Survivor: Edge of Extinction - Finale Recap - Part 1
I See the Million Dollars
By Jim Van Nest
May 15, 2019
Hello good people. We made it!! Finally, we made it. It's Finale Night for Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
I'd like to start this recap with a prayer: Sweet merciful Survivor God - we thank you for finally putting us all out of our misery and ending this season tonight. PS - If you ever do this to us again, we're out. Amen.
Ok - so here we are. The culmination of an entire season. A season that started out with 18 people! A season that still has, wait what, 16 effing people with a shot to actually win the game? See? THIS is why it's a bad idea.
Before we get to the episode, let's set the table for what's about to happen. After finding an idol and winning immunity last week, Rick Devens managed to save himself yet again. He managed to have a high profile Tribal Council yet again. And he didn't actually factor in the actual vote yet again. Actually. That's right, Rick Devens, for all his bravado and Tribal Council antics really hasn't factored in ANY of the major decisions in the game. His only claim is that he keeps saving himself with immunity wins and idol finds. The people really making things happen are Victoria, Lauren and to a lesser extent Gavin. But, let's be real. How many people watching the show have noticed that? Right - not many. Which means, you can pretty well bet that the jury is riding the Devens train all the way as they simply don't know any better. While he's monopolized the time at Tribal, everyone else has been happy to let him get all the credit for their moves.
With all that being said - this game is Devens' to lose. The episode will start with the 11 person challenge to see who gets back in the game. Then we'll see who that person decides to join. The Gavin/Victoria/Lauren alliance or the Devens and Julie outcast team. Either way, you have to figure that Devens will be the #1 target until he gets voted out. The Edge returnee will likely be the # 2 target. At the end of all this, we're going to be left with at least 2 boring finalists who will have a helluva time trying to prove their game to the jury. And the possibility of a Victoria/Lauren/Julie final 3 is very much in play. And who knows how that would end up? Maybe the voting could be exciting after all.
One last thing to wrap up before we move on is that Rick Devens, as mentioned, still has an immunity idol and everyone knows it. Lauren ALSO has an immunity idol and only the people on Extinction know that (thanks Wentworth). That's going to give the Edge returnee some kind of leverage over Lauren at some point. There are no other idols or advantages in the game at this time, so we should have a pretty advantage-free game the rest of the way.
So, let me go ahead and give you my finale predictions:
Either Eric or Chris will return from Extinction. They've gotten a decent amount of EoE screen time, so I'm playing the odds on this one. They're also good in challenges. I then predict that Devens and the EoE player will be the next boots leaving us a Gavin, Victoria, Lauren and Julie Final 4. That kinda leaves Gavin as the only immunity threat, so I'll say he wins that final 4 immunity. He'll take Julie to the end with him and then Lauren will beat Victoria in the fire making. Final 3: Gavin, Julie, Lauren. If this happens, I think Gavin is a landslide winner, despite the fact that I would actually vote for Lauren in that scenario.
With all of that out of the way, let's get to the Finale of Survivor: Edge of Extinction! And it literally loads up right to the Extinction challenge. For this challenge, they'll be tethered to a rope and will have to maneuver through some obstacles and eventually, they'll get to a table maze they'll have to navigate 2 balls through. Nothing like one more ball challenge before the season ends. Oh yeah, they're running. Eric and Aurora are the first though the first obstacle. Joe, Julia and Chris are right behind. Everyone gets to the last rope obstacle, but Aurora and Eric are the first through. Now, Kelley, David and Joe get through. They're working on a bunch of knots now. Eric and Joe are the first through followed by Wentworth, Aurora and Chris. Now they're all making a rope bridge.
Aurora, Joe and Eric are in the lead on the rope bridge and they all get through about the same time. Chris joins them and they start working on the knots to get to the table maze. Aurora, Joe and Eric get through and start on the maze. Chris joins them again. It really comes down to these 4. Joe lips the cup and Aurora lands her first ball. She is the one to beat. And Joe lands his first ball as does Chris. 3 person race now to get that last ball in. Joe and Chris both really close. And Joey Amazing loses his ball and Chris Underwood earns his way back into the game. Huge high for Chris, really bad low for everyone else. And Jeff starts talking to everyone that is now finally leaving the game. I know I should be more compassionate, but Reem has been SO nasty all season. I just can't get all teary eyed with her. Jeff goes down the row and talks to everyone. Lots of tears, lots of self-reflection. Maybe I'm just too negative, right? But this is a lot of time wasted where we could be getting into the strategy and game play of all the people actually still in the game. Please let this close out the idea of the Edge of Extinction forever. Please. Jeff finally sends everyone off to Ponderosa and as we go to break, Chris reflects on his 28 days on the Edge of Extinction and talks about how he'll do anything he can to win this game.
Actually, scratch that. We're going to talk to Joe live on stage and try to talk him into playing again. And Jeff just suggested that he cut his hair. Like on TV. I swear to you, if we come back and they cut Joe's hair live on television, I'm stopping the recap immediately and I'll never talk about it again.
And we're back to the game as the final 6 get back to camp. Chris tells us that he just wants to find anyone that will work with him. He has a lot of info from Extinction that he's willing to share if anyone wants to give him the chance. Victoria doesn't feel good about Chris coming in the game. She doesn't know him and she's scared of him. Devens is the first to approach him. He's worried because he backstabbed Chris way back in the beginning. However, they do have a handshake deal and Chris asks him straight up if his idol is real. After feeling him out a little, Rick confirms that it's real. These two seem to have a legit deal now. How bout that?
We join Chris talking to Lauren in the evening of Night 35. He tells her that Kelley is really rooting for her and then he gives her a message from Kelley. She has to play her idol. Either for herself or for someone else in order to have a big enough move on her resume. Interesting that he didn't mention Lauren's idol to Devens. Hmmm... Lauren is now not sure if she can trust Chris. Which makes sense. Everyone knows that he's gotta work hard and fast and no one is going to know whether or not they're his best option. Lauren seems to think she's his best option. I guess we'll see soon, because it's time for...
A Probst Sighting!! Today's immunity challenge will see everyone race through obstacles, walk across a balance beam; solve a number combination to get puzzle pieces to put together a circular puzzle. Well, at least it's not stand in one place for as long as possible. What, wait? There's also a reward? The winner will also get steaks and chocolate cake. Wow...now THAT'S worth playing for.
Chris whips thorough the first part of the challenge, but his time on Extinction catches up with him and he struggles on the balance beam. This allows Devens to pass him up. All of a sudden, everyone is now working on their combination and out of nowhere; Victoria gets the combination and starts working on the puzzle. Devens is next, then Lauren, Gavin and Julie. Chris gets stuck on the combination but finally gets through it. It's really hard to tell who's leading at this point. Julie seems to have taken a lead her. She has one more piece, but is having trouble getting the piece in there. She's at risk of knocking the whole thing down. And out of nowhere, Chris starts coaching her on how to get the piece in there. Devens is wondering what he's doing. With Chris' help, Julie wins immunity and reward. Then Jeff allows her to take someone with her. Naturally, she takes Chris. That makes total sense. And she gets to take one more person. And she chooses Dev--Lauren. What? Rick is quite disappointed. He even says that he's stuck his neck out for her several times and she's never done the same for him. As we head to break, he tells us that he has no idea what Chris was doing. He thought they had a deal, but now he has to wonder what's up.
We come back from commercial to the winners sitting down to their steak dinner. Julie tells us that she brought Chris in because she has to get Devens out of the game. Chris suggests that he wants to feel Rick out to see if the idol is real. Julie and Lauren don't think it's real so they plan to vote for him. Chris suggests that maybe they should split the votes between Devens and Victoria. Lauren really likes the plan, but she is pretty sure Rick's idol isn't real. We next join Victoria and Gavin. Vic is not having the "Chris on reward thing". He's already a challenge beast and now Julie just fed him. She tells Gavin that Chris really needs to be the vote tonight or he could win out. She tells him that they'll have a better chance to win against him than either of them. And if they take out Devens tonight, that will give the voting power in the final 5 to the other 3. So, they sit down to talk to Rick.
She tells Rick that the idea was to split the votes on Chris and Rick tonight. He points out that Chris stopped working on the puzzle to help Julie out. He doesn't want to betray Chris again, but what Victoria is saying makes a lot of sense. He tells us that he's playing his idol tonight no matter what. He just wants to make sure he sticks with the right people. So he wants to talk to Chris again before he makes any decisions.
We join them on the beach and Chris goes into a long spiel about how he felt betrayed by Rick, but that they cleared all that up on the Edge. He says that he is 100% loyal to Rick and will fight to get them both to the end. Rick isn't totally buying it. He then asks Chris what he got in his bag this morning. He tells him that HE got something in his bag when he came back in the game, so what did Chris get? And here's one of the sweet editing tricks they've been using this season. We get a confessional from Chris playing over an "Earlier Today" clip of Chris finding something in his bag. Turns out, he got the exact same idol that Rick got with the exact same instructions. He has to split the idol and give half to someone. If they make it through the vote, this idol becomes a real idol. And just like that, Chris gives half of the idol to Devens.
That's what Rick needed to feel comfortable with him. He does not plan to betray Chris again. It might hurt him, but he knows that if he cuts Chris again, he'll lose that vote and who knows how many more. Chris tells him about the plan to get out Victoria. Devens is on board with it, but asks Chris, "What if they decide to split the vote between us? You're the one that's on the line tonight?" That kinda sank in with Chris. He tells us that he has no plans on being blindsided again. He feels like he might be able to get Lauren to play her idol on him. Which would fit right in with Wentworth's instructions. So he goes to Lauren and asks her about it. She swears she's with him. He tells her he doesn't think Rick's idol is real. She promises him that if Rick plays the idol and it's real, she'll play her idol for him to guard against a split. So, as we head to Tribal, it would see that Victoria is the one on the line tonight.
Jeff starts Tribal with Chris. He talks about how hard and scary it was to get back in the game. Things slowed down on Extinction and he wasn't ready for the pace of the real game. He asks Julie about the reward and she talks about taking Chris and Lauren. Jeff asks Rick about it since he was visibly upset at the challenge. He starts to talk and then breaks down a little. He talks about being on the bottom and how everyone tells him every day that he has to go. He says it breaks you down after a while. Jeff suggests that Chris would be the easy vote tonight, to which Victoria says that they all already agree on who needs to go, so why rock the boat? I mean, why not just throw it right out there, when the dude HAS an idol. I mean, sure, maybe you think you're working with him, but throwing him under the bus again is a weird way to show it. And it is time to vote.
They don't show us any of the votes and now Jeff is heading up to tally. Time to ask for idols. As expected, Rick stands up and hands Jeff his idol for himself. Jeff confirms that the idol is real and Devens is safe tonight. Now, it's up to Lauren. And she does it. She reaches in her bag and hands Jeff an idol to play for Chris. HUGE smiles from Kelley Wentworth on the jury. And Victoria knows she's in trouble. Jeff reads the votes. There are 3 Devens votes, 1 Chris vote and the final votes are both Victoria. As she heads out, she tells Devens that he made a good play and that Gavin that she's voting for him. Wow, he was already gonna be in trouble. You just gave them one more reason to take him out.
And as I close out Part 1 of the recap, I have to mention that there was really good play right there. Chris orchestrated that pretty well. And it kept him in the game and his new ally, Devens. I worry, though, that Lauren and Rick are the ones that looked good here. Rick for playing his idol correctly. Lauren for playing her idol on Chris and orchestrating the Victoria vote. It was a fun move; I'm just not sure that Chris is going to get the credit he was hoping for. Of course, he might have just wanted to stay in the game too. Ok, kids. Thanks for reading and I'll be back shortly to bring this one home. Til then, take care!