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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This year, be thankful for a wild double episode of Survivor

Sunday Burquest (Image: CBS)
Sunday Burquest (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.

  • Jay tries to make nice after Tribal Council by finding Taylor’s stolen food and giving it back to the group. Probably would have gone over better if he did it before Taylor left in a fury of burned bridges, though.
  • Will realizes his alliance is basically completely imploded, and goes to Zeke to try to save himself in the game. To solidify the bond, he tell Zeke about Jay’s idol and asks him to keep it a secret. No way this will come back to hurt him at all. Nope. (The immediate montage of Zeke’s alliance telling everyone Jay has an idol is freaking hilarious. Bravo, editors.)
  • In the reward challenge, David went from seriously doubting his physical challenge skills, to breaking down when the rest of his tribemates supported him, to ultimately actually failing in the mental portion of the challenge. It was a real roller coaster of emotions for him.
  • David talking about how his anxiety in life had ended up manifesting as a fear of life and Survivor is helping him change that is genuinely touching. Between this and Adam’s letter from home reassuring him that his sick mother was okay, this was a surprisingly emotional episode.
  • So after all of that business last week, Chris and Bret immediately want to get rid of Jess. Because, reasons, I guess? But not so fast: David wants to get rid of Chris, and Jessica is on board, setting up a potential Jessica vs. Chris vote at Tribal.
  • The Chris vs. Jess vote all comes down to Zeke, who basically has all of the power to decide which of them goes home. Zeke and his alliance vote out Chris, and it makes for a pretty great blindside.
  • This Survivor is two episodes smashed together, because CBS hates me and doesn’t want me to make Thanksgiving pies ahead of time. On that note, on to part two, where Bret immediately goes to Zeke and tells him there are no hard feelings for him voting out Chris.
  • Zeke is happy to hear this, because his big plan is to go after David and he needs Bret and Sunday to pull it off. In turn, David wants to start laying the groundwork to get rid of Zeke and goes to Bret and Sunday for support. Now things are getting interesting.
  • Great little bonding moment between Zeke and Bret when Bret reveals he is gay and they talk about the differences between their experiences being from different generations. This is an actual, genuine, and meaningful Gen X vs. Millennial moment. Finally, show!
  • Hannah decides to play both sides between Zeke and David but forgets the most important thing about being able to play both sides: You have to be able to lie effectively and easily, and she just can’t do it. This causes Zeke to want to come after her instead, putting the entire vote up for grabs.
  • The vote is so up for grabs that whispers start openly breaking out at Tribal, and it almost devolves into name calling between Bret and Zeke (toward David) before the rest of the tribe walks that back, and quickly. To their endless credit, because past seasons’ casts would have just let the insults fly.
  • Insanity: At the last moment, David plays his idol for Ken, with an assist from Adam saying Ken was a last-minute target. A bad assist, considering Ken gets no votes—the vote is split between Zeke and Hannah, just like they first thought it would be.
  • The revote comes down to Jessica, who it seems is the only one people try to sway to flip to keep the elimination from going to rocks. It doesn’t work, and they can’t come up with a unanimous decision, so it goes to rocks. ROCKS! Thankful for you, Survivor.
  • Who draws the black rock and goes home? Jessica, who people tried to sway to switch votes and avoid this situation and who refused. You literally could not script that moment better. Glorious.

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