Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 4 Recap
I Need a Dance Partner
By Jim Van Nest
March 19, 2019
Hello good people and thanks so much for coming back to the Edge of Extinction with me. When last we hung out, the Manu tribe was in the process of becoming the worst tribe in Survivor history. Aubry found an immunity idol and we inexplicably spent about 30 of our 42 minutes focused on chickens. In all honesty, you have to worry about a season that spends that much time just trying to milk $14k out of Sia. Oh yeah, and one of the worst tribes ever, booted their best challenge performer and the only person on this season who might be able to compete with Joey Amazing. So, good stuff.
Previews for this week are all about "Drop your buffs" and more chickens. We're swapping from 2 to 3 tribes. But really, because of Extinction, it will be like 4 tribes. Not much camera time to go around. So, the only way we get to meet any Kama members this week is if some of them go to Tribal. Let's stop tip-toeing around and get right to it.
We begin tonight's episode on Extinction. Chris shows up after Tribal and gets a quick reminder of why his entire tribe decided to vote Reem off after only 20 minutes of knowing her. She and Keith basically make fun of him for getting voted off and she tells us that he's not welcome there and he's getting a taste of how she felt. Is she the most bitter first boot in the history of Survivor? I think she might be.
We get back to the real game and check in with Manu. It's all about Big Wendy. She is reveling in being the wild card. So much so that she brought the flint back and left it to be found. Everyone knows she took it and David actually asks her if she even wants to win this game. She says that she does but tells us that she's having a good time being unpredictable.
And...Probst Sighting!!! The tribes get to the challenge and the Kama tribe is shocked to see Chris gone and even suggest that Chris was carrying the tribe and that getting rid of him seems like a betrayal. And Jeff somehow uses that to transform into "Drop Your Buffs." Everyone takes a new buff and they separate into their 3 new tribes. The new green Lesu tribe is made up of 5 former Manu members. Devens, David, Wardog, Kelley and Lauren. The new yellow Kama tribe is Joey Amazing, Ron Clark, Julia, Julie and Aurora. The new Manu tribe is Eric, Aubry, Gavin, Victoria and the new lone wolf Big Wendy. With 15 people in the game, 14 of them stay on a tribe with the same people they've played with since the beginning. Wendy is the only person without a former tribe member, but she gets to stay at her blue camp. With...the chickens. Oh, Survivor Gods, you fickle bastards!
We come back from break to the Kama tribe. They celebrate being the Kama tribe, knowing that they have no chance of going to Tribal. There is a tiny bit of intrigue as Joe and Ron have a chat around the watering hole. They talk about how they feel good with each other. Joe tells Ron that he feels really good about Aurora and that he's worried about someone coming for him. Ron shoots that idea down saying it would be stupid for them to come after him. In confessional, Ron tells us that he made a plan to keep Joe at the watering hole so Julia could look through his bag for an idol. And in a nifty Survivor editing move, we flashback to the actual conversation where he told Julia to check the bag. So, while Joe is feeling all swell about his place in the tribe, they are hardcore planning to dump his ass. And, as we all already know, he has no idol in his bag. Aubry has it over at the new Manu tribe.
But first, let's check in with Lesu. Wardog is doing the math on how likely it is for the tribes to swap like that. Spoiler alert: it was a very rare chance this would happen. They get to work building a shelter and Devens breaks everything down for us and he feels pretty excited about the situation they're in. Kelley, on the other hand, is not excited with having to essentially rebuild their entire world after becoming the new tribe. Also, Lauren is really sick. She's throwing up. She can't eat, she isn't interested in eating and she's super homesick.
Time to check in with new Manu. Wendy is giving everyone a tour and once they settle in, they head down to the beach to check out the view. Apparently, the beach at Manu is way cooler than the beach at Kama. Aubry tells us that she likes having Wendy as an easy first boot, but that she actually really likes Wendy. Plus, as we see, Wendy tells them everything about her previous tribe. They're all bullies, they suck and Kelley is like the Godfather of the tribe. Aubry likes her even more after that. She's a wealth of information about 1/3 of the remaining players. And as we've seen time and again, information is power in this game.
As they get done talking shop, talk turns to - you guessed it - the mother effing chickens. Victoria and Eric want to eat a chicken. Wendy's face turns down almost instantly. As they talk more about how to clean and cook a chicken, you can see the rage welling up inside Wendy. So, as soon as night falls and everyone goes to sleep, Wendy decides to - you got it - set the chickens free. At this point, even Sia has to know how obvious this is. As Wendy revels in her game killing move, we head over to check in at Extinction.
It's storming pretty good out there. I know this because despite the thunder, lightning and obvious rain, Reem hollers out, "It's raining, bro." Seriously, I might raise the white flag just to get away from Reem. As Day 10 dawns on Extinction, Keith is telling us about how miserable it is out there. He's about ready to give in. Reem comes out to talk him off the ledge and we learn that he might be the most bitter 2nd person voted out of Survivor. They both seem to hate Chris because he had the nerve to vote them out. Chris is also going through all the emotions after getting the boot. But instead of sitting around bitching and blaming everyone else, he takes the Hawaiian sling in hand and goes out and catches some fish. That leads to the perfect quote to sum up Reem in this game, "I like the Chris today much better than the Chris from yesterday." Yeah? I bet you do. He's feeding you, so now he's ok? Yeah, it's safe to say I don't care for her and I can't wait for Chris (or more likely Joe) to crush her in the challenge that gets him back in the game.
We come back from break to the now chicken less Manu tribe. Amazingly enough, they already know who let the chickens out. Whaaaaat? We get a few good shots here of the chickens not wanting to run away but hanging around camp instead. Wendy is shooing them out of camp. Eric vows that if he gets his hands on a chicken, it's going straight to the machete, not the pen. Victoria is thoroughly pissed about her setting their food free. If they lose today, Big Wendy is in trouble. Speaking of winning today, it's time for...
A Probst Sighting!! Today's challenge will see the tribes running over a series of a-frames carrying pieces of rope. They'll then connect all the ropes to pull a heavy box of puzzle pieces over a track. Once complete, they'll get the pieces out and solve a puzzle. As the challenge begins, the rains start coming down. This is of note because the a-frames are very tall and now they're super slick. All the tribes have troubles getting over the walls. So much so that Joe uses himself as a human ladder to get people over the wall. Manu is the first tribe over the last wall. Then Lesu, then Kama. But Kama catches up very quickly on the pulling of the puzzle piece box and Lesu starts to falter. Kama and Manu are their first and start getting the box open to get to their pieces. Lesu is right behind now. So, as happens so many times in Survivor, the obstacle course, strength portion of the challenge doesn't matter as all 3 tribes end up working on the puzzle at the same time.
That all being said, it is horribly under reported how good Joe is at puzzles. Sure, he's super strong and excels at carnival games, but he's killer in puzzles as well. I mention this because it's no surprise to see Joe and Ron finish their puzzle first winning immunity for Kama. Kelley and David are now competing against Eric and Wendy on the puzzle. They both look very close but at the end of the day, Wendy and Eric prevail sending Lesu to Tribal Council tonight. This means that 9 people (the original Kama tribe) still have not lit their torches at the Tribal fire. And with Big Wendy gone, I have no idea what the former Manu (now Lesu) will do. As we head to break, Kelley calls them the Cleveland Browns of tribes. And honestly, that's pretty accurate. She's worried because these 5 people have been voting together the whole game and now they have to turn on each other.
We come back from break to play "It's Anyone But..." um, I have no frickin idea. I could make an argument for all of them to go home. Kelley has gotten votes every episode so far, so you'd think she'll still get votes. David's a strong and strategic player; he'd be a good vote. Wardog is pretty unyielding and seems to think he's in charge of everything; he'd be a good vote. Devens is super funny and very likable, so why let that guy get to the end. And Lauren clearly has a girl crush on Kelley AND she's been super sick and weak as well. So, a case can be made to get rid of all these people. From my perspective, Wardog, Kelley and Lauren have been a tight voting group from the beginning - which could mean trouble for David and Devens. Devens tells us that this tribe is as much of a loser as the old Manu tribe. This is actually quite the downer as no one really wants to vote out anyone. So, they're all just dejected. David and Devens lock in that they're not going to vote against each other and they decide to make a move on Lauren. David tells us that it's just not time to take out Wentworth. He's convinced Kelley has an idol. Uh oh - that's not good. Cause Lauren has the idol, for those who may have forgotten.
Kelley and Lauren feel that Devens is more likely to switch to a different tribe and turn on them than David is. So, he is the target for them. They just need to lock in Wardog. Kelley goes to Wardog and everything is pretty well laid out. He knows that Dave and Rick are a pair and that Lauren and Wentworth are a pair, which puts him in the middle as the swing vote. For anyone who's watched this show as long as I have, I hope you all are thinking what I'm thinking. Back in the Amazon, Christy couldn't decide if she wanted to go with Cesternino and crazy Matthew or Jenna and Heidi. So, Rob C turned the tables and got everyone on board with taking out the swing vote. Probably the most brilliant move in a remarkably brilliant game that season. Kelley thinks he'll be with her, but it's hard to tell what he's thinking.
We get more scenes of everyone trying to sway Wardog to their side. He tells us that he is in the classic swing vote spot and he's excited about it. He tells them that he needs about 15-20 minutes of Wardog time to think. Seriously folks, TAKE OUT THE SWING VOTE. Don't let him hold all of your fate in his hands. Decide for him. As we head to break, it's pretty solid that it's either Lauren or Devens tonight and Wardog will be deciding which one. Of course, Lauren could play her idol and just guarantee that Devens is the vote.
It's Tribal time and everyone is seriously dejected as they enter and as they answer questions. There's a whole lot of talking but no one really says anything of substance. Bottom line, they all love each other. They don't want to vote for each other. Their tribe sucks; they don't know how to get out of it. It's a real downer and gets us nowhere near closer to knowing who's going home. Unless they're setting up some sort of Lesu 4 run to the end of the game, where these 4 form such a tight bond that they carry it all the way to the end - I feel like this could have been the first half of a double boot episode. Finally, Jeff calls for the vote. As expected, David and Devens vote for Lauren. Lauren and Kelley vote for Devens. And at the end of it all, the Wardog sticks with the girls and sends Rick Devens down the walk of shame. As he reaches the Extinction fork, he doesn't even speak, just takes the torch and heads to the boat. And the episode ends with the same lack of intensity that the entire episode had.
As I wait for the previews, I'm left to think about how much I'm just not getting into this season. It's not that it's bad, it's just dull. No exciting people. No exciting game play. No exciting moves. We're stuck with wasted time on Extinction watching the bitterest of the bitter being bitter. We're stuck with wasted time watching Wendy with the damn chickens. What worries me about all of this is that I fully believe that the Producers are showing us the absolute best 42 minutes of show that they have. This suggests to me that they just don't have anything with this season up to this point. Also, it reminds me how boring and terrible it is to watch one tribe just get obliterated out there. Wentworth is right, they are the Browns and who the hell actually sits down on Sunday and enjoys watching the Browns?
Next time on Survivor: Well, first up, we get our double episode of the season. So be on the lookout for 2 hours of tedium next week. Wardog is talking to Wentworth about taking out her girl Lauren on Lesu. Victoria approaches Aubry with a potential all girl alliance to take out Eric (with Big Wendy). And on Extinction, something is happening that has people running around about something. As the episode ends, we see Devens arrive at Extinction to hear Reem, "You are not in good graces here, sweetheart." God, I hate her. I hate her with a fire that I haven't felt for many players in the history of Survivor. Like, seriously, if she gets back in this game, this is worst case scenario territory.
Why did I let Kim and David talk me out of retirement for this? Well played, you two, well played. Until next week, take care.