Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Episode 12 Recap
By Jim Van Nest
May 6, 2019
Hello good people and welcome back to Survivor 38: Worst Theme Ever! Including tonight, there are only 3 episodes of Edge of Extinction remaining and I'm sure we'll be promised a wild finish. Last week, we saw the demise of The Wardog as he was turned on by Ron Clark and his minions. I say the demise because, let's be honest, if the challenge to get back into the game is not "Who Looks the Most Like Tony Vlachos", The Wardog has no shot at winning it.
So, we're down to 7 people in the real game and 8 people being belittled by Reem on the Edge of Extinction. One of those people will come back into the game, so there are still 8 viable people in the game right now. This will set us up for a jam packed finale with probably 6 players vying to make the final 3. As it stands right now, Rick Devens and Ron Clark seem to be the most dynamic people and players in the game. Everyone else is a group of losing finalists to zero vote finalists. If there's to be any drama in the finale, they better find a way to keep Ron and Rick in the game.
At any rate, we skip the Previously On segment and go straight to camp after the Night 29 ouster of Wardog. Everyone seems pretty happy, except Devens. For at least the 327th time this season, he was misled, lied to and left out of a vote. And once again, he watched his tightest ally (if there is such a thing) take the walk to Extinction. He is most concerned about how he keeps trusting Ron and keeps getting stabbed in the back. Ron decides to patch things up by offering Rick an expired advantage. Yeah, remember when he found an advantage menu on the boat and it expired after the first Tribal? Remember how it seemed so weird that they would show it to us when it didn't come into play in the actual game? Who knew, right? Anyway, he gives this advantage to Devens and Rick feels like he has a new lease on life. I mean, c'mon, Ron wouldn't like to you 8 times in a row, right? You have to be kidding me.
Anyway, time for a Probst Sighting! It's time for the loved one reward challenge. This season is going to feature the Heroes vs Villains "Dammit Reed" challenge. Loved ones will participate in the challenge for a chance to win time together and a picnic back at camp. I'm not big on the loved one visit; I can do without all the crying. So, we meet Devens' wife, Julie's husband, Ron's husband, Victoria's dad, Lauren's dad, Aurora's brother and finally Gavin's newlywed bride. He finally lets the rest of the cast know that he got married 2 days before leaving for Fiji. Ok, enough of the reunions, let's get to the challenge.
Survivors will run to the ocean with a bucket and fill it with water. They'll run back up the beach and then try to toss the water from their bucket to their loved one's bucket. The loved one will dump the water into a big bucket in order to raise a flag. First ones to raise their flag win an extended visit at camp with fried chicken and all the picnic fixin's. Ok, so the challenge is really hard to keep track of. Everyone is getting water, throwing water and a ton of water is hitting the beach and not the other buckets. Each team seems to be getting water into their main bucket, but you can't compare, so who knows who is winning. You have to rely on Probst's commentary to have an idea who's doing well. Ultimately, it's Ron and his husband that do the best and end up winning the challenge.
Now comes the fun part; picking people to join you on the reward. Or more importantly, picking the people who DON'T get time with their loved one. Frankly, if I was Ron, I would make my husband pick 2 people that he got to know while waiting to come out, that way it's not my decision. But, he doesn't do that. First up, he chooses hid ride or die, Julie and her husband. I have no problem with this decision. They've been aligned since the first day and have the tightest bond still left in the game. Anyone surprised by this choice just isn't paying attention. For his second choice, he was moved by Gavin's wedding story and chooses Gavin to join him. Again, this is understandable and given Gavin's story, I'm willing to bet every single person would have chosen Gavin as one of their 2. So, overall, I think Ron did the best he could in an impossible situation. As we head to break, though, Victoria is definitely feeling snubbed and now questioning everything with Ron. Really? THIS is what makes you question it? Um, ok.
We come back from break to the family picnic. Lots of catching up with what's going on at home. Gavin tells us that he's super grateful for Ron picking him on this reward. And he's actually questioning why he left his wife in the first place. Meanwhile, Ron is telling his husband how he has been playing double agent and he's basically running the game. The only game talk on the reward is that all 3 on are board to take out Rick if he doesn't win immunity.
With everyone back at camp, Rick is out looking for idols. While he's out, Aurora decides to go through his bag to see if he has anything. As she's doing it, Rick gets back and wants to know why she's going through his bag. And this is a real interesting scene in how condescending Aurora is about this. Like, she's been on the bottom the whole game and now that she has the slightest shred of power (and by that, I mean that Rick is the target and she's not) she's become like Queen Bitch around camp. Rick tells us that he's glad she didn't find the advantage Ron gave him. Even with that in his possession, he is out looking everywhere for an idol. What he finds is a clue to the idol. The idol has been placed in a tree above their shelter. And ok, this tree is probably 15 feet tall or so and curves over their shelter. Like, not only does he have to find a time when no one's around to get up there, he actually has to climb up there, not fall out of the tree and crash through the shelter, get the idol, secure the idol and then climb back down. All in the very small window when either no one's in camp or everyone's asleep. We head to commercial with Rick trying to figure out just how in the hell he's gonna pull this off.
So, we come back to camp in the middle of the night and Rick is planning to make his move up this tree. His belt gets stuck as he's climbing. People are stirring in the shelter right below him. The tree is creaking. It's rubbing against the bamboo of the shelter. He finally reaches the idol, grabs it and gets out of dodge. Idol secure and no one knows anything about it.
Whoa - instant Probst Sighting. It's day 31 and this challenge seemed to come out of nowhere. Today's challenge is another "stand in one place for a really long time" challenge. This one is balancing on narrow little perches while supporting yourself with your elbows. Right after the challenge starts, Devens jokes to the group that if they let him win, he promises them all final 3. Lauren either doesn't get it or just doesn't like Rick. Shortly after, Rick drops out of the challenge. Noticing the smiles from the others, Rick does ask them what happens after he's gone. He calls out Aurora as the likely person to be targeted next. Right after Rick, Ron drops out. At the 33 minute mark, Victoria steps out of the challenge and so does Julie. Both of them can hardly walk. Aurora is next to drop and we're down to Lauren and Gavin. They make it to the 50 minute mark when Lauren finally gives in and Gavin wins immunity! We head to break with Ron telling us that with Devens dropping out, he'll be easy to take out and all he has is a fake special advantage. Honestly, he seems a little too giddy about this for me. I've never understood the strategy behind or the joy of giving someone a fake advantage. As if voting them out isn't enough, what? You want to humiliate them too? And why Devens? What has he ever done but trust you and try to play with you? I just hope like hell that Rick is smart enough to play that idol.
We come back and Rick tells us no one is talking to him as they all had their minds made up. He makes things at camp as uncomfortable as possible around the fire, asking people if they want to work with him. No one really thinks he's funny. Later, Ron and Julie come to him and tell him that Aurora is the vote tonight. They once again swear that the advantage is real and legit. Julie doesn't feel very good about it, but she certainly goes along with it. They expect that even if Rick pulls out a legit idol, his vote for Aurora will then be enough to send her home. All bases covered, right? Yeah, no. Victoria has a different thought. She is worried that if Rick does have an idol and everyone votes for him, he alone will decide who goes home. And that's too random for her. She doesn't want this vote to backfire on her, so she is taking steps to prevent that. She wants to put the extra non-Rick votes on Ron. And listen to how she does this, it's absolutely brilliant. She pulls in Lauren, who is WAY happy to be a part of this. She tells Lauren that Gavin will be with them and then they pull in Aurora. The plan is for Lauren and Gavin to throw 2 votes on Ron, so that they will trump Rick's 1 vote. She, however, will still vote for Rick! How brilliant is this? I mean, if it fails and Rick doesn't have an idol and he goes home, Victoria's hands will be clean because she didn't vote for Ron, she voted WITH him. So subtle and so good. At any rate, for some reason, Aurora decides to tell them about her extra vote. Then in some sort of crazy convoluted way, she decides that it would be best for her to give that extra vote to Gavin to play, because of tie breaker rules or something? I don't really get it, but they all seem to be ok with the plan. So, the way it looks heading to Tribal Council is that everything is falling on Gavin and his willingness to join the plan. After Ron just gave him an amazing day with his new bride. That's kind of a big ask right there. Oh yeah, it also depends on Rick playing his real idol correctly.
And.....here we go. Jeff begins Tribal with Devens. Rick still feels like he's going home. "Never a good sign when there's a shelter full of people and one of them is going through your bag." Yep, he went there. Right off the bat. The just is shocked. And then we get the whole Aurora bag story and she's still pretty obnoxious about it, as if there's nothing wrong with that. Everything Rick says and does, when you're the audience and you know he has a legit idol, you can tell he's having a ridiculously good time messing with these people. He is definitely playing his idol and when you're in the know, you can tell. Talk turns to the loved ones challenge. He tries to mend fences with the girls who were so upset. But ultimately, get the hell over it. Not everyone gets it, for crying out loud, let it go.
Devens talks more about how he is completely left out of all the strategy talk. They must all know something he doesn't. He keeps trying to tell them that at least 3 of the remaining don't have the path to the end that they think they do. With all that, it's time to vote. We see Ron voting for Devens, Devens voting for Aurora and Lauren voting for Ron. So, the split vote IS on. We also see Gavin pulling out the extra vote, so it's in play as well. Jeff will tally the votes. If anybody has a hidden immunity idol they want to play, now is the time to play it. Devens looks over to Ron. Ron nods. Rick gets up. He hands over the advantage that Ron gave him. Jeff confirms that it is an advantage. But unfortunately, it expired on Day 9. Ron and Julie have guilty smirks on their faces.
Rick turns around, "Ron and Julie, you are villains. I was already going home; you just wanna make me look stupid? So, my kids think I'm an idiot?" He says this all as he's headed back to sit down. "Except (to Ron) you've proven time and time again that you're untrustworthy and disloyal. And Julie's proven time and time again that she loves lying to people's faces." At this point, you can actually hear the jury laughing and partying it up over there. He pulls out the real idol to cheers and claps from the jury and he hands it to Jeff saying he wants to play it for himself. "You guys are gems," he says to Ron and Julie and sits back down. Jeff confirms and he reads the votes. First 4 votes are for Devens - they do not count. Aurora. Then, here they come, 3 Ron votes. Ron Clark is the next member of our jury. And once again, the jury laughs claps and cheers. As he grabs his torch, Rick sends him off with, "That was messed up, dude." Julie has never looked so alone. I have a feeling she's going to implode next week. As expected, Ron picks up the torch and heads to Extinction.
Before we get to Next Week On, I have to mention that this was a really, really savvy game move by Victoria tonight. She was able to control the vote and had herself setup to not be the fall guy if the move failed. The only problem is, subtlety gets you nowhere in Survivor. She made the move. She organized the parties, it was fantastic. And Rick Devens' Tribal flourish just got credit from the only people that matter, the jury. I also want to give props to Devens here. What he did tonight, and what he's done a few times this season, is he says what he really wants to say, in the moment. Any other time something like this has gone down with a fake idol, the player has all kinds of things to say in their exit press. Rick Devens said it in-game, to their face and in front of the jury. And I agree with him. I'm not a fan of the fake idols and stuff like that. Because he's absolutely right. They're voting him out tonight. For the second time, in his case. What's the point of giving him an advantage to play that won't work? To rub salt in the wound? To make him look stupid? To humiliate him? Seriously, I'd love to know why anyone thinks that is ok. But anyway, if he makes the end, he's a shoe-in to win the million. Even though he technically lost the game several episodes ago.
Next time on Survivor: As you would expect, Rick Devens is dead man walking. Aurora plans to take him out. Something is delivered to Extinction that has everyone excited. Word about the final challenge maybe? And Rick is running around the island like a crazy man, I would assume looking for another idol. And just as I was reflecting on this episode fondly as the first one where I didn't have to hear Reem's annoying voice, she gets the last piece of the Next Week On segment. Ron is talking on Extinction about how he's lied in the game, and the perfectly reasonable, non-bitter Reem tells him that everybody lies, it's a game. Well, if it's just a game, then why are you a stark raving bitch to anyone who voted you out 4 effing weeks ago?!?! Seriously, this is the worst twist ever, for no other reason than it's kept this miserable person on my television all season. I'm out. Til next week, take care everyone.