Friday, March 18, 2022

Survivor 42 S42E02: Good and Guilty


Survivor  humanizes our cast further to really make sure we hurt more when they get voted out.
by Jeremy Fogelman

This week on Survivor, we ask the question of questions: Why did Marya lose and get voted out?

As per usual in this early part of the game, people are looking for any port in a storm and any weak link to vote out. On the previous losing tribe Ika, things go back and forth a lot as they consider who to target -- at first Drea confirms an alliance with Rocksroy and Romeo, but then mentions her extra vote to Tori and Swati for a ladies’ alliance, and then the latter notes that Drea is charismatic and possesses power in the game -- so she turns the potential vote, Tori, who figured she was already doomed.

So on Taku, Marya unfortunately fell under the umbrella of “not great at challenges” even if she didn’t specifically screw anything up. Jonathan and Lindsay are both highly athletic, while Omar and Daniel are both reasonably strong and have very tight relationships with Jonathan. Omar connected to his tribe by disclosing his Muslim faith and he seemed to be a firm “easy ally”. So we hear Jonathan as the main point of narration, discussing his JT/Stephen style alliance with Omar, but also how well he connects with everyone else.


And the only one he isn’t really connected to is Marya, and the only positive vote in her direction is from Omar, who does say he trusts Marya more than Maryanne -- but thinks Maryanne has the drive to keep the tribe in a successful direction. Since this is only the first loss for their tribe, it’s not like it’s a losing streak they have to be particularly concerned about, just reversing a bad trend.

So ultimately although Maryanne was clearly annoying people to some extent, she was also entertaining them -- a pretty vital part of the isolated and often boring island life. Maryanne was also a pretty funny part of the episode as they was a lot of discussion about her “love life” and her crush on recently exited Zach. So Marya was not great in challenges and not solid enough socially, despite opening up about her tragic backstory -- so that became an unfortunately easy vote, and with Maryanne’s extra vote, a sure thing.

As for the other tribes, there’s only a bit from Romeo and his strategic mind, planning on voting Tori out in the future -- but Vati is a different story. We get a lot from everyone, Jenny narrates finding hermit crabs, Channelle discusses becoming a provider, and Hai goes through a more difficult time feeling guilty about eating meat (giving us the episode title of “Good and Guilty”).


The funniest part though is the little adventure with Mike, who has found the pretty fun three way phrase challenge idol that was introduced last season. He discloses the idol to his top ally Jenny, but also to Daniel to create more of a bond -- except that Mike initially forgets where he buried the advantage, leading to Daniel being unable to hold back laughter.

It’s a lot of great setup for the rest of the season, and I hope to see the other two phrases unveiled too. It’s a legitimately great cast so far, with no duds I can think of -- maybe I’m not specifically rooting for everyone, but I have too many possible winners to narrow it down. That’s definitely a great sign for the season. No terrible twists so far either.

Next time on Survivor, Maryanne got bait and switched, Mike’s idol is missing, something is done that has never done before, which sounds ominous.

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