We Aren't Sure Exactly What Happened on Survivor, But Let's Talk About It Anyway

Mar 23, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. ET
Image: CBS

I know that this Survivor recap is supposed to, you know, recap what happened on Survivor. But you guys, what happened on Survivor? I don't really know. Jeff Probst doesn't seem to know. The tribe members don't seem to know. The best we can do this week is take a deep breath and go over what we are pretty sure went down, and then discuss what might happen next week.

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The combined Tribal Council

OK, deep breath. After the second challenge, it seemed pretty clear what would happen at a traditional Tribal Council. On the Mana tribe, everyone was super-comfortable about sending Hali home (except for Hali), while the Nuku tribe seemed like it was about ready to oust two-time winner and creepily intelligent mastermind Sandra. But then Jeff Probst dropped a bomb: there would be a combined Tribal Council meeting in which both losing tribes would vote one person out. Wha??

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Suddenly, it was looking pretty good to be Hali, and it was pretty scary to be most other people.

Tai continues to be a huge game changer

In a season called Game Changers, perhaps no other player besides Sandra has altered the course of the game more than Tai. Last week, he voted off his kiss-worthy friend Caleb in a move to show his loyalty to the rest of his alliance. This week, he found a clue that led to an much-needed immunity idol. He quickly decided to show it to his alliance and then to give it to Sierra at Tribal Council, saving her from elimination and securing a big win for the whole team. He keeps insisting that he's going to play the game smarter this time around and that he won't let his friendships interfere with his strategies. I'm excited to see where this takes him.

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Is Sandra a Jedi? Or what?

Someone please explain to me how Sandra survived for another day? If I were anyone else playing that game, I would jettison her as fast as possible and without a second thought. She has already won the game twice. She is way, way, way too smart and cold-hearted to keep around, and she is easily everyone's biggest threat. And yet the Mana tribe went after Malcolm instead. How is she making it through these Tribal Councils, and is she playing mind tricks? Are people just scared to say her name, like Beetlejuice?

More than anything, she told Probst that she wasn't even worried about going home. “Oh, I’m not worried,” she said. “I know I’m not going home tonight.” Was this true? Did she have some sort of knowledge that no one else had? Or was she bluffing?

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J.T. sure is a game changer, but to what end?

During Tribal Council, chaos reigned. At one point, everyone was out of their seats, whispering in each others' ears like Grandma had fallen asleep in the living room and no one wanted to wake her. It was very, very hard to follow what was going down, but it also seemed clear that J.T. told Brad that his team was voting for Sierra. This gave Mana the information they needed to give Sierra the Immunity Idol and boot Malcolm, all while making J.T. look like the crappiest person around to his home tribe.

What was J.T. thinking? While we aren't sure of that exact answer, the best answer we can come up with right now is either not enough or way more than we think. He's entering next week's episode in a very bad place, and he had better hope that the Survivor producers do a whole bunch more weird curveballs so that he gets to stick around.

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Malcolm is gone, and no one is more surprised than him

Poor, poor Malcolm. He, along with a lot of people, was blindsided and very upset — you could tell that he truly thought he had a good chance of going all the way this season. In fact, he mentioned both vomiting and taking J.T. off his Christmas card list in the minutes after getting voted out. The only upside, according to him, was that he was eliminated during "the most ridiculous Tribal Council in the history of Tribal Councils." We agree with you there, buddy.

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More: Survivor's Malcolm Freberg Reveals What We Didn't See in That Wild Tribal Council

Next week is going to be weird, you guys

Even after just three episodes of Survivor: Game Changers, it seems pretty clear that guessing what's going to happen next week isn't going to be very productive. Not only are the showrunners adding plenty of twists and turns, but the players are making some pretty rash, outrageous, dangerous and sometimes brilliant moves. And that's why it's called Game Changers.

More:An Analysis of Jeff Probst's Style on Survivor, Told Through His Cargo Shirts

Seriously, what do you think happened during Tribal Council, and who's going to pay next week?

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Survivor Game Changers cast slideshow
Image: CBS

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