Survivor: Millennials Vs. Gen X - Episode Recap
Episode 4 - Who's the Sucker at the Table?
By Jim Van Nest, Gen X-er
October 18, 2016

I can't imagine why they wanted to vote her out.

Hello again, good people, and welcome to Survivor Season 33, episode 4. When last we spoke, the Gen X ladies cut off their nose to spite their face. They sent Paul to the pre-merge trip and may have really hurt their game in the process. Jessica was concerned that Paul wouldn't be loyal to her later in the game so she decided to mount a counter-offensive and take him out of the game now. This left challenge liability CeCe and neurotic game player and strategist David in the game and may have just turned over voting power to their alliance, which also features everyone's new favorite underdog, Ken. They pulled off the blindside nicely, but where does this leave the tribe now? Previews suggest a new "dictator" will rise and it appears to be...Lucy?? She of the one confessional so far this season? Um, okay.

Over at the Millennial beach, we didn't see much of their dynamic last week, but when last we checked in, Zeke and Adam were clearly on the outs and Hannah was trying to get back in their good graces after turning on them at Tribal. Michaela and Figgy hate each other and yet voted together. And the Taylor-Figgy romance has only grown. Who knows where this tribe will fall if they lose the challenge tonight. Speaking of challenges, previews suggest that we'll get our first real physical the water, no less. Chris should dominate, CeCe will struggle and Michaela will bare all in a hard-nosed challenge. "Bout to see some tatas today."

Need I say more? Let's roll...

Tonight's episode begins at Gen X after Tribal. Not surprisingly, Chris and Bret are pissed. It's very reminiscent of last week when Zeke wanted nothing to do with Hannah and her explanation. In fact, Jessica tries to talk to Chris who tells her (just like Zeke) that he doesn't want to hear from her tonight and they can talk tomorrow. Unlike Hannah, she lets it go, as you should. Bret wants to know what happened, so as they whisper about it, Chris decides he DOES want to talk about it. Jessica tells them about Paul's comment about the guy's alliance and no one really buys it.

The next morning Lucy and Sunday are worried that they made a mistake. Lucy tells us that she doesn't really trust Jessica and that she doesn't want Jess taking control of the tribe. So, she makes her move to Chris and Bret. She tells them Jessica is the one trying to run the show. She also tells him that she has David and Ken in her pocket, so the five of them can make a move on Jessica. Chris and Bret are pretty stoked about this plan. It keeps them on top and gets revenge on the person that blindsided them. Cue the credits.

We come back from break to see the Millennials head out on a goat hunt. They see some goats and they actually go out to hunt them. While they hunt goats, Adam is left to hunt for an idol back at camp. He searches and searches and finally unearths the clue to where the idol is. But he is wicked excited to have a clue and he can't wait to start looking for the idol. The hunters are back empty-handed, and he can't continue to search while they're all back in camp. And with that, it's time for a...

Probst sighting!! The Millennials are shocked to see that Paul was voted out. I'm shocked to see that we're having a Reward challenge, which means this will be a two challenge episode. Woo hoo!! Today, we're playing for a barbecue with all the fixin’s. The challenge is a simple one. Out on a pole hangs a ring. Two members from each tribe will head out into the water to get the ring. First team to touch their end pole while holding the ring wins a point. First to three points wins reward.

The first round is Jay and Adam against Chris and David. Adam gets the ring, while Jay tries to contain Chris. He cannot. Eventually, Chris gets to Adam who has to give up the ring. Chris gets the ring to David and then holds both Adam and Jay until David can easily score the first point for Gen X. Round two is CeCe and Sunday against Michaela and Figgy. After quite a battle, Michaela finally gets a hold of the ring and literally pulls all three of the other women to her pole. We're tied 1-1. Round three is Bret and Ken against Taylor and Will. Taylor holds off Bret while Will gets the ring.

Ken eventually takes the ring from Will and with everyone grabbing the ring, the power of Bret and Ken is just too much. Gen X leads 2-1. Round four is Hannah and Michaela against Lucy and Jessica. Lucy ties up both young girls, while Jessica grabs the ring and heads for the victory. Michaela, though, is not to be denied. She slips out of her top and heads for Jessica and the ring. Even as the Gen X ladies are headed to their pole, Michaela (still topless) just guts it out and pulls the entire group of four all the way across to her pole and we're tied 2-2. Final round is Zeke and Jay against Chris and David. Zeke does an amazing job holding Chris off the ring while Jay makes his way to the win. But it can only last so long. Chris is too big and too strong. With seemingly little effort, Chris moves the pile to the Gen X pole and as a wave crashes in and almost takes out Probst (better luck next time) Gen X wins reward. Millennials - got nothing for ya.

We come back from break to Millennial Island. They're in awe of how massive and strong Chris is. They're even more impressed with how Michaela performed. They could not believe how bad ass she was. Adam was not a fan of that challenge. A strength challenge isn't his forte. With that in mind and the blindside at the last Tribal, he is in dire need of finding the idol. He continues to read the clue until he realizes that the clue talks about the idol being well "shell"tered. So, he knows he's looking for a shell, but he just can't find it. Eventually, he finds the shell we saw last week and once open, it has the idol he has been seeking.

As he revels in his find for a second, we hear Hannah yelling at him asking him how his idol search is going. Really??? How many other people heard that? Just dumb. Adam tells us that this is such a major thing for him. He and his mom have always watched Survivor together and she has Stage 4 lung cancer. Finding this idol is such an amazing thing for his mom to get to see as she fights this disease. He breaks down as he tells us, but he knows that his mom is such a super fan that she will be over the moon that he found a hidden idol.

We finally check in with the reward winners, but it's the next morning and they're eating reward leftovers. Lucy and David head out to get water and David wants to talk strategy. Ken joins them and then Lucy lets them in on the plan. She tells them that the vote is Jessica and that they're safe. And she doesn't want to see them talking to anyone else. She very much talks down to them like she's doing them a huge favor. And as it is, Ken doesn't dig it. He doesn't feel like he should have to follow her rules to be let in on the plan. I'm sure we'll hear more about that later, but now, it's time for a...

Probst sighting! Today's challenge will see one person jumping over some obstacles. Then a team of five will lift that person up in a chair on a pulley where they will grab 10 numbered bags, in order. Then a second person will go, then a third. Once they have all 30 bags, they're ready to start on the Scrabble-esque word puzzle. Chris takes off first and blows through the obstacles and gets up to the numbers way ahead of Figgy for the Millennials. Chris' weight slows down Gen X, but he makes up for it with a huge wingspan, allowing him to reach several bags without having to be moved. He's down first with the first 10 and Ken takes off.

Figgy finally gets down and heads back to send off Michelle. Ken is tearing it up now and is five bags ahead of Michelle. Ken gets all of his bags and runs back to send David. Michelle makes up some time and is on her way down. David flies through the bags as Michaela tries to catch up. She is not able to catch him as he's down with his 10 bags while she's still grabbing them. Gen X can open the bags and start their puzzle. Finally, Michaela gets all her bags and honestly, it's not much of a lead for Gen X - so it may as well be tied. After almost an hour of Jeff trying anything he can to tie this specific challenge into the Gen X vs Millennials theme, Zeke finally has the breakthrough and within seconds, the Millennials figure out the puzzle and win immunity! "Somebody loses their flame tonight." Indeed. Somebody does.

And we're back from break to play "It's Anyone But Jessica." The tribe is dejected, but they don't seem to be blaming anyone in particular. Chris is not comfortable with this Tribal at all. They have their plan to vote out Jessica, but he feels it's thin. He confirms with Lucy that they have David and Ken. She tells us how she is in control and making all the decisions. Ken tells David that he does not like that they were told who they could or could not talk to. He feels that if they make that move, though, at the end of the day, they'll still be on the bottom with CeCe. So, they decide that they need to make a move on Lucy. David tells CeCe and she's down. Ken wants to get Jessica on board and hope that she can pull in Sunday. Jessica doesn't believe Ken and is shocked to think that Lucy would be after her. In fact, it shocks her so much that she decides to take it straight to Lucy. Lucy, of course, denies this and tries to get Jessica to not vote for her. After Jess leaves, she asks David what happened and he plays stupid saying he has no idea.

Wow - there's more bad Survivor gameplay here than I can recap, I think. Lucy's bad. Ken is bad. Jessica is really bad. David is minor-ly bad, but he corrected by playing dumb convincingly. But ultimately, it's just one bad move after another. Oh wait a minute, followed by a couple more. Lucy confronts Ken in front of a bunch of people and he tells her that he didn't appreciate all her rules that came along with the knowledge of the vote. Lucy tells us that he needs to stop worrying about it and be thankful that they're allowing him to stay in the game. THIS is why you fail. It's why anyone fails at Survivor. As soon as they think that the control someone else's fate and that they alone are responsible for saving someone, the game has gone to their head and it's only a matter of time before the fall.

My question now is whether or not Jessica goes before Lucy's fall or not. David commits to the Jessica plan one more time but tells us that he's taking his idol to Tribal tonight, because it might be better for him to save Jessica and dump Lucy. He's very worried about being on the bottom. And I get that, but you have to think about the game. There will eventually be a tribe swap. You should just hold on until that point and then you (and your idol) can start making relationships on your new tribe.

All right, let's get it on. I still feel pretty sure Jessica will be going home, but let's see how Tribal shakes out. Jeff asks about the last Tribal. David says it was the right move, but didn't bring the tribe together. Chris agrees that the tribe is complete chaos right now. Jessica and Lucy both say that everything seems to be up on the air, but Jessica really hopes the five of the main alliance come back together. Lucy mentions that Ken is gunning for her. Ken says that he doesn't want to be told what to do and there are better ways to talk to people. Lucy then says that she is straightforward and since she was helping him in the game, she would have expected something different from him.

Um, hello!!! Jessica, are you hearing this??? At no time has she denied the conversation took place. She's actually admitting that the conversation happened and is arguing about how it was presented. Ken says that he's been wavering back and forth all day about this vote and it's because someone he thought he was tight with betrayed him. Jessica turns around and asks him if she is just supposed to believe 100% what he said that other people were saying about her. He looks her dead in the face and says, "Yeah." Nothing else.

I don't know how in the blue hell she can still not trust what he's saying at this point. No one has actually denied that the conversation ever took place and no one has actually denied that Jessica is the vote tonight. And when someone you were close with can look you dead in your eyes and tell you that yes, you should believe him - and you still don't? Well, then you get what you deserve. I hope you've thought about who you want to give that Day 26 advantage to. You can tell by looking at her now that Jessica has finally come to grips with the fact that her name is probably going to be written down tonight.

And with that, it is time to vote. We see Chris vote for Jessica saying that it's for Paul. And, we see no other votes. That usually means that it's a unanimous vote and if they showed you David's vote, or Ken's, you'd know for sure that Jessica was toast. Anyway, Jeff is tallying the votes and wants to know if anyone has an immunity idol. David gets up and asks if he can address the group. He tells them that he has really enjoyed their company and is glad to be in the game with them. And then he says that some people won't like what he's getting ready to do, which is play the immunity idol for Jessica. Lucy is shocked. Ken is shocked. Hell, Jessica is shocked.

Jeff starts to read the votes. And just like that, the first five votes are for Jessica. The sixth vote is (apparently) Jessica's vote for CeCe. Votes seven and eight come in and the fourth person voted out of Survivor - Lucy. In hindsight, this should come as no surprise. We saw nothing of Lucy through three episodes and then all of a sudden she becomes a major player? I don't think so. They just needed some kind of storyline for the idol play.

Speaking of the idol play. As far as TV goes and viewing goes, this was an amazing play and an amazing Tribal. As far as the game goes, it was a very ballsy play that will either be amazing or insanely stupid. As a rule, you don't want to play an idol for someone else in the pre-merge, pre-swap game. You throw the idol back into play, you target yourself and while you made have made a new ally, there's no guarantee that you'll be on the same tribe in three days’ time. OR - everything could work out and a new power alliance of David, Ken, CeCe and Jessica could emerge and take this thing all the way to the end. You have to think that David has Jessica's loyalty from here on out. And you'd have to think that she owes Ken a big fat apology now that she knows that he was straight up with her the whole time. Now, they are a tribe of seven that should have a pretty solid four person alliance, which means bad news for Chris, Bret and Sunday. But this is Survivor and things don't go as they should anymore, so I guess we'll just have to wait and see, won't we.

Speaking of, next time on Survivor: an idol is back in play at Gen X beach and EVERYone is searching for it. And then, at the reward challenge, it's "Drop your buffs" time. And with that, David's decision to play that idol looks REALLY bad now. Who knows if he, Ken and Jessica will even be on the same beach now? Also, the swap threatens to tear the lovers apart. Will Figgy and Taylor end up on the same tribe? Or will these star-crossed lovers be forced to compete against each other and maybe watch their other half leave the game alone? The only way to find out, folks, is to come back next week and see for yourselves. Until that time, thanks for reading and take care!