Survivor Ghost Island episode 13 recap: Bishop Donathan Magic Juanathan

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Though it may have been too late to start making moves, Donathan Hurley made it his mission in Survivor Ghost Island episode 13 to shake things up.

Unfortunately, after today’s episode, there are just three hours left of Survivor content for the television year. Sure, there will be other reality shows to carry us through the summer, but it will pale in comparison to this show. It’s like pizza; even if it’s bad, it’s still pizza. With a ton of stagnation and an obvious shift towards two players, I hope you’re hungry for pizza for the rest of the season.

We return to the action at camp on Night 32 after Tribal, with Kellyn feeling (and knowing) she was on the outs. Kellyn was waiting for a crack to emerge, and Donathan and Laurel discussed about if the time is right at the Final Seven to make a big move at one of Domenick and Wendell. Donathan, tired of sitting on his hands, knew that Laurel was too hesitant, so he started to make moves on his own.

Early in an episode for Donathan to push for a game move, but it’s important for him to establish a resume whenever he can. He could fit into the Hannah Shapiro role and try to make a move too late and appear erratic to the members of the jury, bitter that he sits at the end over them. Still, if he hadn’t played the way he has so far, he would have been cut a long time ago.

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Kellyn chose Sebastian, Wendell chose Domenick, and Donathan chose Laurel to compete in teams of two in the reward challenge, where the players had to drop spools, collect them at the bottom and drop them at the top of a contraption, adding more spools over time. Angela was not chosen, so she could not compete or be chosen for Ghost Island.

Everyone stayed even until the fifth spool, which is when the intensity really started to pick up. Players were keeping up communication in order to space out the spools, but after almost five weeks of barely any food, running became a challenge in of itself. Sebastian and Kellyn dropped out first, with Donathan and Laurel following shortly after.

That’s right, Domenick and Wendell won the Reward Challenge, serving as ambassadors of goodwill in providing supplies to local Fijian schoolchildren. They also got a food pick-me-up, choosing to bring Laurel and send Sebastian to Ghost Island. That pissed Donathan off (not quite at Kellyn levels), which kicked him off into full scheming mode.

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It took a surprising number of days for Sebastian to head to Ghost Island, with him getting three of four chances to win an advantage. He did find a key that unlocked a box giving him a Steal a Vote advantage, officially making this the most meta-aware moment of Survivor Ghost Island. It took out Michaela, and it failed to take out Laurel, as Kellyn’s advantage resurfaces again this season.

At the Reward Challenge, Domenick and Wendell enjoyed the goodwill they brought to the kids. Each played up their own personalities, while Wendell talked about using the opportunity to secure safety with Laurel.

That surprisingly became relevant almost immediately, as Donathan started to go full self-destruction mode. Wendell asked him if the Final Four plan was still in play, but Donathan returned to say that Domenick has his vote on the jury and he feels like he’s heading there soon. For some reason, it looks like he’s trying to angle Wendell to take out his best friend in the game, despite publically tipping his hand about making a big move.

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The Immunity Challenge involved building your path to the slide puzzle at the end, with players needing to place bridge slats of wood in the correct order. That led them to pieces used to assemble a ladder, closing out with the puzzle. It mixed elements of challenges we’ve seen many times in Survivor, but not nearly as laborious as the final Immunity Challenge from Survivor Redemption Island.

Sebastian and Wendell finished their bridges first, working on their ladder rungs fairly quickly. Angela and Donathan were out of the running from the start, as Wendell had a head start on Sebastian and Laurel. She had an advantage in this challenge in that it was the same slide puzzle she started on from Day 1.

Everyone seemed to struggle with the final portion, but Wendell eventually got it right, told Jeff and won Immunity. Wait, no he didn’t! In fact, Laurel called Jeff over and was given Immunity, despite Wendell finishing first. After a minor squabble over the rules, Wendell agreed that she won it, even though the production crew has cameras to solve this problem. I guess we’ll have to get a rule explanation sometime soon!

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Even though it seemed like Domenick, Wendell and Laurel were all on the same page in voting for Kellyn, but Donathan got absolutely paranoid. They even made it clear nobody is playing an idol for Kellyn, yet he caught Domenick handing stuff to Wendell he planned to make a fake idol with, reigniting Donathan’s concerns it was him.

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What immediately became clear at that moment is that no play was going to be made to take out Domenick or Wendell, no matter how much Donathan wants to scramble and work with Kellyn. With Domenick and Wendell pointing the target towards them, they gave Sebastian and Angela (who said one sentence before Tribal Council) no other options. More boring, predictable play for all!

Night 35 Tribal Council brought forth just how hard it was to play through the hunger, with Wendell talking about how hard it was to just say “Jeff” and win the challenge. However, Donathan continued to blow up his game by talking about how he’s the next to go, spurring whispers to “stick to the plan” from Domenick and Wendell. The plans seemed to shift as Laurel mentioned a “plan B” and “plan C,” making things a bit less predictable heading into the vote.

Though Donathan tried as he may to get himself voted out, it came to a 3-3-1 vote between him and Kellyn due to throwing a vote Domenick’s way, showing just how out of the game he was at that moment. Thankfully for him, the tribe decided to vote out Kellyn in seventh place, making it seem like he had no idea what was going on. The jury seemed most displeased.

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Survivor Ghost Island finale night is next Wednesday, and there’s barely a chance for anyone but one or two players to win. Everyone played poorly at some point during this episode, and it will be interesting to see if they even pretend anyone but Domenick or Wendell will be crowned the champion during the two-hour finale on May 23.