Last week’s episode of “Survivor 42” saw not one but two people eliminated in back-to-back Tribals, culminating in a powerful and impassioned conversation led by Maryanne Oketch and Drea Wheeler about the impacts of race and subconscious biases in a social game like “Survivor.”
With Tori Meehan gone, “Survivor” may now be lacking in its most entertaining villain. Eight remain: four Takus, and two each of Ika and Vati. Will the “secret alliance” of Taku indeed stand united and vote out one of the others? Or will the fractures that are already forming prove to be beyond repair? Let’s find out in tonight’s episode, called “Tell a Good Lie, Not a Stupid Lie.” I, for one, can’t wait to find out who will be telling these lies, whether they be good or stupid.
All times Eastern.
8:05 – The “Blue” tribe is back to camp, and Hai Giang is glad that they were able to get Rocksroy out without a hitch, and that Mike allowed him do it. Meanwhile, however, Mike is secretly fuming because he felt his hand was forced into voting Rocksroy…by Hai. Yeah, this is definitely gonna cause some drama….and Omar loves it. He’s trying to draw Mike closer to himself and away from Hai, and it looks like Hai’s just given him some ammunition.
The next morning, Lindsay tells Omar about Jonathan’s dumb plan to make Maryanne the decoy last episode. Lindsay’s also upset that being aligned with Jonathan makes her look dumber…lol. So, she wants to take him out. Later, she goes looking for an idol…and just misses it. IT’S RIGHT THERE, LINDSAY!!! I’m getting real Russell Swan vibes here.
Sometime later, Maryanne LITERALLY discovers the immunity idol that Lindsay just BARELY missed. This is insane. Coming right off the heels of losing her idol last night, by the way. She – and Drea, who still has approximately a million advantages – currently hold a lot of power.
8:15 – It’s a rainy day at the challenge. Apparently, in what Jeff says is a “fun” challenge, all they have to do is carry a sandbag on a pole over a balance beam, then land it on a pole…and then some. But yeah, definitely nicer than some of the other challenges they’ve had to endure.
Lindsay, our underdog Queen, takes this one, and she chooses Omar to come with her. When Jeff allows her to bring another, she chooses Mike, without hesitation. Interesting choice. Maybe she senses the cracks in Mike’s so-called “alliance,” and wants to use it to fix her own cracks. In any case, she’s looking to discuss strategy. We’ll see where it takes her.
8:25 – Back at the cold, wet, and rainy camp, the tribe is understandably miserable. Hai, who comes from a poverty-stricken background, knows it could be worse than this, and knows how close he is to the finish line.
As Hai and Lindsay strategize silently, Lindsay actually throws Jonathan’s name out there, and Hai bites. If he doesn’t win immunity, that is.
We’re at the reward, and I’m either tripping on acid, or production is having one hell of a time toying with the castaways. Echoey, ethereal voices reverberate throughout the room, and it turns out to be the voices of the contestants’ loved ones. Images and videos of their families are projected onto the walls in front of them, and the three go nuts.
They’re all pretty floored, and drawn to tears. “I’m gonna be talking about this til they put me in the ground,” Mike says.
After the tears dry up, Omar takes advantage of his earlier conversation with Mike and makes up a story about Hai telling him that Mike is his “puppet,” and that he has him in his “back pocket.” Whether Lindsay is an Academy Award-winning actress or genuinely shocked is beyond me, but her reactions are priceless. Anyway, Mike is convinced, and immediately decides that it’s time to turn on Hai. With his evil little laugh, tonight’s title is revealed as Omar says in a confessional that his story only makes sense because “you tell a good lie, not a stupid lie.”
Lindsay also brings up her Advantage Amulet, and suggests blindsiding Hai to increase the power of the advantage. Wow. Privately, she still wants to get rid of Jonathan, but decides that she’ll make the decision after the immunity challenge tomorrow.
Folks, this is where the game starts to get good.
8:35 – At the immunity challenge, Hai, who likely doesn’t even know he’s on the chopping block, is second out. Then goes Romeo, and Omar. In round 2, Maryanne is out almost immediately, followed shortly after by Drea.
Who would’ve guessed: it’s down to Lindsay – who might have come out of nowhere and become this episode’s power player – and Jonathan – whose fate in this challenge could determine the course of the season. Jonathan wobbles a lot, but seems to be the master of recovery. “How is he doing this?” Mike asks, incredulous.
In the end, Lindsay emerges victorious – again! So really, she has her pick of the litter. In any case, Mike is determined to see Hai “dethroned tonight.”
8:45 – Hai is just thrilled that Jonathan didn’t win, given his challenge prowess. “Right now I have the numbers to kind of sway the game in the direction that I want to,” Hai says…ironically, perhaps. He goes to talk to Mike about it, but Mike doesn’t exactly look ecstatic during the conversation. He’s not what I would call the world’s best liar. Really, he’s out for revenge. “His head’s in the guillotine,” Mike tells us, “ready to be lopped off, and rightfully so.”
Drea is onboard with the plan against Hai, knowing that her and Lindsay’s Amulet will only get more powerful with him gone. It seems as though literally everyone is on board with the plan, and they don’t even need convincing. As a result, Lindsay says, “I’m gonna stick with the plan and call it a day.”
Hai tries to convince Jonathan he’s safe – spinning a lie that he found an idol and is gonna play it against Romeo – in order to prevent Jonathan from playing his Shot in the Dark. Jonathan, however, is not buying it, even going so far as to call it “the worst lie I’ve ever heard.” Seems like this is gonna be a pretty straightforward blindside on Hai, but then again, this is “Survivor,” and you just never know…perhaps the true blindside will be against we the viewers.
8:55 – At Tribal Council, Mike hilariously claims that there was “no deep strategy” talk at the reward. Jeff calls this out as being pretty unlikely, and Hai brings in more metaphors with talk of the game being like a marathon with everyone blindfolded, as “you don’t know who’s in the front.” Maryanne talks about “Survivor” being like jenga, and even though Jonathan apparently understood it, I sure as hell don’t.
Anyway, the game’s messy as hell, and Lindsay wants to “even the playing field,” which is just ambiguous enough to apply to anyone, meaning that no one thinks they’re being played…except Jonathan, who’s definitely reading way too much into it.
Okay, time to vote. As the votes are read, Hai’s jaw slowly drops, vote-by-vote, as his name is read five times, with only one other person (Romeo) voting for Jonathan. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone be so excited upon getting voted out, as Hai can’t stop singing his tribe’s phrases. “Well played, gang!” he says, clapping. “That was amazing! That’s how I wanted to go out.” He wishes them luck, tells them he loves them, while also calling the move “brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.”
Jeff has no words. Hai’s spoken enough for him. Worth noting that on their way out, Jonathan and Mike give a little fist bump.
“Survivor 42” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The three-hour finale airs Wednesday, May 25, 2022.