It’s always pleasant when the guy you called a creep in your last recap is the one sent packing, and such is the case with Vince Sly who sees his torch snuffed tonight after his severe personality issues hinder him from properly playing this game. Let’s rewind…
We begin at the camp of the Blue Collar tribe, where self described “fat guy” Dan has lost his underwear in the sea. He has fashioned himself a sort of sarong out of his T-shirt, which means that as long as Dan is in the game us lucky viewers will get to see his shirtless body for episodes to come. Some of his tribe suspects that this was all a ploy to make him seem “funny,” and I just might agree. Dan wants to be a major character even if he has to force it. Meanwhile, after 4 days the White Collar tribe finally has fire. Joaquin jokes that they should just hire one of the Blue Collar tribesman to make them fire. Although it is increasingly clear that these tribal labels are mostly nonsense, that isn’t stopping the castaways from playing into them. These people were cast for a reason, after all.
Max, who is a noted disciple of the game, wants to pay homage to those that have come before him and he decides to do that by walking around and swimming in the nude. With his tall, slender frame it is certainly more appealing than the days of nude Richard Hatch, and his fellow tribeswomen, Shirin, decides to follow suit. In fact, nudity runs rampant throughout this episode as over on the No Collar beach both Jenn and Hali go skinny dipping. The editors are certainly having their fun with the blurring. Unfortunately, Nina (who is the oldest female and is rather hard of hearing) feels left out by the younger girls on her tribe and this begins to craft the narrative for this episode. I have already revealed that it is Vince who goes home, and thus it is the No Collar tribe that ends up at tribal council. As such, the editors spend more time on their beach than any other and we begin to see a tribe harshly divided by age and personality. Very few of these people actually seem like they fit the “no collar” moniker, perhaps because there’s not actually such a thing as “no collar.” Will lends a sympathetic ear to Nina, and he later notes that he similarly feels like an outside because he’s the only black person in the entire game.
Vince’s intensity and general creepiness continues to manifest itself as he is clearly intensely jealous of Joe. Vince notes, “I was young once too. I’m 32 now.” Last time I check, 32 is still rather young and Vince is delusional about his place in the tribe and his own well being. His entirely personality seems like a construct. The feathers, the attitude… it all seems fake, and I don’t like it. Luckily, others in his tribe are on to him. Jenn, the object of Vince’s eye, says, “Vince is a little too no collar for his own good.” I don’t think this actually makes sense, but I do think Jenn generally means that Vince is too weird/intense for his own good (at least within the confines of Survivor as a game), and she’s right.
At the Immunity challenge (I wonder if there will be reward challenges coming up or if we’ll stick with the 1 challenged per episode trend), the Blue Collar tribe seems surprised that So was voted out. The challenge itself is a wonderfully designed water challenge (which I love, as it makes for lots of dynamic visuals and a large scope) involving rescuing buoys from a water-based obstacle course and then shooting them into a basket. The team that finishes first receives a large amount of fishing gear and the second place team gets a little bit of fishing gear. The third place team, of course, heads to tribal council. Both No Collar and Blue Collar will sit somebody out, and both Jeff and the Blue Collar tribe is surprise that Dan is not sitting out. He claims that he will surprise them with his athleticism (for a “fat guy,” although if I hear him call himself that one more time I may scream) and that turns out to be true. He performs admirably and is the first in his rung to finish. Throughout most of the challenge the White Collar team is in the rear, however Will (No Collar) ends up struggling quite a bit in the water and Joaquin (White Collar) proves to be an absolute beast, making up a ton of time in the water and scoring nearly 5 for 5 with his baskets, winning the entire challenge for his team. Blue Collar comes in second place and Dan celebrates loudly.
The feeling at the No Collar camp was already rough, and now that they “have a date with Jeff at tribal,” things are even worse. Vince rightly sees Joe as a power player and notes that it is like a cold war with missiles pointed between himself and Joe. There is a ton of scrambling as everybody has their own agenda and feelings and nobody is quite sure who to trust. The trio of Joe, Jenn, and Hali (or, the young attractive people) seems quite strong whereas Nina and Vince seem lost and Will is stuck somewhere in the middle. Will seems ready to team up with Nina and Vince (and vote out Jenn, keeping Joe in the game as an asset for challenges) until he hears that Vince was questioning Will’s health. Although the Joe vs. Vince match-up seemed to be coming to a boil, Joe wants to split the vote and ultimately vote out Nina, the wink link.
At tribal, Jeff “correctly” assumes that the tribe is split down the middle and that there will be a power showdown of 3 vs. 3. Perhaps, though, things aren’t as clear as they seem as ultimately Will takes too much offense to Vince’s comments about his health and votes for Vince, sending him home with 3 votes. Jenn is the clear star of tribal council, as her smart answers and enthusiasm for being on Survivor (she’s watched the show since she was 8!) are infectious. Jenn notes, “The worst thing you can be in this game is comfortable,” and once again it is refreshing to watch an episode of Survivor involving people who actually seem to know how to play the game.
1. Jenn for her smart game play, astute comments, and general enthusiasm
2. Joaquin for his incredible challenge performance, allowing his tribe to come from behind and win
3. Joe, because he is Aquaman