Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 3 edgic: Stories we tell

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

Let’s take stock of where each of the 18 players sits in the game with our Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 3 edgic chart and discussion.

Welcome once again to our ongoing Survivor: Edge of Extinction edgic discussion! Last week, we talked about the growing partnerships, the duos to keep tabs on and the visual storytelling that will likely foreshadow things to come. We didn’t get much of a chance to develop many new storylines this time around but instead focused on the growing returnee resentment and troubles at Manu.

As such, we’re going to take a look at the Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 3 edgic by bringing us up to speed on all the players, going tribe by tribe. That way, we can encapsulate what the edit wants us to know about them and what, potentially, could be in store for their character arc.

Let’s start out with the chart below, followed by the Manu tribe:

Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 3 edgic
Created by Daniel George /

Manu Tribe

David Wright (MORP3, CP5, CP5): You never want to be the captain of a sinking ship, yet I think that’s the case for David Wright so far this season. He’s had the most focus of any strategic player, we’ve seen him build social bonds and even set up potential blindsides. Unfortunately, he charactered a course that’s needed to divert from multiple times; much to his detriment.

One thing to David’s benefit is that he’s often portrayed as a victim of others’ follies, especially Chris’. It’s like Chris’ bad game messed up the plan twice, and the pivot to vote out Chris means that he maintains his status as the hidden puppetmaster. His goal in the game is to take out Wentworth, and the swap will determine if it’s an ongoing storyline a la Chris vs. Domenick or if David missed his shot and goes out quietly before the merge.

Kelley Wentworth (CP4, CPM5, CP4): Being a blissfully unaware target of an ongoing war is weird enough, but Kelley’s third-time-returnee edit so far is one of reluctant leadership. Kelley’s so out of her comfort zone having to take the reins and not fight from behind that she has to do drastic things like “relate with people” and “be more open” despite being closed off in her real life.

As player after player targeting Kelley is sent home, the edit has shifted to her having more of an aggressively self-interested game. Yes, Survivor players must do most things that benefit them in the long run in order to win, but the editors often highlight her dispair, dismay and frustration towards those in opposition to her such as constant cuts to her thousand-yard stares and eye rolls.

This past episode saw Kelley talking a lot about people targeting “me” and “if you are coming after me, you need to go,” and transposing others’ games as lesser than her own. It’s clear that the editors want to toe the line with Kelley between “inspiring badass female player that led the Lauren O’Connell generation” and “someone who’s becoming too arrogant.”

Lauren O’Connell (MOR3, MORP3, UTR2): At this stage, Lauren’s story so far is that she’s a Kelley Wentworth fan who wants to copy the legend’s mold and break out from within. Not the biggest strategist, her idol find helped contextualize the returnee worship while charting a course for her own story.

The edgic suggests that Lauren will use an idol to save herself, and it could come as early as this upcoming tribe swap. However, based on how little we know about Lauren, the person, as opposed to Lauren, the Wentworth fan, I’m concerned for how short her story will be after that idol’s importance is discovered.

Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 3 Manu
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Rick Devens (MOR4, CPP4, CP5): Starting out wanting to be the Kool-Aid Man, Rick Devens’ game has benefitted from being more subtle and slowly corrupted by the awfulness of the worst parts of Survivor. He has had heaps of praise given to him by David, as the two of them have struck a tight partnership.

When it comes to the edit, Rick benefits from David’s downfalls. When the vote pivots from Wentworth the second time, we get the appearance that Chris’ elimination allows himself to remain in cover, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. He’s becoming the cobra Aubry wishes to be; waiting in the grass for the perfect moment to strike.

He feels like he’s becoming a villain, but the edit suggests otherwise. He’s just playing the game harder and better than everyone else right now; just not in a way that bursts through brick walls.

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  • Wardog (MOR4, CP4, CP5): While Kelley didn’t want to be thrust into a leadership role, Wardog embraces it. He wants to be the one calling the shots while simultaneously appearing not to be the one calling the shots. Players come to him with their plans for voting out players, and it’s his call, time and time again, for who goes home.

    He doesn’t have the cockiness of a player who has everything they could ever want, but in a tribe about to be split three ways across six people, it does have long-term ramifications. He now has Chris so mad at him that he’s driven to survive, thrive and play again on the Edge of Extinction to get vengeance. Wardog is starting to make enemies and become an obstacle for others, and that does not bode well for his game.

    Wendy Diaz (OTTM5, CP3, OTTM5): Wendy Diaz is a trainwreck of a wild card, bringing down everyone who speaks her name. One minute, we really start to feel for her and her newfound vegetarianism, feeling like an outsider who is too injured to free the chickens who did nothing wrong. The next minute, the players remind the audience, “Wait, she’s a hypocrite who eats chickens who died in way worse conditions; she’s being ridiculous to a tribe that has won nothing.”

    In a sea of “us vs. them,” Wendy’s “me” game differentiates from Kelley’s “me” game because she’s playing from the bottom in the only way she knows how; through chaos. The real game is played out around her, as her Manu tribe standing lies in the unseen, submerged basement of the pyramid.

    Wendy is here for as much entertainment value as the editors can extract before she is very likely voted out of the game.

    Survivor Edge of Extinction Aubry Bracco
    Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

    Kama Tribe

    Aubry Bracco (MOR2, OTTN3, OTTP3): Aubry once reminded us it’s better to go with the devil you know than the devil you don’t, and right now, she’s been listening to two chaotic devils on her shoulders. Her second episode was something of a game exposure party, with everyone dropping open secrets. The third episode reminded us that Aubry works too damn hard to be taken out like this, crossing off “Hidden Immunity Idol” from her Survivor bucket list.

    From the edit’s standpoint, this seems to be the reset button Aubry pushed towards crossing off the final accomplishment left unconquered; win Survivor. She has a long road ahead of her, and the newbies like Victoria are still targeting returnees, but with an idol in her pocket and the only true emotionally evocative moment out of any returning player, we’re being set up to empathize with Aubry.

    Aurora McCreary (UTR2, UTR1, UTR1): It’s such a shame that Aurora’s story so far is that she is the only Kama newbie 1000% onboard with the returnees and that she’s a Team Joe lesbian. It’s rather reductive, uninspiring and disappointing, as we’re being set up to recognize her role in this game as a Joe pawn in the chess match of Survivor; expendable.

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    One question remains; if she gets voted out early, will the pawn be traded in for a Queen piece the further she inches towards the end?

    Joe Anglim (CPP3, UTR1, MOR3): Joe’s returnee story started as the reluctant wonderboy only to be seen now as the obvious voting target. For Joe, though, the frustration comes from the newbies being so good that he can’t tell what they’re thinking, although he has a hunch it’s not good for his game.

    He doesn’t have much of an ongoing narrative so far beyond that, as we didn’t even see his key partnership with Aurora formulate. We don’t have a reason to cheer for him anymore, either, as he’s performed his necessary survival tasks to set up Kama for success. I would love to see an objective or goal for him to drive his Edge of Extinction game.

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

    Eric Hafemann (CP3, UTR2, INV), Gavin Whitson (MOR2, UTR2, INV): I wanted to bring up these two together to explain why their similar games have different touches while still bringing up an interesting fact; no male players with three or fewer confessionals in the first three episodes have gone on to win Survivor. Of course, plenty of women have started out underedited, but it bears bringing up when talking about the only established duo on Kama; both of which only have two confessionals each.

    I still have higher hopes for Gavin, whose introduction told us he’s a stealth superfan while providing a winner quote. Eric’s story set us up to remind us he’s a firefighter so he can engage with others like Gavin, who he brings in to set up the season’s first ongoing topic; returnees vs. newbies.

    However, both players’ subtle reminder they still exist in episode 2 and complete invisibility in episode 3 is quite concerning, especially with Victoria taking on a more open stance in arranging the six players to go in opposition of the returnees + Aurora. Eric and Gavin are a duo with a goal but without the interest in doing so. If they’re both afterthoughts at the swap, that will knock them down a huge peg.

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    Julie Rosenberg (OTT2, MOR3, UTR1): For some reason, the Survivor editors want us to remember that Julie, who has little to do with the anti-returnee action on Kama, both A) exists, and B) should be paid attention to. She would have been invisible were it not for the moment where she refused to let go of the idol, with the edit making sure we saw Manu’s reaction while highlighted with a silliness sound effect.

    I’m still of the sound mind that Julie’s story is that of David during his first days in Survivor, but without conflict to drag her down early, one must be manufactured however possible. Her winner contention is an example of how few others have a strong case paired with the fact that older, under-the-radar women who win Survivor only really come alive in the late-swap and at the merge. If Julie wins, you have to remember the slow origins of Sandra and Sarah’s winning games.

    Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 3 Immunity Challenge puzzle
    Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

    Victoria Baamonde (UTR1, CP4, CP3): Every step along the journey of Survivor: Edge of Extinction, we have at least checked in on Victoria Baamonde. We only learned that she was a Survivor superfan as a kid in the premiere, but the past two episodes she has led the anti-returnee train on Kama, sharing notes on Aubry’s social game and laying out her alliance of six.

    Victoria seems like she’s in a good position, but she’s been sloppy. She’s targeting Aubry because she has a great social game, yet she can’t go out and talk to her close ally Ron about strategy without talking about Joe in front of Joe. She’s also been name-checked by Joe as a player who he can’t get a read on, meaning she might be targeted first should the returnees find power.

    Ron Clark (MOR3, OTT2, UTR1): With the exception of his Advantage Menu hot start, Ron Clark’s been shown as more of a supporting character for Survivor: Edge of Extinction’s Kama tribe. He’s out there leading the tribe in cheers and good moods, but he’s also supporting Victoria and Julia in the notion that the returnees “had their time to shine.”

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    With his Advantage Menu ultimately going nowhere and Ron’s edit being rather muted since receiving it, I feel inclined to believe he’s found himself in a Carl Boudreaux situation; built to last in the game, but only brought up when necessary.

    Julia Carter (UTR1, UTR1, INV): For three straight seasons, three women who are in the medical field have been given purple edits in the pre-merge. It’s hard to ignore now that Julia Carter is the only player without a confessional, and for that to happen before the swap does her character arc is a downright travesty. It goes without saying she will not win this season.

    Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 3 Keith Reem
    Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

    Edge of Extinction

    Chris Underwood (UTR1, CP3, CP3): When Jeff Probst said Chris performed his hero role for Manu at the Reward Challenge, who could imagine it would come back to bite him within 30 hours later? Just before sabotaging his entire game, Chris relayed how he doesn’t let friends out in the dark back home; it’s not in his nature. It was the first time we got to learn more about Chris; minutes before being voted out.

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    Chris wasn’t really on the outs until the last second, and he was a victim of being in the middle of two sides of Manu. Now that he’s on Extinction Island, his redemption story seems to be that of revenge. We’ll have to see how that develops once he arrives.

    Keith Sowell (OTTP4, MORN4, MOR2): Keith’s niaveté has been the focus of his time on the island, as his unpreparedness for Survivor showed his underdog roots early only to be countered by his stubbornness on the way out the door. Now he’s relying on Reem for guidance on the island, and I feel that seeking a higher power on multiple planes will guide his story until his game ends.

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    Reem Daly (OTTM5, OTTP3, MOR3): Once determined to quit if nobody joins her, Reem’s parental role in Survivor: Edge of Extinction has been hard confirmed, whether she likes it or not. She’s here to take care of Keith and remind the audience that Extinction Island is a rough place to live. The fact that she’s the most compelling character on the island, to me, sets her up like Christine Shields Markoski; a rootable loudmouth character that falls short.