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Survivor I, Episode 7 in Retrospectby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
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The episode itself dealt with the merging of the two tribes into one, Rattana. But, more importantly, we also see several things happen that will blow up in later episodes.
Pagong had somehow "heard" that Tagi was planning an alliance. Of course, the real question is how they heard such a thing, unless cameramen, producers, or Jeff Probst were talking when they shouldn't have been – interfering in the game. Luckily, it had no effect because Pagong was just so far gone in terms of actually getting organized that it just didn't matter. Even Jenna, on her trip to see the Tagi site before going off to discuss things with Sean, commented that Tagi was much more organized. She just didn't realize they were organized in more ways than one.
Ironically, as Kelly was leading Jenna around camp, she told her that "Rich is a sweetheart, real easy-going." I guess Kelly's opinion would change a bit by the end of the show, when she compares him to the Devil.
While Pagong was worrying about the possibility of a Tagi alliance, and Sean was telling them that he didn't think there was such an alliance, Susan was talking about how dumb he was for not joining, and the alliance was busy plotting strategy. Sue noted that if they could get through two votes, they'd slide right in. She was right, as we now know. Rudy noted that while he had originally been against the idea of an alliance, he realized that if you want the money, you have to get a little dirty. Richard first mentioned how ethical and moral he is and noted that these have nothing to do with being in an alliance – a refrain we'll hear many times over as the game progresses. Kelly, in another ironic statement, talked about how she didn't come here to make friends, but to win the money. By the end of the game (indeed, by the end of next episode), she'd be changing her tune. Even so, she was already slipping a little bit, as she noted that voting with the alliance is easier said than done, because she might change her mind at the last minute. So far, though, she was still with them.
Greg realized that Rich was a plotter by nature, and saw that he had a lot going on in his mind, only some of which he shared selectively. Furthermore, Greg said that he thought people would form alliances if they are motivated by fear and self-preservation, but if that happened he hoped to be voted off quickly because he thought it would be boring. As we'll see next episode, he's getting his wish (he'd have probably gotten it sooner if he hadn't won immunity this episode). Interestingly, this statement is in direct contradiction to what he had been saying earlier, when Joel was still around and Greg agreed that they should join together to vote against the Tagi first.
Jenna also changed her tune, saying she would vote based on merits, not on an "us vs. them" basis. If they had stuck to their thoughts that came out when Joel was still around, they might have had a chance. But it was not to be.
As they went to the Tribal Council, Gretchen was the target of the Tagi alliance. Everbody else sent votes in a scattershot manner, making it that much easier for the alliance to have their way. Colleen voted for Rich, saying he was "overconfident." It was the right idea if she had gotten more to go her way, but was he overconfident? Nope. He was confident, and he was also right, in the end. Sean began his incredibly stupid alphabetical voting with Colleen in this episode. While it wouldn't matter here, the alliance would use it to their advantage in later votes.
And so the alliance picked off the first of the Pagong. Gretchen herself predicted that it would go this way when, in the Tribal Council, she said that strategies would shift to get rid of the strongest because they were competition. She was right. And she was gone.
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