“Survivor: Winners at War” Episode 2 Recap – Postcards from the Edge

“Survivor: Winners at War” (CBS)

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Last Week: “Boston” Rob called Ben’s bluff, the old-school alliance broke up the Natalie/Jeremy pair, and Amber was doing well until Yul decided to kicker…

39 Days, 20 People, 1 “Survivor Blog

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

The Dakal Tribe (wearing orange)

  • Kim, 36 – “One World”
  • Nick, 28 – “David vs. Goliath”
  • Sandra, 44 – “Pearl Islands” and “Heroes vs. Villains”
  • Sarah, 34 – “Game Changers”
  • Sophie, 29 – “South Pacific”
  • Tony, 45 – “Cagayan”
  • Tyson, 39 – “Blood vs. Water”
  • Wendell, 35 – “Ghost Island”
  • Yul, 44 – “Cook Islands”

The Sele Tribe (wearing blue)

  • Adam, 28 – “Millennials vs. Gen-X”
  • Ben, 36 – “Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers”
  • Danni, 43 – “Guatemala”
  • Denise, 48 – “Philippines”
  • Ethan, 45 – “Africa”
  • Jeremy, 41 – “Second Chance”
  • Michele, 29 – “Kaôh Rōng”
  • Parvati, 36 – “Fans vs. Favorites”
  • “Boston” Rob, 43 – “Redemption Island”

We kick things off over at the Edge of Extinction where Amber is not in a super good mood. However, she’s happy to still be in the game. See, there’s a selling point. The fans don’t love the Edge of Extinction, but the fifteen or so people who are voted out do.

Over at Sele Beach, Rob receives his bequeathed fire token. He takes that to mean that Amber is probably out of the game. That, or maybe Sandra? Oh Bostonian Rob…you do not have a great grasp on how Sandra feels about you these days.

Split Decisions

We meet up with Denise and Ben wandering in the woods. Apparently, Ben is trying out a new tactic where instead of saying foolish things to “Boston” Rob, he’s teaching his tribemates how to find idols.

I guess there’s something to it, because Denise totally manages to find herself a little present. It’s an immunity idol that’s split in two halves. She has to give one half to a tribe member and then it gains its full power.

In what’s actually a very clever move, Ben tells her to use it pull someone over to their side. I’m actually very impressed. If I watched my buddy grab one of those, my first instinct would’ve been, “I’ll hold it, then give it back.” That seems like the simplest move.

Oh…but then Adam shoots down Denise’s idea of using the idol to bring Parvati on board and takes the second half for himself. Well, there you have it.

Also, Adam is not thrilled that Ben knows about it because he has a reputation for being a loose cannon.

Meanwhile over on Dakal Beach, Kim finds the exact same style of idol. Holy cow, we’re ten minutes into the second episode and we’ve already got three idols floating around.

Quick Aside: Both Kim and Denise struggled with where to hide their newly found treasures because they were only wearing underwear at the time.

Sophie is shocked when Kim picks her to be her idol buddy. Color me surprised as well. Tyson seemed like the safe bet.


Natalie and Amber are greeted with a clue that is super vague. The first letter of each line of the clue spells out “WATER WELL.” The duo is unable to crack the code.

Fun Fact: I didn’t get it either, but my wife did. She’s smart. Questionable taste in men, though.

The Extinctioners scour the island but can’t find the advantage. But, since it’s hidden in a place that they were going to eventually visit, Natalie manages to find it. The advantage is a “Safety without Power” kinda deal. The person is allowed to leave Tribal before the votes are cast. She offers it to Jeremy for the low-low price of one fire token. Jeremy smartly snaps it up.

OK, we’re like twenty minutes into this episode and every interaction has revolved around advantages. I wouldn’t mind seeing these people just…you know…talk to each other.

Tony Vlachos Almost Dies

Now this is what I’m talking about! Tony needs a project to keep himself out of trouble, so he builds the world’s most dangerous ladder. They set this monstrosity up, all waiting for Tony to come to his senses…but that moment never happens. Sure enough, he scales the bamboo deathtrap and retrieves some breadfruit.

The best part is when he’s done he says, “If you guys want to use it, no problem.”

Suicidal and generous. Please stay on my TV forever, Tony.

Later on, Tony and Sarah have a chance to chat. They’ve been staying apart because everyone thinks they’re working together, but if everyone already thinks that, why not just go for it? When it’s all said and done, it looks like we’re getting a Cops R Us reunion tour. Mostly greatest hits, maybe sprinkle in some new stuff.

Immunity Challenge Time: Seven members from each tribe will push a cart through an obstacle course. At different times, they’ll retrieve keys that will release a chest. Once they have all three chests, they’ll take apart the cart and push the pieces through a wall. They’ll put the cart back together on the other side and carry their chests to the end. Inside the chests are three bags of puzzle pieces. The first tribe to complete the puzzle will win immunity and a spice kit.

Result: Sele was way behind, but Rob and Denise were able to catch up on the first third of the puzzle. However, Rob and Denise weirdly froze and were blown out by Sandra and Sophie. Sele wins immunity and reward. It was so odd, it’s like Rob had a system…but they couldn’t work it out.

Fun Fact: The press ran this challenge while we were out there. I only did the puzzle but somehow I managed to get a mega bruise on my hip just by bumping into the stupid puzzle piece table.

Pre-Tribal Politicking

Rob immediately accepts the blame for losing the puzzle and then it’s off to the races.

First off, Rob is torn between Jeremy who is on the bottom and Ben who, as we talked about before, is getting a reputation for being a wild card.

So wait, why is Jeremy on the bottom if the point of voting out Natalie was to split them up? I’m formulating a theory that Rob and Jeremy are pretending to be on the outs and they’re playing both sides. Secret poker alliance…

While Ethan, Parvati, and Rob are debating their options, Danni tells us that she feels like she’s on the outside of the old-school alliance. She explains that her and Parvati were close on day one and then nothing.

That seems like an OK conversation to have with someone, right? Pull them aside and get a read on if you’re still cool.

However, Danni takes this the opposite direction and starts scrambling. She even accidentally mentions the old-school alliance in front of Ben whose gameplay is totally new school. (Even though he was great in Thailand).

Eventually, Danni approaches Rob with the idea of getting rid of Parvati. Rob agrees to this plan, but then quickly tells us that he respects Danni for admitting that she was targeting him, but Parvati is his number one. Shallow Rob for life!

Word of Danni’s plan gets around camp. Adam likes the idea…Parvati definitely does not.

Also, Michele is there.

Tribal Time

Before the festivities get underway, Adam needs a lot of help getting his torch in place. Eventually he says, “I don’t know. It looked like a hole.” Feel free to write your own joke for that one.

A couple of interesting tidbits came to light. First, Ben accuses Parvati, Ethan, and Rob of being paranoid, but claims that he, himself isn’t. But then, he eventually admits that everyone is paranoid. Loose cannon!

Second, there was a lot of whispering.

And finally, Rob encourages everyone to dump out their bags to prove that they don’t have the idol. And everybody does! This is that outside-of-the-box stuff that makes Rob a legend.

Oddly, some people say they shouldn’t have to do this…and they’re right, they don’t have to. They absolutely could have kept their stuff in their bags, but then people would assume they have it.

Anywho, Denise does a fantastic job of emptying her bag while hiding her idol.

Voting Time: No votes are shown.

JPro asks if anyone wants to play an idol and…nobody does. We’ve got one vote for Parvati, four votes for Danni, and the third person voted out of “Survivor: Winners at War” is…Danni.

As Danni leaves, she bequeaths her fire token to Denise.

Verdict: Oh my…we’re two episodes in and we have a three-Tribal idol, two halvsies idols, and a Safety Without Power certificate? Pump the brakes, guys. We have ten legitimate legends and ten potential legends out there. let them breathe.

Otherwise, I’m loving it.


  • Sophie – Should Kim trust you? Who knows. Maybe not the worst move. But, she could have told anyone. You have so many options.
  • Denise – You survived Rob’s idol stratagem and you have a wide variety of people to work with. Loving it.
  • Ethan – Lookit Mr. Old School straddling between several alliances.
  • Kim – I don’t hate Kim’s call to tell Sophie, because she needs some allies. But, with the odds that a swap is around the corner, I wonder if she’d have been better off picking Tyson.
  • Jeremy – I’m not sure why you’re on the outs if Natalie is gone. Unless, this is some kind of Poker Alliance fake out. Either way, you weathered it well.
  • “Boston” Rob and Parvati – It was rocky, but that was a unanimous vote.
  • Sarah – Hey, the return of Cops R Us isn’t a bad start.
  • Ben – Being known as the loose cannon is not good for your brand. You need a tribe swap.
  • Adam – Is it possible that Adam is talking to too many people? I’m not sure why I’m getting that vibe from him.
  • Tony – Are you kidding me?! I’m going to lose the star of this show over some breadfruit?! Eyes on the prize, Vlachos!
  • Wendell, Nick, Tyson, Yul, Sandra, Michele – I can’t grade you if you don’t show your work.

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