Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 9 Recap
Y'all Making Me Crazy
By Jim Van Nest
April 15, 2019
Hello good people and welcome back to the Edge of Extinction. After one of the worst starts to a season in a long, long time, Survivor 38 has started to look up the last couple weeks, culminating in a slight Kama uprising and the ouster of Eric by his own alliance-mates; Gavin, Julia and Victoria.
While those 3 will get the credit (or the blame) for this move until the end of the game, the flame was really ignited by some smooth talking from The Wardog, of all people. He showed them how they were the bottom of their alliance and how the top was planning to replace them with David Wright and Rick Devens and then let them know that he was available if they wanted to make a move. It was just enough to get the paranoia growing inside them and they decided to pull the trigger on a move that I'm not so sure will turn out in their best interests. So, kudos to The Wardog for that play.
Tonight's episode promises a lot of scheming and playing as Ron and Co will try to pick up the pieces of the Kama Strong alliance and move forward as the underdogs. We should also see another sweet "stand in one place and hold something for as long as you can" immunity challenge, which should be won by a smaller woman with a lower center of gravity. And then what everyone is waiting for, something so amazing happens at Tribal, that it sends shockwaves through the jury, specifically Aubry Bracco. As she reminded us on Twitter this week, she was in attendance for both the Malcolm cluster-fuck vote out in Game Changers as well as Advantageddon, where Cirie went home without a vote cast against her. She was the only one without an idol or other advantage. So, for Aubry to be shocked and amazed, it has to be pretty good. So, what are we waiting for? Let's get to the fallout from the big betrayal!
And as expected, we join the Vata crew as they return to camp after the Eric blindside. Wardog is excited and a bit overconfident, if you ask me. He had a great episode last time, but there are still 12 people left. He should learn from Ron, it's too early to start planning the final jury speech.
Speaking of, Ron pulls Gavin aside to ask what happened. He's pissed that he lost his Kama Strong. This happens all the time, a group gets power and the people at the top of that group always forget about the people on the bottom of the group. The toughest thing in a group of 6 is to make everyone feel like they're the top of the group. Ron failed at that and Gavin stepped out into the light. He gets together with Wardog, Lauren and Kelley to talk about plans moving forward. He does a smart thing here. He's the minority in this conversation, but he pitches a 6 person alliance with Victoria and Julia moving forward. It's a savvy move, to create an equal 3-3 alliance here. That way, there's no numerical advantage right off the bat - so there's no real top or bottom to this potential alliance. Good thinking and a good play y Gavin. Now, will it hold? Prolly not, but it's a really good plan.
David and Devens get together to try to get back on the same page. David is thrilled with the outcome of the Tribal, but now is the time to patch it up with Devens and work out moving forward with their shared idol. David wants to try to patch things up with Ron and Julie and see if there isn't a way for them to move forward, despite the betrayal of the last Tribal. Rick acknowledges that it will be much easier for him since he voted with Ron and Julie tonight.
Day 23 dawns on the Edge of Extinction. Eric is really down in the dumps after the brutal blindside the night before. He tells us that he is completely worn down and he sees how hard it's going to be. Inserted into the Eric pity party, Reem takes some time to remind them all that everything was MUCH harder for her because she was the first one there. Good Christ, I know they're bored and there's NOTHING to do, but does she have to be absolutely 100% insufferable every single time she opens her mouth? I guess so. Kinda like I have to whine and bitch about it every single week (sorry kids, but I just can't with her.) Anyway, back to Eric, he is really struggling with this. Like, he's actually thinking about the mast already. He asks the others if they've thought about leaving. As they're talking about this, Chris comes out of the water with a nice fish and a giant stingray to eat. Um, I guess they have a fishing spear and kit on Extinction? Anyway, this is what Eric needed to stay in the game. He thinks of this as a great lesson for his kids. No matter what, don't give up on your dream or on yourself.
And now we get back to the actual game. It's day 23, the morning after Tribal and Devens is feeling out Julie to see where they are after last night's blindside. Rick confirms for her that he did vote with them. Julie is ready to work with him. She's very upset about not being included in the vote last night. They get Ron and David and talk about setting up a voting block for the next vote. David asks about getting Aurora. Julie asks about getting Wardog. Ultimately, Julie is ready to jump ship. She knows Ron wants Kama Strong, but it's gone for her now. She breaks down to us in confessional about feeling so utterly alone out there. She just doesn't know where to go from here. Right now, it's in probably in her best interest (and Ron's for that matter) to let David Wright drive for a bit. He knows this game and he knows how to appeal to people. From watching him in Season 33, this is the perfect time to let him do what he does and then reevaluate on the other side of this vote.
Next up is Gavin and Julia making plans for their follow-up to the Eric vote. He feels like their group needs to stay with Wardog and Kelley and company. He wants to pull in one more person and get David out of the game. Lauren and Kelley are on board for either David or Ron. Gavin really pushes Ron because David has been pretty solid in these "stand in one place" challenges.
We come back from break to a Probst Sighting!! Today's immunity (wait, what?) challenge is, as expected, a stand in one place and hold something challenge. It's a challenge David played his first time out. It will have everyone standing on a narrow beam, while balancing a ball on a wooden bow. At intervals, they will move down the beam which becomes narrower as they go. Fall off the perch or drop the ball and you're out. This is gonna take a little while, can I take a second to mention that this is a wicked quick turnaround. That epic blindside was LAST NIGHT and now they're fighting for immunity with another Tribal Council pending tonight. That is crazy and needs to be considered as we move forward in this episode.
Sorry, I had to cut that short because, as you might expect, The Wardog drops out of the challenge. Then, as you probably wouldn't expect, Julie drops out of the challenge. Everyone else makes it to the next round. They get a short break to move down the beam and now we're back on. Ron doesn't last long. Neither does Devens. And then they start to fall. Aurora, Victoria, Lauren. Kelley is next to go, then Julia. This leaves Gavin and David to battle it out. And when all is said and done, David drops and Gavin wins his first immunity challenge. Gavin tells us that since David is his vote tonight, it was really important for him to outlast on this challenge.
And we're back from break and I guess it's time to play, "It's Anyone But David." And it starts immediately. Everyone splinters off into groups. Everyone but Devens, David and Julia. Devens starts the talks to get rid of Kelley. He wants to split up the 3 of Wardog, Lauren and Kelley. He brings in Gavin and Victoria. He really sells that they need to split up the 3.
Speaking of the 3, Kelley is concerned over the plan to take out David. It would be very easy after that for the Kamas to turn the table and take out one of the 3 of them. Lauren suggests that they try to swing the vote to Ron instead. Big picture, it has the same effect. Smaller picture, Lesu doesn't lose the numbers. The only problem with this plan is Gavin and Victoria aren't stupid. They're going to see that numbers advantage also. Lauren pitches this idea to Julia and she is not receptive. So much so that Lauren basically gives in and ends the conversation with, "I don't really care." Julia, however, heard enough to decide to try to rally Kama and get rid of Kelley. The Kama group (minus Gavin) all agrees that Kelley is the vote so they can break up the trio. Ron tells them all that he will do whatever they say. He's like totally given in. Julie on the other hand, she doesn't believe anything they're saying.
They bring Gavin into the plan to take out Kelley. He makes the argument that David has been top 4 are better in every immunity challenge and that he is the bigger threat over Wentworth. He tells us that he has built up a rapport with Kelley and it serves him much better to keep her over David. He really stresses that if they take David out, the game is theirs. Victoria balks at this and at the end of things, Kelley is still the play. Gavin? Not happy about it. He feels like he has no say in things. Dude - when you pitch an idea to the group and the entire group disagrees, you lose that round. Don't cry about it, stick with the plan and move forward to fight another day.
We join the entire tribe sitting around the fire and David tells us about the Spidey sense he has developed from his time on Survivor. He says they're all sitting around camp and no one is talking. When that happens, it's because they've already talked and it's about you. So he pulls Devens aside to talk idol. He tells Rick that he thinks it's him tonight. Rick, "I think it's you too." So it looks like David will be playing an idol tonight.
The next scene is a really well produced scene. We're back around the fire and Victoria is scraping the cooking pot clean. They drop out all music and we just join the group in almost complete silence. Kelley is starting to freak out a little. She gets a quick nod from Julia, but doesn't exactly know what it means. She asks Wardog if he saw it. This is all done in pretty much a whisper as everyone is around. He says that he hasn't talked to her all day. Kelley tells us that the Kama people have been fine with her all day, but now Julia is making exaggerated facial expressions at her, Victoria won't look at her, Gavin has his head down and won't make eye contact. This is enough to remind her of the other times she's been voted out. As they get ready for Tribal, she tells us that she is pretty sure she's getting votes tonight so she is looking to play her idol. Ok - so we head to Tribal with 2 likely idol plays for 2 people likely to get votes tonight. This should be good.
We get to Tribal, bring in the jury and get right to it. Jeff asks Julie about the blindside. She was on the wrong side and it's bad. She feels like her game got turned upside down. Aurora tries to lay out how everyone can't be in on a blindside or it won't work. Wardog and Kelley are concerned about the way she says that as it suggests that maybe they aren't in on the blindside THIS time. Kelley was worried about the vibe at camp and thinks maybe the Kamas got back together. Devens mentions that some people were more involved in things than others and that Gavin and Co. were supposed to get back to him and David, but they let the clock expire and never got back at all.
This is where I take a second to remind everyone that all of this is taking place the day after the Eric blindside. All of these plans and conversations had to happen in the span of 24 hours. The same span that saw night time, a challenge and multiple confessionals for each player. This is very little game time, in the scheme of things. I bet it was very difficult to have all the conversations you need to have for a vote like this. This is when it's best to just have a fall back plan and go with it. Which is, I think, what Kama is doing with the Wentworth plan. Sorry, back to the action.
Gavin is honest in his response when he says that the time was short and by the time you get back with your group, the plan you thought was the plan has changed. He asks Julie about trust and she starts to break down. She is physically and mentally drained. She is just very upset about being kept in the dark by people she thought she could trust. I mean, she's bordering on hysterical here. She's expecting another blindside tonight. Ron chimes in to say that if the vote goes the way they think that they'll know they're in a good place. Julia was smiling and almost giddy during this and Probst calls her out asking her what she found so interesting.
She says that she was giggling at Wentworth looking over asking if they were still good. Yes, they're still good. And that gets a reaction from Devens, "Oh" and he nods his head. He says that Julia pretty much gave her game away. They're obviously going with the Lesu three. Jeff goes to Aurora for clarification. She takes a dig at Lesu suggesting that they're too dysfunctional to work together. They snap back a little and Aurora goes on, but doesn't really make much sense. As Wardog talks about being completely confused and having no idea what any of that meant or what's going on, Julia tells Aurora that she's spilling the beans. And here's where it turns...
Devens pipes in, "There's 5 Lesu and 2 Kamas that have been left out. That's 7 people. And we can do whatever we want, if Aurora really wants us to work together." It's been 38 seasons and finally, someone has sat in the middle of a Tribal and basically says, "Screw the people who think they're in power and screw what we had planned. Let's get together right now and end it." Julia talks down to Rick saying that they said they'd never work together and finishes it with a sigh, "You're such a passenger Rick." He says that he just laid out the plan; he doesn't think he's a passenger right now. As Rick continues to push this and jab back and forth with Julia, Wardog starts telling Ron and Julie that he'll work with them. Julie says she likes Rick's plan. As David talks, Wardog asks Ron if they'd want to vote Aurora. He says that his people will vote with him, but it's up to Ron and Julie who to vote for.
At this point, it starts to go off the rails as Wentworth gets up to talk to Aurora. She sits back down and the planning is on. Rick leans in Kelley's ear and says, "A truce can go a long way." Wardog tells her he's ready to vote Aurora if she is. David and Devens have been summoned to talk to Ron and Julie. It's ramping up now. Kelley continues trying to make inroads with Julia and Gavin. Julie has practically signed her life away to the Lesu group. Victoria seems to have sniffed out which way the wind is blowing and she has thrown her lot in with Ron and the Lesu group. This is absolute pandemonium. Julie says she's up for Julia or Aurora. Wardog, really stepping up his game, "You want that name? I'll do it right now!" He's basically taking Julie, the most upset and vulnerable people in the game and letting her be in charge. That is a fantastic move in this game. Nothing will make her feel safer than a group of people doing what she wants to do. Well played, Wardog.
Julia comes over pissed that they're throwing out her name. Julie gets right in her face and tells her that she's seen the looks all day and that she is OUT. She also says that Ron should know better than to trust it too. As Julie continues, David asks Kelley what the plan was. She confirms it was him. By the way, the jury is blown away by this. Aubry can hardly contain herself. This is great. As David and Kelley get on the same page and agree to work together right now, Julia tells Julie that she is giving away Kama control. That does it for Julie. She hollers back that she doesn't have Kama control because she's on the bottom. At that point, she leaves the group, tells them she's jumping ship and goes over to join David, Devens and Kelley.
Whoa - we got the rare commercial break in the middle of a Tribal. This is insane. When we come back, everyone is still up and talking or arguing. No one is sitting in the same seat anymore, it's just nuts. Julia is trying to convince Ron and Julie that they can't trust Lesu, only Kama. Rick point blank asks them, "Who voted with you last time?" And really, doesn't that pretty much close this case? Julia has gotten really ugly through this whole thing and tells Devens that he's not even the target. He just tells her that he's the pilot now and he's trying to drive. As everyone takes their seats, Wardog says, "Let's vote."
Julia's response, "Shut up, Wardog." Yeah, that'll go over well. You're one of 2 possible targets now, it's probably a good thing to insult, condescend and tell them to shut up. I thought Julia had the potential for a good game, but clearly when things don't go her way, she can't handle it. This is not a good look for her. A couple more side conversations are had and it is time to vote. We see no votes on this one, no surprise there. Jeff tallies the votes and then asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. Devens speaks up. David gives him the second half of the idol and Devens gives it to Jeff saying it's for David. Any votes cast for David will not count.
First vote - David, does not count. Second vote - Kelley. And then here they come. 9 straight votes for Julia. Julia becomes the next person eliminated from the main game of Survivor. Way to kill your own game. That was an epic meltdown and game suicide. Like nothing I've ever seen. She heads down the path and quickly grabs the torch to head to the Edge of Extinction. And now, I'm spent. I don't even know what to say about all this, it was absolutely crazy. I'll try to unpack a little before the next recap. In the meantime:
Next time on Survivor: Wardog and Wentworth rise to power and want to create the endgame 6 person alliance. But Devens has other plans and is seen talking to the smartest player in the game right now, Victoria, as they try to mount an insurrection. David suggests dumping the Wardog and Julie is expecting fireworks. Thankfully, we're spared the arrival on Extinction. I guess we'll get that next week. Until then kids, take care.