Survivor Game Changers Episode 4 Liveblog: “The Tables Have Turned”

Follow us on Twitter and JotCast for episode 4 of Survivor: Game Changers! We’re trying out a new format this week, so please comment below on how it works for you.

Matt
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Matt

Matt has an irrational dislike for all contestants named Michel(l)e. Also if he ever takes a strong stance about why everyone else is wrong, it is he that is inevitably wrong.

Favorite seasons: Micronesia, Heroes vs. Villains, Palau, Philippines, Pearl Islands, Cagayan
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1,271 thoughts on “Survivor Game Changers Episode 4 Liveblog: “The Tables Have Turned”

  1. they found a way to slow down the during-episode comment stream.
    fight the power!
    Jk, the new format is cool-ish, still analyzing

  2. So #CoffeeIsForClosers is easily the most ridiculous Survivor hashtag ever, right?

    1. It is pretty ridiculous. I think you can count on one hand the number of non-ridiculous hashtags.

    2. I’m of two minds. On the one hand – the line is overplayed and was clearly picked to tie into Alec Baldwin’s awful Pixar movie. On the other hand – Glengarry Glen Ross is, if anything, more relevant now than it was when it was written, and should be celebrated, Mamet’s descent into insanity notwithstanding.

      1. Not a Pixar movie.

        Never a Pixar movie. Even Cars wouldn’t stoop that low.

        (Cars might stoop that low).

        1. That’s what they get for stretching a 20 page picture book with no plot into a movie because they liked the image of a baby in a suit.

  3. This pacing is telling me that this is going to end up being either the best or most overrated tribal ever.

  4. On the new system, nothing I have sent for the past five minutes has been posting at all.

      1. I have to approve it, and I am getting a lot of messages, so only some will go through

  5. I hope Varner survives tonight, not just because I like him but because I don’t like seeing anyone that torn up. If he were to go home on top of that, it’d be too much.

    1. This can the be the official “I’m not a fan of this kind of twist” thread. For the record, I am not a fan of this kind of twist.

      1. Its hard to even flip because you have to either guess who is being voted for or they have to declare it at tribal basically

      2. Survivor is about building bonds and maneuvering socially. Not being on the same beach as other people who are voting ruins that. I’m not saying I’d like the twist if both tribes were together for the few hours before tribal, but it would be better that way.

  6. One factor with this twist: You need to announce who you’re voting for in order to get flippers on the other tribe. But then you’re inviting for an idol to played. Bit of a catch-22, innit?

  7. Something which may be missed so I want to note it now: FFSDT checking in with Hali who assures her she switched it

  8. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

  9. I am in fucking tears and incredibly, incredibly pissed. Like close to boycott the season pissed

    1. This season is going to be the 2016 election boiled into 13 episodes (btw, Troy wins in this darkest timeline)

        1. I mean, there gotta be a reason that S35 and S36 are newbie seasons. If they’re gonna break from the “Every other season is returnee” formula, something’s tainted the well.

          1. But 32 and 33 were both newbie seasons as well (book-ended by returnee seasons)
            EDIT: and 29, 30 for that matter…

      1. I said in last week’s comments that I’m more and more afraid that all of the great players will be voted out early leaving us with a final group of people like Troy(zan), FFSDT, Hali, Debbie and Tai.

        1. He told Brad and thought it would result in Sandra going out. Instead it backfired and kicked out his 2nd closest ally.

          1. This. He told them the correct target. He had to know there was the possibility of an idol. He just thought they would vote out Sandra instead.

          2. But JT voted with his tribe for FFSDT. So how would this have resulted in Sandra going home if all 6 of JT’s tribe voted the same? (unless the plan after JT told Brad that)

    1. yeah idk why they didn’t go for Brad?? Like it seemed like they were going to for a second…

      1. I think Hali, rightly, flipped to preserve her current (albeit precarious) position. My view on her play was that she was trying to sway their vote so they could correctly play the idol. The irony is that, if they had, they’d have been ok.

        This is all JT’s fault.

        1. Ohhhhhh this all makes sense now. Like she was playing Nuku so they could keep Sierra safe and shoot their shot

      2. Was Hali in the scene when Tai told his tribe about the idol? I don’t think I saw her, and it would make sense that the four of them would be discussing things without Hali if they weren’t sure about her loyalties.

  10. Ok, let’s start our breakdown. Malcolm got twistfucked. But two players came out of this looking good A) FFSDT who was right to go after physical threats and moved her tribe off Sandra and B) Hali who is now loyal to her new tribe and still has Sandra over there who seems to have been her closest relationship over there.

        1. It was a small thing, but when Tai first said “I have an idea”, it was FFSDT who told Debbie to stop talking and listen to what Tai had to say.

    1. I’m confused about 2. Like Hali seemed to be telling them to target Brad instead? I mean obviously she didn’t tell Nuku about the idol. Like was she just aiming for Malcolm or what? Or did Nuku just straight up not listen to her…

      1. I’m so confused about this. Had they listened to Hali, Brad goes home… so it seemed like she was actually loyal to Nuku…?

        1. Is there a possibility that Hali was given false information from the rest of her tribe about where the idol was going?

        2. Someone explained it below that she was misdirecting to Brad so they could play the idol correctly but idk because if Nuku had listened and voted for Brad he would’ve been gone?? I feel like we need more #info

        1. It would make sense that those 4 would not want to tell Hali about the idol, since they weren’t sure about her loyalties.

  11. I do not know if I should be sad that Malcolm left or be happy for all the points Tai got me in Pick 4

    1. ummmm, did Tai play the idol for FFSDT or give it to her and she played it? Cos I want those points for FFSDT.

        1. I think at tribal plays are grey areas. I’m not sure how they’ve been handled recently.

          It’s possible they both get it.

    2. I’m just happy i got to keep Sandra in my Pick 4 😐 (and also because she’s the queen)

          1. ugh yeah i forgot the exact sequence of events, we’ll discuss it in staff chat and consult past instances

          2. I would like to lodge my opinion that the points should go to FFSDT because she played it and is on my team.

          3. They really shouldn’t, but I also have her and had Malcolm, so gimme points, I need them moar!

          4. Well if you decide to give Sierra the points for playing the idol, I demand that the name of Purple Rock’s Ultimate Survivor Tribal Council’s winner be changed from Parvati’s Double Play to Sandra and Jerri Play Some Idols.

  12. That was a terrible twist with a terrible outcome that absolutely never should’ve happened. I was going to say that that was an exciting tribal (because it objectively was), but god that was an awful idea.

    1. It was exciting, but impossible to follow. Bad TV with a bad result.

      And yes, I realize that I’m irrationally bitter because we lost a Nuku.

  13. Can we say it’s incredible that Sandra survived that? I thought it was going to take a BS twist combined with an idol play to get her out. And even THAT didn’t work.

        1. No, that’s my brother and sister. I don’t want Sandra to go out by being screwed because producers messed with game mechanics.

        1. The fact that no one will target her because she’s the obvious boot (gotta avoid those idols) means she’ll be waltzing straight to FTC. Just like always, only for a different reason this time. Crown it…

    1. I had mentally prepared myself for Sandra to go home–and even if it happened I don’t think I would’ve handled it well. But this…how did they not take her out? Do they want her to win again? If so, make this happen. This will slightly ease the pain of losing two of our faves so early.

  14. OK, I know we’re all heartbroken right now, but that WAS an exciting Tribal Council. If almost anyone else had gone home, we would be talking about what an incredible episode that was. As it stands, we lost a national treasure and that sucks. But let’s not blame the twist.

    1. Okay my point of reference is if that happened in all newbie season would be still be pissed off. My answer is yes because the player that was voted was not voted off by the people who they lived with but a group of people with a broad view. We still be angry that we lost this large character with much potential.

      1. I would be pissed on a newbie season. Except on a newbie season it would have been someone underedited so maybe not quite at my close to boycott pissed I am right now

      2. I think the closest parallel is the Michelle boot in Fiji,

        And I’m still really goddamned pissed about the Michelle boot in Fiji.

      1. We have a ton of sources of entertainment left, though, because this is a mostly great cast. Like I said below, I had a ten-minute sad, slow moan at the idea of Malcolm being gone, but it’s not like his exit turned this season into a charisma vacuum.

        I’d rather Survivor throw the dice every once in a while, even if they sometimes come up snake eyes, like they did tonight. Sometimes risk gets you reward, sometimes it means you pay. It’s still fun to risk it.

  15. I feel like I need to watch that again in slow motion. So many different goals from so many different players

  16. Debbie’s meltdown was one day too late. I’m not saying it would have saved Malcolm, but I’d like to think it would. Actually, I don’t want to think about it, I’ll just make myself sad.

  17. JT made the exact same mistake as in HvV, thinking an older male on the other tribe would blindly follow his half-baked suggestion

  18. They are damn lucky Malcolm’s exit interview wasn’t just him hurling expletives at production. Because that’s what I would have done

    1. He did seem to be crying a little. Very red eyes.

      He will play again. He’s too popular.

          1. Caleb got brought back after his game was prematurely ended by production’s negligence. So fair’s fair.

    2. This cannot have been the outcome Probst wanted.

      Plus the cruelty to tease us with a Malcolm-JT team-up and then snatch it away in the same episode…

    3. Malcolm Freberg: Live by the twists, die by the twists.
      On the other hand, dude doesn’t know how to play an unmemorable game. His least flashy appearance will go down as Philippines, and he made F4 that season. The TV gods will resurrect him.

  19. I like Malcolm fine, but I like the other people on Nuku more, and I was rooting for an idol play/underdog situation more than anything. So that was amazing. I loved literally every second of that tribal.

  20. Wow, do I feel for Malcolm. That hurt. I’m relieved for Sandra, but the randomness of it hurt. I thought he might go by Sandra’s hand for flipping or something based on the edit, but no. At least then, it would have been a deserved downfall, like Tony. This was just cruel.

  21. Ok the show is over so if you are just coming to the comments this is where the post-show comments begin

      1. I have to shut down the other thing adn come over here! this is just a rough place for late comers to know where it ended

    1. Hey, I remember someone in last week’s comments suggesting someone post something like that as soon as the episode is over. Who was that guy?

      1. It’ll be an even better idea next week. I think everyone can clearly tell where tribal ended.

    1. someone whose name was not being thrown out. JT spilling the beans about SDT so he’s still a “friend.”

    2. Strong competitor. Challenge threat. Someone who was not on their side and wasn’t ever going to be.

      1. This bit makes sense but also we are at 16 so theoretically we could go back to two tribes a’la Cambodia.

  22. Avoiding talking about the obvious for a moment, when Debbie said there was one person on Nuku who had strong bonds with them and Probst asked, “Who’s that?”
    You know “who’s that,” Probst. No need to play that dumb.

    1. It should have been amazing but it devolved into “WHAT?” and then a complete shitshow.

    2. This twist fucking owned. I ate up every second of that chaos, and I’m not going to hate it because it ended in tragedy. That’s Survivor; that happens.

      1. With some distance, I think I’ll be able to look back and appreciate this twist. I know I enjoyed the prospect of it a bunch leading up to this episode. But tonight is not the night for that.

        1. My roommate asked me to leave the room because I was just letting out slow, high-pitched moans.

          That doesn’t cancel out the ten minutes before that.

      2. This is a twist more people would have liked in a new player season when it wasn’t endangering their faves. Or even if Nuku hadn’t gone to tribal. Ignoring the players involved, an underdog tribe successfully sticking together to idol out someone THAT SOMEONE FROM THE OTHER TRIBE TOLD THEM THEY WERE VOTING OUT (amazing, btw, and funnier because it was JT)–that would be top shelf tribal material for sure. Not to mention all of the live tribal talk and confusion. It was glorious. The outcome sucks, but in time people will come to appreciate it for how amazing it was.

    3. I’d absolutely hate that twist if these were all noobies,but with a lot of this cast on their 3rd and 4th go at it Production should make things harder on them and throw twists at them to make sure we keep getting riveting tv. How dull would this be if we just had to slough through a predictable JT or Hali tonight then the other next week. At the very least a JT slaughter will be entertaining and justified if it happens next week as opposed to a boring swap *uck boot had they not created that 1 off twist.

          1. Up there, but they at least got to socialize for a day and had plenty of opportunities to be chosen. Michelle Yi was well positioned and then had a near zero chance to save herself.

          2. True but Jonathan and Wanda also fucked off a lot of people in that first night before the choices. Michelle Yi just got screwed by being in an immunity with only people from an opposition alliance after the fucking swap.

          3. It’s Michelle Yi. There was nothing she could do, and it was a BS twist. Malcolm, while the victim of a BS twist, had options that might have hurt his game later, but could have preserved him then. Michelle Yi had none.

    1. if @disqus_GpYJ355BVM:disqus hadn’t told me there were spoilers then I’d be tempted to read the facebook page.

          1. No, I am still talking about last week.

            However, interestingly, last weekend, Reddit was like “Has there ever been a two tribal comes together and vote out one person?” so regular Survivor reddit is spoiled.

          2. It’s possible but as soon as I saw the tweet from the survivor account yesterday it seem like that’s where they were going to me anyway.

  23. I have thought about it long and hard (or rather, for five minutes) and have concluded that of the many, many people I could blame for this disastrous outcome…

    I blame Varner. He had ONE JOB.

      1. Fair play.

        It’s still his fault. Ball, hole, Tavua, probably a Hali exit, but if not then a Troy idol and someone I like less than Malcolm going home.

    1. Varner should have swapped out when he got the ball in the inner circle.
      Part of me wants to add “phrasing” to that.

    2. Varner never would’ve been up there if Michaela hadn’t biffed it completely.

      It was JT > success, Michaela > L, Malcolm > success, Varner > L.

      1. How in the world did Michaela biff the exact same thing she demolished last season?

        1. I looked down when Malcolm had done it, assuming it was still Michaela, then argued with my wife that of course Malcolm wasn’t doing a thing that required steady hands.

          That she was able to rewind it to show me up will haunt our marriage for weeks.

  24. JT needs to learn that loyalty to the tribe he’s on is more important than building cross-tribe alliances for the merge. He should know better by now.

        1. A few people have said this but Malcom is too easy-going. I think JT needs somebody like Fishbach who will more neurotically keep an eye on him and steer him straight when he gets a dumb idea.

          1. And Fishbach needs someone who can calm him down when he starts getting anxious. They are the wind beneath each other’s wings!

      1. They completed each other and together made something beautiful. Tragedy and hilarity and tears and mean people laughing about them occur when they are separated.

    1. Yep, exact same mistake as in HvV.

      Proven now to be a lousy strategic player without Fishbach around to micromanage him.

      1. I think it’s caliber of players, too. The aw-shucks good ol’ boy routine works better when the entire cast hasn’t seen you win one season and throw an idol to Russell in another.

      1. Super hot take, I know. But there’s only what, like 3 four time players? He’ll take his place among them.

  25. Frankly Malcolm got double twist screwed: Firstly: this to tribes one vote thing sucks. Secondly: how come there was an idol for Tai when Troy had to find it at a challenge.

    1. I think they swap out the clues pretty regularly, though maybe hide them in the same spots. I don’t think they would hide an idol clue for a challenge idol that couldn’t be found before the next tribal.

      1. No my point is, I don’t mind multiple ways of finding an idol in a season. I take offense to uneven ways depending on beach. If it’s challenge idols at Tavua it should be at Mana and Nuku.

        1. I got the feeling it was supposed to be difficult to dig up without attracting attention, but no one else seemed to be around when Tai dug it up.

          1. Don’t care. Not equal to at challenge as it can be found until tribal. Also hidden before a tribal where you don’t need it hidden from your tribe.
            I just want consistency between tribes. It’s a similar principle to hating the haves and have nots in Fiji. Conditions should be equal as far as production can control them, the players and social dynamics are where things are fluid and different depending on people and tirbes.

          2. Didn’t they say that they had a list that they were going through as idols were found? So, Troy finds the challenge idol, so the next one is dig at the beach and the next one is at treemail or at tribal or up in the trees somewhere or whatever. I just assumed that it got swapped out when Troy found his.

          3. If there was ever a tribal for the Idol Hidden at Tribal, this would have been it. I can only assume it will be at the merge then.

          4. BUT THAT ISN’T THE SAME TRIBE. When they were at challenges in Cambodia, Wentworth found hers at the challenge but then Jeremy had to do the same. THE SAME. Then they swapped the way it’s hidden.

          5. I think it may have been a clue for a challenge idol had it been found before the challenge, but they may have swapped it out based on when it was found.

          6. I get that. I can see why production would do it that way, but it’s still not fair, you’re right.

          7. There are many ways in which it can be fair, while still not being equal. The decision can be random (we have idols at camp, challenge, and TC, and each tribe gets one of them, decided randomly). There can be a set rule (the paper is blank, the producers have a rule to decide where the idol is depending on possibly when it was found, etc.). Etc.

            I agree with you that Survivor should not favor some players or tribes (it should be anonymous), but I disagree that it has to be equal. Even because it is *never* equal: tribes get different islands; they get different people in them; challenges favor some people types over the others; idol locations favor some people over others; and so on.

          8. As I said, conditions equal as far as production can make them. This is fully in productions control. Islands, animal life, whether you get an infection from the shit filled ocean are not in their control, but idol hiding is.

    2. Jeff said pre-season that they were mixing up idols this season. They would do one hidden at challenge, then one hidden at camp, then one somewhere else, etc.

      1. I have expressed my feelings below about not minding that, but minding that each level of idol, ie pre-merge, post merge, re-hidden aren’t the same as each other. I just feel each tribes idol should need to be found in the same way. Have the post merge one be the next iteration.

        1. At the start of last week’s episode, idols were hidden at the challenge and clues were hidden at each camp. Troy(zan) was the only one to find the clue.

          At the start of this episode, idols (and clues) were hidden at each camp. Tai was the only one to find the clue/idol.

          Wherever the clue/idol is hidden/re-hidden each episode, it’s the same at each camp. So Ozzy’s tribe and Malcolm’s tribe could have found a clue/idol at their camp in this episode.

          This changing of idol locations means that if someone has searched their camp for an idol, maybe 3 days later there is a brand new clue/idol hidden at camp, somewhere they already looked. Maybe there is an idol hidden in one of the places JT looked last week (when the idols were at the challenge) but because he already searched there he’s not looking there again.

        1. But then everyone who isn’t the first voter has to rummage through the urn with the votes in it, which I don’t think production would want. I hope the idol’s hidden out in the seating area somewhere and they had to figure out how to grab it in front of everyone without attracting attention.

          1. I think the fact that the voting booth has a window on the voter’s right and we’ve seen multiple camera shots through that window means that if the idol’s hidden at tribal it’s in that booth and to properly see someone getting the idol they installed that window in the booth (so it’s probably on the voter’s left when they’re writing their vote).

    3. So you’re in for grabbing our torches and pitchforks and heading for Probst and/or Burnett’s house I take it?

      1. I just don’t need lots of twists, I think especially in returnee seasons the players make interesting and dare I say it game changing moves. Cambodia is full of one vote alliances (or yuk voting blocs) that switch things up a lot and allow a player like Wentworth the thrive from the bottom. Or Spencer to play himself into a FTC.

        1. Oh, I was being serious about the torches and pitchforks. I agree, Cambodia was all returnees and totally legit gameplay without unnecessary, bullshit twists. They don’t need to force it. I don’t know why they thought they did. This is why I like Survivor more than Big Brother

          1. Right. You’re saying these people are game changers. Let them be fucking game changers. Production are not the game changers

      2. “Let’s hang them in effigy!”
        “To hell with that. Let’s hang them right here in Boston Fiji!”

    4. We don’t know that there wasn’t an idol for Malcolm at Nuku. They just didn’t find it.

      1. My issue is the lack of consistency between tribes. That is all. Wouldn’t like it if Mana’s idol was non-challenge based too.

        1. Last week if someone from each tribe had found the clue there would have been 3 idols at the challenge, one for each tribe.

          This week, there were 3 idols, one at each camp.

          They’re mixing things up with locations of idols episode to episode, but for the different tribes, it’s consistent within each episode.

          1. Jeff said during Cambodia that when they hid idols at challenges, they only hid an idol for each tribe if someone had found the clue. So if 3 tribes were competing but one tribe had a player find the clue, only one idol would be placed. And once that challenge was over, they got rid of the hidden clues at camp and planted new clues for the next challenge. So they are consistent for hiding and removing clues by challenge/episode

          2. you are not understanding me. The Takeo idol had to be found at a challenge, the other tribe’s idol ALSO had to be found at a challenge. Here the Green tribe’s idol had to be found at a challenge but the red tribe idol didn’t. I don’t like the inconsistency.

          3. I’m understanding you, but what you’re describing isn’t what the show is doing or what they said pre-season what they’d be doing.

            During last week’s episode there were clues at each camp saying “There is an idol hidden at the challenge.” If no one had found the clues they would have been taken away by Production and new clues hidden for another idol hidden at a challenge. Once one person found this clue, then it was a ticking clock for the other tribes to find their clues because at that challenge whichever tribe had found that clue, their idol would have been placed in their section of the challenge. But once that challenge was over, all remaining clues saying that an idol was hidden at that challenge were taken away.

            Production said pre-season that they want to shake things up with the idols. They want an idol to be hidden at a challenge, then the next idol to be hidden at camp, then … etc. They don’t mean one single idol – if Tribe A finds an idol at the next challenge then in the next episode Tribe B and Tribe C’s idols aren’t still at a challenge, and Tribe A’s idol is hidden at camp. Every tribe has their idol in a similar location. The idol for last week’s episode’s was hidden at that challenge. Once that challenge is over that idol is gone and they move onto the next location for where to place an idol for all three tribes.

          4. Well then the problem is that you don’t like what the show is doing with idols (which is fine), not that the show isn’t being fair with the idols (which they are, even if you don’t like it).

          5. No, you think the show isn’t being fair with idols, but I do think they are being unfair. You are repeating things I already said I think is unfair. Dude we disagree, that’s cool.

          6. Fine. I really don’t see how the show is being unfair since they’re doing exactly what they said before the season they would be doing, and it has been consistent week to week. If you don’t like their new idol rules, like I said, I can accept that. But their new idol rules are fair.

  26. One-time Redemption Island? Please? That’d be a Game Changer! Just Malcolm on it! No duels, no fuss. Yes, I second the idea.

  27. If I had the gif from tonight of everyone literally scrambling at tribal, this is where I would post it. Because that’s what this chat is feeling like. Has one of our post-episode chats ever devolved this quickly?

      1. Has anyone ever seen Excalibur? It’s a rather long movie about King Arthur and features a young(ish) Gabriel Byrne and Liam Neeson, and a reasonably-not-too-old Patrick Stewart. It’s totally bombastic and cheesy in a good early 80’s-movie kind of way. It even manages to work in the quest for the Holy Grail. Spoiler alert: everyone dies but Percival. I’d give it three stars, but this Malcolm business is coloring my worldview, so one and a half stars.

          1. “Young Bruce Wayne” makes me think of Gotham, which makes me even more sad than I already am.

          2. As crazy-bad as Gotham is, Bruce and Alfred’s final scene in the most recent episode, where Bruce vows that he will never kill, is the best the show has ever done convincing me that this is the story of the kid who will become Batman.

            The scene where Bruce has the shard of glass to Jerome’s throat in the hall of mirrors is pretty good too.

          3. Possibly a different version of Excalibur, but honestly I’ve lost track of what version of young Bruce Wayne has gone to see that fateful and terrible night that Malcolm got eliminated by Production.

          4. Didn’t he go see The Mark of Zorro?

            Who am I kidding, that movie has been changed so many times, if they rebooted Batman now they’d make the movie American Beauty.

          1. It’s currently on HBO Go, and before I had my son, it was a great “Saturday afternoon fall asleep on the couch watching a movie” movie. Now it’s a great “Saturday afternoon Max is napping I should get things done but I have no energy so fall asleep on the couch watching a movie” movie. So, you know, it still holds up in that area pretty well.

        1. I haven’t seen it, but I just edited a book by the son of the director (who’s also in it). Fun fact: they had to re-record all the dialogue because the sound quality was rubbish, and in the edit his dad replaced his voice with that of hid older sister’s.

          1. Cool! And yes, the dubbing is pretty painfully obvious, not necessarily because it’s terrible, but just some of the voices are clearly not right for the actors, or there’s just something a little too clear and precise about them for a movie that takes place mostly outdoors.

        2. I haven’t seen it, but I just edited a book by the son of the director (who’s also in it). Fun fact: they had to re-record all the dialogue because the sound quality was rubbish, and in the edit his dad replaced his voice with that of hid older sister’s.

          1. I should have, as she is ageless (except for -spoiler alert- the end of this movie). Also a ridiculously young-looking Ciarin Hinds.

          2. This just makes me want to watch it again. When I saw it, I knew almost no one in the film…yes, I’m that freakin’ old!

          3. Yeah, the second time I had seen it was long after the first, and I was amazed by how there were so many people in it that I knew.

        3. I love Excalibur! That director has made some pretty enjoyable and often pretty goofy films.

      2. I placed Top 4 in a Pokémon tournament this weekend. I made a stupid error that cost me my match. But it was still fun.

          1. Yeah, this was a local bring 6 pick 3 at an Anime Convention (Shuto Con). I am happy I did well. I almost got booted in the 16 round. It was a best of three and I lost the first match and was down to just my Aegislash against a rival Aegislash and Megakazam. I was able to outplay him and won round three.

            I also got to take one of the Tournament’s host Pokémon. I picked Tapu Koko since mine sucked.

          2. Singles. I knew from a previous bout that his Aegislash had Shadow Ball, Substitue, Kings Shield and a steel move (with Steelium Z). Mine was Shadow Sneak, Iron Head, Swords Dance, Sacred Sword. He had lost some his lost health from Substitute (which my Weavile destroyed before taking a Corkscrew Crash). I also knew that a +2 Shadow sneak would not kill his Aegislash in Shield mode.

            I decided to go for a swords dance, figuring he would go back to King’s Shield (he was in attack mode from killing my Weavile) (he did). I then went for another swords dance, because I knew I could take a shadow ball in Shield form. I (barely) lived as predicted and got to +4. I then shadow sneaked, I knew he would King’s shield but could not risk him using an attack or substitute. I took the attack loss, but was still at +3. This forced him to use King’s Shield for a second time in a roll, which failed and he died to shadow sneak. Megakazam is fast as hell (can outrun a Gyarados with a dragon dance, as I learned) and hits like a mack-truck, but has the defenses of a paper towel and no answer to priority whatsoever, so he died instantly to shadow sneak (in the third match I proved my theory that Megakazam at full health could not take an unboosted shadow sneak from an Aegislash). I was proud of that.

            I then lost a match because I forgot Alolan Ninetails was part fairy. That’s life.

    1. I have a text message chain with just me and my friend saying “What is happening?” back and forth for a good five minutes.

  28. So, ignoring who got voted out, how did this tribal rank for everyone in terms of entertainment value?
    There’s a lot happening on Twitter/in this chat, so it’s hard for me to get a read.
    Personally, I love a good live tribal with lots of whispering and side conversations, so this was like Tribal Council porn for me, but I’m sensing that people didn’t like it? I’m confused.

      1. I was literally screaming.
        Like, literally, not literally as in figuratively. Literally. I was so into it. I had no idea what was going on, but I loved every second of it.

    1. For some reason it was better in Caramoan, probably because I knew my favorite was safe. This was the same process, but there was significant risk involved. Too nerve-wracking, 7/10

    2. I think I was too stressed out by the thought of one of my favourites leaving to enjoy it.

      And then one of my favourites did leave, and never again will we know hope or joy.

    3. Honestly I am conflicted. Live tribals can be interesting because they introduce uncertainty, but in a process that is mostly worked out beforehand. The problem with this twist as I see it is that the two sides could not talk beforehand, meaning that it wasn’t about the social bonds because you can’t tell people where to vote during tribal for fear of idols.

      Also from a pure entertainment perspective I found it to be confusingly edited adn hard to parse which tainted it a bit for me

      1. I agree. I love a live tribal. But it’s 20 minutes after, and I’m still not 100% sure that I followed what happened. That’s too confusing. I should have been able to parse it out by now.

      2. It kind of reminds me of a Double Eviction in Big Brother for this reason. Like it’s the kind of twist (POTENTIALLY) where people can coalesce and get rid of a threat with minimal blood on their hands. Then again Big Brother has a different strategic structure and also I think the execution was v off in terms of narrative coherence and strategy

      3. My biggest pet peeve is that when Brad finally dropped the hammer and told Debbie that it was Malcolm, the editors deliberately dropped the audio to create more suspense.

        1. I get why they were trying to build suspense and keeping that a secret, but it left the TC feeling discombobulated. But, you know my love of hot mess tribals, so I loved it anyway.

        2. I think hiding that Malcolm was in trouble until the reveal of that vote was the right move. Whatever else you think of it, that punch LANDED.

          1. Agreed. I had *no* idea who was getting the first non-Sierra vote. Well, Brad’s voting confessional said “You are the best player out here” so I figured it wasn’t Michaela (just because no one saw her season so he wouldn’t know how good a player she is).

      4. I’m with you. I think it was also a problem that the viewers were spectacularly invested in one side over the other. As I said earlier, this is kind of the like if we switched teams in Fiji, so that the horsemen tricked Yau-Man into wasting his idol and sent Earl home.

        1. No, it’s like if you had a tribal with a random selection of players that gave the Horseman the majority over our heroes, and then they knocked off a totally screwed Michelle.

          THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND IT WAS TERRIBLE!

      5. For me afterwards, I am still confused and thinking, what happened? Did JT know what was happening? Why did Hali go with her shitty tribe?

      6. I’m with you. It scored very high on the “I’M TERRIFIED AND CONFUSED” metric, and that’s absolutely what they were going for, but I don’t actually like being terrified and confused.

        I honestly didn’t realize the core story of this episode- JT backstabs his tribe, but bungles the strike and loses his closest ally until I started reading the comments. That’s not what I want from a Survivor episode.

    4. Way too confusing to be actually entertaining. Had there been a small moment of standing up it would have been fine. But it was impossible to begin to follow.

    5. Nope. It showed to me why if they are going to do this bullshit twist, they at least all need to go to the same beach. That’s not the point of Survivor

      1. Yeah that is the thing. If both tribes went to a beach together… well I could be behind that

          1. oh please of course it would because the show would have the opportunity to pull people aside to get a confessional summing up the plans. there is no chance to do that in a live tribal setting

          2. Sure… but the show would have also been motivated to keep it confusing for us to obfuscate the result.

      2. I don’t think it’s a twist we’ll see again, but having them go back to the same beach definitely would have made it a little more palatable.

        1. Going back to the same beach would suck if you’re the person who understandably left your idol behind for a challenge and you don’t go back to your beach.

    6. I thought it was awesome. I don’t mind the twist at all either. I think if anything it was unfair to the losers tribe. The truth is that Malcolm should be leaping with joy at the twist, but he screwed everything up.

      1. I don’t really have a problem with it either, but I do understand why people don’t think it was fair or well-executed. The tribal itself with all the scrambling was awesome, though. I think I’d need to watch it a dozen more times to follow what was happening, but that’s what made it so fun.

    7. I hated. One of the things I like about the show is the strategy but since they weren’t all on a beach together rather than strategy it was just a random mess of things that I couldn’t really follow. I felt like I should think it’s great because it was chaos but it just came off as a mess to me and since I couldn’t follow what was going on closely enough it was not interesting.

      1. I thought TC was very entertaining, but I agree with you that this is the type of twist that really messes with the game mechanics. It may be a bridge too far.

        1. Next thing you know, there will be 11 tribes of two racing across the Fijian Islands.

    8. I think part of it might depend on how the rest of the seasons play out – if it’s not very good, this might be the episode people blame for that. I thought it was really entertaining but the forced feel takes a lot of the shine off and it’s not as strategically interesting as most live tribals.

      1. That’s a really good point. Based on his role in this, I’d guess that JT is a likely boot for next week, and I think we’ll see some dominoes fall in terms of favorite players because of this, which people will blame on this twist/tribal. And that’s going to sour it.

          1. It’s 25th overall for me. It’s not like I *love* it.
            I just love Randy.
            But I can honestly see some of the people that are sort of Ann Veal picks having an unexpectedly solid and interesting game once they aren’t overshadowed by the elite players. Not that I want to see all of my faves gone, but I don’t think this is the final nail in the coffin, either.

    9. I liked it. And I liked having the tribes at their own beaches. Added a new element of strategy. I didn’t want to see Malcolm go, but I didn’t want to see Sandra go either, and that’s who I expected to go toward the end.

    10. I loved it and was completely entertained. Watched it twice before allowing myself to watch who was voted out. Was worried a bit for Sandra but was convinced it was Malcolm because the editors dropped the sound whenever Brad tribe started whispering names. Very sad to see Malcolm go but seeing such a big player go out during such a big tribal was great.

    11. I really liked it (although it sucked to lose Malcolm), but I feel like all the people who didn’t like this tribal probably wouldn’t be complaining as much if Tai had misplayed the idol and FFSDT or Brad (or literally anyone on that tribe) had been voted out. Whereas anyone on Nuku getting voted out was going to piss off a bunch of people regardless.

  29. Random thoughts:

    Well, we didn’t see anything in the Previously On Survivor about Troy(zan)’s idol, so that bodes well for Andrea.

    “Hali, you have no options. None.” Why do returning players say things like this that they know will email used against them?

    Only 2 players per tribe compete? Lame.

    Brad makes a big comeback in the challenge. It’s like he has past experience throwing an object at a target …

    The less said about that post-reward challenge hashtag gotten the better.

    It’s kinda hard to take Ozzy seriously in his confessional with his Pippi Longstocking pigtails.

    Are Malcolm and JT going to vote out Sandra? Well we only got JT’S confessional saying that in that scene; we never heard from Malcolm.

    “We’ve got a huge lead guys.” Varner, why’d you have to say that?

    Aubry speaks right after the challenge and before the commercial? Her first confessional this episode? Uh-oh.

    Tai says he’s thinking. Debbie tries to talk about herself but FFSDT of all people is able to pick up on Tai having an idea that is worth listening to.

    Brad says in his business this is called a Mexican standoff. Which business is this? Football? Law? Interior decorating?

    THIS TRIBAL IS CRAZY!!

    Malcolm gets voted out! JT is crying. Sandra looks like she doesn’t give a f*ck.

    So much for most people’s winner pick. If you’ll excuse me, this room is rather dusty, and I have something in my eye …

    1. Brad’s past experience would most appropriately lead him to bodyslam Troy and Malcolm, giving them both severe concussions.

      1. Next season – everyone wears a helmet at challenges!

        Also, in my Seinfeld rewatch I just saw your episode this week. “From The Hoffer-Mandale Clinic in Belgium.”

    2. It’s kind of hard to take Ozzy seriously in his confessional with his Pippi Longstocking pigtails.

      I wonder how shocked he and Andrea were when they both showed up on day one with the same hairdo.

  30. Oh, that was some bullshit. I’ve never been this mad at an episode of Survivor that didn’t have Michele winning a million dollars. Malcom just got knocked out of the game by a guy who showed us in his first season that he couldn’t count to five using his fucking fingers! Ugh!

    1. I’m torn. It was one of the most unfair twists ever, but it was also an incredibly entertaining TC.

        1. If you want to get spicy you can call her FFGCSDT (fan favorite GAME CHANGER Sierra Dawn Thomas)

          1. This is why everyone should stick with the standardized, approved acronym MODBOCQOTA&TFMSDT

          2. It’s still incorporated in my avi (I’m actually not sure how long I should leave it like this)

  31. Poll: Which Survivor should I be irrationally angry at about this? I’m choosing Debbie so far.

    1. 1. Varner, for choking in the challenge
      2. Tai, for finding the idol
      3. JT, for spilling the beans
      4. Debbie, just because

    2. Debbie can’t help herself. JT should know better. And this outcome was completely JT’s fault.

    3. Honestly? Sandra played the thing with Hali so poorly. From the start, but particularly when Hali said she wasn’t ready to vote. At minimum, the _second_ she says, “You might regret it,” you stop and see what’s up.

      1. “They don’t got no idol, girl.”

        Seriously, Sandra did not come off well here.

        And the look Michaela gave Sandra after she said that to her …

      1. I didn’t know they could do that!
        Yes I did, I just never really paid attention to it.
        I didn’t pay attention that they could do that!

  32. It seems like a lot of people are still confused about what ultimately went down during the chaotic tribal. He’s what I think happened:

    #1. JT screwed up. This was JT’s fault. He told Brad that the vote was on Sierra (was this not shown on TV?) and he asked Brad to take out Sandra. Brad used the information and took out JT’s ally instead.

    #2. Hali either didn’t know about the idol, or she didn’t know who it was being used for, or she was fed false information that it would be played for Brad.

    #3. Malcom was targeted because Brad is in command and, as Brad said, Malcom was the best player in the game. He was a threat to win and, without Malcom now that tribe is going to suck at challenges.

    1. Hali is definitely the wild card in whether her decision was brilliant or idiotic.

      The answer regards of her intentions or involvement is that her actions were idiotic. She was one of two people guaranteed not to go home. You sit on your hands and vote with your temporary tribe. That’s it.

      Why? Because with your old tribe you can easily claim later on that you didn’t know about the idol or that you didn’t want to give them false information because you were out of the loop. With your new tribe you can point out you were being loyal and never wavered. You flipping leads to a thrown challenge and your name put down. You voting with your temporary tribe is 100% forgivable by your former tribe as you had no information on the direction of the vote and couldn’t be held accountable. There is absolutely no reason to open your mouth in that situation.

      Luckily for her, JT played it worse.

          1. They ALL have to agree unanimously to vote someone out. Without a revote, that person can’t just pick a side. With two tribes, neither will want to lose a member and it would almost definitely go to rocks.

          2. Which, frankly, would have been the only conclusion worse than this one. Imagine if tonight resulted in a random draw instead.

          3. In a random draw, there’s hope for Debbie to go home. That was never happening without rocks.

          1. That concept sounds like a game changer! Whiterockjohn and Whiterockandy host the podcast and Whiterockmark does the liveblog. We have a winner here!

          2. idk, a Survivor fan podcast? I can’t think of anything this world needs less than that.

          3. “If there’s one thing this world needs, it’s more Survivor podcasts. Could you imagine a world without Survivor podcasts?”

            (imagines a field with children of every culture holding hands and singing)

            Shudder.

          4. you can make it bigger by hitting the expand in new window icon (it’s the one with like four arrows that don’t touch)

        1. They can now — no revote means 5-5-1 (or any other tie formed this way) goes to rocks.

    2. Ummmmm, Brad told them at camp that Sandra was the biggest threat and they should go after her. FFSDT said they should go Malcolm.

    3. If nothing else (I personally thought it was awesome, but people here apparently disagree), this episode gives us *a lot* do discuss.

      #1. Did JT flip, or was he only trying to secure favor with Brad by assuring him that it wasn’t going to be him? If he was just trying to calm Brad, then man, this was such a stupid move. But if he actually “flipped”, then it is not obvious to me that he was wrong. (Not obvious that he is right, either.) While the show seemed to try to imply that they could flip the tribe on Sandra, I really have my doubts. And if he is dead next tribal, he might as well play the long game, and even short game trying to get rid of the leader of the tribe.

      #2. By watching the show I got the distinct impression that everyone there knew of the idol. And it seems that she knew what was going to happen, when she said, “I think we need to talk more, guys!,” and when Sandra cut her off, she said, “Well, your loss…,” like she knew how things would end. My view is that she is connected to Sierra; she wanted to take Brad down instead. She was willing to flip to take him out, but not to take down her ally, which the other tribe wanted.

      #3. Yeah, Sandra is a threat to win, but she is not very scary player. Malcolm must seem much scarier to them, especially to Brad, whose plan of victory must certainly involve winning at least some IC.

      1. I don’t think he flipped because he voted Sierra. I think JT just wanted to let Brad know it wasn’t him because they’re bros.

        1. Agreed that JT didn’t “officially” flip, and was trying to mollify Brad while still being able to tell his tribe that he wrote down the name they agreed on. Not a great look, but I’d only count this as an out and out flip if JT knew about the idol. I don’t think he did.

        2. In RHAP, Stephen gave another possible version for JT’s actions. According to him, JT wanted to “blindside” Sandra, but do so sneakily. So he told the pink tribe who Nuku was voting for, hoping they would idol Sandra out. But he would vote for FFSDT, so that if they didn’t have an idol, he wouldn’t get in a bad position for nothing. (Of course, he didn’t predict that Brad would decide to take out Malcolm instead.)

          Naturally, Stephen is not at all impartial in this discussion (and to his credit, he is very upfront with that). But it is believable. We’ll have to wait and see JT’s explanation.

      2. Michaela and Sandra did not know Brad’s tribe had an idol. Michaela asked Sandra “What if they have an idol?” and Sandra replied “Girl, they don’t got no idol.” leaving Michaela to glare at Sandra.

    4. I am just now watching the rest of the episode and they made sure to emphasize that Hali did not know about the idol, because Brad wanted it to be played for one of the four (meaning Debbie, Tai, SDT, and Brad).

      1. I didn’t see Hali in the scene where Tai told his tribe that he had an idol. It makes sense in that those 4 would not completely trust Hali and did not want her to tell the other tribe about the idol.

        1. Yeah, although they were showing the full circle, so they could have edited Hali out. But, Brad did say the “4 of us” not the “5 of us”. But Brad is a bad counter, so….

    5. I don’t think it’s clear that JT said it was Sierra. He definitely said it wasn’t Brad. And maybe that fact alone helped them by process of elimination, but I doubt it was intentional.

        1. If so, I stand corrected. It was chaotic and hard to keep track of all the side convos. If he gave away the target, that is a huge mistake, because they all know idols exist.

  33. Has anyone actually seen JT since this was filmed? Are we sure he’s still alive, and that Sandra didn’t murder him immediately after tribal? (Or at least, have someone else murder him. She’d have helped with the cleaning and everything).

    1. I don’t watch “Next time on…”, but I’d love it if the “Next time on…” was a promo for a Law & Order episode about who killed JT.

        1. That would really ruin the brand. They have to go after about two red herrings before finding the real killer. Though I would love the montage of the police interviewing everyone on the island, and everyone saying some variation of, “Of course it was Sandra. There is literally no other possibility.”

          1. “She’s wearing his skull as a tiara and picking her teeth with one of his finger bones.”

            “Yes, but that could all be circumstantial, sir.”

          2. Yes, but the final twist? JT killed himself and framed Sandra in an elaborate scheme to accomplish…uh…

            Sandra did however eat him afterwards.

          3. That was how Sandra always envisioned the division of labor. JT does the killing. Sandra does the eating.

    2. Sooooo many Sandra as Jesse Pinkman jokes brewing. By which I mean really just the one joke.

      1. I haven’t watched Breaking Bad yet, so unfortunately I don’t know what the joke is.

        I am amused however that when I google Jesse Pinkman, the info box tells me his parents are Adam Pinkman and…Mrs Pinkman.

  34. JT was physically crying, as much as he messed up, hard to blame for this crazy ill-advised situation. Why Survivor would put in a twist that unnecessarily jeopardizes its best players is beyond me? Still processing this.

    Clearly Brad and FFSDT handled this well by making Tai feel comfortable enough to play the idol for them when he wouldn’t do that in his own season.

    And not voting Brad in the first place after him destroying the reward challenge is on NuKu as a whole. Or not booting Debbie or Hali who they know will never get an idol played on them. They played it to cocky and it got Malcolm Burned.

    Ugh just ugh

      1. Voting Hali is the Matt Elrod move. After the episode, I thought voting JT was the move, but that would’ve created a tie situation.

    1. It is NOT hard to blame JT for being a ****ing snitch. Again. Just like HvV.

      **** snitches man

      1. I really think he lost his game by this. The more I watch him, the more I think Stephen did more than we even saw. And I always thought Stephen was the brains of the two.

          1. There’s still time, let it breathe. Adam got to fuck up three times before winning, JT still has two to go.

          2. He’s lost his shot at redemption, even if he wins again. I think. At least among the fanbase (and possibly me)

          3. I think his win alone is HOF worthy. His FTC was one of the greats. That being said he has 2 extremely bad moves in his two most recent games. He isn’t the only person to blame here in this case. In HvV that’s all on him.

          4. I mean his tribe is of course going to completely blame him, just not necessarily saying we should.

          5. Yep that was my part of my OP, like why FFSDT? (my phone autocorrected to FFSDT, which is cool)

          6. I think Sandra thought she was their strongest female, which makes no sense because why are you trying to get rid of strong females and not just strong period and also I think Debbie may be stronger than FFSDT.

          7. It’s INSANE!!!! Did they even watch Worlds Apart? Sierra changed the game by steadfastly refusing to change the game. Sierra is by far one of the 5 least threatening players on the entire season.

    2. I would’ve loved the play of picking the weakest member of the tribe and saying, “You would’ve voted Hali out next anyway. Do you really want to burn an idol on her?”

      1. That would have been the right move for sure. No way they would have played the idol for her even if they had guessed right. Flush out their idol if they have one and ensure your tribe is safe.

    3. Yes: people play the idol “up” (or sideways), never down. If Nuku had just went for Debbie or Hali, even if the other tribe was sure they were voting for them, they might still not play the idol; not being completely sure, there is no chance in hell they would. Nuku was just way way too arrogant for their sake. (Including Malcolm.) Sandra even said, “There is no way in hell they have an idol.”

      1. Sandra just lost a key ally pre-merge by underestimating the power of idols and an idiotic move by one of her numbers.

        She is going to win again.

  35. Jesus, 323 comments. I’m off to bed. I’ll try and post incessantly on my journey to work. But until then know somewhere in London a woman is likely having a confusing dream about this tribal council.

    1. I’m picturing you waking up in the middle of the night yelling “Fuck you, Brad Culpepper!”

  36. … Am I a terrible person that i’m just happy I wasn’t one of the 50 or so percent of people fucked over by the big winner pick going home in the fantasy league

    1. I’m even worse. Ozzy and Troyzan are on my pick 4 team, so I was almost rooting for them to win.

        1. Right there with you, man. I was cackling in delight thinking of how my fantasy odds increased.

    2. I’m already out of it so I don’t care. I had him in my 2 person league, but I also had Tai, so it evens out.

      1. I have Caleb, Malcolm, JT, and Sarah in my Pick 4, so there’s a non-zero chance I could’ve picked four consecutive pre-merge boots

  37. *Once More With Feeling voice* I’ve got a theory.
    This season, they’re taking ideas they’ve been floating around for seasons but haven’t done and using this season as a test for all of them. Then they tie it into this stupid “Game Changers” theme because they couldn’t get the FCC to approve “Survivor: Sh*tshow Islands.”

      1. Please, this is horse-off-the-wagon season seven shit right here. I guarantee whoever came up with this twist is the same person behind the slayerettes.

        OK, that was mean. Survivor didn’t screw up *that* badly.

          1. As dumb as the knights are, them running away in a Winnebago and being chased on horseback kinda saved that whole plot line for me. They went just over-the-top enough for it to turn back into greatness.

          2. Season 5 as a whole is good. Minus Riley, who sucked (although he did get his one good line of “People say they’re recycling. They’re not recycling” this season), and Spiral and Weight of The World (which was so blatant an episode of stalling I’m surprised Walking Dead hasn’t copied its plot).
            If I were to rank the seasons in my order of preference, I’d go:
            2 – even the bad episodes are enjoyable (except for Go Fish), and the great episodes are amazing
            3 – more consistent than season 2 but there aren’t as many outstanding episodes
            4 – underrated season, and the Initiative storyline hampers it, but it is probably the funniest season overall
            1 – season 1 hasn’t aged particularly gracefully, and the score is terrible, but its cheerful exuberance keeps it afloat. And Prophecy Girl is a perfect episode
            5 – a handful of great episodes (Fool For Love, The Body, Intervention, The Gift), and a fairly serviceable story overall, but the first time a lot of the dynamics between the characters just felt flat out wrong, and it seemed to struggle to ever really get back on track there
            7 – Buffy at its most mediocre. Kennedy and Rona were *the wooooooooorst*, the season plodded along like it was at 1/2 speed (I feel like if this season were 10 or 11 episodes it might have been pretty decent), and they freaking kicked Buffy out of HER OWN HOUSE. Really, the main highlights were Anya and Andrew. Even Conversations With Dead People felt like a bit of a stall. Full marks for Chosen, though.
            6 – abysmal. Once More, With Feeling is a country mile better than anything else. Two words that sum up how bad this season is: magic addiction. Giles, your excuse for leaving is bullshit. And look how well it turned out. Awful. Awful season.

          3. The Body isn’t a great episode. It’s possibly the best episode they’ve ever done.

          4. It’s inarguably stellar and important, but it’s not something I’m going to go back and watch a lot. I need to be in a very, very specific mood to watch it, because as good as it is, it’s not exactly entertaining.
            But Becoming, Hush, Restless, I Only Have Eyes For You, those I could watch just about whenever.
            And the criminally underrated Bad Eggs.

          5. All Buffy is good Buffy, but I don’t agree about Bad Eggs, except for the line, “my eggs are Jewish.”

            The Body isn’t an episode that you necessarily go back and watch, it’s true (though I have, many times, for academic reasons) – because it’s painful, which it has to be. It’s also the first time that Willow and Tara kiss on screen, which is so important. I get emotional just thinking about it, honestly.

          6. Bad Eggs has Buffy actually at the mall! And has references to The Wild Bunch, and Xander complaining about his bump. As well as one of maybe three times that Giles was something approaching complimentary towards Xander (the others being when he laughed at Xander’s “moon pie” joke in Phases, and when Xander defined something and Xander says “guess I’m done with the book learning” in a different season 2 episode that feels like it was maybe in Surprise or Innocence). Also, it was just about the last of the goofy, good-time episodes for a great stretch. It’s not great, the Bezoar is kind of dumb, but it’s fun and kitschy without trying to be anything other than fun and kitschy.

            That whole scene in The Body is fantastic, with pitch-perfect writing for Willow and some dynamite acting from Alyson, it’s kind of the culmination of Willow’s Willowness there. And also it beautifully illustrated how Tara could be Willow’s tether to reality and keep her grounded.

          7. I knew the network had resisted any physicality between Willow and Tara up until that point. What I didn’t know was that when the network asked Whedon to take the kiss out, he threatened to quit (and that was the only time he threatened to quit). When people call it a silly show, I know it’s because they just don’t know what it was.

          8. In college, during season 3, I wrote a paper on it, the premise of which was “despite the frivolous nature of its title, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an incisive look at the hell that is being a teenager.” I loved writing that paper.

          9. Season 2 is probably my favorite overall, if only because I think it made Buffy what it is. “Becoming” had me sob like I’ve sobbed before.

            But I don’t hate on Season 5, if only because The Body is beyond words.

          10. Also I love how this is the third week in a row I’ve gotten to discuss Buffy on here. Can’t wait to bring it up again next episode!

  38. Going a bit against the flow here, but many people seem to imply that Malcolm was just “twist-screwed,” and he got eliminated with nothing he could do about it. Honestly, I think that nothing could be farther from the truth, and Malcolm being eliminated here is more fair than it would be if Nuku had lost and voted out JT! (That is, JT was much more screwed by the swap than Malcolm by the twist.) Malcolm was just arrogant and played his hand badly. He just forgot how big of a threat he is, and he assumed that people would vote for Sandra. He talked the entire day with JT about flipping on Sandra or trying to work with the other tribe, so he shouldn’t be that surprised when JT went for it. (And JT actually talked to Malcolm about going over to speak with Brad!)

    In fact, the twist was *good* for Malcolm! If anyone should feel unfair (and it wasn’t), it should be the pink tribe! All Malcolm had to do was keep the 6 strong, convince or threaten JT to keep his mouth shut, and he would still be in the game. If he couldn’t do that little, the fault is on him. (I think he really didn’t care much either way about the TC, since he seemed to be absolute certain they were going for Sandra.)

    1. Yeah, Malcom should have kept JT in line and told him it was a dumb idea to spill the beans to Brad.

    2. In retrospect it was almost kind of predictable. If a member from either tribe had flipped, they’d be in serious trouble in every future TC until the merge. The best move was to pick the least likely player to get an idol play, and keep your fucking trap shut. But the first time Survivor introduces a twist, we often see chaos like this.

      1. In this situation you just have to go with the straight up strongest member of the other tribe if its not possible to split the votes and hope for the best. They tried to play that game tonight and it backfired and you just can’t know for certain the dynamics to know who is least likely to have an idol played for them or to find an idol.

        Culpeppers tribe could have been baiting tribe Sandra to vote for Hali and bam they go Pav and hand her an idol she did not know existed.

    3. Malcolm is just not a good player. He lets his arrogance get the better of him every time he has played. To add on to tonight how did he or the rest of his tribe not catch on that the other side had an idol to play? They were way to comfortable for the big disadvantage being down a vote especially the way Debbie was going in on Hali.

      And that this was a blind side to him that he was getting votes? Why the hell wouldn’t they vote for him he is one of their two strongest players and the other has ties to their tribe? When Hali said to vote out the strong. They really thought that meant Culpepper because obviously no one would dare think to vote out the golden child.

      He will never win because of his arrogance. Unlike say Boston Rob who is arrogant but he knew it, knew his strengths and weakness and had it work for him and fixed leaks in his game every time he played. Malcolm still thinks he is a strategic great despite getting out flanked by Erik and Tai.

      1. I agree with all of that and am reminded about him going on about his so-called swag at the Philippines reunion. But I still love him. He’s charming and fun. As many have said, he’s the anti-Ozzy.

    4. Goddammit. I was really hoping no one would have my take before the podcast. (Which is pretty long odds, but still).

    5. I think Malcolm is arrogant to the viewers/camera but not to the people out there.

      – He never plays the leader role. That’s just his strategic style. Even in Caramoan when he was rallying his numbers, he was very understated.
      – Also it is a stretch to expect him to keep likes of Sandra, JT and Varner on leash. If these type of players want to do something, he can’t control it.
      – Fundamentally he was in a great position in that tribe. He could have either continued to be with Sandra and taken out JT or rallied with JT to get some numbers for a Sandra boot. Bonding with JT also would have given him an in with Nuku numbers.
      – This is what it took for his boot – an unprecedented twist, Tai finding the idol hours before the TC on the same beach Tony tried to find it out for 6 days, JT revealing their target to Brad, Brad deciding to target Malcolm instead of Sandra.
      -This is like Cirie boot from HVV all over again except even more unlikely circumstances combined to get a very good player out early.

  39. So, not to change the subject away from tonight’s horrible ending… but was Hali drinking blood at camp? What was that?

  40. Well, Malcolm and Andrea were my winner picks leading up to this season. Malcolm is obviously a bust, and I just think Andrea has been too invisible so far to ultimately pull it off. So…..who does that leave? Based on the first four episodes, who do you guys think has a legitimate shot at this?
    And, I don’t want to get too far down the “edit” road, but I feel like Sandra is really the only one who’s been featured prominently in these first few episodes. Logic would tell me this means she’s destined to burn out early, but….could she actually win this? Talk me down, people!

    1. I hope it’s Sandra, but we’ve also gotten a lot of my winner pick Mr. Brad (F*ck You) Culpepper.

      1. This is entirerly my fault. I stated in the preseason that I thought Brad had a 0% chance of winning and the show decided to troll me. I am as pissed off as you are.

        1. I’m actually liking him this season. More than I thought I would. I mean, Troy’s on my fantasy team, too, but I’d rather eat balut that see him win. I’m okay with Brad winning. If it’s going to be a mediocre person, I’d like it to be him.

          1. He’s fine, I don’t dislike him. I just want a player who is awesome to win and I don’t like being proven spectacularly wrong.

    2. I am still confused by why we got the whole “Ozzy is a provider” sequence at Tavua instead of actually exploring the dynamics there a little bit more. 3/6 got confessionals over there and 2 weren’t even present in camp life scenes.

      1. I briefly thought it was a throw-in the standard Ozzy schtick in his boot episode, because I couldn’t understand it either.

          1. Yeah, which is why I ended up ruling that out. It served no point, other than maybe casual fan service?

          2. This was my best guess – Ozzy got to dominate his portion of the challenge, go fishing AND give his standard “they need to keep me around because I’m a provider” speech. He knows his audience.

          1. Yeah, turns out Hali understood the implications of flipping better than JT. Score one for Hali, I guess.

          2. And his only ray of hope in the entire tribe is gone. His only chance is a fast merge (to two), but he really has to pray they aren’t pissed enough to throw the challenge just to get rid of him; I can totally see that happening.

        1. NEVER!!! He is literally my least favorite player on the season. He would’ve been my #1 Champions League pick if John hadn’t taken him first (thank you John).

      2. I think it is because Ozzy is popular and people like watching him fish. We are going to get more Ozzy no matter how he does.

        1. Embarrassing to admit here, but I’m kind of a sucker for the fishing sequences. I prefer more underwater footage and less Ozzy talking though.

          1. This is another thing: they are REALLY proud of their underwater sequences.

            And, frankly, they should be.

      3. That whole sequence gave me the feeling that the editors were honoring him because he’s going to eventually go out in a humiliating fashion, yet again.

        1. I hope you are right it would help make those pointless “Ozzy is awesome” sequences go down more easily

          1. It is what I am clinging to!

            A new thing to dislike about Ozzy this season: those pigtails. I hate looking at them.

          2. They are hiddy
            (But probably effective in keeping his hair out of his face and mostly free of little twigs and insects, which may be why Sarah has similar ones)

          3. Probably. But unfortunately that means his hair never conceals those spiteful and sullen little eyes.

    3. I’m exceptionally worried about the possibility of Brad winning. That interior decorating scene last week was so random and positive. Plus I don’t think he’s had any negative content.

        1. That is the one downside to him winning (if the winner is going to be one of the meh players, I mean).

        2. He’s not the worst option but I want someone I like to win. If Brad can win that means basically no one I like makes the end game. Which is generally bad.

        3. I dunno I think Brad Culpepper is sort of awesome and I just don’t know why people find him meh except for the whole “Alpha Male” thing. He and Sierra Dawn Thomas literally outsmarted a who’s who of survivor greats tonight, which is….something.

          1. Brad is cool, but I find him hard to root for when he is playing against some of my favorite players and aligning with none of them (not that he has had the opportunity to)

    4. Zeke looked really good in the first two episodes. Maybe he will take control and keep Cirie around for a while. This can happen, right, right?

    5. I don’t want to jump on that wagon, because it is way too good to be true, but if Sandra were to win this season, I believe this is exactly how the season would look like.

      But today I would put my money on Brad. He is being shown a lot; even today the idol play looked more like his play then Tai’s. (Especially the scene of Tai offering him the idol, and he saying, “Not me, her” looks so good for him.) Of course, part of this is simply because he is playing a really good game so far, but that doesn’t speak against his chances of winning either. His edit has been so good, that I’m not at all sad about the prospect of him winning. In fact, except for Sandra, at this point I believe he is the one I’m rooting for the most.

      1. I’m hoping Brad is getting a David Wright edit, if we’re reading the tea leaves even semi-correctly.

        1. I wanted to make a comment about that, but I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and hope that he bonded with her and gave her a nickname offscreen.

          1. It struck me as Brad not caring to learn Hali’s name (I doubt this is the case), although the more I think about it, it could be viewed through a gender-dynamic lens. But if you’re going by most predominant feature, Hali is Blue Eyes and Sierra is Tall Girl.

          2. I was almost positive they were tattooed on during WA. I think they’ll be fine for another 25 days as long as she’s out there.

          3. It struck me as how he would probably talk to his daughter. So, endearing rather than smarmy but a bit condescending for an adult woman.

      2. Not rooting for him, but I tend to agree with the reasoning. He’s a big factor this season at least, and also has the hashtag-game down. If not Brad, I think everyone that Mike suggested, JT (obviously not looking good), Varner, Sandra, Cirie and Ozzy still have some equity.
        Can’t really see anyone else winning.

          1. This time it was #COFFEEISFORCLOSERS to celebrate his Reward Challenge heroics, but he also got #WWMD in the premiere.

          2. Going off-topic here, but we may have another loss to bemoan: It looks like the entire site that was hosting the tribe’s fantasy league is down or gone.
            Unrelated? I don’t think so.

          3. Ok, I may have panicked prematurely here, it’s back.

            It was just really weird because there wasn’t some random error code, but some sort of domain host placeholder instead. And while I thought it’s fun to think of this as some Malcolm-Fan pushing the red button, it was actually already offline when I tried to change my picks about two hours before the episode.

          4. You got one BJ method point and bonus points. I didn’t get to change anything, but that turned out to be a good thing, because I probably wouldn’t have put any points on Malcolm and got all the bonus points anyway. Maybe I would have changed the winning tribe from Tavua otherwise. Btw, I’m hinz&bleep over there, but I’m going to choose a new name soon.
            Em&Scout got us both in the bag with 9 points this round.

      3. Yeah I think I overlooked Brad in my original comment due to the overwhelming sense of meh. But he’s actually doing a great job so far, and he has actually even been a bit likable. I think you’re onto something.

        1. Nooooooo I’m not right! I can’t be right! I’m terrible at predicting winners! Please do not let this be the time I am right!

    6. When I hear her name I hear the Dillon Panthers shouting back “Can’t lose!”

      “Sandra Diaz-Twine!” “Can’t lose!” “Sandra Diaz-Twine!” “CAN’T LOSE!”

  41. Lost in everything else dose someone need to file a missing persons report for Aubry? She’s on this season right?

      1. Lots of reaction shots and she was featured in the post-reward segment as one of the tribe members who really loved coffee. OK, that’s weak sauce, but Michele won with featured clips like “Yay! Hamburgers!”

        1. Michele’s edit to this point was way way stronger but that’s not even the point I was trying to make. As someone who I thought was entertaining and an expected featured fan favorite she has almost been non-existent. It’s not even about winning or not her lack of visibility is suggesting she doesn’t even matter at this point.

          1. As the resident barometer of Michele visibility, I’m pretty sure episode 4 was still in the territory where I was asking which one Michele was.

    1. As a big Aubry fan, that’s another reason this season has been sort of pissing me off so far. It’s kind of like how I imagine all the big Kelly Wiglesworth fans must have felt watching Cambodia.

      Yeah, I know there aren’t any big Kelly Wiglesworth fans, I’m just using my imagination here.

      1. Man, I hope this gets 17 more likes when people finally get to this comment around noon tomorrow.

      1. Kournikova did take a set off Serena in one of their two singles matches, so Kournikova (in her prime) defeating Serena outright wouldn’t have been that surprising.

      1. Is that how you heard it? I was hearing “No!”s, as in, “No! Nuku wasted their votes!”

  42. The first 4 players gone were featured on the MvGX Finale. YOU NEED TO RUN AND HIDE, SANDRA AND CIRIE! Tai and Ozzy, do whatever.

  43. You know I have seeing a lot of hate towards JT but I still love him. However I will say he still one of favorite players of all tome.

  44. I mean with 527 comments I’m sure it’s all been said about (1) how INSANE this twist was at best and patently unfair at worst and yet (2) how it was riveting TV because the insanity was classic and the unfairness somehow doubled back into some sort of paranoid, totally nonsensical ouroboros.

    But most importantly (3) this season has to be a boner-killer for Probst.

      1. It’s so nice that I was actually able to pay attention to strategy with no hot guys distracting me. I wonder what that would be like in real life! Also, I couldn’t understand any of the strategy because they all lost their marbles so BRING BACK THE HOTTIES I SAY

          1. Really? Because I just think he looks a lot older. He had a boyish charm before, but now he looks like he’s 30 or something… because he is. The tooth doesn’t help though.

          1. It doesn’t show up because every website disables them and I don’t care because I already know i rule. That’s what happens.

    1. We’re still missing the West Coast folks too. I’ve got my popcorn ready, they should be rolling in in about ten minutes.

        1. Wait, really? Welp, I might not be around for that, that’s too bad. I legitimately want to see the reaction in real time. Maybe I’ll stay up for it. Maybe.

          1. It’s gonna be impossible to sort through. I’m split on whether to even attempt staying up.

      1. I think Andy is also an extra hour behind because the US fucked with daylight savings several years ago without telling Canada.

        Nevermind: I just googled it and apparently Canada is with us now

          1. I did consider the irony of someone America roundly rejected actually becoming Sole Survivor. This…is going to keep happening in the world, isn’t it.

          2. This Brad seems ok. I’m not sure if he was voted in a year ago he would have played this kind of calmer, better social game even without Monica there. Getting the votes seemed to give some others big heads. Plus, I think the caliber of players in Second Chances was a little higher.

          3. Debbie is a pretty dark timeline too. But as per my prediction, she’ll be out tenth, so, yay?

          4. I wouldn’t hate a Debbie win like I’d hate a Troy win. I don’t know why. Feminism?

            Although I did hate the OWM win. I think it has to do with the people who would support the result. Like Scrotum Pollard and Kylo Jason would be infuriated by a Debbie win, wouldn’t they.

          5. I’d hate a Troy win. A Debbie win would make me take a break from Survivor and contemplate why I watch this show.

            Or maybe it’s the other way around. Hm.

          6. Don’t call him Kylo Jason. That gives him status. Call him Kyle, which is the dumb name he has.

          7. I feel like I would respect Kyle Jason a lot more if he didn’t just give up in his last tribal and throw a random vote at Joe. As is Scot>Kyle as Kaoh Rong villains

          8. Eh, Debbie has enough internalized misogyny that her win wouldn’t exactly empower the cause.

          9. I think it’ll be something else. They were sitting on the beach in broad daylight. If she were upset over that (did that even happen?), there would be a reaction as soon as they were back from camp.

          10. My best guess is that something he said about Debbie got around to her, and she didn’t like it.

            A more interesting sccenario would be if Hali actually tried to convince people to play the idol for Debbie, after talking to her former tribe to help nuNuku, but Brad made the final call and told Tai to go with JT’s version and give the idol to Sierra.
            There is no basis for this speculation, but it would be fun to see Debbie freak out over Brad choosing Sierra over her, even though it was the correct call.

          11. The way this season is going so far, every odd-numbered boot is one of the “eh” people, so hopefully!

      1. It can be two things. Good TV – boner-producer. A bro leaving – one of his favorites – boner – killer.

  45. Forgive me if this has already been covered or is painfully obvious, but it seems to me like JT was trying to have his cake and eat it to (and failed spectacularly on both accounts). In other words, he thought somehow that he could tip off Brad about the vote for Sierra and manage to take Sandra out while STILL seeming loyal to his new tribe by voting for Sierra. This was dumb on so many levels, but especially because what else is his new tribe going to think he was whispering in Brad’s ear other than the tip that led them to play the idol on Sierra??? And to top it off, Brad’s tribe did the actual smart thing and took out the biggest challenge threat. DUHHHH! This really settles the question of how much strategic acumen JT actually contributed to the JT/Stephen duo :/

    1. And because it was Sierra, Brad probably did not believe him.
      Its interesting how its automatically thought that all the men are challenge threats. Sierra was actually very good at challenges her first season except holding her weight which Carolyn won.

      1. Brad motioned for Tai to give it to Sierra, so he believed him. Bros know when other bros are lying to them.

      2. I agree that Sierra is a challenge threat (probably the strongest woman out there besides Michaela?) but for a while I was still wondering why they didn’t just go all in on Brad, as he is probably the strongest guy out there right now plus he’s obviously leading the tribe. But eventually it occurred to me that they probably figured if Brad’s tribe had an idol, they would call that shot easily and play it on Brad. So, even though the episode didn’t really show us any of that conversation, I ultimately think that Sandra’s tribe made the right call by going after their strongest woman and seemingly their most “Who?” player. And it probably would have worked if it weren’t for that meddling JT 😮

  46. So, to paraphrase what everyone else has been saying: What the f–k just f–king happened?

    I mean, I’m glad Sandra is still in, but man…that hurt. I don’t know whether to celebrate how entertaining the tribal was (at least initially) or burn everything for the outcome. I don’t even have Malcolm on my team and I’m upset (not as much as he was, though).

  47. So here is a question: was this a good episode or was it a bad episode? I honestly have no idea at this moment.

    1. It reminds me a lot of the Caleb medevac episode in Kaoh Rong. Now stick with me here: Both episodes kinda features these long segments of confusion and sadness that ultimately leads to this kinda game breaking departure. However, the rest of the episode is kinda meh to forgettable.