Make no mistake: Kass McQuillen is not Luke Skywalker. She is not some venerable, delicate soul who finds herself teetering between light and dark, good and bad. She does not have a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, as she described. No, Kass is more akin to Frank the Tank from Old School. Try as she might, she cannot suppress her true nature…it’s always been there in the shadows, lurking, waiting. She is, was and forever will be “Chaos Kass.” The “Calm” act was nice while it lasted, but on Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Cambodia,” the dragon was finally awakened. The Kraken has been released. And let’s be honest: It’s the Kass we’ve all been waiting for.
Don’t read this if you haven’t yet seen the most recent episode, as spoilers are to follow. Get caught up on Episode 6 here.
It was a juicy episode this week…maybe not as juicy as a giant water beetle, but still there were a lot of guts on display. Both challenges – the slippery ring toss and the gross-out food-eating race – were both thoroughly entertaining and competitive. There was strategy galore, funny moments (oh Fishbach, you and physical challenges don’t seem to mix) and of course, a sobering open to the show when Terry was pulled from the game.
A word on Terry: What an absolutely horrific thing to have happen. Every season the contestants on Survivor mention in passing their lives back home, and every so often they – and we as an audience – are jolted back to reality when something tragic happens. Usually on this show, that involves some sort of an injury followed by a medical evacuation. Never has anything quite like this happened (during the All-Star season, Jenna Morasca pulled herself from the game due to her mother’s illness, but she had decided to leave the game of her own free will at that point). Let me just state the obvious for a moment: Our hearts go out to Terry, his son Danny and their family. We all hope and pray that everyone involved is healthy and doing great. Life is short and time spent with loved ones is more meaningful than anything on Earth. We sometimes lose focus on the fact that this game, this show, features real people, not just television characters. All of their lives are severely impacted by their conscious decision to take a few months away from their careers, their families and friends, to compete on Survivor. There is always a worry when you have no contact with home, that something bad might be happening that you have no control over. To say that Terry had no choice but to leave the game is the understatement of the century. Again, I think I speak for pretty much every Survivor fan with a beating heart of our own, when I say we wish Terry and his family nothing but the best.
From a game perspective, Terry’s exit probably sped up production’s choice to shake up the tribes again, which ultimately was to Woo’s detriment. Even worse for Woo is that tonight’s “blindside” was ill-conceived and just a poor strategic decision for Kass, Ciera and everyone involved. Let me get this straight: Savage starts dictating how things are going to go down, mentions Ciera’s name as the fake target, and she takes offense to this…so the answer is to target…Woo? Especially when everyone on Ta Keo knows that Spencer is a very strategic player. How in the heck could voting Woo out be beneficial to anyone’s game?
Savage of course, was not in the blindside and for some reason, was not Ciera’s target. Kelly Wiglesworth just doesn’t seem to be playing Survivor (although she still is totally owning challenges…what a beast!), so she’s a non-factor strategically. But what the heck Abi? Didn’t you just let Woo back into your good graces? She had just recently been aligned with Savage and Tasha as well, but being in on Woo’s blindside, she has now cut ties completely with Savage. Who the heck is she playing this game with? As for Kass and Ciera, how in the world can this move benefit their games? They should have also noticed that Spencer just survived a vote that he should not have when Monica was sent home, so shouldn’t that clue them off that he may have made allies with the likes of Jeremy, Fishbach and Kimmi? The move, all the way around, just makes no sense.
From Kass’s perspective though, she pretty much had to do what she did tonight. When Ciera was that adamant about voting for Woo, Kass would have only damaged her relationship with Ciera by going against her, and Kass can’t afford to make enemies. I’m not sure why they targeted Woo over Savage though, especially because they must know Savage has more connections on the other tribes than Woo can possibly have, since Woo’s original tribe is dwindling fast. But once Ciera raises the stink, Kass had to go along. Voting out Spencer at that point would have ticked off her alliance and would have left Kass out to dry.
The bad news for Kass is that having a bit of power this week has seemed to unleash her full Chaos potential, as is hinted to in the preview for next week’s episode. With the merge looming, it especially looks like a bad move to have kept Spencer in the game.
Speaking of the merge, we enter next week with thirteen players still in the game. If loyalties lie where we have been led to believe they do, you have Ciera-Kass-Kelley-Keith-Joe on one side, with Jeremy-Fishbach-Kimmi-Spencer- Savage-Tasha potentially on the other side (Joe, it seems, has many options as he also was aligned early on with Jeremy and friends, and if he does side with Jeremy they would have a majority alliance of seven). But assuming Joe stays with Kass’s crew, that leaves Abi and Wiglesworth in the center. Wiglesworth is truly a gun-for-hire, but then there’s Abi…Chaos Kass has nothing on Abi when it comes to creating chaos. The very idea that she made the merge should make for an incredibly exciting and unpredictable second-half of the season.
Please check back (or subscribe at the top of this article), because you will not want to miss my exclusive one-on-one exit interview with both Terry and Woo tomorrow (up by Thursday afternoon). So join me tomorrow and be back next week for another Episode Preview on Wednesday morning followed by another full Episode Recap and Analysis Wednesday night!
Be sure to check out one of my favorite Survivor sites as well, SurvivorFever.net.