by Jeremy Fogelman
On the latest episode of Survivor, we ponder the title of 'My Million Dollar Mistake' and ask the question: Why did Brad get voted out?
He didn’t lose for challenge performance, because he was one of the stronger performers on Ua. His true failure was a simple one: He trusted the wrong person. Over the course of the episode, Brad’s number of advantages shoots up to an impressive three and even more impressively, absolutely none can be used. But despite his luck and tenacity and willingness to take big risks, his biggest risk was misreading Shan.
Shan’s true BFF in the game is Ricard and vice versa, whereas JD’s true BFF is no one, with a deference toward Shan, and Brad was split between Shan and Genie. It also didn’t hurt that JD literally gave his advantage away to Shan in a move that probably kept him in the game, meaning that she knew that Brad and his three advantages were only temporarily invalid.
Although I do feel bad for poor Xander (aside from that he helped his team get immunity) in that he will once again have to wait for the other two tribes to find the shared idol. On his troubled team of terror, Yase, we see Tiff unable to hide her secret boat advantage from Evvie and Liana, while a teary-eyed Liana gives us the episode’s title. It could be relevant or absolutely a red herring.
On Ua though, we get a few great flashbacks -- the first when Brad reveals he and Genie (really him) found the idol earlier, which I was delighted by in terms of the editing and juxtaposition. Then when they read the note, we get another flashback to Xander saying his silly phrase that pays, and then a Ferris Bueller body double? Brad has finally become an entertaining enough player that I’m sorry to see him go.
On Luvu it’s a bit more low key, with a lot of storylines around Sydney in different ways. There’s the boat advantage of course, but we also get a fun flashback here too as she reveals how Naseer came to her the night before and proposed voting out Danny. I honestly don’t know why he’d suggest that, I guess he’s really just misreading the situation -- but I like Naseer and his great backstory.
I appreciate that the show is changing things up both with twists and turns and also different editing styles, keeps things fresh and interesting. Survivor has lightly played with such things before, but I essentially always enjoy it -- I mean, that one reveal in season 40 where Boston Rob flashed back to show how he found his magic beans or whatever? Loved that.
So a pretty entertaining episode and a very strong season so far -- only one person voted out so far I felt bad about, but a lot of really fun players to watch. Even Brad, who played hard until the very end.
Next time on Survivor, something is so crazy, Sydney is crying, JD is outraged, and someone athletic is coming.