Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic: In Too Deep

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

Manu’s in too deep; Wendy’s trying to keep up above in her head instead of going under in our Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic discussion.

Hello, once again, to our weekly edgic discussion! Last week, we presented our look at the first episode of the new Survivor season, hoping to get a better picture at what’s going on at both tribes. While we still haven’t fleshed everyone out over at Kama, the Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic does rely on some recurring notes and slowly developing stories.

It’s clear early on that duos are the key to longevity, as that’s something more important in an ever-changing Survivor landscape where a solid five or four doesn’t exist. Who’s hanging out with each other is implicitly important to the overall narrative as who’s being targeted each week, and the early negativity facing the returnees goes against a lot of what we’ve seen in past seasons.

Let’s take a look at the Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic chart before going over the players from most to least notable:

Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic
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Complex Personalities

Chris Underwood (CP3): Take it more of a CP-lite, but Chris is starting to show his game merit by laying out his strategy for wanting to keep Keith. It doesn’t help that Chris’ involvement served more like the monkey wrench in David and Rick’s plans and his pitch was denounced almost immediately when Wardog got involved.

Still, it showed that Chris has a prominent part in the tribe’s dynamics and is playing the game early. We still know little about his background as a character, but he did step up his visibility this episode.

David Wright (CP5): David’s social game is impressive. When Wendy’s talking about Kelley able to gather people to the returnees’ side and run the game in front of David, a returnee, you know he has a comfortable standing. He was driving the strategic decisions all episode, with the tribe more comfortable with him and his plan to blindside Kelley.

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However, something to note is that the editing suggested that David flocked to Rick, not the other way around, in creating their dynamic duo partnership. With the antagonism headed towards returnees and their experience in the game, David’s relationship with Rick will likely be a key story for the longevity of Edge of Extinction.

Kelley Wentworth (CPM5): Though she received a tinge of negativity in the premiere from the underdogs, the potential villain edit upside of Kelley Wentworth’s edit is growing week after week. Here, we see the Manu decision-makers try to blindside her from multiple angles, and when she notes how sketchy everyone is, the edit cuts to an image of a slithering snake.

Her growing frustrations with people not wanting to vote her way and becoming an open discussion point about anti-returnee behavior was contrasted with the way Lauren discussed her idolization of Kelley as a strong female role model that kicks ass and takes names. In one moment, she’s talked about as if she uses people then tosses them away. The next, she’s given the hero’s welcome and idolization.

In conclusion, Kelley Wentworth’s story is a land of contrasts, thank you.

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

Victoria Baamonde (CP4): After getting a confessional that amounted to her entire introduction to Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Victoria Baamonde got a huge push in episode 2. Unlike most newbies in a returnee season, Victoria was going over notes with Julia and Ron and calling Aubry out on the way she brings people in to “start a dialogue” and insist how much they remind her of herself and how she likes the way they play the game.

Something to note is that Victoria’s story so far is part of setting the stage for the anti-returnee mentality, doubling down on her superfan status. She’s a smart cookie with a motive in the game, but how far does her story in this game go beyond getting Aubry out?

Wardog DaSilva (CP4): There are a bunch of red flags surrounding Wardog’s game right now. Even though he does get his wish and arranges Keith’s elimination, he notes that he doesn’t want to come off like he’s the one calling the shots. It doesn’t help that Wardog killing the blindside plan is visually represented by a sequence that sees Keith praising a new life, a wave crashing down and bringing death (flies on a rotten piece of wildlife) to his game. The way the crab hides as Wardog gives his input suggests he is to be feared.

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He’s also faced a bit of the ire from both returnees on Manu, upset with him that he’s throwing their games. Of course, those returnees have vastly different agendas, but it’s clear that “what’s best for Wardog” has become an early sticking point. Wardog has entered the mired third person-iva; one that doesn’t quite tarnish his game, but reminds you of his shortcomings.

Wendy Diaz (CP3): I debated giving Wendy a mild positivity tone this episode, but she seems to be more sitting in the middle of two opposing camps rather than someone who’s “good” or “bad.” Wendy’s the most staunch proponent of anti-returnee sentiment but focuses her attention more on Kelley as the perpetrator of her demise.

While Kelley and Wardog can’t trust her and actively keep tabs on her, Rick and David see her as a loyal ally. Her continued existence sows disarray in the Manu tribe, as she on the outs yet planting seeds of a potential blindside against Kelley. With a potential broken ankle coming as teased in the “Next Time On” preview at the end of the episode, the evidence points to her being on borrowed time.

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

Rick Devens (CPP4): I disagree with my colleague about the episode 2 MVP, but it’s not too much of a disagreement. The way Rick’s been idolized by David Wright and how well his downsides are hidden in the edit suggests protection. When it comes to edgic, having your shortcoming masked by having others take the hit is excellence.

Rick had David suggest he trusts him more than anyone else in the game, says he’s funny, smart and strategic, and will do everything in his power to keep him far in the game. David even joked about permitting Rick to cut him at Final Four or Final Five if push came to shove, which is never the kind of stuff that’s left in the edit without a good reason.

I think that Rick’s game has legs, and his ability to make friends and influence people is that of a returnee. Where some might detract from me is in his ability to manipulate Chris, as he failed where Wardog succeeded. However, when Rick’s able to convince Chris to do what he wants, he makes it feel like it was Chris’ plan all along. Wardog has those worries about coming off as running the show, in contrast.

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Over the Top

Aubry Bracco (OTTN3): Though she didn’t get the villain’s edit, Aubry did revel in negativity per the Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 2 edgic. Not only was she putting it out there she’s just an ant under a microscope waiting to be fried, but it was also the players she thought she was able to socially manipulate that called her out on her gameplay.

With Joe virtually invisible this episode, it felt like Kama’s story was “The People vs. Aubry Bracco,” with Victoria serving as the plaintiff by laying out a case for voting her out. The montage of Aubry instituting a “dialogue” with others, saying others remind her of herself and equating herself to others’ gameplay felt like a hit job meant to present a cartoon villain.

The edit wants the audience to feel like Aubry has another think coming and will inevitably get her due. I think it’s a bit ridiculous considering the caliber of player and person Aubry is, but it’s hard to argue with the edgic.

Ron Clark (OTT2): Though he wasn’t a big mover or shaker in this episode strategically, he was moving and shaking his body in leading the Kama tribe in team spirit! He is noted as the kind of player to harness kumbaya spirit and keeping things loose, but he also did get a moment to decry the returnees, who had their time to shine according to him.

Survivor Edge of Extinction Episode 2 Reem Daly Extinction Island
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Reem Daly (OTTP3): Just as anyone who would find themselves in this spot introducing a brand new twist, Reem’s overwhelming positivity is here to serve as inspiration for the eventual player who does return from the Edge of Extinction. Reem’s “screw you, dude” personality is hidden to complement the season’s theme and make it feel like it’s harder than Redemption Island for some reason (is it really?).

Middle of the Road

Julie Rosenberg (MOR3): Though it seemed to toe the line between carrying her story forward and setting up Lauren’s idol find, there’s a lot of upside in Julie’s female-positive discussions. Despite stumbling on her words, she does bring up the pre-conceived tribal dynamics of men being the idol hunters and the women being the … gatherers, right? Who were the gatherers …

Awkwardness aside, Julie was set up to be opposed to Victoria’s passivity, with Julie’s next step in her “woman vs. society” story archetype is becoming the kind of player who can slither away. We didn’t need to see Julie tell this story, especially when she wasn’t involved in the Kama drama, to begin with.

Lauren O’Connell (MORP3): She didn’t drive the strategy discussion, but it’s hard not to feel Lauren’s upside. Her story arc continues to be Kelley Wentworth stan, going so far as to illustrate just how great a player she is for getting things done, not riding coattails and finding idols. Now she has effectively begun the climb to her status, finding the game’s first Hidden Immunity Idol.

Where she branches off and starts to tell her own story comes in the fact that she promises not to tell Kelley and exclaims glee she found it, not her. With the emphasis being on Kelley using her idol for an iconic blindside, I feel like the Survivor editors are setting that up for Lauren’s future. It would be amazing if she was to knock out her hero, but that remains to be seen.

Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 2 Keith Sowell
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Keith Sowell (MORN4): Despite being a target of discussion on the Manu tribe, it was odd to see Keith so far on the outside of the strategic talk. Whatever effort he made to distance himself from Reem came back to bite him karmically, as Keith was done dirty by his edit in the Immunity Challenge.

Essentially planting 90% of a full-grown plant for spelling out his future demise, he was a disaster. He was shown dragging his team down in swimming, he barely helped to pull the snake out of the cage (whew), he rolled around in the sand and couldn’t hit a target with a ring to save his life. Follow that up with his salty departure after being voted out and his (manufactured) hesitation to stay in the game, and Keith got buried in the edit whenever it was necessary.

Still, his elimination was a cog in the machinations of others, hence his MORN4 visibility and tone.

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Under the Radar

Aurora McCreary (UTR1): Aurora’s purpose this episode was to remind us that Kama is going nowhere. Spirits are high, nothing’s going wrong, and the squad isn’t going anywhere. We still know nothing more about Aurora than her status as Team Joe and Team Lesbian, which is disappointingly straightforward all things considered.

Eric Hafemann (UTR2): After kicking off the “Us vs. Them” theme of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Eric’s involvement in this episode was unnecessary, but still present. That’s the kind of cooldown visibility for a player on a tribe that has no fears and no real issues you come to expect. Still, we’re still reminded that he and Gavin are a team; the first duo of the season.

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

Gavin Whitson (UTR2): Gavin’s “reminder you still need to pay attention to me” edit focuses more on his Survivor super fandom and relating the difficulty of finding a Hidden Immunity Idol when out on the island. It reminds us that Gavin has more under the surface than the country bumpkin presence he brings, which helps retain his status as the game’s top winner contender.

Joe Anglim (UTR1): Joe being absent this episode is hugely beneficial to his game after the big Joey Amazing push in the premiere. Him being relegated to stepping back and watching Ron take focus is huge, and getting namechecked by Aubry as her game begins to descend protects his presumed threat level. He’s still regarded as the threat down the line, but today is not down the line just yet.

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Julia Carter (UTR1): When will Julia get a confessional? That remains to be seen, but even with limited exposure, we have a better picture of where she fits in. She’s having talks with Ron, Victoria, and Aubry, with the other two being her closest confidants. She’s the one who noted the “dialogue” Aubry has with others, too, showing Julia has some level of footing in the game.