Survivor: Winners At War Episode 13 Preview

The Game

It’s Wednesday so that means its the best day of the week. That is solely because a new episode of Survivor season 40 premiers at 8pm. A 2 hour episode to lead us into the finale of what has been an absolutely thrilling season. With 7 people left, and one more person coming back from extinction, these players have 2 more weeks to make their final case for the ultimate prize of $2million and become just the second person to win survivor twice.

Par for the course this season has been Tony’s dominance. Another immunity challenge victory last week followed by brilliant tribal maneuvers to trounce Kim knocked off another one of his strongest enemies. Tony is still the clear favorite, and with an idol in his pocket it will take an act of wizardry to catch him off guard at this point. His alliances with Sarah, Ben, and Jeremy seem strong. On this season, though, you can never be too careful and I doubt Tony will take any chances with so few days remaining on the island.

On the other side is who I thought was Tony’s trusted ally, Nick. He decided to flip into a trio with Michelle and Denise to try and make a move to the end. This idea was smart for Nick’s overall play because he knows that there is no way he could win riding on Tony’s coattail. But, I think it was just a bit too late for him to ultimately make a move and really stand out. Tony caught this when he was asking Nick about Kim’s tribal intentions and Nick got read like a book trying to lie to him. That is not a recipe for Survivor success. I’m sure Tony won’t forget about Nick being complicit in this blindside attempt and he could be on the chopping block tonight.

Out of those in the “minority alliance” – Denise, Nick, and Michelle – I think Michelle clearly has the best chance to break through and be there at the end. I stated last week how she is playing a brilliant game. She is strong with Jeremy and I could definitely see her benefitting from someone (possibly Wendell or Yul) coming back from extinction to add to her vote count. If Michelle wants to win she needs to have one big moment for the season and a player coming back from the edge could give her the ammo she needs. I just hope it doesn’t get to the point where she has to use her 50/50 idol and she draws the wrong side of the coin.

Denise made her move too early. No one wants to make a deal with her after the snake move she pulled on Sandra. That feels like forever ago and all the credit to her, but she has just been scathing by since. In a season where there have been what seems like zero “safe” votes, her testy exchange with Jeremy before the vote at tribal last week could be the foreshadowing we needed to finally send her on her way to extinction.

Speaking of Jeremy I can’t believe he is still breathing on this show. He has been up for the vote basically every single week and now I think he might be relatively safe? His ability to dodge these bullets while not even using the advantage that Michelle gave him has been really impressive stuff. He’s also been so likable. He is basically the reason I root against Ben. I wonder what/if anything happened behind the scenes that led to them being at each others’ throats. But as the saying goes: the enemy of thy enemy is my friend. Ben and Jeremy did see that point in order to team up to get Kim.

Yet, the rivals of Jeremy and Ben are both playing very similar games and whoever can oust the other might have just enough on their resume to make it to the final tribal.

Ben has a idol, which he failed to hide that fact from Tony – a very funny moment from last episode. But that idol, if used properly, could definitely be used to blindside his nemesis Jeremy. This would give Ben a defining game move and take out a major threat for the remaining challenges. I could see Tony being ok with this move and trying to ride with Sarah and Ben into the last episode.

That leaves Sarah left and I think that is probably a good sign for her. She hasn’t rustled anyone’s feathers too much this season and as predicted her argument with Tony last week was definitely overblown by the show makers. Tony was very close to playing an idol for her which is also a gesture of good faith for those two. I hope Sarah stays safe and the biggest threat to her is only the fact that she’s allies with Tony.

Edge of Extinction

Someone will be coming back from extinction this week and my guess is Wendell. I hope that is the case for Michelle’s game. I’m not sure how many fire tokens he has but it should be enough for an advantage in the challenge.

I also hope for the challenge’s sake that the advantage is just like a meal or something small before they go. I would love to see it be as even of a playing field as possible for those to get back in the game.

Another sleeper I could see coming back from extinction is Natalie. She’s been on the island literally since the first episode so I think that would be a little poetic to the entire landscape of the show.

And of course, Boston Rob will be right there at the end with a chance to make it just because he’s a boss.

Overall, I just hope they do the challenge early so these people who have been slaving away at extinction can go to the Survivor Villas and get some food/rest and finally enjoy Fiji. They deserve it.

The Tribe Has Spoken

Survivor has been my cornerstone show of quarantine and I have no reason to believe that the final 2 episodes won’t deliver for us. Winners at War has been a strategic masterpiece and it will just propel further from here – especially as fire tokens evolve.

I am still waiting for fire tokens to become the currency and power that they have the potential to be. Right now they are a fun wrinkle that has put some players in difficult positions, like Tony being extorted, but hasn’t fully given them the power that money can play in a real society. I say this because at its core Survivor is just a bogged down version of us as humans. As the game continues to evolve from its 20 years on air I think that these things will be what players can use to absolutely dominate in the future.

Ps. Just so we’re clear I am rooting for Tony to win.

Cheers.

@jacklesser_

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