Brad shares the best bonus scenes from the previous episode of Survivor: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
This Week In Secret Scenes
“Everybody Else Is Galavanting, Wanting To Have A Good Time”
I’m never one to automatically blame someone in a bad situation for their position in a bad situation. But at the same time … is this not kinda Dan and John’s fault for staying in this bad situation? People don’t want to pitch in? Cool cool, let them sleep in the dirt. What happens next? They yell at you for not building them a shelter? They vote you out? And then they have to build the shelter? It ain’t happenin’, chief. Do what all good contractors do and drag out the construction process. Tell them it’s taking longer than expected. Well, maybe the good contractors don’t do this. But essentially, force their hand to help you. If they start feeling the pressure of not having a shelter, either they’ll jump in to get it done quicker or they’re berate you for not making the shelter fast enough. And oh to be so lucky for the latter, which would be optics gold for you; you could survive three Tribals on the sympathy alone. As long as you’re working on the shelter (no matter the level of efficiency) while other people are literally reclining in the hammocks, you can’t be pinned as the one who isn’t pulling their weight around camp. So John and Dan need to stop doing so much around camp, dammit!
Also, the image of Alec turning around to flash the “hang loose” right at the camera is terrific.
This Week In Confessionals
“I’m Running Around, Trying To Juggle Fifty Different Things”
Seriously. Island hottest.
This confessional is the shortest one in the post this week, but there are three things buried in there that I think should be highlighted:
(1) Alec is doing damage control, presumably for the Natalia vote. I think it benefits him that a substantial amount of time (in the context of Survivor) has passed since then, but he himself says that he’s needing to rebuild trust with his fellow Goliaths. What I wonder here is if he has successfully done so or if he hasn’t and the other non-Strike Force Goliaths are allying with him out of convenience. Or maybe it didn’t matter because Elizabeth was always the unanimous boot; no need to alienate Alec if everybody is voting together anyways.
(2) Alec is trying to keep Davie and Carl close as he also works with the Goliaths and his alliance of six. We saw Davie and Alec bond on the Orange tribe, and Carl must have joined them as he sure wasn’t spending time with Elizabeth. Which makes it even funnier than Carl got drunk and put Alec on blast for voting out Natalia.
(3) Everyone always says that the merge is when the game actually starts. But there’s a case to be made that the merge is when the game reaches its peak in difficulty, and I’m thinking about that due to Alec’s metaphor of being the Sole Server(vor). There are new people who you have to meet and and old allies to reconnect with and thirteen choose two relationships to monitor and secrets to keep track of, all while going to Tribal for every Immunity cycle. The uncertainty of how things will shake out immediately after the merge makes this perhaps the most treacherous point in the game, and framing this as your warm-up for the actual gameplay could be a dangerous mindset.
There is also this moment from Alec.
“Together Thirteen Years Today”
If Emily isn’t there for the Loved Ones visit…
I think it’s a knock against Christian if he actually doesn’t understand why people cry at the Loved Ones visit. But just looking at that comment as a rhetorical device, I think it’s interesting how Christian is motivated by his girlfriend. Other castaways are playing for their families, like Carl and Dan (who have children that are dependent on them) or like Alison (whose family is comprised of Survivor superfans). But it sounds like Emily is more than just rooting for Christian to win; she’d be his chief counsel who knows both Christian and the game well enough that she can advise him on the optimal game plan as it best fits both his style and the current playing field of the game. If she’s Christian’s Loved One in a few weeks, I can see her playing a role similar to what Adam’s brother did in MvGX.
And do you think Gabby knows about Emily? Or is the seemingly romantic aspect of the Gabby/Christian duo something that’s been projected onto it by the viewers?
“Nobody Sees Me As One Of The Threats”
Yet another dig at Natalie Cole.
I think Nick is right; he won’t be targeted, not right away. John is an obvious physical threat. Dan is as well, and the open secret of his (first) idol will soon be known to everyone if it isn’t already. Angelina must be on everyone’s radar. And Nick isn’t even the biggest threat among the Davids. Christian would claim that title as evidenced by the episode, and Carl’s journey to Exile Island has to have people assuming he’s got an advantage.
While Nick is seemingly in a good spot, this might also be his downfall. Should he lean too hard into staying under the radar with these threats around, might he be knocked at Final Tribal (should he make it) for not deserving to be there? It’s a charge that’s been made of finalists before, and Nick will need to find the right balance in his approach to avoid that.
“I Couldn’t Stand By”
“They’ll have even less numbers tonight.” Fewer.
Angelina was shaking things up for the sake of shaking things up. I can understand why Christian would be a good target, and I can even understand why you’d argue for it to be Christian after it’s been decided that Elizabeth is going. But not when twelve people, including the Davids, are unified against Elizabeth. It’d be one thing if Angelina had actionable intelligence (to use her military parlance) that a David had an idol or even that the Davids agreeing to Elizabeth was their chess move to eliminate uncertainty heading into Tribal. But her primary reason for wanting to change the vote is not liking what she perceives as groupthink. And all the talk of the Davids counterattacking the Goliaths doesn’t seem to be a legitimate concern for Angelina; she describes it as part of her “pitch” to the other Goliaths; just rhetoric to sway the game.
And I have to say, it might seem like groupthink to you, but it needn’t be so. Just because people don’t share their motivations with you doesn’t mean that they don’t have legitimate motivations. Dan wanted Elizabeth gone because she threw his name out. Alison and Alec wanted Elizabeth gone because she wasn’t a part of their alliance. John and Kara wanted Elizabeth gone because they knew better than to rock the boat. And that’s the message: don’t jump the gun at the merge. Don’t try to be the boom boom gun. Find the plan that everyone can agree to and roll with that. You’ll have plenty of time to stir things up later, but the merge is where you need the steadiest hand. Ask The Noble One and President Sarah.
Angelina’s profile of Christian is also telling. She admits that Christian is working a fantastic social game and that even she fell to his charms in under two days. Despite Mike White being the writer, I think Christian could be the David Wright (puns coincidental) of this season as the physically unassuming but otherwise unexpectedly superior player who will come in fourth.
This Week At Ponderosa
“I Know In My Soul That My Life Is Forever Changed”
This is a pretty straight-forward Ponderosa ep, so here are my quick observations:
- I love that Elizabeth knows about the mantle of Queen of Ponderosa and that she’s taking the role seriously.
- I hate that she switched to a baseball cap and we got no transition between hats.
- Elizabeth in a baseball cap looks like Sebastian Stan as an undercover Winter Soldier.
- She’s gonna need more than the three broccoli florets that came with her steak. Michaela Bradshaw knows. Order a salad when you get to Ponderosa.
- Just as a consequence of seeing the Ponderosas from each of the past four seasons, I’m noticing how the resort is renovating and improving each year. The dock now has an arbor, and the rooms have accent walls.
Now for the less trivial stuff. Elizabeth seemed pretty betrayed immediately after Tribal. Will that emotion carry over as she learns more about what happened? How bitter of a juror will she be? Will she be willing to cast a vote for a David after every David abandoned her?
Elizabeth also shares that she’s dealt with anger issues before. She doesn’t go into any more detail than that (and she doesn’t need to), but good on her for admitting that it’s something she’s been working on and getting past. My question is whether any of that surfaced during the game and we just weren’t shown it. Carl’s intense disdain for Elizabeth seemed to be addressed but largely unexplained by the edit. Were there behaviors (such as the anger itself or the controlling nature that often accompanies anger problems) that ate away at Carl? Or is this really just as a simple as “I don’t like you?”
This Week In Gifable Moments
When you’re traveling in France and you’ve planned out your weekend but you also need to engage in positive self-talk because you’ll need to open an umbrella.
When your governor gets heated because you’re just doing your job as county clerk by counting every vote, and you have to remind him what democracy means.
Brad (formerly known as Taako from Teevhii) has watched every season live but was too young to remember the first ten seasons (and is only saying that to make you all feel bad). He treats Wednesday nights like a religious observance and wonders if he can finagle that into a tax benefit.
Favorite Seasons: Winners At War, Heroes vs. Villains, Cagayan, Cambodia, Micronesia
Favorite Players: Kelley Wentworth, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Kim Spradlin, Denise Stapley, Todd Herzog, Courtney Yates, Yul Kwon, Charlie Herschel