Survivor Gabon: She Obviously is Post-Op

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

Tears, a little sass, and lot of fighting in the dirt; yeah, there were some good moments in this second episode of Survivor Gabon. Although the challenges had a few dramatic moments, (hanging onto a pole for dear life and gliding down an over-sized slip and slide) the drama involved in the social implications of the game are starting to develop beautifully. Here's the episode overview:

  • Way to go Fang! Fang wins their first back to back reward and immunity challenges
  • Way to go Sugar! She found the hidden immunity idol
  • Ace and Sugar could become a force to be reckoned within Kota
  • Paloma is cute, but not a gamer, as she was voted out for her physical weakness within the tribe and was targeted by Ace
  • Next week we're going to rank the players left in the game

Tribal Warfare

When it came to the physical challenges there was actually quite a lot of mind games going on. The reward challenge consisted of holding onto a wooden post while opposing members try and pry you off it and drag you across a finish line, while the immunity challenge was a ginormous slip-n-slide race to collect numbered puzzle pieces for a math brain puzzle. Fang (believe it or not) was able to win them both! Good for them, I couldn't stand to see them lose another one.

Kota's decision to "take it easy" during the reward challenge was a bullheaded move in my opinion, and of course it was brought up by Ace. If you stop and think about the idea that a tribe can "reserve energy" for the next challenge by not playing their strongest people, you will come to the conclusion that this is bad practice. The challenges for immunity and reward are typically a day apart, leaving ample time for any player to get some much needed rest. On top of that by winning reward your tribe decides who goes to exile island, a power that can definitely impact the future of the game (I was usually so caught up in the challenges themselves I didn't even remember this until after the challenge itself was over).

The post-holding competition looked pretty tough, but I would have liked to see best three out of five instead; it was over before it began. One thing is very true though, Crystal is a frigin beast. She honestly looks like she can rip anyone limb from limb. Not even the strongest guy out there (possibly Ace or Marcus) has a chance against her in a strength based competition.

Another mind game that came during the second challenge was the math-puzzle showdown between professional video gamer, Ken, and Bob, the lovable physics teacher. The runners brought the puzzle pieces in at different times, Bob receiving his pieces first followed closely by Ken, and yet the kid was able to out-think him. To this I must admit that video games require a lot faster hand-eye coordination combined with assessing data at an incredible speed. If you haven't seen Ken playing Super Smash Brothers, try and find it online somewhere, you WILL be impressed with both the speed and accuracy it takes to be a professional in his field. I felt bad for Bob because he is such a nice guy from what we've been seeing, but way to go Ken!

Show me some Sugar

Jessica, AKA Sugar, AKA the self-proclaimed Pin-up Model, found the hidden immunity idol on her first attempt! I am really impressed and glad for her. I think a lot of people got the wrong impression of Sugar from the first episode as we didn't get to hear much of her, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that she knows what she's doing. She played it off well returning to camp too, acting as if she barely survived the elements. Smoooooth.

Since Sugar now has the hidden immunity idol this makes things at Kota very interesting, which is good since the first episode had things looking rather predictable. Ace and Sugar are looking suddenly very strong, and this is starting to be awesome. Almost as if on cue we can see the rising action that is going on here; a second head of power (Ace) is starting to form in the Kota tribe and possibly setting us up for something big in the future. I don't think I want to see Ace win this game, simply because he's appearing so arrogant, but I definitely want to see this guy take on the villain role as the game continues. If Ace and Sugar can make the merge together they can round up some numbers from disbanded Fang and have a legitimate shot at finishing the game.

Kota listens to Ace, keeps Sugar, boots Paloma

Poor little Paloma didn't stand a chance. Besides having Kelly as her only apparent ally, and BFF, its pretty clear she was outnumbered and definitely outplayed by the more powerful forces at work in Kota.

The large "Onion Alliance" under Marcus (including Charlie, Corinne, Jacquie, and now Bob from the looks of it) was swayed by Ace and they were able to make the right decision to keep its physically stronger members in the game. Paloma was very cute and even made an attempt to try and save herself when talking with Corinne (I'm guessing Paloma went to everyone but Ace and made this same plea, and we just weren't shown it) but was not able to overcome Ace's influence.

On a personal note I think Paloma is probably a really nice person outside of the game, but edited to be a tad overly cute for my liking. I dunno if she was playing a character by being so sweet or if she really is that way, but you never know until you meet these people outside of the game.

Things get Personal in Gabon

Next episode has us looking forward to some kind of "rank your tribemates" challenge, and possibly a tribal switch-up? Is that a possibility this early into the game? Although many viewers (myself included) thought the first three episodes of Gabon were a bit weak, I have a feeling things are going to start heating up. There's a lot of potential masterminds this season, and a lot of people willing to follow them. Stay tuned, I have a feeling things are going to get a lot more interesting.

-Erik Reichenbach

Tags: gabon, survivor, reality, television, erik

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