Survivor: Winners at War - Episode 6 Recap
Quick on the Draw
By Jim Van Nest
March 23, 2020
Hello good people and welcome to Survivor: Winners at War, Episode 6. I hope this recap finds you and yours healthy and as sane as you can be when you can't leave the house! For many of us here at BOP - we call this - Thursday. At any rate, thanks for coming back to play and whatever you do, stay safe out there. Don't leave unless you absolutely have to.
Speaking of absolutely having to leave - poor Boston Rob. Last week, he tried to play the same godfather bullshit he's been playing since 2001 and it caught up to him. He ran into a group of people that had no need for that kind of nonsense and they all banded together to send Rob for a late night rendezvous with his wife over at Extinction.
As we prepare for this week and 2 Tribal Councils and 2 people being voted off, I feel like we need to reset and remind everyone of where all of the advantages in the game are and how things are shaping up on each tribe.
At the Yara Tribe, Sophie has both halves of the Yara immunity idol while Officer Sarah held onto her Steal a Vote Advantage. Ben, Adam and Sophie all still have their fire tokens, but Sarah spent hers to get the Steal a Vote.
Over at Dakal, Denise and Kim each have both halves of the Sele and Dakal immunity idols, respectively, while Sandra has an idol that expires after her next Tribal Council. Jeremy is rocking the Safety without power advantage that will allow him to leave tribal to avoid the vote which leaves Tony as the only person on Dakal with no advantage. That's not good. As for fire tokens, Denise has 2 tokens while Jeremy, Kim and Tony still have one. Sandra is fresh out of tokens having used hers to but her idol.
Poor Sele. There are 5 people on this tribe and nary an advantage or idol. Yul, Wendell and Michele still have their original fire tokens. Nick was bequeathed a token from Tyson, so he has two while Parvati now has tokens from Ethan and Rob (which included Amber's) so she is the billionaire with 4 fire tokens.
On the Edge of Extinction, Amber, Danni and Ethan all have a fire token from the wood carrying challenge while Natalie has amassed 4 Fire Tokens by finding every other advantage on Extinction Island.
Alrighty, everyone caught up? Good, let's get to the double elimination already!
We begin the episode at Yara Beach where everyone is ready to PARTAY!! With Rob gone, everyone is having a good time. Ben is loving life out there and seems to be real bonded with Sarah and Sophie. Adam, notsomuch. He's pretty much on the outs in this group and might be rethinking that Rob vote.
Speaking of, we check in on Extinction. Tyson has some tree mail and it's time for someone to earn a fire token. It suggests to turn stones and that you might be at the right place at the right time. So, everyone goes around turning over the estimated (by Rob) 8 million rocks on the island. They all come up empty. Tyson, however, really clued in on the "right time" portion of the clue. And he thought about the tide. So, he goes to where the tide comes in and sees something but can't get it because Rob is looking at him. He pretends to take a leak and once Rob looks away, he tucks the package into his 'man panties.' When he has a minute, he opens up the idol nullifier which he can sell for 1 fire token. Knowing that she has a pocketful of tokens, he sends it to Parvati. She buys it instantly. With this token, he decides to not wait for more to get an advantage or anything; he spends it immediately on a massive jar of peanut butter. We're talking like 10,000 calories or more worth of peanut butter. His thought process seems to be that the energy and calories he gets from this will help him more than maybe getting an advantage. Considering his challenge prowess, he's probably right.
With 2 Tribals coming, it's no surprise that it's time for a Probst Sighting! They have a huge reaction to Rob being gone and then it's right back to business. As we saw in the previews, Jeff tells them that only 1 tribe will get immunity, the other 2 going to tribal. The challenge entails going out to get 3 very heavy bags of rice and bring them back through the water to the beach. They'll cut them open to retrieve a ball. Once they have all 3 balls, they'll roll them all through a table maze. First tribe to get there balls through the maze wins immunity and reward in the form of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
As you would expect, Dakal sits out Sandra while Sele sits out Michele and they're off. Yul makes quick work of getting the bags for Sele with Yara right behind. Dakal is really lagging. In the effort to save time, none of this portion matters. At all. All 3 tribes end up at the table maze at the same time. Shocker, I know! Nick, Sophie and Jeremy are working the maze. Nick lands the first ball and Wendell takes over for Sele. Kim subs in for Dakal while Sophie lands the first ball for Yara. Adam lands the second ball for Yara and Sophie takes over again. Wendell lands the second ball for Sele and Nick takes over to try to catch up with Sophie. Dakal is done as dinner. Ultimately, though, it's not really that close. Sophie lands the 3rd ball and Yara wins immunity. So, after tonight, all 3 tribes will be even with 4 people each. Adam is thrilled to get to sit out of this one while 2 more people bite the dust.
We come back from break to Sele where it's time to play, "It's Anyone but Parvati". She knows she's in trouble and she knows she doesn't have much of a chance. The guys are locked in on her, we see them discuss it. She talks to Michele and they decide to try to find a crack and Yul is not an option. They think Nick might be the only option. Michele knows that it's a long shot as well. Michele has started to focus on making sure she gets Parvati's 3 remaining fire tokens when Parvati leaves. She takes the plan to Wendell including her plan to also vote for him. He's not down for that - and who would be? We get a conversation between Wendell and Parvati where he offers up his vote for a couple fire tokens. But she will not throw out a name and won't give him the tokens before the vote. She tries to get Nick to go against Wendell based on that conversation. We head over to Dakal with Nick hedging between Parvati and Wendell.
We get to Dakal and Tony decides to go...well...Tony. He's worried about people plotting against him, so he heads out to his spy bunker by the well. Everyone notices he's gone, but they continue on without him. Sandra lays it out to Jeremy that it's probably gonna be along tribal lines. As the girls try to talk, Sandra is leery of where Tony is. Denise it trying to find an in with them, but isn't having much luck. She's trying to do whatever she can to stay in the game over Jeremy. Kim seems to be the one in the middle of all this and she's really getting freaked out about where Tony is. Kim finally finds him and tries to let him know that everything is ok. We see them pull in Jeremy and the plan is to take out Denise. Sandra, on the other hand, is thinking Jeremy needs to go.
She hatches a plan to sell her expiring idol for 2 fire tokens to Denise. She sets it up to have Denise vote for whichever of the guys she wants - just not her or Kim. Denise has an idol, so she doesn't need Sandra's idol but she feels that with this idol she can make a potentially game changing move. She's also a little worried about why Sandra would want to do this. All she can come up with is that Sandra wants to dump Tony and keep her hands clean. That sounds pretty legit to me. So she gets with Sandra and offers to give her 1 token now and the other after Tribal, once Jeff confirms it's a real idol. Sandra is good with that and the goods change hands. As they head to Tribal, you have to know that Jeremy is in no danger, so Tony could be on his way out. Unless Denise has the guts to take Sandra's idol and then vote her out with it.
The first Tribal is the more straightforward - Sele. A lot of the talk revolves around Wendell. Michele and Parvati are doing whatever they can to try to get one of the guys to flip to their side and take out Wendell. Parvati even brings up the conversation surrounding Wendell selling his vote. Once again, he asks her to give him the tokens and a name. She refuses to give a name, which is exactly what he expected from her. He has no plans to vote with her and you can tell it. There's some more discussion, but come on, we know what's gonna happen. Let's just get to the vote. And they got to commercial before anyone votes? Dangit.
We see no votes, we see no idols and then we get the exact vote we expected to see. 2 votes Wendell and the 7th person voted out of Survivor: Winners at War - Parvati. I mean, yeah, you hate to see her go out and you can tell she hates it - I mean, she made it to the end the last 2 times she played. But ultimately, she was dead man walking this entire season and the swap didn't do her any favors. On the way to Extinction, she drops all 3 tokens in Michele's box. One has to wonder if mayhap, Michele and Wendell aren't working together. Hmmm...
And just like that, we bring in the Dakal tribe. Aw damn, Tony. Good luck, my man. Most of the early talk at this Tribal is about the threats vs the non-threats. Sandra even calls out Denise as one of those non-threats. And frankly, Denise is so calm, so cool at Tribal. Maybe it's because she's been to so many, but she lets it roll off. She talks about how different people are threats for different reasons. Honestly, she's speaking like someone who has 2 idols in her pocket and knows, for certain, she ain't going anywhere. Jeff suggests that it could just be a tribe vs tribe situation, which Tony shoots down pretty quick, "We all know better than that, Jeff." Jeremy jumps in to talk about how nervous he is and how normally he can keep that hidden, but right now, he can't hide it anymore. Jeff asks Sandra if you have to exploit the numbers advantage and she confirms you absolutely have to, "It's either them or you." With that, Jeremy just lowers his head. The votes coming for either he or Denise and he knows it. Clearly, what he doesn't know is that Denise is safe and because Sandra wants Tony out, he's pretty safe too. And with that, it's time to vote.
We only see one vote. Sandra votes for Denise saying, "This is all for show. I'm certain you're not going home tonight." And Jeff goes to tally the votes. He comes back and asks if anyone would like to play a hidden immunity idol. "Jeff, can you give me a minute?" And Denise plays Sandra's idol for herself. "Jeff, can you give me one more minute?" Holy shit - she plays the other idol for Jeremy. Are you kidding me? Goddam it - Tony's out. I knew some sort of advantage-geddon would be his undoing. Jeff reads the votes and 4 of them come up Denise. What?? So - everyone went after Denise. 5th vote, 8th person voted out of Survivor: Sandra!!! Are you frickin' kidding me?? Tony: "How, how is that possible?" Jeremy: head in hands. Kim: "I'm SO impressed." Jeff: "No matter how you categorize each other as threats, it only takes one move to become a high profile player. Welcome to the club." Jeremy: "Fact!"
Denise Stapley - Stone. Cold. Killer. I'm wracking my brain and I cannot come up with a more gangsta move in the history of Survivor. I mean - maybe the Reichenbach thing, maybe Brandon Hantz's first game. She straight up bought Sandra's idol and then used it to send the Queen packing. Everything about this move was perfect. Especially the fact that it came from possibly the single most trustworthy player in this game. Would Tony make that move? Parvati? Rob? Every day of the week. But DENISE?!?!?!? Absolute perfection. Some may criticize the use of both idols here, but when you can't trust Sandra (and you CAN'T trust Sandra) - it would have been so easy for her to throw 1 vote at Jeremy, force a tie and then Jeremy goes home on the revote. She had to protect her alliance for this move to have a 100% certainty. And THAT'S why she was so calm - she had the plan going in. No one else knew about it and short of Sandra having a second idol, there was NOTHING ANYone could do about it. AND she used an idol for Jeremy. He won't view that lightly. She has an ally til the end game right now. I see no way that Tony survives another tribal is Dakal has to go back. Kim flips easily and then we have a power trio that will roll into the merge to face Yul and the Gang. Brilliant.
Ok, I'm done gushing over Denise now, let's get to Next Time on Survivor: Michele and Wendell seem to be working together, though Wendell doesn't seem ready to put all in with one person. And Jeremy is eyeballing Tony as a threat that needs to be dealt with. And, surprisingly, no merge. We're down to 12 right now and usually we're getting ready to merge. Interesting. Oh yeah, and Sandra bequeaths her 1 first token to...Yul? Was she actually working closer with Yul than we thought? Or did she just want to give a hand to the last old-school Survivor player left in the game?
One last thing before I sign off - I think we should take a minute to recognize that in the last 50 or so minutes of show run time - we've seen the 3 biggest icons of Survivor voted out back to back to back. Just soak it in for a minute. Boston Rob Mariano, Parvati Shallow and Sandra Diaz-Twine, all sent out of the game in a row. Arguably, the 3 biggest personalities to come out of this show AND one would assume, the last time we'll see any of them actually play Survivor. Winners at War is turning out to be the epic clash we were all hoping it would be. Let's just hope it can finish off as strong as it started. Til next week - take care, kids!