“Survivor 43” Episode 6 Recap – Baka Stabbing

“Survivor 43” (CBS)

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Last Week: The menace known as the “Knowledge Is Power” advantage lured another player to their demise with her sweet siren’s song. This time Geo was the unfortunate victim.

39 26 Days, 18 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

Alright, let’s take a look at the tribes as they currently stand…

The Baka Tribe (wearing yellow)

  • Elie, 31 – Clinical Psychologist
  • Jeanine, 24 – UX Developer
  • Gabler, 52 – Heart Valve Specialist
  • Owen, 30 – College Admissions Director
  • Sami, 19 – Pet Cremator

The Coco Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Cassidy, 26 – Designer
  • James, 37 – Event Planner
  • Karla, 28 – Educational Project Manager
  • Ryan, 25 – Warehouse Associate

The Vesi Tribe (wearing red)

  • Cody, 35 – Elevator Sales
  • Dwight, 22 – Graduate Student
  • Jesse, 30 – Political Science, PhD
  • Noelle, 25 – US Paralympian

Merge Mail Arrives

Oh, we don’t get to see Ryan’s reaction to the Geo blindside as we immediately jump to the next morning and the merge news. We do hear from Ryan though, who tells us that he’s prepared to become a free agent.

The Coco and Vesi tribes arrive at Baka beach and everyone is excited. Everyone except for Cody who doesn’t buy everyone’s enthusiasm. They’re just “livin,” buddy.

Owen, very conveniently, breaks down which advantages he knows about; Gabler’s idol that is good for one more Tribal, Jeanine’s regular idol, and Noelle’s steal a vote. Also, Jeanine and Jesse can’t vote at the next Tribal.

The editors also do us a solid by reminding us that Cody and Karla have idols.

During a chat, Noelle tells a funny story about how Cody used all of their beads to make a hat. Elie picks up on this immediately. Uh oh.

Also uh oh, Elie gives us a speech about how good she is at “Survivor.” Consider that fore completely shadowed.

Merge Challenge: The tribe will be split into two teams of six. They’ll drag a sled through a series of stations while gathering large wooden crates. They’ll use the crates to build a staircase. They’ll climb the staircase to retrieve a key ring. From there they’ll scale a warped wall. The first team to complete the word puzzle at the top of the wall will win immunity and a meal.

Probst makes it a point to say that nobody will be able to take this reward away. Buh-bye hourglass of shenanigans.

Since there are an odd number of players, the person who pulls the grey rock will have to choose a team to support.

The red team is Cassidy, James, Elie, Sami, Owen, and Cody. The blue team is Jeanine, Gabler, Jesse, Ryan, Dwight, and Karla.

That odd player out is Noelle. She chooses the blue team. If they win, she is immune from the evening’s vote.

Quick Aside: Hooray for letting Noelle pick a side. I hate when someone is out of the challenge and they don’t get anything to show for it.

Result: Red jumps out to a significant lead and is the first team to the top of the wall. But, blue is able to come from behind to win it when Dwight and Jeanine crush the puzzle.

Oof…Karla sliced up her hand and had a really tough time getting up the wall.

The Losers Club

The six vulnerable players (Owen, Elie, Cassidy, Cody, James, and Sami) are sent to their own little merge-atory island. James immediately asks Cody if they can go off on a little chat. As you’d imagine, this rubs everyone the wrong way.

Elie’s early plan is to get Vesi and Baka to work together to split the votes between Cassidy and James. She also wants to use Cody as the decoy vote.

Feast Friends

During the winners’ meal, Ryan points out that there is a majority of players at the table…so…maybe…why not…perhaps…final seven?

Jeanine doesn’t love this idea seeing as “hey, we picked the same color rocks” isn’t the best basis for trust.

As the players start throwing names around, Gabler tells everyone he wants Elie out because she searched his bag. Interesting move, seeing as her closest ally is drinking orange juice a few feet away.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Jeanine immediately tells Elie about Gabler’s outburst. She confronts him with this info and hooo-boy do things get tense. He calls her out on a variety of things; searching his bag, Jeanine’s idol, etc. And when Elie says it isn’t her business to tell him about Jeanine’s idol, he makes a good point saying that as allies, she should tell him.

Now Elie is accusing Sami of spilling all of her info to Gabler…which he did!

This whole poopstorm convinces Sami that Elie is way too dangerous to keep around.

Later on, we see Gabler let it slip in front of Ryan that Elie or Jeanine has an idol.

Can open, worms everywhere!

Eventually, Baka gets together and tries to get Gabler back on board for the next vote.

In other news, Elie’s getting heat because people think she’s targeting Cody, even though he’s the decoy. It seems like others are wise to Elie’s plan to split the votes between James and Cassidy.

Finally, Jeanine is convinced that she’s got Gabler back on their side (even though he tells us different), but if she gets an inkling that Elie is in trouble, she’ll play her idol for her.

If Gabler is on their side, why don’t they ask for his expiring idol?

Tribal Time

Oh my goodness. So boring. So vague.

Voting Time: James votes for Elie, Elie votes for James, and the rest of the votes are secret.

JPro tallies and returns. He asks if anyone wants to use an advantage and…nobody does.

We’ve got one vote for Elie, one vote for James, one vote for Owen, one vote for Cassidy, one vote for James, three votes for Elie, and the sixth person voted out of “Survivor 43” is…Elie.

On the way out she says, “See what trusting Gabler will get you?”

We learn that Owen voted for James, which leads me to believe he was in the dark regarding that vote. And, Noelle was the Cassidy vote…not sure what that’s all about.

Verdict:  First and foremost; high five to Probst for how the merge worked out. I know earning the merge isn’t a popular twist, but I think it’s is pretty cool without the spectre of the hourglass of negating consequences.

That, and I like how it’s kind of a haves and have-nots situation where half the players are safe and the other half are not. A really interesting dynamic for a first vote.

Other than that, wow, what a fiasco. So many angles, so many advantages, so little time. I had a tough time getting a grasp on who did what and why.

  • Sami – Nobody gets an A this episode. It was too much of a friggin’ mess. Yeah, you were on the right side of the vote, but you’re to blame for feeding an untrustworthy player information that came back to bite you.
  • Cody, Cassidy, and James – All of your names were tossed around, but you managed to keep cool heads. I think that’s impressive in such a chaotic vote.
  • Karla – We didn’t see much of you this episode, but you deserve some love for toughing out your injury.
  • Jesse – We got to see Jesse have some discussions but never got the impression that he was pushing an agenda too hard.  Those are low-key winner moves.
  • Ryan – His final seven lunch alliance didn’t get off the ground, but he probably made some friends with his info about Jeanine’s idol.
  • Owen – Uh-oh…why were you on the wrong side of the vote?
  • Jeanine – If there’s any sign of trouble you’ll play your idol. So…no signs? And now you’re on the bottom with that idol target on your back.
  • Gabler – Targeting Elie so soon was a real loser move. And I don’t mean “loser” as a person, I mean that as a player. A weird grudge that hurts your core alliance? It makes me think you’re the least likely of the final 12 to leave with the million bucks.
  • Noelle and Dwight –  I can’t grade you if you don’t show your work.

Any Questions? Drop me a line on Twitter: @GordonHolmes