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Survivor: South Pacific Episode 13 - Honor, Integrity, and Upolu

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Written by : published Thursday 8th December 2011

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There was a lot to like about tonight’s episode of Survivor, the predictable outcome of Tribal Council not withstanding.  It was the “family visit” episode, and this one was a doozy as we got to meet another member of the Hantz family in Shawn Hantz, Brandon’s father.  Their discussion of religion and Survivor was classic, and it’s part of why I love the show…the different points of view and interpretations that make each player, each season, each viewer, unique.  One man’s loyalty is viewed as another woman’s betrayal.

In case you did miss it, please catch up by watching Episode 13 of Survivor: South Pacific, and then take in my weekly Survivor Examiner episode recap before the following “Bonus Analysis” coverage.

Tonight, that betrayed feeling belonged to Edna, and who could blame her?  Edna was Coach’s first ally, the one that waited for him at the first challenge when the rest of Upolu left him alone.  Talk about honor and integrity?  Don’t cry for Edna, as she should have seen this coming a long time ago, and it shouldn’t have been a big surprise that she was 6th on the tribe.  Her betrayal ultimately was at the hands of Coach, in whom she had put her trust in, hoping that he would protect her.  He did, to this point.  His atmosphere of “loyalty, integrity, and honor” that he has instilled into his tribe was both a blessing, keeping them all unified to this point, and a curse...in not talking to anybody past the point of Final 6 was only going to lead to trouble.

I’ve gone on record as saying that Coach was on his way for a “perfect game” just as Boston Rob played last season, although Coach with a much different approach.  He had made all the right moves, and had positioned himself for greatness.  He also possesses the game-awareness necessary to make it to the end.  But Survivor has a way of revealing people…you can’t fake anything for too long out there.  We are starting to see signs of the old Coach when he would rather take Ozzy to the Final 3 than Cochran or Edna, calling Ozzy the more “noble” competitor.  It must be so hard to keep mental focus in the game, but I could not imagine that the Day 10 version of Coach would agree with the Day 31 version of Coach on a whole lot.  By cutting out Cochran and now Edna, how does Coach plan to win?  Against Ozzy?  Brandon?  He was assured of a million in a Final 3 with any combination of Cochran, Edna, and Brandon, and now 1 of those players is on the jury with the other on her way.  Coach may make it to the end, but he is starting to lose focus if he thinks he has a shot at winning against Ozzy.

And what for the rest?  I’m sure that the Survivor producers would love us to believe that Brandon isn’t next, but I have a sneaky suspicion that he will be.  He should be on every single players’ list as a Final 3 companion, but the problem is that I don’t feel like the remaining players are making good decisions for their endgames.  Just like a Hantz, Brandon has absolutely no shot at being crowned the winner.  He should make it to the end, as should Rick, another zero-chance-to-win competitor.  Unfortunately for Sophie and Albert, they now find themselves in a position where Coach is guaranteed another week, with the Idol still in his possession.  If Sophie and Albert stay unified, that leaves only Brandon or Rick as targets.  Could we be on the verge of Sophie and Albert splitting up?  Individually, that may be their best moves.  As a tribe, that almost guarantees Coach makes it to Final 3, with power to control who exits.

How would an Edna win over Ozzy shake up the game?  Edna should have no chance of winning either her Duel or the game, being viewed as weak all along.  But in the scenario where she would beat Ozzy, and overcome all odds to make the Final 3?  She could make the argument that of the Final 6, she was the only one who never backstabbed and who played with integrity.  Yes a long shot, but quite frankly this may be Edna’s only path to winning the game.

Ozzy is becoming a shoe-in to win Survivor if he makes the Final 3, even against Coach, who is likely to continue to make enemies as he goes along.  So who will win Survivor?

Following next week’s episode, join me again as I give you my predictions, and break down all of the possible scenarios heading into the Finale.  It nothing else, it should be a great finish…who would have thought that both returning players would make it to the Finale episode?  Ozzy is one Duel win away from fulfilling this improbable outcome.

Be sure to follow all of my Survivor coverage on Twitter, @tomsantilli, and at tomsantilli.com.

About the author SurvivorTom

SurvivorTom

Tom Santilli is a respected journalist and member of the Detroit Film Critics Society.  He writes several on-line columns, most notably as the Detroit Movie Examiner and the Survivor Examiner for Examiner.com.  He also is a contributor as a Survivor-Insider to TVGeekArmy.com and writes exclusive Survivor in-depth episode analysis for TheTVKing.com. He has been featured on Rob Cesternino's "Rob Has a Podcast" and most recently landed the only exclusive Richard Hatch interview given since his latest legal trouble has surfaced. All of Tom's Survivor coverage as well as movie reviews can be found on his blog the "FilmSurvivor", at FilmSurvivor.com

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