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Survivor: Season 31, 2nd Episode, 9/30/15

October 1st, 2015 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

With the current season of Survivor consisting entirely of people who’ve played the game once before, some are going to do better than their original season, and some are going to do worse. Some are going to make final four (in the money), some are going to make the jury, but right now the game is still in its first quarter, so to speak, when some people may go out far too early but most will be simply weak links or the victims of early power shifts.

Right now keep an eye on the players who placed final four or better their first season:  Spencer, Woo, Kass, Keith, Stephen Fishbach, Terry Dietz. They’re the major threats to go deep, even if they’re targeted, but how deep will depend on their alliances.  This second episode shows how shifting alliances are affecting this season already.

After Takao lost the season’s first immunity challenge and voted out Vytas instead of Abi, Spencer and Jeff start angling for position with Abi. Allying with the unpredictable Abi may appear unwise but Jeff in particular thinks he can use her. She’ll be that person he can keep around a long time precisely because she won’t be competition for jury votes.

Over at the Bayon camp the intact tribe is peaceful but developing strategy. People agree Joe’s a good guy to keep around–until the merge. The strategies of Kass and Tash are turned around. Kass is so far showing a kinder gentler side, while Tash is saying she’ll lie and cheat and then ask forgiveness. Stephen Fishbach (“The Wizard” in his first season) spreads a rumor that Jeremy’s idol-hunting, but Jeremy denies it, and his denial is plausible.

Back at Takao in the middle of the night, Abi, Shirin, and Peih-Gee have an argument the whole camp hears. Abi, now ostracized by the whole tribe, or so she thinks, goes to sulk on the beach. Terry and Jeff–each in his own way–reach out to her and rope her in. The tribe’s whole power axis shifts, and suddenly Jeff and Abi are scheming to get rid of Spencer and Shirin, because they weren’t nice to Abi. (Not quite true–and if people had voted out Abi at the last tribal council, they wouldn’t have this problem.)

Takao loses the next immunity challenge, partly because Spencer, Woo, Terry, and Jeff get out-muscled by Jeremy, Keith, Joe, and Andrew Savage. Jeff gloats that Spencer and Shirin lost it. Actually they were the two who almost saved it, but “almost” rarely counts in the game of Survivor.

The events surrounding Takao’s second tribal council are not clear–there must have been some crucial footage that was saved for the DVD extra. I predicted the vote would be 8-1 for Spencer, unless someone (Terry?) talked some sense into people–that if they couldn’t win challenges with Spencer, they wouldn’t win challenges without Spencer. In that case there was some faint hope that Shirin would be voted out instead.

At Takao tribal council:  the votes are split! Spencer gets four but Shirin gets five and she’s out.

The split vote indicates there must be unseen footage of an agreement to split the vote. That’s the only way the scene just before tribal council, when Shirin and Spencer lobby Woo to no avail, makes sense. Woo’s vote wouldn’t matter unless the vote was going to be split. If Shirin, Spencer, and a third vote (Woo) could target someone else (Abi?), they might force a 3-3-3 tie. That must have been the (failed) counter-strategy, but it’s still unclear how Spencer was spared.

Just like during Spencer’s first season, he just barely scrapes by, council by council. Next week’s preview shows us the tribes are going to be split into three, meaning some alliances are going to be threatened.




Tags: Survivor