Survivor: David vs. Goliath episode 6 recap: Trick and treat

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

There’s nothing more spooky in Survivor than getting voted out and heading to Ponderosa. David vs. Goliath episode 6 made those fears a reality once more.

Playing Survivor is not unlike being in a horror movie. Everyone’s out to get you, but you never know when they’re going to strike. Friends become foes; your weapons and advantages can be used against you; you can lose by your own accord. David vs. Goliath episode 6 was appropriately released on Halloween, as nightmares came true for one and another player was set to cut anyone standing in their way.

During the previous episode recap, we got verbal confirmation in a voting confessional that Angelina threw her vote toward Lyrsa, not Natalie, in order to get Natalie’s jacket on the way out the door. Although Angelina tried to play this off as a bit of silliness, Lyrsa appropriately took it personally, feeling bad that a jacket is more important than Lyrsa’s feelings in the game.

Of course, the Jabeni tribe played it up for silliness, but that move only solidified the notion that Angelina is playing hard and trying to manipulate others. There are other ways you can play hard in Survivor, as Christian did his best for Tiva to play up his social worth in his first attempt at fishing. It was weird because it showed him trying, and failing, to catch food, saying the tribe shouldn’t rely on him if they don’t want to starve to death.

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Naturally, it played right into the Reward Challenge, as the tribes competed for cooking utensils, spices and vegetable kebabs. With Kara sitting out for Vuku and Alison sitting out for Tiva, the tribes carried a huge bag of coconuts out from the water onto the beach. With one player tied to the bag, the rest of the tribe held up the bag while the one player gathered four rings across a narrow balance beam. Once all four are gathered, one player must throw the rings on a ring post to win reward.

Alec brought Vuku to an early lead heading into the ring toss, but even with Jabeni and Lyrsa bumbling over getting the rings, the tribes evened out by knocking their first ring toss at equal times. Dan has been a challenge beast in Survivor: David vs. Goliath, and he helped seal the deal for Tiva by leading their first-place win. Nick threw rings like they were closing statements as a public defender, coming in second and securing a modest win for Jabeni.

With Tiva heading back to camp, we saw the Brochachos solidify their bromance and Christian open up about how hard it is for him to open up. What separated his vulnerable content from Gabby’s was that it posited him more like a Goliath in bloom; someone who has worked to overcome their social worries and has thrived in the game. It felt downright heroic.

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As the Slamtonians discussed the intricacies of wrestling, Gabby was once again open in confessionals about being vulnerable and scared. ~70% of her game has been in fear for surviving in Survivor, and this time it played into the fifth wheel on the tribe; Alison. Like Kellyn, she considers empathy her superpower, reassuring Gabby that her head and heart suggest taking out Dan Rengering down the line.

Over at Vuku, we started to see the cracks in Elizabeth’s psyche take form. She’s been playing on a torn-up back and was fed up with nobody fixing the shelter bamboo that she sleeps on. What was supposed to be a moment of her opening her vulnerabilities was countered by Davie and Carl backing each other up; you can’t do a full-day task near the end of the day.

Kara saw the cracks in this tribe form just as Davie and Elizabeth did when Vuku first started. It seems like none of the David vs. Goliath tribes are content with maintaining a majority, as Carl, Davie and Elizabeth start pointing their guns at each other in a stalemate.

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Teamwork was crucial in the Immunity Challenge, with the tribes needing to retrieve a saucer, fill it up with water, carry it through an obstacle course and fill up a well to unlock their puzzle pieces. It ended with placing the puzzle pieces in the saucer to secure immunity.

Combining strength and puzzles meant Tiva had this challenge in the bank from the start. They were the only tribe to require one trip to the well to fill it up and work on their puzzle, while Vuku needed a second trip. Jabeni, however, lived up to their “Davids of the Davids” descriptor, falling drastically short of completing the first portion of the challenge.

Mike’s hands were cramping, Angelina’s hands were bleeding, they couldn’t fill up their well after two full tries, and the tribe dropped their saucer on their decisive slobberknocker of a defeat. It felt like a Greek tragedy’s first act; Jabeni were emblematic of the Davids at their lowest. We all know how that story ends for David, but it meant someone’s game would come to an end right before the merge.

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With Jabeni ultimately defeated, it seemed like Lyrsa would not separate from Nick and was adamant that things might go to a tie. That put a four-player tribe in a tough spot, as both Nick and Lyrsa seemed to stay strong to keep the numbers. It put Mike in a tough spot, as he needs to value the Goliath’s overall strength, his Rockstars alliance and what it looks like if he votes out two Goliath players.

After such an overwhelming defeat, it looked like the post-Immunity-Challenge was largely by-the-numbers strategic. There have been few circumstances of four-player tribes voting down to three ahead of the merge, making this an interesting case study for pre-merge voting dynamics.

With Tribal Council starting out by talking about the merge and voting out who you trust in the long term, it seemed clear that Angelina had a feeling it wasn’t her, but wanted to pitch to Nick that he should work with her going forward. However, it seemed like Mike, Lyrsa and Nick were making similar stump speeches.

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Because it seemed so straightforward, the second half of Tribal Council pivoted more towards conversations of “will this be a good plan after all?” Voting out Goliath after Goliath seemed like a counterintuitive for Mike, but with Jacketgate showing Angelina’s true colors, it made sense to stay strong with Nick and maintain the Rockstar alliance.

In a shocking move that didn’t even seem to make sense in the episode’s edit, it was not Angelina’s fate that was sealed. It was Lyrsa’s, as Nick opted to work with Angelina and Mike in favor of David. No tribe in the Survivor: David vs. Goliath post-swap voted along pre-swap tribal lines, setting us up for a crazy merge and long crawl to the end game.

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This season has been unpredictable from start to finish, as players have proven time and time again that they’re willing to take risks for alliances instead of voting A-B-C straightforward. Survivor: David vs. Goliath’s pre-merge phase is among the show’s best, and we cannot wait to see how things blow up at the merge. A cyan-aqua blue buff looks pretty, too!