Survivor “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” Review (Season 32 Episode 3)

Survivor  Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Survivor returned tonight with the very interesting installment “Signed, Sealed and Delivered”. We’re 32 episodes in now, so it’s safe to say that Survivor‘s not exactly in the mainstream zeitgeist that it used to be. However, a bunch of people all over my Facebook and Twitter were lighting up about this episode, so I knew that something either crazy or upsetting was going to happen.

You knew that something crazy was gonna go down when we got to the reward challenge so quickly. We hadn’t even seen the credits yet and we already got to our first standalone reward challenge. It seemed like a perfectly innocent challenge, with the standard fare of crawling through obstacles and digging stuff up to throw at targets. You knew something was different with this challenge when everybody was still trying to find the bags after 45 minutes, though. Usually they seem to find these things in just a few minutes, so that was definitely already a red flag. This seemed to set everybody over the edge into exhaustion and heat stroke, and it ended up bringing Debbie, Cydney, and Caleb to the floor and requiring medical assistance.

This was absolutely terrible. It was upsetting. It’s irritating and annoying and I’m angry that Survivor is putting these people in this situation. I said in my review of the first episode that I was very wary of them bragging that this would be the most physically demanding season ever. This is NOT what I watch Survivor for, and I think the game has evolved past this point. Back in the earlier seasons it was all about the actual survival and dealing with the elements and lack of food, but since then it has evolved into a deep and layered show about social interactions, strategizing, and backstabbing. I’m never excited when it rains on people for days, causing them to break down and cry. I never enjoy watching people get eaten up by bugs and get cuts all over their body. Most of all, I hate seeing everybody so broken down by the heat and dehydration that they need IVs and evacuation. Unfortunately, that’s what happened to poor Caleb. The guy seemed super nice and he could have theoretically made it pretty far in this game, but now he’s being sent home because they insist on hosting these seasons in these crazy locations. All you need in Survivor is a beach to set up a shelter and that’s it. They could have it on a beach in Southern California an hour from the finale studio, for all I care.

I challenge anybody to say that they actually enjoyed what they watched tonight. I don’t enjoy seeing people gasping for air. I don’t want to see Caleb, a player I’ve enjoyed watching, not even able to respond when he’s spoken to. I was getting close to tears when I saw poor Tai crying his eyes out. I think they need to make some serious changes to the game going forward, or at least give some more thought to the design of their challenge. If people are doing strenuous digging for 45 minutes, maybe force them all to take a short break to get some shade and water and cool off and start the rest up a little later.

Anyway, the rest of the episode was a bit of a bore. The Brawn team was never in contention for winning that immunity challenge, and Alecia never had a chance to stick around that tribe. I was annoyed at how Alecia was treated in her tribe, but I was also annoyed with how she acted in her tribe. I was annoyed with who went home, I was annoyed with who was evacuated, I was annoyed that people are falling apart in this season.

I’m very annoyed right now!

What did you guys think of the episode? Sound off in the comments section below!

Random Thoughts:

– I’d like to apologize to any grammar Nazis reading this review, as you might have noticed that I omitted the Oxford comma in the episode title. It should be “Signed Sealed, and Delivered”, but CBS lists it themselves without the second comma. Sure, there might be many more grammar issues throughout my review, but just know that I would have changed it if it were up to me!

– It really speaks to the severity of Caleb’s condition that the producers thought it was important that they put a little message before they cut to commercial to ensure us that he was fine. I don’t remember them ever doing that before when people got pulled from the game, so that was crazy.

– They really should do a season at this point with ALL players that were medically evacuated. If they don’t do that, I really do want Caleb to come back!