Everyone tells everyone everything on this week's episode, and one player ultimately pays the price.
SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols
S42 E4
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So, I'm not supposed to be working this week. Taking a much-needed vacation. Eleven-hour flight. Extended family. The whole works. But the second I saw Omar bellyflop into the water after a challenge in the most embarrassing and inept half-dive ever seen on Survivor not performed by someone who calls himself The Wardog, I knew there was no way I could not weigh in on such a momentous occasion.

What made Omar's laughable leap so absolutely incredible is not just the way he sort of flailed off the platform like someone who had been shot in the back, but he clearly went for extra style points by holding his nose while plummeting into the water. Always a strong look. If I were an entire committee of Olympic diving judges, it would be 10s across the board. Simply spectacular.

By the way, I wasn't pulling a Swati and completely lying about being on vacation, so I better make this quick before the wife finds out and throws my laptop into the ocean. It will be a bit of an abbreviated recap this week and yes, now is the time to go ahead and make jokes about how I should go on vacation every week. Very funny, everyone. Let's get to it.

Jeff Probst and the cast of 'Survivor 42'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

What You See is What You Get

When you write about Survivor, it is easy to come off sounding like an annoying know-it-all (for once, that is actually not a Stephen Fishbach reference, by the way). It's hard because once you've been covering this show for long enough… like, say, 22 years… you learn that you are not getting the full story. It's actually a bit frustrating because you become a slave to the edit in that the edit is all we are shown and know about what happened out there, and even on the best reality show (and Survivor is the best reality show), the edit can sometimes be an unreliable narrator.

However, the edit is all we have, so that's what we have to go on and that's all we can react to, even knowing there are always circumstances we are not privy to that may influence (or sometimes even contradict) what we have seen. I often worry about that when we all react so strongly to something. Are we getting the full story here? Are there mitigating factors here that didn't make the final cut? Was this really as bad as it looked?

I bring this up because we got confirmation at the top of this week's episode back at the Vati camp that YES, Daniel's meltdown at Tribal was that bad. And this comes according to… Daniel! "I feel like I just totally screwed everything up," he said upon returning back from Tribal. And Hai also confirmed what we all surmised, that as soon as Daniel used his opening statement to say he did not want to go to rocks, Hai knew he had won. "That man has literally no backbone. None."

To add insult to literal (shoulder) injury, Daniel's other ally, Mike, also bailed on him, upset that Danny boy had told Chanelle about his secret Beware Advantage. So, as predicted, nobody now wanted to work with Daniel.

It's all too bad, of course. Daniel seems like a good dude. I don't think he is as wildly inept as he has looked on this show. Neurotic and scattered? Of course. A terrible Tribal Council performance? You betcha. But one of the worst first Tribal Council performances I ever saw was from John Cochran (the vast majority of which did not make it to air), and that guy turned out to be an okay player… his own terrible rock avoidance notwithstanding. I have little doubt Daniel would be out of the game right now had Vati lost this week's immunity challenge, but give him some time and you never know.

The Ika tribe of 'Survivor 42'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

A Rewarding Experience

When Daniel told us about how the game of Survivor can turn on a dime and he needed things to turn on a dime right now, and we then went straight to the reward challenge, I was 99.9 percent positive that was our seamless cue for a tribe swap. But no! Those crafty editors fooled me. I can just picture them in their socially distanced workstations. "Oh, you think you're so smart, Ross! Well, take this!"

Yep, it was just a plain ol' reward challenge, with the reward being 10 freshly caught fish. But since these are a rarity these days, it was a treat to see. The teams had to untangle a braided rope, hook a sled with balls, and then land the balls in a basket. Taku absolutely dominated thanks to the efforts of Jonathan… or Goliath… or Thor… depending on whom you ask. It was impressive work by the tribe, especially the out-of-control cheering by Maryanne after every made basket, which kind of matches my out-of-control smiling every time Maryanne is on my screen. The woman is a gift.

A Fishy Situation

Again, not a Stephen Fishbach reference. Instead, what we had here for the immunity challenge was Adam Klein's worst nightmare — having to jump in mid-air to retrieve a key. We saw a lot of struggling to get those keys back in Winners at War, and we saw some here with Lydia not even really that close at all to grabbing hers for Vati. (See below.)

No matter. After Taku dominated their third challenge in a row (their only setback coming when Omar's doggy paddle kept pushing his key farther away in the water), Vati came back on the fish puzzle to overtake Ika. It was the type of comeback that can heal deep rifts and act as a huge morale boost. And, unfortunately for Daniel, he was not a part of it — sitting on the Sandra sit-out bench while his teammates hugged in elation and enjoyed their communal bonding experience. But, hey, at least he's safe. Such was not the case for Ika.

Also, P.S.… why is Maryanne still saying her goofy bunny mailbox phrase? Shouldn't she just be waiting to see if someone says one of the other phrases first? The parchment told her what they were, so there is no reason whatsoever for her to say anything at this point until someone else pipes up. (Unless she, like some corners of the internet, is taking the use of the word "must" in the instructions way too literally.)

Lydia Meredith of 'Survivor 42'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Bless This Mess

If I had to use one word to describe the gameplay on Survivor 42 so far, that word would be… messy. Certainly, things got messy between Tori and Zach at the outset, and I'm just going to go ahead and call last week's Tribal Council Hershey's Syrup, because that entire thing was Messy Marvin brought to life. Which brought us to the bonkers activity this week on Ika. I feel like you need a flow chart to go over all the activity at the Ika tribe over the past few days, or maybe one of those hilariously cliché walls you see a character on TV constructing in their apartment when they are trying to "crack a case." You know the kind: the ones with lots of pictures, big random words with question marks next to them (MOTIVE?), all connected by scattered push pins and red ribbons that make the person staring at it all contemplatively look somewhere in between a genius and complete psychopath.

But messy can be dizzying fun, and watching all the back and forth on Ika certainly made me a little lightheaded. (Or maybe that's just the beer. Again. Vacation.) Sooooo… I think I have this right and it went down a little something like this….

Drea was in an alliance with Rocksroy and Romeo, but then wanted to ditch them for an alliance with Swati and Tori. Swati then got scared when Drea told her about her extra vote, so told Tori they should get rid of Drea. Tori then held her breath, swallowed her pride, stroked Rocksroy's ego, and informed him about Drea's extra vote. Rocksroy probably then went and told a bunch of people how to do things they already know how to do, and when he was finally done with that, went back to Drea and informed Drea what Tori had told him. At that point, everyone wanted Tori gone, but then Romeo was all like "Wait, how can I get in on this action and make this even messier?" and told Tori he heard about the threesome alliance without him, to which Tori responded, "Sweet! Let me take this target and move it the hell off of me and onto Swati!" Romeo then decided they should get rid of Swati instead. SURVIVOR, EVERYONE!!!

Swati Goel of 'Survivor 42'
| Credit: Robert Voets/CBS

Trouble at Tribal

Sensing she was in danger, Swati came out swinging at Tribal Council. I mean, not literally. They kick you out for that sort of thing. But she aimed straight at Tori, announcing that "I am not going to get sent home because of something Tori said or did." She also chose to blatantly lie, claiming that she never wanted to get Drea out, to which I say… good for Swati! I don't understand why folks don't straight-up fib in these situations more. It's not like folks trust Tori. Just dig in and hope they believe you more than her.

It wasn't, as Tori pointed out, "rooted in reality," but the others don't necessarily know that. Unfortunately for Swati, they did not seem to believe her, especially after she was caught telling three different people they were her "number one." I don't know. My daughter claims she has 13,312 best friends, so doesn't seem to be a big deal to me. But that's what happens once folks start comparing notes.

Also unfortunately for Swati, her Shot in the Dark came up as Not Safe, making it the third time in four Tribal Councils someone has gone for the SITD (all correctly) after it was used only once (incorrectly) during the entirely of Survivor 41.

So that's it for Swati, who noted that Boston Rob was also out fourth on his first season, so maybe she too would come back and win a season of All-Stars in the future. Only Swati was technically out fifth. And Boston Rob was actually out seventh in his first season. And Boston Rob did not win All-Stars. But yes! Otherwise, amazing comparison!

A shame to see Swati go. Not a super dynamic reality TV personality, but she played the damn game. Swati could have just ridden with a new majority when Drea first approached her, but instead tried to make a bigger move, and it was costly. Sucks for her, but great for us. But if there's one person you want to stick around to cause a little chaos, that person is Tori. Now we just need to find a way to get her and Daniel on the same beach and watch the entire universe implode.

Okay, my universe is about to implode if I don't get the hell out of here. But a few notes! We've got an exclusive deleted scene up at the top of the post, so make sure to check that out. And EW's Sydney Bucksbaum has kindly offered to take on exit interview duties this week, so look for her chat with Swati as they talk about how it all went wrong. Anyhoodle, I'll be back on the job next week and you better believe I'll bring a scoop of the crispy with me.

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SURVIVOR: Island of the Idols

Strangers starve themselves on an island for our amusement in the hopes of winning $1 million, as host Jeff Probst implores them to "Dig deep!"

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