Screaming at the Screen - Damnbueno's Survivor 43 recaps
Introducing the Coco tribe
By Damnbueno | Published: October 13, 2022
Survivor 43 Episode 4 recap/ analysis

Introducing the Coco tribe

After last week’s episode, I speculated Jesse and Cody made a mistake in letting Nneka go instead of Noelle because they had her vote in their pocket. If they lost again, they’d be facing a 2 vs 2 situation instead of a more controllable 3 vs 1. But I didn’t know if Noelle showed either of them her Steal-A-Vote Advantage. Either way, Jesse’s position is worse because Cody has an Idol. If Vesi loses, he almost has to try to blindside Cody. But the conspiracy theorist in me says Producers won’t want Cody gone this early, so they’d suddenly start asking him questions about his Idol when he films his confessionals.

At Baka camp (did I say that “Baka” in Japanese means “stupid?” Oh yeah, I did), Elie did her best impersonation of RC from Philippines while implementing a “mastermind” plan to fool Gabler, unaware he knew what she was up to (thanks to the big brain on Sami). She reminded me of how RC tried to flirt with/recruit Malcolm, who pulled a muscle stifling his laughter. If Baka loses, Elie has no idea Gabler has taken dead aim at her. Gabler thinks he can pull off a great blindside, and neither of them know Owen has all the information, and thus holds all the power.

And at Coco? Umm … somebody’s doing something, and somebody has no idea what anybody else is doing, and none of them knows somebody has all the information they need to control the vote. Oh yeah, and Karla has an Idol. Oh yeah, and rumor has it, they’ll be getting a new tribe member this week. I think her name is Cassidy.

And one more “oh yeah”: If James loves Earl’s game, he’s doing a horrible job of emulating it.

And away we go …

Cody is a good in-game narrator, but it feels like we’re getting a LOT more of him than anyone else in the game.

Gabler, palm fronds

Why in the world does Gabler think it’s a good idea to put palm fronds on people while they’re sleeping? I want this guy operating on my heart less than I want Daniel from last season being my lawyer. Remember how quickly he went from the most-informed player to the most likely to leave next? By far the #1 reason people get voted out of Survivor is because they’re annoying. It can happen at an early pre-merge vote, or as late as final 5 if your name is Abi-Maria.

If your actions make people look like this, you’re doing it wrong.

Elie reacts

But Elie snapping at Gabler isn’t gonna help her at all. She’s setting herself up to be Peih-Gee in Cambodia, who got bounced by (you guessed it) Abi-Maria. If it comes down to it, I think people will boot Elie because they know Gabler probably can’t win this game. Its also easier to put his vote in your pocket than Elie’s.

We’ve seen part of this challenge before. I remember Chris Noble turning himself into a huge target by dominating the throwing portion in Ghost Island. I think he tried to rap about it too. The last two parts of this challenge look new though. This challenge is designed to identify post-merge challenge beasts. The smart player doesn’t touch those sandbags, but I know Ryan won’t be able to resist it. I don’t care what the Reward is, you DON’T want to be in that spotlight role. But of course, I’m not starving right now, either. I’m gonna guess Ryan, Sami and Cody take the spotlight roles.

Boy, James’ hand shot up in a hurry when Probst asked who’s sitting out. I wonder if they’d put an Advantage on the sit out bench when two people are there?

James sits out

Ryan, Sami and Cody. I was 3-for-3, but that was an easy call.

Probst: “Cody is blistering this course right now!” That’s not what you want Probst telling everyone about you.

Cody throwing

I’ve noticed that Baka is always in the middle in these challenges. That’s an advantage at times, especially when there’s a puzzle at the end.

Hmm, Jeanine has another bandage. This one is on her knee, but it looks more like one of those “Hi, my name is …” name tags. Has anyone been beaten up more than Jeanine in Survivor history, aside from the medevacs?

Jeanine's new bandage

Wait, Vesi wants to trade fish for a basket of fruit that has probably all been eaten? Maybe Vesi should be named “Baka.” Does the other tribe get the fish they just gave up?

Sending Cody is risky, but it could also have some benefits. While you don’t know what he’s gonna say or do that could hurt you, whatever he does could have bigger blowback on him. In Pearl Islands, Sandra and Fairplay made separate trips to raid the other tribe’s camp. Sandra did it short and sweet and took a tarp as requested by her tribe. But when Fairplay went, he chose to be an ass and tell them his tribe threw the challenge intentionally. The other tribe remembered that for the rest of the game. If Cody is a dick about it, he could be throwing away some jury votes.

Dwight said it perfectly: “We’re sending a child off to school and not knowing how he’s gonna behave.”

Cody goes raiding

Hey! There’s Cassidy. I wonder if she’s met everyone on her tribe yet?

Wow, Lindsay’s got some fight in her. I like the spirit, but it’s a bad look in Survivor. She might regret it when/if she asks Cody to give her his jury vote.

I think James is playing this the best. He’s keeping things loose, and getting along with Cody the best. The message Lindsay is sending is “Don’t mess with me, I’m the leader around these parts.” But the smartest one is Karla, who’s keeping her mouth shut and just gathering information.

Cody raiding

Karla: “Dude you’re from Idaho, calm down.” Best line of the night. Her reads are pretty solid. Now can she do a good job of making others think she’s NOT getting a good read?

Cody played it better than I thought he would, but he still rubbed a few people the wrong way.

This is an entirely new Immunity Challenge. Good job Mr. Kirhoffer. Is he still designing the Survivor challenges?

Jeanine gets to sit this one out. Oh well, I was starting to have fun guessing where her next bruise would be.

Ryan, standing

Hmm … Coco has their strongest member holding the net while everyone else drags the heavy bags of puzzle pieces. That’s a bad plan.

Baka is in the middle yet again.

Two separate sit out benches. I still think it would be cool if they hid something under both benches. Like maybe there could be a note that requires the 3 of them to work together for an Advantage if they can agree to do it before the end of the challenge?

Elie to Sami – “Do not get sassy.” Oh the irony!

James: What the...?

Noelle is helping Baka finish their puzzle? She could be throwing away six Coco jury votes. Oh, wait, I mean five if Coco loses. James just helped Noelle get an Advantage, and now she just pissed him off.

Elie kicking the puzzle over did remind me of Michele doing the same thing in Kaoh Rong. But Elie is still playing the “I’m much smarter than you” game like RC in Philippines.

Elie kicks

I was cheering for Baka last week, but this week I wanted them to lose. I want to see this Elie/Gabler thing play out.

I guess we have to learn a lot more about the Coco tribe this week since they’re going to Tribal. It would suck for Cassidy to leave after only playing for two days.

And just like that, Geo tells James and Ryan he wants Cassidy gone. He was mighty quick to throw out a name. If James wants to keep her, Geo might be the one to go.

Geo in confessional “I’m calling the shots.” Those are Survivor famous last words for most who utter them.

Cassidy says Geo is annoying. And she’s only been there for two days.

And just like that, Geo has made himself a target.

We're gonna go after Geo

James is the swing vote of course, but I’m more impressed at how Cassidy convinced Lindsay to sell her plan. If it works, Lindsay feels like she’s the boss, and isn’t aware how much Cassidy just manipulated her. That’s a good position to hold.

Karla doesn’t like how Geo thinks he’s calling the shots. Rob Cesternino said the same thing about Deena in The Amazon right before he blindsided her.

Body language is a tricky thing. When Geo asks Lindsay if his name has come up, she looked at the ground when she said “No.” A lot of people just can’t look at someone’s face when they’re lying, but it doesn’t look like Geo noticed Lindsay doing it.

Body language

Lindsay’s paranoia could easily spell her doom in this game. It might not be at this vote, but I think it will happen. I see a self-fulfilling prophecy on the horizon. Threatening people who have included you in their scheming is a great way to convince them to stop including you in their scheming.

James to Lindsay: “What you can’t do, is sketch out the people who are voting with you.” Is there an echo in here?

Karla shouldn’t push to boot Lindsay. Save her for the next vote. Ryan won’t have a choice but to fall in line once Geo is gone. Removing Lindsay will be an easier sell later on. Geo isn’t gonna stop thinking he’s in control if you keep him. Once again, this is basic Survivor. Keep the votes you can control, boot the votes you can’t.

Ryan at Tribal Council: “I feed everybody.” What everybody hears: “This is what I’m gonna tell the jury to convince them to give me the million.” Ryan thinks like Ozzy and Rupert. He thinks people will keep him around because he’s the provider. He’s probably right about that, but they won’t let him get near the finals. Ryan just advertised a reason to vote him out soon.

Lindsay: “Some people spoke more than others.” Oh the irony!


Lindsay: “I hope people will explain why they didn’t feel they had to have a conversation with me tonight.” I’ve never slapped my palm to my face as hard since Cyndi didn’t give four cars to her future jurors in Guatemala. Yes, I spell her name with a “y” as in “Y didn’t you give those cars away?”

Does Lindsay think Probst is a referee who will make everyone play fairly? Does she realize Probst is probably the biggest enemy she’s gonna have in this game? Doing what Probst wants isn’t nearly as good for your game as its good for HIS game.

MAN! That awkward silence after Lindsay spoke was loud. I could hear everyone except Ryan thinking “Lindsay just took a shot at Ryan.” And Ryan was thinking “I’ve got to get rid of Lindsay next.” Good job, Lindsay.

We’re getting a lot of reaction shots of Cassidy, but we’re not seeing her saying much. I think that’s good for her overall game. She’s gathering information without giving much away. Yes, I know Tribal Council is edited down from two hours, but if she said anything really significant, we’d probably see it.

Cassidy reacts

Lindsay is gone. No, I don’t think it was because she’s a woman. It wasn’t because anyone “wanted to keep the tribe strong” either. I think this is a textbook case of someone talking themselves out of the game. Lindsay took a position of 100% safety and turned it into the first boot on the tribe. Everyone who voted for her had absolutely no intention of doing so until she showed them all how much she didn’t trust them. If people know you don’t trust them, they know you’re gonna betray them. They won’t give you that chance if they can help it. Lindsay shot herself in the foot 3 times, reloaded, then shot at her other foot. Nobody wants a partner they have to constantly reassure, either.

This was the worst case of someone talking themselves out of the game since…well, since last season when Daniel the lawyer did it.

Oh well, I guess last season’s Lindsay will be the anomaly. Every other Lindsay (or Lindsey) have just plain sucked at Survivor.

So next week, Jeanine, Jesse and Geo go on a Journey together? Will Jeanine’s prize be a lifetime supply of bandages?


I’m still flabbergasted that so many of this season’s players didn’t start strategizing until after they lost Immunity, especially since they’re mostly very Survivor-savvy, knowledgeable fans. What were they waiting for? Were they all just too nervous about being the first to pitch an alliance or throw out a target? I know its bad to play too hard to fast, but this season’s players are largely guilty of playing too soft too slow.

I thought Cassidy and Karla played this first trip to Tribal Council the best. In a subtle way, they massaged other players into spreading their message to the rest of the tribe. That helps you keep your cover. We’ve seen more of Karla so far this season because she went on a Journey, and then found an Idol, but I was very impressed with Cassidy’s game this week. Not bad after missing the first 7 days.

Elie and Geo look like they’re gonna follow in Daniel and Lindsay’s footsteps. I might put Noelle in that category soon too. They’re all making themselves stand out, and not in a good way. Ryan has been standing out all game, and seems largely oblivious to strategizing. But he did write down the correct name. Last season, I kept speculating Jonathan would leave around 10th — a traditional departure point for the challenge beast. Jonathan stuck around longer than that but just the same, I’m getting the same vibes from Ryan. And he doesn’t have as secure an alliance as Jonathan had. Jonathan’s social game is better than Ryan’s too … at least until Jonathan started annoying people.

Owen, Karla, Cassidy and James seem to be embracing my “play with subtlety” philosophy.

What do you think of the Coco players since we finally got to see them vote? Do you also think these players are dreadfully slow at strategizing? Let me know in the comments.

damnbuenoDamnbueno got his nickname in 8th grade Spanish class when his friend shouted out "You're pretty damn good at Spanish." The teacher insisted he say it in Spanish, so the friend said "Esto es damn bueno en Espanol." The nickname stuck. These days, when he's not forgetting his 8th grade Spanish, Damnbueno is indulging his obsession with all things Survivor. Reach him in the comments section here at True Dork Times.