You didn’t think season 40 would slow down now did you? As legendary winners battled both on Extinction and in the game, it resulted in an audience favourite going home. So what does that mean for the rest of the game?
Three have been sent to the Edge of Extinction, Sele and Dakal are prepared to self destruct, and big moves and even bigger mistakes ruled this week’s Survivor: Winners at War chapter. And yes, I’m still screaming at the damn TV in every segment. This season is GOOD!
EPISODE 3 RECAP
The morning of Day 7 sees Adam discuss Rob’s abrasive gameplay and that he and his alliance needs to be targeted immediately. He relays this to Denise, proposing a blindside on Parvati to bring Rob and Ethan closer and weaken them simultaneously. Denise agrees with the plan, and even express security given Adam gave his half of their idol back, so she has one completely intact. Adam also talks to Ben and Michele about targeting Parvati, and even though they all agree, Ben mentions in a confessional a desire to eliminate Rob soon. Still doing ground work, Adam talks to Ethan about blindsiding Parvati; and even lets us viewers know the reasoning behind his actions to tell Ethan about taking out his closest ally, seeing it as an opportunity to keep Ethan close to him for giving him information. But even Ethan describes it as a silly mistake, because Parvati is his closest ally and more important to him than his friendship with Adam.
Meanwhile on Dakal, Sandra tells viewers that this is her retiring season, and wants to prove her worth by catching fish for the tribe. Tyson, who is a big target still, looks at throwing Sandra under the bus for being the queen of Survivor. He talks to Sophie and Yul about voting her out, but Yul wants to play with rational players because he can keep an eye on them easier, and even though he doesn’t trust Tyson, he does consider blindsiding Sandra a good option. The next day, Sandra’s fishing plan succeeds when she catches a shark, which goes rogue when Tony picks it up, amusing Nick and Yul considerably. As fish sizzles on their pan, Yul discusses keeping morale and momentum high, and reveals Tyson’s proposal to Sandra, who vows that he’ll have hell to pay for considering her as a potential vote.
On the Edge of Extinction, Danni describes the hardships of food and living on the Edge, embarking on a spearfishing adventure merely to survive. Excited that she caught one little fish, Danni uses it as motivation that she may be down, but never out. The three inhabitants of the Edge receive a picture clue to the next advantage that awaits, and they find a lock box with a six-number combination that can unlock something, but the combination is detailed to already be given to them, with only the puzzle of WHAT they are to be solved. They all consider every possibility, as Amber is onto something, sneaking off to read numbers. With some numbers on crates, Amber uses these to try some combinations, but isn’t successful. Natalie instead thinks of the number of shells on the tree mail they received, hiding Amber and Danni’s so they couldn’t solve it. She is successful and screams with delight at claiming a vote steal advantage clue, once again able to be sold to someone in the game. Natalie’s officially the mayor of the Edge, her puzzle solving skills are elite, and I am envious.
Back at Dakal, Sarah discovers the clue given by Natalie, where she must sneak into Sele’s camp and find the advantage at their camp. Previously successful at playing vote steals (in Game Changers), Sarah is weary about the risks and loss of a fire token involved, but since it’s Winners at War, she’s going for it. Calling in police backup, Tony helps her get ready by disguising her in ash to be camouflaged. As Sarah arrives on Sele, everyone’s sound asleep as she approaches, truly in stealth mode. Looking for the torches where the advantage is hidden, she’s exposed, clamouring and making a ruckus, possibly ruining the whole plan. She succeeds, it’s mission accomplished, but I so wanted someone to wake up, just for the laughs, lol.
Sele and Dakal rock up to the Immunity Challenge, where digging, roaps, ladders, and tree puzzles are all involved to earn the victory this time. Chicken kebabs are also on offer as reward, with Sandra elected to sit-out for Dakal. Sele is slightly behind early in the challenge, as Dakal manages to capitalise on their challenge leading to Sophie and Sarah starting the puzzle before Rob and Michele eventually begin for their tribe. As Rob and Michele attempt to close the gap, the lead changes back and forth between both tribes. As they near the end, Sophie and Sarah drop some pieces out of place opening the door for Sele, and despite a super close finish, Dakal once again wins Immunity, sending Sele to a third Tribal Council.
With a particular odd Survivor moment, Sele sits around camp in silence for an hour, everyone waiting to see who will make the first move to get up, walk, and talk. Jeremy and Ben are up first, as they assert the plan with Denise to take out Parvati. With Ben calling Parvati, “Poverty”, he expresses that she’s too scary and dangerous over the other two. Adam is back to his antics of revealing plans to those allied with said target, and informs Rob that he has the numbers to get rid of her, and he should link up with him going forward. Applying his Millennials vs Gen X strategy about revealing truths to others doesn’t sit well with Rob, who confronts Jeremy and Michele about alleged plan, as the two agree with Rob to vote out Adam instead. Rob spreads that Adam’s exposing the plan to blindside Parvati to everyone, with Parvati ready to take him out for plotting against her. Jeremy and Michele aren’t ready to take out Adam, and want to break up the old school trio. They consider voting Ethan instead, but they also want to make a move against Adam for his disloyalty. Denise, Ben, Michele, and Jeremy are now in power to decide what happens, choosing between Adam, who’s playing both sides, or someone from the power trio. Michele wants to justify her win from Kaoh Rong, and is ready to make the move necessary to do so, whatever that move will be.
At Tribal Council, the cohesive unit built after Danni’s vote must now be broken, and is discussed as thinking for oneself is the largest priority but biggest concern for everyone on the tribe. Parvati talks about her giant target and limited options moving forward, and as Adam explains that bigger players have bigger targets, like Rob and his statue from Island of the Idols, Rob calls Adam out for painting a purposeful target on his back by bringing up Rob’s statue as a tool to remind everyone of his legacy. Ben uses a bunker analogy about the social situation, with everyone jumping in someone’s bunker to decide which bunker has the majority. Ethan talks about wanting to play for now instead of the future, hoping he has done enough to stay for the night. When Jeff returns with the votes, Parvati receives one vote from Adam, while the power trio lock three votes on Adam, but it’s the four in power that decided to swing somewhere different, blindsiding Ethan 4-3-1, weakening the trio and certainly teaching Adam a lesson in loyalty. Ethan backs his ally Parvati when he gives her his fire token before taking the boat ride to the Edge.
There’s a lot of takeaways from this week’s episode, and it’s clear that a lot of luck is involved with winning the game. Because we have seen multiple ‘dumb’ moves made by people who should be aware of how to play the game. Let’s break it all down.
GOING, GOING, ZOHN!
Um, where did that come from? I was convinced the boot was going to be either Parvati or Adam, especially Adam, and suddenly Ethan’s shown the front door. This was a shock, and like many, saddening for me. After all these years and with what Ethan has gone through, we have seen yet another massive loss to the season with Ethan heading to the Edge of Extinction. Ethan was clearly guilty of association, and I have to ask why these guys aren’t going for Rob. Even Parvati seemed like a more plausible choice. The move made by Denise, Michele, Jeremy, and Ben seems to be out of place because they are reprimanding Adam without taking a swing at him. Clearly, there’s an attachment they have. And I can’t quite understand why they didn’t just agree to go with Parvati. Maybe idols were considered? Maybe Parvati has more connections than it seems. I feel like Ethan was just a really big victim of circumstances that put him as the easy vote from the power trio. Absolutely disappointed to see Ethan go, and add him to the list of people I wanna see come back into the game. I just really wanted to see Ethan go deep, but it mightn’t meant to be. I can’t even touch on the boot too much, because we didn’t get much ammo to why he left. And if anything, this is more on the four that made the move rather than a mistake by Ethan. He aligned with powerful people, that’s the mistake he’d have to own. But I don’t blame him. And for me, it’s still a worthy sacrifice over Parvati. Don’t @ me.
THE SELE TRIBE
Okay let’s touch on Parv and Rob. They’re in trouble, but they’ve got four fire tokens between them and have officially been weakened. So they might have some longevity in them after Ethan’s elimination. They’re gonna have to work with the four though, Adam’s clearly the easy target for them, they’ve gotta go after him before ruffling the feathers of the four. Now Adam, yes, big mistake leaking plans and playing both sides. But I get his intentions. It did work in his winning season, he made a mistake, one that could’ve be avoided. But let’s not give him a hard time. I’m wondering if he can bounce back, and in particular, his relationship with Denise clearly isn’t so tight as it seems. She knowingly made a move against his knowledge, so has she jumped ship? It’ll be interesting to see how this duo is affected, especially if Sele visits another Tribal and Adam is the primary target. I think Jeremy and Michele made the right move to align with Denise and Ben to vote out Ethan. They did (as much as it hurts to say) have to weaken that alliance. It does reprimand Adam, but does it alienate him as well? Why piss Adam off? Why not just vote with him for Parvati and let it go? There’s clearly more work at hand here and they’re showing their cards, proving they have a royal flush in hand. They’re demanding power, and they now have a pick of both sides. Will the four stick? I don’t even know. It’s a bit of a mess, so if Sele goes to Tribal, a lot can be said and some answers can be given. I just hope, for their sake, voting against the trio AND Adam doesn’t come back to bite. It’s a good move, but I’m not sure the payoff is going to be as great as it looks.
THE DAKAL TRIBE
Loving Sarah and Tony’s alliance really flourish this time, especially with Sarah managing to succeed on her mission to grab the vote steal. It was a great moment watching Tony scrub ash on her to blend in. Just hilarious. And it really shows the positive connection between these two and that there’s probably a lot more to see yet. In fact, Dakal looks very harmonious because they haven’t had to go to Tribal as often as Sele. But damn Tyson taking shots against Sandra, already, it is a worry. He needs to do something and I know why Sandra would seem like his easiest option, but once Sandra finds about it, it’s done. It’ll be tough to get back from it. Thankfully, the preview seems to show these two joining together. But damn, I’m unsure whether it was a good move at all. Yul seemed to be a little indifferent about his decision to tell Sandra or go with the plan. I think he is threatened by Tyson, and that’s okay, it’s plausible. I’m just worried Yul might be seen as a spearhead in the game that needs to go. He’s got strategic capability, but if people catch on, he’s done! Gone! It seems Yul has all the power, and maybe now he does, but it only takes a few to realise to flip the script. So I hope Yul isn’t playing too hard by telling Sandra Tyson’s plan. Why not just keep your cards close for now? Does Sandra really need to know? Maybe not.
THE BILLIONAIRE OF EXTINCTION
Natalie is OWNING the Edge of Extinction! She’s so clever, a massive puzzle solver, and it’s just great news for her! I love Natalie, even more than I did pre-season because of how impressive she is and has been in only three weeks. I really hope all this works pays off, that’s the hope. In fact, Natalie’s probably one of the best characters for me this week, but I’m sticking to no Edge players in the top five, but just know, if I wasn’t, Natalie would be there, 100%. Still loving Amber! And appreciate her thinking and wanting to be selfish when working out the numbers away from the others. It didn’t work, but the effort doesn’t go unnoticed. And kudos to Danni for catching a fish, I like that she’s taking something away from this experience if it’s only a long stay on the Edge. But the MVP of the Edge is clearly Natalie. I’m rooting for her. And she’s a puzzle queen. With Ethan coming in, I don’t think she’s got any more competition than she did otherwise. It also seems to get pretty physical on there in the next episode, so hopefully everyone pulls through okay.
So a few poker analogies and a lot of questions asked. That seem’s like the theme in the Review this week. But it’s good, I like to be thinking and have questions, it means we’ve got some compelling television going on.
THE TOP FIVE
Each episode, I will pick a top five for the week, based on what we’ve seen currently and previously. I will however leave out those on the Edge of Extinction, and reserve it for those still in the main game.
PARVATI SHALLOW: The legend survives again! Still a huge target, still in the game. There’s something about Parvati that entices everyone yet it’s still not enough for people to pull the pin on her. Here’s hoping it happens again!
ROB MARIANO: I debated putting Rob in, truly, but he really diffused the situation for Parvati’s blindside and ratted Adam out as, well, a rat. Sure, he didn’t succeed in voting him out, but he put Adam on the bottom his alliance, something that might help him later on.
DENISE STAPLEY: Back with a full idol, making moves against close allies, Denise is here to play and I love that for her! I’m thinking Denise doesn’t make the move against Adam unless she has a Plan B, so good for her for being strategic and having a solid week.
TONY VLACHOS: The guy is a machine for hilarity! Sharks, ash, spitting, why is Tony consistently a fantastic character that makes me laugh every damn time he’s on screen. It’s all clearly working as a strategy, so much so Sarah trust him to tell her about her advantage. That’s huge!
JEREMY COLLINS: Between him and Michele, I pick Jeremy for being more of a solid player over three episodes than the latter. He wanted to weaken the trio in power, and was a pivotal player in making the move this week. I think Jeremy is in a great position, a lovely change after Episode 1.
PSA: Natalie should be here. But honourable mentions to Michele, Yul. Tyson, and even Sarah. Still loving everyone else, I hope there’s changes again next week, particularly if Dakal goes to Tribal Council.
I can’t wait for the next episode! I’ll be back with another Review and my thoughts this time next week, so stay tuned! And if for some reason you’re a fan of Survivor, and not watching, DO IT NOW!
Check out some other great content across the blog, including the winners pre-season assessment, previous Reviews, and the Reviews of Australian Survivor and Married At First Sight! And join the conversation with me on Twitter and Instagram!
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The next episode of Survivor: Winners at War airs Thursday, 7:30pm on 9Go! in Australia, otherwise check your local TV guide!
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