Thursday, February 21, 2013

Survivor: Caramoan Episode 2 Thoughts and Best/Worst Plays of the Show

Some thoughts about this week's episode...

Brandon's unpredictableness and how not to handle it

We all know that Brandon Hantz isn't exactly the most reliable person if you aren't aligned with him. Even if he is aligned with you, there's a chance for something to go horribly awry. So you have to treat him with kids gloves, but also be blunt with him, which is an incredibly delicate balancing act.

This is why Philip's decision to give this "CEO and middle management" speech to Brandon was pretty bad. I'm not going to use Brandon's declaration from the previous night that he would channel his Uncle Russell against Philip. Quite frankly, Philip wouldn't have know this. But with that said, he had to know that Brandon was capable of that rage - on Brandon's season we saw it manifest itself often, and most often due to the most bizarre of reasons. So to give the speech that Philip did with all of the condescending that Philip had within the speech was just a bad idea. You have to be blunt with Brandon, sure. But you don't have to belittle him as well. That Brandon went back to camp and only complained about Philip being a bully was shocking in and of itself. That others were able to talk him off of the ledge was less surprising.

Shamar's predictableness and how not to handle it

Shamar has been lazy around camp. Heck he hasn't just been lazy, he has perfected laziness as an art form. But he is also loud and confrontational. So if you don't like what Shamar is doing in camp, you should not do what Reynold did and confront Shamar. Shamar is more than capable and willing to defend himself verbally. So giving him an opening to fight back can only lead to a giant fight, and another reminder to your tribe mates (who are superfans that know what goats are) that it might be a good idea to keep the volatile lazy guy around so that you can go to the end with him. That ends up being a problem for your ultimate goal to vote out the volatile lazy guy. Just go about your attempts to get Shamar voted out, but keep it quiet.

Sherri and her alligience to Shamar

Sherri actually handled Shamar well, though that's pretty easy when he's on your side. Telling him to continue to do what he does is a pretty smart strategy. In fact, I think that Boston Rob rode that strategy to a million dollars on Redemption Island.

Philip's Philipness and how to handle it.

Malcolm has this right - let Philip do what he wants, and let him think he is running the show. But be prepared to cut him loose once his targets do not align with yours.

Reynold's bulge and how to handle it

Reynold was hitting a couple of homeruns this week - he seemingly was the only one to search for an immunity idol, and found it. He then told us that he wasn't going to tell anybody about it, and was goign to hide it because he didn't want anybody to notice the bulge in his pants and think that he had an immunity idol. It was going oh so well...

Until Laura saw that Reynold had a bulge in his pants right before tribal council. A great bit of observation by Laura, even if she couldn't do anything about it before they went to tribal council. But having that in your pocket is as good as anything.

Your first tribal council and how to handle it

I want to give the fans a bit of a pass for what happened at this tribal council. It's the first tribal council that they have ever participated in, and they are uber fans. They all probably went in thinking that they were going to be Jeff Probst go to person, giving the quips that would appear on the show, but while not revealing any information. Instead, they basically were giving up their games.

It's never a good idea to let your opposition know that you see them as a threat, but that's what happened with the misfits. They pointed out the existance fo the foursome, which tipped them off to be a bit concerned. And then the foursome attacked Shamar, which could have been a problem if they weren't so transparent with their attempts to get everybody to vote them out. And Shamar defended himself by simply saying that others were trying to tear him down, which is a non-answer to the legitimate criticisms being levelled against him.

An awkward bulge and how not to handle it

More on this later, but there's a couple of options that Laura had. She could have kept the information to herself, and then shared it with her alliance in secret after tribal council. That's not a bad option really. It wouldn't have been that difficult to imagine going into tribal council that Reynold would have kept the idol for himself, and then you could have split the votes and dealt with the idol next. Or, Laura could have used the information to work out a deal with Reynold.

Of course, there is a risk involved. If Reynold plays the idol for Allie, then you lose a goat in Shamar . Plus, not coming forward immediately would cause people to wonder about your trustworthiness. And there is always the worst case scenario - that others decide to just give the foursome a boost and vote out Shamar, and you find yourself in the minority with the majority holding an immunity idol.

No matter what, though. You can't reveal that you have an immunity idol. But more on that in a minute.

The foursome and how to handle it

Vote somebody out who was a member of that group. Pretty simple really.

Best play of the week

I have to give it to Laura, who I think came up with the best way to out Reynold having the hidden immunity idol, even if she didn't get him to play it. By mentioning that much fabled bulge and staring Reynold down, she essentially shamed him into showing his hand, so to speak. With him being in the minority alliance, they have him in a spot where he has to use the idol at the next immunity, or risk getting voted out, probably by a split vote 3-3-3 vote. It ended up being a nicely conceived solution to a potentially sticky problem.

Worst play of the week

On the opposite end of that play was Reynold who blew the chance to deny having an idol, and followed it up by trying a weak "I'm going to play the idol, I swear" passive aggressive move. Nobody believed that you would use the idol Reynold. Laura even admitted that she saw the idol too late to change anything going into tribal council. So instead of taking out your bulge and waving it around, make a horribly sexist joke about Laura checking out your bulge ("I want to know why Laura is checking out my bulge before tribal council.") and keep the idol to yourself. At a minimum, you leave them guessing as to whether you have it or not. At best, you sow discontent in that alliance.

Final thoughts on the booted player:

Honestly, I feel bad for Allie. She seems like a true fan, and I couldn't imagine getting to live a dream of playing Survivor only to get booted first from your tribe and only play for 6 days. But as a fan, she has to know that getting involved in a showmance is a terrible idea and only courting disaster (heck, South Pacific wasn't that long ago, and we saw what happened to Ozzy's island girlfriend when others thought they were getting too cozy.) She'd also have to realize that cuddling is the first tell as to who is aligned with who. Even with all of that history, she still decided to align with Reynold, Eddie and Hope in the foursome alliance. And that bit her in the butt.

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Blogger Abigail said...

I definitely agree with Laura - I underestimated her, but she's smarter and more strategic than I thought. Sherri's strategy of taking Shamar under her wing is also impressive, now they got to break that four-person alliance.

You can also check out my thoughts on this episode here:

4:16 AM  
Blogger Jason said...

I agree about Sherri as well - she is playing very well and is under the radar while still manipulating the game. It's why I think Michael and Matt need to flip and vote out Shamar next (if they know about the Sherri/Shamar alliance). They can claim it's for the better of the tribe, while breaking apart Sherri's main alliance.

1:55 PM  

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