‘Survivor’ sends someone out after people talk a little too much.
by Jeremy Fogelman
As we look back at a particularly chaotic episode, we ask the question: Why did Swati lose and get voted out? The simple answer is that she played a bit too hard and got noticed by another good player, mainly Romeo.
Although I think that’s true, it’s also true that it was down to a bunch of cascading dominos, one of which was Swati’s mistake -- which is telling Tori that Drea was targeting her, because she wanted to get the target on Drea instead. It’s not a terrible idea, but it relies on the premise that Tori would keep that to herself, which she didn’t -- she also managed to keep her heavy annoyance with Rocksroy to herself and the confessionals and got useful information from him while telling him about Swati’s reveal.
Going through all of these people and back and forth, it is revealed that Swati was playing the “young, shy, unassuming girl” game and telling everyone she was their number one. It’s theoretically a good game, except that she pushed too hard, too early -- if she had simply allowed Rocks or Tori to get voted out (as they were the easy targets) I think she could’ve lasted much longer in the game. Or even to the end, as that was sort of how Erika won Season 41.
So we say goodbye to a smart, pretty decent player, but one that was a little too careless with her plans. It’s a shame that we’ve lost two interesting people these last two weeks that weren’t simply screwing things up, but at least Swati is more the author of her own demise -- makes a better tale if she ever returns.
As for Tori, I was a bit concerned about her mentioning her therapy work and that Rocks was acting like a narcissist -- if she’s saying he has a narcissistic personality disorder, that’s pretty specific and unreasonable. If not, she’s being irresponsible from a professional perspective -- but then again, I can see how she might simply have been trying to simply add color to her confessional by making it personal about her unique perspective.
As for the other tribes, we get a little bit with Taku with a weirdly troubling backstory from Jonathan but also some acknowledgement that he is aware he is a physical shield for others on his tribe. I wonder how things will blow up when it becomes a liability to keep him around -- I mean the dude is called “Goliath” and “Thor” by people on the other tribes after helping Taku dominate two challenges in a row.
Otherwise we have another “obvious tribe loss” edit situation here, where we focus nearly entirely on the tribe that’s going to lose. Although it’s useful to get information about what’s going on, I feel like it’s an easy pattern to notice, so I hope the show shakes things up as we move forward. Can Taku even lose at this point? A tribe swap is likely inevitable, considering that only Taku hasn’t lost anyone.
As for our friends back on Vati, Daniel acknowledges to us that both he messed up and Chanelle is refusing to admit her role in things. Both true, of course, but because of Daniel’s frenetic behavior last time, people are clearly less interested in listening to him -- we do see Mike agree to switch to Hai and Lydia instead, which certainly does not bode well for Daniel.
Altogether a messy but entertaining episode -- I prefer watching people lose because they’re playing too hard then by twists and circumstances, so I can’t be mad about that, even if I’ll miss another interesting player.
Next time on Survivor, more fights and more potential problems.