Time to Switch Things Up
Come on in guys! And please, drop your buffs by the door. Because we’re rip-rearin’ and ready to… swap? Hope you’ve been taking notes on who’s who in Survivor: Ghost Island because now the tribes look pretty different. Luckily for the narrative, we still have some remaining storylines, namely the Domenick-Chris rivalry. The results are that each tribe has 5 original Naviti members, and 4 original Malolo members.
We get back to the new Malolo tribe and, good god, the OG Naviti are not impressed. Namely Bradley. Bradley cannot stand the Malolo beach and how much worse it is than his old Naviti tribe, and for the life of me I can’t stop laughing at it. As Brendan says, “This is Survivor. It’s supposed to be hard.”
Heading over to the Naviti tribe, sure enough Chris is already plotting to blindside Dom, and he’s trying to reel in the four OG Malolos to go along with his plan. It’s met with admittedly mixed reception, but at this point this Naviti 5 is set to self-implode. Dom and Morgan chat about getting the Malolo 4 to join them for a Chris blindside, further cementing that idea as Morgan and Libby build a bond over being Catholics.
Back at Malolo, this pair of Malolo 4 realizes they need to find an idol, as Kellyn has inexplicably informed Stephanie and Jenna that the original Navitis will be voting one of the original Malolos off. Pro-tip: don’t tip your hand, ever. Sure enough, off a-scurrying they go to search! Michael ends up finding the idol, which is James Clement’s idol from Survivor: China that he was voted out with. China was the first season Michael saw, and he’s really loving the fact that this was the idol he found. It’s a fun little added fact that makes the theme of past artifacts so worth it.
During the Immunity challenge it’s pretty competitive, but Naviti completely falls apart at the puzzle phase, giving Malolo the victory. When it comes to deciding who to send to Ghost Island, the original tribal lines pop up as Malolo can’t come to a unanimous consensus. What the heck happens now? Insert Jeff Probst. Our Lord and Savior tells us that Naviti will draw rocks, with the odd rock sent to Ghost Island. Chris ends up with the odd rock, which is disappointing from a narrative perspective. The Chris-Dom rivalry will have to wait another day, and trust me, both of them are rather displeased at having to wait to take a shot at the other.
Chris arrives at Ghost Island, and is sentenced to a day of no fun and games. He’s bummed, but more bummed about not getting to participate in the vote. This provides us with a fascinating idea to ponder: he’s actually upset over being immune. When you’re in game-mode and you have a plan, anything that affects it can throw your game off the rails. In this case, Chris knows his tribe is going to Tribal but he can’t participate, and though he survives another day, at what cost would that be? Adding on to the scene is an incredibly touching emotional moment where Chris reflects on his mother’s struggles with MS and being away. It serves as a reminder that the game is hard, and everything’s going through stuff.
Heading back to Naviti tribe, Angela doesn’t want to follow Chris’ plan of voting Dom out. She values loyalty to her old tribe, and tells Wendell to vote Libby. (Note: For the sake of transparency, Wendell is my pre-season winner pick.) But Wendell’s not buying it, and the idea of getting the second-hand man of Chris is a tantalizing idea. Wendell, Dom, and Morgan decide to vote Angela out and Dom shows his fake idol to the Malolo 4 to gain some trust with them, showing that it is in fact fake and Chris is being fooled into thinking it’s real.
This is where things get fun. Because James Lim, bless him, nails this read. He believes Dom has a real idol and is showing his fake one to lure them into a false sense of security. He also realizes that now, with OG Naviti split, OG Malolo has complete control on where to go. So, he tells his allies, and they decide Morgan is the vote (since Wendell and Dom need to stay for challenges). But as always, someone’s not 100% on board. In this case, it’s Libby. She bonded with Morgan, so does she really want to vote her out over Angela? There are clear pros and cons to each vote: vote Angela and you don’t rock the boat on the new tribe, but voting Morgan is a huge powerplay to give them control.
Tribal Council discussions indicate that hmmm, perhaps Naviti isn’t fully strong, and Malolo can survive after all. Morgan indicates that we don’t know who’s lying, even Libby who’s a sweet innocent cute blonde. The votes come in, no idols are played and we see three votes to Angela, one to Libby. Now is the time to reveal which way the Malolo 4 has decided to go. One vote Morgan. Two votes Morgan. Three votes Morgan. 3-3-1, with one vote left. Sure seems they took control but perhaps Libby swung back to save her fellow Catholic? Third person voted out: Morgan. “WHAT?” exclaims Dom. Shocked faces all around from the original Naviti members: Dom signals to Wendell he stuck true, Angela can’t believe she almost got voted out, and Morgan alerts everyone to a warning I should probably heed if I ever go on Survivor: “Don’t trust the cute blonde.”
Judas Libby puts her head in her hands, and I mean, she did lie. That’s a sin for a Catholic like her, but also a necessity for a Survivor player. I’m only speculating here, but I think Jesus will forgive Libby on this one.
In case everyone forgot, Morgan had the Legacy Advantage, and she’s willing it to Domenick. So for those keeping score at home, Domenick has a real idol, a fake idol, and a Legacy Advantage. But more importantly, Naviti tribe is severely fractured. The stars of this episode were without a doubt James and Libby on Naviti tribe for absolutely dominating that Tribal and asserting control over the new tribe, and Michael on Malolo tribe for his potentially life-saving idol. The season started out a mile a minute and has not let its foot off the gas pedal, and next episode we could very well see an idol play as the minority alliance on each tribe possesses one. Until then, may the Survivor Gods smile down upon you.