Photo: CBS

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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  • Michaela perfectly sums up large Survivor alliances in her post-Tribal comment: “The majority turning on each other after one vote just means there’s nothing solid in a big group.” I’ve always thought I would be very nervous to be part of an alliance larger than four on Survivor. That is a lot of people to keep in line—it seems like most of the time it would be like getting cats to walk in a parade.
  • It’s the loved one reward challenge, which means cue the waterworks (both on the show and in my living room). Tai wins everything for A) asking about the cats, because that would be my second question after “how’s the kiddo?”, and B) apparently being romantically involved with Jon Hamm. Seriously, did you see that dude? HAMM.
  • It felt a little icky after the challenge was over when people were calling out Brad’s name to be chosen as the extra reward recipients. Just stand there and be adults, guys. He knows it’s important to all of you and it’s a really hard decision to make, but no one is more or less deserving of loved one time than anyone else. Also, sometimes it’s more advantageous not to go on the reward, Michaela—case in point, by staying back at camp, Michaela and Tai now have a lot of power in deciding which alliance to go with this week.
  • The immunity challenge must have been a lot harder than it looked, because it seemed at first glance like it would go on for a long time, between many people. Instead, nearly everyone was out almost immediately. Don’t see that every day.
  • The editing is excellent going into this Tribal, because they don’t play fast and loose and leave the audience completely baffled by what happens, but we also don’t know who is going home until the vote. That’s always nice. It comes down to Sierra vs. Andrea, which is a decent play at this point (since nobody seems to have caught on to Cirie’s magic dust yet). They’re both big players in the game, and with Brad having immunity and Cirie being under the radar, one of them going home is the smart play.
  • What’s even smarter is that Sarah realizes if she votes Sierra out, she’ll get Sierra’s legacy advantage—something she wisely divulges to the other side in order to make Sierra’s ouster a sure thing. Well played, Sarah.
  • Overall, not the most whiz-bang Survivor episode ever, but they can’t all be crazypants. Next week looks pretty interesting. Tai and Cirie might be trying to pull off a game-changing move, which would be a lot of fun. And Brad and Michaela apparently have words. Is Brad calling Michaela a “diva” a bit of dog-whistling? We’ll have to wait and see the context, but it feels that way to me in the preview.

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