Beware Advantage Returns in Special 90-Minute ‘Survivor 43’ Episode 2

Survivor 43 episode 2

CBS The cast of "Survivor 43" assemble for a challenge in episode 2.

After the special, two-hour premiere of “Survivor 43” last week, viewers saw the sad (and somewhat nebulous) elimination of Morriah Young of Baka. As a result, the season is already down to 17 castaways, and it’s now time to find out who will be going next.

Episode 2 – which is an unusual 90-minute special – is called “Lovable Curmudgeon,” and its description reads, “An unexpected storm hit hard and fast and kept tribes shivering all night in their shelters. Also, one castaway puts their tribe at risk of going to tribal council after failing to pull their weight in the challenge.”

I, for one, can’t wait to discover who this “lovable curmudgeon” is, and who will be the target of their tribe’s wrath by the end of the night. Let’s dive in.

All times Eastern.

8:10 – After returning from Tribal Council, Owen apologizes to Baka if it seemed like he was freaking out; rest assured, however, his trust in the tribe is now restored. Somehow, they then turn to the possibility of eating worms for breakfast…yuk.

Baka undergoes a horrific storm overnight, leaving many of their contestants battered. “That was the roughest night I’ve ever had in my entire life,” Sami says, adding that the tribe basically couldn’t sleep because they were so wet. Mike describes it as a “beating,” and says the wind was upward of 40 mph. Physically, it’s understandably getting difficult for him, and Owen is even worried Mike might not be able to make it. No doubt the storm has indeed beaten him, and now, especially given his age, he’s worried about becoming a liability to his tribe.

On Vesi, Dwight (who, reminder: lost his vote last episode) and Jesse see Justine and Noelle as a tight pair; while Jesse sees himself as tight with Nneka, and Cody. However, since the latter two are also a pair, he wants to drag Dwight into the alliance. Dwight likes Jesse, but is hesitant about Cody; nonetheless, everyone’s starting to get annoyed by Justine, who seems to have a visceral – and borderline annoying – fear of spiders. I don’t know if this girl knew what show she was applying for…

8:20 – On Coco, Karla runs through her alliance possibilities; while she’s real tight with the girls, and has (kind of) roped James in, she also notices the tight bond between Geo and Ryan, and wonders whether she should go with them instead.

While he and Ryan run off together, Geo reflects on his past; his conservative Peruvian parents threw him out of their home when he was 18 after he came out as gay. He was forced onto the streets, and, while he was shelter-hopping, reveals he even considered suicide. However, he chose life, and he’s proud of it, especially now that he’s on “Survivor!” “I am not gonna let anything or anyone get in my way,” he says of the new opportunity life gave him. Ryan also feels their bond, even saying that he feels like they knew each other before the game.

On Vesi, Cody reveals where he drew his “LIVIN'” philosophy from: his friend, Devon Yaddof, who died of cancer in high school, but not before losing his leg (which gives him an unusual connection to Noelle).

And now, we have a title reveal…it’s from OWEN! Apparently, his friends at home describe him has a “lovable curmudgeon,” though he’s trying to keep the “curmudgeon” part under wraps. While he begrudgingly carries a pot of water back to camp, his tribemates search for an idol. While strategizing with Jeanine, Elie analogizes the boys on her tribe (minus Mike) to her children: “Sami is my first born and he came out really independent,” she says, while Owen is “like my baby boy, my second born; even though he’s older, he needs a lot more attention.”

She and Jeanine consider which of the two they should bring in to be their third; however, they seemed to make a crucial mistake in leaving the boys alone, as Sami is onto them: he suggests to Mike and Owen that the three of them unite. Though the others are more nervous about making alliances in such a small tribe so quickly, they do see the advantage.

“We wouild be stupid to lose to them,” Sami says.

8:40 – It’s a combined reward/immunity challenge, and it’s a doozy. The castaways have to essentially maneuver 400 pounds of “Survivor snake,” as Probst calls it, from the water to the beach, through numerous obstacles. (I get the sense Jonathan would have killed this one…)

It’s a close challenge, as all three are moving pretty evenly, if not quickly. Unlike last week, it’s Baka ahead of all the rest by the time they get to the puzzle…Vesi starts fumbling, meanwhile, and unfortunately, it seems a lot of the blame rests on Nneka… Baka comes from behind for an incredible immunity and reward win, while it’s COCO who follows close behind!! Looks like it’ll be someone from Vesi tonight, and it’s not looking great for Nneka.

8:50 – Back at camp, though Cody describes Nneka’s performance as “atrocious,” he simply can’t get rid of her, given their bond. Justine and Noelle, however, are less forgiving. It remains to be seen whether Nneka’s social game is strong enough to save her…

We’re back on Baka – an unusual editing choice post-immunity challenge…anyway. Elie is proud of her performance on the puzzle, especially because of her ADHD which plagued her as a child. “A doctoral degree couldn’t even shed me of that feeling that I’m not smart enough,” she says. Who knew how much “Survivor” could boost your self-esteem?

Meanwhile, Elie, Jeanine, and Owen are rejoicing because they assume Mike’s idol has expired, though it’s not entirely clear whether it expires after the first two Tribals, or the first two Tribals that Mike attends. Owen is confident that it’s expired, but after rifling through his bag, Jeanine finds the clue and confirms the idol is actually still good the next time Mike goes to Tribal…yikes. Looks like they have some strategy to re-think.

9:00 – On Vesi, Cody and Jesse suggest Justine go, in part because Cody has effectively instilled in him the fear of a salesperson, and in part because Justine told Jesse a few days ago that she could put on a “good lying face…” oops. In any case, Dwight isn’t so thrilled about the idea. In any case, Justine interrupts their conversation, and asks them to confirm they aren’t voting for her, as she fears she might be getting “hoodwinked” by him (of course, she is). For Jesse, this suspicion only confirms his desire to see her go, but Dwight – even though he has no vote – still wants Nneka gone.

Cody, Jesse, and Nneka confirm their plans to eliminate Justine, and since there’s only five votes tonight, this seems all but confirmed. Nonetheless, it somehow feels like the story isn’t over…while casually killing time/idol hunting before Tribal, Cody stumbles upon a BEWARE advantage. Given that “L-I-V-I-N is in my blood,” as he says, he can’t help but open it.

The new twist? He has to convince each and every one of his tribemates to give him a specific bead they have on their bag, and until then, he has no vote. MEANING: if everyone still sticks to their plan, it’ll be a tie, and they’re all screwed. Nice going, Cody…tonight, “L-I-V-I-N” might spell “dying” for one of his allies.

9:10 – Cody tells Jesse of his predicament; Jesse, having seen “41” and “42” and assuming Cody has too, thinks it’s ridiculous that he decided to take it. Cody and Jesse concoct a plan to get the beads by pretending that he wants to use them to decorate his laurel wreath. Jesse and Nneka – in on the plan – go along with it and willingly agree to give them the beads; Justine and Dwight, when pressured, follow. However, Noelle is stubborn and won’t budge. “I feel like an actual castaway on ‘Survivor’ with my ‘Survivor’ beads,” she says joyfully. And now, as Jesse says, the new game is “absolute chaos.” Looks like we’re headed into Tribal with 4 votes, folks. Let’s see how that turns out.

9:15 – Cody walks into Tribal fully adorned with his laurel wreath, telling Jeff that it was an homage to his uncles back home in Oahu. Justine, meanwhile, spells out the divisions/pairings in the tribe: the same which Dwight and Jesse described earlier, which may spell certain doom for herself. However, she also says that Jesse and Dwight are more or less roaming ghosts. They thereafter jokingly formalize their alliance, while Jesse says that being honest and authentic with your allies is key, as when you’re authentic with people, they tend to be authentic back. Talk then migrates to Dwight’s lost vote, with Cody’s (apparent) inability to vote still hovering over the discussion. Only time will tell whether he managed to get it back…

9:30 – As Jeff reads the votes, it’s revealed that somehow, Nneka and Jesse convinced Noelle to give him her beads, meaning Cody has his vote back, and…Justine is the 2nd person voted out of the game. Well, at least she doesn’t have to worry about any spiders where she’s going.

However, Dwight is not happy with Jesse. “We’ll talk later,” he says. We’ll just have to wait until next week to see how this all plays out.

“Survivor 43” airs Wednesdays 8 p.m. Eastern on CBS.

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