Survivor: Cagayan – Episode 5: “We Found Our Zombies”


Due to an unexpectedly busy couple of weeks in my private life, this post is over a week late, so not only are my memories of this episode a little foggy, but I’ve already seen episode six. So this update is probably going to be a little bit briefer and less detailed than some of the others, for which I can only apologise. I’ve let you all down, but mostly I’ve let myself down. Also, I’ll try not to let the fact that I already know what happens in the following episode influence how I’m writing this one up – that’d ruin all the fun of episode six, which was genuinely amazing.

Probably the most important thing that happened all episode was Lindsey quitting. This wasn’t really a surprise to anyone, since even for those of us who don’t live in the US and weren’t subject to the standard CBS promos about Something Shocking being about to happen, we all saw the promo at the end of last week’s episodes involving Probst coming to talk to Lindsey on the beach in the middle of the night, and Probst doesn’t generally appear outside of challenges and Tribal Council unless someone’s about to get pulled from the game. Essentially it all boiled down to Lindsey hating MalnuTrisha like Michelle Visage hates fat queens in green, and after a spat on the beach where Trish was clearly trying to goad Lindsey into taking a swing at her just for the lulz, Lindsey took herself away to simmer down in a corner and eventually decided in the middle of the night that she found Trish so thoroughly repellant that she’d actually rather pass up the opportunity of winning $1m than risk spending another 29 days in her company. Her official reason was that she didn’t want to do something stupid and set a bad example for her child, but…I think she was kind of past that point well before this happened, to be honest. Anyway, Lindsey removed herself from the game, and potentially spared us a double Tribal Council episode at some point in the future, so that’s nice. And Trish celebrated classily by writing “SHAME ON YOU LINDSIE” (sic) on the beach. (I mean, we don’t know it was Trish, but who else could it have been? There’s an outside chance that Probst got really drunk and did it himself, but I think Trish is the most likely candidate.)

For the immunity challenge, the producers recycled an idea from Survivor: Philippines and made everyone hold little statues on trays and, in a series of one-on-one battles, knock their opponent’s idol off the tray before their own hit the ground. You could clearly tell the fans from the recruits in this one because several people – notably Spencer – took up Skupin’s tactic from the last time we saw this game, which is to throw your own idol in the air and then while your opponent’s distracted, knock theirs over and ensure it hits the ground before yours does. The problem being that because this is now an officially recognised tactic (I believe they will update the rules for its appearance at the Rio Olympics in 2016), people are looking out for it being used against them, and are a bit more prepared to dodge out of the way, meaning that some people ended up throwing their idol in the air for nothing. Well, that and there were just some people with fairly wonky balance who weren’t very good at it in the first place. Solana ended up winning the challenge, where the prize enabled them to go and nick some stuff from the Aparri camp. Tony and Woo were the elected representatives, and while Woo was mostly just interested in pinching their tarp and the various comfort items, Tony couldn’t resist just Tonying it up all over the place and deciding to Do A Strategy. Since their prize included a clue to hidden immunity idol that Tony knew had already been found, he decided to pretend that they’d been instructed to pick someone from the Aparri tribe to receive it so that he could stir up paranoia and take advantage of the fractures in the tribe by picking Jeremiah and planting a huge target on his back. As plans go, it’s not a terrible one, but it was mostly ruined by the fact that a) it’s incredibly rare on Survivor for the LOSING tribe to get an idol clue, especially if the winning tribe is not getting one, and b) the clue was for an idol on Solana’s beach, which both Tony and Jeremiah were entirely aware of, so Tony had to suddenly panic and run back afterwards and go “WHOOPS IT ALSO SAID I HAVE TO TAKE THE CLUE BACK NOW BYE.” So while there was, of course, a little bit of distrust stirred up – much to the delight of Alexis, who was already trying to convince everyone that Jeremiah was the most likely candidate to flip as soon as they merged – Jeremiah had a pretty good case to make for the whole thing being a set-up, and despite the best efforts of the editors to suggest that the rest of Aparri fell for it, their votes at Tribal Council suggest that at some point, they figured out the logic behind his argument.

Solana ended up double-victors in this episode, after an immunity challenge involving a bamboo maze and – yep, you guessed it – a puzzle to solve at the end led Woo and LJ to bring victory to their tribe. Solana were ecstatic to receive immunity, Tony so much so that he kept screaming “top six! Top six!” right in front of everyone – including his former alliance partner Sarah, over on Aparri, who took this as a fairly clear indication that he’d cut her out of their erstwhile plans. So, whether intentionally or not, Tony ended up creating a bit of a stir over on Aparri as Sarah decided to change her plans and throw her lot in entirely with her new tribemates.

With Tribal Council on the horizon, Alexis stepped up her campaign to suggest that they get rid of Jeremiah, pointing out that the merge couldn’t be far away and that he’d go running straight back to LJ and Jefra (because if nothing else, we know that the bonds formed on the original Beauty tribe are strong and unbreakable, as evidenced by them all trying to shank each other the minute they had anyone new to play with) and he’d be a serious threat for individual immunity, AND he totally had that hidden immunity idol clue given to him by Tony, which totally meant that Tony wanted him to join NuSolana’s alliance at the merge. In the end, however, it appears as though Alexis may have tried just a smidgen too hard to get rid of Jeremiah, because her full-barrelled assault on him seems to have made everyone else slightly suspicious of her real motives, and at Tribal Council she was blindsided 6-1 and cried all the way home. I did feel slightly bad watching her exit interview, since she seemed to be an actual fan of the show and was genuinely distressed that she didn’t even manage to make the merge (and as Kat told us, that totally ruins her future dating prospects) – but hey, being a superfan of this game doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll actually be any good at it – just ask Sherri.

Next week: MERGE. Also, Sarah is Queen of the Universe, or something.


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