Survivor: New Tribe, Who Dis?

Growing up my Dad and I made a habit of watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports together on Saturdays. To this day I can close my eyes and hear Jim McKay’s voice speaking of the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Last week’s episode took me to the peak, inspired by the “Never Give Up” attitudes of Ethan and even Adam (though I still think he’s a weasel.) This week, I’m feeling defeat is on the menu as one of my favorites gets his torch snuffed.

True to form we start off with the tribe who faced Jeff at Tribal. This week that’s Dakal. Nick is expressing his relief over not being the one sent to the Edge of Extinction. He shares what we already know, which is that Tyson bequeathed his fire token to Nick. I still have yet to suss out Tyson’s motivation for doing so. He’s so Machiavellian (and I am so not) that I’m unsure if there’s strategy behind it. I will say this, I don’t believe for a second that Nick’s theory that Tyson respected Nick’s game play so much is the answer to this conundrum.

Yul shares an extremely emotional moment with his tribemates. After Yul’s season on Cook Islands, he formed a friendship with his fellow castaway Jonathan Penner. Jonathan’s wife Stacy was diagnosed with ALS and has lost motor control of everything except for her eyes. It was sad and heartwarming all at once to see how deeply Yul is affected by his friends’ struggles. I will always love moments when Survivor uses its platform on the world stage to bring awareness where needed.

We’re back now at the sand bar that birthed the season and buffs are dropping, people. Instead of shuffling into two tribes, however, the contestants are split into three. The divisions are as follows:

New Sele: Michele, Wendell, Parvati, Nick, and Yul

New Dakal: Sandra, Tony, Jeremy, Kim, and Denise

Yara: Rob, Adam, Ben, Sarah, and Sophie

I don’t know who else’s heart sank when they saw the green-buffed tribe of Yara form, but mine sure did. I could visualize ever so clearly the Sword of Damocles dangling perilously above The Godfather’s head.

We watch to see how the new tribemates integrate, beginning with New Dakal. Kim (who we discover did get the other half of her immunity idol back from Sophie) is realizing that not being super tight with Tony and Sandra is actually presenting her with options. She ponders whether it would be smart to team up with Denise and Jeremy. Tony goes on yet another analogy adventure about lions and hyenas. Of course he sees himself and Sandra as lions. I’m currently seeing him as a big goofball.

At New Sele, Parvati is looking for a crack that she can exploit within the former Dakal bond. She discovers that Yul’s wife Sophie is a huge fan of hers and also learns about Nick’s high school crush on her. Whether those cracks are substantial enough to squeeze into is yet to be determined. Parv feels badly for Michele being stuck on a tribe with her ex Wendell, and after watching his attitude, I agree. Suffice it to say, while self esteem may not be a problem for him, civil communication is something he definitely needs to practice. Michele shares that the relationship ended badly and that Wendell is now coming off all “You Up?” texty while she’s in a more “New season, who dis?” mode.

At Yara everyone has the same first thought…new tribe means a potential immunity idol to be found. Rob feels at a disadvantage because he’s never found an idol without being given clues. They all begin to search and Sophie was able to find it without anyone knowing. It’s the same split in two idol that Denise and Kim have, so she gives her other half to Sarah. Sophie and Sarah make it clear to Adam and Ben that they would like to work with them. Once again, the omen for Rob appears to be black smoke rising.

At the Immunity challenge the tribes are faced with an obstacle course with a puzzle at the end. The first two tribes to finish are both immune. Yara takes an early lead with Sele not far behind. Dakal is struggling and because of the new setup, Sandra actually has to participate. The sit-out bench will have to wait at least a week for an occupant. Yara is the first to start on the puzzle and Sophie and Adam get to work. The conspiracy theorist in me went full-blown tin foil by the end, because I don’t see how two reasonably smart people can blow a lead like that. You don’t need special glasses to see the writing on the wall for Rob once Sele and Dakal finish their puzzles and are safe from tribal.

You have to give Rob an “A” for effort. He tried to get Adam and Ben on board with him, but leave it to a couple of morons to go against their own self-interest. The buddy system is not so reliable when your “friends” don’t even like you. If nothing else I’ll be happy when the karma train runs over them as they try and fail in the future to vote out Sophie or Sarah, who both have powers of protection.

After Rob’s torch is unanimously snuffed, there’s still the probate portion to go through. Rob wills his fire token to Parvati, because to be honest…there’s no one else left of his group. I hope you’ll stop back in next week as we find out what sneaky hilariousness Tyson is up to.

To hear Brianna and I voice our thoughts on the episode, check out our podcast at:

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