It's Kind of a Funny Story - Dan Otsuki's Survivor: Game Changers recapss

Stupidity as a plot device


I love horror movies. Plain and simple, they’re either good and allegorical, and therefore have cinematic merit, or they’re horrible and tacky, in which case they’re delightfully comical. This episode, dearest readers, felt more like the second fo      r a lot of players, didn’t it? After all, people can just be so stupid, yanno? Speaking of…



I Guess Gingers Don’t Do Well?


I said it last week, and I’ll say it this week: Patrick is a stupid, stupid fool. Let’s get something straight, I don’t think he made the biggest blunder this week (Cole), but going up to Lauren and trying to quell her doubts by grinning? You weren’t particularly funny this week, only foolish and arrogant. What’s more, your exit wishing Ryan, Devon, and Ali poor luck because they lied to you was poor sportsmanship at its finest (forgetting the foolish fact that you clearly don’t understand how this game is played if you think people aren’t going to lie to you). His complete ignorance to deception and lack of self-awareness was dumb, and it was this level of idiocy that allowed editors to create a plot device for his departure (much like the dumb blonde who trips on nothing running away from a machete-wielding slasher). Coming into that Tribal, I was so sure Lauren was going, and that made me mad because of how frustrated I was with Patrick. Now, however, all is right, and at least the game has one fewer fool. Love me some stupid deaths in horror flicks, after all.




Because Beauty Fades, But Dumb Is Forever


I’m not sure I quoted Dan Lembo from Survivor: Nicaragua completely correct in my tagline, but for as much as I hated that season, I loved how much Chase Rice was grilled at the end by people like Dan and Marty. Regardless, this motto fits Cole. I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt when you foolishly helped Joe to find the idol, because (as pointed out by one of my fellow TDT writers) it threw Joe’s suspicion off you already having it and gave you a 50-50 shot of nabbing it yourself. Spilling this info to Roark and Desi before you even have your challenge, however, is pretty fucking dumb, dude. Seriously, come on. You made one questionable move, and you chose to follow it up with another even more sigh-worthy. Again, this mark of stupidity was a plot point for editors, one that either explains why Cole leaves due to Joe’s idol, or one that explains why Joe is ultimately thwarted with an idol in his pocket… or even why Jessica ultimately cuts ties with Cole as Ali did with Patrick. Only time will tell. Oh, Cole. I was super sad I missed out on drafting you, but after seeing this episode, while I still think you’ll last longer than Joe, I’d take Joe over you any day.

Side note: did anyone else feel like Cole knew the cameras were on him when he was on the raft in the ocean and was flexing his abs while Jessica fished? Because, if so, I hate people like you. Please stop. Thank you.


Okay. The dumbs dealt with, let’s get to two people who really impressed me this week—two opposites to the dumbs, if you will.






“If she’s still around after one or two Tribals, color me shocked!” That was a direct quote from me during the draft. Start coloring, dearest readers. Lauren is so much better at this game than I gave her credit for, and while I don’t think she’s going to win this thing, you’re damn right I’m rooting for her to impact this game. She is temperate, someone who understands their own short-comings and also understand how to persevere with a level head. This is the type of person who needs to be cast more in Survivor. I don’t need young and attractive in my players (Cole & JP); I need people who deserve to be there and who have the chops to make a difference. From the precipice of death to making a swap all through talking to each of her tribemates and forming real, genuine bonds despite the radical (and frankly, unfair, in many respects) age difference you were dealt by producers… well played, Lauren. Well played.




Like a Virgin


Thank you for telling us your chastity is still intact, Jessica. Neat fact. All joking about Jessica aside, this woman impressed the hell out of me, and was thematically presented as the antithesis to Cole. Whilst Cole relaxed and flexed, she fished. Cole was presented jumping the gun by telling Desi and Roark about Joe’s idol. Jessica was calm in the situation, a fact that was only magnified by the inclusion of her infamous cheek kiss to Cole being so special because “not every guy gets one of those” (paraphrasing). She was everything Cole was not, and much like Lauren, I’m sorry to say I misjudged her. She has the makings of a great player, and while I’m unsure if she’ll outlast Cole or not, she is the person I thought Cole would be. Bravo, my dear. Bravo.


A Closing Thought, Dearest Reader


Sorry This Week Is a Short One


As the tagline indicates, sorry for the brevity this week, but between work, muh birthday, and a short little vacation to the Oregon coast, I don’t have a ton of time to write. Sorry!


Anyway. Something at this week’s Tribal really struck me. Aside from this being the only instance I can remember of someone going in with a voiceover saying “I’m not going down without a fight” and actually surviving, Ryan’s little unity speech seemed very highlighted. Did producers have to include the extent of his fervor and enthusiasm about how the Hustlers remaining would be as cohesive as possible? No, they didn’t. Yet editors opted to include this tidbit, especially when it came to how the ostensibly weakest tribe (at least in terms of numbers) would be able to woo the other two. Could this be nothing but more of Ryan’s eccentricities? Of course. Still, its inclusion, to me, indicates something a little more foreshadow-y: quite simply, not only do all four of these Hustlers make the Merge, they stick together for some time. I’ll even go one step further: all four Hustlers will be around by the time there are three or fewer Heroes and Healers. Could I be utterly and foolishly wrong? Again, of course, but I don’t think this speech’s inclusion was an accident or a mere character-builder for Ryan. Look for Ryan, Devon, Ali, and Lauren to make the final ten and beyond, my friends. And frankly, if this comes to pass, I’ll honestly be pretty stoked.


That’s all, folks. Again, sorry for the brevity, but I wanted to at least get something out to y’all (kind of how editors wanted to give Desi and Roark something to say to remind people they were actually out there, playing Survivor). I s’pose the only thing left for me to do is predict. Well, as per usual, Tribal swaps (especially when the swap is likely into three tribes) make such predictions fickle at best. Still, foreshadowing seems to indicate four realistic targets to me: Alan (outburst matched with consistent facetime and overall thoughts about him by Heroes tribemates), Ashley (consistent facetime and reminder from both Ben and Chrissy that they don’t fully trust her), Joe (pick a reason), and Cole (poor game play matched with potential foreshadowing that Joe finds out Cole ratted out his idol to everyone). While there could obviously be a boot outside of these people (looking at you, Desi and Roark), I’m going to wager it’ll be one of them. So, with that being said… I’m not going to say Joe for a third time and, instead, pick Alan. Too much temper in a stressful swap situation ain’t winning anyone over.


Sorry about that Fantasy Team, Ben…


Take it easy, friends. Cheers.




Dan Otsuki - It's Kind of a Funny StoryDan Otsuki has been watching Survivor religiously since season two, and is a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound, where he double majored in English and Religious Studies. He's also applied to play on the show every time he's been able to do so.

Follow him on twitter: @DanOtsuki