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Apr 10

Survivor 20.07: Bold Moves

Spoilers after the jump…

Another amazing episode. What we have seen over the last several weeks is Survivor gamesmanship of the highest quality. I’ve seen enough to declare that Russell is the best tactician to ever play the game. I don’t think he’ll be able to go through to the end – there’s way too much heat on him now, and without Rob, there’s no common enemy for his alliance to unite against and the alliance lines will probably shift next week. I’ll be impressed (again) if he can make it through to the merge. Nonetheless, to be able to escape from a 3:6 situation and then take out an arch-rival of Boston Rob’s quality was masterful.

The way Russell talks to people is really sly and he makes some very bold moves and statements (“Who are you gonna vote for?” “One of these two sitting in front of us!”). Russell always seems to be overly rash or too full of bravado, and on the verge of falling prey to hubris. But his words are calculated and deliberate – he knows when he’s in power, and he knows when his back’s against the wall. I laughed when he used the term “Russell Seed” last season, but it really does work. You can even see it working, as the other players furrow their brows in inner conflict.

And Rob wasn’t dumb – at the start of the episode he knew something fishy was up with his alliance – he just wasn’t able to outmaneuver Russell. Coach is just plain flaky… making promises to both sides – how is that maintaining his integrity? He got totally owned when he tried to hug Rob goodbye. Luckily for everyone, Rob’s not on the jury.

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