Survivor: Phillipines - Episode 5
Got My Swag Back
By Ben Willoughby
October 18, 2012
Previously on Survivor, everyone else on Tandang kept quiet while Abi went off on one of her crazy rages, Jonathan and Jeff Kent cemented an all-male alliance at Kalabaw and Matsing finally got rid of Russell, so now they should be absolutely unbeatable! Right? Matsing is even called out by Probst in the previouslies as “having embraced failure”.
Matsing’s continued suckiness and the absence of Tandang and Kalabaw from four successive Tribal Councils means that the only substantive change to this week’s Survivor rankings is a lack of Russell.
Pete’s move this week was framing RC for taking the immunity idol clue. It provided a piece of drama for Tandang – and I’m grateful for that because Tandang is so boring – but we’ll see how this plays out for him over the long run. If he is able to start fights between other castaways while staying on the sidelines, Boston Rob-style, then great. But it’s going to catch up with him sooner or later.
Abi is shaping up as Survivor’s answer to Cersei Lannister. She is prickly and only sees things her way. RC complained last episode that Abi is not a rational player, but at the most basic level Abi is playing a rational game. She dumped her existing alliance for a better one. She wants the people she suspects eliminated. It’s rational – but just like Cersei Lannister’s plans, it’s for short-term advantage, it’s not sophisticated and it doesn’t require her to be pleasant to people. None of this is going to help Abi build alliances or be popular at the final Tribal Council. If she makes it to the end, she’s going to be Hantz-ed.
I was thrilled that Lisa found a Survivor strategy that plays to her strengths and does not break her moral code – keeping her mouth shut and pretending to listen while other people are bitching. It’s a passive strategy, which might be helpful getting to the end-game but less helpful in winning it.
I keep waiting for Artis to explode. He hasn’t yet. So I keep reminding myself to be patient.
If Abi is Cersei Lannister, RC is Ned Stark. As noted above, RC complained about Abi not being a rational player. Obviously we know a lot more than RC does and we’re seeing edited footage, but when a rational player has been blown off repeatedly by their alliance “partner”, they don’t continue to believe in their alliance. I have to question how rational a game RC has been playing.
It looks like she has a clue now, but it also looks too late to do much about it. Her play is “who would you rather be in an alliance with, someone who can set out her arguments logically and clearly, or a crazy person who has no chance of winning?” Anyway, start fighting, RC.
Michael is the returning player who has been getting the least attention. It’s a busy season to keep up with everyone, with Jonathan and Russell being the go-tos for interview, and two actual celebrities to check in on each week, but we only ever see Michael when he is self-harming. I’m sure he’s aware of what’s happening at camp between Abi and RC and what this may mean for him, but we don’t know what he plans to do about it.