10 Thoughts On… Survivor Redemption Island Episode 2

1. The biggest question about the latest episode of Survivor Redemption Island is whether or not Boston Rob made the right move by getting rid of Matt. Truth be told, I could actually do an entire 10 thoughts on just the victim of tribal council, but here’s how I feel. Do I think that it was good to separate Andrea and Matt? Definitely. Was it a little early to turn on an alliance member that was going to at least remain loyal until the merge? Certainly.

Analyzing the elimination of Matt from the game requires knowing two things. The first is that he was loyal to Rob and so many think that getting rid of him was a waste. But this can be argued by simply recognizing that Phillip told Rob that he now owned his vote. While Phillip is absolutely ridiculous, he had no other moves to make and had isolated himself completely from everyone else. He was totally eligible to be a minion for Rob and is a better choice to move forward with than Matt who could have potentially turned against Rob down the line.

The second item to consider is Matt’s physical strength. For a tribe that has lost the last two immunity challenges, many are wondering how much sense it made to really lose an alpha male in the challenges, leaving Rob and Grant to shoulder all the physical responsibility in the tribe. My thoughts on that are simple. By getting rid of Matt, Rob is chancing the tribe losing challenges down the line but at the same time now has made himself indispensible to Ometepe. They can’t get rid of him now even if they wanted to because it would leave them with only Grant as their strong male (who would have to combat David, Mike, Russell and Ralph on the other side).

Matt will probably return to the game after dominating on Redemption Island, but if this was a normal game of Survivor, getting rid of him was the right move as it gives Rob even more lemmings that will not stray from what he wants to do. Getting to the merge would be a victory for Rob in this game because he has played three times before and Matt’s removal pretty much assures that he isn’t going anywhere until then. Rob also doesn’t like when people threaten his leadership (see Hunter Ellis in Marquesas) so the writing was actually on the wall.

2. I don’t know who cast Phillip Sheppard on this show but they should be given a raise and a promotion. In my opinion, he has been the best casting choice since Coach in Tocantins. It’s one thing to find somebody crazy. It’s another to put someone on the show that legitimately believes what they are saying. Everytime Phillip refers to himself as a former special agent, it brings a smile to my face. He is a classic.

3. I am quite curious to see the kind of edit Russell receives for however long he stays. It was fascinating to me to see him pick up Stephanie and Krista (as he has done that before), but he seems almost completely unaware of how much he has annoyed David, Mike, Sarita and Ralph.

4. I am liking Natalie more and more. I love that she recognizes Boston Rob’s greatness and is totally willing to vote the way that he wants her to. While Krista is the one that everyone is comparing to Natalie in Survivor Samoa, I think Natalie is playing more of a Natalie-esque game at this point by attaching herself to someone who knows what he is doing and I predict only good things for her in the game at this point.

5. The thing that I am most looking forward to seeing in the next episode is how Andrea reacts to being blindsided as I think that will set the stage for the rest of the season. If she is annoyed and tries to exact revenge by teaming up with the already-exiled Kristina, I don’t think it will be good because she doesn’t have the numbers to make any sort of a power move yet. If, however, she acts like it wasn’t a big deal, she can play the odds, hope Matt comes back and then take the game over. Her arc will be fascinating to see.

6. If I was on the island, I would align with Mike. He is strong and will never turn on you given his background. Perfect alliance partner.

7. Why are we seeing so little of Grant? Seems very Purple-Kelly esque to me.

8. I have to admit that I certainly did not think Zapatera would win the first two challenges. I thought that Rob would definitely single-handedly win the first one when I saw the puzzle. That has been surprising and I also think that is the only thing that has saved Russell at this point and given him at least six days to make some in-roads on his tribe.

9. Speaking of Russell, I am not sure how I feel about him taking the clue for the hidden immunity idol in such an explicit manner. There are two sides to consider here. On the one hand, I do think that he needs the idol to save himself. On the other, by doing it in the way that he did he has totally isolated himself from everyone else.

10. With that being said, I am sure Ralph will not use it properly so we shall see.

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