I’ve got it! Sometimes you can find a quote that neatly summarizes an entire season. I mean, yes, I suppose technically “The tribe has spoken” does that every single season seeing as how it symbolizes people voting each other out in the quest for a million dollars, but I mean I found something that is not repeated every single episode. That means “Come on in, guys!” “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” “I got nothin’ for you,” and “It’s time for you to go,” are also deemed ineligible for this particular exercise. Basically, I am classifying Jeff Probst as null and void until further notice. So without further ado… ladies and gentlemen, here it is: Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water in 11 simple words, courtesy of one Keith Nale:
“Is this a good time for me to take a nap?”
You mean right before heading to Tribal Council, where someone else will be voted out of the game? Is that a good time for you to take a nap? YES! PERFECT TIME! In fact, I can’t think of better possible timing! After all, that’s what all the greats have done: Boston Rob, Kim Spradlin, Tom Westman… they all made sure to stack a few Zzzzzs right as everyone else was scrambling to decide who should get blindsided. But the only side you should be concerned with, Keith, is what side of the proverbial pillow to lay your weary head on. I hope you brought some Nyquil and a snooze alarm as your luxury items, because you can simply down some of the nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever so you can rest medicine and watch all your island troubles just fade away in a blur of acetaminophen. In fact, why even bother waking up for Tribal Council? Hey, they can’t vote you out if you’re not there, am I right?
Sure, Probst may be pissed, but he’s shown us lately that he is more than willing to make some trades to keep people from self-destructing in this game. So maybe you can swap that Nyquil and snooze alarm in for… oh, I don’t know, say, a clue as to how to play this game? And when I say “clue” I’m not referring to some written down instructions on a parchment as to the location of another hidden immunity idol. Rather, I’m talking about a clue as to what the hell you are doing implanted into your very brain—kind of like the way all those badasses in trenchcoats and black leather in The Matrix could download info into their consciousness immediately, giving them training in pretty much anything they desired.
Such knowledge takes a bit longer in the real world. For instance, to learn how to play Survivor you have to actually, you know, watch Survivor. That’s something Keith and too many of these contestants this season clearly have not done. Of course, this is always the risk with a Blood vs. Water season — that you get some fans, and then their loved ones who have no idea what they are doing. (You also have people like Rocker, who was simply recruited. Jon & Jaclyn felt like recruits to me when I spoke to them before the game as well.) Now, don’t get me wrong: I love stupid gameplay—and I’m not sure there is anything stupider than taking a nap between a losing immunity challenge and a Tribal Council—but you need strong gameplay to go with it, and we just haven’t seen much of it yet this season. Jeremy, Josh, and Natalie have all shown glimpses of grasping strategic elements of this game so they certainly offer some hope, but we need more if San Juan del Sur is going to continue Survivor’s epic hot streak. Then again, when things get hot, people get tired. And when people get tired, they need to nap. So let’s keep it down so as to not upset Keith while he gets a bit of shut-eye, and recap what else went down in this latest episode. (Inside voices, people.)
We begin with Dale lamenting what went down at the previous Tribal Council. “Tribal was about as bad as it could get,” he tells us. “You see complete strangers slaughter your daughter in front of your eyes, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Dude, chill out, this isn’t The Walking Dead. It’s not like Rick Grimes took his red-handled machete and chopped Kelley up into smithereens. Besides, if Rick was going to do that to anyone it would be to Hunahpu, who look like they are also on the verge of considering cannibalism due to their shortage of food.
NEXT: Probst morphs into Monty Hall