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A Masterclass In Bad Survivor Gameplay: Season 43 Episode 4 Recap

Last night might've been the best episode of this young Survivor season. After an absolute dud last week, we got back on track with this episode. First of all, we finally got a reward challenge. We saw some good camp life. And for the first time in maybe the past three seasons, not a single sob story segment! No time wasted on childhood stories of battling ADHD. Just good ole fashioned Survivor. And for that we are thankful. 

I'll get into the recap below, but you can watch our full episode reaction here. 

And you can also subscribe on Apple and Spotify. Alright now onto the recap...

Yellow Tribe (Baka)

-We have to start with Gabler. I can't get enough of this guy. He's just so bad at Survivor. I started off hating him in episode one because of his mind numbingly stupid decision to basically try and vote himself out. But now I'm in on him. Not as a player. Heavens no. But I've embraced him as a character. In a mind dumbing, surreal, and impossible to comprehend decision, Gabler chose to wake up his tribe mates in the middle of the night to put palm fronds on them as blankets. I guess it's coming from a good place and he's trying to warm them up. But when you are sleep deprived on an island, you probably don't want to be woken up for any reason whatsoever. So this obviously annoyed the rest of his tribe. 

-We then saw a montage of basically how annoying Gabler is being to everyone. It's entertaining for us but must've been hell for people on that island. Gabler may simply get himself voted out for being too annoying to be around. Early on in the game, Survivor should be so easy. Just don't be unbearable and you have a decent chance to make the merge. Gabler didn't get that memo. Now if he makes the merge, he's a candidate to get dragged to the end as a goat who will get 0 votes. But the question is if he'll just be too annoying to keep around that long. 

Reward Challenge

-The reward challenge was knocking over some blocks and tossing them. The reward was 10 fresh fish delivered to their camp and also the ability to steal an item from another tribe's camp. Red won, in large part to some Randy Johnson-level fastballs from Cody. They chose to pass on the fish since they had no flint and thus no fire to cook them. They instead negotiated with Jeff to forego the fish in exchange for fresh fruit and a tool kit. Jeff said that tribes always have the option to swap a reward for a previous one, but I don't really remember this being such a clear rule. We've seen tribes negotiate with Jeff over a variety of things throughout the show, but I don't love it. It shouldn't just be that easy to swap a reward. Although I guess with resources so limited this season, it is fair. 

-Vesi then had to decide who to steal from. Yellow had more materials, but blue still had their full tribe so Vesi wanted to weaken them. I thought this was a little overblown. Blue has 6 and yellow has 5. It's not exactly a huge advantage. To me, the most important thing would be not pissing off the other tribe. For that reason, Cody wasn't the most logical choice since he's capable of ruffling some feathers, as Dwight pointed out. But he pushed his way into going. (I personally would've never volunteered for this because I don't want to be the face of stealing from the other tribe and get on their bad side. General rule of thumb in Survivor: never volunteer for anything). 

-Cody arrived at Coco and his first ask was a machete. A move that wouldn't help his tribe at all and would only piss off Coco. But Cody, ever proud of his sales background, was just using this as a negotiating chip. Since Coco really didn't want to lose their machete, they opted to instead give him fishing gear, food, and limes. Quite a haul and way more than he came for. 

-Now if Survivor was simply about negotiating deals, Cody would be a frontrunner. But it's not. It's a game about social relationships and people. And Cody annoyed the entire Coco tribe as they mocked his fake Hawaiian "mahalo" persona. They will also feel slighted by how much he robbed them. So kudos to Cody for getting a bunch of stuff for his tribe. But was it worth it to probably make some enemies? No it was not. 

-Also, this tweet made me chuckle. 

Immunity Challenge

-This immunity challenge seemed extremely. There was some heavy block lifting and multiple puzzles to complete.

-Blue was trailing for most of the challenge but they got back in it thanks to some super human strength displayed by Ryan. Red finished first to finally get in the win column. But then they made a bizarre decisions. They helped yellow complete their triangle puzzle by telling them where to put the pieces, letting them get second and sending the blue tribe to their first tribal council.

-I thought this was a bad gameplay move by Vesi. It seemed like Noelle was the first one to give help but eventually the whole tribe was in on it. Again, I know blue had the most people, but it wasn't by a wide margin. Now all they've done is make clear enemies with the Coco tribe between these antics and Cody's negotiating. You can say: "Oh, well red and yellow will team up now." But Survivor isn't that simple. I think it's way more likely that yellow ends up in the middle of these two beefing tribes at the merge and become swing votes. Basically, think Vesi earned more bad will with Coco than good will with Baka. I also just hate it from a competitive standpoint. 

Pre-Tribal Council

-Coco was headed to their first tribal council which let us finally get to know these players and tribe dynamics a bit better. 

-Geo thought he was calling the shot as the man in charge. He said Cassidy would be going home because he trusted her the least, and he was the one in control. It was classic Survivor talk that shows the player is actually not in control. While him and Ryan were a tight duo, the rest of the tribe was getting annoyed by Geo's overconfidence and bossiness. (Cue the shots of him telling Cassidy how to slice coconuts. Just be a normal human, how hard is that????!!!!?)

-Karla, Cassidy, Lindsay, and James decided that Geo should be the target instead. It seemed like it would be an easy vote. But then Lindsay put on an absolute masterclass in how to get yourself voted out. For no real reason, she became extremely paranoid that she was going home. She thought the vote seemed "too easy" which could maybe be a red flag later in the season, but this was the tribe's first tribal council where the vote usually is relatively easy. But Lindsay started threatening Karla and James about how they better not for her and overall just being very manic. This put her on the hot seat next to Geo. 

-Karla and James really stood out to me here. They seem to be a tight duo playing the game much better than everyone else on this tribe. They were in control. And Cassidy deserves some credit as well for managing to get herself off the early chopping block. Geo will be joining the 0.0% Chance To Win tier as his behavior is just not winner material. 

Tribal Council

-Lindsay and Geo both made eyebrow raising comments at tribal that are indicative of poor players. They both stink, but it's Lindsay who was ultimately sent home with a 4-1-1 vote. She voted for Geo. Geo voted for Cassidy. Interesting that he was left out of the vote. And we know Ryan voted for Lindsay so it's surprising he didn't clue Geo in on the plan since we thought they were a tight duo. Geo is likely in trouble going forward. 

Winner Rankings

This is a ranking of the players I think are most likely to WIN. This is not necessarily who I think is safest in the game. Don’t look at the person ranked last as the person most likely to go home next. Look at them as the person with the least chance to win. That person could very easily get dragged to FTC as a goat, but won’t win. This is ranking people based on their chance to actually win the game.

 Tier 1

1. Karla

2. James

3. Owen

4. Jesse

5. Elie

Tier 2

6. Cassidy

7. Sami

8. Ryan

Tier 3

9. Dwight

10. Jeanine

11. Noelle

0.0% Chance Tier

12. Geo

13. Cody

14. Gabler

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