Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 4 recap: Tasmanian tiger

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

A desperate Wendy makes her daring plan and a tribe swap complicates everyone’s plans in our Survivor: Edge of Extinction episode 4 recap.

Announcing yourself as a wild card can be a dangerous strategy in Survivor. Unpredictability in a highly chaotic game sends a signal to the other players that you cannot fully be trusted, as you’re willing to do whatever it takes to win no matter who takes the fall. Being a wild card which also sabotages the tribe is downright unchartered territory, but it was the story for Wendy early on in Edge of Extinction.

Just like we’ve seen time and time again, Chris went to the Edge of Extinction, but this time he was not received with open arms. Reem and Keith were happy to see him voted out and did not treat his betrayal lightly. It will be interesting to see if more mental warfare is waged on the Edge of Extinction as players some like and others don’t arrive in future weeks.

We arrive at Manu on Day 9 with Wendy planting the flint back in its rightful place and acting as if it was lost. Nobody was buying it, however, as everyone’s in agreement that Wendy is the player to take out at all costs. Kelley and Lauren even remarked at how insane it was for someone to sabotage their tribe as a joke.

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As the tribes arrived at the swap, Kama was absolutely flabberghasted that Manu voted out Chris, who they saw as the one carrying the tribe through thick and thin. Kama even noted it as a betrayal to his loyalty, which seems a bit interesting of a line to include. It was just fixings for the main dish; the tribe swap from two to three!

The three tribes are comprised as follows; Aurora, Julia, Joe, Julie and Ron on Kama, Wendy, Aubry, Victoria, Gavin and Eric on Manu, and Lauren, Kelley, David, Wardog and Rick on the newly expanded third green tribe, Green expansion tribes are common in modern Survivor, but they have a sterling winning record that’s deserves paying attention to. Wendy being the only player on their own after a swap has only happened once; in Survivor All-Stars with Amber Brkich.

After the swap, Kama came back to their tribe all lovey-dovey, but everyone was scrambling to secure their footing in the game. Ron did his best job of tricking Joe that he’s on his side, even though just last episode Joe said he couldn’t get a good grasp on Ron. Little did Joe know that 20 minutes earlier (Survivor flashback? What?), Ron told Julia to check his stuff for idols, showing that the newbies have a leg up on the returnee.

As the old Manu players arrived on their new Lesu beach to get settled in, the agreed-upon target of Wendy being out of their hands meant a bit of unease was developing. This led to Lauren, who was feeling ill already, to share her emotional journey as a collegiate athlete, reminding us she is stronger than what looks to be the case early on.

Wendy ended up being the tour guide for the new-look Manu, which is kind of the role she has to play as the only player not originally from Kama. While everyone seemed to agree that it makes sense to take her out first chance they get, Aubry was lamenting a bit, noting just how positive of a spirit she was. We’ll have to see if that plays into Aubry’s game down the line.

Of course, as soon as the tribe started talking about the chickens, Wendy got a little bit antsy about how impatient they are to let them lay eggs. At nighttime, she goes off on her sabotage mission, destroying both her tribe’s chances of winning a challenge thanks to losing their chicken reward and destroying her own game.

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For the first time in Survivor: Edge of Extinction, we visited the Edge of Extinction players for a second time; this time on Night 9 and Day 10. We saw more of the mental warfare aspects being waged, with Chris trying to integrate himself with Reem and Keith by catching some fish. It seems like we’re supposed to sympathize more with Chris’ two-day struggle, which is an interesting turn of events.

After waking up and discovering the chickens were let loose, Eric and Victoria were righteously pissed with Wendy on Day 10. They could not believe somebody on the outs with their tribe would sabotage themselves just because they wanted a few chickens to live after a life lived consuming meat products. We also saw the second bird interrupt a player’s confessional, with a chicken taunting Eric just offscreen.

Day 11 brought forth the first three-tribe Immunity Challenge of the season, meaning two tribes are safe with the second idol being a majestic bird. The players need to carry over rope across a series of A-frame obstacles; later attaching it to a chest they need to pull forward on a disjointed track. In the end, they will open up the pieces to solve a vertical puzzle.

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The rain has made climbing up the two A-frames a logistical nightmare, as it was way too slick for all players to climb up properly. It meant that the tribes all performed the climbing obstacles part of the challenge at the same time, which meant the strength factor was lessened for those with a strength advantage.

Once again, it all came together in the end with the puzzle, as having a keen mind is the most important part of modern Survivor challenge performances. Joe had won this challenge before, helping lead Kama to victory in first place. Subsequently, Kelley had lost this challenge before, with both Cambodia players repeating their past success and failures with Lesu failing to secure the win. OG Manu heads to their fourth-straight Tribal Council.

Lesu arrived at camp in a sour mood, as they were legitimately upset that they had to turn on each other. Rick and David did their “let’s get out Kelley” spiel, while Lauren and Kelley talked about the rough idea that Rick might sell out the Manu tribe at the merge. This put Wardog in the power position once again, serving as the swing vote.

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This episode of Survivor: Edge of Extinction gave us a lot to think about Wardog. Whether he’s figuring out statistics mathematically, discussing the change from a “we” game to a “me” game and talking about his acquired life skills in the military, at the poker table and in law school, taking this vote as an opportunity to learn who can help him down the path to a million dollars.

At Tribal Council, after Rick Devens put on his newscaster voice talking about how Lesu are Lovable Losers™, it seemed to be the ongoing discussion by everyone. We even saw Kelley on the verge of tears talking about how well each player is part of a small family, effectively giving a middle finger to the slight villainous tinge towards her edit so far.

It really drove home just how complex these personalities are to Survivor: Edge of Extinction, with Lesu green pouring in each of their hearts. If I was to venture a guess, one of these players will go onto win this game, as it seems like we focus too much on their stories each week and how they feel like a team and a family.

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With a frustrated vote ripping the family apart, Wardog opted to go with Kelley and Lauren in voting out Rick Devens, with perhaps the most shocking blindside of the game. We had Rick as our top winner contender heading into this episode, and even at this, stage it feels like we have more of his story to explore going forward.