Survivor Season 41 Episode 6 Review: Ready To Play Like A LionMary Littlejohn at .
It's a merge, but not everything is as it seems.
On Survivor Season 41 Episode 6, two teams compete for the feast and immunity.
And one plucky Canadian gal suddenly has a whole lot of power.
The merge episode is always guaranteed fun and usually a bit chaotic.
This time it's a lot more complicated. It's still lots of fun, but this time it required Jeff directly at the camera to explain the details about what the twist would be before the twist happened.
I'm not sure that was entirely necessary. Sometimes when Jeff looks into the camera, it's a little unsettling. He's positively gleeful here, like a little kid getting ready for a surprise. Jeff Probst loves his job -- he essentially gets to play God. One player will be granted power -- but Jeff, you're the one choosing to give this person power.
This merge twist may divide viewers or confuse them, but it's at least something different. It feels as though the castaways have been talking up the merge for some time now. They should have known it was going to be unpredictable, like everything else this season.
It's still wild that Deshawn and Danny are so open with their intentions to vote out Erika. Erika is not surprised. She sees through the Rock Paper Scissors lie. It just seems unnecessarily cruel.
The reasoning behind keeping Naseer for man-numbers is solid, but it was still a hard blow. It just seems that they should know that exile on Survivor often means an opportunity for advantages or idols of some kind. Shouldn't they want to send their ally there to find something that will help their alliance?
At any rate, Erika is as delightful as they come, with a chipper, optimistic attitude as she is left on the beach at Exile Island to fend for herself. She's an engaging storyteller, and it's so nice to finally see more of her.
The reviews say it's a little DIY but I think I'll be able to manage.Erika
If the reasoning behind her quiet edit so far was that we could have her "breakout" now, I'm okay with that.
The challenge was one of the best we've seen in a long time. Not because of what it entailed, but because of how dramatically skewed the "team" divisions were (hey, it's random, it happens!) and that it was still as tight as it was.
Jeff may be prone to hyperbole, and I don't know if it was "one of the most amazing displays of teamwork" ever, but it was still genuinely thrilling to see the Yellow Team hold their own, push through, and never give up. It's that Heather Aldret spirit!
Ricard literally bled for the team and finished the puzzle with the other side right on his tail. Poor Xander, you could see the disappointment -- he'd decoded the puzzle correctly, but not soon enough. The others on his team either didn't hear him or believe him.
It's hard to know what might have happened if the Yellow Team had actually inched ahead. The Hourglass Twist might have played out a little differently.
This is, like, merge-atory.Xander
Here's the thing -- if Jeff tells you that immunity is yours, you're going to take it. Add in the fact that Erika would also be screwing over the people who sent her to an island by herself for two days -- it's a no-brainer. The fact that we're even entertaining the possibility that Erika wouldn't take immunity is laughable.
if you want to make history by changing history, smash the hourglass.Jeff
The anticipation for the next episode is not "What will Erika decide?" but "How will people react to the immunity switcheroo?"
It will depend on how it all plays out. The winners will be disappointed, but the losers will likely. Erika says she's worried about burning bridges, but those bridges are already gone -- this is the perfect opportunity to build some new ones with Liana, Tiffany, Shan, and Xander.
Though it's a huge one, it doesn't feel like this twist goes against the core ethos of the game. Survivor winners have always relied on a combination of social game, strategy, and luck. There are many factors outside of the players' control. There have been plenty of other twists over the past forty seasons that were much more unfair than this.
This twist will only end up screwing one person over -- whoever is voted out next episode. If it's one of the former Luvus, they really only have themselves to blame.
It could easily be Ricard or Evvie. Ricard doesn't have any affiliation with anyone but Shan, and she seems to have found a new, deep alliance with Deshawn, Danny, and Liana.
The opening sequence between Shan and Ricard was uncomfortable, though they both made some good points about each other. Overall, it was mostly just a sign of two people who have spent too much time together. At last, they got a break.
Moving forward with Ricard, I trust him... ish.Shan
Deshawn and Danny will likely be safe as long as they keep the numbers on their side -- remember, everyone gets to vote. It's just that only half of the tribe will be vulnerable.
Naseer has an idol, so unless Liana uses her advantage to steal it from him, he's not going anywhere. It would be a shame if he didn't play it because he felt safe and then got voted out.
Sydney is another possibility, which wouldn't surprise me because she hasn't had much screen time this whole season, and she has been gunning for Erika for a while. She's being portrayed a comically egotistical, which suggests being set up for a fall.
There are so many advantages now it's hard to keep up. Liana has the Knowledge Is Power Advantage. Xander has an idol and an extra vote. Shan has an idol and an extra vote. Naseer has an idol. Everyone has a shot-in-the-dark. And on the next episode, Erika will wield the "Hourglass" Advantage.
There has been a lot of twisting and turning this season, but it's no ordinary season. Sometimes twist feels unfair, but in the end, it's all about how it plays out -- does it feel earned? Is it entertaining? Because for a Survivor twist, that's all you need!
What did you think of Erika's chance to change history? Will she take it on? Who will pay the ultimate price for her decision?
Share your thoughts in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She loves television, cinema, and theatre (especially musicals!), particularly when it champions inclusivity, diversity, and social justice. Follow her on Twitter.