‘Survivor’ Summer Book Club – ‘Survivor: Cook Islands’ Episode 13


EP13Some quick reminders/orders of business, etc.

First, if you don’t want to know who wins “Survivor: Cook Islands,” this isn’t the place for you. There WILL be spoilers. Go watch “Survivor: The Amazon” instead.

Second, speaking of “Survivor: The Amazon,” Mr. Rob Cesternino is very generously offering his “Survivor: The Amazon – Unauthorized DVD Commentary” at an exclusive DISCOUNTED RATE for Summer Book Club members.

Third, our friends at True Dork Times are once again getting in on the fun with stats, awards, and more.

And finally, this whole Book Club thing is kind of a work in progress. If you have ideas on how to improve the proceedings, please let me know.

My Big Question: Parvati Shallow, “Boston” Rob Mariano, Russell Hantz, Richard Hatch, Sandra Diaz-Twine, Ozzy Lusth, Cirie Fields, Tom Westman, Amanda Kimmel, Rob Cesternino, and Ethan Zohn.

That’s the full roster of“Survivor” Hall of Famers. All eleven have appeared on the show more than once.

Whenever the topic of worthy one-timers comes up, Cook Islands champ (spoiler alert!) Yul Kwon is always a popular pick. However, many seem to think his (spoiler alert!) over-powered immunity idol should count against him. With this re-watch, I hope to get to the bottom of that mystery.

And with that, let’s get started…

Episode Thoughts:

I can’t get over the amount of fish they’re pulling out of the ocean on a daily basis.

Gah…I don’t need Sundra’s graphic play-by-play on Parvati’s mangled finger.

Not to give anything away, but the current “Survivor” medical team is a bunch of champs.

I’m on Adam’s side; talk of losing fingernails or toenails freaks me out.

How awesome would it have been if Adam’s loved one had been his wife or girlfriend? Kiss the Sprint fan vote goodbye.

Colby berating his brother during “Heroes vs Villains” has forever broken this challenge for me.

Hey Jeff, how about not giving away the wring-your-shirt-out strategy? Let people figure it out on their own.

Nowadays it’d be like, “Parvati, you get to chose which Survivor has to punch their loved one in the face.”

Wow, awesome reward. Totally worth almost losing a thumb over.

Ha! Perfect moment with Adam bringing back food after Ozzy and Yul threw out the coconuts.

That challenge was practically designed for Ozzy.

Sundra and Becky are TERRIBLE at playing it cool. They wouldn’t even look at Penner.

Not sure how I feel about the Penner vote. Adam’s a bigger challenge threat. And Penner’s a perfect goat at this point, but the game wasn’t played like that back then. Either order is probably fine.

Discussion Questions:

Should Probst be more careful about revealing strategies during challenges?

Would you have gone for Penner or Adam?

Edit readers: could a case be made for anyone other than Yul winning?

Post your answers and questions below, and be sure to swing by True Dork Times for awards, stats, and more…

Even More Whatnot…

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12 Responses to “‘Survivor’ Summer Book Club – ‘Survivor: Cook Islands’ Episode 13”

  1. Jeff Pitman (@truedorktimes) Says:

    There is no telling Jeff Probst anything about his in-challenge commentary. Although it would have been a perfect opportunity for Penner to tell Probst to shut up. I assume either it was edited out, or Penner can’t make snappy counter-commentary when blindfolded.

    Adam just won the previous IC, whereas Penner has won nothing. Adam also does nothing around camp, whereas Penner just shared the fish he caught with Sundra and Becky three days earlier, AND got yelled at for it. Ozzy seemed highly hostile to Adam (at least to feeding him) in both of the last two episodes, but neutral to Penner. So really, the entire decision seems to have been Yul capitulating to Sundra and Becky’s demands. Surely Yul could have convinced Becky that Penner is a far bigger useful goat for both of their games, even if the unthinkable happens, and Penner wins an F3 IC and takes Becky to the final two. The jury is full of ex-Raros who seem to like Adam and dislike Penner. Dumb, dumb strategy, the reasoning behind which was not in the least bit explained in the episode.

    Assuming you meant edit readers: Nope. Ozzy only talks about providing or challenges. Becky only talks about Penner or Parvati. Sundra and Adam only talk about events going on right this second. A weak case could be made for Parvati, especially after the last two episodes, but she was completely unheard from for the middle six or seven episodes. It’s Yul or bust.

    • Drew M Says:

      I think that the decision to keep Adam and boot Penner comes back to Adam promising Yul his vote if Penner left before him. This is when Yul took him up on that offer. Confusing though, because you’d think they would have shown Yul at least contemplating that variable this episode before tribal council.

    • Sarah Freeman (@ChannonSarah) Says:

      I think it’s worth pointing out here that Yul was seriously considering voting off Jonathan *last* week and it appeared to be Becky talking him out of it. So this might have been Sundra and Becky finally capitulating to his wishes rather than vice versa.

      I think that for the rest of the Aitu Four, the mutineers were the obvious first contenders to go–and since Jonathan only had a real connection to Yul, it makes perfect sense to get rid of him before Adam or Parvati! Yul already has an idol and Becky; he doesn’t need another staunch ally.

      For Yul, there was Adam’s promise of his jury vote–a promise he followed through on! I do think Jonathan’s boot was worth it for the sake of pandering to the jury. Most of them would have been pleased to see Jonathan punished before ‘innocent victims’ Parvati and Adam. It only scored Adam’s vote for Yul, but it was worth trying. At this point, fretting about Adam’s potential to go on an immunity run seems a little over-cautious. He was nowhere near winning the most recent one.

  2. Drew M Says:

    I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve been enjoying these post merge Pagoning episodes much more than I normally would in a typical Pagonging scenario. It speaks to the depth of characters still present at this point in the season. Right now, the entertainment is coming heavily from watching Yul, Penner and (less so) Parvati just interact and talk with everyone, and watching Ozzy destroy challenges. Of course, scenes like these could never be entertainment enough on Survivor these days right? Oh wait, they could?? How interesting.

    Speaking of Ozzy, like Gordon, the instant I saw the overhead intro shot of the immunity challenge, you may as well have skipped the challenge and necklaced Ozzy immediately. There were some team challenges earlier like that for Aitu, and some in FvF where you know whatever team has Ozzy will probably be the one to win. On a related note, I have really, really enjoyed the challenges this season. I’m going to enjoy any season that’s water heavy on challenges, but these have all been creative, have incorporated the theme really well, and have just been all in all interesting. Despite being more of a fan of the social dynamics in any given season, strength of challenges is certainly something that can hurt a season a little in my personal rankings, or bump it up some.

    Sundra has really been an overlooked player up to this point, both by us and by the story. We’ve been focusing so much on why this person can win, why these people can’t, but Sundra never really comes up. It is because she’s just kind of along for the ride, and probably didn’t have a ton of compelling things to say, but she seems pretty universally liked by everyone. Her inclusion on the reward seemed to please Parvati just fine. And I don’t recall her having beef with anyone so far, Raros and Aitus all included. There are very, very few scenarios where she could win, because in addition to just being likeable you have to show you did SOMEthing in the game to actively further yourself. But maybe the choice to oust her when she is was made even easier because of this?

    The couple times this episode we see Jonathan trying to talk with other tribe members and get rebuffed seems like a case of some tricky editing. Granted, the scene where he follows Sundra and Becky in to the woods was real, and real time, so I know the rest of the tribe were actively trying to avoid him at some points. But when he returns from Exile Island, and also when everyone is around the fire, the nothing responses he gets seem like a fabrication to hammer home the point he’s an outsider.

    Have to say that any time Jonathan and Yul talk this season is going to be a great scene. Each makes it really easy for the other to understand their point of view, and I as a viewer get where both are coming from too. I think the key difference, though, is that Yul is excellent at communicating his thoughts to the rest of his fellow competitors, while Jonathan couldn’t quite excel here as Yul did. Funny since Jonathan is such an excellent orator. Maybe that skill doesn’t apply as much for him communicating face to face, and more so as a 1 on 1, or when writing something for an unseen audience.

    • George W Says:

      Totally agreed on the Yul-Penner interactions. It’s terrific stuff for people like me who like to hear strategy and scenarios being played out and too often Survivor likes to concentrate on stupid decisions being made. Dumb may be fun, but intelligence on display is exciting and intellectually stimulating.

      If I thought Adam and Parvati would give me jury votes for voting out Penner, I’d take the risk of Adam winning immunity challenges if only because to do so, he’d have to beat Ozzy, who has already shown himself nigh unbeatable in any physical challenge. That said, Adam is the only one who could beat Yul in FTC. His friends stack the jury. He’d definitely get Candice and Parvati’s votes and probably Nate’s. That means he just needs two more from Brad, Jenny, or Rebecca. Granted they are all people he had a hand in voting out, but that’s still fairly risky.

      • Sarah Freeman (@ChannonSarah) Says:

        Brad would vote for Yul or Becky every time. Rebecca would probably have voted for Sundra if she was in the mix, but I think she and Jenny would have stuck by the last remaining Raro. So yes, had Adam managed to win the last two immunity challenges–unlikely, I think considering the final immunity–he would have been edited as the hero of Cook Islands. The mind boggles.

  3. @FiligirlFu Says:

    Adam – I wonder what the purpose of his monologue on fingernails was for. It seemed like a long time on camera for something not all too important.

    Ozzy – He doesn’t even swim, it looks like he is just one with the water – moves with the current. I swear he didn’t even kick his feet to swim. To make it fair, maybe he should have been blind-folded.

    Parvati – Talented while blind-folded. If only she had it on when she was whacking at a coconut. 🙂

    Sundra – While her voice is very calm/boring, I have to admit that I like how Sundra describes things. Her metaphors of feeling “small” after the mutiny, and describing the water hole as a piece of heaven really helped the viewer to experience the moment as much as we can from our couches.

    Buckets of Water Challenge – It would have been even more interesting if the Loved One also got to pick who would be sent to Exile Island. It would have been pretty funny if Adam got sent.

    Water Obstacle Course Challenge – Clearly an Ozzy-win. I wonder how irritating it was for him to stand and wait for people to get out of his way.

    Should Probst be more careful about revealing strategies during challenges? – I sometimes wonder if some of Probst commentary is added later. In the Mud Bucket challenge, he clearly says that Ozzy is carrying clumps on the back of his neck, yet nobody attempts to copy that strategy.

    The Vote – While I believe voting Penner out was in the best interest of Aitu, I found the arguments from Adam and Parvati interesting. I mean, yes, maybe it is annoying to you that all those people on the jury shouldn’t be there and Jonathan should be, but doesn’t Aitu realize they would *also* be over there if it wasn’t for Jonathan? Regardless, it was the best vote. Aitu may have alienated Jonathan (although, I don’t think this is the case since he has the ability to divorce his feelings from the game), but they all did it *together* so there’s going to be less fall out and hurt feelings. Plus, I think this could buy Yul three votes: appeasing Adam/Parvati by voting out Jonathan, and from Jonathan who appreciates Yul’s cerebral gameplay.

    Would you have gone for Penner or Adam? – Definitely Penner. I may be giving him less credit than he deserves, but it seems like a fluke that Adam even wins that Memory Challenge. I mean, it’s entirely possible he just picked a box and got the right one. Penner, in the end, is a bigger challenge threat. We know Ozzy can beat any one of them nine times out of ten. The one weakness he may have is puzzles (which, he’s won those, so not really) and Jonathan is pretty good at puzzles if he can get past the portion that comes before it. At this point, it’s about jury management and this vote was the best for all of the players still in the game.

    • Drew M Says:

      Adam’s fingernail confessional was the first time all season I agreed with what he was saying. Maybe that’s why they threw it in there?

  4. @FiligirlFu Says:

    Oh, one more thing… looking ahead: Is it just me or was Jonathan’s “hat request” to the entire tribe… not just Yul?

    • Drew M Says:

      Definitely to the entire tribe. Do you think when they got back to camp that night, Yul found the hat and held on to it for dear life so he could be the one to use it to butter up Jonathan when the time came?

      • @FiligirlFu Says:

        This may be a conversation for next week, but I seem to remember him putting the hat on the jury bench. If it wasn’t for Probst “outing” him, Jonathan would have never known who brought it to TC that night.

      • George W Says:

        FiligirlFu is right. Yul places the hat on the bench before anyone arrives. Jonathan comes and finds his hat already there. Probst then brings up that Yul brought it and how strategic a move it could be. That said, Yul clearly had a connection with Jonathan no one else had and I can’t see Penner voting for anyone else, hat or no hat.

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