Top Five, Baby! - Brent Sullivan's Survivor 43 recaps
Conflict, cooperation, and questions
By Brent Sullivan | Published: October 17, 2022
Survivor 43 Episode 4 Recap/ analysis

Conflict, cooperation, and questions

Welcome to “Top Five Baby!” where after each episode of Survivor, Brent Sullivan will try to break apart and find the top five moments that made a lasting impact on the season or moments that could at least affect the next few episodes. Sometimes the moments are obvious and other times ... not so much, but after years of watching and analyzing this show to myself, I like to share the ones that I think stand out the most.

I must admit that I am shocked. After 43 seasons, this show still has the ability to shock me from time to time. The reason I am absolutely stunned is that I was almost 100 percent certain that Geo was getting voted out this week. I was so certain that after seeing Nneka was voted out last week, the “women’s alliance” at Coco would hold strong. I didn’t think either Karla or Cassidy would want to see the first four boots in a season all be women. However, at the same time, if this was the best move for their game, then I’m glad they did it instead of keeping her for the wrong reasons.

Ok, since this is my kids’ Fall Break at school, I am going to have an abbreviated version of my article this time around. I apologize in advance, but a short top five is better than no top five, right? Thanks for understanding and enjoy the shortened version of this week’s “Top Five Baby!”

1. Elie and Gabler

Elie and Gabler

It seems like the tension between these two keeps growing and growing. Plus, since they are on a winning streak, we still have no idea how it’s going to turn out. Gabler is obviously getting on people’s nerves and Elie is on the outs with Gabler because she searched his bag.

The interesting thing about these two is that they both think they have the numbers against the other one. So, the battle between Elie is Gabler may come to an end soon, but when it does, it will be one of the best plot points of the pre-merge.

2. James and Owen

James and Owen

So, what do James and Owen have to do with each other in this episode? Well, something I noticed during the second watch of the episode was Owen’s reaction to Nneka getting voted out. He had a look of shock and immediately turned his head to look at someone from the other tribe. Was he turning to look at James?

After they both let Noelle have the advantage to help take out a big threat, Nneka is the one who went home. Will they bring this back up with her later? Was Owen really thinking about that or was it a coincidence? If he and James have a chance to get back together at some point, I’m curious to see if this comes up at all.

3. Karla and Cody

Karla and Cody

Mr. Salesmen really turned on the charm here. Cody thought he was pulling a fast one on the Coco tribe by using his smooth talking and smile. He came in guns blazing threatening to take away their machete, but would settle for fishing gear and some food. He got want he wanted and most of the tribe might have felt relief that their machete wasn’t taken, but Karla isn’t buying it. She could tell that he was full of crap but went along with her tribe anyway.

Both Cody and Karla are big characters, and we can hopefully look forward to seeing them interact some more after the merge (or swap if that happens).

4. Baka and Vesi

Baka and Vesi

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve seen one tribe openly helping another tribe during an immunity challenge … at least this early in the game? Could there really be some sort of grouping in the future of the remaining Baka and Vesi players? Is this where the downfall of Coco starts to happen?

Another thing I caught on my re-watch of the episode was after the reward challenge, those two tribes seem to be having a little bit of fun together as Baka walked off. I know there is a lot we don’t get to see, but what has brought these two tribes to the point of working together? What have we missed? I am curious to see where this leads in the next few weeks.

5. Cassidy and Geo

Cassidy and Geo

Finally, let’s talk real quick about some drama over at Coco. Now that they have lost and have to go to tribal council, you can start seeing some cracks in this strong tribe. It appears that both Cassidy and Geo get on each other’s nerves. Both of their names came up as a potential vote, in fact, both of them even received votes.

I was way off on the Lindsay vote, so what do I know, but one of the two may be an easy vote if Coco continues its losing ways.

So, there you have it for the fourth episode and fourth “Top Five Baby.” What did you think of Vesi helping Baka out at the immunity challenge? With the tribes almost even after four episodes, whom do you think is going to win the next few challenges? I want to hear from you, let me know if I missed any moments or if you think I was correct in my thinking, the interaction is part of what makes this so fun!

Please catch more of me here next week where I will try to bring you more fun top five!


Brent Sullivan - Top Five, Baby!Brent Sullivan is a long-time fanatic of Survivor and has been writing about it for years. When he is not writing, talking about, or applying to be on the show, he spends his time with family, doing nerdy IT stuff, and watching movies. Follow him on twitter: @BSully_13