Pelican Pete Report - Episode Six
Is Everyone Going to Quit The Game?
The Pelican Pete Report is a weekly look at the political intrigue and alliance related trends occurring in the Chapera, Mogo Mogo, and Saboga tribes. Who is wheeling? Who is dealing? And of course, who is reeling? Please remember, this is not meant to be a recap. For that, you will want to read fluff’s outstanding recap, and for added fun, be sure to check out Paulie’s Precap.
This week, Sue decided to leave the game, based on events that occurred last week between her and Rich. As with the Jenna departure, I will leave to other discussion threads the debate about Sue’s actions. The reasons for her quitting are not important to us from a strategy perspective, but the fact that she left, at the time she did, may have large ramifications on the game.
It is interesting, at least to me, to note that now we have had three people quit in the past two Survivor games. I am hoping against hope that this does not become the new trend.
The next big question in the game involves when the merge to a single tribe will occur. With two teams of six left in the game, I would not be surprised to see a merge this week. However, MB will likely drag it out two more weeks. Either way, both tribes know it is critical to have at least equal numbers going into the merge, and obviously they would prefer to have the advantage.
Let’s take a look.
The Mogo’s remain my favorite tribe to analyze, and things only got more interesting this week.
Colby was approached by Shii Ann about his cruising comments from the last tribal council. Colby felt secure enough to make a pretty scathing assessment of Shii Ann’s game play, or lack thereof to be accurate. Everything Colby said was completely on point and went straight to the heart of Shii Ann, who shrugged it off with her usual level of completely unjustified arrogance.
All that said, you might think that I feel Colby got the better of the conversation. I don’t, and I have to agree with Shii Ann in that there is nothing at all for Colby to gain by saying all of that. He puts Shii Ann into an adversarial role, when there was no need to do so, and he may need her vote later. Colby probably assumes that he has Lex as a partner and Ethan in debt due to saving him. He is vastly underestimating Lex, and by telling Ethan he was intending to boot him at the time he was picked, he didn’t do a lot to inspire loyalty on that front either. The final straw was alienating Kathy through the switch.
The only saving grace this week for Colby was that it was clear to the tribe later that booting Rich was the appropriate thing to do given Sue’s issues, but none of them made their decision based on that. Colby is on the hot seat, and he may have won the battle with Rich, but lost the war. I say again, if he wanted to take out Rich, he could have still done it. He just didn’t do the leg work necessary to build a coalition. Now he will find himself an easy target of the under the radar crowd.
Speaking of that crowd, Kathy has a great deal of power in the tribe. Both Shii Ann and Jerri are falling in line behind her, waiting for marching orders. However, make no mistake, Kathy IS NOT using that power. That much was made quite clear by Jerri having to ask her on the way to council who to vote for, and by Shii Ann asking the next day what the reason for the switch in votes was.
Ironically enough, Kathy did the very same thing she is mad at Colby about. She decided who to vote for without discussing it with folks who are allied with her. That hypocrisy had me laughing out loud.
Her decision to stay with Colby’s plan, because she wanted to stay in Lex’s good graces, was the correct one in my opinion, and it does show she is just as savvy this time around, as the last time she played the game. Kathy needs to start utilizing her power, and if she wants to align with Lex, the time to say so is coming near. Obviously Lex will be willing to make that agreement too.
Lex was pretty masterful this week. He took over as fisherman, and while he didn’t wrestle sharks, he did seem to bring home more fish than the Great Hatch. He also has his eyes on the game, and is cognizant of his position in the tribe, and the weakness that Colby now has. I continue to wonder though about the strategy of the strong players always trying to ensure they are last male left. IT DOES NOT WORK. More often than not, the ladies go along with the plan, knowing that eventually, the last strong player will lose an immunity, and can be booted off after they have served their purpose. Lex is simply playing into the hands of lesser players like Jerri and Shii Ann, giving them a free ride. I continue to hope that someday, the stronger players will realize that an alliance of Ethan, Lex, and Colby is far stronger than one of Jerri, Kathy, and Shii Ann, in terms of both challenges, food gathering, and game play post-merge (though I am always impressed by Kathy’s mind for the game, and she would likely abandon those two, and join the boys).
Instead, the Mogo’s are heading down the familiar path of games past, and it will only make them Pagong fodder for the Chapera’s.
The Chapera’s all gathered around the campfire and pledged loyalty to their tribe should a merge occur. That was probably the second funniest moment of the week. I think we all know those pledges mean nothing, and if Tom and Alicia want any shot at winning, they need to quickly abandon the blind loyalty path.
Rob is definitely a far superior player this time around, compared to his first visit to the game. He is keeping his arrogance in check publicly, but showing it is still there in his confessionals. In those private talks, he reminds me of a cross between Rich Hatch, and Brian Heidik. Not a bad path to pursue at all.
Rob’s best move this week was approaching Rupert and Jenna for an alliance. Basically he knew Sue was checked out one way or the other. He is basically trading up from Tom and Alicia to more easily controlled people. He knows Rupert is all about loyalty, and he probably could determine from her over-eagerness that Jenna was desperate to get back into a position of power.
However, the departure of Sue has accelerated a problem for Rob. That being, what to do about the next vote? I think Sue was assumed by all to be going, but now, if there is no merge, Rob will have to show his cards should Chapera lose an immunity challenge. If he votes out Alicia or Tom, then the other will be alert to the alliance, and can point out that Rob has been manipulating everyone throughout the game, and try to turn the tribe against him. If he votes out Rupert or Jenna, then the surviving partner can inform Alicia and Tom of Rob’s little secret alliance game. For all of this to work, Rob needs a merge, or he needs Chapera to win challenges. It’s a risky strategy, but the upside is huge, and could ensure he goes far into the game.
I think Rupert and Jenna were wise to enter into the agreement, as long as they keep in mind that should everything work perfectly, and they are the final four, then Amber / Rob are a voting bloc. Rob pointed out that the downfall of these secret agreements is when someone gets greedy. I found that to be a well stated opinion in support for his position of power. The converse of that would be that folks who do get “greedy” might just be trying to win the game themselves, and I see nothing wrong with that. To not try and win puts them in the “Helen position” of feeling safe, but being manipulated, even when all signs point to the manipulation. Sadly, I don’t think Rupert will see through it. Jenna remains convinced she is good at this game. Clearly she is eating the same tainted fruit that clouds Shii Ann’s thinking.
Amber continues to do whatever Rob wants. Tom continues to drink and act silly. Alicia continues to confront issues that are not important, and disappear anytime the game is being played. At least Amber has a chance thanks to being aligned closely with Rob. Otherwise, these folks are just waiting their turn to leave. All-Stars indeed.
I Guess That Didn’t Work
Sue left for her own stated reasons, and seems, based on her post show interviews, to have come to peace with the entirety of the situation, and her role contributing to it. Too bad she didn’t find that back on the island, as she didn’t need to quit. That said, I remain convinced she would not have survived the next tribal council in any case.
So if there is a merge this week, her departure takes away the Chapera’s advantage. Should the merge occur later on, than this week’s events will have less and less impact on the game. Here’s hoping that Sue continues to overcome whatever issues remain from the experience in Panama.
Until next week, may your torch stay lit.
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