Episode Six had a lot of intriguing elements and a lot of payoffs from earlier in the season.
We had Drake's decision to throw that faithful immunity challenge come back to haunt them; Burton's absence becomes a glaring weakness at a physical challenge; Jon's claims at being a master manipulator are put to the test; and Rupert's short absence from the tribe creates paranoia and opportunity for his opponents.
And it's only going to get better. But before we look to the future, we might analyze the past.
Trish was her own worst enemy, plain and simple.
- She made an aggressive move at a point in the game where one wasn't required. If she hadn't acted, Shawn iwould have been gone in a 5-1 vote. Instead, she went after a certain popular, charismatic food gatherer. Everybody likely shares the same fear about Rupert winning the million, but you can always get him later on when that sentiment only grows stronger.
- Again, Trish trusted the wrong people and paid for it. She should have known that Sandra really liked and appreciated Rupert and she should have known that Shawn is a knucklehead who doesn't have the guts to go into a tie situation at tribal council.
- She was overconfident. You could see at tribal council how self-assured she was. She just assumed that she had the votes, which gave Rupert time to save his butt. She should immediately have talked to Shawn before even plotting this course of action. Shawn was desperate and probably would have been willing to jump on the first offer he made. Instead, she waited until the last minute. If she had gotten Shawn, she would have had at least three votes and been in a far better position with Sandra.
Now for the big big news. We know from the Survivor Web site that next week: "It's the first of a two-part episode full of surprises and revelations!" and that "The Survivors thought they were ready for anything. But, when the twist-to-beat-all-twists takes them by surprise, they can do little but shudder as they learn the curse of SURVIVOR: PEARL ISLANDS."
I am not going on that big of limb when I speculate that the dead are likely rising and that the previously booted castaways are going to make a return and throw the game into chaos. It's long been rumored and the speculation only got more rampant when Lillian's torch didn't go out on the first try in episode 2.
Morgan: I am not as shocked as some that they are now in this position. Unlike Drake, they followed the correct course of action and voted out their three weakest members in the first three tribal councils. After that, they didn't have the numbers that Drake had, but they had a team that was united and (for the most part) strong. They also had a great leader in Andrew who provided stability. He also got Osten back into the game to some extent which was critical to winning that last challenge. They have been on such a roll that we really haven't seen much discussion of strategy lately. It appears that next week Osten reverts to his old ways, which could put him in danger if the tribe finally tires of his attitude. However, Darrah is still on the outside of the core alliance.
Drake: It is my great pleasure to announce that Jon's prospects are not good if the tribe goes to the next tribal council as now constituted. For all his machinations and plotting, he is now looking at four people who distrust and hate him. He doesn't have any marketable skills (that the tribe choose Christa over him for a physical challenge says a lot.) He even managed to alienate the other tribe, meaning if they merge, he has no friends there.
I think that Shawn believes he has a two-way alliance with Rupert, but I think he overestimated the importance of their deal. Rupert obviously likes Sandra and Christa better.
Trish and Jon came at the king and missed. Rupert is in a good position. Of his enemies, only Jon remains. Shawn, Sandra and Christa are with him to the end and he even has the option of jumping to Morgan who love him just as much. Anyway, Jon is done in this game unless he has the chance to ally with a potential late entry.
Loser Tribe Redux: I think this is where the game is heading and I am not going to debate the fairness of allowing players to be allowed back into the game. After all, as Jerry Manthey said in season two," When did this game start being fair?." It's a great twist and should only heighten the drama by bringing back players are motivated by revenge.
My only question Is, will Nicole be coming back? Or will they just bring only the past five losers so it's an even five-on-five-on-five. In any scenario, this tribe has problems. Only Burton has any type of physical strength and everyone knows whom they voted for before they were ousted.
Predictions: I have none other than Jon will be annoying and Osten will be lazy. Anything else is up for grabs.
By Greg Feltes