Jeff Pitman's S4: Marquesas rewatch recaps
Jeff Pitman's Marquesas rewatch recaps
Survivor: Marquesas rewatch

Survivor's season of self-loathing

Episode 13: Survivor's season of self-loathing

Published: September 23, 2020


Survivor: Marquesas's final episode has a lot of big reveals: A purple rock, the season's victor, and the fact that this winner — Vecepia — had a season-long strategy that was almost entirely edited out, in favor of 'honesty and integrity' or something. Luckily, the jury (narrowly) pulled the correct rock.

Starvation inaction

Episode 12: Starvation inaction

Published: September 19, 2020


The penultimate episode of Marquesas is a bit of a cautionary tale: against intentionally starving the contestants, against winning a car (with no food), and apparently against playing Survivor, which alleged hero Paschal views as diabolical.

Who are these people?

Episodes 9-11: Who are these people?

Published: September 18, 2020


After the fall of the Rotu Four, Marquesas lags a bit as the remainders of that alliance are slowly dispatched. There are still some bright spots, but the lack of character development for the departing contestants removes any real sense of connection.

Cutting the rope

Episode 8: Cutting the rope

Published: September 12, 2020


This is it, one of the most important episodes in Survivor history, in which a ragtag group of underdogs assembles across original tribal lines to finally topple a dominant majority alliance. And the person the show gives the bulk of the credit to is, of course, the actual villain of the season, who almost blocked it. Also, despite being a key part of the plan, the ultimate winner was for some reason excised by the editors.

I'm not here to play the game

Episodes 6-7: I'm not here to play the game

Published: September 8, 2020


The last pre-merge and merge episodes of Marquesas show an interesting juxtaposition, with consecutive boots of someone loudly not playing the game, and someone aggressively overplaying. The latter clearly establishes the model for future Survivor gameplay, but in retrospect, did his later win really change anything? Or was it just a more successful version of what stopped him here?

The rise and fall and rise of Maraamu

Episodes 3-5: The rise and fall and rise of Maraamu

Published: September 5, 2020


In these three episodes, we see Boston Rob's first Big Move (blindsiding Hunter), a big move by production (a swap that Probst swears was already planned), and the beginning of the implosion of the previously unbreakable Rotus. There are some bright spots, some questionable choices, and one really ugly confessional by the guy CBS promptly annointed as the face of the franchise.

Back to the beach once more

Episodes 1-2: Back to the beach once more

Published: August 30, 2020


Marquesas was a major transitional season for Survivor, as a plucky band of underdogs showed that you don't have to stick with original-tribe alliances, and if they stuck together, they could seize power for themselves. It also featured the show's first Black winner, and the first two episodes both explore race and exploit it for cheap narrative shortcuts. It's a mixed bag, but still an important edition, even with 2020 hindsight.

Jeff Pitman's recapsJeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes

Other TDT recaps:

Jeff Pitman has been writing about Survivor for far too long. Here are some options for further reading...


Survivor: Winners at War | Island of the Idols | Edge of Extinction | David vs. Goliath | NZ: Thailand | Ghost Island | Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers | Game Changers | Millennials vs. Gen X | Kaoh Rong | Cambodia | Worlds Apart | San Juan del Sur | Cagayan | Blood vs. Water | Caramoan | Philippines | One World | South Pacific | Redemption Island | Nicaragua | Samoa | Gabon | China | Fiji | Cook Islands | Palau | Vanuatu | The Amazon | Thailand | Marquesas | Africa


See also: The full True Dork Times index of past seasons.