Survivor 21.12 “You Started, You’re Finshing” Recap

If you don’t remember what happened two weeks ago, check out my recap here. Last week, we had the seasonal Survivor “Other Scenes We Will Claim Are Important, but Really Aren’t” episode. My recap of that is here.

This week’s episode begins with Jeff Probst recapping the terrible conditions the players have gone through and the desires of Holly, NaOnka and Purple Kelly to quit at various points in the game. The evening of Day 27, after the Tribal Council where Brenda was voted out, Libertad returns to camp. Purple Kelly (OK, she’s just Kelly from now on, as she has decided to actually talk in this episode) tells NaOnka that Tribal Council was “wild.” She was totally left in the dark by the other members of her alliance, which puts her in danger. Kelly is now at the bottom of the totem pole. Holly approaches NaOnka and tells her that even though Brenda tried throwing NaOnka under the bus, that actually makes Holly trust her more. As long as NaOnka keeps running to Holly with information, she has every reason to trust NaOnka. NaOnka confesses that Brenda got burned by going after her. Brenda tried to make her look bad, but “you made me look good!” NaOnka is in a strong position because people are intimidated by her and afraid she’ll go off on them. Later, Chase tells NaOnka that she, him, Jane and Holly should stick together, and NaOnka agrees.

The next morning, the rain is pouring down; so much so that the river has overflowed and rushing mud into the ocean. NaOnka feels “like crap” on account of her anemia which causes her joints to hurt in the bad weather. Kelly cries to Fabio that she doesn’t know how much longer she can put up with the weather and the game. She doesn’t want to give up, but how much can she take? Fabio tells her that she just needs to find a mental happy place. Soon enough, the sun comes out. Benry and Fabio talk in the jungle about how they want NaOnka and Kelly out — if they want to quit, good riddance. NaOnka pulls Chase into the jungle and tells him that her heart isn’t in the game any more. So, she’s going to give him her Hidden Immunity Idol, the “key to the game.” She leaves him with some advice, “Don’t be scatterbrained.”

Holly and Jane confer that they should stick with Sash and Chase. They, too, think Kelly and NaOnka should just leave. Chase tells Sash that the two of them should stay with Holly and Jane, but Sash confesses that he trusts NaOnka and Kelly more than Holly, Jane and Chase, so he needs to convince them to stay. That, or he could side with Fabio, Benry and Dan. His decision will have to wait because it’s time for the…

…Reward Challenge. In this Challenge, the players will be divided into two teams. Each team’s members will be tethered to each other. Together, they will untie an eight foot tall and very heavy dummy attached to a table. Once they free their dummy, they must carry that dummy through an obstacle course. If they drop the dummy, they must return to the beginning of that obstacle. The winning team will go to the Survivor Cinema for a screening of the new Jack Black movie, Gulliver’s Travels (You know what this is…Blatant Product Placement!!). Jeff emphasizes that the movie’s theme is that one needs to look past what is on the outside and focus on what is on the inside of a person to overcome adversity. To this, NaOnka says she’s going to give 100% (well, thanks, NaOnka). At the Cinema, the winners will enjoy nachos, hot dogs, popcorn and all the candy they can eat. In a schoolyard pick, the Blue team consists of Benry, NaOnka, Chase and Holly. The Yellow team is Fabio, Kelly, Sash and Jane. Dan was not chosen so he will not participate. He bets that the Blue team will win. If they do, he will go on the Reward trip. Survivors ready….GO!!!

The teams spread around their table, and immediately Kelly is having problem with the knots. Fabio instructs her to not work on the same rope, but opposite end from where he is working. The Blue team jumps out to a lead, but it is quickly erased by the Yellow team. Yellow releases their dummy first and they head off into the obstacle course, immediately followed by the Blue team. The first obstacle is a wall that the teams must navigate the dummy over. As the teams maneuver their heavy loads over the wall, they are dead even. The wall completed, and Jane and Kelly literally being dragged by Fabio and Sash, the teams move on to a series of ropes and hay bales. Blue passes the Yellow team, but is quickly passed themselves by Yellow. Jeff is excited by the effort being out forth, “This is what I’m talkin’ about!” Yellow holds on to their slight lead as the teams hit the third obstacle: a narrow rope tunnel. Fabio tries pulling the dummy through, but it gets caught up in the ropes. This allows Blue to move into the lead. With Yellow stuck, Jeff exhorts them to keep trying, “Don’t give up! Dig for it!!” Jeff’s encouragement is not enough for Yellow, however, as Blue clears the tunnel and sprints for the finish. Blue Team wins Reward!

Sash immediately asks his vanquished Yellow team if he should ask Blue if it is OK to kill one of the chickens. Jane responds, “Who the f&*k cares?” Holly exclaims her desire for a hot dog. Jeff notes that Dan put forth no effort, but will get all of the Reward. NaOnka then raises her hand and asks if she can say something. With Jeff’s permission, she says that she’s given 110% the whole game, but that today is her last day. Dumbfounded, Jeff asks if she is quitting. Yes she is. Jeff asks if anyone else wants to quit. Kelly says that she does, too. At this point, Jeff looks so angry that his head might explode. He tells them that there are only eleven days left. He says to NaOnka that he didn’t take her for a quitter. NaOnka says she is not a quitter (well, at least not until this moment), but that she needs to listen to her body. Jeff asks Kelly if she is sure. “Yup. I’m good,” she responds. “Yeah, well I’m not,” Jeff replies. He says that he is going to give them the afternoon to think about it, and they they will convene at Tribal Council that night to sort this all out. They are this close to completing the game, but instead, they will be “one of those others…the quitters that no one remembers,” Jeff sneers.

Jeff continues, telling all of the players that they have endured a lot in their 28 days. Fire ransacked their camp, destroying all of their food. Their tarp was damaged, and rain has been pouring down on them. He makes the winning Blue team an offer. If any of them chooses, they can give up their Reward, and take back to camp a new tarp, and enough rice to feed the tribe for the remaining eleven days. “This is a Hero move…a Heroine move,” he informs them. Without much hesitation, Holly takes Jeff up on his offer. Coming up to get the tarp and rice, she says, “I need to take care of these guys.” While Holly is talking with Jeff, Benry mutters to NaOnka that she should sacrifice her Reward since she’s leaving anyway. Holly even stares NaOnka down with a look that says, “you should be standing here,” but NaOnka doesn’t move. When Jeff dismisses the tribe, Holly confides that NaOnka didn’t step up; she completely misjudged NaOnka’s personality. All Benry can say is, “Unbelievable.”

Back at camp, Kelly is astonished that Holly would give up her Reward. Fabio tells the camera that Holly is a genuine person, and he’s grateful to her because he got the tarp and the food and he wasn’t going to go on the Reward trip anyway! Holly pulls Kelly aside and asks her if she is still thinking about quitting. Kelly confirms that she is. Holly tells her that she came to play Survivor, so she needs to suck it up. “You started, you’re finishing.” Kelly responds that she has been sucking it up the whole 28 days, and then says (in a quote that will haunt her for years to come with men from all over), “I have nothing left to suck.” (That’s what she said. ©Michael Scott) Holly tells her that on Day Five she wanted to quit, too, but Jimmy Johnson convinced her to stay and she’s glad she did. Kelly will feel that way too if she stays.

At the Cinema, the Blue team plus Dan gorge themselves on the assorted food and candy. Chase sums up the experience thus, “This is frickin’ ridiculous.” Chase confesses that NaOnka was selfish for not giving up her Reward when she is leaving anyway. In her own confessional, NaOnka says that she didn’t give 110% for nothing, regardless if she leaves or not. Benry and Chase take their place in a couple chairs, and remark how nice it is to sit in a comfy chair for the first time in 28 days. They watch Gulliver’s Travels (BPP!), and much like the annual movie watch awarded during Reward Competitions on Big Brother, the players had nothing but the absolute best things to say about the movie. They even got Benry to recite the movie’s slogan, “Black is the New Big.” (BPP!) Benry confides that he’s concerned with NaOnka staying in the game so he’s hoping that she’ll quit. For her part, after the movie, NaOnka feels pretty great about Tribal Council. The Reward gave her some energy that helped her put things in perspective. If she stays in the game, she knows she’ll win the million dollars. Back at camp, Fabio mentions that quitting has never crossed his mind. Kelly believes that she will have a hard time at…

…Tribal Council. Aptly, it is raining. Jeff brings in the Jury (with Brenda looking fiiiiiiiine), and informs them that they are there because NaOnka and Kelly are considering quitting. This news drops the collective jaws of the Jury. Jeff asks Holly about what she wanted to quit. What made her want to stay. Holly reiterates the story about Jimmy Johnson (cue Marty eye roll), and concludes with the rhetorical question: you’ve made it this far, why not go as far as you can? Jane’s opinion is that these kids (I would have loved if she called them “young ‘uns”) need to realize that every day of life is not a walk in the park. She uses her spunk and drive to hang in there. Jeff asks NaOnka when the thought to quit started. She replies that it has been for a while, but really since that morning. She was very cold and her joints were hurting, so she figures it’s time to go. She’s proud of how well she played the game, because she is the last African-American remaining (cue Sash’s quizzical look), and she is a “strong black woman.” Jeff asks Kelly the same question, and she responds that morning. Her body is breaking down, but the emotional strain is what is really doing her in.

Benry’s take is the cliche that “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” Obviously, they are capable girls, so he’s not sure why they are quitting. Jeff asks Fabio how much older he is than Kelly. One year is his response, so it isn’t an immaturity that is coming into play with Kelly. Jeff then asks NaOnka why she didn’t volunteer to give up her Reward when she is just going to quit anyway. NaOnka replies that she tried 110% (as if I need to point this out, giving 110% is impossible in a physical exertion situation), so she was going to have fun at the Reward. Jeff asks her if she ever thought she could win the game. She replies yes, because of her drive to win. I cannot effectively describe to you how utterly flabbergasted Jeff is at this comment. I believe his eyebrows jumped off his face they shot toward the heavens so quickly. “Really?” he replies, bemused, “Tell me a story, woman.” NaOnka then goes on about how she would still win this game if she stays.

Jeff moves on, and does his part to sell movie tickets, and asks the Reward participants if they enjoyed Gulliver’s Travels (BPP!). Benry did. What did Benry enjoy about the movie. Well, Jeff, Benry thought the theme about how one must look inside themselves, and dig deep in times of adversity is the most important. How……apt. Jeff returns to NaOnka regarding her not giving up her Reward. NaOnka tells him that she wanted to “go out with a bang,” so she enjoyed the movie she had won. Jeff asks if she views this in any way selfish. She replies, “I’m just NaOnka…and I always will be.” Chase chimes in that he would have given up his Reward if he ad decided to quit, but NaOnka replies that she’s content with her decision. Jane gets the last words of advice to give. These “kids” need to learn that life is a rocky road, through which they are going to have to persevere and strive if they ever want a job or anything else out of it. There are a lot of people out in the world that have it worse off then they do, even at that very moment, and those people aren’t playing Survivor.

With that, Jeff asks NaOnka if she really wants to quit. She says yes. Jeff asks the same of Kelly, and she quits too. Marty shakes his head in disgust and says, “I can’t believe it.” Jeff, seething stoically, asks the quitters what he should do with their torches. NaOnka suggests, that like everyone else’s, he should “smuff” them. When everyone giggles, NaOnka says, “Smuff them. That’s what you do, right?” Kelly, too, suggests that he snuff them. “But you’re quitters!!” he hurls back at them. No matter. He will snuff their torches, but then leave them in Tribal Council so they can be reminded of their pathetic display when they come to subsequent Tribal Councils as members of the Jury. Marty is absolutely beside himself in the Jury box (Ponderosa is going to be fun tonight!). NaOnka grabs her torch and brings it to Jeff, blowing kisses along her way. Jeff asks her, “You wanna go?” “Yes,” she replies. “Go,” Jeff spits in disgust while snuffing her torch. NaOnka struts off into the Blue Light of Death. Kelly grabs her torch and Jeff snuffs it as well. With them gone, Jeff tells the rest of Libertad that desire comes from within, so it is time to step up and play the game. As they leave, Marty says, “That’s really f&*ked up, man.” Brenda says, “I gave her so much more credit that that.” Alina just cries.

Next time on…Survivor!!

Everyone will be getting very muddy during a Challenge. Jeff narrates that with the quitters gone, the remaining players want it bad, so no one is safe. Then just about every player’s name is mentioned as possibly being voted out next. OK, if in the last real episode’s preview showed Fabio wearing the Immunity Necklace, was that a clip from when he won the Individual Immunity for the men, when Jane won for the women, or was that a clip from next week? It will be interesting to see. Of most interest though, is the complete chaos the tribe seems to be in next week. With NaOnka and Kelly gone, that’s two people from the same alliance now out of the game. The Fabio/Benry pairing now has a better shot of grabbing hold of Sash and using Dan as a pawn to knock off Chase or Jane. Further, it will be interesting to see if Chase is smart enough to use the HII wisely. Hell, I’ll just be happy if he doesn’t tell anyone else that he has it!

I was going to use this space to start ranting, again, about how much I hate players who quit and don’t want to be there, but that would have been merely repetitive of the other times I have done it. Jeff, appropriately displayed my disgust throughout the episode, so there is no need to reiterate it. Suffice it to say that, as someone who wants to be on this show so badly, it absolutely sickens me that someone would quit the show. As Holly said, I know I don’t understand how hard the game is without playing it, but come on people. If you sign up, play the game. If you really want to go, convince your tribemates to vote you out, but don’t quit. There are too many people who want to be in your position.

Odds to Win

The Odds weren’t effected too much because NaOnka and Purple Kelly were at the bottom of the table. I did predict Kelly was going to be in the Final Three a couple weeks ago because she was innocuous, a pawn to be played, and no danger to steal votes from anyone else in the final vote. I didn’t anticipate she would quit though. Oh well. Let’s see how the Odds look this week.

Sash: 7-1. This week’s developments help Sash greatly. With two members of his original alliance gone in one fell swoop, Sash is free to flip to Fabio and Benry, a way he was leaning already, without much worry about being hung out to dry or upsetting anyone. Throw in his HII, and the fact that he’s smarter than Benry and Fabio, and Sash might just win this thing.

Fabio (Jud): 9-1. Fabio just keeps on trucking. He is in great spirits and seems to have felt no ill physical effects from the elements. There is no reason he can’t go on an Individual Immunity run when necessary. Further, with Benry, Dan and possibly Sash on his side, he is in the majority. Fabio’s sole concern will be making sure he doesn’t get cut by Sash or Benry. He needs to know that they know he is so well-liked, that if he makes it to the Final Three, he stands a good chance to win against any of the other competitors.

Holly: 18-1. Holly has completely grown on me, and in fact, I think I’m rooting for her to win. If she can make it to the end, she stands a great chance, but I fear, after this episode, she’ll never make it there. Holly has clearly emerged as a leader, a strong player, and someone who is adored by the rest of the tribe. All of the references to her as “Mom” aren’t derogatory. People love her, which is very dangerous if you are up against her in the final. For now, I think Jane is a bigger target than Holly, but not by much.

Benry: 20-1. He’s in the majority alliance now, but God I wish this guy would go home. Not that he’s done anything super-obnoxious, but I just can’t stand him for some reason. His mere appearance on screen just gets my hackles up. Someone like that just can’t win this game.

Chase: 40-1. I kind of hate to move Chase up, because he has done nothing proactively to deserve it, but through dumb luck, he now holds an HII. The question will be whether or not he’s smart enough to deploy it properly — this question does not have an obvious response. Still, and HII is a powerful tool, so Chase can’t be completely written off.

Jane: 52-1. I’ve said it before, Jane is awesome. Unfortunately, two of her alliance members just up and quit on her, leaving Jane in a very vulnerable position. She has Holly and Chase, but the other guys know that there is no way they can allow her to get to the Final Three, or else they will lose, hands down. Will Jane’s determination be enough to win her some Individual Immunity Challenges when she needs them?

Dan: 300-1. Not only did one person quit tonight, but two people did. And somehow, some way, neither of them was Dan! What the @*($&#^#$(@(&$(#%*&()#$?!?!?!

Alright, that’s what I’ve got for this week. What did you think of the episode? What do you think about the double quitters? How about the way Jeff handled the situation? Would you have just cut them as soon as they said they wanted to quit? How do these dismissals effect the alliances? Please leave your questions, comments and theories below. I’ll be back next week with another recap. Until then, I’m off to turn my swag on.

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