Survivor Gabon: Apple in the Garden of Eden

Posted by: Erik Reichenbach  //  November 11, 2008 @ 8:55pm

Filed under: TV Recaps/Reviews 

Randy is king of Gabon! Survivors are tossing immunity idols into the ocean! Crystal knows my cousin? There were some outstanding parts in this episode that made for interesting Survivor moments, but I was left feeling a bit bitter towards the end when we saw who was voted out. All in all this episode brought about some interesting dynamics that came from a surprise tribal swap and a couple poor decisions concerning Immunity Idols. What exactly happened that was so important?

  • The tribes met for a "Merge Feast" but instead found themselves switching up the tribes again
  • New Kota: Bob, Crystal, Ken, Susie, Marcus
  • New Fang: Charlie, Corinne, Matty, Randy, Sugar
  • At the feast, a clue revealed an individual Immunity Idol, but rather then decides who should get it, the Survivors ended up giving it to no one and threw it in the ocean.
  • New Fang wins the Immunity Challenge, and Marcus goes home.

To Merge, or not to Merge

Everyone is pretty stable at this point in terms of who's next to go. The Kotas know their next target, Fang is getting ready to lose another challenge, and things are basically hunky dory. Anyways tree mail comes and only adds to this idyllic environment. MERGE FEAST! Yes! Fang and Kota eagerly pack up their stuff and head to the merge feast, oblivious that things are much too good to be true, especially the way this season has been turning out.

(Just a little side note here, the feast table, plates, bowls, and even the food are identical to the table we ate at during Survivor Micronesia. No joke!)

As the gang eats Ken realizes there's a note under the food. He nabs it and reads it to himself, not wanting to show it to everyone. This was smart, but gone about in the wrong way; if anything I would have picked up the whole bowl of food as if I wanted the food, hoped nobody saw the note, and later scurried off with it into the forest to read it. Charlie sees what Ken's up to, and the cat is out of the bag. Individual Immunity is on the beach.

The way in which the Immunity Idol was handled was kind of peculiar, considering this is a game for a million dollars. Immunity is pretty damn important (I should know) and somehow Randy and Marcus convinced the group to toss it out into the ocean. What in the hell? I kinda wish this twist would have happened on my season because I think the Micronesia crew would react much differently to that kind of situation.

Anyways, the twists aren't over because apparently the whole gang is asked to draw rocks and switch up the tribes. "Aw crap," some people are saying (The Kota Onion Alliance), while others on their last legs in the Fang tribe breathe a sigh of relief that new options are in play.

  • New Kota: Bob, Crystal, Ken, Susie, Marcus
  • New Fang: Charlie, Corinne, Matty, Randy, Sugar

Hold it Together

After the switch immediately people start talking about who needs to get the axe. Over at New Fang there's already talk of getting rid of Matty by Corinne and old Kota. Matty confides in Sugar that Ace never would have voted against her and Sugar shows some remorse over it which is (in my opinion) too little to late. Ace had your back Sugar, and Ken is a rat looking to save himself. These things happen, you can never really know who to trust out there because you don't see everything that the cameras do.

At new Kota not too much happens, but Marcus tries to gain some allies. I'm guessing he has Bob on his side, but he tries to talk Crystal and Susie into possibly getting on the good side with the Kota Alliance. Ken is not liking that too much.

On to the challenge! Jeff announces the challenge to the tribes, and its an endurance holding and balance challenge (kind of early in the game for something like this I would think?). Each tribe member has two posts they have to hold against a vertical beam. The last tribe member left earns their team Immunity. Right away Crystal falls out of it right away followed one after another by the rest of the other tribes. Finally only two players remain, Matty of the Fang tribe and Bob of Kota. I am surprised by how intense the challenge gets at this point as we see both Bob and Matty struggling to keep their posts together. (Bob is the man and he's hardly said anything the entire show)! Finally Bob falters, Matty wins, and Fang wins a tribal Immunity (and the immunity idol is like, why the hell am I not going over to Kota?)

Marcus gets Bamboozled!

This was an interesting episode but I can't help but feel a little bit robbed. I'm sure if any fans that are watching this recall a certain player in Survivor: China named Aaron who fell victim to the same fate as Marcus on this episode. There's a "Surprise!" Tribal swap and the recognizable leader of the opposing tribe is switched over to the other team, separated from his alliance, and easily voted out because of the golden opportunity given to them by the producers. This is crappy.

I don't know about you but I'm pretty sure I liked Survivor when the people in the game made the stupid choices or peculiar moves that ended up changing the dynamics of the game instead of built in tribal switch 'ems and plot twists. The castaways themselves (if they were conniving and crafty enough or desperate enough to remain in the game) would create their own dynamic shifts that would change the fate of the alliances around. I guess I'm siding with a great deal of other fans out there when I say that we need game players not just over-the-top people. This is easier said then done; however, as I would imagine the most confident and manipulative people drastically change when thrown into the Survivor environment.

It seems too contrived when we see good players who were playing a great game get knocked out by powers outside of their hands.

If I was Marcus I wouldn't be that happy,but then again he had few options left to him so he shouldn't really blame himself. Everyone was well aware of Marcus's physical prowess in the challenges (previous tribal and individual Immunity wins), his leadership in the Kota Tribe (ranked first during the tribal ranking), and possibly recognize his ability to strategize effectively into a solid alliance. I don't think any cast-away in the history of Survivor would have had a shot at overcoming the social odds Marcus was up against during that switch. All I can say is that, well, Individual Immunity would have helped a lot!

What happens next week?

I really don't know! I had the luxury of going to a Survivor Charity Dodgeball event this weekend to watch the show in New York and ended up missing the final words of Marcus and the preview of the next episode. If anyone would like to fill me in, that would be fantastic! Other then that, I will see you next week!

Tags: survivor, gabon, erik, tv, reality

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Original Comments Posted (1)

Paul Little says...

Go Kenny! I was sad to see Marcus go (and he was pretty mad in his final words -- how people weren't honest and stuff) but I'm glad Kenny found a way to stay.

Don't recall the preview for tomorrow's show that aired at the end of the last episode, but in previews on my local network for the show airing all week, it talks about Kenny possibly moving from the bottom of the food chain to the top.

Nov 12, 2008 11:21pm

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