Episode 2 is in the bag and again we see another Matsing loss and yet, another trek to Tribal for them. However, this Tribal had a funny moment when Angie was asked about what was needed to make tribal life better and she responded "cookies!". Though her response was a little unorthodox, I will have to agree lol. Trust me, chocolate is great at fixing anyone's blues. Make mine a package of Oreos, please!
This episode we saw pure human drama. Russell is again beside himself with aggravation after, yet, another loss. Malcolm and Angie are becoming "cuddle buddies" to the consternation of Roxy, who feels very threatened by this pairing up. Penner finds an idol, his first immunity in 3 seasons on the show and we see a member of Tandang, Lisa Whelchel, break for a moment under the stress of feeling like an outsider.
It's still early in the season and we have yet to really see some of the other cast members, who are more or less ghosts. We have yet to see Carter Williams say one word. Pre-season I liked the cancer survivor, Artis, and so far we may have seen him maybe for 5 minutes. This past episode, I got a bit of a clue at least about him, that he is part of the larger alliance. Most likely as a sub-alliance with someone. Possibly Michael.
We are pretty much seeing the same folks each episode. So either these people are who we will see throughout the season and editing is helping us get to know them, to either love or despise them. Or these "invisibles" are just not "good TV". Either way, if such is the case, I am not seeing doom quite yet for Lisa Whelchel, she may just be in for the long haul.
She has been focused on so far in confessionals, in brief scenes. This past episode, she broke down under duress. True, part of the reason we might be seeing what we are seeing of her is because she has the "celebrity" tag. As does yet another cast member, Jeff Kent, whom we are also seeing a bit of. But Lisa, (Survivor) character wise, has a sympathetic and likable edit to her. I am not sure fully yet on Jeff, whether I will like him or not, game wise. But Lisa, I do like her. I feel I can relate to her and am hoping that the edit we are seeing is an indicator that we are watching a journey that starts off shaky, but comes full circle, strong, deep in the game.
Breaking Under The Stress
As I stated above, this past episode, we see former "Facts Of Life" star, Lisa Whelchel, break for a moment under duress. Lisa stated in a confessional that she is actually shy and that it's tough for her to do social type things. She is definitely questioning whether or not she has it in her to do this. I have always got the impression that Lisa is a survivor. In fact I have stated this previously twice. Personally I am glad she's having the stressed out moment now rather than deep in. She has a shot to get something going. The thing is Lisa needs to dig in deep and tell herself she can do it. Lisa, if you can survive being a child star and all that goes with it and all the bumps you have had along the way, trust me, you can do it girl! I think honestly, the edit is setting it up for us to see a "comeback". She will need to put aside the initial first impressions she gave everyone. But I think she can and I have my fingers crossed for her.
Penner Finds An Idol
After an exhaustive amount of searching on the part of Jonathan Penner, he has finally after 3 seasons, gotten his hands on an immunity idol. The powers that be are really taking the fun out of searching for the idol. They are practically putting it right into the hands of people. In Jonathan's case, it's needed. I honestly feel the reason he was looking so feverishly is because he realized how the tribe wants him out at the first available moment they can cut him. Jeff Kent has stated it, as has others on the tribe. Edit wise, we don't see Jonathan doing too much socially. I also don't think the others on the tribe are clueless. This idol can either be a tool to curry favor now for Jonathan and buy him some time or it could be put to use to save him. Hopefully. Jonathan will use this as a strategical tool. Maybe now that he is in possession of it, we can start to see him put something together that will work out for him.
Bonus Video: 'Survivor' Did Russell Hantz take Jonathan Penner's Villain spot?
The Continuing Spiral of Matsing
Over at Matsing, we are seeing a tribe that is split down the middle. On one side we have, Malcolm, Denise and Angie. Then on the opposite spectrum we see returning player Russell Swan with Roxy. I don't see much of a unified tribe existing at Matsing, but instead, I see a tribe with differing agendas. The image below taken during a scene at camp, clearly shows this division.
Basic Survivor 101 tells us that you can always tell who is in an alliance with whom, by noting who sits next to whom, who someone is chilling the most with and yes, even the sleeping arrangements.
Which brings us to the subject of Roxy. Roxy had noticed the growing bonding between Malcolm and Angie. Both are attractive and to be honest, it's not that big of a stretch to infer a possible attraction budding. In Malcolm's case though, you have a smart player who I seriously doubt will allow himself to be "blinded by the headlights". Roxy made perfect sense, but in her case, she fell prey to the tribal social structuring.
Social wise, what I saw was that Roxy annoyed members of the larger alliance. Denise, who is a very strategical based player, was annoyed by seeing Roxy's prayer and gut wise felt she could not trust Roxy ultimately. Roxy in targeting Angie, could just as soon, target her main ally Malcolm or even herself. Which made Roxy ultimately a threat.
Roxy, in trying to break up a potential power pair that she saw in Angie/Malcolm, made a strategical decision to approach Denise and Russell, but what she could not factor into the equation is that Denise is possibly thinking steps ahead. In doing so, she has to protect her ally Malcolm and ultimately, herself. Which then makes Roxy expendable.
Roxy provided a reason for the larger alliance to vote her off in that she told Russell during the challenge that she could not run the extra run because she hadn't drank much water that day. I noted that, to me, she showed more strength during her run than Angie did on her two. Had she have done the extra run, they well could have pulled an immunity off. To me, that is working against your tribe and not with them.
Plus earlier we see Roxy openly complaining about the weather conditions which got on some nerves. When you add these minor annoyances, plus the challenge, tagging this onto the viable threat Roxy could become, we can see why Roxy's plan was not successful. It all in the end came down to social politics. Which is a large part of what Survivor itself is based on.
Matsing is a tribe that is showing itself to be fracturing under the weight of these social divisions and agendas. For Matsing to be able to survive intact, they will need to get on the same page. At the moment, it doesn't look too good for Russell Swan, as he is on the outside of a larger alliance. Russell is fighting hard though and is trying to rally his tribe. But, the key player in all of this is Denise, who I see as someone who is mapping things step by step. If Russell can work something with Denise and Malcolm, which would be a good strategical ploy for both with his being a returning player, he has a shot. If not, then Russell could well be the next to go.
Hope everyone enjoyed this past episode. Please leave your thoughts below on what you are thinking of this season so far. Have a wonderful week and keep the torch light lit!
The Oreo Song by Weird Al click here