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MrsGryn

Survivor 40 - Episode 1 - Where Is The Blood We Were Promised?

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MrsGryn   

We open with flashbacks to the very first season of Survivor, where everyone looks like children, none more than Probst. A few voiceovers, and the Winners are all in fast-moving speedboats, headed for the Fijian archipelago whose number one employer is Mark Burnett Productions. Probst is on a tiny sand island, introducing us to Winners At War. He declares it is going to be a bloodbath while dressed all in black. Is that to hide the bloodstains?

The Survivors disembark, with the women having a slight bit more trouble staying upright. Nearly half fall in the surf, but it’s early so they just laugh about their clumsiness. Tribes are lined up as men on one side, women on the other and for a moment it appears that this is how they are going to play. Not so fast! Probst disabuses them of that notion very quickly, but not until they all have a glass of champagne to celebrate the fact that they will be winning TWO million dollars (in addition to their $30,000 appearance fee…allegedly). Probst also shows them a “fire token” which is new. These tokens will be given to each player and when they are voted off, they are to bequeath their token to another player. We find out later that these tokens can be used to buy different things: rice, comfort items, or if you collect four, a game advantage. But wait! There’s more! Edge of Extinction Island of the Dinosaurs has returned to annoy the shit out of me all season. This does not bode well for my stomach ulcer.

Probst passes out buffs and the tribes are divided thusly: Dakal (Red): Tyson, Sophie, Sandra, Wendell, Yul, Sarah, Amber, Kim, Tony, Fatboy Nick. Sele (Blue): Natalie, Danni, Jeremy, Ben, Michele, Adam, Rob, Parvati, Denise, Ethan. Hugs, hellos, happy greetings abound among people who actually know each other pretty well. Then Probst drops the bomb: the first immunity challenge starts RIGHT NOW! He slams the new tribal immunity idol onto his bamboo table and it is a skull with firetokens for eyes, backed by crossed femur bones. Very reminiscent of Pearl Island Pirates, which bodes well for Queen Sandra. The challenge is the one where two on each tribe grab a lifebuoy and touch their tribe pole while holding onto the buoy. First tribe to three points wins. Survivors ready? GO!

First pairing is Tyson and Yul for Dakal vs. Ethan and Jeremy for Sele. There is a lot of struggle and splashing, but eventually Dakal wins the first point. Round two sees Sarah and Kim (Dakal) vs. Natalie and Parvati (Sele). It nearly goes Sele’s way but then Kim bulls her way over to the pole for Dakal and they score their second point. One more and they are free from tribal council. Round three is Wenell and Tony for Dakal vs. Rob and Ben for Sele. It is a struggle but Rob manages to get the point for Sele, so they are not out of it yet. It actually takes the next round with Sarah and Amber for Dakal vs. Denise and Natalie for Sele. They give their all but Sele comes up short and Dakal wins the first immunity. At least they get a day at the new tribe beach before they have to go to tribal council.

So here’s the thing about this bloated episode. There is a lot of people, some we know well, some we know a little, some we don’t remember at all, running around talking to everyone on their tribe, figuring out alliances or not alliances, making plans, and on and on. The real mistake is Adam and Denise wander off together and are gone for far too long. Amateur move, Adam. You should have known better. This puts a target on their backs. On the other hand, Rob is a HUGE target because he’s Boston Rob. On the other hand, he is out dad-bod-ing Dadbod Rick these days. Wasn’t he just stuck on an island for 36 days with Sandra? Did they have catering from Applebees while they were out there? And finally, Natalie and Jeremy are best buds from their season on Blood vs. Water. That’s what is going on with the Sele tribe prior to tribal council. Before we get there, though, I’d like to talk about these fire tokens. A menu of sorts is at each tribe’s beach with a list of what the tokens can purchase: coffee and pastries for three tokens. A small bag of beans for four, a regular bag of rice for five. Two pillows and two blankets for four, a tarp for five. If you want an advantage in a challenge, it will set you back four full tokens. Seems pretty pricey, if you ask me. I wonder if the fire tokens in the immunity statue can be pried out and used for a Venti Flat White?

Other highlights from all the chitchat: Queen Sandra is pissed at Rob for lying to her, there is something called the “Poker Alliance” where Jeremy, Tyson, Kim, and Rob played poker in a televised tournament and Tyson, king of the offhand jokes, said they should be in an alliance if they ever played Survivor again. Older players, meaning those who played pre-immunity idol twist-frenzy seasons are slightly behind the eight ball when it comes to the pace of the game now. Poor Ethan looks like he is just running around aimlessly half the time. He’s still cute, though, so that’s okay. Parvati is a mom now and can’t flirt her way to the end. She and Rob are confused by the fact that the rest of the players cannot seem to settle on a name to vote out and kind of are idiots. Yul is still totally awesome and if anyone criticizes him, you’re banned. Also people are paranoid. Well, that’s normal for Survivor.

First tribal council for Winners at Bloodless War. Probst is wearing a Behr paint Winterscape shirt, for those keeping score at home. The set is WAY cool: voting booth looks like a skull built out of wooden slats. Non-functional (sadly) weapons, like a cannon and trebuchet, are strewn about the council area. Probst is loving his job as he cannot stop smiling as he questions the Survivors. They all agree the game is played at a faster pace, Denise and Adam are thrown under the bus by Rob, and no one wants to be first out. And with that, it’s time to vote!

Probst goes to tally the votes. Denise. Adam. Denise. Natalie. Natalie. Natalie. Natalie. Natalie. That’s enough, our Twinnie winner is voted out and sent off to Exile Extinction Island. On her way, she passes a table full of small treasure boxes with the names of all players. The instructions are for the exile to place their fire token into one of the boxes. Natalie picks Jeremy, not surprisingly as he is her closest ally and everybody knows it. She is motored over to her new existence in the dark of night. There she learns she can earn fire tokens while exiled from society. The next morning, she goes to the beach and reads what tokens will buy her: advantage in the return challenge costs one token, idol with full power is three. Pizza, jar of peanut butter, bottle of wine, six pack of beer, hammock, all one token each. There is a message in a bottle. It tells her to journey to the last spot she can see the sunset, which causes her to climb to the top of the island and follow what appears to be a path to the end and she finds plaque. It says, “This is a hidden immunity idol good for three tribal councils. It has no value on Jurassic Island but you can sell it to another sucker from the losing tribe for a fire token.” An interesting twist, but I’m really not sold on these fire tokens just yet. If it means there are no hidden immunity idols out there, then okay but I have a sneaking suspicion it will just be nothing but chaos by the end of the season.

Later in the show, we see that Natalie has sold the idol to Queen Sandra, who does not hesitate to give up her token for an idol. Because Sandra is not an idiot.

Day three and it’s Immunity Challenge time. Probst is wearing a Behr paint Brilliant Blue shirt, for those keeping score at home. Oooh, this is a good one! Tribes will have to paddle a boat out to a platform and retrieve a bag of number tiles. They will then have to paddle back to a series of obstacles, including a box stair, cargo net, and log roll. A FRIGGING LOG ROLL! It makes me want to launch into the lumberjack song almost immediately, but it’s late and this episode is two freaking hours. Anyway, the number tiles will be used to figure out a combination lock to release three rings. Those rings will then be tossed onto three oars and the first to hit all three oars wins immunity. Dakal has one extra member so Sandra sits out. Survivors ready? GO!

Both tribes start out well enough, but then Sele gets tangled up with one of the floating platforms with an obstacle. Rob has to push them off physically from it and they lose a lot of ground. Then they can’t get to the station with the number tiles and Rob leaps from the boat to the platform. Meanwhile, Dakal is breezing through the obstacles like they were nothing. Rob bellyflops, and I’m surprised there wasn’t a small tsunami afterward. Dakal treats the barrel roll like a one foot hurdle, but Sele is having issues until Rob starts launching people up and over the barrel. Finally it is down to him and Jeremy still on that side and Jeremy just can’t get buoyant enough to get traction on the barrel. Finally, Ethan gets on Ben’s shoulders and leans over from the other side, pulling Jeremy over and then Rob. Probst is very impressed with their teamwork, but Dakal is already working on their ring toss. Tyson and Wendell casually toss and Wendell gets the first ring on an oar. Sele now can’t get their combination undone. Finally he gets the rings free and Jeremy starts tossing rings. He lands the first one, then the second while Dakal still has one. Jeremy tosses the third ring and lands it perfectly. I don’t think he missed even once! Very impressive and learn your lesson, kids: practice the ring toss before going on Survivor.

On Dakal beach, there is the same chaos and confusion as to who is aligning with whom, who is close outside the game, who would be the best person to target. No one seems to want to make a decision and stick with it. Sandra is playing her usual game of whisper strategy: Did you hear so-and-so was talking about voting you out? You would think these people would be on to her by now. Her target is Amber, strictly for revenge against Rob for lying to her, but it’s not a bad strategy anyway since her husband is on the other tribe. Someone from the fabled “poker alliance” is also a target. Kim is confused by this when she finds out because, as she declares over and over again, there is no actual poker alliance. It was a joke by Tyson!

Tribal Council time. Probst is wearing a Behr paint Charistmatic Sky shirt, for those keeping score at home. I have to be honest: tribal council is about as interesting as your high school reunion. It’s nice to catch up but there are some people you really never cared about hearing from again. I have a feeling this season is going to be like that for the rest of the time.

Side note: the pen used for votes is in a knife. Nice that it can double as a weapon, for when Tony really pisses you off. Oh, look, he’s talking at tribal. STAB STAB STAB!

Let’s go tally the votes, Probst. Nick. Kim. Kim. Kim. Amber. Amber. Amber. Amber. Amber. And with that, Rob’s wife is sent off to Extinction Island to spend her days with a twin. She gives her fire token to Sandra. KIDDING! It goes to Rob.

Next week: Rob declares war on Sandra. Also, the recap will be delayed until Thursday due to your recapper’s travel plans.

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Magpie   

As always, the recap is (immensely) better than the show. Two hours was an hour too much, but the stabby knife pen was cool. 

Thanks for getting this posted for our enjoyment before you head out, MrsG, and have a great trip! 

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angelmi   

Sandra has a belly too. Rob was catching a ton of fish for her when he wasn't building a two bedroom hut so he didn't have to hear her snoring. Can't wait till they all start complaining about her snoring in their camp this year. I have had too much of Sandra hope Rob can get rid of her. So funny about the poker games heard Jeff has them too. 

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Random thoughts... Yay!  MrsGryn and her brilliant recaps are back..life is good again.

I've noticed that all of Probst's shirts have front pockets.  Is it to hide his man boobs?  

How the hell did Sandra get an immunity idol?

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Magpie   
1 hour ago, elizabethann said:

How the hell did Sandra get an immunity idol?

As explained above by MrsG: "There is a message in a bottle. It tells her [Natalie] to journey to the last spot she can see the sunset, which causes her to climb to the top of the island and follow what appears to be a path to the end and she finds plaque. It says, “This is a hidden immunity idol good for three tribal councils. It has no value on Jurassic Island but you can sell it to another sucker from the losing tribe for a fire token.” An interesting twist, but I’m really not sold on these fire tokens just yet. If it means there are no hidden immunity idols out there, then okay but I have a sneaking suspicion it will just be nothing but chaos by the end of the season.

Later in the show, we see that Natalie has sold the idol to Queen Sandra, who does not hesitate to give up her token for an idol. Because Sandra is not an idiot."

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MrsGryn   

Don't feel bad. Tsy had to explain it to me the first time, so I had to watch that part carefully to get the details.

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tlh9   

1)  Another thoroughly enjoyable reading experience that enhanced the fun i had watching the show

2)  I didn't get the thing with Sandra getting that idol, either -- I was like "wtf just happened there?"  Now I get it.

So, what if Sandra had been an idiot..... what happens then?  Or say a future recipient doesn't have a Fire Token or something, and the person on Dinosaur Island for whatever reason doesn't know that.  The idol's returned to Natalie (or whoever)?

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Jade   

Wasn't the whole point of Edge of Extinction to make them fight extra hard for everything? Then, almost immediately, Natalie gets an immunity idol that she "sells" to Sandra for a fire token. So, now, she has 1 token (out of 3 to get back into the game) that required no real work on her part. No work=1 token for Natalie + Sandra gets an Immunity Idol (no effort required)

This makes no sense.

Are they going to give something to Amber?

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AVorlon   

I think we're in un-charted territory with this new token twist, and the way this works has not been fully explained yet. 

If it takes three to get back into the game, there must be some sort of competition on Exile for them to earn more.  Since everyone will arrive with zero tokens, it seems like being booted out early will be to your advantage.

Unless, of course, the rule is that you only have to bequeath one token when you leave  and keep the rest.     

Edited by AVorlon

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chrysana   

There are many survivors coming in with previous connections - either by playing together on a season, becoming friends on the "survivor circuit", or through marriage - maybe that's why there seem to be so many "twists" to mix things up.

Hmmm, I never thought of having to give up all your tokens.  More potential for leaving the game with an immunity idol...or the power to buy an idol.

Edited by chrysana

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tlh9   

it would seem to make the most sense -- and be the most interesting -- that when you are voted off, before going to Extinction Island, you have to give up *all* of your Fire Tokens.  Also, if you have several of them, that you don't have to bequeath them all to the same person -- you can split 'em up.

I'm interested to see how it plays out, myself.  And then if it ends up being stupid, i can have fun bitching about it on here.

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Jade   

If you don't have to give up all the tokens when you get voted out, I guess this adds another level of strategy to the game. But, only if the players keep their fire token count a secret. If everyone knows who has fire tokens to get back in the game, those people will never be voted out. And, it seems like the exiled player's tokens will keep being turned over to the ones in the game with the most allies. This adds a strong "popularity contest" aspect to the game... this might be less fun to watch.

If they do have to give up all the fire tokens, handing out more than one at the end of each episode.... it seems like these tokens are going to add up fast for a few players who will then in turn be almost untouchable.

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