Survivor: Winners at War – “Fall, Ya! Fall, Ya!”

Battles among friends and enemies were all the rage this week on Survivor: Winners at War. One player went down, another prevailed. And it all ended in an epic Tribal outcome. This was Week 4.

With the earliest winner now out of the game and situated onto the Edge of Extinction, many fans were asking who they should root for! But with so many legends in sight and a monster Edge test incoming, this episode DELIVERED in emotional and strategic value. Let’s dive in.

EPISODE 4 RECAP

After that night’s Tribal Council, Adam feels bamboozled after the giant blindside against him. Knowing it was a massive Survivor mistake, Adam admits to everyone, and more importantly himself, that it was a dumb move. Although apologetic with everyone and promising a change in gameplay, Ben is still suspicious of Adam’s antics. Luckily for Adam though, Parvati and Rob are too big of a threat for Adam to be a simple sacrifice.

On the morning of Day 10, Yul excitedly greets everyone in the morning with a hug and a, “good morning”, simply because Dakal is on a massive high for winning several challenges and limiting their Tribal Council victim count. Confident in his alliance of four with Sophie, Nick, and Wendell, Yul is confident in a positive future for his game. Meanwhile, Sophie and Nick look out to the island of the Edge of Extinction, with Sophie particularly commenting how scary the reality is of the miserable nature on the punishing island.

Meanwhile on the Edge, Amber reads treemail to her fellow competitors detailing a massive effort task to earn a fire token. Having to travel up a giant hill 20 times, each time delivering a piece of firewood back to camp, all before sundown. It’s going to be punishing, and the four are already feeling it as they make the first trip up. Ethan’s battles in life pose as an advantage to him, describing the task as a piece of cake for him. Danni likens it to running a marathon, but on extreme, because the Edge players have practically no food, water or sleep at all. Natalie on the other hand is powering through, hoping to gain her fourth fire token as she crushes the task. Ethan slowly starts to see the toll that so many trips take on him, as he pushes himself to the highest possible point he can, so much so the medical team visit him to run some tests. Not wanting to quit, Ethan feels good enough to continue, on the advice to take appropriate rests where possible. Eventually, Natalie completes the task and breaks down when she reaches the ocean after a monster effort all day. Amber has a similar experience when she finishes, with Danni finishing soon after, albeit without the tears. Ethan keeps fighting, and the three women join him on his final trip, as he finishes the task as well, meaning all four Extinction inhabitants earn a fire token.

Amber, Ethan, Natalie, and Danni pour the contents in the bucket into a bag while living on the Edge of Extinction.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

On Sele, Rob and Michele bond over the backlash Michele received when she won her season, with Rob commenting on the fact that winning is simply that, she did it, and earned it. Adam is also making an effort to bond with everyone, becoming quite the working bee around camp, to make up for his previous strategic mistakes. Later, Parvati and Rob talk to Adam about him flipping back over, but Adam shuts it down by saying he can’t get caught scheming, on his last lifeline with everyone else. Despite not wanting to humour them, Rob tells Parvati he’ll just throw Adam under the bus for scheming, hoping a lie might buy them some time. ‘Confessing’ this to Michele and Jeremy, the two are unhappy with Adam’s ‘antics’, and plot against him if they lose the next challenge.

On Dakal, Sarah and Tyson are bonding extremely well because their personalities are similar and they connect so well. Tyson is aware that the strategic play is still going hard, even if it appears it isn’t at camp. In particular, Tyson wants to target those who aren’t connected (Wendell, Nick, Yul, Sophie), and instead keep him, Kim, and the Game Changers three (Sandra, Tony, Sarah) together. Sandra doesn’t buy it because she believes he’s lying after targeting her earlier in the game.

At the Immunity Challenge, a water-based challenge with a key-grabbing and puzzle component sees Sandra and Tony on the ‘Sandra sit-out bench’. Dakal gets out to a monster lead when they successfully grab their three keys fairly quickly. But Sele strikes disaster when neither Adam, Parvati or Denise can grab a key, with Adam managing to take one. Dakal begins on the puzzle, with Nick and Sarah leading the charge, as Sele continues to fail at the jumping component. Eventually, Adam very slowly, time after time, claims the third key and Sele must make a comeback to beat Dakal who have made a massive time advantage. Something isn’t right, with Sarah and Nick still struggling to solve the puzzle. Rob and Michele manage to evaporate Dakal’s lead, and pull off an amazing victory, sending Dakal to their second Tribal Council of the season.

Michele grabs the Immunity idol from Jeff as Dakal looks on, disappointed in losing the challenge.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

When Dakal gets back to camp, Tyson is on the war path to eliminate Nick for not being helpful around camp, blowing the puzzle, and being a part of the unconnected alliance. Sharing this plan with everyone, he asserts he needs to dictate the direction of his game. It’s apparently that easy this time, with everyone agreeing to it, but there’s a plot against Tyson that he’s unaware of, with everyone instead plotting a unanimous vote against him. Nick’s especially ready to take him out, although still nervous about the vote. Tyson chats with Tony about their target size, and that they’d be eliminated consecutively if they don’t work together. Tony sees Tyson as both a shield and number, something Nick isn’t for him. He, Sarah and Kim are on board with the idea, but they need Sandra to pull it off. Sandra believes Tyson’s a huge threat, yet sees the value in keeping him over Nick. They head out to vote, and it’s a Nick versus Tyson, blindside versus blindside in the works.

At Tribal, the emotional aspect of voting someone out is still taxing on everyone, although the decision based on gameplay is more obvious. Yul and Sophie talk about keeping the unanimous facade alive, with Nick chiming in that he’s in with the group, followed by everyone else making similar comments. Being star struck about meeting Survivor legends is brought up, with many fearful of taking out their most respected player, but also the glorious credit of eliminating their idol in the game. With everyone believing their on the same page, Dakal votes, with Nick making a surprising vote against Kim in the case of an idol play by Tyson. In the end, Tyson doesn’t play his nonexistent idol, and is blindsided by the tribe, 7-1-1. Furious with the move, Tyson leaves some parting words, and also a fire token for his foe, Nick.

Tyson is blindsided by the entire tribe, meaning he is the fifth person voted out of Survivor: Winners at War.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

REVIEW

AHHH! Another favourite, gone. Of course. I love the whole cast (yes, I’ll say it again) but damn, five of my top ten (probably), gone. Nothing against the 30 winners, but can y’all go. I just saw you! That aside, a really great episode of Survivor: Winners at War. We had a much longer Edge segment, and while others may disagree with me, I think we still had a fair share of content that covered several aspects of the tribes as they stand, so I loved it. As I expected I would.

THE LATEST JOKE, TYSON’S OUT

Safe to say I’m quietly pissed Tyson left instead of Nick. He had good reasoning to target one of the unconnected four, but should Tyson have seen it coming? It was easy! Too easy! I feel like there were a couple of rookie mistakes on Tyson’s behalf where he didn’t stick with the vote from Day 3, that saw him as one of three targets. This wasn’t a full on blindside where Tyson was certainly in with the main group. He was working from the outside, and maybe got too comfortable. Tyson’s gonna have to think about that while he sits on the Edge. There’s a lot we might not be aware of, and given the fact everyone voted against him and not just Sandra, clearly there was an agreed upon plan. Despite Sarah’s bond with him, Kim’s ‘Poker alliance’ with him, and Tony seeing the benefit in keeping Tyson, they didn’t go with the vote. Was it smart? Eh. Hard to tell. Tyson likely would jump ship at the swap if it favoured him. But keeping that unconnected four still in the game hurts. My only theory is that they suspected the tribe swap looming. If they HAD gone with Nick to go, then five people have three pissed tribe members that might gain a majority at the swap. Not good odds at all! Keeping tribal harmony gives them some window of opportunity at the swap, to ensure the numbers stay together. That’s my only theory why there’s a strong case to keep Nick. Other than that, it’s neck and neck between the benefits of keeping one or the other. I also love how Tyson gave Nick the fire token. It’s a big, “screw you”, to the people that betrayed him and a pat on the back to the person who technically didn’t betray him and a nod of good game. I like that, it’s cool, it’s subtle, it’s very Tyson. And damn now there’s another I want to come back.

THE DAKAL TRIBE

I touched on it, but the reasoning behind Tyson’s vote seems suspicious considering there were great points that he was making to keep the connected players in the game. If we remove Tyson ever plotting against Sandra, does it still happen? Did Sandra not sign off on it so the other three just went with the plan? Always got questions, damn. So why doesn’t Sandra make the move to take out Nick aside from the fact a swap might be imminent? She’s clearly a huge threat, always will be. Tyson is a perfect shield for her but she’s proven that targeting Sandra gets everyone nowhere. She does like revenge, she said it, and she’s one of the biggest players out there to ensure that someone that says her name will go home. Sandra wants that credit, she wants to get the upper hand. But damn, if Nick blindsides her one day, it’ll kick. Probably not a lot, because it’s Sandra, but I don’t know. I feel like Tyson would keep her one extra day. But then again, probably not. I really love Sarah now. I wasn’t so sold on her when the season started but we’ve really seen her personality open up this time because she’s loosened up this time. I loved watching the vote steal scene last week, and then this week seeing her laugh with Tyson was awesome. Then again. the scene’s pointless since she turned around and voted him out. She’s still cutthroat, I love that. Tony’s epic, the challenge scene where he was casting a magic spell on Adam to fall on the plank was golden. But this is now 2 for 2 times where Tony hasn’t gotten what he wants. He wanted both Amber and Tyson to stay as they were big shields in front of him, but they’re gone. This means Tony isn’t making the decisions on the tribe and I’m worried that it’s not a good sign of his future. Especially because his edit has been quite strong throughout. We didn’t get much from Kim, sad face. And I’m also worried about Yul being too confident in his social and strategic ability on the tribe. I think a blindside is subtly foreshadowed, I’m speaking it into existence now. He expresses himself very confidently, and if any winner knows, don’t ever get confident. And given that many winners have made mistakes this season, it wouldn’t surprise me if Yul joined the club. I also liked the content we got from Wendell this week. He is very clicked on with what is happening around him, and also seemingly very trustworthy to those around him. Nick’s in a bit of hot water for being the target though, considering he doesn’t help around camp (to our knowledge) and was very worried he’d be blindsided. Showing that he didn’t trust his alliance with the vote might not be the best move. Maybe. We’ll see.

Tyson and Sarah high five in the water after the former catches an octopus at the Dakal camp.
IMAGE: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

THE SELE TRIBE

Who doesn’t love Rob just flat out lying and throwing Adam under the bus? That’s what happens when you betray your alliance’s trust, those on the bottom can say whatever they want, and they’ll probably buy it. Jeremy and Michele are right to be weary, Ben too. And given we haven’t gotten any perspective on betraying Adam by Denise, his closest ally, I think Adam’s got a lot to still be worried about. Although his challenge hero moment will go a long way. If only there was no swap. If Adam swaps with a Sele majority, he runs the risk of a blindside with the other Sele members targeting him. If he’s in a minority, he’s easy to chop off. I don’t like Adam’s odds in getting out of this pickle. But good luck to him. Still loving Parv and Rob, but no Tribal equalled not much content from them. I think Parvati is rightfully taking a back seat, it’s easier for her because if she gets her hands dirty then she’ll never make it further. But does this mean she can NEVER get her hands dirty? Probably. I have little doubt that the reason why Parvati eventually is voted out is because of something she does in THIS season. It’ll be her legacy, her threat level. That’s what’s key. Other than being an extremely social player, she’s not attempting to make waves. That’s good, but will it ever be great? Also really loving Michele blossom these last couple of weeks, it’s good to see her trying to redeem herself and reflect on the backlash of her win. She’s a great winner and player. She deserves some credit. And she’s really owning this tribe.

THE EDGE EFFORT TASKS

I thought this was a nice little spin to the Edge of Extinction, to push the players to their limit. But, it comes with it’s disadvantages. It did take a bit of screen time away from the main game. That sucks, as always. But it wasn’t drastic for me. But it’s also becoming vastly apparent that those who stay on the Edge longer have a much better chance of earning fire tokens, things that can help them win the returnee challenge, compared to whoever the latest arrival will be. That sucks! And while I love Natalie, she’s so well off BECAUSE she went home first. There’s so many double edged (HAHA) swords, because you could also consider the fact that those in the game longer have a better chance of igniting their life in the game IF they return. But they’ve gotta get there. And if the actual Edge of Extinction season was any clue enough, it’s that you don’t have to leave late in the game to become the Sole Survivor after winning the returnee challenge. On another note, loved Ethan’s combating scene, eventually prevailing over the task and earning a fire token. He’s such a great guy. I love him and his story. But credit to Nat, Amber, and Danni, they kicked ass too. This is such a fun season, and the Edge scenes are still my guilty pleasure. I don’t want to love it. But it’s great watching these winners still give us some great content.

Another great Survivor episode, this season is epic. Tribe swap incoming. Look out, it’s going up from here.

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.

The players in the Top Five this week include:
Tony Vlachos, Sophie Clarke, Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow, and Sarah Lacina.
IMAGES: ROBERT VOETS/CBS

TONY VLACHOS: So hilarious. Very perceptive. My only concern is that he hasn’t got much control of his tribe, which isn’t bad, but might not be a good sign for the future. Nevertheless, he remains in the top five.

SOPHIE CLARKE: My wildcard pick, unlike Yul, I think Sophie is a lot more self aware and under control of her game. She isn’t making waves, and truly is under the radar. She’s playing extremely well.

ROB MARIANO: I actively seek reasons to not include Rob because it does seem predictable, but I can’t. The Adam lie, brilliant. He knows how to capitalise when he has to, and he’s just so damn good.

PARVATI SHALLOW: Ah, the queen herself. I expressed some worries about her going forward. But she made it to the tribe swap despite being a primary target twice. I’m worried, but she’s awesome. I love Parv!

SARAH LACINA: She’s just so fun this time, and it’s great seeing her personality evolve and really take shape going forward. I think she might have good longevity incoming, and I don’t mind it.

Huge honourable mentions to Michele, Adam, Jeremy, Wendell, and Yul. Also loving Natalie, Amber, Ethan and Tyson! Everyone else is great too, no doubt about it!

I’ll catch you next week for the Review of Episode 5 for Survivor: Winners at War.

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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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