‘Survivor: Kaoh Rong’ Episode 3 Review: Brains Explode In ‘The Circle of Life’
Recap and review of Survivor: Kaoh Rong – Episode 3 – The Circle of Life:
Hubris is the name of the game on Survivor: Kaoh Rong, as “The Circle of Life” shows us what happens when you grow too confident in your standing in this game. What makes this worse is that neither Peter nor Liz had any particular reason to be as confident going into tonight’s vote as they were, and yet, they allowed themselves to grow complacent, sending out marching orders to tribemates they perceive as not being worth consideration: as allies or as threats. The Peter/Liz alliance is a classic example of how poor understanding of social interactions can often doom your game.
Of course, I blame Peter for this mess more than Liz. With a little more self-awareness, he might have been able to recognize how his attitude was preventing potential allies from working with him and Liz. Whether it was spreading the rumor of Neal having a hidden immunity idol, or giving condescending marching orders to potentially loyal castaways like Aubry, tonight’s episode did no favors for Peter. And once the tide of opinion turned against Peter and Liz, it became clear which of the two would suffer for it. From a purely physical standpoint, Peter has more to offer than Liz at this point (even though it was his slow-poke efforts carrying the bag of rice at the immunity challenge that arguably cost the Brains a second-place finish), so Liz was an easy call for the rest of the Brains tribe to make. But was it the right call? Right now, I’m not entirely certain. Tribal council itself was a bit of a surreal display, as Peter spent the entire time talking about how he and Liz had discussed their plans moving forward, with no apparent awareness of the fact that he was openly admitting to a two-person alliance. Sure, he tried to cover his ass by saying he liked all of the people on his tribe, but he instantly negated that by going on to state that he doesn’t respect everyone’s gameplay. As a result, we got a tribal in which Peter and Liz voted Aubry, and the Joe/Debbie/Neal/Aubry alliance split their votes between Peter and Liz. The three-way tie left Peter and Liz incapable of participating in the re-vote, leaving Liz as an easy elimination from there. And it’s a shame, really. Say what you will about how she rubbed some of the people on her tribe the wrong way with her know-it-all ways, I think she would have proven far more valuable in the long run. Maybe this experience will have humbled Peter, but I seriously doubt he’ll ever stop scrambling. If anything, I feel like this might make him feel like less of a team member to the Brains. On the other side of the equation, I feel like Liz might have rededicated herself to the Brains tribe, in order to prove that this was all Peter’s doing, and that she’s willing to play ball with whichever alliance needs her.
I’m aware I’m cutting Liz a ton of slack right now, but that’s mostly based on what the edit showed us. Granted, her hands aren’t exactly clean in all this, considering she did a fair bit of scheming herself. She was right there with Peter at the top of the episode, debating on whether to get rid of Joe or Neal. But the major blunders of the episode largely rested with Peter, since a two-person alliance is only strong if you’re able to keep it on the DL, and Peter seemed to make it his mission to make sure everyone knew he was in an alliance with Liz. With that said, there was still plenty Liz could have done to keep this from getting out of hand. You’d think she’d be able to build some sort of bond with Aubry as a way to bring her into the fold and keep her from feeling like the perennial outsider. If anything, I think she would have had a defter touch than Peter, in that regard, as Aubry immediately felt condescended towards after her post-challenge talk with Peter (which basically amounted to “Do this, because I said so.”). Liz might have been able to save herself by throwing Peter under the bus. However, that would have required her recognizing that her fellow tribemates weren’t taking kindly to hers and Peter’s approach. In short, Liz and Peter were basically begging their tribemates to break them up this week, because they came into tonight with the mistaken notion that the only thing they needed to make their plan work was each other. They assumed that as long as they were a tight duo, every one else would fall in line. But what happened was the opposite, as everyone basically bonded in opposition to this would-be power couple. I suppose the question now is whether it’s too late for Peter to turn his game around. Unless we have a tribe swap coming up soon, I really don’t see how he isn’t the next person on the chopping block. Then again, all the Brains have to do is win, and Peter survives another week. Considering the track record of the Brawns, and also considering how close the Brains came to defeating them this week, that shouldn’t be too tall an order. But Peter needs to shape up and realize that not everything is about him. He only has as much power as his fellow players are willing to give him. And right now, that’s not very much.
But the Brains weren’t the only source of excitement this week, as TWO idols were discovered this week. Over at the Beauty tribe, Tai managed to fashion his own tool to reach the key he needed to open the box containing the immunity idol. This came at just the right time for Tai: while he’s not necessarily on the outs with his tribe right now, he’s not in anyone’s good graces either. Caleb clearly likes the guy and enjoys having him around, but the girls’ alliance on the Beauty tribe doesn’t seem keen on working with Tai. In fact, they’re focused on working with Caleb exclusively to form a four-person majority that can take out Nick, whose smugness is rubbing everyone the wrong way. It’s interesting to see how strategies are forming on the Beauty tribe, since we’ve been so singularly focused on the self-destruction of the Brawns, Debbie’s craziness over at the Brains, or Tai’s peculiarities and his hunt for the idol, that we haven’t had much time to see what, if any bonds, are forming among these castaways. Anna really steps up to the plate here, showing that she, Julia, and Michelle have been putting a lot of thought into their future in this game. Of course, the segment at the Beauty tribe features another huge discovery. Upon retrieving the hidden immunity idol, the clue reveals to Tai that, if he should find another hidden immunity idol, he could combine it with the one he has to create a super idol that can be played AFTER the votes are read! It’s a discovery that’s made over at the Brawn tribe in one of the more unique hidden immunity idol scrambles in Survivor history, as Alecia and Cydney find the clue and the idol box, only to be found out by Jason. Before long, all four members of the tribe are trying to get the idol first, with Scot and Jason fashioning a tool to get the key, and then racing to get the fallen key before Alecia. Inevitably, Jason finds the idol, although I’m not sure how it’s supposed to help him if everyone knows he has it. If anything, it ought to make him a target, if only in order to flush it out into the open. Then again, with a tribe shuffle presumably coming soon, he’ll likely be placed in a tribe where no one knows he has it. Of course, that relies on him being on a tribe with absolutely no one of his former Brawn cohorts. I guess we’ll see soon enough. At the very least, I feel confident predicting that he and Tai aren’t going to team up and combine their idols, mostly because I can’t even imagine what a Jason/Tai alliance would even look like.
What did you think of Survivor: Kaoh Rong Episode 3, “The Circle of Life”? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Survivor: Kaoh Rong, find out what the editors haven’t been showing you by checking out some of the deleted scenes from last week’s episode!