This is going to be my first blog post here in Survivor Wiki and I would like to tackle about the recent episode Dead Man Walking and the craziness it shows.
First, there are terms that I use to describe certain alliances, so if you see the following just refer to know who they are here:
- Terrible Trio - Pete, Abi and Artis. Known to be the "villain alliance" of the post-merge.
- Dynamic Duo - Denise and Malcolm. Formerly supposed to have an alliance with Lisa after her finding out about Malcolm's Hidden Immunity Idol (HII).
- Desparate Duo - Jeff and Carter. Desparately (especially Jeff) wants Penner out of the game due to him being a returning player even though he is a close ally. Formerly aligned with Penner until they voted against their potential ally RC in which they -- along with the others -- target Penner as the next castaway to be voted out.
- Returnees - Penner and Skupin. The former becoming a free-agent after knowing that the other castaways are out to get him, while the latter is loosely part of the Tandang alliance with the Terrible Trio and Lisa who has a backup plan to blindside Malcolm instead when Penner got the individual immunity.
In this episode, we saw the following strategies from Lisa:
- The presumably pre-Reward Challenge strategy of voting out Pete-Abi-Artis after Penner & Skupin using Malcom, Denise, Carter, Jeff and herself.
- The post-Reward Challenge "ephiphany" of having 2 of Pete-Abi-Artis in the Final Tribal Council with her for due to the 3 not possibly getting the Jury votes over her and instead of voting against Skupin after Penner voted out, would blindside Malcolm using the Terrible Trio, Skupin and herself because of his HII.
So we see that Lisa changed from going against the Terrible Trio to going against her loose Dynamic Duo alliance after Penner got the individual immunity. At that time Pete had planned on voting out Jeff rather than the 2nd choice returnee Skupin because Skupin is easier to be voted out later on, but Lisa possibly doesn't know of this plan so he tried to convince Pete in blindsiding Malcolm instead of Skupin as a backup plan by saying that he has the HII. Pete, possibly still feels Malcolm is needed in their alliance and doesn't want that plan, shrugs Lisa's strategy and asked Malcolm if he has the HII which made Malcolm disappointed and just denied it to Pete.
Disappointed about Lisa's telling of his HII, he told everyone at the Tribal Council of how Lisa threw him in the bus. Lisa, possibly attempting the urgency of voting out someone that is a threat and has an HII, tried to rally her fellow Tandang members to vote out Malcolm to possibly flush his HII/at least pressure Malcolm into showing his HII to the others. Possibly nervous about his place in TC, he shows his HII at everyone and tells that he would use it.
At the voting Lisa -- possibly thinking that Malcolm would use his HII -- voted against Jeff which is possibly "Plan B" (Lisa's true Plan B however was probably voting Malcolm voted off but seeing that the Terrible Trio doesn't seem to like the idea just goes with Pete's "Plan B" if Penner got the immunity). None of the HIIs were played, and Jeff was voted out with 5 votes, with Penner voting for Abi probably thinking that Skupin would vote for Jeff making it enough, but Skupin's vote against Jeff is still good for Penner's game seeing that the player that doesn't want returning players to win has been eliminated.
Now Lisa kind of burned a bridge between her and the Dynamic Duo, thought there is still hope in trying to explain why she is trying to pull a Malcolm boot during the TC.
Now, let us see what happens next:
We know that as of the end of the episode Lisa is going to side with the Tandang castaways, but there are some problems with her path to the Final TC if she plans to go all-Tandang at F5:
- Pete-Abi-Artis would probably vote out either Skupin or her at F5 if it is all-Tandang.
- Pete could be convinced by Malcolm to vote out Lisa seeing that Lisa's using them to progress herself. Upside for Lisa though is that Pete would now trust her more now than Malcolm seeing that Lisa is telling the truth that Malcolm does have the HII.
- Skupin could go with Penner instead if he thinks he would be more secure him and plan a 5 vs. 4 vote bloc with Denise, Malcolm and Carter without Lisa's help. With that, she would be in the minority position, and possibly has no choice but to join Skupin & Penner (and maybe Carter) in their possible alliance.
Though there is a way that Lisa could still go with at least one of the Terrible Trio if not 2 (as she said on the Reward Challenge) at the Final TC:
- If Penner/Carter/Malcolm/Denise would be eliminated in the next 2 TCs, that would mean there would be non-Tandangs left, and Lisa-Skupin could flip with the remaining "outsiders" to remove one of the Terrible Trio. The problem is that there is no safety to split votes and they have to target one of those 3, and with Abi's HII there might be a chance (even a slim one) that it will be used on her fellow alliance mate. They must know who to target (and do it quietly) so the Terrible Trio can't figure out who would be eliminated.
- If Lisa would become part of the Penner-Skupin possible alliance, they could remove Pete-Abi-Artis at F9 (split votes to flush HII with the other's votes), remove Malcolm-Denise at F8&F7 and return back to being Tandang again by F6 and remove Penner, use Carter if Skupin-Lisa is feeling that whatever is left of Pete-Abi-Artis are going to eliminate them OR remove Carter if Lisa wants a 2-2 deadlock in F4 and if she didn't get the indinvidual immunity try to convince the remaining members of Pete-Abi-Artis to vote off Skupin instead of her. If it works and Skupin wins the tie-breaker, she could still win seeing that some may not like a returning player win and might not prefer Peter-Abi-Artis, while if Skupin lose she might win seeing that they may want her to win than Pete-Abi-Artis.
Of course there is a chance that the others especially Penner, Malcolm and Denise could sense that they would be blindsided so Lisa needs to adjust if she really wants to push this. Many could still happen in the following TCs so there are many scenario for us to see if the original plan can't happen. Still, I think Lisa could still win even without Pete-Abi-Artis (maybe except for Denise-Malcolm), but she must have a very good rebuttal at Final TC if she reachers there (like saying that she warned the Tandang to blindside Malcolm when they didn't and she just flipped so she could get a better position especially if the 3 won't vote out Malcolm) to make Pete-Abi-Artis less bitter about their eliminations and still vote for her.
So, that is it for my 1st blog post, and I hope that even though it is kind of long you would have the chance to read it. You can post your comments below and say what other strategic plays each player can use for advantage.Till' next time! Zjzr out!