The remaining survivors attempt a puzzling challenge.


S30 E13
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May 14, 2015 at 04:40 PM EDT

Okay, now we’re just being absurd.

“A reward with all the fixin’s”? That’s the puzzle phrase contestants had to unscramble to win reward? A reward with all the fixin’s? Don’t get me wrong—I positively love it. I just can’t help but marvel at the fact that the word “fixin’s” just played a crucial role on my favorite television show. I haven’t thought this much about fixin’s since I was a poor college kid who used to use and abuse the local Roy Rogers “Fixin’s Bar” to make a salad out of the lettuce, tomato, and whatever the hell else they had for free.

I also love that “a reward with all the fixin’s” has become a Probstism of the highest order, entering the lexicon right next to “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” Literally, “a reward with all the fixin’s,” ladies and gentlemen. What’s next: A slide puzzle featuring a photo of Jeff Probst looking down at his feet while he tells people to “Come on in, guys”? A challenge where Probst says “We’ll draw for spots” and then the entire challenge is…drawing for spots? A memory contest where Probst puts on and removes a series of Survivor baseball caps in different colors and contestants have to remember the exact order? Those would all be ridiculous. And yet I now want to see EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM!!!

But as much as we want to laugh at the contestants for taking what seemed like the entire 39 days to come up with the correct answer, the phrase is a bit random, if repeated often. I mean, again, the word “fixin’s” is in it for crying out loud. Just imagine how long we would have been there had Probst not basically given them the answer. “Use your Survivor knowledge. Think about how we talk on Survivor,” he said as they began working on it. Then, after 30 minutes: “Think Survivor. 30 seasons. I say the same 200 words over and over and over. I’m in therapy I say the words so often.” Then, after 45 minutes: “Maybe this is a bit of a blue collar phrase. This is not Harvard. Stop worrying about being graded for your grammar.” Then, after an hour: “What is it you are playing for? What does it come with?” (Jesus, Mary, and Joseph—could he spell it out any more?) Then, even more after an hour: “It’s like one of those commercials. And if you order now you get this and this. And this.” (Honestly, I don’t even know what he is talking about here. Are there TV ads for fixin’s?) Then, even more after an hour: “A complete set—everything you need.”

I’m pretty sure that had Carolyn not finally figured it out that Probst was about 30 seconds away from coming over and just completing the damn phrase himself. And then taking himself on reward after making a big show of going back and forth on whether or not to give it over to Rodney.

In a season that has been heavy on unpleasantness, this entire escapade was a welcome humorous aside. But there’s serious business to get to! Not only do we need to recap this penultimate episode of the season, but it is time for my updated Survivor season-by-season rankings. For you newbies out there, I always do this the week before the finale, because the finale/reunion recap is already too long and unwieldy as it is. So, yes, I basically just make this one too long and unwieldy as well. Sorry. But I reserve the right to move a season up or down depending on what happens in the reunion. Where will Worlds Apart fall? Read on for my rankings after the recap to find out. Speaking of which, let’s recap this S.O.B!

We kick things off directly after Tyler’s ouster at Tribal Council. In case you were wondering, Dan is still hell bent on getting rid of Mike. “All Mike gets is one free pass,” says Dan. “That’s all he’s getting. I have zero interest in working with Mike at this point.… To hell with Mike. To hell with his idol.” He’s saying all this, but all I really care about is the fact that he is high-fiving Carolyn because he did not let the fire go out. High-fiving in general is a somewhat suspect activity, but especially when busted out in honor of general camp maintenance. (NOTE: I have never tended a fire in my entire life so I have no idea what I am talking about.)

NEXT: Rodney continues to milk his birthday for all it’s worth…which is nothing

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