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Survivor: Winners At War Episode 3 Recap - Why Him?

*SPOILERS OBVIOUSLY AHEAD*

Another week, another great episode. So far, Season 40 is living up to expectations and is on pace to go down as one of the best seasons ever. The recipe for a good episode is entertaining camp moments, an interesting challenge, good gameplay, a blindside, and ideally the person going home being someone we can afford to lose from an entertainment perspective. Well, last night checked all those boxes. Let's get into the recap. As always, I'll go over what happened at each tribe before the challenge, Edge, the challenge, pre-tribal and then tribal council. 

Sele Camp (Blue)

We rejoin Sele after the unanimous Danni vote. There were now eight remaining players on the tribe - Boston Rob, Parvati, Ethan, Adam, Denise, Jeremy, Michele, and Ben. Adam gives a very cocky confessional about how Boston Rob should play more like him. He should try to not be as dominant and just play in the background. Adam said how he wants to target the big dogs. It came off as incredibly conceited and unlikable. I want to like Adam. He's a superfan of the show and plays a game somewhat similar to how I'd imagine myself playing. But something about the way he talks is just aggravating and makes me dislike him. 

He is concocting a plan to target Parvati and tells Denise about it. By the way, Denise now has the full idol since Adam gave her back the other half. This was confusing to me. I thought Adam had to hold onto the other half and they needed to both agree when to combine and play it. Apparently he just needed to hold it for one tribal and then gave it back to Denise. So for your records, Denise now has one full idol. 

Adam then made the very questionable move of telling Ethan that he wanted to target Parvati. He did acknowledge that everyone at home would be thinking "What the hell are you doing?" and that's exactly what we thought. In a confessional, Ethan said how Parvati is his #1 in this game and that maintaining a relationship with her is much more important than an alliance with Adam. So this was Adam's first mistake of the episode. 

We also found out that apparently Ben really hates Boston Rob and wants him out. Just a couple weeks ago, Ben was in awe of Rob and giddy to be around him. So this was kind of random. 

Edge Of Extinction

Natalie, Amber, and Danni are the three currently on Extinction island. They found clues to their next advantage that involved trees and unlocking a number code, saying that the answer to the code was basically right in front of them. After some unsuccessful guessing, Natalie realized that there were shells wrapped around the clues, separated to give the code to the lock. She did this without the other two knowing. She found the "steal a vote" advantage and could sell it to one person still in the game for one token. She chose Sarah, knowing she's a risky player and that she successfully used the advantage in Game Changers. 

Dakal Camp (Red)

At Dakal, Tyson wanted to target Sandra. He mentioned how the longer she slides through, the more dangerous she becomes by finding cracks and spreading misinformation. It's how she's won the game twice. Those are definitely valid points by Tyson. He told Yul this, but Yul doesn't want to lose Sandra because she helps provide food which keeps them fed and energetic for challenges. I usually like Yul a lot and think he plays a solid game, but this is a very old-school way of thinking. You can't keep someone around just for that in modern Survivor. There's enough opportunities for food with rewards, and it's not like you'll starve to death. The risk of keeping her around greatly outweighs the benefits of some fish. Yul decided to tell Sandra that Tyson was targeting her, which obviously pissed her off as she went into a rant about how you best not come at the queen. 

Speaking of fishing and getting food, we had another great Tony moment. He picked up a shark they caught, but it was still alive. So Tony ran around like a crazy person terrified it was going to bite him until he finally dropped it in a bucket. If Survivor did a spinoff show where it was just an hour of Tony highlights, it would be the second best show on television behind Survivor itself. 

Elsewhere, Sarah found that she had been given the "steal a vote" advantage. In order to officially gain it, she needed to sneak into the other tribe's camp during the night and take it from someone's torch. She enlisted the help of fellow cop Tony, who made her "camouflage" by rubbing some dirt on forehead. Unnecessary? Yes. Entertaining? Absolutely. 

The whole sneaking into camp thing is very new-school Survivor, but it does make for some good entertainment. It's better than just her automatically getting it without having to do anything. So Sarah arrived at Sele, and it seemed like she was in danger of getting caught quite a few times, although it may have just been creative editing. I do wonder what would happen if she did actually get caught. Guess we'll never know. What we do know is that Sarah now has the ability to steal a vote and no fire tokens. 

Immunity Challenge

The immunity challenge was awesome. They've done a good job of making them engaging this season. This involved some jumping, some digging, some climbing, and of course a puzzle. In addition to immunity, chicken kebabs were up for grabs as well. Dakal got out to a big lead and had Sophie working on the puzzle with Sarah. Sele made up some ground. Boston Rob and Michele did a great job on the puzzle and made it a photo finish, but Dakal pulled it out just in time. Sele was headed back to tribal for the second straight week. 

Pre-Tribal

After tribal, there was a standoff at camp. Nobody wanted to be the one who made the first move and got up to "go get firewood" or some bullshit like that. Eventually, Jeremy decided to be the one to walk away and Ben followed him. The plan seemed to be that Adam, Denise, Jeremy, Michele, and Ben would come together against the old school trio of Rob, Parvati, and Ethan to vote out Parvati. But then Adam decided to overplay his hand. He had already told Ethan about this plan earlier in the episode, and he now wanted to tell Rob too. 

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He took Rob aside, since they had a solid relationship, and told him that Parvati was the target. Rob played along and asked "Are you sure you have the votes?" and Adam assured him that they did. Adam told Rob that he still wanted to work him and have a trusting relationship despite the vote. In a confessional, Adam talked about how strategically telling people truths along the way can help you, as it helped him win his season. This is true and can be good gameplay. But this isn't Millennials vs. Gen X, this is Winners At War. And this is Boston Rob for God's sakes. You don't go up to the Godfather and say "Hey I'm taking out your closest ally" and expect him to just be like "Oh okay." I think the superfan in Adam got the best of him. He wanted to be the one in control of Rob. But he should've known that Rob was going to turn around, tell Parvati, and then target Adam. And that's exactly what happened. 

Rob went up to Jeremy and Michele and said "Don't bullshit me. I know the target is Parvati. Adam told me." They were shocked Adam would do this, and then told Denise and Ben what happened, who were also shocked. So Rob, Parvati, and Ethan were now targeting Adam. Adam was still targeting Parvati. It seemed like Jeremy and Michele would be the swing votes. Do they take out one of the old school targets? Or go at Adam for playing both sides and being a weasel? 

Ethan's name also came up as a target. They thought that him being out might weaken Rob more than Parvati being out would. It just makes no sense. First of all, if you want to weaken Boston Rob, just vote him out! Sure he helps in challenges, but a swap may happen soon anyway. And voting out Parvati would also really weaken Rob, and she's a way bigger threat than Ethan. 

Tribal Council

There were no huge flashy moments at tribal this week. Pretty standard stuff. Adam continued to put his foot in his mouth though by talking about Rob's statue. It was time to vote. Ethan went home by a 4-3-1 vote. They no longer show us the vote reveal for some reason, but it's pretty easy to figure out. Adam voted for Parvati. Rob, Ethan, and Parvati voted for Adam. Jeremy, Ben, Michele, and Denise voted for Ethan. Again, I really don't get this decision. Personally, I would've liked to see Adam go home, but I think the smart move was Parvati. They just keep letting her slip through. Ethan was a fun, pleasant player to watch, but he's not some huge threat to win or an excellent player. I'd rather Parvati still be around than him for our sake, but I just don't get the move. People must be banking on Parvati and Rob eventually betraying each other, but I'm not sure that will happen. Anyway, Adam must have also been really confused as he was blindsided by this vote too. 

Ethan gave his fire token to Parvati. 

Winner Rankings

This is a running ranking I'll keep all season long of who I think is most likely to win the game. The person ranked last isn't necessarily my prediction to go home next, but I just think they have the least chance of winning the game. It's based on "edgic" which is a mix of "logic" and "edit."

Previous Week Rank in ( )

1. Jeremy (1)

2. Yul (2)

3. Michele (5)

4. Wendell (3)

5. Sophie (4)

6. Nick (6)

7. Kim (7)

8. Denise (15)

9. Sarah (11)

10. Tony (10)

11. Boston Rob (9)

12. Sandra (13)

13. Parvati (14)

14. Tyson (12)

15. Ben (17)

16. Adam (16)

On Edge

17. Natalie

18. Amber

19. Danni

20. Ethan

See you next week.