Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 8 Recap

I'm the Puppet Master

By Jim Van Nest

April 10, 2019

Smugness usually gets punished.

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Hello good people and thank you for joining me for another week of Survivor 38 - Edge of Extinction. When last we spoke, I was pretty [annoyed, irritated, pissed off] at the current season. Suffice it to say, time has not made the heart grow fonder. At least, not yet.

Last week we: merged, had Devens come back from Extinction, saw the mast raised for the first time as Keith and Big Wendy tagged out and we saw Joey Amazing sent packing for the Edge of Extinction. Ultimately, we have a rock solid group of 6 Kamas (Ron, Eric, Gavin, Julie, Julia and Victoria) against a rag tag group of Aurora (Kama), Devens (Manu, Lesu, Extinction) and David, Wentworth, Lauren and The Wardog (Manu and Lesu). Had these people just talked to each other last week, they could have taken control of the game. Although, with 3 immunity idols in their possession, they could take control again this week if they just work together. The votes at the last Tribal should have told them all something. But did it? I'm sorry to say, but my guess is, no-it did not. Let's see if I'm wrong and let's get right to it.

For the second week in a row, we skip the Previously On segment and go straight to Vata on night 19. Everyone has questions about the jury. Are they still on Extinction? What happened to Keith and Wendy? All that good stuff. Aurora laments about her and Joe being the idiots (her word, not mine) left out of the vote. Eric tries to smooth things over with her and bring her back in, but she's not buying it. She'll work with them if she has to, but her plan now is to just stay on whatever side has the numbers. Kind of a new-fangled Queen Sandra "Anyone But Me" plan. Ron and Eric head over to talk to David and Devens and let them know what went down for the vote. They want to make sure the guys realize it was their own people that voted for David. Ron wants to keep them close and for the first time, we start hearing talk of "a few more votes and we make the family visit." Like, is this a thing? That's a carrot in this game? For someone like David effing Wright? Um...ok. Meanwhile, Wardog, Kelley and Lauren are realizing that they need to patch things up with David and Devens and then grab Aurora and try to make something happen, or they're all done.

The next morning arrives and we check in on Extinction. Joe is counting down the days and he's actually pretty wrecked. It's crazy for a guy who's usually so happy and confident. He just looks broken. Hopefully, for him, he can put that away in time to try to get back in the game. While he sits on the beach all weepy, it's time for our first...

Probst sighting!! Today's reward challenge will divide the group into 2 teams of 6. They'll race through some obstacles collecting plank puzzle pieces. Then, they'll put the puzzle together. Honestly, at this point, every challenge is obstacle course/puzzle; obstacle course/carnival game or stand in one place for as long as you can, probably holding something. I don't want to knock the challenge department, because I think they have some great stuff. But come on, man, can we get some sort of variety? A gross food challenge, maybe? A hold your breath challenge? A hand to hand combat kind of challenge? Something different. I'm begging you, Kirhoffer; I know you have it in you.

Sorry, while I was complaining the challenge has been going on. Let's see, we're playing for Chinese takeout and right now David and Ron are working on the puzzle for the yellow team and Victoria and Julia are in the lead for the blue team. David gives it a good shot, but the lead was too great to surmount and the blue team, consisting of Julia, Victoria, Aurora, Devens, Wardog and Eric, wins reward. And David, the puzzle master, loses yet another challenge. As we head to break, Ron tells us that he's not too upset about losing this reward as he wants to keep Kelley and Lauren hungry and weak so they won't perform well in the immunity challenge. He's like, The Puppet Master out there and stuff. Should we start playing "It's Anyone But Ron" now? No? Ok, we'll wait a little bit.

After the commercials, we join in on the Chinese feast. They're enjoying it. And we move on to the losing group. Lauren tells us that she is in bad shape food-wise. She hasn't won anything and is pretty well starving. Kelley and David seem to patch things up while this is going on. They finally realize that with a 6 person alliance running everything it's stupid to form a circular firing squad out of the rest. Kelley wants to get Aurora on board with them to try to take out Ron or Eric. While they're talking about bringing in Aurora, we see Aurora talking to Ron. She tells him how out of the group she feels and how upset she is. I don't think Ron does much here to make her feel any better. He's so arrogant in his "power" that he comes across as untouchable. Also, not very likable. At all. Kelley and David continue the plans for pulling Aurora in as well as Devens. This is really their only shot at avoiding a straight Pagonging. Eric and Ron are also planning their next move and they feel like it needs to be either Kelley or Lauren and while Ron shows some concern over Aurora, Eric shuts it down with, "She has nowhere else to go." Also, not very likable right now.

Next up we join a conversation between Devens and Wardog. Wardog is explaining how they really need to pull together if they want to break up the Kama 6. They need Rick and Aurora to make that happen. And Devens throws out the line of the season, "I'm dying to get back with the old Lesu. Now that I know that I can trust you guys, I really wanna get back with you all. Uh, except I don't effing want to get back with you guys at all." Ultimately, that group voted him out and Kelley wanted him out again after he came back. He's done with Lesu and is now a number with the Kama alliance. And while I understand his point here, it's ridiculously short sighted and Wardog is right, he's playing with emotions. If he sticks with Kama, he's 7 or 8. With the Lesu folks, he's at least #5. But he's not hearing it. Probably because it's coming from Wardog and he has the worst bedside manner since Dr. House. He's so condescending he actually makes people act against their own best interest just to not work with him.

What will be interesting is to see how this goes with Devens and David. Oh lookie here, we join them next. Devens is not having any of it with David either. David tells him that if they go with Kama, they'll be nothing but pawns in Ron and Eric's game. Rick doesn't see it that way and he flat out refuses to work with old Lesu. He also asks David for his half of the idol. David tells him that he's going to hold onto it for a little longer. He tells us that Devens is being irrational about this and the last thing he's going to do is give him an idol to use even more irrationally. Wow - nice work David. I really thought it was the Wardog factor turning Devens off, but apparently he's really set on not working with these guys again.

We come back from break to Extinction again. Chris comes back with bottles for everyone. Looks like it's another advantage day on the Edge. The clue is a bit cryptic and everyone tries to suss it out at camp. There's no working together anymore, everyone is playing for themselves. So they all head over to the steps by the rocks and start looking. Part of the clue, though, says to "step back and assess". Aubry is the only one who figures it out and she steps back to toward the water and she sees the hole in the wall where the clue is living. The clue tells her where to go and when she gets there, there's a post with a bunch of rope on it for her to practice for the first phase of the next "get back in the game" challenge. And on top of that, while she's there, she found the "send an extra vote to someone in the game" advantage. While she practices for the challenge, she has to decide who to give that extra vote to. Smart money is on David Wright, with Aurora being the 2nd choice. Uh oh...


Probst sighting! Today's immunity challenge is a stand in one place challenge. This time they'll balance on their toes with a block balanced between their head and a beam. Last one standing with the block on their head wins immunity. Jeff sets everyone up and starts the challenge and that's enough to knock Wardog out of the challenge. Eric drops out next, followed by Gavin. Kelley drops out and Jeff says that 4 of the fittest people out there have dropped out of the challenge. As Devens falls out, he quips back, "Five of the fittest." Gotta hand it to the dude, he's playing rally dumb right now, but he's pretty hilarious. Julia, Ron and Julie drop like dominoes now. David, Victoria, Aurora and Lauren are the only 4 left now. At the 25 minute mark, David starts to wobble and he drops out, leaving only 3. As he struggles, Lauren mentions that she's getting very dizzy. They're really focusing on Lauren now. She says that she can't see anything and that she's about to black out. And just like that, the eyes roll back and she goes down to the ground.

Jeff calls in Dr. Joe to check her out. In the meantime, they keep the challenge going. Aurora and Victoria are the only 2 left and Aurora starts trying to make a deal. She tells Victoria that she was left out of the vote and she needs this to feel comfortable with the group. As this is happening, Lauren is still passed out and Aurora's pleas are upsetting Julie. She feels that with Lauren passed out, this isn't the time. Aurora doesn't give a damn what Julie thinks and she shouldn't. Lauren is awake now and other than being pissed that she's out of the challenge, she's just fine. Aurora continues to try to get somewhere with Victoria, but there is nowhere to go, she's gonna have to win it fair and square. Which, when Victoria falters, she does. Aurora wins immunity. As we head to break, Lauren tells us that it was scary when she passed out, but she was more pissed about losing the challenge because she's very vulnerable this vote.

Despite what I suggested earlier, we come back from break to play, "It's Anyone But Lauren or Kelley". Aurora is feeling pretty good about having immunity, especially since she doesn't feel safe at all. As she gets into her bag, she finds a parchment. She has been given an extra vote. She automatically thinks it's from either Joe or Aubry. She tells us again that she plans to stick with the numbers and hold onto that extra vote.

We join the Kama, now, 7 on the beach. Ron and Eric are really pounding on the family visit as a reason to stick together. Again, REALLY? Screw that, I'm not pissing away $1 million just to hang out with a loved one for 10 minutes. Everyone seems to be on board though and the plan is determined to be a split vote between Kelley and Lauren. Eric tells us that he and Ron want to keep this group together for a while, and then they can use David and Devens to make the big move and turn on the Kama 6. There it is. What did David say they were? Oh yeah, pawns. David and Kelley are both blown away by the Kama plan to Pagong them out of the game and then have some sort of civil war for the endgame. Kelley and Lauren discuss that they both might have to play their idols tonight, but deciding when to pull the trigger is a hard thing to do. Actually, no it's not. If you know you're getting votes, you play the idol. Even if you didn't get enough votes to be out, you KNEW you were getting votes and you have to guard against it. Then, go out and find a fresh rehidden idol tomorrow. Yep, everyone, it's just that easy!

Oh boy, next up, looks like Wardog gonna Wardog. We see him talking to Julia and then Gavin. He's trying to find cracks. And in a really fantastically edited sequence, we hear basically the same conversation. To sum up, he tells them both that along with David and Devens, they're just soldiers in Ron and Eric's army and that once the Lesu are gone; there will be nowhere left for them to go. He suggests that they use him and Kelley and Lauren as soldiers in THEIR army to turn the tables on the Kama group. He asks them, when everything comes down, do they think David and Devens will side with them, or Ron and Eric. He goes farther to say that if they were to suggest a David vote tonight and Eric and Ron poo poo the idea, then that's all they should need to hear to know that what Wardog has laid out is really the plan. He finishes both stories by telling them that if they decide they need some soldier's, they just need to call the Wardog. Julia tells us that Wardog was really making sense to her so she decided to take the possibility of a David vote to Eric.

Julia asks Eric if it might not be smarter to take out David before Kelley or Lauren. Eric tells her that he thinks they need to wait til final 8 before they make that move. And just like Wardog predicted, Eric shoots down the David vote. This enough to send Julia to see Gavin. They both agree that they can't just sit back and allow Eric and Ron to run the game and then flip on them later. They agree that the time might be now to make a move on Eric. Gavin suggests maybe Ron. The only thing left to do now is to convince Victoria to come with them. So that's what they set out to do. Vic is not on board with this plan. She feels they should do one more vote before they take out one of their own. And, let's be honest, she's 100% right. Final 12 is too soon to make a move like this. You barely have the numbers right now, why would you give up what slim advantage you have. That all being said, there's something to be said for the other side of things as well. Who's to say that Wardog's offer will still be there after one vote? Who's to say that Wardog doesn't make another plan with someone else and when you're ready to make a move, there are simply no more moves for you to make? Sometimes you have to forget making the perfect move at the perfect time and settle for the best move at the present time. Either way, though, without Victoria on board, none of this matters. As they pack for and head off to Tribal, Julia tells us that the people on the bottom have figured out that they're on the bottom and that if the folk on top aren't careful, they'll find themselves on the wrong side of the vote tonight.

Tribal starts off with more talk of the Kama dominance. Eric is now calling them the Kama 7 and that they had a meeting on the beach to plan for the next move. He says that the Lesu folks come in packages and they have to work around that. Wardog jumps in to say that his "package" wasn't given any marching orders, so someone else's "package" must be in better with the Kamas. Devens chimes in to let everyone there know that he is doing whatever he can to get on the Kama train as he has no plans to work with Lesu anymore. David is asked about this and he admits that Kama saved him and Devens last Tribal, but now is the time in the game where everyone needs to decide if they're going to be a pilot or a passenger in this game. Pilots win in the end and for tonight, he's a passenger.

Eric is aware of what David is trying to do. He's trying to suggest to some of the Kama members that now might be the time for them to make a move and try to be a pilot. But, everyone wants to get to the loved one's visit. REALLY?!?!?!?!? Again? Stop it now. And thankfully, the Wardog pipes up, "Are we playing for a million dollars, or just playing to get to the loved one's visit?" Exactly! He says that by then, the Lesu "packages" will be gone and then you can't make a move. David actually agrees with Wardog on this and suggests that they may make the benchmark of the family visit, but they'll get there with no resume. Basically, everything David and Wardog are saying is designed to pull in Julia, Gavin and Victoria to make a move. Even Aurora gets in on the act toward the end. And with all of that, it's time to vote.

The only vote we hear is Eric voting for Kelley telling her she's just on the wrong side of the numbers. Jeff tallies the votes and asks for any idols. And crazily enough, neither Kelley nor Lauren play their idol. Wait, what? Somebody might be going home with an idol in their pocket. Again. The votes are: Kelley, Lauren, Lauren, Kelley. And the Kamas start to smile as the Eric votes come in. And when all is said and done, the final 8 votes are ALL Eric. Aurora, Gavin, Julia and even Victoria make the flip and take out the Kama 6. Boom! The looks on Ron's and Devens' faces are priceless. Devens just in this moment realized that the Kama ship he jumped on is really the Titanic. And just like in the real world - there aren't enough life boats. As one would expect, Eric takes the torch and head off to the Edge of Extinction.

Seriously, this was pretty crazy. I'm still not sure if this was the best move for Gavin and Julia. I give Victoria a pass on this one because she saw where the votes were going and just got on board with the winning side. But Julia and Gavin are the ones that made this happen. At the final 12!! All because Wardog talked them into paranoia. I've had some fun with The Wardog this season, but I have to give him props for this one. He may have just single-handedly talked 2 people into killing their games tonight. Well played, sir. Well played.

Next time on Survivor: David and Devens try to work things out or at least decide who gets custody of the immunity idol. And it looks like this vote could be wide open as we see some suggestions: David, Ron, Julia, Kelley. And the killer shot of the preview is something happening at Tribal that SHOCKS Aubry into some of the best Tribal Council Jury faces since Eliza Orleans (who, by the way will be on the next season of The Amazing Race - starting Wednesday, April 17.) To finish up the episode, Eric lands at Extinction and says that it's better than he thought it would be. But resident optimist, Reem shoots that down, "Dude, don't get too excited." Have I mentioned that I can't stand her? Like, not at all? I have? Good. Til next week, take care.



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