So let’s be honest. I haven’t gone too in-depth on digging up dirt on the castaways this season as evidenced by my initial post, because the theme this season seems so lackluster, but the night is here where we see the premiere, and I am SOFA-KING EXCITED! If you’re new here, this is how it works: I will do a bare bones “Too Long Didn’t Watch” (TLDW) recap of each episode with minor commentary. Afterwards, I will give you all some of my biggest takeaways from the episode that I want to discuss in the comments with you all. Then, it’s your job to flood the comments with all of your thoughts! OK, let’s get into this double episode.
Too Long Didn’t Watch
Jeff let’s us know that the David tribe is all about overcoming obstacles and being the underdog. Christian the robotics guy encapsulates this obviously as well as Elisabeth from down south growing up with nothing. The Goliaths on the other hand have spent their lives “capitalizing on their assets”. Everything Natalie touches turns to gold, and she claims people have said they would take a bullet for her. Let’s see if anyone takes a bullet for her out there on the island. Right off the bat, I feel like Jeff would love to rig this season for a David to win. Wouldn’t that just make great story-telling sense?
On the boat, seeing the tribes stand next to each other really does put into perspective the David vs Goliath theme. Everyone on the Davids tribe seem really short. Nick is already living his dreams out being a lawyer and now being on Survivor. He remarks that David ended up becoming a king in the Bible after his battle with Goliath. John, the pro wrestler leans into his douchebaggery. Allison tries to soften the image that Jeff has already forced upon her Goliath tribe, but he asks Pat to give his sob story about living paycheck to paycheck. Jeff defines the theme at really identifying privilege.
We have our first reward of the game already. Jeff asks the Goliath tribe to pick the two weakest people from David, both female and male: they choose “Big Bang Theory” aka David and the purple-haired latina. Jeff then asks them to pick their strongest male and female: John and Allison. David will get the choice on which tasks they will complete throughout the relay race, giving them the ultimate advantage. As Lyrsa tells the Goliaths what challenges they will compete, Allison says with a cocky voice that they have this in the bag. Both tribes are SCREAMING as both pairs get over the bridge. The Davids blow the challenge out the of the water. Christian says he wrote algorithms for slider puzzles in college so it was easy.
The Goliath Tribe
Mike feels a bit weird being on a tribe with so many beautiful people but takes solace in knowing how successful of an actor and writer he is. Dan tells us his fat kid story and how he became motivated to change his lifestyle and career. I was really feeling him until he told us how in love he is with Cara after 2 minutes of meeting her. They’re officially doing the showmance thing, and I’m already less than impressed with both of them. Dan made it onto the wrong show: this isn’t The Bachelor. My mom hated the last season of that show by the way.
Natalie says she’s having trouble adjusting to working with the younger members of the tribe. By this, she means, it’s hard adjusting to working with people that aren’t her employees. Natalia lets us know that Natalie is barking orders at people and already putting a target on her back.
Mike decides to unwisely go look for an idol.. He thinks no one knows, which means everyone knows. Natalie goes to chastise him, and the entire tribe ponders on which of the two to get rid of first. Natalie is so blunt when she tells Mike he’s putting a target on his back that it makes me laugh. Mike’s impression of Natalie is equally hilarious.
The Goliath tribe is now collectively looking for the idol, which is obviously not great for tribe morale. Angelina brings up this hilarious stat about how women don’t typically find hidden immunity idols, so she’s leading the charge that a woman should find it. We get a montage of everyone looking, but Dan is the one who finds it. He shares it with both Cara and Natalia. He remarks that he found the idol with the most beautiful girls in the game.
The David Tribe
Gabby tells us that their tribe is scrappy, hardworking and will be more cohesive than the other tribe. They are immediately working on shelter. What a contrast to the Goliath tribe who we were shown to be really proud of how beautiful they look and how much money they make. Pat’s humor and off the cuff remarks are potentially rubbing people the wrong way, but Christian says people are dealing with it as long as he’s productive.
Alliances are quickly forming on the David tribe as Carl notices people pair up. Lyrsa tells us she’s connected to cowgirl Elisabeth despite being a punk rocker lesbian. We also see other alliances form: Christian and Gabby bond over being uber nerds; 19-year-old Jessica bonds with Carl who says she’s like a daughter. Nick is busy collecting sheep for his flock and has decided he’s going to name all of his alliances. He’d rather scheme and plot instead of do work at camp, but Carl notices this and lets Pat know he’s his first target.
Davie ends up catching an octopus which is so exciting! Have you guys had octopus or squid before? It’s actually really tasty. Davie admits to also being a huge nerd when it comes to cartoons and the zombie genre. It begins to heavily rain after dinner, and both Jessica and Bi share really traumatic stories, one about Jessica’s mom being abused and then Bi about her boyfriend beating her. Nick doesn’t feel comfortable opening up about his personal life, but ends up admitting later that his mom ended up overdosing on drugs. Everyone is crying, and I’m kind of shaken.
Obviously, the first few challenges in each season are not too interesting. This is no different. It involves a relay race through some obstacles and ends with a puzzle. John the Pro Wrestler is an ASSHOLE as he blocks enemy tribemates and ties them up during the initial run. Carl falls behind quickly which gives Goliaths a huge lead. They’re on the puzzle and Dan is screaming at John to move the puzzle pieces. Carl is literally falling through this challenge. Allison is calling for Goliath while Christian calls for David. I don’t understand the puzzle, but the David tribe is working well together while the Goliath tribe is aggressively screaming at each other. Goliath ends up pulling through regardless with the win!
After commercial break, we see a boat in the water with waves crashing, tides turning and all types of other DRAMATIC camera angles of the water. It’s pretty hilarious at first, but the screen blacks out and then comes back to Pat in a stretcher! I’m literally panicking as Pat cries about his back. The Aussie paramedics have surrounded him. Jeff comes onto the island and the doctor explains that Pat’s back was injured, possibly fractured, on the boat ride from the challenge. Pat is out of breath repeating that they can’t take him out of the game. Unfortunately, the doctor says they have to pull him from the game. Pat is crying saying this can’t be the way he leaves the game. This is heartbreaking. His tribe breaks down in tears as they surround him and say goodbye. Gabby cries from guild as she admits misjudging him, thinking he would be a bossy jerk. They all come together to honor Pat and what he brought to the game, especially their strong shelter.
Next Time On Survivor: Natalie is gonna drop napalm on her tribe and doesn’t care about being seen as aggressive. Lyrsa is targeted on David, and Christian appears as a leader no one saw coming.
Final Words: Pat says his injury was unfortunate but his health is more important than the game. We that after being admitted to the hospital that Pat makes a full recovery.
Cho’s Top Takeaways
David Versus Goliath As A Theme
So I’m actually a bit conflicted on how I feel about the theme this season. They really came out strong with painting the Goliath tribe in a negative light overall while attempting to set up the David tribe for viewer approval. I don’t buy it. As someone who has seen both sides of life: having privilege and having to fight through obstacles, I know the theme of David vs Goliath is not as black and white as Jeff would have us believe on the surface. That being said, they really used this theme to set up the stories of several characters this season. John the Pro Wrestler, CEO Natalie and Ex-Fattie Dan are the perfect representatives for Goliath while Cowgirl Elisabeth, Christian and Gabby turns out to be the perfect reps for David. What are your thoughts on the theme this season? Is it more complex than what they’re presenting or are you fine with suspension of disbelief and going with the flow of the story?
Who Would Have Went Home?
I was actually pretty excited to see who would have went home on the David tribe. There were a lot of alliances teased, and a few people stuck out as potentially being in trouble. Coincidentally or not, I think Pat would have found himself in a very scary position going into the first tribal council. Some people were turned off by his humor during the camp building which could have made him an easy target. On the other hand, Nick seemed to have ostracized himself due to his laziness around camp. Lastly, it’s undeniable that Carl failed in the first challenge and is the reason for why they lost. Who do you think would have went home and why?
Looking Forward To Story
I have to admit: I’m excited to see how they tell the stories of the cast this season. The theme is something I initially thought was super silly, but I’m actually looking forward to seeing how certain characters lean into their designated tribe status but also which characters are more dynamic and complex. Who are you looking forward to watching progress most so far?
The first post of the season is always a long one, so I’ll end it here! Let me know all of your thoughts in the comment section below. If you’re interested in following me on social media, be sure to check out my Instagram, Twitter and Twitch pages!
Please No Spoilers In Comments
Apologies to Cho for the delay in posting. It’s been a difficult week.