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Survivor: China – Who Will Go in Episode 4?by Kari Kennedy -- 10/11/2007
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“If… in the midst of difficulties we are always ready to seize an advantage, we may extricate ourselves from misfortune.” - Sun Tzu, The Art of War, translated by Lionel GilesI’ll be the first to tell you that I was more than a little surprised that Leslie was the first boot for the Fei Long tribe, though I did think her time was short. Maybe I was just seriously hoping to have the creepy Jean-Robert off our radar. Of course, hindsight is much clearer now that we see that Leslie’s story started out quickly at the Buddhist temple, then quickly flamed out. So far I’m 2-1 correct in determining who will get booted, so I hope to get back on the winning side of the guesses.
So, let’s see what signs the producers are trying to give us for the immediate future and for moving forward to the end game.
We’re beginning to see character development starting to gain some traction in both camps. Leaders are emerging. Good guys are turning bad. Previously negative edits are softening into more likeable characters. The producers enjoy toying with us.
Last week, Leslie racked up seven confessionals on her way out the door. That’s expected in the early stages as the character story arcs are steeper and they devote a bulk of camera time to the one who is leaving. As the show progresses, these story arcs generally tend to be much more shallow and longer to build.
Jaime is proving to be not only a fair strategist, she’s also becoming a narrator for much of the show. Her integration with both tribes may carry her beyond the merge. Her confessionals are a nice mix of storytelling and strategy. She understands the game and it shows. How surprised will she be to see that her new ally has been voted out?
Also acting as a narrator and strategist is Todd. Nearly every one of his confessionals is about what he’s doing now and how decisions will affect his end game. He seems to be nearly the only one talking about an end game and has a clear view of how he will get there. He absolutely made the right call for himself to go with Aaron’s suggestion of removing Leslie from the equation as she could defect to the other side. He’s also smart to understand that he’ll need to remove some of the larger men on his tribe in order to survive post-merge.
If he’s smart, Todd will keep it a secret to everyone, including his closest ally Amanda, that he has a clue to the hidden immunity idol. When Jaime convinced her tribe to steal Leslie over as part of winning the reward challenge, we were shown three shots of Todd where you could almost see his mind spinning with the thought that Jaime would soon know the clues to the idol as well. He continues to work with Amanda to shield them with Aaron as the voice of the alliance. Will Aaron eventually take the fall?
Speaking of Aaron, he’s coming across so far as a respected team leader and has been unafraid to state his views. He’s doing much better than I expected, but his confessionals and editing is only showing him as a mid-game player. He is sharing his experiences to the camera in private, but not giving us much in the way of a strategy to win the game.
In previews we see that one tribe will win a reward of a local fisherman’s skills, namely, how to get birds to do their fishing for them. We hear what may be Courtney’s voice accompanied by Aaron saying that it’s incredible to see these birds working. That makes me think that their tribe wins the reward this week, which takes away from Zhan Hu’s short-lived morale boost from their wins last week.
Now Courtney’s edit is taking an interesting turn, which makes me think she may surprise us and possibly make it further in the game than we might expect on the surface. If you remember in the beginning, her confessionals and attitude screamed out that she was abrasive and unable to co-exist with her team well. Last week, she had only one confessional, and amazingly enough, it wasn’t about the conversation she and Todd overheard. Why is it that we heard from Todd on this rather than her? On the surface, it’s strange, unless you start to think that the producers are using her as a supporting character in Todd’s larger story.
Last week, we saw two significant changes in Courtney’s editing which softens her hard, New York exterior. She surprisingly was able to laugh at overhearing the rather obnoxious conversation between Jean-Robert and James, when I certainly expected her to react by confronting them. She also showed that she’s much more vulnerable than we initially thought as she struggled to swing the sword in the immunity challenge and she was humbled to the point of tears. Her statement in Tribal Council said that she’s a Chihuahua in a horse race really nailed it. For this week, I think she’s safe.
UGH! Jean-Robert! What a putz. For being such a master strategist in poker, he just hasn’t grasped the concept of the game he’s playing. He’s making mistakes in having very little strategy, no game plan, no tact, and no awareness of his surroundings.1 2 Next-->
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