Despite the potential wrestling match between Danielle and Amanda, watching Survivor
last night felt like someone yanking the parking break when you're hitting 100 mph on the freeway. After the strategic onslaught that was the merge last week, this week's episode was disappointing in comparison.
Sure, it was fascinating watching Sandra and Candice grapple with their conflicting positions. One wants to flip but can't go all out on it. The other has already flipped but can't be outright about it. Being the political junkie, I find it exciting to see two players butt heads when the decision gets this close to being made. "Vote for Parvati!" "No, vote for Amanda!" "No, vote for Parvati!" All the thinking involved, and all the suspense that goes with it.
My issue with last night's episode? It involved a hidden immunity idol--again. This season has too many of it already. Tom had one. Russell had three. JT had another one sent to Russell. That's five! And while I appreciate the fact that its presence helped define the game's dynamic--Russell set up his dominance over the Villains with these, and JT signed his departure letter with his--it feels like these immunity idols are becoming the be-all and end-all of this season.
Sure, this game is ultimately about getting the least number of votes in every Tribal Council except the final one, and the hidden immunity idol helps save yourself when you're in trouble. But the strategists are becoming a bit lame. Need someone to flip? Show your hidden immunity idol. Need to make a drastic move? Show your hidden immunity idol. They're everywhere, like power boosts in video games. And they're too easy to find now.
I actually miss the social game that defined many other seasons, even the last one. That's why I've been paying more attention to Sandra's game than to Parvati. The latter needs tangible stuff to make a move; the former just slithers through it. That's the butting heads I've been looking for last night. Unfortunately it's been overshadowed by all these idols, to the point that the players are thinking about it first--like Amanda, a move that eventually caused her downfall.
My fingers are crossed none of these pop up in the coming weeks. It's becoming too predictable! The momentum breaks and you wonder where all the things that happened before went. They've got to start thinking again, long-term. Unless they're actually doing just that... oh, wait, nobody's talking about the jury yet.(Image courtesy of CBS)