Matt Blankinship and Claire Rafson on Survivor (image: Robert Voets/CBS)
[Editor’s Note: This post consists of spoilers for Survivor Season 44, Episode 3, “Sneaky Little Snake.”
Falsehoods, scams, and fakery have actually constantly belonged of the video game of Survivor. Ever considering that Richard Hatch misrepresented his intents and developed a secret ballot alliance because very first season, Survivor has actually been a video game about pulling the wool over your challengers’ eyes. In that pick up, the increasing existence of phony resistance idols on the program is simply a natural development of the video game. On tonight’s episode, we see 2 of them get taken into play, planting the seeds for what might wind up being a huge minute down the roadway. But are phony resistance idols great for the video game?
After discovering the secret to the birdcage and declaring the Soka people’s concealed resistance idol recently, Danny is back for more mischief. As you’ll remember, the birdcage pouch included one beaded resistance idol and one silver coin that, per the directions, was entirely helpless. This appeared at the time to be Survivor’s production group tacitly motivating the development of a phony resistance idol, to inject more mayhem into the video game. You didn’t need to inform Danny two times. This week, we see Danny cover that silver coin inside the “congratulations, you discovered a resistance idol!” parchment, put it back in the birdcage, and re-hide the secret for an unwary tribemate to discover. That tribemate winds up being Matt, who now has (per an earlier twist) no choose his very first 2 tribal councils and the incorrect security of a phony resistance idol, plus he’s a noticeable target due to the fact that of his significantly noticeable flirtation with Frannie. Matt’s in a genuine mess.
Meanwhile, over on Ratu, that resistance idol was discovered and played by Brandon in the season best. But as any Survivor fan — which all the candidates are nowadays — understands, when an idol is played, it gets re-hidden on the island. This week, the editors fool us, making us believe Jaime discovers the re-hidden idol near the water well, just to rapidly reveal that the idol Jaime discovers is phony. Matthew discovered the genuine idol (off-camera) previously, then developed a phony idol from beads and ornaments around camp and concealed it near the water well for somebody else to discover.
Matthew’s reasoning is fascinating to contemplate. “I like being tricky,” Matthew says. “I do not get to do that in my everyday life, so why not check out every alternative out here. This seems like a really contemporary Survivor declaration. When individuals utilized to discuss “the experience” of Survivor, it utilized to be about checking your limitations and sustaining the aspects and residing on a beach in the middle of no place. And while that is still part of the appeal — undoubtedly, Matthew separated his shoulder in the season best attempting to climb up a rock in a really old-school sense of the Survivor experience — the “experience” now likewise implies partaking of every product on the Survivor tactical buffet.
Modern Survivor gamers appear with a type of psychological list, and they wish to do it all: discover resistance idols, play resistance idols, manage a blindside. For Matthew, developing a phony resistance idol is another product on the list. By his own admission, he does not even have styles on snaking Jaime. She’s his ally, a minimum of for the minute. They’re the Plant Lady and Plant Daddy! But now, if he wishes to switch on Jaime and put a target on her, he’s set in movement the ways to do that. It’s someplace on the map in between innovative Survivor method and innovative Survivor theater.
So 2 phony idols are now in play. And the episode does not even resolve the truth that recently, when Carolyn obtained the Tika idol, she appeared to recommend that she believed the threaded beads were the worthless part and the silver coin was the real idol, which exposes the possibility that Carolyn may in fact attempt to make a phony idol out of the genuine idol and conceal that someplace in Tika camp, which might be the wildest thing to ever take place on Survivor, must it take place. But 2 phony idols in the meantime, which have actually been a thing on Survivor for a very long time. Sometimes gamers make them on their own to attempt to bluff the remainder of the people into not choosing them. Increasingly, they have actually been utilized to attempt to phony other gamers out. This has a tactical element. Give somebody a phony idol and they’ll stop searching for the genuine one. They’ll likewise believe they’re safe when they’re not.
From an audience’s point of view, they have actually primarily been good television. On Survivor: Gabon, Bob made a phony idol for Randy to discover, and when Randy attempted fruitless to play it, Sugar made fun of him, and all of us havinged fun with that due to the fact that Randy was dreadful and all of us disliked him. On Survivor: Micronesia, Ozzy drew a face on a stick in a rather absurd effort to produce a phony idol, and much more laughably, Jason thought him, and attempted to pass the “idol” off to Eliza as legit, causing the now-iconic “it’s a f*cking stick!” minute. Angelina made a phony idol for Allison to discover on Survivor: David vs. Goliath, which was enjoyable primarily due to the fact that Angelina was at that point acting like a deeply amusing psychopath.
Good television is good television, however is it truly pleasing to enjoy somebody get tricked by a phony resistance idol? Especially now that Survivor’s production group is leaning into it and motivating the gamers to produce phony idols, presuming regarding provide the products that would make their phony idols equivalent from genuine ones? It’s not all that pleasing to enjoy Matt and Jaime get tricked in this case. They’re not being removed by their own hubris or stupidity. They discovered idols that appear like genuine idols due to the fact that production assisted make them appear like genuine idols. Why would they question their accuracy? This all looks like we’re headed down a course where no one can rely on that the idol they discovered is legitimate, at which point all sense of unbiased reality is lost, and we’re playing Survivor: Theoretical Uncertainty. It’s insufficient that the program is strained with genuine benefits, we’re now strained with fictional benefits too?
Anyway, none of this business with phony idols winds up mattering in this week’s Tribal Council, which comes down to a really standard Survivor issue: people strength versus tactical alliances. Claire remains her 3rd successive resistance difficulty and appears very unbothered about it, however when Soka loses the difficulty, all of a sudden Claire’s confessed weak point in difficulties makes her the most apparent target. Claire does her finest to rally an alliance to her help. She and Frannie appear extremely excited to collaborate and wish to target Josh, who does not appear to have actually created tactical bonds with anybody besides Danny and Matt. The swing vote winds up being Heidi, whom Claire appears to consider as among her leading allies, even as Heidi interviews that Danny is her No. 1. The result at Tribal is a lot less suspenseful than the program would like us to think. Heidi’s assistance for Claire was half-hearted at best, and Matt didn’t have a vote. Frannie most likely saw the composing on the wall and opted for the bulk. Goodbye to Claire, our Sit-Out Queen. She appeared cool.
As for the rest of this week’s happenings…
Player of the Week: It’s gotta be Danny. He effectively plants the idol for Matt, and he emerges on the winning side of the vote at Tribal, keeping Josh, and having Heidi reveal him as her leading ally. Things are looking good.
Honorable Mention(s): Here’s to all of Tika people, the resistance difficulty underdogs who handle to avoid of the crosshairs of tribal council.
Sketchy Strategy: Matt at first lies when Danny busts him for discovering the secret to the “idol.” Come tidy when you’re busted, it makes you look way less tricky!
Alliance Report: As alliance names go, “Plant Lady and Plant Daddy” for Jaime and Matthew is the best sort of cringey.
- Danny has a resistance idol.
- Carolyn has a beaded resistance idol (plus a non-powered silver coin, though she appears to believe it’s the other method around).
- Matthew discovered the re-hidden resistance idol on Ratu.
- Both Matt and Jaime have phony idols that they believe are genuine.
- Lauren has an additional vote to utilize whenever she desires.
- Sarah made an Inheritance Advantage, which, when played in the ballot cubicle, will permit her to privately scarf up all the benefits dipped into that specific Tribal Council.
- Matt didn’t have a vote at this Tribal Council, and can’t vote at his next TC either.
Coming Next Week: Jeff Probst guarantees something that might alter the video game, and a boat gets to camp!
Survivor airs Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM ET on CBS. Join the conversation about the program in our online forums.
Joe Reid is the senior author at Primetimer and co-host of the This Had Oscar Buzz podcast. His work has actually appeared in Decider, NPR, HuffPost, The Atlantic, Slate, Polygon, Vanity Fair, Vulture, The A.V. Club and more.