Survivor “It’s a Fickle, Fickle Game” Review (Season 30 Episode 13)

Survivor Worlds Apart Season 30 Finale 2015 30

Well, this is it folks. One of, if not the greatest reality competition series of all time had their 30th season finale when Survivor concluded its season tonight. It’s quite a shame that despite the great lineage of this series, and the fact that we’re on such a landmark numbered season, that this has been one of the worst casts in quite a while. I’m really just going into “It’s a Fickle, Fickle Game” rooting for the next season to begin rather than rooting for any of these players to actually win. If I had to pick one player to win the million then I’d be going for Mike, but really just by process of elimination other than any kind of affection or fandom for the guy.

So we get into the obligatory recap as the remaining five are summed up, and it seems like even the editors are building up Mike as the underdog favorite. Even when we cut to the actual new footage, we see that Carolyn is kinda/sorta contemplating going with Mike since he was the only one that had her back in the last tribal. I never really got the vibe that she was really thinking about it, but they’re definitely sowing those seeds. It seems like they want us to think that Mike has a better chance than he does. It’s like they know that he’s the only one left that America is still rooting for.

We don’t always get a visit from the loved ones, but we actually did this season! I was definitely getting pretty choked up, especially when Jeff was talking about the bond between a mother and her child. My wife is pregnant with our second kid so I might be suffering from some sympathy hormones or something, and I’ve been thinking a lot more about children and parents and stuff, so I was definitely feeling a little misty eyed. The challenge itself wasn’t anything special, with probably the easiest puzzle in Survivor history. Did they figure that the teams got so embarassingly stuck on last week’s puzzle that they were basically going to give it to them this time? My 13 month old might have been able to work that one out…

Out of all of the nice family reunions we’ve had in seasons past, I believe this is the first time that we only had one person getting to spend time with their loved one back at camp. Usually they get to pick other people to hang out with their family member, but it wasn’t even an option tonight! They just got sent away, and I was waiting for Jeff to call them back and tell him that Mike could pick somebody else. No dice.

His mom was able to stick around and help him with the maze, though, but I guess she doesn’t walk around many giant mazes back in Texas because she didn’t seem to help him too much. It must have been an advantage to Rodney to get the general layout of the maze anyway even though he didn’t complete it with his mom, or maybe he’s just that much better of a challenge competitor, because he absolutely crushed it tonight. Did anybody else even get their second medallion? Maybe Sierra did, but it felt like a runaway from the very beginning. How cool was that big compass layout, though?!

The pre-Tribal scramble was pretty interesting, as Mike has now oddly become the swing vote. He can go with the boys and vote out Sierra or go with the girls and vote out Rodney. It was a little odd that Mike, Carolyn, and Sierra were determining who to vote out based on who does the most around camp. Really? It’s day 37 and you’re making decisions based on who gets the most firewood? Maybe you should be thinking about, I dunno, who might beat you in a couple days!

Thankfully all that was just baloney, as Mike decided to vote with the boys and take out Sierra. It was the right choice, since she’s a much bigger threat in challenges and she has a lot more potential voters in the jury than Rodney does. However, if you’re going to vote with the boys and take out one of the girls, why not go for Carolyn? She’s played a much more strategic game than Sierra, she’s well liked, and she’s actually won two individual immunities this season!

Not that it mattered or anything, because Mike has been an unstoppable force in challenges this season. He yet again ran away with the immunity necklace for a record tying fifth time, and then we had a really weird group hug moment where the three losers wanted to hug it out and place the necklace on him personally. I couldn’t tell if Will was being totally genuine, or if he was trying to just appeal to Mike’s ego and get on his good side.

So Mike decides from way before the penultimate tribal that he wants to have a fire making challenge, which I still can’t really figure out. I guess he wants to stay true to his word by not writing down Carolyn’s name, but it really just came off as more cowardly than anything else. Why not just make a decision rather than just leave it up to a fire challenge? And wow, what a humiliating challenge that was. How can you take 53 minutes to make a fire?! How do you not practice making a fire as soon as you find out you’ll be on Survivor?! How do you both magically start making flames after 53 minutes?! How do you blow all of your coconut husks at the same time?! So many questions, and such a weird way for Rodney to be sent home. He was understandably a little upset, although I don’t think he was going to win had he stayed.

We unfortunately did not get to see a walk down memory lane sequence this season, and we also didn’t get to see them setting their shelter up in flames. Maybe the people of San Juan Del Sur didn’t want a giant fire on their beach, which I guess makes sense. After a brief celebration breakfast and a few happy interviews we get straight to the Final Tribal, which was…blech.

Final Tribals are always a little tedious to me, and are regularly my least favorite part of Survivor finales. It’s all just bitter jury members trying to ask difficult questions of the smug and pandering final three. The final three should just be given the opportunity to plead their case one last time, and maybe just answer a couple questions from Jeff. Because otherwise you get people like Dan, AKA the most bitter jury member of all time, to get up on his stage and peacock around with his knowledge of the game. Oh, and then Shirin comes up and gets to bring up her favorite topic, which was Will yelling for Mike. Great. That’s what we want to hear about. Again. Yuck.

The final vote ended up being way more of a runaway then I thought, as Mike becomes the winner of Survivor: Worlds Apart! I could have sworn that Will and Carolyn would have received more than one vote each, but I guess I was wrong! It might have been an underwhelming season in many ways, but the right person won it in the end! Go Mike!

What did you think of the winner, and of the season as a whole? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– Dude, what was up with those ads for the new CBS summer shows Zoo and Extant that took up the bottom quarter of the screen?! How obnoxious!

– How great was Mike saying the word “coat tail riders” and then the smash cut to Sierra.

– How much fun did that waterslide look?! I want to try!

– I’m not sure we needed those intense panting sounds during the second immunity challenge.

– I thought Mike said “This game is a fickle, fickle game”, but the title of the episode is “It’s a fickle, fickle game.” I guess he could have said “This game, it’s a fickle, fickle game”, but that’s weird.

– Did Tyler call Jeff “JP” when he said he was done with his questions? Not cool, Tyler. You did not earn that!