Survivor 41: Takeaways from Episode 7

“They Hate Me ‘Cause They Ain’t Me” — Evvie Jagoda and Xander Hastings on the fourth episode SURVIVOR 41, airing Wednesday, Oct.13th (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
“They Hate Me ‘Cause They Ain’t Me” — Evvie Jagoda and Xander Hastings on the fourth episode SURVIVOR 41, airing Wednesday, Oct.13th (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment 2021 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Episode 7 of Survivor 41 will go down in the history books of Survivor as one of the best.

It certainly can compare to Rupert’s classic move on his first presence of Survivor where he stole the belongings of rival tribe members in true “pirate” fashion.  Let me explain.

Finally, fans were given what had been missing and what they longed for, the Survivor game of old, surprises, backstabs, strategy, hardcore gameplay, gambles galore and a well-orchestrated idol switcheroo.

The episode opened on Day 13 with a recap of the season thus far reminding us of those who held power in the game with newly configured, and somewhat confusing I might add, advantages and idols. We then segway to a quick look into how exiled Erika is faring all alone with her thoughts, an hourglass, and a hammer.

She spoke of how this journey led her to find her “authentic” self,  her “inner strength,” “her true depth”,  blah blah blah, you know the kinds of things you say when you’re about to lose your mind from no sleep, no food, and no companionship.

Anyway, as she put it she “hit a hard reset” and whatever choice she makes with her newly awarded history making advantage will be the best choice for her game. This gave us a possible glimpse into the future as she pondered turning back time. With all that was about to go down, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a Friday and a full moon that night as well.

All ears and eyes were open as Erika was ushered back into the game on Day 14 at the individual immunity challenge.  Erika recounted her experience on exile island and let her fellow tribemates in on her ownership of a powerful game changing advantage.

Jeff Probst further explained that Erika was given an hourglass along with the option to break it and reverse the outcome of the merge challenge or leave the glass intact along with the results from that challenge.

When Erika revealed she had indeed smashed the hourglass and turned back time, the reactions of her fellow tribesmen was priceless. The previous immunity holders Ricard, Danny, Sydney, DeShawn, Evvie and Naseer all looked defeated as their jaws dropped in unison.

Shan, Tiffany, Liana, Heather and Xander smiled in amazement while they took a collective sigh of relief as they now hold immunity status.

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This monumental and historic game change will go down in the annals of Survivor Bests.  A huge takeaway from this is that you never count your chickens before they hatch because as always in the game of Survivor anything can happen and you better have a Plan B and C to go along with Plan A.

After this revelation, strategy ramped up to new and exciting levels as players scrambled to make moves that would further their individual gameplay while playing others with their “promised” allegiance to their alliance.

Liana seemed to hold the most power with her advantage that would steal another tribemate’s idol if she asked the correct owner of said immunity idol. Liana, Shan, DeShawn and Danny still held fast to their Alliance of “non-diversity” while playing others to vote off anyone not in that alliance.

Tiffany, Evvie and Xander hatched a scheme of their own when they found out that Liana was coming for Xander’s idol with her power advantage. The back and forth strategy can be likened to the season in Cambodia. The gameplay was difficult to keep up with,  but oh so exhilarating to watch.

Tribal Council was another great moment in last night’s show, but if you blinked you missed vital information as events were unfolding at rocket speed.  Liana entered with the smugness of an Empress.

Xander, Tiffany and Evvie, while somewhat reserved, still had sly grins on their faces. Each player seemed to be confident in their voting strategy, but all that was about to change as Jeff Probst began the inquisition.

Xander and Evvie could win an award for how they played Liana and duped her into thinking Xander held the Idol she so desperately wanted to steal.  Liana and her ‘subjects’  were dumbfounded when she asked for Xander’s idol and he gave her a fake.

This began the brawl of sidebars and huddles of confusion as they all hastily made new voting strategies.  A good take-away from this is that if you’re going to try and make a secret vote use your inside voices.

Some of these people need to take Whispering 101 as most all could hear the names being thrown about as they made decisions.  Before the vote went down Tiffany made a final attempt to save Evvie, but Xander told her to hold on to the idol that he apparently gave her instead of Evvie in a brilliant pre-tribal move.

Xander gambled that Evvie would be safe, a gamble that almost backfired as the vote was dangerously close, but after all the chaos and in the end, Sydney was the one stabbed in the back and sent home and Xander was elevated to a higher rank in the game.

Next week we will find out what these new turns of events have brought to the game. But for now, we will need a week to catch our breaths as this week’s episode has taken our breath away and that is what we expect from Survivor. Until we meet again, the scribe has spoken.

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