Survivor Review: A Lascivious Episode

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Other reviews of Survivor might focus on loyalty as the key word on "Free Agent." Not this one. 

We’re going to focus on a word Brandon unexpectedly busted out: lascivious. It’s an SAT word with which I bet at least half of the viewing audience was not familiar. I certainly had to look it up.

Jeff Probst, Christine Shields Markoski and Elyse Umemoto

At tribal council, in response to Coach’s assertion that you can’t be completely truthful the entire time, Brandon sarcastically compared the idea with those who excuse “just a little bit of marijuana” and called the concept lascivious. The implication is that lascivious loosely means disingenuous.

Lascivious has three definitions:

  1. Inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd. 
  2. Arousing sexual desire. 
  3. Indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness. Clearly none of these are even close to the way that Brandon used the word. 

The point of this exercise is not to tear Brandon apart for misusing a very unusual word. Rather it is to help emphasize that many words were being misused this week.  Lascivious was one of them. Loyalty was another. Particularly by Brandon.

Prior to tribal council the issue of who to vote off, Mikayla or Edna, was the pressing issue on the Upolu tribe. In one corner stood Albert, Sophie and Mikayla arguing that getting rid of Edna increased the chances of Upolu having better numbers at the merge. In the other corner was Coach, Brandon and Edna arguing that those numbers don’t matter if the numbers aren’t loyal as Edna will be after the merge.

These issues came to a boil at tribal council and Brandon went off on a semi-intelligible diatribe about how if the tribe is divided on who is being voted off. He used his own confusion about wanting to send Edna home, but saying he promised to vote Mikayla off and he was going to stick by his word.

What was lost to Brandon is that there was no promised loyalty to Edna or Mikayla by any member of Upolu’s core five alliance. The core being divided on who to send home is not a lack of loyalty. It is merely a difference of opinion on how to get the core five as far as possible.

Perhaps even more amazing was how public the discussion was. My favorite part was when Brandon said that the core five debated on who should be the sixth and settled on Edna. Her reaction wasn’t concern, but approval. Huh? Even if it buys you three more days – and it did – how are you happy with that?

Personally, I would have chosen Edna. Far too often in Survivor the castaways attempt to play the game for the future only to have it blow up in the short term. The loyalty of Mikayla or Edna at the merge shouldn’t be nearly as relevant right now as winning challenges. If they lose the next two challenges, it won’t matter at all whether Edna or Mikayla are around. They’d both have been voted off anyway. 

The ultimate irony of the Tribal Council debacle is that Upolu should be sending Brandon home. He even gave them an out to do so by saying he didn’t want to play if there was no loyalty. Brandon claims to be loyal, but I question how long that will last. 

More dangerously is that he is, as Coach said, a loose cannon.  If he’s brought to the merge, who knows what kind of damage he could do with his uncontrollable mouth.

The word for this review was lascivious and it will end with another quick point about the word. Now that we all know the definition, isn’t it interesting that Brandon knew the word at all? Sure, he misused it, but the things described in the word appear to be some of the unseen demons Coach alluded too. Perhaps his own lasciviousness is why he fears Mikayla so much?

More from this episode:

  • I’m glad Ozzy apologized for his hissy fit, but still. It’s his third time playing the game. How does he still act like a newbie when he gets blindsided?  His emotion about his partner’s departure proves it was the correct move, however. He’s been far more team oriented since then. Back to the Ozzy we know.
  • At the beginning of the episode I wrote that Coach seemed to be getting over confident. The loss this week probably knocked him back down a peg, but keep that in mind.
  • Speaking of Coach, I’m loving his Boston Rob impression with respect to Edna. Coach is the Godfather and Edna is his foot soldier.
  • We can’t get away from Boston Rob and Russell. Beyond the many Hantz references between Brandon and Russell, how about Coach playing the role of Boston Rob and Ozzy playing the role of Russell with his hissy fit?
  • Not only did Brandon screw up lascivious and loyalty, he messed up detrimental, too. He commented that the next immunity challenge would be detrimental to the rest of the game. He meant instrumental.

Free Agent Review

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Survivor Season 23 Episode 6 Quotes

Unfortunately, Brandon's a loose cannon.


I'm done playing the alliance way and I'm now what's called a free agent.