Survivor Worlds Apart - Episode 1 Recap, Part Two
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
February 27, 2015

Ah, the permanent shame of being first boot.

We come back from break as So and Joaquin make their way back to camp with their ill-gotten gains. Apparently So has come up with a plan. It must be pretty convoluted, because Joaquin isn't even sure he can repeat it to the rest of the tribe. In a nutshell, they told the tribe that there were actually three choices. Honest, Deceive and Neutral. She says they chose neutral, because there were consequences with choosing the others.

Carolyn tells them that neutral is better than nothing. She tells us that she figures they have an idol clue. She goes on to say she doesn't blame them a bit; she'd have done the same thing. Egads... it's the Brains tribe all over again. We cut to Shirin and Max talking and she says the bag of beans was too small. Max agrees and calls them "terrible liars." Shirin tells us that in Survivor, there is no middle ground. It's either honesty or deception. She is, however, worried about them potentially having an idol, so she's off to make relationships asap.

She starts with Carolyn and they agree that they can work together. Max is the next target. She approaches him, saying that she's worried about So and Joaquin. She says they're dangerous with an idol clue and a definite alliance, and they've already deceived the whole tribe. Tentatively, Max seems to be in agreement here. I hesitate to call this an alliance. Shirin and Carolyn appear to be tight, but Max seems like he'll be glad to be their third, if it benefits him. Max is a student of this game. One of the first rules is "When someone asks if you're a god, you say, 'YES!'" Translated to Survivor, if someone asks you to be in an alliance, you ALWAYS accept. Always. Don't believe me? Go ask Jonathan Penner. So, Max accepts, but I'm not sure it's an airtight kinda deal.

We check in with Blue Collar and Sierra and Lindsey seem to be on a crab hunt. The guys are moving huge chunks of wood. And within minutes, Boston Rod and Mike have started a fire. Dan is pumped about this. Also, he has bought into the Blue Collar title hook, line and sinker. Similar to the way Rupert took to being a pirate, Dan is taking to being the mouthpiece for all Blue Collars everywhere. After the fire celebration, we join Rod and Lindsey discussing tattoos. Lindsey is covered in them, as is Rod. She tells him about her art and he tells us that he loved seeing the girl with all the tattoos in his tribe. He says it's an instant link and conversation starter.

People with tats love to talk about their art and it's an instant bond. He shows her a tattoo on his arm he got when he lost his big sister, which leads him into the story of how he was the one that found her in her apartment. And Lindsey is on the hook. Rod tells us that part of his plan was going to be to use that story to get the girls on his side and it seems to work perfectly here.

As Rod is telling us his master plan for getting to the merge, Mike comes across a scorpion in a log. He sees it and thinks "protein." So, he cuts off the stinger and pops it in his mouth. Doesn't look like it tastes very good, but he gets it down. And then he tells the tribe, "when you guys are starving later tonight and I got a scorpion in my belly, don't be mad." But, I think the joke's on Mike. It takes mere minutes for him to start puking and he seems to be out of commission for a little while as he is NOT feeling good. He tells us that's how he looks at things. He sees an opportunity, runs at it and sometimes pays the consequences. "That's just weakness leaving the body," he screams as he puts his work boots on to go with his underwear.

It's been a while since we've seen the No Collars. They're all sharing coconut milk. Jenn tells us that she loves her tribe and everything is great. Vince has taken a liking to Jenn. She makes him comfortable, he says. He tells her that her smile and her big bright eyes attracted him to her right away. He's talking a final two pact with her and she tells us that she thinks he's playing a little harder that she expected him to. He goes on to tell her that he makes strong friendships and once he's done that, it's hard to break them. In confessional, she says that she's not sure she wants to be whatever he thinks she is, but that she needs allies early in the game. So, "Smile and nod" is the way she plans to handle Vince for right now. I wonder how long it'll take before it becomes "Surround and Drown."

Back at camp, it's shelter building time. Joe and Vince are in building mode, and Vince doesn't really know what he's doing while Joe does. Joe tells Vince that he thinks his idea is not a good one and they should do something else. He tells us that he doesn't like someone telling him what to do when he knows it's wrong. Vince doesn't appreciate Joe overruling him on the shelter and feels the vibe of the tribe might suffer because of it. For the record, I'm with Joe on this. Vince is a nutball. But more on that later.

We come back from break to join the Blues and something has happened while we were checking in on No Collar. Happy fun Dan has disappeared and been replaced with bossy douche Dan. He's not agreeing with the shelter plans and is amazingly condescending to the girls. And we hear from Kelly for the first time. She's a tough chick cop who isn't about to take any shit from Dan. He doesn't appreciate that they don't like how he's talking to them, so he decides to stop offering opinions at all. That doesn't go over well either. Rod talks to the girls about how they have to get rid of Harry Potter's grandpa.

We join Mike and Dan on the beach in one of the more disturbing scenes in the history of the show. Dan has stripped down to his speedo style drawers. As a guy who's about Dan's size, that's a definite no-no. You don't wear something like that, especially when you might be on TV. C'mon Dan, help us out here!! You can tell that Mike isn't thrilled with the way Dan was acting, but he's his only friend right now. I think Mike will cut him loose ah the first opportunity.

Checking in with the Nos again, MacGyver Joe is now making a fire. This catches Jenn's attention. When asked how he knows how to make fire, Joe says, in a statement that ALL FUTURE SURVIVORS SHOULD HEAR, "Actually, I saw this on YouTube and I did it every day before I came out here." After the cluster of last season, to hear things like this makes me so happy. Jenn is pretty stoked and a little smitten, I think. So she is all over him about this fire. And a couple minutes later, as promised, Joe starts the fire.

Through all the flirting between Jenn and Joe, Vince is the jealous husband all of a sudden. He pulls her aside and asks her if she feels more of a connection with Joe. She tells him she is not playing the flirt game. Vince is legitimately jealous. To her credit, Jenn does her best to console him and confirm that they are locked in as a duo. She turns it around on him by saying that he's starting to freak her out right now. Vince tells us he thinks she's fake. As they walk back, he asks her for a good hug. Which she gives him and which he holds extraordinarily long. Remember when I suggested that Dan's speedo was one of the more disturbing scenes in Survivor? Well, now it's #2. This is just weird and uncomfortable. Jenn tells us he needs to stop being so paranoid and he can't be hugging her forever. "We smell bad!"

We join the Whites and the shelter is sort of built. Tyler tells us that it's not good and he had a horrible night's sleep last night. While Tyler's talking about how they need to just dig deep and get to work. So's talking about an action plan. We cut to the attempt to make fire and they can't get it. Tired of watching them NOT make fire, Joaquin and So decide that it might be time to go look for an idol. Carolyn is like hawkeye on them. She knows they lied and that thinks they are making it very obvious they're looking for something. She tells us that she's watched plenty of Survivor and she knows the types of places they would hide an idol. So she uses the general area of their searches to look for obvious Survivor hiding places. And whadaya know, she digs down in a funky tree and there's an idol. So while So and Joaquin are still searching based on the clue they received, Carolyn has taken it out from under them without anyone else in the game knowing. So she now HAS an idol, but the rest of the tribe will think So and/or Joaquin will have it. Brilliant.

We come back from break to a long overdue Probst Sighting! It's immunity challenge time. And this one is huge. The tribes will run down a platform through a huge pile of hay. They'll come to a locked box where they'll have to make their first choice. Use a ring of keys to open three locks or untie a bunch of knots? Once open, they'll pull two ladders out of the box and will have to carry them through a series of obstacles. Once through, they'll come up on their second choice. They have to climb to get puzzle pieces, but there are three different puzzles. One is five pieces, then 10 pieces and finally 50 pieces...each puzzle getting easier as the number of pieces grows. First two teams to finish their puzzle win immunity and reward. Rewards are a huge fire kit for first place and flint for second place. Third place - got nothin' for ya.

The teams take off and get to the locked box at about the same time. All three teams decide to use the keys instead of the knots. After a few minutes, all three teams switch out people and those people do the knots - So for White Collar, Mike for Blue Collar, Joe for No Collar. So absolutely tears through the knots and Mike is falling behind. And So gets all the knots undone and they take off with their ladders. Joe is right behind and they take off with their ladder. Mike is having trouble. As White and No are getting closer to the puzzle pieces, Mike finally opens the box and the Blues take off with their ladders. No Collar gets to the puzzle and chooses the 10 piece tree puzzle. White Collar takes the easiest puzzle with 50 pieces.

Jenn is working for No and Shirin is working for White. Jenn doesn't last long before she checks out and lets Joe take over. Oh yeah, and Blue Collar finally gets to the puzzle choices, but can't figure out how to climb up and get their pieces. The finally figure it out and the Blues go with the 10 piece puzzle. Joe is almost done with his puzzle and Shirin's lost on hers. And like that, No Collar wins the first immunity.

Shirin is struggling while Sierra starts for the Blues. Shirin finally checks out and lets Max in to work on the puzzle and Mike calls Sierra out. Mike wastes no time getting to work and it's not even close, Blue Collar wins immunity! White Collar headed to the first Tribal Council!! A couple notes here. For No Collar, Joe saved the day on the knots and the puzzle. He is a force to be reckoned with. With regards to Blue Collar, Mike tanked the team on the knots, but got the chance at redemption on the puzzle and he pulled it out. I really like White Collar's Shirin, but she killed her tribe. She bragged about being the puzzle person and she couldn’t figure out the simplest of puzzles. It's safe to say Shirin is in trouble.

We come back to White Collar and it's time to play, "It's anyone but Shirin." Everyone is a little dejected with having to vote someone out so quickly. Carolyn tells us that she knows it's going to be a woman, and her girl Shirin could be in trouble.

Some folks go off to get water, which allows for some strategy talk at camp. Max starts by complimenting So on her challenge performance. He says that he thinks the vote is pretty straightforward tonight. So suggests that it should be Carolyn instead. She feels that Carolyn will never step up to take a leadership role in anything and that she did nothing in the challenge. To her that's worse than Shirin stepping up and failing. So works on Max, then Tyler and then Joaquin. Carolyn is worried that they may target her because she's the oldest. Carolyn point blank asks So and Joaquin if she's on the block tonight and they both horribly lie to her face. Hell, Joaquin gives her his New York Word on it. Someone call Jeff Kent. What's worse: the New York Word or the Four-Finger Handshake?

To her credit, again, Carolyn knows they're lying again and she has set her sights on So. Tyler makes the move to come see Carolyn and let her know that her name has come up and that he's not down with that. He asks her what she knows about hidden idols. She ends up telling him that she has the idol, so she's not worried about anyone else having it. Carolyn sees Shirin about voting So and Shirin is down. Max has been with them from the beginning, but he's analyzing which vote is better for his game. He does not like how So played the bean/idol situation. He tells the girls that it all depends on "the big man," meaning Tyler. Max is with them, but they have to get Tyler on board. Considering that he's the one that came to Carolyn, something tells me he'll be down.

Can I just say for a moment that the shift here is really impressive? This game is "it's anyone but Shirin" and now, by some strange force, she's not even on the chopping block anymore. Wow!

Max and Tyler break it down. They like what So does in the challenges, but she's untrustworthy and that doesn't bode well later in the game. Tyler tells us that his decision is further complicated because he knows that Carolyn has an idol. The logical move would be to get rid of her and her idol. Either way, he tells us that someone is going to be really surprised tonight at Tribal.

Speaking of Tribal, it is time to dip your torch in the fire. As you know, fire represents your life in this game. When your fire is out, so are you! He starts by talking about the dilemma and goes right to Joaquin. Joaquin lays out their lie for Jeff as well. Shirin, when asked, calls him on his bullshit. She nails it on the head. Max says he's not angry or disappointed with them. He would have probably done the same thing, but he'd have lied better.

So tells us that she doesn't like it to have come out this way, but "the bottom line is, the four of us are very strong." Whoa, wait, what? Joaquin lays it out: Tyler, Max, Joaquin and So. Carolyn is pissed. And here we go! She knows that as the older woman, she's a target. she's just shocked to hear them come right out like that at Tribal. So tries to justify it and get everyone on her side by saying that Carolyn and Shirin are the weak links on the tribe. Carolyn, "Why, because you could open a few knots?" She says that any of them could have opened some knots.

Tyler, though, does agree that they were in the lead on that challenge because of So. And now So goes on the sales pitch and talks about what a team player she was and how she showed it in the challenge. She then attacks Carolyn as not stepping up and not doing anything. Carolyn isn't taking any of that and talks about how she's just as athletic and works her ass off in camp. As all this was going on, Shirin lets out the infamous, "The game is afoot." Ah...I love when Survivor fans play Survivor!! And with that, it's time to vote.

We see Carolyn's vote for So saying that she's been a liar from day one and she hopes it's So instead of her. The next vote we see is So's vote for Carolyn saying that they need to keep the tribe strong. The smug look on So's face is just so irritating. And it's going to be glorious when Carolyn pulls out that immunity idol and sends her home first. Can't wait for it. Jeff's tallied the votes and he asks about immunity idols. Here it comes, best premiere episode ever! Um... wait, what? She's NOT playing her idol? Are you kidding me? Wow! Time to read the votes: Carolyn. So. Carolyn. So. Two votes a piece. Fifth vote: So. First person voted out of Survivor 30, So. WHOA!! After having to pull out of Survivor 29 and then getting recast on S30, to go out first has to hurt. But dammit, she should have known better than to take the idol clue.

Next time on Survivor: the White Collar tribe becomes a nudist colony as Max is naked in the ocean and Shirin is bottomless on the beach and Nina is taking on the entire tribe. In tears, she says that she thought they would make her feel like she belonged.

And that'll do it for the premiere of Survivor Worlds Apart. Overall, this episode did not disappoint. I thought this would be a great cast and I was not wrong. We're gonna have a lot of fun with this group, I think. I've had a blast over the last couple days getting back into Survivor mode and I cannot wait to chronicle the rest of this season. 'Til next time, take care!