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Decimation and frustration

Episodes 8-9: Decimation and frustration

Survivor: Panama Rewatch recap/analysis

By Jeff Pitman | Published: January 22, 2022

As the La Mina stragglers get picked off in Survivor: Panama - Exile Island, there's very little going on strategically. Luckily, Cirie is still here to keep things watchable, but apart from her brief scenes, it's just a slow-motion car crash as Terry glacially contemplates, then decides against, playing his idol for his departing allies.

Fun in the Philippines - Kaiser Island

Episodes 1-16: Fun in the Philippines

SA: Philippines Recap/ analysis

By Ryan Kaiser | Published: January 20, 2022

Some people demonstrate their commitment to the game by eating an entire idol clue. For his part, Ryan instead watches the entire SurvivorSA: Philippines (2018) season, recaps it and sings its many praises, then lists his favorites to return in the upcoming SurvivorSA: Return of the Outcasts.

A great win, a great cast, an adequate season

Episode 13: A great win, a great cast, an adequate season

Survivor 41 Recap/analysis

By Jeff Pitman | Published: December 21, 2021

Erika's command of the Final Tribal narrative helped her to the million-dollar prize, but it was her calm, progressive, no-fuss path through the game that really won it. It's a style of game the show had best get used to, because it's the optimal antidote to their now-standard orgy of twists.

Melancholy musings - The Baker's Dozen: Andy Baker's Survivor 41 Episode 13 analysis

Episode 13: Melancholy musings

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Andy Baker | Published: December 19, 2021

Andy takes a wistful final pass through the final five's games, the season finale, the season as a whole, then turns his attention to the very familiar-seeming future of 42, and other grim portents.

One last trip back in time - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 13 analysis

Episode 13: One last trip back in time

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 18, 2021

With Survivor 41 now in the rear-view mirror, Brent looks back at his past predictions from the season and highlights five stories and scenes that really did have long-term impact (and one that didn't).

Time to show everyone - Kaiser Island

Episode 13: Time to show everyone

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Ryan Kaiser | Published: December 17, 2021

Ryan celebrates the winner of Survivor 41, and laments the show's continuing inability to tell the winning story of a female champion, despite the alleged new era. He also offers awards of his own, and looks ahead with trepidation at 41's probably evil twin, Survivor 42.

A season in search of a story

Episode 12: A season in search of a story

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Jeff Pitman | Published: December 14, 2021

With no official theme, Survivor 41's overall "story" will largely be defined by its winner. In looking at what we've been told so far, can we project who that winner will be? Probably not, but let's try anyway, shall we?

Looking to the endgame - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 12 analysis

Episode 12: Looking to the endgame

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 13, 2021

This week, the "Top Five, Baby!" is literal, as Brent examines the paths each of the five remaining contestants are likely to follow in the season finale (already!?) of Survivor 41.

We might've made a mistake - Kaiser Island

Episode 12: We might've made a mistake

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Ryan Kaiser | Published: December 12, 2021

It's finale prediction time on Kaiser Island, and Ryan puts forth his predicted endgame outcomes: Who will fall at five? Whose flame will be snuffed for not making fire at four? And who will win? The answers may surprise you.

The question of perception - The Baker's Dozen: Andy Baker's Survivor 41 Episode 12 analysis

Episode 12: The question of perception

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Andy Baker | Published: December 11, 2021

With the finale looming, Andy breaks down the games of the final five from multiple perspectives — their own, their competitors', the jury's, and more — and based on the stories we've been shown, projects which of the five is most likely to win the million.

Emotional moments, power shifts, and luck - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 11 analysis

Episode 11: Emotional moments, power shifts, and luck

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Brent Sullivan | Published: December 6, 2021

A new majority has emerged, but can it last? A new twist has entered the game, but did it work? Brent asks these questions and dives into the big, emotional discussions of Episode 11 of Survivor 41.

Future tense - The Baker's Dozen: Andy Baker's Survivor 41 Episode 11 analysis

Episode 11: Future tense

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Andy Baker | Published: December 5, 2021

Andy examines the stories Survivor 41 has presented so far about the six remaining contestants, and what that tells us about their futures in the game. He also explores the future of twists in the show, and other tense topics.

More than a game, then less of a game

Episode 11: More than a game, then less of a game

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Jeff Pitman | Published: December 4, 2021

Survivor 41's Jekyll-and-Hyde season continues, producing an episode with both astonishingly heartfelt discussion of the burdens imposed by race in social situations, and an ill-advised twist that ignored everyone's social connections and (thankfully) failed to override the whole "tribe has spoken" deal. Once again: Just let the contestants play.

Wow, that drama was over quick - Kaiser Island

Episode 11: Wow, that drama was over quick

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Ryan Kaiser | Published: December 3, 2021

Ryan looks at the bizarre final seven episode, where production tried to rob the contestants of a critical voting opportunity in favor of ridiculous box-opening theatrics, but also where the contestants once again rose above the mishmash of poor show decisions with compelling drama and discussions of their own.

The many moving parts of a big move - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 41 Episode 10 analysis

Episode 10: The many moving parts of a big move

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Brent Sullivan | Published: November 29, 2021

After a shocking blindside, Brent takes a look at the people involved in making it, their reasons in doing so, and how their decision to act positions them in the game, as numbers dwindle.

Let me count the ways - The Baker's Dozen: Andy Baker's Survivor 41 Episode 10 analysis

Episode 10: Let me count the ways

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Andy Baker | Published: November 28, 2021

Andy presents a 13-point enumeration — from casting to gameplay to editing and storytelling — of the reasons why this episode, "Baby with a Machine Gun," was an all-time great episode of Survivor.

Today is the day - Kaiser Island

Episode 10: Today is the day

Survivor 41 Recap/ analysis

By Ryan Kaiser | Published: November 28, 2021

Christmas came early for Ryan, in the form of a (pre-Thanksgiving) complex, emotional, deeply-felt episode leading to an epic blindside of a superstar player: the perfect balance of pathos, scheming, and player-driven drama. (Also, Heather survives another week.)

Survivor works best when the players make the moves

Episode 10: Survivor works best when the players make the moves

Survivor 41 Recap/analysis

By Jeff Pitman | Published: November 27, 2021

"They scheme without juicers! They scheme without blenders! They scheme without flunjers, capdabblers and smendlers!" This was a rare gem of an episode in modern Survivor, one in which the players did all the work. As they should.

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