‘Survivor’ recap: Paranoia, cha cha cha ...

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The tribes are merged, and I don’t know about you, but I’m seeing some things more clearly after this week’s episode.

Not much is new, of course, besides the new tribe, Libertad. People we still don’t care that much about are playing horribly, worrying too much about the endgame and not really thinking in the moment.


But I am happy to better understand some people’s game play. Marty, besides being mostly self-centered, irritating and loud, apparently sees in Jane former “Survivor” winner Tina — in that they’re both cutesy Southern women who make everyone around them happy and are hard for juries to vote against in the end.

Host Jeff Probst is the one who’s figured out NaOnka, writing in his Entertainment Weekly blog that she has the maturity of a 7-year-old. *light bulb illuminates* Ahhhh.

Even before that clicked, I must say I actually enjoyed Na last night. As with 7-year-olds, you have to remember foremost that they’re 7. I tuned in expecting Na to act as ridonkulous as she has been, and … well, what did you think she was going to do?

Before all that, we saw the tribes learn about the merge, and Marty (oh, Marty) thinks the young kids are going to tear at each other while he sits back petting his kitty. I disagreed, but wouldn’t you know it…

We see Alina (oh, Alina) giving some spiel to her Espada family about sticking together in the merge, all to no avail. Girl, they’re just not that into you. After the merge, Na and Brenda waste little time before walking off and catching each other up on their respective tribe’s stuff. Na still wants Alina gone, but she’s playing Alina for her jury vote, given that she’s all alone. I start to think Na’s finally thinking about how other people see her in this game, and then she goes off and steals food and cooking equipment.

First off, who hasn’t felt like Na did? You woke up early, cooked breakfast for everyone, and when your guests are done chowing down you’ve found yourself with crumbs? You can laugh it off to keep the peace or keep the peace the Madea way.

Na went more for the latter, walking off with the tribe’s flour and burying it. I was still kind of with her then, knowing that, of course, it’ll be found out, but she can then go off, make her point and bring it back. But then she returned to camp and stole a bunch of fruit and hid frying pans, giggling all the way. Oh, Na. Antoine Dodson’s on line one.

I mean, Jane pretty much felt similarly about food last week, but she was slick about it. Na isn’t worrying about her competitors, and she lied about everything when confronted about it. But guess what? No one gets that upset with her over it! I know! In fact, while Alina was only slightly culpable for knowing Na did it (if only they saw her tearing up those oranges and mangoes … ), the tribe seems more mad at her than Na.

So everyone still wants Alina out for no real reason (what’s new?), and Marty’s grinding his ax over Jane. At the immunity challenge, the players have to keep a rod up in the air using tension, and it’s over with rather quickly. Kelly Purple and Dan are out within the first three seconds, while Jane and Fabio won individual immunity. Loved Jane holding on after she was the last woman standing just to make a point.

Back at camp, people are thinking now’s the time to get rid of Marty (hello). But Sash basically tells everyone “I don’t wanna go back on my word to him so early! It’ll hurt me when he’s in the jury!” Um, dude, not my problem. But nooooo, everyone returns to groupthink mode –- except for Dan (oh, Dan). Chase tells Dan it’s between Alina and Marty, and Dan run-and-tells that to Marty (of course). Marty goes off, practically oozing paranoia that he can no longer hold in, which, again, should make everyone want him gone.

But at tribal council, Marty has yet another monologue on what’s really going on and who should go, pretty much just attacking Jane — who has immunity. Dan shows signs of intelligence when reminding everyone Na stole stuff and lied, and she pretty much says, “Yeah, and?” And this week’s horrible last defendant is Alina, who says she’s a pawn everyone should want in their back pocket.

Yeaaaah, they don’t want you, girl. They’re all off in la la land, keeping their own crazy thoughts simmering and continuing to go with the group — although you have to love Jane’s bit while voting above. Next week: Brenda and Sash continue to think they’re running things, Na hates on Fabio, and someone else will likely be voted out for no logical reason. Until then, let me know what you think, amigos!

— Anthony Williams


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