Survivor: Winners at War - Episode 12
By Jim Van Nest
May 5, 2020
Hello good people and welcome back to Survivor: Winners at War. Many thanks to David and Kim for stepping in at, literally, the last minute to cover for me. I hated to miss last week as it was the single best Tony episode of all time, but sometimes life gets in the way and that was the case for me last week.
To setup for this week, Tony took charge of the show last week, won his second straight individual immunity and after another ridiculously "live" Tribal, Sophie Clarke was blindsided so hard she didn't know how to get her torch snuffed. In making this move, you have to think that Sarah is going to come back to camp on fire and ready to rip Tony's head off. This was really vintage Tony and if everything holds from his first season, he should be able to smooth this over with Sarah. Let's stop talking about it and see what happens.
As expected, we start the episode at camp right after Tribal and as expected and apparently Ben is angry with Jeremy. Which makes no sense, considering he was trying to vote out Jeremy, but what does make sense anymore? Oh yeah, Sarah is PISSED. THAT makes sense. And she and Tony go off to talk about it. She tells him that he sunk her game and she can't believe he made a move like that against her. And Tony does what he always does. He turned it around, telling her that if anyone gets heat for this it'll be him. He tells her he has an idol and that they are good. And after a few minutes, she calms down and comes around and is back on board with Tony. I mean, she threatens to never speak to him again if he votes her out, but for now, looks like Cops R Us is still rolling. Next up is Ben. To show Ben that he is really still with him, Tony tells HIM about his idol. Now, Ben being an idol guy is pretty easily convinced with this revelation. Say what you will about Tony (and David and Kim will) but he knew exactly what to say to the people he needed to say it to.
And now for something a little more ridiculous. The Spy Shack has evolved as Tony debuts the Spy Nest. He's found a perch up in a tree right by the water well where he can sit unseen and listen in on conversations. To show that he and Sarah really are a team again, she is aware of the new hiding place and helps to let him know that he really cannot be seen at all. She tells us that they two of them are back working together but she's worried that he's back to the old Tony that's gonna get him a lot of attention and some votes.
We check in with Jeremy, Kim and Ben. Jeremy is trying to get Ben to talk to him, but he refuses. Kim is watching this and it would seem that Jeremy is next to go. She is watching and she sees that Tony and Sarah are running the show and she has set her eyes on Tony. We see her talking to just about everyone: Denise, Michele, Ben and Nick and everyone seems to agree with her. Michele is definitely on board with making this move and as we head to break, it's looking like Tony needs to win immunity or he better bring his bag of tricks to Tribal.
We come back from break to the weekly Edge of Extinction check in. And once again we get a much longer than necessary look into the goings on at the Edge. It's another "tremendous effort" challenge to get fire tokens. To get a token, they need to go to the back of the island and bring back 20 coconuts, 1 at a time. The first 6 to finish win 2 tokens. The last 5 win nothing. So basically, it's another log challenge but with more stakes actually. As we progress through the challenge, it becomes pretty obvious that Natalie, Sophie and Tyson are doing quite well while Adam is getting lapped by everyone and Ethan is struggling pretty hard as well. Rob is in this thing as well until...whoops...he slips and falls on the rocks and busts up his right elbow. This pretty much knocks him out.
Natalie and Sophie finish first and second well ahead of 3rd place finisher, Yul. Tyson and Parvati finish together picking up the 4th and 5th slots. The final spot comes down to Danni vs Wendell. Wendell was in front of her and despite a late push; he held her off and finished in the 6th slot, leaving Danni in 7th. As everyone has now finished (or stopped), Rob is still going. And much like Ethan's finish in the log challenge, Rob keeps on getting coconuts until he finishes the challenge. And once again, these moments are pretty inspiring, but they could be just as inspiring on All Access and we could get more of the game that counts. Especially since the last few Tribals and votes have been all about the whispering and maneuvering at Tribal Council which leaves both the players and the viewers blindsided when Jeff finally gets to read the votes.
Back in the game, Jeremy is still trying to figure out what's up with Ben. And Tony and Sarah are still arguing at camp. I can't help but think it's for show though. This does get Nick excited and he wants to work with Denise, Michele and Kim. They're excited to have the numbers and all want to knock out Tony. Meanwhile, Sarah and Tony are worried about Sophie's idol coming back into play, so they head out looking. But they're not alone, everyone is out looking now. Finally we check in with Ben and Tony walking together and talking. Ben is telling Tony that he has to watch out for Kim and as they talk, Ben reaches into a tree and pulls out what seems to be an idol. He tries to hide it, but Tony totally busts him. "Come on, you're gonna hide it from me, man?" There's much celebration, but Tony still calls him out about trying to hide it. Ben tells us that Tony thinks they're running the show now but he's not sure he trusts Tony and might not stick with Kim to take him out.
And we come back from break to a Probst Sighting! And oh no - it's the worst challenge. It's the "stand with your hand in the air and don't let the water dump on you" challenge. Jeff lets them know that the last woman AND last man standing will win immunity and 2 fire tokens. As they stand, Jeff breaks down the challenge and all the times it's been done before. The first time it lasted 6 hours, the second time only an hour, but they made it harder. This time, they've made it ever harder. At the 5 minute mark, Ben asks Jeff if he's gonna offer up any food. "Not this early!" Right about then, Jeremy drops and Ben accidentally touches the structure and he's out. Sarah drops and we're down to 2 and 2. Nick quickly offers Tony one of the 2 tokens to step down. Tony wants to go for 3 in a row. At the 15 minute mark, Jeff brings out the food to tempt them. And he brings out exactly what Ben asked for; peanut butter and cookies. And Kim steps down as does Michele. Which gives immunity to Denise. And then Nick asks for a fire token from Tony and he steps off giving Tony his 3rd immunity in a row. So to break it down - Kim, Michele and Nick stepped off, ending the challenge which pretty well ended their opportunity to eat and gave immunity to Denise and Tony. As we head to break, Tony crows about winning his 3rd challenge in a row. He'll always pay 1 token for an immunity necklace, "that's a bargain."
We come back to Kim lamenting about great plan ruined. She just can NOT get a break this season. The group of Nick, Kim, Michele, Denise and Ben decide that since they can't get rid of Tony that Jeremy will be the target now. As Ben rallies to get Tony to join the Jeremy vote, he tells Tony that Kim was originally planning to get him, but his immunity has made them change plans. Naturally, Tony does not like to hear that and immediately goes to Nick to ask him if he heard anything. Nick does the worst job of lying any Survivor winner has ever done and so now Tony knows 100% that Kim was coming for him and his plan has now changed. Jeremy lives another day and Kim is the target. Tony heads over to lock this in with Sarah. While she's not thrilled about everything changing again, we see Nick talking to Kim saying that maybe it wasn't a good idea to trust Ben with the Tony information. Kim can actually feel her game sinking right now.
Meanwhile, Sarah is convinced that if they switch the vote to Kim that she and Tony are screwed over by Nick and Ben. Tony makes a move to try to lock in Ben for a Kim vote, even though Ben REALLY wants Jeremy gone. Tony tries to explain to him that Nick will go with the girls (Kim, Denise and Michele) and then he, Sarah and Ben will be the next 3 to go. He also makes the plea that the cops, the fireman and the soldier should stay together. Again, dude knows how to reach people and he does it in such short time. As Tony continues to rally people against Kim, Michele is taking the matter of saving Jeremy into her own hands. She tells him about her 50/50 coin and offers it up to him. She plans to vote for him but hopes he uses the advantage to save himself as she feels like she needs him in the game. Tony finally talks to Jeremy and suggests that he should try to get people to vote for Kim and then they can both move forward. Jeremy tries to get on the same page with Ben, but he is still not wanting to listen to Jeremy. I really have no idea what happened there, but it certainly seems irreconcilable. Right before tribal, Michele hands over her advantage to Jeremy and while he likes having it, there is still a 50% chance it'll be nothing.
Jeff asks Denise about what things were like at camp after the vote. She says it was like bad family therapy. Arguments and total chaos. They all talk about how crazy it is around camp and then talk comes to people who stepped out of the challenge. Of course, we can't focus on Michele or Kim's responses because the whispering has started again between Jeremy and Tony and then Ben. Kim gets up and starts talking to Jeremy, meanwhile Jeff calls attention to it and mentions that it's so common now that people can continue to answer questions while all the nonsense is going on. And believe me, it is nonsense. At some point, Jeff has to realize that this is not fun for the audience. It was cute at first, but now it's every single Tribal Council. It has to stop. Make them stay in their seats and say their shit out loud for everyone to hear. While everyone continues to talk, Denise is very obviously annoyed at all of that. It's so bad that Jeff actually starts doing a play by play as if it's a horse race. THAT'S how ridiculous it is. After several more minutes of this, Jeremy tried to lean down to Denise and she completely shuts him down and essentially shuts down the entire Tribal Council. Jeff calls time to vote and no one has any idea what is happening. We see Michele vote for Jeremy saying she hopes he puts the 50/50 coin to good use.
Jeff goes to tally the votes and asks about hidden idols. Tony, "Just give me one minute Jeff." He asks Sarah if she feels good and he starts to play the idol for Sarah. She shuts him down and tells him he doesn't have to. So, he listens and holds the idol. Jeremy starts flirting with the 50/50 advantage and at the last minute keeps it in his pocket. No advantages played...at all. First vote: Jeremy. Kim. Jeremy. Kim. Jeremy. Kim. We're tied at 3. And the final 3 votes come up...Kim. Kim is the 14th person voted out of Winners at War and Tony, Ben and Jeremy all keep their advantages. I don't even need to say anything here. I'll let Boston Rob say it for me, "Look, Tony's a boss, dude." Yes, Rob. Yes he is. On her way to the Edge, Kim gives tokens to Denise, Michele and Sarah.
Next time on Survivor: First off, it's a 2-hour episode. BOOM! And it looks like something crazy is going on at the Edge. Jeremy and Michele seem to be targeting Ben while Sarah feels like she and Tony are sitting ducks. Yeah, I really don't think so...but with 2 Tribals and 2 votes, you never know. Until then, take care kids!