The Fall of the Frankenship


Ben Allen, Reporter

Last week we experienced game enhancing queens, shocking reactions from kings, and game ending slings. This week, we experienced a divided merge, an ongoing power surge, and witnessed old rivalries reemerge.

We begin the sixth episode at each of the camps with a letter from their Tree Mail containing instructions to travel to another tribe’s camp. Any Survivor fan would know that this means one thing: It is merge time! Or what the new era refers to as mergatory. Within this package we get some confessionals from miss delusional queen Jaime and what she believes to be her real idol and Josh and his messy gameplay after narrowly surviving last week’s episode.

The challenge quickly moves episodes similar to all merge episodes where players are divided into two teams. The winning team earns immunity from the next Tribal Council while the losing team must turn on eachother. This challenge looked quite intimidating considering players start the challenge by digging out and pushing a 600 pound-looking boulder out of the ground and through a series of obstacles. This portion was shockingly really close between the teams. It was not until players got to the ramp obstacle and puzzle where there would become a bit of a gap between teams. Jaime’s team began to fall slightly behind because our delusional queen could not make it up that ramp which allowed the other team to take the lead. However, it all came down to the puzzle. Luckily Jaime’s team had Carson, the Survivor historian on their team and he easily solved the visual puzzle as if he had done it before. Oh wait, he has. That is right. We do see a little backstory of Carson completing this exact 3D tree puzzle on what appears to be his kitchen table. Carson secured immunity for not only himself, but also for Brandon, Carolyn, Frannie, Jaime, and Matt.

The winning team also earned a feast to celebrate them making it to the next phase in the game. At this feast, we get more gold from Carolyn as she is explaining to everyone there that Josh had played an idol and currently possessed a fake idol, which was exposed by Yam Yam in the previous episode. As with the majority of this season, no one believes her and she gives an iconic confessional in the process.

Back at camp, it appears that Josh wants to jump ship on the old Tika tribe and return to his original tribe members on Soka. Unfortunately for him, not even Soka wants to work with him. Danny and Heidi both want Josh out and that appears to be the decision that most people agree on. We get an iconic moment where Josh realizes his game is on shaky ground and he grabs Yam Yam literally by his face trying to work with him.

We then move on to Tribal Council where we get the boring discussion from Jeff about what has been happening in the game. Of course no one is paying attention to that so let’s just move on to the vote. Unsurprisingly, Josh got the majority of the votes and was the final pre juror voted out of the game. It is worth noting though that Yam Yam and Kane also received votes which can be quite telling about their position in the game.

Moving on to the seventh episode, we start by seeing the newly merged tribe just chilling at camp discussing a merged tribe name. Someone literally suggests the name Yam Yam but they ultimately decide on the name Va Va (Forty-four in Fijian). We then see Matt go off and begin to put the pieces together that his idol could be fake and that his old tribe member, Danny, set him up.

We then move to the Immunity Challenge where Jeff Probst drops yet another annoying twist on the players. They will be divided into two teams of five with one player sitting out. The player that lasts the longest in the individual endurance challenge will win immunity for their entire team while the longest lasting player on the other team will win individual immunity. Sounds confusing? Well, it was. Moving over to the person not on the team, they must choose one of the two teams. If that team wins immunity, they will also be safe. If not, they will attend Tribal Council with the rest of their team and vote someone out.

Carson was the one person not on a team and predicted that someone on the purple team would win the challenge. The challenge was interesting. They had to balance a ball on the end of a long pole which they held above their head. It came down to Brandon on one team and Frannie on the other. Though they both earned individual immunity, Frannie outlasted Brandon and won immunity for her whole team. Her team consisted of herself, Carolyn, Danny, Heidi, and Kane. In another twist, the losing team was exiled to the old Soka beach where the winners went back to camp and enjoyed a nice meal of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Are you tired of reading about twists? They are so overly complicated, right?

Anyways, we move to the old Soka camp where Matt and Yam Yam are clearly on the outs considering they are outnumbered by the three original Ratu members of Brandon, Jaime, and Lauren. He also sparked controversy in the Survivor community by claiming that he did not have his bag with him. We will get back to this discussion later.

Back at the merged camp, they are enjoying a nice meal until Danny uncovers a unique letter placed at the table. In this particular twist, the six immuned players must race around the camp trying to find keys. Only one of the many keys hidden will unlock the new bird cage containing an advantage. We get a bunch of crazy montages of them racing to find the key until Heidi finally gets the advantage. She reads it and it is an advantage where she can force one of the five players voting to vote for a specific person. As a Survivor historian, these twists are getting ridiculous. But, that is a discussion for another day.

Right before Tribal Council, we return to the old Soka beach where Matt discusses how much he misses his girl Frannie. It is obvious they are growing closer and he is worried he will get voted out. We see discussions from Matt and Yam Yam trying to make a move but it seems as though nothing is budging in the original Ratu’s plan.

We then move to Tribal Council where the winners are sitting on the jury side of Tribal and the players voting will be sitting in their usual area. Remember the tiny soundbite mentioned by Matt about not having his bag? Well, this is where it got messy. He brought up the fact that he did not even have his bag. He even asked Frannie if she brought his bag to which she said no. After watching the On Fire with Jeff Probst Podcast, Jeff made it clear that Matt would have never been able to obtain his bag even if Frannie brought it. This meant that he could not even play his Shot in the Dark if he wanted to. Imagine how fans viewed that. Not well. We get a few emotional statements from both Matt and Yam Yam. It was honestly boring so let’s move on to Heidi’s questionable move.

Heidi announces her advantage and decides to force Lauren to vote Yam Yam. In all honesty, it seemed as though we were building up to a massive move like Lauren voting for either herself or Jaime but no. To fast forward, Matt went home. It was obvious. This move ended up being quite anticlimactic because Heidi’s move really only switched the vote from a unanimous vote, to a closer vote with the same outcome. With Matt homes means no more Frannie and Matt montages.

Next week it appears as though Tika is in an incredible position with original Soka and Ratu going after each other. Which is good news for most fans considering the three remaining original Tika members are three of the most popular players on the season!