Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Episodes 3&4 Recap

Hello and welcome to the second half of Week 1 of the season. I am going to try to do my best to give you an A+ recap. But be warned that this is my first season of Survivor South Africa, so references may not be super fresh with me. In that case, please fill me on stuff in the comments down below. You know that I lurk there from time to time. Also, I am currently in an area of the United States experiencing a “flash drought” with patchy AC, so my recaps may be a bit delayed since I don’t really want to deal with my screen in the absolute hottest part of the day.


CONTENT WARNING: Discussion of Ableism and Brief Mention of Abuse and Fire-Related Injuries


Episode 3

  • The aftermath of the Chappies boot isn’t so much about Chappies being gone, but more about what that vote revealed to the tribe. Steffi is upset that she was blindsided for the first time, while Palesa is excited to be in the majority for the first time. However, she is a little worried about the already growing perception that the Season 6 crew is going to be a force to reckon with. PK, in his role as information broker, and Palesa agree that they want Dante in their alliance over Marian and Meryl. However, the three of them are at the water well talking about how they need cut out the season 6 squad from the Breakfast Club, specifically PK and Toni. Yes, having the same tattoo as someone else in your tribe is not helping your threat level. The three agree to wait until the time is right to take their shot.
  • Shane is just happy to have survived last night, but he is a bit paranoid. Marian fills him in most of  what happened, without including the part where he threw his name out as the other target, but also including him in the discussion of taking out a season 6 cast member because with Tevin, they are a strong 4 (I guess Seamus is a non-factor?). Shane wants to be in more control, but I don’t think that is going to happy.
  • On Yontau, Tania is not pleased with Pinty eating more than Tania thinks she should. Tania calls Pinty a “greedy little pig” for the first of many times in these episodes.
  • While trying to buy time to find the idol herself, Thoriso tells Tania and Killarney that Tevin has the idol already. Whoops! It gets back to Tevin naturally, which makes him frustrated because he knows that it will lead to an idol flush or something else which will end his game prematurely since he currently does not have the idol.
  • Immunity Challenge time! People have to hold on to a rope that is part of a wench to collect fish nets with balls in them. Once all of the fish nets are brought back to shore, they have to untie knots and shoot the balls inside to a taller rail. This one is decided by the fact that Yontau is pretty communicative, while Masu just cannot communicate. The pre-mergers are safe from another tribal, but not safe from the product placement of a fishing kit provided by Out Surance.
  • Back on Yontau, Tevin proclaims to the tribe (minus Thoriso who is changing in a bush) that he does not have the idol and he wants to figure out who said that he did. Tania takes the blame to protect Thoriso to maintain tribe harmony. After that confrontation, everyone pieces together that the emblems on the trees must be clues to find the idol. Some of the guys figure out that the idol must be underneath the shelter. Seamus gets to claim the Kelley Wentworth idol, but with the catch that it has to be played by the third tribal council period. Seamus, upset that it is a public idol that everybody including an unimpressed Thoriso knows about, threatens to throw it in the ocean ala the Gabon merge idol but decides against it for tribe unity. However, Pinty’s eating habits (including becoming a coconut bandit) along with the discussion of said habits catches up to her and she decides to confront the tribe in the middle of the night. Tania says that she has noticed Pinty eating three helpings of rice instead of the one, which is more than what the guys are eating. Pinty appreciates the honesty, but she is going late night mussel hunting for herself anyway. Tania hopes that confrontation puts a target on Pinty’s back, even if no one else joined in to back her up.
  • On Masu, the three season sixers want Marian out. Palesa says it is for “tribe strength”, while PK and Toni discussed that her social skills are not as good as they thought they would be. However, Toni decides to take it a step further by mentioning to Steffi that Marian is the weakest one because of her vitiligo, so obviously she needs to go. Marian overhears this conversation and has a breakdown the following morning. Steffi comforts her and it is an extremely tough scene where Marian talks about how her skin just hurts being in the sun but she is trying her best not to complain. In confessional, Steffi makes some great points about how tough Marian is along with how tough the game is. If you are truly not careful out there, the game can change you and people have not been able to come back from that. It is extremely shocking and awesome that this conversation made the air because it is still  such a crucial conversation that needs to be had.
  • Speaking of crucial conversations that need to be had, let’s talk about Toni using Marian’s skin condition as a main reason to take her out. It’s not good, plain and simple. The fact that Toni was bragging about how mentioning how frail Marian was due to her skin would create false pathos as a buy-in is even worse. If Marian could not hack out there pre-season, there are three entities that would have stopped her from being out there-Production, Marian’s medical staff, and Marian herself-and she cleared those. She should be afforded the chance to compete just like everyone else. Toni could have use any other reason to take her out, like the aforementioned poor social skills, but the fact that she relied on the skin condition is not great.
  • Meanwhile, Palesa is still about taking out Marian for tribe strength, but she is letting Toni take the fall for it.
  • The other half of the Breakfast Club (minus Tejan) decides to take out PK, with only Meryl waffling on taking out Toni because she wants Toni’s spot in that alliance, but she senses that there will be other chances. Dante and Shane are also on board, but Dante is also positioned as a bit of a swing vote, so he maintains his fake alliance with Toni by having her talk about how little Marian can or actually does around camp. This is juxtaposed by a wonderful sequence of Marian looking for an idol. She ends up finding Diplomatic Immunity, which she has to use pre-merge at the end of an immunity challenge. She can make either herself or someone else swap places with someone else from another tribe. Steffi, who is with her, proclaims her to have the most power on the island. Marian also tells Dante and Meryl about it, while finding out from Dante that she is indeed the target.
  • PK thinks the only way to maintain tribe strength is for everyone to vote for Marian. OK.
  • During tribal council, there is a general discussion about the size of egos on the tribe that led to the loss along with friendships and relationships that is going on with all of the different castaways. This immediately causes a reaction from Toni and PK about how they are sick of hearing about their tattoos and how they could play a different game than each other. Marian tells the tribe about her breakdown and how Steffi comforted her, which led to Toni questioning if anyone saw it (Shane did at least). This causes a tiff where they both dismiss the other’s social skills. After that, the biggest takeaway is that everyone thinks they are in a majority.
  • Time to vote. Marian, Marian, PK (Toni and PK are already shook, even though that is feasibly Marian’s vote), PK, Marian, PK, Marian, PK, PK. Toni is in tears and says to the tribe “we wanted the tribe to be strong and we’re going to lose again!” In his parting words, PK is much more graceful.

Episode 4

  • There is a definite difference in the mood after the PK tribal. Tejan is mad at Dante/Steffi/Meryl for flipping, but Toni is just mad in general. This causes Dante to raise his voice and say “this is the place your PK put you in”. Toni immediately goes to the beach and breaks down because it reminds her of the abusive relationships she has been in. She confides in Meryl about why she is reacting this why, while also mentioning that both PK and Toni deserve to be there more than Marian. Meryl is not thrilled with this. Toni goes back to the fire and complains that they are down to 3 guys, which someone combats by saying that they 5 tough women,
  • At Yontau, Pinty had prime sleeping real estate right by the fire while everyone else slept in the shelter. However, the rest of the tribe decided to sleep by the fire, which makes her unhappy. She doesn’t give up her spot, which makes everyone else unhappy. After this fight, we see Dino sleeping sitting on a stump and slowly leaning towards the fire. The camera quickly cuts away, but we find out after the credits, that he has been cleared to compete, which is a relief to Seamus. We will later find out that he has second degree burns on his hands. There is also mention that he pulled himself out of the fire, which is wild to think about.
  • Tania continues to be upset at Pinty for being a bully and a greedy little pig. She is also upset at herself for feeling like she needs to stand up. The other tribemates are just done with both of them, but mostly done with babysitting Pinty.
  • The next morning at Masu, Toni is still upset about losing PK. In the midst of an apology attempt to her, Dante includes the phrase “stop being a victim” and mentions an abusive relationship, which leads to another fight around camp. Toni wants away from this tribe via a swap immediately. It is not a great moment for this tribe. On the flipside, strategic Marian decides to make a side alliance with athletic Steffi and social Meryl. They are calling themselves The Full Package.
  • At the Immunity Challenge, we get a bit more reaction to PK being gone (especially from Tevin) and Dino’s fire injury. He appears to be in great spirits, all things considered. The challenge is two tribemates hold a rope with a net, which the rest of the opposing tribe throws sandbags into. If your net touches the ground or you let go, then you are out. The last tribe standing wins Immunity and a Future Life food reward. Because both tribes focus on the men first, Steffi and Thoriso are able to outlast them, but ultimately Steffi takes it for Masu.
  • After a lot of the usual product placement confessionals about how great Future Life products are, we slowly descend into a full-on Idol Hunt. Shane starts by casually dropping a bottle on the ground to look under the table, but eventually everyone is looking underneath every nook and cranny except for Toni. Did Toni find an idol under her plate? We shall see next week.
  • Yontau is very sad because they did not want to lose anyone pre-merge. They want to have a mellow time before having to strategize. However, their decision seems pretty clear. Do they take out Pinty or Tania? Tania tries to apologize to Pinty but mentions how she is a greedy pig in her apology (wow, 2 for 2 in shitty apologies for the episode). Pinty then involves the whole tribe in their fight, which makes both of their targets bigger. The next day, Tania gets in her spy shack and overhears Shona, Thoriso, and Killarney talking about how Tania was the vote but not to tell her, which immediately leads to a confrontation about how she heard them. Throughout these moments, Tania is insistent about how her tribe did not make her feel super comfortable before she possibly goes home, which is a violation of the understanding the tribe had.
  • We also get a discussion about the idol. Pinty wants Seamus to play it on her, which she coils away from. The other guys think he should hang on to it because he is safe, but they are also weary that he is too close to people, which is not good for the long-run.
  • Wake up Andy! Shona is making a fake idol, but with a really cool twist. She is going to hide it at tribal during this tribal, so she has it there already if she needs to “play it”.
  • At tribal, the decision hinges on tribe unity. Even though Tania tries her best, the decision seems to be tied up already. Seamus refuses to play his idol when asked. Pinty disagrees that she ate three bowls of rice, which leads to a lot of laughter from her tribemates but no vocal disagreements. However, there is an open disagreement about whether Tania referred to Pinty as a greedy f***ing little pig or not. All we know is that Tania referred to her as greedy little pig without expletive from the show edit. The votes come in and it is unanimous for Tania, but not before Seamus plays his idol for himself, impressing nobody. On the way out the door, Shona hides her fake idol under the fire at Tribal Council and gives Nico a little wink.

Pretty solid first week. Let’s see how Week 2 shakes out!