TV Review: Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X 33×09 “Still Throwin’ Punches”

The best episodes of Survivor happen when coincidence and the past come together to team up for a very dramatic conflict. It’s those times when a seemingly arbitrary moment/decision haunts someone later on. That is exactly what happened on this episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X – and it was amazing! I couldn’t have asked for a more tension-filled Tribal Council.

After the Millennials fractured during the last episode to vote Michelle out, I had wondered about the future of their original tribe. Would they ever come back together and team up? Adam/Zeke/Hannah went one way; choosing to side with the Gen X castaways to break up the Core Four. While Jay/Taylor/Will was left to pick up the pieces at the bottom of the tribe; more or less expecting to be picked off one after the other. After another three days at camp, things didn’t change – the group is still split, but cracks are showing everywhere.

CBS

CBS

Did anyone else feel upset with the smugness of Adam, Taylor AND Jay? Adam, who started as an underdog on his original tribe, has let the game get to his head yet again. He even admits it to the confessional that he might be playing too hard. And he’s right! Now that he’s in the majority alliance and his former enemies are on the bottom, he’s let the power get to his head. Survivor is all about relationships and this is a poor example that won’t curry any favor from the jury.

As a rule of Survivor thumb, you never (NEVER!) rub power in someone’s face. You never know if the game will shift and you might need someone’s help in the future. Even look at what happened this season – Zeke, Adam AND Hannah sided against the Millennials based on past actions by the Jay alliance. And of course we can’t ever forget the jury. Will Taylor, Jay or even Will want to vote for Adam in the end? There’s no doubt this week, as well as Adam’s shadiness, will come back to haunt him if he makes it to the Final 2/3.

Taylor and Jay, on the other hand, are no better. Taylor openly admits to stealing food and basks in the pleasure of sneaking meals away from the starving tribe. Jay enjoys some of the food too and is upset when Adam mocks him with power. But weren’t Taylor and Jay the same way with their alliance early on in the season? It’s majorly #hypocritical. (Yes, I hashtagged it – and it’s serious.) This is a case of “pot calling the kettle” but what works for Adam, as much as I hate to say it, is that he’s in the majority…for now.

CBS

CBS

The major point of debate (and what makes this one of the best Tribal Councils this season by far) is a he-said-he-said moment. (1) Taylor stole food, Taylor and Jay ate food, Adam knew about it, and (2) Adam won a reward advantage and Taylor knew about it – those two points are the ONLY confirmed pieces of information any of the three all agree on. By this point, the tribe might’ve already made up their minds, but Taylor had major ammunition to save himself.

He and Jay successfully ruined Adam’s game (I would be SHOCKED if he made it to the Final 2/3), but with this smoking gun, Taylor could’ve made a case much earlier with the tribe to outlast Jay or even turn the tables on Adam. He saved this information for Tribal Council, simply for dramatic effect. He should have tried harder and played a little bit more into the strategy. Accepting defeat put the final nail in his coffin.

Speaking of gameplay, what is with Sunday’s decision to focus targeting on Jessica? The Gen X-ers are in the lead and have an official yet shaky deal to work with each other. They should be sticking together for the time being, picking off the Millennials, until they’re in a position to turn against each other. She’s good to be worried and always thinking about the next move. However, she shouldn’t rush into it just yet; you never know if it will come back to bite her. Just ask Taylor…

RATING: 7.5/10

Justin is a fun-loving twenty-something living in downtown Toronto, Canada. He’s an avid TV buff, movie fan and gamer. In addition to writing for The Young Folks, he has contributed to EW's The Community, Virgin.com, ghostwritten for The Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail, and he runs his own blog, City Boy Geekiness. When he's not writing about his latest favorite guilty pleasure, he's working in the Comms and Social Media field. Follow him on Instagram & Twitter: @JustinMC16.