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S37 E1
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September 26, 2018 at 09:30 PM EDT

Last thing I’ll say about the intro before we head to the beaches: Survivor editors have been on fire lately, and they hit a home run again with the time-lapse montage of Christian obsessing over the wrong moves he made in the puzzle. Freakin’ hilarious. Yes, ever since Cochran, the Survivor Nerd has become an overused archetype, but this guy is money. Okay, let’s head to the beaches.

The Goliath Tribe
The rain is already coming as the Goliaths make their way to their tribe beach, and in case you don’t know who Mike White is, he’s here to tell you! He explains that he wrote School of Rock, Nacho Libre, “and then some indie movies and TV too.” Some indie movies and TV too?!? You mean like Chuck & Buck? And Enlightened? And Freaks & Geeks? Those aren’t just “some indie movies and TV too,” Mike White. Those are works of genius. Take ownership of all your writing prowess! Not only that, but need I remind you that you were FREAKIN’ NED SCHNEEBLY?!? Dude, you made it! In Hollywood! Do you know how hard that is? You’re a Goliath, for chrissakes. Start acting like it!

Also, stop looking for idols. Or, at least stop being so obvious you are searching for idols. Especially when you’re not in any trouble. That’s an easy way to put a target right on your back, which is exactly what Mike does. It also leads to a flurry of other people searching for the idol. Angelina even asks the question that I have asked many times before in my recaps: Why don’t women find hidden immunity idols? She and Alison want to break that trend. But they can’t, because said idol is in Dan’s pants — which, frankly seems like a weird and inappropriate place for producers to hide it. Maybe they were hoping Kara would find it in there?

Those two were certainly looking pretty damn flirty and a shoo-in for a season-long showmance. Which greatly confuses me thanks to this infamous Instagram post in which Kara seems to be romantically linked with another contestant from her tribe. Perhaps Dan reverted back to “Fat Dan” after the season and she was Audi 5000? I have no idea. REALITY COUPLE ROMANCES! WHO CAN KEEP TRACK?!

But enough of the most confusing island-set love triangle since Jack, Kate, and Sawyer — because Natalie seems to have annoyed people with her deadly combination of complaining about the way everyone else is doing stuff coupled with her not actually doing anything. Other than John Morrison taking 10 minutes to rattle off all of his nicknames, that’s about it from the Goliaths.

The David Tribe
Wow, this Pat guy is coming in hot! It’s almost as if he knows his time is limited so he wants to cram in as many left nut and butt crack jokes as possible. (Speaking of which: Why does a duck have feathers? To cover his butt quack. BOOM! I’m here all week. Please tip your waitress.) While Pat may be rubbing people the wrong way with his aggressiveness, the guy is at least getting results, building a kick-ass shelter for the others to enjoy without him.

But while one of the oldest members of the tribe is working hard on that, the youngest is working hard on the game. 19-year-old Jessica is telling everyone she is 22, because we have never, ever, ever seen teenagers lie about their age before on this show. She makes an alliance with Bi. She makes an alliance with Elizabeth. She makes an alliance with Carl. Hell, I’m pretty sure she made one with the octopus before Davie killed it. And she’s not the only one working it. Lyrsa and Elizabeth form an alliance while a storm rages overhead, and if they don’t call it the Thunder & Lightning alliance then they are doing something seriously wrong.

Meanwhile, Christian and Gabby pair up, with the latter branding herself the “nerd-whisperer,” which I can only assume means talking about Tribbles and Pythagorean Theorems and Jennifer Love Hewitt. I know I am forcing myself not to root for the David tribe, but there are some great characters on this team, and these two may be at the top of the list.

Nick has its own list, and it’s a list on how to get out of doing any manual labor. Nick thinks he’s being all crafty and nobody will notice that instead of helping out around camp, he is spending all his time coming up with terrible alliance names. (Why will nobody adopt Thunder & Lightning?!? It’s right there people!) But notice they have. Maybe Nick started to realize he was not fitting in, or maybe he just felt comfortable opening up. Either way, he decides to share his story about losing his mother three years ago to an overdose. It’s hard to tell how much of this was him wanting to get this off his chest in a form of tribal therapy and how much was him simply trying to undo any social damage he felt he may have already done. I also can’t help but wonder — especially after Pat thanked him for not saving it to the end —  if his original plan was to strategically unleash it at the final Tribal Council like Adam did with his sick mother in Millennials vs. Gen X.

You might think I would disapprove of using personal tragedy as a strategic tool, but not in the least. It doesn’t mean the pain is fake. The pain is still real. But if you can use that pain to garner votes and sympathy, then why not? The potential strategic downside for Nick of revealing this now, however, is that it is just the type of reason someone might not want to bring him to the end. Fear of a sympathy vote is a powerful motivator — to vote against somebody. But seeing as how far Nick was veering towards being on the outs, he probably had no choice. Forging personal connections at this stage is key, and while playing the long game is certainly important, sometimes there are cards you have to play to even get there.

/ ( 2 of 4 )

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