Survivor: Winners at War - Episode 4 Recap
I Like Revenge
By Jim Van Nest
March 10, 2020
Hello good people and welcome back to the Survivor: Winners at War episode recap here at BOP. My name is Jim and I'm currently reeling after 2 brutal back to back eliminations here on Survivor.
Also, I've had a wicked busy week, so this week's recap is going to be a tad shorter than normal. But fear not - I'll be back with my normal verbose version for Episode 5. With that in mind, let's get to the episode.
Tonight's episode begins at the Sele tribe right after Ethan's boot. Adam knows he screwed up real bad and that he's lucky to still be in the game. So, he starts to go on his apology tour. He talks to Jeremy, Michele, Denise - everyone. Except Rob and Parvati. He doesn't want anything to do with them anymore. He wants to be locked in with the new schoolers, so his plan is to not be seen with Rob or Parvati at all. To their credit, everyone listens to Adam, but none of them are quite buying it. That being said, Rob and Parvati are known to be super dangerous, so do you really keep them around to take out your revenge on Adam? Rob's words are so, so true, "We'll find a way out of it."
Back from break, we check in with Dakal. That's right - there is another tribe on the show! Who'd a-thunk? Spirits are high over at Dakal, led by Yul. He's really concentrating on his relationships and keeping the good happy mood going. He reminds us, though, that he has his first timers’ alliance with Nick, Sophie and Wendell. Speaking of Sophie, she and a couple others can actually see onto the Edge of Extinction and see the people moving about over there. She admits that she's really scared to have to go there. This was kind of a throwaway scene, but provides a nice smooth segue way over to...
...Edge of Extinction where Amber is getting some Sail Mail. Today's mail gives everyone a chance to earn a fire token. At the top of the huge flight of steps on the Edge, there are 4 stacks of logs. 20 logs per stack. The players will need to carry all the logs down to camp. One at a time. So, that means 20 trips up to the top of Extinction Island, then back down again carrying a log. I ain't gonna lie, this is ROUGH!! Natalie, cross-fit extraordinaire, is having a rough go. And she's in like peak physical shape for this. Especially compared to the rest. Oh yeah, by the way, they have until sundown to get them all, or no fire token for them.
What comes next is like a 10 minute segment on the Edge. And it's quite gripping and touching and inspirational. But, it's also about 10 minutes taken away from the game proper and this is why I hate it. Ultimately, the drama here is that on log 16 or so, Ethan starts to feel light headed and weak. He has to stop in the middle of this leg to stop from falling down. Medical comes and checks on him and the tension is real. This is rough to see anyone go through, but especially a 2 time cancer survivor. You just want to crawl through the TV and help the guy. After being checked on by medical and sitting for a bit, he starts to feel better again and they give him the green light to continue. Once he gets going again, he's slow but steady. While all this is going on, the girls have all completed this mission and have earned their fire tokens. As he approaches the walk up to his 20th log - the rest of the group decides to make the walk with him. He completes the challenge and earns his fire token. And there is much rejoicing.
My last thought before we move on: THIS is what the Edge of Extinction is not good for the game of Survivor. Ethan physically breaks down. Amber and Natalie emotionally break down in the midst of the grueling challenge. People have said, "These are winners, there's no way they vote for an Edge returnee to win the game." Really? Still feel that way? There is no way in hell that if Ethan, Natalie, Amber or Danni gets back in the game - no way in hell that they don't have 3 locked in jury votes. Period. You cannot get this kind of bond simply playing the game proper. This is above and beyond all else and these 4 will be bonded, probably for life over this. So, my friends, y'all better brace for another Underwood-ian winner.
We come back from break to Sele and everything is still focused around Adam. And to a lesser extent Rob and Parvati. Adam is off the chain being helpful around camp. He's doing everything for everyone. Jeremy knows what he's about here, but agrees that they'll keep Adam around for a while. Rob and Parvati, meanwhile, know their backs are against the wall, so Rob decides to just lie about Adam to Jeremy. Tells him that Adam keeps trying to talk to him (he's not) and that he doesn't know what to do about it (he does). As he planned, Jeremy and Michele buy into it hook line and sinker. And despite all the apologies, mea culpas and all the work he's doing around the camp. Adam is dead man walking. We may as well start, "It's Anyone But..." now. Especially since this tribe can't buy a win in a challenge.
We go back to playtime at Dakal. Sarah is smelling Tyson's breath. Eww. Apparently, they're becoming pretty good friends out there. They cement it by catching and cooking an octopus together. Tyson has decided that the one time winners with no connections should be the target. He brings in Sandra and Tony and tries to convince them that they're the next targets if he goes out. Sandra goes along with whatever he says, but tells us that Tyson better hope they win the challenge, cause he's "in deep doo doo."
We come back from break to a Probst Sighting! Today's challenge involves swimmers pulling a boat with 3 people inside. Those people will then climb up a tower and jump to grab a key before hitting the water. Once they have all 3 keys, they have to swim over to unlock puzzle pieces. First to complete their puzzle wins immunity and reward, in the form of 4 chickens. Dakal has to sit out 2 people: Sandra and Tony. Parvati throws some shade suggesting they should rename the bench to the Sandra bench.
The challenge starts out easy enough and both teams are pretty close. Dakal has the stronger swimmers so they get to the tower first. Sophie, Kim and Nick will be getting keys for Dakal while Denise, Adam and Parvati jump for Sele. That's right; the 3 shortest people on the tribe go up for Sele. After Sophie misses, so do Denise and Kim. Nick and Kim grab the 3 keys for Dakal and they are blowing Sele out of this challenge. Adam finally grabs the first 2 keys. Parvati keeps trying, cannot grab it. Nick and Sarah are working on the puzzle and Adam is still trying to get key #3. Dakal is completing what Jeff calls, "One of the biggest blow outs ever on Survivor." Nick, despite having done this exact puzzle on his season, is having trouble with the puzzle. Adam finally gets that 3rd key and Sele has a sliver of life. For some reason, Nick and Sarah completely take their puzzle apart and start over. Meanwhile, Rob and Michele are locked in and they actually complete Survivor's biggest comeback. And some might wonder if Nick and Sarah (or maybe all of Dakal) didn't throw this challenge. The lead was insurmountable and the deconstruction was such a weird choice. Don't get me wrong, it was an epic comeback. But come on - there's no way they just completely choked like that after having the puzzle more than halfway done. Also - why the hell wasn't Sophie on the puzzle if they really wanted to win? As we head to break - Adam is feeling on top of the world for never giving up and helping his team make that comeback.
We come back from commercial as Nick is feeling horrible about blowing the puzzle. Tyson is loving it as Nick is his number 1 target anyway. He locks in Sarah and then moves on to Yul. Oooh, might not have been the best idea. Clearly Yul and the Gang are still under the radar for the rest of the tribe. He locks in Sandra - or thinks he does. Then Tony. Then he moves on to the rest of the one time winner alliance. Wendell breaks it down for us by saying Tyson is dead man walking and he has no idea it's coming. They're worried about Tyson's connections on the other side. While Tyson is trying to set this up, the real alliance in the game is also working it out. Yul and Nick lock it in. Sophie and Wendell seem locked in.
Tony, however, is a little worried about taking out Tyson. He wants the shield. He tried to convince Sarah and Sandra that they need to keep Tyson in the game. Sarah locks in Kim on the Nick vote. So, they're sitting at a 4-4 standoff with Sandra the last vote to lock in. They make their pitch, but what she tells us is, "I like revenge, but I like 2 million dollars more." She is not sold on trusting Tyson since he threw her name out there. As they head to Tribal, we get some commercials to ponder Survivor without Tyson.
I have to confess, I'm having a tough time recapping Tribal Councils these days. Mostly, it's because they use a whole bunch of words and they say nothing. You may as well listen to a Marshawn Lynch press conference if you want some insight into the game. It's all clichés and bob and weave. The only person that seems to actually say anything at Tribal is Yul. He has such a logical and succinct way of describing what's going on. He brings up a really good point about how everyone on this tribe is trying to last as long as they can without cementing any alliances in front of the group. He talks about how different these players are compared to what he was expecting from having watched their seasons. He singles out Tony as a super nice guy despite expecting him to be an asshole, based on his previous seasons. To sum up this Trial Council (and most Tribal Councils, for that matter) Tyson ends it by saying, "Maybe we're all on the same page that we're on different pages." Wait what? With that, it's time to vote.
We see Tyson's vote for Nick and we see Nick voting for Kim(?) saying that it's in case Tyson has an idol. No one plays an idol and Jeff starts reading the votes. First vote: nick. Second vote: Kim. And here they come - a flood of votes for Tyson as he gets the rest. "It was too easy, I should have seen in coming." I love me some Tyson, but yeah, he really should have seen it coming. What, did he think Yul and the Gag are so out of touch that they wouldn't talk to each other? For crying out loud, they WON THE GAME. I honestly think Tyson is a very good player, but he can be so short sighted sometimes and it comes back to bite him in the ass this time. On his way out, he drops off his Fire Token into Nick's box. And instantly, Tyson becomes the new "most likely to win his way back into the game."
Next time on Survivor: just 3 little words. Drop. Your. Buffs! We're switching up tribes. Adam gets a new life in the game. Maybe Kim does too. What about Rob and Parvati? Also, Michele tells us she's on a tribe with an ex-boyfriend? Whaaaaaaat? Spoiler alert - it's Wendell. No word on Wendell's toothpick, but we assume it'll be there as well. The episode ends with Tyson making his appearance on Extinction saying, "You guys have so much firewood." "OOOOOH, you have NO idea." What a perfect way to end the episode. Thanks for bearing with my condensed recap this week, kids. Til next week, take care!