My Thoughts on a Three Week Old Episode of Survivor Philippines

I just got around to watching the third episode of Survivor Philippines, because last night was my first chance in three weeks to do non-paid TV watching.  I'm really glad I voted to try to catch up on Survivor, because it was a doozy of an episode.

If you're backlogged on TV shows like me, then be warned that this is filled with spoilers.

The Not So Gradual Destruction of Matsing

Are we looking at the first tribe to ever be wiped out before the merge?  Sure, Survivor Palau showed Ulong lose every single Immunity Challenge, but Stephenie Lagrossa at least made it to the merge.  Matsing is doing a fine job of trying to make Survivor history by going kaput by 6 episodes.  If you've watched all the episodes, then you already have the answer here and I suspect the producers don't have the guts for an elimination of an entire tribe.  Malcolm has potential to be a great shit disturber and schemer, so that is the main reason why I wouldn't want to see a complete wipe out.

It's a shame that Angie is sent packing early, because she is some delicious eye candy.  She really never brings much to the game other than her declaration of her love for cookies during tribal.  She could have been a really good player and likely would have gone deep if she was lucky enough to be on a different tribe.

I read a few sites that were creating Russell into a monster at the tribal council.  Russell has had his pouty moments, and really hasn't looked good this season, but I don't see a monster at tribal.  Sure, he makes Angie cry, and that is jerky.  Russell has a good chance of getting voted out and he definitely knows that.  He does whatever he can to make himself look like a better option than Angie.  He does, even if it seems mean.  He isn't mean for the sake of being a villain, but rather a serious plea to stick in the game.  I don't really see how he comes off badly.

Angie does exit with grace.  She is one of the few castaways that doesn't don bitter pants when making an exit speech.  She cheers on her team rather than wishing for their fiery demise.

Penner and Kent Unite?

Jeff Kent gets his entire tribe to be against Penner.  The first two episodes and half of this episode show Kent rallying the tribe against Penner and convincing them to make him the first evictee from their tribe.  I'm not sure if it was dumb luck or Penner has super senses, but he offers an alliance with the man who seeks his elimination.  It was a genius move on Penner's part, especially admitting he has the idol that Kent expected him to have anyway.

Is Kent actually planning to stick with the alliance?  Penner is a notorious flip flopper and is known to backstab.  Is Kent forming the alliance because it will make it easier to blindside Penner with the idol?  I don't think this alliance will make it to the end, but I also believe Kent will find it worthwhile to stick with him for the short term.  This season really does have a good bunch of players that are willing to connive and strategize.  Hopefully, these guys back up their talk with some big moves in the future.  I know Penner will make moves and push for blindsides, but is Kent willing to play that game?  It seems like it, but I think he goes home if he tries to double cross Penner.

Pete Gets Interesting

Prior to this episode, Pete was a "background character I keep forgetting about."  He was part of the majority alliance in his tribe, but was just following the pack.  This episode Pete actually makes some moves and looks to want to be the puppet master.  He suddenly has become more interesting, and hopefully Malcolm, Penner, Pete, and Kent all make it to the merge for a battle of wits and control.

Pete wants Skupin out, and essentially knock RC out of the control spot of the tribe.  R.C. is really competitive and willing to make moves, but she also is oblivious that Abi has turned against her.  Which is understandable, because the betrayal seems to either be based off the fact RC stood in Abi's sunlight for too long or dares to talk to people who are not her.  Abi doesn't seem like a strong strategist but is likely this season's obligatory "nutbar that makes everyone miserable."

Pete seems to believe the battle of control is with RC.  At this point, I think he is right, because she is really the only other person on the tribe with a game plan.  The plan to knock Skupin out early would be a huge move, but I sense Pete makes a mistake by trusting Lisa to help vote him out.  Skupin was the only person to approach and befriend Lisa at the start, plus she is a huge Survivor mark.  If it turns into a battle for votes, I see her surprising Pete and going with Skupin.  She claims to be a huge fan, and so she must deep down dream of doing a major blindside, even she likes to talk about integrity.

Pete also is tightly aligned with Abi who found the idol.  He is the power player on the tribe, and it will be exciting to see if he can stay strong.  He is way more interesting than Skupin at this point, whose greatest value has been his clumsiness.

A lot of deals and moves this episode, which always keeps things interesting.  I always look forward to finding out who dares to make the first big betrayal.  So far, this looks like it will be a really fun season and hopefully, pretty unpredictable (other than Matsing always losing).