Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 1: Big takeaways

Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

All it took was one episode for viewers to actually feel excited about the new twist that Survivor: Edge of Extinction offers.

An hour of airtime isn’t quite enough to get us attached to the new castaways. However, production was able to use that time to convince the audience why Edge of Extinction might be a great idea after all. Here are three key takeaways we found after watching the Survivor season 38 premiere.

Joe is still amazing

The four returnees all fought for screen time, but it was Joe who stuck out in ways the edit didn’t even show. Joe was the ultimate challenge beast in seasons 30 and 31, which were a few years ago now. Any doubts about Joe not possessing the same physical dominance were silenced shortly after.

Right from the marooning, Joe demonstrated his strength. Although it was cut from the edit, Joe found a tribe advantage that asked him to swim under the red buoy for a reward. Amidst all the insanity of the marooning, Joe dove in and came back up with a box of non-perishable food items for his tribe.

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Joey amazing also performed well in the Immunity Challenge as he nailed the rope climb, flew past the balance beam and rope crawl. He even guided his tribe through the slide puzzle. Plus he made fire in like 30 seconds! The question is if Joe can play a quality social game to get himself farther into the merge.

Production is obsessed with temporary advantages

When you can’t think of new ideas, just present the old ones in a new way. In the past three seasons, we’ve seen the idea of temporary idols. In Edge of the Extinction, they decided to add advantages to that list.

Thanks to a clue on the marooning boat, Ron Clark became the first person to find the
Advantage Menu. He can choose if he wants to steal a reward, use an extra vote, or play an Individual Immunity necklace by the third Tribal Council.

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It’s hard to see the value in any of those at this point of in the game, except for the Immunity Necklace if Ron’s in danger. Will we see another temporary advantage or idol at some point in this season? My guess is yes, sometime post-merge.

Extinction Island is no joke

Many Survivor fans including myself scoff at any twist that allows players to re-enter the game. The Outcasts twist in Pearl Islands was interesting but really unfair, and the Redemption Island twist produced some of the worst seasons in Survivor history.

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However, the premiere of Survivor: Edge of Extinction painted this new twist in such a thrilling way! Those last shots of Reem stuck on the island, in the dark of night, by herself, were just chilling. Let’s hope that this production twist will live up to this vibe as the season progresses.