Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 2 Recap
One of Us is Going to Win the War
By Jim Van Nest
February 28, 2019
Hello good people and thanks for coming back to hang out with me while we talk Episode 2 of Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
Last week the 38th season of Survivor began, some returning players schooled some newbies on camp life, Joe Anglim put away Joey Amazing and then subsequently released him in time for the challenge, Wentworth went to war with a very angry, un-self-aware player named Reem who then went on to become the first inhabitant of the new twist for this season, Extinction Island.
And while we're on the subject of Extinction Island, I love how they give us the illusion of choice. As if someone is going to spend years applying, months going through the casting process, weeks preparing themselves mentally, physically and spiritually and then days of pregame photos, examinations and interviews to get to that fork in the road and say, "Yep - I'm done." Not gonna happen. Mark my words - everyone will take the torch and go to Extinction. EVERY. ONE.
The question becomes how long will they stay. Let's be honest, if you're on Extinction hoping to get back in the game and Joe shows up, do you just leave right then? I might. But I digress - Joe's tribe is not likely to lose a challenge which might be what is necessary for Aubry to gain some footing in the game. She's already the target of fireman Eric and newlywed Gavin.
Over at the Manu tribe, Wentworth took some damage in that Tribal Council. Sure, everyone knew Reem was going home, but Kelley did not come out unscathed. That being said, the previews hinted that even her counterpart, David Wright, is on board for sending her home. I'm thinking red herring on that. David is too smart to get rid of the other returning player so soon.
So, the Kama tribe is trending up while Manu is trending down. And no one knows what is gonna happen to Reem on Extinction Island. Let's get to the episode and find out.
The episode begins at the Edge of Extinction and we do a quick check in with Reem. It should be noted here that the show tagged this as "Edge of Extinction" not Extinction Island. I have been corrected! At any rate, not much to see here. Reem is wrapped in what looks like an old boat sail. It's cold, she has no food and it's pretty frickin desolate. The only thing of note on the island is the big ship mast that tells her to dig deep to stay in the game, but if she wants to leave, just raise the white sail and a boat will come pick her up. No mention of length of stay or anything. And surprise, that pisses Reem off. It would seem that everything pisses Reem off. And come on, if you're THAT much of a Survivor Superfan, you have to know that the merge is likely your best case scenario for getting back in the game. And that's a good 10-11 days away. So Reem sets out to do the only 2 things she can do: build a camp/life at Extinction and do some serious soul searching.
Finally, we get to check in with the people still actually playing the game. And we start with Manu in the wake of that rocky Tribal Council. Everyone is comparing how waterlogged their hands are. Rick chats with Wendy and asks her why she didn't join with the rest of the group. She says that she couldn't turn on Reem and that Kelley is a much bigger threat. She tells us that she's had her chance to play twice and she doesn't want Kelley screwing up her game. She pitches the idea of taking out Kelley to David and Rick. She says she has Keith with her so she only needs one more.
Kelley, Lauren and Wardog are concerned about Wendy finding an idol. They bring in David and Rick and share their concerns. They're also worried that if/when a swap happens, Wendy will turn on them. Kelley has gone all in on making sure that Wendy is the next vote. I have to say, through 1 episode and 1 segment; I'm not terribly impressed with the game Kelley is bringing. Maybe she needs to be on the bottom. Maybe she needs that underdog storyline, cause without it; she's coming across as a bit of a bully. And that's really not something you want to do as a returnee that already has a target on her back.
Over at Kama, Ron Clark is rallying the troops to learn a dance for when they walk into the next challenge. These are the types of things you do when you win and you have the ultimate Survivor challenge beast on your team. I mean, looking at it objectively, Kama doesn't look like it will lose a single challenge. At least not until some kind of swap. Aubry is not enjoying all the partying at camp. She prefers to go to Tribal so she can see where everyone stands. But she's doing what she can to fit in. But, it's just not working for her. We get an interesting montage of Aubry talking to Julia, Victoria, Ron and Gavin mixed in with a scene of those 4 talking about Aubry coming to talk to them. What we learn here is that these players are not stupid. Basically, she's told them all the exact same thing which is great, as long as they don't share that info. Which they do. Aubry is dead woman walking. Her only saving grace is that this tribe will only lose a challenge if they throw it and with Joe around, that ain't happening.
We come back from break to join the Manu tribe on their idol hunt. Kelley pitched the idea of everyone hunting for the idol to keep Wendy from getting it. Rick and David go along with it, but they're not so trusting on Wentworth. David tells us that he is really thinking about Wendy's pitch to take out Kelley. He doesn't trust that Kelley will keep him in the game later on. Also, David really likes the idea of having Wendy's loyalty. He and Rick cement their alliance and are seriously thinking about putting together a group to take Kelley out.
Over at Kama, idol hunting is on the mind as well. Eric and Gavin are searching everywhere, but are having no luck at all. As they search, the women start to notice that the men are away from camp a lot searching for idols. What happens is a really meta discussion about the disparity in men and women finding idols as Julie points out part of the problem is that they're out trying to find an idol, while the women are talking about finding idols.
We pick up the Manu idol hunt as Rick and David are all in as are Kelley and Lauren. The interesting thing is that as they all search, they're not searching together. So, any of them could find it and no one would be the wiser. As Lauren tells us all about her love of Kelley Wentworth and her propensity for finding idol, she stumbles across a downed tree with a little hint of Manu blue poking out. And that's how you do it, first idol of Season 38 found by a woman. She quickly buries it out in the sand and quietly celebrates as she heads back to camp with no intention of telling anyone what she has found.
After the next commercial, we come back to our first Probst Sighting! Today's challenge is a real mo-fo of a challenge. Everyone will have to jump in the water, then climb over a huge cage. Inside the cage is a giant snake weighing hundreds of pounds. The players must lift that snake up and over the far wall of this huge cage. Once they do that, they have to get themselves over the wall and carry the snake up to the shore and place it on a platform. Once placed, they will untie some knots in the snake and pull out 6 numbered tiles. They'll use those tiles to form a combination that, once unlocked, will release a set of rings. They'll use those rings to have a good ole fashioned ring toss. The rings will tip some oars spelling out immunity. First tribe to do that wins immunity and their choice of reward. A nice set of fishing gear or a set of spices, a cutting board and several knives. Last matter of business, Julie will be sitting out the challenge for Kama. Survivors ready? Go!
Right off the bat, the Manu tribe falls behind as their strongest member, Chris, has to lag behind to help their weakest member, Keith, get through the swim. As a person that can't swim - I would never go on Survivor without learning. Keith is killing his tribe right now. The Kama tribe is in the cage and untying the snake as Manu finally gets Keith inside the cage. Manu starts to catch up here but they really lose ground on the snake removal. Kama has a great plan going and their snake finally tips over the wall and falls down to the water. Manu is struggling until Rick finally gets on the other side of the wall and uses the entirety of his weight to help pull the snake over. As they get their snake over, Kama is now dragging their snake under the obstacle in the sand.
They get their snake on the table as Manu finally gets to shore. Manu starts to make up some time and as Ron works the combination for Kama, Manu gets the numbers and David gets to work on the combination. Not surprisingly, Joe hits the first ring for Kama. Manu has now caught up as Chris lands his first ring. Eric hits a ring, as does Joe. Chris lands his second and it's 3-2 Kama. Keith starts tossing for Manu and is not even close. Chris gets back in there and hits the 3rd and 4th rings as Joey Amazing does what he does and nails the 5th, 6th and 7th for Kama. Eric comes in for the last ring and nails it. Kama wins immunity and reward (they choose the fishing gear, by the way) and Manu will visit Jeff at Tribal Council tonight. As we head to commercial, Wardog is concerned about how the tribe is doing. He says maybe it doesn't have to come down to Wendy vs Wentworth. Keith is killing them in challenges; maybe he needs to be the one to go.
We come back from break to play everyone's favorite game, It's Anyone But...Keith. And let's face it, you love the kid, but he is dead weight in the water and with a chance to redeem himself on the ring toss, he wasn't even close. I'm talking Stephen Fishbach; hit the other team's target not even close. But, right now, Wardog is the one with the plan. He's going to need some numbers.
Rather than give a blow by blow of what happens here, let's talk about what should happen. Currently, we have 3 people on the block: Wendy, Wentworth and Keith. The argument against Wendy is that she was locked in with Reem and would not be swayed by anyone. Does that make her a potentially difficult alliance mate who might be unwilling to budge later on? Against Kelley is that he game precedes her. She was so out in front on Second Chance that everyone is worried that if they don't get her now, they might not be able to get her at all. The reason to take out Keith is simple. Their tribe is a mess in challenges and Keith is the leading reason why. For me, it has to be Keith. If you win challenges, you don't have to worry about who's next. Only if you continue to struggle do you have to continue to vote people out.
What we see during this segment is that Wardog doesn't want to lose this game because he kept dead weight on his tribe and they lose all the challenges. Wentworth is very locked in on Wendy and can't understand why anyone would want to take out Keith. Chris and Keith bond and Keith swears loyalty to Chris for helping him through all the challenges. With Chris locked in with Keith and David, Rick and Wendy all on board to take out Wentworth - the Wentworth plan is back on.
The scene that told me what I needed to know was a scene between Chris and Wardog. They come into the talk on opposite sides. They each state their case and we aren't shown what they actually decide. But what it tells me is that Wardog and Chris are running this show and that they are sticking together and whoever they choose will go home. Before we head to tribal, Wentworth tells us that she's really worried about the vibe around camp. She says that if she were in their shoes, she'd vote herself out. And she's getting that feeling from everyone around camp. As we wait to come back from break, I can't help but wonder at how Wendy was a locked in vote at the beginning of the episode and now it's down to Keith v Wentworth and Wendy is no one to be found on the list of possible boots. Well played, Big Wendy well played!
We get to Tribal and Jeff has on his serious face. He starts with Wendy asking if she's concerned that she'll be getting votes tonight. Wentworth says that as a returning player she expects this kind of attention and that the reason to keep her is that she IS a returning player which makes her a good shield for someone (Wardog's major argument, by the way) and that she's a strong performer in challenges and this tribe needs it. As Jeff calls Keith's struggles out, Chris says that you do want to keep the tribe strong for challenge. But at the same time, you want to keep strong voting bonds as well. David says he thinks the vote tonight will be a blindside. He could tell you how everyone's voting and if he's wrong, then the blindside is on him. More and more as the players become more and more savvy, Tribal Council is growing more and more useless. Everyone talks, but no one really says anything. And with that all in mind, it's time to vote.
Jeff comes back with the urn and as no one wants to play an idol, he begins to read the votes. Kelley, Keith, Wendy. And the rest of the way - it's all Keith. The second person voted out of Edge of Extinction is Keith. Now, it's time to watch him head down the walk of shame to the waiting signpost to send him to the Edge of Extinction. He reads the sign and seems to really be struggling with his decision. Um, WHAT?? Who doesn't just automatically take the torch and get in the frickin boat? Apparently Keith. The credits begin to roll as Keith is still agonizing over the decision. Yep, that's right; it's a cliffhanger as to whether or not Keith will take the torch.
Next time on Survivor: Joe and Aubry are feeling the heat on Kama. Aubry says no one will work with them. Members of the Manu tribe: Lauren, Kelley, Chris and Wardog seem to be making a pact. And Wendy looks to have hurt herself, pretty bad. Like possible broken foot? Her foot and ankle are like solid purple. Dang. Oh wait - look another check in with Reem. We're on day 6 and she says she's only had a couple hunks of coconut. She tells us that if someone doesn't come soon, she might have to raise that flag. Honestly, I kind of expected Keith to show up then. But nope, it'll be a mystery until next week. Until then kids, take care!