actually never mentioned again in entire episode. At this point in the game, we are down to the final five with Tom and Ian in the majority bit are also clearly the biggest threats. The plan is whoever wins reward takes one of these remaining women along so they won’t have an opportunity to band together. This is especially important for Ian, who has made a promise to Katie that when he wins rewards that he will take her. He also made a conflicting promise to take Tom on a reward that involves a car. Ian screws up and breaks the promise to Katie and sets up a scenario where she could get with Caryn and Jenn to band against the threats. What I find intriguing is the car itself didn’t cause Ian the problem but the decision afterwards. Ian and Katie have the first of two emotional exchanges on the beach where Katie is pouring her heart out about being betrayed by the person she thought was her best friend. Ian is frazzled and stumbles in his efforts to rectify the situation. He is genuinely remorseful that he hurt someone he cares about. The scene is incredibly fascinating and heavy to see play out. This cuts deeper than just playing a game. There is a connection here that is being threatened to be permanently scarred. The move also hurts Ian in the game as Caryn realizes that she is possibly not a part of a final three pact with Tom and Ian. Caryn rushes for answers when the men return for reward and smartly forces Ian to answer instead of Tom. Ian fails at providing her a good response and the men are in trouble. Tom wins immunity, because Tom is awesome and also plays the part of ruthless mob boss ready to cut down anyone who flips, because Tom is awesome. He threatens Katie with this possibility. Ian is clearly on the chopping block and has a second beach conversation with Katie where he again tries to rectify the situation. Katie is still distant but sticks with Ian and Tom while Caryn, who is ready to flip gets cut down.
    Episode MVP: Ian
    Apologies for missing last Friday. I wasn’t able to do this post.
    Later today 27-25 featuring two different merge episodes.

    1. “I’m Not A Good Villain” is such an underrated episode because it comes directly after the iconic “Banana Etiquette” Although it doesn’t reach the heights of the previous episode, it serves as a fitting episode for the farewell of Boston Rob, the breakup of Coach and Jerri, and the breakout episode of Jerri 3.0 (the best Jerri in my opinion).

      1. I was going to say the same of “It Can All Backfire Here” because it’s squashed in the middle of the greatest 3 episode stretch of Survivor history. It’s easy to remember Tom not fearing the purple rock and the insane last immunity challenge but the absolute mental wringer that Ian and Katie get sent through in this episode is insane.

        1. Agreed about the ending three episodes of Palau being the greatest three episode stretch. It was hard writing the post without mentioning the other two because I want to save that for those episodes.

          1. I’m less impressed by the Palau finale honestly, largely because Katie. I don’t like Katie, but there’s nothing enjoyable or interesting in watching people scold her at Final Tribal.

            There’s an alternate version of Palau where Tom takes Ian ANYWAYS that I would love to see.

          2. The problem with the Palau finale being considered the best episode of all time is it basically ends at the buoy, when there’s like another 1/2 hour in the episode, but I mean that first hour is stunning.

          1. I could talk about that season for hours. I ranked it second behind HvV but I think it’s the most fascinating season that Survivor will ever have.

          2. I’ve got it third behind Samoa and Heroes vs Villains, but I agree that it is probably the most fascinating.

          3. Palau’s also a season that works well when you know what’s coming. There’s some black comedy in the early episodes that only works if you know the basic framework of the season.

          4. You should, I want to watch it again. My thought after the finale aired was that it was the best season I had seen.

          1. I think so. I would say the majority of people would say that. What may be more up for debate is that I find HvV Boston Rob to be my favorite of his 4 trips.

          2. I love their first Amazing Race appearance. Rob turning his failure at the disgusting amount of meat-eating challenge into a brilliant strategic move is a quintessential Rob moment.

          3. That was beautiful. I also enjoyed the move to only have the bus driver open the front door. Having Rob and Amber on really brought life to the Amazing Race.

          4. I’ve occasionally entertained the idea of doing a TAR7 rewatch/watch as offseason content, but figure I’d never get anyone else to go for it.

          5. I’d love to rewatch TAR 7, as someone who was cheering against Rob and Amber heavily the whole time, it was a lot of fun

          6. It was the first one I watched. I carried through a few years until it felt too samey every season.

          7. I think Jerri 1.0 has supporters as the original villain who actually got a downfall, but she’s just not villainous enough if you watch Australia with a modern lens. In fact Final Tribal Colby and Tina kind of come off as jerks.

    2. I just watched Palau for the first time, and even knowing in broad sketches what was coming, “It Could All Backfire Here” was amazing to watch. Ian just starts falling apart. Survivor had two episodes to set up one of the most bizarre actions in Survivor history. And they did it beautifully.

      Poor Ian.

      1. One thing I forgot to mention in the post that grabbed my attention was the positions Ian and Katie were in their conversations. The first one, they are both standing until midway when Ian collapses onto the sand. The second conversation they are both seated but with arms to the side with space between them. I thought it was a great illustration of the feelings they were experiencing at the time.

        1. By the way, I’m assuming that Ian’s been asked back and said “there is no way in hell I’m going through that again,” right?

          I hope they checked again for Second Chances.

          1. I would be shocked if he wasn’t asked back. I like Bobby Jon and he was good for Guatemala but I’ve always wondered what that season would be like if the returnees were Ian and Stephenie.

          2. He has been asked back multiple times, including Micronesia and Second Chances. I think for Micronesia he just said no because of what he went through (not just the emotional stuff, he and Tom both suffered some long term foot damage from the buoys). For Second Chance, he’s too busy as CEO of his new environmental company.

    3. “He has given his word to him, something that’s really important to Coach when it’s convenient.”

      Savage, but accurate. I love a good Coach diss.

  5. The Brewers, Rangers, Astros, Rockies, Rays and Padres have never won a Worlds Series. The Nationals/Expos and Mariners have never won a pennant.

    Also Joe Madden is the best manager in baseball and I am not a Cubs fan.

    1. The Cleveland Baseball Team hasn’t won a World Series since 1948, which, as a year that came before Gen X, I assume never actually happened. Fortunately, I can’t use the “Cleveland hasn’t won any championship in 52 years” argument anymore.

    1. I think the real burning question is would Superman actually win Survivor. Andy was ever the pessimist, but Christopher seemed pretty confident in his selection.

      1. Clark Kent in a standard newbie season trying to win obviously would, but I have to think that in a Superhero-themed season where Superman can’t just when every immunity, he has merge vote written all over him.

        Especially since I’m pretty confident Batman is only playing so he can blindside Superman.

        1. Superman is a merge boot, Batman feels like an alpha male pre-merge boot. I think money is on Rogue because every other contestant would die after touching her and need medivacing.

          1. I’m going with Professor X. Because he has no compunctions about using mind control to get what he wants. After all, Professor X knows best, and really would make the best use of the money.

          2. He may not even need to use mind control

            “What is he providing around camp? How can he help us with challenges?”
            “… you want to vote out the guy in a wheelchair?”

          3. If we had Professor X on the show, I would want the horndog James McAvoy version from First Class.

        2. No way, man: Superman outlasts Batman no problem. Superman might be slightly below a Joe-level threat, but remember that you gotta live on that island with them for 39 days. Batman would be super emo all the time and just too much for everyone to handle. Plus he’d always be off by himself so everyone would assume he’s hunting for idols.

        3. Wolverine would talk about being a loner in every confessional.

          He will be a member of every alliance on the show.

          1. “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very pretty, and what that is is blindsiding people.”

          2. Martian Manhunter would win. He can read minds, turn invisible and Shapeshifter. A fire making challenge could be a problem though.

      2. Sure he could win any challenge, but would he? Is Superman really going to sweat it out for three hours standing on a little narrow perch while balancing a ball or whatever? Two hours into that you know he’s got to be thinking that he can basically do whatever he wants, and that if he wanted a million dollars he could just take it.

        1. First off, Superman would clearly be playing for charity, and thus motivated to win. As for endurance challenges involving standing in an uncomfortable position, he could probably just game it from time to time by flying a bit (not that he’d cheat).

          Ultimately, the biggest thing keeping Supes from winning it all is that he’d end up pulling himself from the game because Jimmy Olsen’s damn signal watch keeps going off.

          Which means your winner would be Squirrel Girl. Naturally.

          1. They would have to film the season on another planet so Superman would not have an advantage from our yellow sun. Like when Superman fought Muhammad Ali.

            Yes millennials, that actually happened.

          2. I haven’t listened yet but this whole conversation is hilarious. Especially since I’m at Ny Comic Con right now.

      3. Superman would find all the idols in the first five minutes of their placement with his x-ray vision. He would use the same to know if the votes in the urn were for him. Unless the urn was made out of lead, which it should be.

    2. I was 90% certain of that, just hesitated for a moment wondering if it’s because of what I’ve learned about you or if it’s just a thing where I assume someone is a he unless given reason not to (which is, of course, #problematic).

      1. Andy, that sound disturbingly Millenial of you. To the Reeducation Camp with you, where all trophies must be earned!

        But seriously, I go through this anxiety loop about once a week with one Disqus commenter or another.

  6. She’s All That always made me wish I went to a school that had dances where everyone knew how to do the dance moves in unison. Boogie Nights, same thing.
    And, I definitely meant my question in terms of “tv show stupid.”

  7. The preview image for the video made me spend the first half ignoring Andy and watch his bedroom door waiting for someone to visit.

    1. I’ve never watched the Youtube version, but I always just assumed Andy and John were constantly making jerkoff motions.

  8. It’s nice to see survivor embrace a real 3 dimensional edit for a character in the person of Ken. Lots of times they like to turn contestants into neat archetypes that end up being really boring, but Ken is perfect example of someone who doesn’t fit in any of their boxes (phrasing). I think most of us around here got on board with him immediately because of his backstory about being picked on as a kid, his sensitivity and even though he doesn’t look like a nerd he came across as really relatable to those types.
    This episode really showed that he has a healthy ego and he’s got plenty of testosterone. I think that he had a solid strategic reason for targeting Paul, but a lot of the impetus behind his decision had to do with him being unhappy with his spot in the social hierarchy. Sensitive and nerdy guys can also enjoy being the Alpha in a group (I’m certainly guilty of that) and I think Ken is definitely one of those guys. You don’t go through life looking like Ken and not get used to a certain amount of attention and privilege in social settings, and you could tell he wasn’t enjoying being marginalized. Coincidentally it’s what makes David his perfect sidekick, he’s a classic Beta.
    Honestly this episode makes me like Ken even more than I already did because he comes across as much more of a fleshed our character now, rather than a just a sensitive guy with a great body. It will be interesting to see how much his ego and his desire to be a focus of attention socially will drive his decision making going forward.

    1. I was going to disagree and say that Ken is more like 2 dimensions, but you’ve convinced me. I would say he is the only cast member who has had that 3 dimensional fleshing so far, though I think there are others with more character potential. I think we’ve kind of reached the ceiling on Ken as a character. Though I’d like to be proven wrong.

  9. Call for a ruling: Is Woo a dumb player? He’s a “dumb” type, and some of his best moments are gloriously dumb (his musings on ties in particular). And he did, from a certain perspective, make the dumbest move in Survivor history (thanks Woo!).

    But he was far less amusingly dumb in Second Chances, and seems to have a fair amount of social and emotional intelligence.

    I’ll go for Woo, but with a strong reiteration of the “TV dumb” principle.

    1. It’s hard to call most people dumb because there are so many types of intelligence, but I think Woo definitely qualifies as a type of dumb even if he’s smart in other ways.

      1. Yeah, I’m probably hedging too much. Woo’s defining game was a gloriously dumb performance.

        It’s just he was so sensible in Cambodia, in particular his cutting dismissal of Spencer and Shirin precisely for treating him as dumb.

  10. Who would do better on Survivor, Superman or Batman?

    Edit: I really need to read the thread before chiming in.

    1. Batman all the way. Superman’s too obvious a target, and I feel like Batman’s management of his elaborate network of sidekicks and hangers on would translate really well into Survivor. There’s a thousand Robins and Batgirls and Batwomen and whoevers running about…and every one of them has Batman as their closest ally.

      Also, I think he’d have really strong idol play, including super-Russel abilities to find idols.

      1. Yeah, Batman would be able to make Final 2 deals with everybody and get away with it, and I think Superman would have a surprisingly weak social game. Being alone on the escape pod during the crucial toddler months had to have really messed him up developmentally.

        On the other hand, Batman’s costume has to be a huge disadvantage on a humid tropical island, while Superman gets to soak up that sweet, sweet yellow sun.

    2. Superman could last a few votes as a meat shield, tops. Unless there’s a kryptonite challenge, he has to be voted out before the merge.

  11. Is it just me or is this season boring as hell? Can’t get into it all…

    The ratings are going down and the casuals hate it.

    1. I can understand your reticence as the theme is terrible and the first episode didn’t give a lot to work with, but I think there is a lot of potential. The second episode was a great subversion of expectation, and there are a few dynamic characters who could be a lot of fun going forward. Michelle and Ken spring quickly to mind but I can also see Hannah being a lot of fun. Not because she is good at the game or interesting, but because her social skills are so abysmal they have the potential to lead to a lot hilarity as she blunders her way through human interaction the same way a drunk fratboy blunders off a balcony…

  12. If I dropped $20 I shouldn’t have today, but it was to make an oven-dried tomato risotto with a basil chiffonade, on a scale of 1-10 how Millennial was that?

    And does it make it better or worse if I do it wearing a souvenir apron from the original Broadway run of Sweeney Todd.

      1. You haven’t had the risotto. The only thing I’ve ever created that got a more immediate reaction is my desert pretzels.

          1. Fuuuuck you.

            But also, most pretzels are pure white flour, mine are a ratio of 2 parts white flour to 1 part wheat flour, which is what makes the dessert pretzel thing work. You take a wheat pretzel, glaze it with a honey/brown sugar sauce, then top it with powdered sugar, blueberries, and chopped strawberries, and you’ve got a dessert.

          2. You millennials just don’t understand. Like Ken, I see the poetry and magic of (correct) language.

    1. It’s crazy middle class I don’t know if it’s millennial or not. I took an Uber because the public transport options from my mum’s house were either suspended or I’d have to take 3 buses or 5 tubes. THAT is Millennial.

  13. The Best episodes of Survivor Part 3 27-25

    27. Survivor: Redemption Island episode 8 “This Game Respects Big Moves”
    Matt has dominated Redemption Island after being blindsided by Boston Rob way back in the second episode. Matt has a lot of faith and a strong belief that it’s God’s will that he is there fighting for a chance to get back in the game. At the beginning of the episode the plan works out for Matt. He defeats Sarita in a duel and is informed that he back in the game and the tribes have merged, much to Rob’s dismay. Rob fears that Matt may jump to the other side. Mike sees an opportunity to scoop up Matt and Andrea, Matt’s partner that Rob wanted to break up in the first place. Matt hears what Mike has to offer and ponders on it. He even tells Andrea his plan to pretend to go back with Rob’s group before blindsiding him. After the immunity challenge though he has a change of heart and wants to stick with Rob. He gives Rob this information and that is when Rob decides to attack. Rob is already uncomfortable with Matt’s ability to bond with others, in this case Christianity. Rob decides to kill any chance of Matt eventually getting rid of him. He gets his tribe mates to agree, including Andrea, and Matt is sent back to Redemption Island. A cruel climax to the battle he’s fought. God doesn’t seem to care about Survivor. This episode is a great example of an outstanding player navigating through the game at the top, cutting off any threats before they even sprinkle up.
    Episode MVP: Boston Rob

    26. Survivor: Cambodia episode 8 “You Call, We’ll Haul”
    There is uneasiness in the air as players are itching to make a big move. In the theme of second chances, players can’t afford to be complacent and get cut before they realize it. They need to fix past mistakes this time around. At the heart of this idea is Ciera, who pleads with the perceived bottom members of a ridiculously huge alliance to start “playing the game.” Ciera was plagued by making moves too late in Blood vs Water. She feels that players are bound to make that same mistake if they don’t act. Also at the heart of this is Stephen. Stephen remains haunted that he lost out to a “golden boy” in JT and has become obsessed to get rid of a new one in Joe. We see this pain in Stephen as his team loses a reward challenge with Joe having an opportunity to talk with players on the outs, Wentworth and Big Move Ciera. Stephen decides to share a plan with his alliance to possibly get rid of Joe if he doesn’t win immunity (he does). Savage overhears this plan and with all of his self righteousness is disgusted by Stephen’s actions. Savage tells Joe of this major deceit and the plan moves to get rid of Stephen. The women on the outs are excited about this plan. Finally a big move. Jeremy, not wanting to lose such a close ally, kills the plan masterfully with help from Spencer. Frustration rises among the women on the bottom and they hatch a plan. At Tribal, the women blows up everyone’s spot and Wentworth drops the mic with an idol play that gets everyone excited and kills a whopping nine votes. Stephen is spared though and Savage is ousted, but at least he made the jury. A very exciting episode with savvy players trying hard to move fast without stumbling. Also a ton of great moments in this episode. Wigglesworth pretending to give a shit about redeeming herself in the reward challenge, Keith driving a Tuk Tuk, Ciera’s eye roll game, every Wentworth confessional and Abi throwing dirt on Savage’s grave.
    Episode MVP: Wentworth

    25. Survivor: Samoa episode 8 “All Hell Breaks Loose”
    One of the negatives about never going to Tribal Council is relationships that are already fractured are more likely to permanently break. There is also little idea where everyone stands in tribe. Who is in the core alliance? Who is the target? Foa Foa senses an opportunity to infiltrate the Galu tribe and highlight the fractures during this merge episode. Down 8-4 Foa Foa never seems overly panicked about the situation they are in. Quickly they find that Laura & Shambo hate each other and plan to blindside Laura. Russell hustles and after striking out with Laura and Monica is able to find an opening with Shambo and John. The plan is hatched to oust Laura and is then quickly foiled by Laura winning immunity. Russell then wants to flip the vote to Monica. John is down with that idea and gets Erik to agree. Erik tells the other Foa Foa tribe that they want to flush Russell’s idol and are willing to vote Monica. He does this in the most condescending manner. Jaison in particular is bothered by this and instead wants to vote Erik. Natalie talks to the Galu women about this and is able to hook them in the idea. Meanwhile Mick continue to play the generic white guy role perfectly. Russell is skeptical that they aren’t getting played and decides to play his idol. At Tribal, Erik insults Jaison but Jaison gets the last laugh when Erik is blindsided with an idol in his pocket. One big takeaway from this episode is the difference in social game between the actual winner of Samoa, Natalie and Russell. Russell is uncomfortably confrontational in even the most mundane moments while Natalie takes a calmer approach. This episode is great chaos that a joining of tribes can create.
    Episode MVP: Natalie

    Next week 24-22, including another premiere episode, a trip to Fans vs Favorites and possibly a rock draw

    1. That Cambodia episode is legendary. “This Game Respects Big Moves” is very good but it also bums me out that Matt screws up the possibility of him and Andrea flipping. Ah well, give production what they wanted I guess.

      1. I have failed you. There are three episodes on the list. I agree with a lot of your criticisms of the season. The highs of the season though are very high. Also, this may be a giveaway to what the third episode is but I found Fishbach’s arc in Cambodia to be really great

        1. Oh dear, I may have to fight with you a little bit on that one (although the RC is fantastic)…but at least it is not the finale, which is one of the most overrated Survivor episodes.
          I will say though that I am happy that you included the premiere, because it is a solid premiere. My only complaint with it is one that you noticed throughout the season which is the fact that everyone who made the merge with the exception of Fishbach (which I still don’t understand, especially considering how wonderful Fishbach’s arc is in that season) and Keith (which as much as I hate not having an earlier confessional from him, I still understand given his general presence on the season) got an opening confessional. Meanwhile, everyone who didn’t make the merge, with the exception of Varner (which I completely understand), didn’t get an opening confessional. That was actually one of my big signs that told me that Shirin was not long for the game, given her presence on Worlds Apart.

          I am also excited that the premiere is higher on the list than the Savage boot because the front half of the episode (the aftermath of the tribal council and the RC) was really boring to me. It wasn’t until the double dose of Keith and the tuk-tuk/to-to and Abi calling out Fishbach’s complaining that the episode really caught steam for me. It has a really fun IC and an excellent TC.

          I will say that my favorite episode of Cambodia is actually the Terry/Woo boot because that is what I wanted from Cambodia (with the exception of Terry’s evacuation…I didn’t want him to go out like that). It has easily one of my favorite Survivor confessionals of all time, one of my favorite tribe-make ups of all time, two fantastic challenges (which we is a rarity in Cambodia) and one of the great examples of how the idea of Second Chances really came to the fruition.

  14. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I’ve gone full circle on Ken. If it weren’t for the fact that he’s really, really, ridiculous good looking, everyone here would think he’s as boring and humorless as I do.

    1. But he’s really, really good looking.

      Remember the episode of 30 Rock where Jon Hamm lives in a bubble where everyone treats him differently because he’s super handsome? So it is with Ken.

  15. If y’all keep doing videos, by the end of the season we’ll see all of Andy’s music collection. I like this pandering to hipsters. In other words, keep doing videos.

    The return of Christopher! Yay!
    So, is Superman good at doing puzzles? Because if he’s not, the one time a puzzle is an immunity challenge, and if by some chance he doesn’t have an immunity idol, he is screwed.

    Ugh, that texting stuff at tribal. Like, why? They’re just making my desire to use the actual tribe names that much stronger. To reiterate, fuck this theme.

    My dad was thinking it might be the Giants for the same reason as Emma’s. It’s an even year, so it’s the Giants’ turn to win. Still want to see the Blue Jays make it, though.

    1. I may have to stretch my definition of Gen X albums if we keep going. I’ve been trying to stick to 90s, since that’s culturally what’s considered “Gen X”, but I think I’m out (even here, I had a 1989 and a 2000).

      RE: Superman and puzzles. Even if you want to take away silver age trappings of having Super-Intellect powers, his super speed would let him do any possible permutation of a puzzle before anyone else could complete their puzzle. Well, anyone but The Flash, I suppose.

      1. You can stick in 80s albums, too. Nobody is gonna fault you for pointing a finger at Sonic Youth, even though they’re all actually boomers.

      2. Help me out, @andythesaint:disqus: what is the LP all the way on the right and the CD all the way on the left? I co-sign everything else. 1991 me never would have thought the Stone Roses would be a one-album wonder.

        1. LP: Elliott Smith’s self-titled
          CD: A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory

          The Stone Roses LP I bought from a street fair in Notting Hill, so I feel like I should get EXTRA hipster points for that one (bought it along with some Smiths LPs).

          1. I obviously would have ID’d Low End Theory if it had been an LP, but I have to admit Elliot Smith is one of my cultural blind spots.

            Fine, extra hipster bonus points. 10x multiplier if you had a meet-cute with Julia Roberts.

      3. Hey, you had a 1988 too. I saw Surfer Rosa back there.

        Really, if you have stuff from the 80’s, it’s not gonna be that bad. The only person on Takali’s tribe who wasn’t alive for the entirety of that decade is Ken.

        1. Yeah, and I had Doolittle last time. Pixies made sense because of their huge influence on 90s bands, so they’re solidly Gen X.

          1. Paul is in a ZZ Top/Van Halen cover band. Pixies and Sonic Youth surely count as GenX.

    1. John does all the fantasy stuff and there is a hurricane in Florida so he’s probably out of commission for a little while.

  16. I’m a little surprised that Heroes vs Villains isn’t just generally accepted as the greatest theme ever created.

    Second Chances was alright, as was Blood vs Water, but yeah, there’s a reason people want Heroes vs Villains 2 all the time.

    1. No question, HvV is the best. BvW was pretty good, but only with returnees. When you do it with new people, it is awful. I almost don’t even want them to do HvV again, just because it was so fucking perfect.

  17. Chief Wahoo (I can’t believe that’s a real name) is horrifically racist. But the Indians are a Cleveland sports team, so I am morally obligated to support them without reservation. Plus, this is definitely our year.

    Why can’t we all agree that the Warriors are terrible?

    1. I think warriors are sufficiently vague, plus their logo is a bridge or something.

      Also, “I am morally obligated to support them *without reservation*” Not cool, dude. Not cool.

      1. I’m sorry, that was really poorly phrased and not at all intended. I absolutely hate that my team has such a racist name and logo (and I’ve gotten into many a fight with my dad about how the name and logo are so racist).

        The comment about the Warriors was not really related. If the name came from something related to Native Americans, I was unaware of that.

        I edited the original comment.

        1. I was really saying that tongue-in-cheek. I didn’t think it was intentionally racist, but it was phrased in an unfortunate way, and I was trying to point that out somewhat light-heartedly. I honestly know nothing about the warriors. It could have horrible roots, but at least they’ve avoided racist imagery.

          1. I actually didn’t know about it until @AubrysWinnersEdit:disqus’s comment sent me to Wikipedia, but the name Warriors did in fact refer to Native Americans initially, and bow howdy was the Philadelphia Warriors’ logo super-racist by 2016 standards.

            Personally, I think Chief Wahoo is much more problematic than the name Indians. I don’t think the Indians (or the Kansas City Chiefs for that matter) need to change it. But as a non-NA, what I think about it doesn’t really matter.

    2. I’m not 100% sure of this, but I’m pretty sure the Warriors dropped all Native American association when they moved to the Bay Area in 1962.

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