‘Survivor’ Recap, Season 46, Ep. 13: ‘Friends Going to War’


Mates Going to Struggle

Season 46

Episode 13

Editor’s Ranking

3 stars

Picture: CBS

Whereas I completely adore everybody within the ultimate three, I believe one thing Jeff mentioned to Maria is making this recreation’s ultimate phases irritating for me. He mentioned that the arduous factor about being too good is that it makes you a goal. What finally ends up taking place is there are three mediocre gamers on the finish as a result of all of the C college students maintain getting collectively to assassinate the distinction roll. What we’re left with is a considerably unsatisfying conclusion to a really bonkers season. That mentioned, it does really feel good to see {that a} good individual lastly completed first, regardless of standard knowledge.

Because the episode begins, it’s simply after Maria will get her hand caught within the cookie jar, the cookie jar being making an attempt to vote out her key ally/America’s Largest Taylor Swift Fan. She tries to inform Charlie that everybody was telling her all day they’d vote for him, however she acquired bamboozled by Kenzie, Liz, and Ben. Charlie, after all, is aware of that is bullshit as a result of he’s been working with them simply as carefully as Maria, which reveals that his “shut no door” principle of gameplay was an enormous asset.

Going into the problem, Maria is the one to beat, and she or he’s additionally competing to be the primary feminine contestant to win 4 particular person immunities, a report that this 47-year-old mother very rightly deserved. The problem is a bunch of obstacles adopted by a puzzle, however in a twist, the puzzle isn’t the tip; it tells the gamers a collection of clues to allow them to work out the mix, and as soon as they determine that out, they win. Kenzie must be reminded of this when she finishes her puzzle and throws her arms within the air like she has simply landed a landing.

Kenzie and Maria are each engaged on the puzzle, and Kenzie is pulling forward. We then see Liz do one thing that’s virtually unprecedented in a Survivor finale. As Kenzie is making an attempt to determine the combo, Liz reads her puzzle and figures out that Kenzie must depend the holes in a plank from a a lot earlier impediment. Liz voluntarily goes again, will get the plank, counts the holes (incorrectly at first, I would add), and basically helps Kenzie simply edge out Maria. Kenzie all the time wins the reward, and when Jeff asks who she needs to take, she says, “I’m torn between Liz and Ben.” She’s torn? Who does she assume she is? Natalie Imbruglia? She doesn’t get to be torn; Liz actually received the problem for her! Fortunately for her, Liz tells Kenzie she’s allergic to pasta, so she ought to take Ben as an alternative.

It’s clear that since Maria didn’t win, she’s going house and, regardless of how many occasions they inform her it ought to be a praise that it took two of them to beat her, she nonetheless doesn’t actually consider it. Maria goes round camp telling everybody that Ben is a big menace, that it looks like he hasn’t been enjoying the sport as a result of he’s been enjoying this tremendous stealthy recreation, and he’ll annihilate all of them within the finale. Um, the rationale it looks like Ben wasn’t enjoying a recreation is as a result of he wasn’t. This man wrote down his finest pal’s title as a result of he was drunk on pizza, and Maria thought she was going to persuade folks he was a secret mastermind? Please. I really feel like if she had accomplished this to Kenzie and Ben about Liz, she may need had a greater likelihood, however she was actually doomed. The following tribal council is extra like a funeral as a result of everybody is aware of that Maria’s recreation is deader than the those who little child noticed in The Sixth Sense. (Spoiler alert!)

The ultimate problem is great — it ought to be known as Dying Plinko. The gamers should throw a ball up a pinball-esque rig, and whereas the ball is rolling down, they’ll clear up a puzzle, however they should throw the ball again once more earlier than it hits the underside, or they get a penalty whereas their ball rolls down a really gradual lure. They do the same problem each season on Large Brother, besides the puzzle often falls aside for those who don’t hit a button in time. Anyway, this can be a nice ultimate problem as a result of it checks all types of nice abilities that aren’t power or endurance, which I believe are belongings which can be wildly over-indexed on this recreation anyway.

As a result of it’s one thing that’s arduous for everybody, then anybody can win. Nonetheless, it’s just a little surprising to everybody, together with Ben, that he’s the one who takes the necklace. However as quickly as he will get again to camp, he begins agonizing about who he’ll ask to make fireplace within the ultimate 4. He is aware of he needs Liz gone as a result of he can’t beat her, however which means he has to determine whether or not to place up his day one brother from one other mom and Dumb and Dumber alliance member or Kenzie, the girl who has helped him by evening terrors each time the solar goes down. He finally decides that Kenzie and Liz ought to make fireplace.

As an alternative of recapping that excruciating fireplace face-off, and whereas I’ve Daddy Moneybags Vulture III’s soapbox, I want to publish why I hate the finale format of Survivor basically. To begin with, the fire-making problem sucks. Liz isn’t good at it, not as a result of she hasn’t practiced or accomplished all of it seasons, however as a result of her wrist ligaments are too massive, so she has clompy wrists. (How does Liz, on a fundamental human stage, operate day by day?) That Liz ought to go house due to nothing aside from that and never the implications of one thing she mentioned or did is bullshit. I’ve mentioned it earlier than, and I’ll say it once more: it’s “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast,” not Outkindle. To boil somebody’s total recreation down to at least one talent — one talent that’s important for survival, sure, however not important for the sport — misses the entire level of what we’re doing right here. The sport ought to be about technique, relationship-building, and, sure, bodily challenges. Fireplace highlights none of those. You may as effectively ask two folks to lip sync for his or her lives prefer it’s RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Additionally, the selection of sending two folks to fireplace might nonetheless break a winner’s recreation. What if Liz received after which beat all of them? Ben’s victory at Dying Plinko would imply nothing. That’s why I hate that the greatest determination is at ultimate 4 slightly than ultimate three. The last word selection is successful an immunity problem at three and bringing one different individual to the tip. I miss the drama of that; I miss there being a selection between two very completely different video games slightly than, as we’ve seen the previous couple of seasons, a selection between one completely different recreation and two video games which can be mainly the identical. I don’t assume that Survivor wants to return to what it was, however I believe producers ought to examine the present endgame. What sort of winners is that this iteration producing? Is it attainable to do higher?

So, sure, Kenzie beats Liz, who provides us quite a lot of hilarious sass on her approach out. (“Booooo. Tomato, Tomato.”) The ultimate three is Charlie, Kenzie, and Ben, who’re all wonderful folks, however I wouldn’t say they’e wonderful gamers. I believe each Liz and Maria had been higher and deserved to be there, however their targets acquired too massive for the brand new period. Oh, and whereas we’re speaking about format modifications: I really like how ultimate tribal is structured to be extra of a dialogue, the place folks can simply chime in and make factors. That’s why I’m going commando; I prefer it free-flowing. That mentioned, it looks like this season, aside from Q misremembering his personal recreation and every little thing that occurred on the seashores, we’ve reverted again to the “one jury member, one query” format of earlier seasons. (Kenzie’s spotlight is when Q is misremembering issues, and she or he says, “Guys, this is what I needed to work with. I deserve this win!”)

Not one of the ultimate three do a great job promoting their video games or their overarching methods. Charlie is the one one who has a philosophy: by no means to shut a door, maintain himself secure, and all the time maintain just a little little bit of energy. Ben cops to not actually having a lot of a recreation and being “a little bit of a goat for a couple of votes” however highlights how he made mates with everybody and stayed beneath the radar, listening to everybody and figuring out the place the ability was mendacity so he might facet with it. Kenzie is mainly simply like, “I used to be good to all of you. Don’t vote me out.” I child Kenzie, who I really like. She has an amazing reply for Tiff about how she satisfied Tiff and Q to maintain her pal Ben as an alternative of Tim as a transfer she actually owned. She additionally owns that her social recreation was her strategic recreation, one thing that many within the “new period” don’t wish to hear.

Finally, Kenzie will get probably the most votes, which is unsurprising as a result of she has mates on that jury, particularly Tiff, who appears to be rooting for her as quickly as these three sit down. Although she won’t have had the flashiest recreation or made any loopy blindsides, Kenzie is a very deserving winner. Gentle abilities are sometimes missed on this recreation, as is getting back from a deficit on the merge. Kenzie has mentioned abilities and managed to stage a comeback when she was down — that’s nearly as good of a recreation of Survivor as anybody has performed. And I hope she doesn’t shut down the salon now that she’s wealthy as a result of I’d undoubtedly are available for a bang trim.