Published: December 18, 2013
It wasn't a coronation. It was a man-tiaranation. That's a thing, apparently. A worthy end to a worthwhile season, and a reunion show that somehow managed once again to fit everyone on the stage. Imagine that.
Ep.13: No redemption value
Published: December 13, 2013
What should have been a slam-dunk for Tyson, Gervase, and Monica very nearly turned into a flip, due to the aggressive misinformation campaign Hayden and Ciera put into effect. A noble attempt at forestalling a predictable outcome.
Published: December 6, 2013
This was a top-notch episode of Survivor, powered by Hayden's precedent-defying drive to rock the vote and save himself from elimination. It worked, despite CBS's best efforts to give away the climactic surprise in its weekend ads.
Published: November 30, 2013
This one was the Tyson Show from start to finish (with guest appearances by Hayden and Ciera). Which means, obviously, that it was funny and lighthearted while also being solid on the strategy. It had idols, flips, feasts, and blisters. Yay.
Ep.10: Loud family
Published: November 22, 2013
Blood vs. Water returned to form this week. Slick moves sprang from previously untapped sources, personal hashtags continued to blossom, and most importantly, the show took the time to explore the core connections between its three sets of still-paired contestants.
Published: November 15, 2013
Bleah. Two challenges, both of which involved standing in one place. Two of the season's better players, predictably axed for being in the wrong alliance. Although hints of fluidity within the majority alliance might suggest hope for the future.
Ep.8: Showdown, bro down
Published: November 8, 2013
As the merge takes out a Baskauskas brother, we look at the prospects of other remaining couples and single players heading into the endgame, with notes on which players have improved, surprised, and disappointed the most so far.
Ep.7: Midway mayday?
Published: November 1, 2013
At the exact halfway point in the season, Jeff looks at where Blood vs. Water has succeeded, where it needs work, and where it's beyond help. Luckily, the first area is the most populous.
Ep.6: Monica and the bandit
Published: October 25, 2013
Despite a swap, this one felt a little flat. Maybe it was that Kat had no story line whatsoever until this episode, so her boot lacked emotional weight, or meaning. It was still good Survivor, but it felt like it could have been better.
Ep.5: Too many Lauras
Published: October 18, 2013
A bit uneven, from a solid, nail-biter duel (two puzzles!) that led to a disappointing, purely luck-based immunity challenge. Some more great strategic thinking, padded out with obvious, time-killing filler (and yet, no room for an intro). Yet as a whole, we regret nothing.
Ep.4: Thank you, Brad Culpepper!
Published: October 11, 2013
Another well-done episode, including a big move that took down a big character. As the number of intact pairs dwindles, the drama at Redemption Island may soon taper off. But for now, we're surprisingly content with this season's content.
Ep.3: F*** you, Brad Culpepper!
Published: October 4, 2013
This episode delivered the intended conflict between strategy and emotion, particularly in the ratcheting up of hurt feelings at Redemption Island, and in the one-on-one conflicts of the reward/immunity challenge, despite stumbling a bit towards the end.
Ep.2: Less than the sum of its parts
Published: September 27, 2013
Episode 2 of Blood vs. Water featured a lot of what should have been Big Events, but somehow, almost all of them fell flat. Jeff explores where the stumbles occurred, and sees potential for better outcomes ahead.
Ep.1: Logic vs. emotion
Published: September 19, 2013
Despite his pre-season misgivings, Jeff agrees the Blood vs. Water format worked exceedingly well in the premiere episode, "Blood is Thicker than Anything." Jeff discusses the highlights (new strategy dynamics) and lowlights (ugh, Redemption Island).
Pre-season: Discussion and analysis
Published: August 28, 2013
An analysis of the pre-season ads and previews, in order to make predictions about the outcome of the twists and turns of the opening episode(s) of Blood vs. Water. May contain potential spoilers.