Survivor double packs its merge episode with a redo of the controversial time travel twist.
by Jeremy Fogelman
As our Delorean comes to a stop and we save ourselves from being erased in a photo, we ask our perennial query: Why did Lydia lose and get voted out? In this case, it seemed that it was a matter of people not trusting the right people, but also other people having the right trust in people.
Coming into the tribal, it seemed clear that Omar had at least raised the possibility of targeting Lydia instead of Jonathan or Maryanne by successfully painting her as someone untrustworthy -- and all because he and Jonathan were such close allies. It helped that Omar was both completely safe and had no vote, making him seem more like someone entirely harmless and without the ability to get a target back on him.
Lydia’s only clear mistakes were with Chanelle, although she wasn’t the only one. She was awkward and cagey enough that Chanelle noticed, but then again, everyone in that majority alliance attempt was awkward multiple times when Chanelle was around. It certainly made for awkward television, if shades of The Office -- although Lydia does trust Omar enough to tell him that maybe Maryanne is the target.
And Maryanne and Jonathan were both on the Taku tribe with Omar, which certainly could’ve been a dangerous move. So it’s a shame to see someone else interesting go home, and Lydia was a fun character -- but that’s sort of the situation we’re in with this “great cast” season.
The episode started with a recap of all of the various and sundry advantages gained, none of which have been utilized yet -- so you know that things are really going to get nuts soon enough. We also had a cavalcade of great bonding moments between people, like Romeo calling out how much he respects Hai for being completely comfortable with himself, Lydia and Maryanne bonding about their Gen-Z connection, or Mike and Jonathan about preconceived notions about being physically intimidating.
The time travel twist of Season 41 returned, but with another twist on the twist -- this time Jeff actually tells the “winning” tribe that they’d be giving power to the person exiled -- and they picked Rocksroy despite that. I get that, but we did hear at least one person correctly predict what Rocks might be able to do.
Watching Rocks thrive out on his own was fun, as was hearing his various phrases like “Holy moly!”, “Jiminy Christmas”, and “Yippie Ki Yay” -- pretty hilarious. But it was honestly hard to believe that Rocks would do anything other than save himself and reverse time. The “cons” of the pros and cons of the time travel twist are still not strong enough to justify doing anything but breaking that hourglass.
Still, the ensuing scramble did lead to a pretty fun series of strategic tomfoolery, including the quite impressive run from Omar -- it’s a great addition to a potential winning resume, if he can make it that far. Similarly we have other strong strategic players, even if it’s not always so clear -- I did like Maryanne’s new take on it: A problem is a shield in the future. Only issue is that being clever paints a target on her back, which she doesn’t need. So definitely a lot of interesting possibilities in the future in what was a fairly entertaining episode, even if I hope they seriously reconsider this twist in the future, no pun intended.
Next time on Survivor, someone is creating chaos, people are scurrying and paranoid.