THE GOOD: Finally, Mike Skupin was playing the game! He won an immunity necklace and ousted Artis, an original member of Tandang. It wasn’t the most powerful or the riskiest move. It’s pretty safe but for sure, it’s the right thing to do and Mike was getting in the right direction.
Kudos for Mike for joining the good people. It was only his second season to play the game and for eight episodes in, you must realize Mike isn’t clearly a villain. It’s only a game, yes, yet there’s no good reason why he needs to join the Axis of Evil. He may not win the title against them but come on, it will be the most memorable win if Mike convinces the jury why he’s more deserving to win against Denise or Malcolm or Carter or Penner.
I remembered it was Penner who convinced Mike to jump shift. While watching the scene, I seem to notice this alliance is breakable considering Mike is still loyal with Lisa. Am I see a Final 2 here?
THE BAD: I couldn’t think of one bad event in the episode. It seems the events were slow and the airtime highlighted the “personal bonding” or shall I say a “counseling session” between Penner and Lisa. Penner really thought he’s in real danger and he’s selling hard. He even used his superior storytelling ability to survive. These scenes were Good TV and I didn’t expect Penner could effectively play the role of a therapist. Did Denise give him some notes?
Of course, there’s Abi! Fans could describe her in different negative ways. They either hate or love her. But you know what, I still like her. Abi-Maria completes this season. Thanks for her impulsive explosions in Tribal Council.
THE STAND-OUT: Mike Skupin played the best strategic game this episode. There’s no doubt about it. Yet, if I have to select someone to rank second, that would be Denise. She effectively controlled the social aspect of the game without breaking a glass.
THE UNLUCKIEST: It’s hard to describe Artis as a castaway. In nine episodes, Artis was portrayed as an under-the-radar angry person who simply chose to ride along with Pete and Abi. I sensed Artis was lucky to have an unbeatable group in challenges. If not for Tandang’s consecutive wins in Immunity Challenges, Artis may have exited the game before the merge.
Edit-wise, even Pete failed for the first time in saving his close ally.
EPISODE RATING: 8 of 10 stars!
Photo courtesy of: CBS