Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X - Jeff Pitman's recaps

Love and doctors


This episode of Survivor featured two of Jeff Probst's all-time favorite things: a showmance (with kissing!), and a contestant getting an in-camp visit from one Jeffrey Lee Probst. (Which was also a visit from the Survivor medical team, which meant someone needed help, so he most likely didn't love that part, except that everything ended up okay, so maybe he's allowed to like it? Please say yes.) In the hierarchy of things Probst loves, those two come in right below 1. Boston Rob, 2. former pro athletes (male, obviously), and 3. surprise twists that make Survivor contestants gasp audibly. Okay, maybe they're both above #3. But only barely.


Neither of these things really ended up having anything to do with the show. The Tay-Fig showmance did make Figgy a target, but if the editing of Ep.1 is to be believed, Mari and Hannah had already been planning to vote out Figgy even before the first challenge. And when it did make them a target, it wasn't TayFigs saving themselves, it was Michelle and Jay leaping into action (!) and flipping votes left and right. Similarly, while the combination of Paul's weakness and David's idol might have given the David-Ken-CeCe alliance leverage in toppling Paul's reign of hair band terror, it was rendered moot by their tribe winning immunity. And besides, Paul looked hale and hearty (sorry) by the time that rolled around. And he even gave Jeff Probst #4 on his biggest thrill list: A hefty, bearded guy saying the word "pirate."


And that also leaves out Jeff Probst exciting event #5, the underdog on a tribe finding a not-really-hidden immunity idol! Seriously, this may be Probst's all-time favorite episode, ever. For us? We liked it. No major complaints. Except...


The overselling of the new idol-"hiding" system

So hard to see


You remember this, right? During the cast-release hoopla, Probst gave Dalton Ross an EW-exclusive peek into the new system, wherein the host promised: "you’re going to get a clue and it’s gonna say, yes, there’s an idol somewhere down here amongst these shells. Good luck. And you’re gonna look out on a beach full of shells and you will not be able to figure out which one has it. How could a shell possibly have an idol? You just gotta work. You gotta think."


That sounded frustratingly cool and complicated. Clues! Thousands of possible locations, all of which look the same! You'd be forgiven if you thought wow, they might make idols so difficult to find that they'd actually need those clues! Possibly even have to think about them!


So... instead, we had... no clues, no shells, and in reality it was just one solitary coconut with a giant purple emblem painted on it.


idol hopes dashedWe were expecting something on the order of the map room scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Indy uses the staff of Ra and a beam of light at a specific time to pinpoint the Ark's location on an ancient map.


Instead, we had the equivalent of an "Easter egg hunt" where the eggs are fluorescent colored plastic eggs and they're just scattered on a green lawn.


The lesson is: Never hope.


Still, if there was anyone on the Gen X tribe we were hoping would find an idol, it was David, so we're glad about that. Maybe the boost in safety/confidence the idol provides will be just the stimulus his game needed.


Still, speaking of never hoping...


Superfans in freefall: From Adam to Zeke



Argh, you guys! You should absolutely know better. In what universe is it okay to say in confessional: "We lost... but I'm a little bit tickled to be going to Tribal Council. I came to vote people out, and I came to win a million dollars! And I want to get started"?


Or, for that matter, slack-jawedly grinning at Tribal itself: "First of all, this place is unbelievable" (as Mari helpfully interjects, "Beautiful")?


Surely you've heard of a guy named Max Dawson. He was recent enough that even the casuals on your tribe probably know who he is (unless they forgot already). He, like you guys, committed the cardinal sin of Survivor: expressing anything other than concern about Tribal Council. He was voted out at his second appearance, after seeming positively giddy about attending.


Come on, Zeke! Did you have an 80-year-old moment, and just forget? Sigh.


On the other hand, we feel the need to offer some...


Praise for strategic mastery from unexpected places



We were as shocked as you that the dragon whisperer from the pre-game interviews turned out to be a rock-solid Survivor player, but we're always delighted to see someone playing well, and it's even more fun when we didn't see it coming.


Michelle, and to a lesser extent Jay, turned an easy boot of one of their alliancemates into a surprise blindside of someone who looked like an all-around good player. Michelle confronted Jay with the problem, suggested Jay reconcile the Figgy-Michaela feud (which he did, flawlessly), then secured Will as the swing vote. Then Michelle took a last-minute mid-Tribal swing at pulling in Hannah as an insurance vote, and succeeded at that, too! All that despite everyone else on their tribe already being sick of Taylor and Figgy's days-long Jon-and-Jaclyn impersonations. (Really, who wouldn't be?)


So praise where it's due. Even though we fully expect the next episode's "Previously on..." segment to somehow misattribute this victory to Figgy and/or Taylor through some bizarre, tortured logic, but hey, at least you'll have this review to fall back on when you're voted out at the merge, just as the Hunter-toppling Boston Rob was, back in Marquesas. But you already knew that, right?




Okay, that's enough of that. On to the vidcaps!

Survivor: Millennials vs. GenX Episode 2 vidcap gallery

Millennials vs. Gen X Episode 2 recaps and commentary


Exit interviews: Mari Takahashi

  • Josh Wigler at (9/29/16): "Mari Takahashi on Playing Games and Getting Played"
  • Rob Cesternino at RHAP (9/29/16): "Exit Interview | Latest Player Voted Out - 9/29/16"
  • Dalton Ross at (9/29/16): "Mari says 'it hurts to see Hannah swayed in that way'"


Episode 2 Podcasts