‘Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance’ Review: ‘You Call, We’ll Haul’ Is EPIC Television

Recap and review of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance – Episode 8 – You Call, We’ll Haul:

So far, Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance is one of the best seasons in a long time, and “You Call, We’ll Haul” is the crown jewel of its run, to date. This was a nuclear drama bomb of an episode, with one of the most savagely unpredictable endings in Survivor history. And no, that pun was not intended.

Yup, it was the end of the road for Andrew Savage, who found himself voted out. And the big shocker? It only took TWO votes to do it. Unlike seasons past, Survivor: Cambodia has avoided couching too much of its narrative in the hunt for/exploitation of hidden immunity idols. Perhaps this is simply because there isn’t much story to tell, since both hidden immunity idols were found early, and neither of the people who have them have had any reason to use them yet. But regardless of the reason, tonight’s episode benefited considerably from hidden immunity idol being downplayed all season. It came back in a big way at this tribal council, but only after some major scheming kept the identity of the target for tonight’s vote in doubt.

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance - Episode 8 - Andrew Savage voted out

Credit: CBS

At the top of the episode, Stephen made it his mission to blindside Joe, building on his redemption arc from Survivor: Tocantins, in which his decision not to vote out the “Golden Boy” around camp ended up costing him the million dollars. It’s a plan that makes sense, and even Jeremy — who’s wanted to use Joe as a shield to distract from his perceived physical abilities — considers that it might be time to stop Joe now before he becomes an even bigger threat than he is. However, Stephen can’t really get any of his allies to commit to the plan. Polite consideration is all he gets, because blindsiding Joe interferes with too many carefully-laid plans, such as ousting the rest of the remaining Ta Keo girls such as Ciera and Wentworth. The other problem with Stephen’s plan is that he’s far too aggressive in trying to sell it to everyone, taking it not only to allies like Jeremy and Tasha, but perceived rivals such as Wentworth. Inevitably, Savage overhears Stephen telling Tasha about the plan to blindside Joe, and decides to take that information to Joe himself. Suddenly, the tables have turned, and the plan has been set into motion to blindside Stephen, using the three girls on the outside of the big alliance: Wentworth, Abi-Maria and Ciera. Luckily for Joe, he already has an in with this crowd, since Ciera, Wentworth, Kimmi, Wiglesworth and Keith were all part of the winning reward tribe with him, and so Joe got to spend time getting a bit closer to Ciera and Wentworth at the Survivor Cafe. It seems all but certain that Stephen will be getting his torch snuffed, especially after Joe wins immunity in a repeat of a challenge from Keith and Jeremy’s season: balancing a ball on a disc using ropes (which feels redundant after last week’s challenge). Stephen’s aggressive strategizing looks like it’ll be his undoing…until one fortuitous comment turns the tables once again.

'Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance' Review 'You Call, We'll Haul' Is Epic Television

Credit: CBS

While trying to think of whose name to write down, the Bayon members consider whether or not it’s actually prudent to get rid of Stephen at this point in the game. In the turning point of the episode, Spencer says something that gets everyone thinking: Stephen may be scheming to blindside Joe, but he can’t actually do anything without their cooperation. It goes to a point that Jeff Probst later makes at tribal council, that perception is power in this game. If you’re perceived to be a threat, than you are one. Stephen is only dangerous insofar as his alliance allows him to be. He NEEDS the other Bayons if he’s going to do anything in this game. All of a sudden, the Bayons begin concocting a new plan. Well, an old one. They’re going to vote out either Ciera or Wentworth. It’s only now a matter of deciding which one to vote out. And, naturally, because even a monster alliance like the Bayons can’t have perfect luck forever, they end up choosing to put all their votes on the one person in the rival alliance with a hidden immunity idol. Seriously, there is an absolute CASCADE of votes against Wentworth at tribal council, among the largest votes against any one person in Survivor history. Even JOE, who wanted to work with Wentworth to blindside Stephen, ends up writing her name down. In total, Wentworth gets a massive NINE votes cast against her, so to say this was the perfect time for her to play her hidden immunity idol would be the understatement of the century.

Survivor Cambodia - Second Chance - Kelley Wentworth plays her hidden immunity idol

Credit: CBS

What I loved most about this move was how the other players seemed to appreciate Wentworth’s move from a fan’s perspective. Hell, they actually applaud her for her move, since she told absolutely no one that she had this idol. Apparently, Bayon underestimated her so much that the notion of Wentworth having an idol never even entered into their minds. The look on the faces of the Bayon members were the faces of people who realized they should have known better. In particular, Stephen looks like he’s about to throw up, sensing that he’s the one to go. And yet, the ax never falls. Naturally, the drama in waiting for Probst to get through all the invalid votes against Wentworth was in finding out who Wentworth, Ciera and Abi’s target would end up being, since the person they picked would be guaranteed to go home now. Probst unfolds the first non-Kelley vote, and it’s…SAVAGE?! The editing team did a brilliant job of masking that Savage would be the next to get booted, while also planting a seed that at least suggested it, as the girls tossed his name out there. At tribal council, Ciera gets into a row with Savage when he objects to her statement that he, Jeremy, Stephen and Tasha are running the game. Sure, Stephen gets in on the argument too, but Savage is a one-man tempest. I get why the female alliance targeted him, since he likely wasn’t ever going to stop gunning for them, in some form or fashion. It only takes one other vote to seal Savage’s fate, and he’s damn near speechless as he gets his torch snuffed. It was an amazing moment in this season, executed perfectly by Wentworth, delivering one of the great blindsides in Survivor history. And yet, while it was a a great move and all, this will only buy Wentworth another three days in this game unless she finds a way to divide Bayon and get the numbers on her side. And that’s going to be far easier said than done.

But what did you think of Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, “You Call, We’ll Haul”? Did the right castaway go home? Sound off in the comments!

And for more on Survivor: Cambodia – Second Chance, check out the dramatic deleted scenes from last week, including the first Ponderosa video with the first juror, Kass!

Survivor 2015RecapReviewSurvivor: CambodiaSurvivor: Second Chance