Survivor: 7 reasons why Edge of Extinction twist is an institutional failure

Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Screen Grab/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /
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Survivor Edge of Extinction episode 2 Manu rained out
Photo: Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Structurally, weaving an ongoing narrative becomes madness

When it comes to crafting a season-long narrative, modern Survivor storytelling breaks down into two styles; the story of the winner or the story of the player who came just short. It’s essential to understand the journey of the Sole Survivor in order to properly showcase why they were chosen by a jury of their peers to represent them. Everyone else, including heirs apparent that fell just short, have their own adventures that bring context to how hard the game is.

However, Edge of Extinction didn’t give us that needed closure from the players. In fact, keeping tabs on a growing group of players, the majority of which will never play the game again, takes away a huge chunk of character development from the players left in the game. The fact that Victoria Baamonde was a huge jury threat, and the only reason we know that is because a player who was a jury member that day told us is a huge flaw.

Think about it this way; it was only really two episodes before the finale that we could have, potentially, seen Lauren as a potential backup winner. Gavin, Victoria, Julia, Aurora, and even non-villain-arc parts of Ron’s story were kicked to the side in order to clear the way for The Rick Devens Show for the final 40% of the season.

When the majority of the Final Five are strangers heading into the finale and Aubry (a fifth boot) has more confessionals than the winner, one has to consider the constant trips to the Edge of Extinction as a major time suck that takes away from the individual character and overall narrative structure.