Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 5 Recap
It's Like the Worst Cocktail Party Ever - Part 1
By Jim Van Nest
March 23, 2019
Hello good people - however few of you are left - and thank you for continuing the slog through the 38th iteration of Survivor. Last week was the first episode in 37+ seasons that I've ever fell asleep during. When I went back to do the recap, I realized, I really didn't miss anything.
So, let's just set the table for where we are now:
1) Kama has Joey Amazing and they won't lose a challenge again. Ever.
2) Manu had Big Wendy and used to have chickens. They pretty well suck, but not as bad as
3) Lesu. They have David Wright and Kelley Wentworth and are one of the worst tribes in Survivor history.
4) Edge of Extinction now has 4 members: the bitterest 1st and 2nd boots in the history of the show, a challenge beast in Chris and the funny weather man, Rick Devens. Nothing happens there except Reem raging against...everything. I mean, really, why would they have ever voted her out first? *eye roll emoji*
So this week we're being pummeled with a double episode. This usually spells trouble for the first hour as they always seem to rely on a really good second hour to mask the fact that the first was boring AF. Needless to say, I don't have high hopes.
We begin tonight on the Edge of Extinction. Good God, it only gets worse. Rick is not enjoying it but he has hopes that he has the strength to get through it.
Well, that was quick; it's time for a Probst sighting! Today's reward challenge is an obstacle course where they'll collect bolos along the way and then finish up with a big game of hillbilly golf or ladder golf or whatever your region chooses to call it. They're playing for pb&j. Winning tribe gets a lot. Middle tribe gets a sammich. Lesu gets nothing.
The only thing of real note here is that Lesu can't get to their bolos because the Wardog can't hold up David. David and Lauren each take hard spills at this section. As expected, Kama wins. Manu comes in second and Lesu isn't even close. As we head to break, we get a confessional where we get to see the frustration that is setting in with Wentworth. They suck, she knows they suck and she has no idea how to suck less. Bummer.
We come back to our weekly Kama celebration for winning yet another challenge. And whoa - a Julia confessional? Joe tells us that he knows that he's in a bad spot because he's good at literally everything. Ron, Julie and Julia are plotting to take Joe out as soon as possible. Though Ron is starting to have second thoughts. Joe does so much for them; he's not a fan of the idea of camp without him. But the rest of the group is ready to make a move on Joe.
We check in with Manu as they eat their 1 sammich. With that gone, it's back to the damn chickens. Just. Stop. With. The. Chickens. No one at home cares. No one! Aubry tells us that she is ready to start playing the game and she hopes to find someone ready to break away from Kama. Cut to Victoria, Eric and Gavin plotting to take Aubry out. Victoria is going to fake a girls' alliance with Aubry to make her comfortable in an effort to blindside her, should they lose immunity. She enacts this plan and Aubry takes the bait.
Over at Lesu, Dave is worried about being next, should they lose again. So, he goes out to find an idol. There has to be a green idol, but he is unable to find it. While he searches, the other 3 plot against him. Although, to be fair, it seems to be that no matter which person has walked away, the other 3 will talk about voting them out. The Wardog looks to make a change and he wants to get Kelley to help take out her protégé, Lauren. Kelley seems to be on board with this, but ultimately, she just wants to make it farther in the game. She seems much more on board with the "not Wentworth" plan at this point.
We come back from break to check in on Extinction again. Chris is combing the beach and he finds a half buried box that contains maps for each person. These maps are basically the back cover of Mad Magazine, where you fold the page and the image transforms to something totally different. In this case, the map points to a couple very specific trees. They agree, well Reem agrees, that they'll all eat and then go together. Keith decides that, yeah, he doesn't want to wait for everyone. And he's frickin' right. Who knows what could be by those trees? It could literally be the tickets to get back in the game. Not a chance in hell I'm waiting to go as a group. Also, anything that really pisses off Reem is always ok with me.
Anyway, the rest of the group catches up with him and Chris actually muscles him out of the way to get the package by one of the trees. It's some sticks and string and a note that says, "Practice." Rick found the package at the other tree and his is more interesting. He gets to send an extra vote to one of the people heading to the next Tribal Council - anonymously, of course. And that sets up our next...
Probst Sighting! A water challenge, cool! Tribes will have to swim to a ramp, climb up, and then jump off into the water. There are 2 puzzle pieces tied down under the water, they have to release them and then make their way where they will solve the 4 piece pyramid puzzle. Seriously, the easiest puzzle on Survivor. I always enjoy how long it takes people to figure this one out.
Oh wait, the challenge has started. Kama and Manu are out strong. Lesu is a complete disaster. Eric and Joe get pieces, but no one from Lesu can get one. Gavin gets the second for Manu as Julia gets Kama's second piece. Time to do the puzzle. Lesu, still no pieces. There is really very little drama at this point. Kama and Manu are working on the puzzle and as with everything else in Survivor, Joe is good with puzzles. Kama wins immunity. But wait, Manu can't get the puzzle put together. Lesu gets one of their pieces, finally. Manu still can't get the puzzle and Lesu gets their second piece. While Manu continues to struggle, Lesu gets to the platform to start the puzzle. At the end of this all, Manu has a complete mental collapse and Lesu has one of the biggest comebacks in Survivor history - Lesu wins immunity.
How about a quick tutorial on how to do this puzzle? It forms a pyramid, right? The pieces are these: 2 1x4 buoy row pieces and 2 2x3 buoy row pieces. A pyramid has a bottom layer of 4x4, then 3x3, then 2x2, then 1. So you lay 1 of the 1x4 pieces flat on the ground. Then you lay one of the 2/3 pieces on the ground with 3 pieces down and you lean it on top of the 4. Follow that up with the next 2x3 piece, but you turn it 90 degrees, so 2 buoys are sitting on the ground and you lean it up against the 3. See where I'm going here? You now have layers that are 4 then 3 then 2. All you do now is stand up the 1x4 piece and lean it to the rest and voila - a pyramid. It literally does not get any easier for a Survivor puzzle.
But I digress. Kama and Lesu are safe tonight and Manu will be headed to Tribal with Jeff - so 4 new players will get to light their torch and Big Wendy gets to return to Tribal after a 1 night reprieve. As we head to break, after Wardog face plants trying to dive into the water, Victoria tells us that the plan is to go after Aubry, but she has to be very careful with everything she says or does to pull this off.
And we're back just in time to play, "Will She or Won't She?" This entire segment is not devoted to who will be voted out, but whether or not Aubry will use her immunity idol to save herself. The only interesting parts of all of this are that it would seem that Devens decided to bless Aubry with the extra vote. Also, this entire sequence is really shot from Aubry's point of view. It's like they're showing us what she saw and letting us decide if we would use one of our advantages in this situation. This is actually a nice little switch for how these pre-Tribal sequences are normally shot. So, as we head to Tribal, there's a plan to vote out Aubry and she has a Vlachos-esque Bag of Tricks. Will she use the extra vote? The idol? Both? None? Surely she won't hold onto both of them, right?
We get to Tribal Council and the 4 former Kama members light their torches. Because, fire represents life in this game. When your fire's gone, so are you. But not really, right? This Tribal pretty much follows along with the previous segment and Aubry is highly featured. To their credit, Gavin and Victoria are VERY complimentary of Aubry and really sell that they're with her. Big Wendy is Big Wendy, so it's hard to put any stock into anything she goes on about in these situations. Ultimately, there's nothing that we were shown that would suggest Aubry is the vote. This group played it really, really cool. But what we saw isn't what matters. What did Aubry see? If you have a hidden immunity idol and you want to play it, now would be the time to do so. Let's read the votes. There's 1 vote for Big Wendy and everything else comes up Aubry. Daaaaaamn - voted out with an idol and an advantage sitting right next to her in her bag. And finally, there are some signs of life in this game and this season. I'm actually really impressed with this group. Aubry is a very smart, very astute player. Strategy and relationships are what she does. The fact that they were able to completely blindside her here with all that hardware in her bag - that is truly impressive. Special shout out to Victoria who really took the lead on this. To anyone else out there - believe Victoria at your own risk. She ain't playing; she will cuddle right up to you and then cut you. Well played!!
Aubry is in total shock as she heads down the walk of shame. She's in even more shock when she gets to the fork in the path. "Well, that's an easy decision. No brainer." And she takes the torch and heads off to the Edge of Extinction.
As I mentioned earlier, this is a double episode and if you read the title of this, it said, "Part 1". So, this is where we'll make the break. After an absolutely dreadful first 4 episodes to the season, it looks like Edge of Extinction has a little life left in it yet. Hopefully part 2 will live up to this hour and maybe even improve on it. Look for part 2 in the next day or two. Til then, take care!