Survivor: Game Changers Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
March 22, 2017
While people do eat goat at fine restaurants around the globe, it’s not the consumption of this particular food that’s upsetting. Instead, it’s the nature of the hunt. The tribe manages to trap a small goat that turns out to be a baby. Its mother freaks and closes ranks to protect the kid. That causes her capture. The contestants decide that they’d rather eat big momma, and the baby loses his mind for fear of having to grow up alone in this cruel world.
Several Survivors express guilt and/or remorse over the choice. Sandra isn’t one of them. She’d eat the baby right in front of its mother if she had the choice. That’s what’s striking about Sandra as a Survivor contestant. While a lot of frauds like Evil Loser Russell and Tony act like macho nihilists, she legitimately doesn’t give a damn what happens to anybody or anything outside of her family. That’s not a mother and child goat to her; it’s a lot of protein. When Sandra watches Bambi, she roots for the hunter.
For his part, JT doesn’t know what to do. His guilt consumes him, but he also doesn’t want to incur Sandra’s wrath. Frankly, between this incident and the events that led to his elimination in Heroes vs. Villains, JT’s status as a Survivor champion is almost as questionable as Tony’s, Coach’s, or Cochran’s.
Eventually, everyone agrees that eating a chicken is the more palatable option (on several levels). Sandra even relents. The other contestants have a deeper appreciation of who she is, though. Sandra’s someone who watches the horse head scene in The Godfather and gets ideas. If this were a horror movie, she wouldn’t be the damsel in distress on the beach. She’d be the monster.
Thankfully, GoatGate ends with all goats accounted for.
Another mention from Nuku bleeds over to the Mana tribe. Malcolm, Jeff, and JT marvel at the quality of the camp when they arrive. They point out that the trees even have decorative balls because when you’re trapped on a desert island, accessories are everything. We think the whole thing is hilarious until the story changes to Mana, where Brad Culpepper is…hanging up decorative globes. Where is he even finding these? It’s like Survivor: HGTV Edition.
The other big news at Mana is that Tai, the nicest and worst player this season, is reunited with Caleb, a player he previously tried to kiss during Survivor: Kaôh Rong. Tai’s crush is adorable and to Caleb’s credit, he’s not the type of asshat who has his sexuality threatened by such things. Tai once described Caleb as “cuddlelicious,” and acted devastated when the latter player was medically removed from the game. During Game Changers, they’re reunited, and Tai feels so good. They quickly begin to plot a new alliance. It’d be nice for Caleb to catch a break in this game, but Tai’s notoriously bad luck for his companions.
Two interesting events transpire at the otherwise ignored Tavua. After Ozzy expressed his desire to eliminate Cirie in a prior episode, we presumed that they’d spend the body of the season at each other’s throat. Due to the tribe switch, however, they now need each other, a point that both of them quickly acknowledge. Stick to your grudges, you two. Reconciliation is bad for business.