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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Survivor’s season theme is shaky but at least the cast came to play

Taylor Stocker (Image: CBS)
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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.

  • Let’s get this out of the way quickly: This season’s overarching premise is terrible and all of the forced addressing of it during confessionals and Tribal Council is maddening. It’s all essentially about putting square pegs in round holes and is generally ridiculous and beneath us all.
  • Adam, Zeke, and Hannah are on the bottom of the Millennial tribe after Hannah’s mid-Tribal Council flip last week. It’s unclear if this alliance will even survive beyond the episode, considering just how strongly Zeke does not want to deal with Hannah’s explanation of her decision.
  • Seriously, though, how did Figgy manage to survive when it appeared she didn’t do anything to help herself? She better appreciate Jay and Michelle’s hard work.
  • Over at Gen X, David is pretty sure he, Ken, and CeCe are at the bottom of their tribe. Ken wants to flip this around and somehow get the tribe to look at Paul as weak, since that’s how he sees him. Being so openly against Paul with someone in Paul’s alliance doesn’t seem like the best way to go about it, but stranger things have happened.
  • For some reason, Survivor stages a “summit” between members of the two tribes. Will, Jay, Taylor, Figgy from the Millennial tribe go over to meet with CeCe, Dave, Paul, and Chris from Gen X. The people who seem to come out of it the best are David and CeCe, who make friends and then use their position as outsiders to paint a picture of Paul as a future target for the Millennials after the merge. Not too shabby gameplay, there.
  • “This couldn’t be a better position to be in, really.” I would like to say Taylor is too smart to tempt fate like this, but, it’s Taylor. He’s definitely not too smart.
  • “I’m still flabbergasted by the vote, because Figgy sucks at Survivor.” Adam is an early standout as a tolerable presence on the Gen X tribe, and immediately starts working doubt into Michaela’s mind about the impenetrability of the Figgy, Taylor, Jay, and Michelle alliance. It will be interesting to see if this pays off in the future.
  • As much as it’s tough to agree with a challenge-screaming Jeff Probst, he was right here: Gen X lost because they took too darn long to get across that balance beam, for no good reason. Strategy matters, especially when the end puzzle is way too easy to be an equalizer.
  • CeCe’s challenge mistake in taking too long on the balance beam seems to make it a lock for her to go, but never doubt someone doing something dumb enough to nullify even the most obvious outcome. Paul got so secure in his place that he didn’t think when he discussed the future of an all-guys sub-alliance within his alliance, and alienated the three women alliance members he needed to stay on top this week. The result? David, Ken, and CeCe took advantage of this weakness. Bye, Paul! Stranger things did happen, I guess!
  • There will likely never be a Tribal Council question dumber than the one Probst asked here about text speak vs. full words and sentences and what it means about generational divides. Just, no, Probst. Stop. U R so dumb.
  • The gameplay definitely had some interesting moments both last week and this week, despite all of the inanity surrounding the premise. Who are everyone’s favorites to go far in the game?

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