Every. Single. Week. That is the frequency of when we are promised an "epic" episode of Survivor, or like last week, yet another "Survivor first." Yes, there were a few "Survivor firsts" last week, but being the first person to throw an Immunity clue into the fire - as Monica did - is far from "epic." But make sure you watch this week's CBS promo of tonight's episode (upper left of this column), because judging by the music - lo and behold - we are being teased with yet another "important" episode.
Don't get me wrong: This season has been a great one thus far. The loved ones twist - and the personalities of the loved ones themselves - has turned out to be very compelling TV thus far, including the new twists of strategy that many of us had never even considered.
Once again, Episode 5 of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" brings with it the promise of another blindside, along with a "sacrifice" in the game...but is this a classic Survivor "red herring"? Here's the official synopsis from CBS:
Episode 5 – “The Dead Can Still Talk” - ONE CASTAWAY SACRIFICES THEIR OWN LIFE IN THE GAME FOR A LOVED ONE, ON “SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATER,” WEDNESDAY, OCT. 16. One castaway sacrifices their own life in the game for a loved one. Meanwhile, this season of blindsides continues at a wild, unpredictable tribal council, on SURVIVOR: BLOOD VS. WATER, Wednesday, Oct. 16 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Analysis. When we left off last week, Brad Culpepper had been blindsided after his tribe and alliance imploded. Yes, he caused the initial rifts, leading the charge to blindside John the week before. After exchanging many unpleasantries with both John and his wife Candice at last week's Redemption Island Duel, Brad now finds himself joining the pair in this week's contest.
We are teased in the synopsis about a loved one who "sacrifices their own life in the game." So who could it be? Last week's preview made it look all too clear: That Monica may offer herself up to save her husband Brad and swap with him prior to the Duel. But could the "sacrifice" be Brad's refusal to do so? In the video preview, Tina says something (and I paraphrase) like, "Now that her husband is out of the game." Could that be a clue that Brad is gone? How else would Tina know, unless that comment came after the Duel and why would she imply he is gone if he is still in the game?
But consider this folks: There is another potential "sacrificial" lamb this week. Imagine the scenario where Brad finishes in first place during the Duel, leaving Candice and John to compete against one another to stay in the game. Is it possible that the whole Brad/Monica thing is a smoke-screen and that we may end up seeing John or Candice sacrifice themselves for one another?
All of that Duel-drama should play out in the first 15 minutes or so of tonight's episode. Back in the game, will the returning players ever lose a challenge or will they continue to dominate? And now without Brad, will the new players finally be able to eek out a win?
We do get a suggestion in the video preview that Caleb will face repercussions for his last-minute decision to turn on Brad. Vytas for one, doesn't seem to trust him, which in turn means that Hayden probably won't. Hayden by the way, just went from sitting pretty to seeing his entire alliance fold around him. Brad is gone, Caleb flipped and Vytas caved in. Could the smart move for Hayden be to team up with the two girls, Ciera and Katie, who have quietly survived the past few weeks?
Should be another interesting - if not an epically earth-shattering - episode of Survivor tonight!
How This Works: As the Survivor Examiner, I'm here for you each and every season to bring you the most wall-to-wall Survivor coverage out there. Each week, you can expect an episode preview on Wednesday morning detailing the upcoming episode and getting you up to speed in case you missed anything from the previous week. Then later on Wednesday night, expect my full episode recap. My recaps tend to be very detailed from start to finish...there's enough smarmy comedians out there recapping the show each week, I'd rather provide you with the entire rundown of the episode. That doesn't mean it's devoid of opinion...because linked to every episode recap article is my Survivor Episode Analysis column, which I write following each episode over at TheTVKing.com.
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