Survivor “With Me or Not With Me” Review (Season 32 Episode 13)

SURVIVOR Now's the Time to Start Scheming

Survivor returned tonight with “With Me or Not With Me”, which saw everybody’s favorite gardener left out in the cold and grasping for straws. It’s always sad seeing likable people like Tai being put in such a difficult position, and man was that opening scene painful to watch! On one hand it’s hard to see anybody having the whole tribe turn on him and desperately scrambling to reconnect with his alliance, but on the other hand Tai did kinda deserve all of this. The guy has turned on his alliances multiple times and made all kinds of crazy moves, so after pulling off all of these blindsides and backstabbings you know that you’re going to get a target on your back eventually. Everybody talks about how they don’t want to take him to the end, but maybe he’ll have frustrated enough jury members and made enough erratic moves to lose some votes.

After poor Tai gets raked over the coals we go to the reward challenge. I’ve mentioned on multiple reviews how much I enjoy the challenges where everyone runs out into the water, but I also quite enjoyed seeing everybody run in the opposite direction tonight as they book it into the jungle to get bags to throw at targets. That was about as far as my enjoyment went, though. They’ve been pretty solid on the challenges this season, but it was a terrible idea to make everybody wait to throw their bags until everybody has had a chance. What is this, preschool? We have to hold back all of the faster and more athletic people so the slowest guy in the world can catch up? Look, it was cool and all that the 71-year-old guy won, and that he nailed his last two targets with his final two bags, but give me a break. The only reason he won is because everybody else had to helplessly stand back and wait for him to finish. If they were allowed to go collect all of their missed bags and keep throwing then Joe would have been done before he even got his second bag.

However, I guess Joe was #GettingItDoneAt71 so he takes Cydney and Aubry to the reward to enjoy a bath, massage, a nice bed, and all that jazz. However…all we actually saw was Joe eating a bunch of beef and being surprised that he won. It was a little weird that they cut this scene as short as they did. We didn’t get to see any of the cleaning, pampering, or seeing them react to their nice bed. Maybe they just realized how boring of a group this was, and thought the screentime was better suited to seeing Tai back at camp.

We didn’t see a massage at the actual massage reward, but we did see a #TaiMassage back at camp. Tai and Michele kept talking about possibly working together and mending their relationship, but it really just felt like two people being nice to each other because they were forced to be close to each other for 24 hours. It’s crazy how unabashadely in love the editors are with Tai this season. He’s clearly the MVP, and the camera loves the guy and I know the fans do as well. The guy might not be able to win this season, but he’s probably got a place at any All Star or returning season that he wants.

When the reward trio returns, Aubry goes to Tai and starts to tell him that she wants to include him in her game going forward. Tai was strangely reticent to joining her, which really confused me. He was all cagey and saying “I don’t know”, as if he had any other choices. He finally decided to go with it, but then Aubry’s game was about to get blown up by somebody else.

Aubry’s number one ally, Joe, ends up eating way too much at the reward and it ends up doing some serious damage to his kidney and prostate. He becomes the third person this season to be medically evacuated after Caleb and Neal. I believe that three people in one season might be a record, and it’s pretty frustrating to me. This one really didn’t have much to do with the poor conditions of somebody pushing themselves too hard. This was just an old guy not knowing his own limits and overeating. It was a somewhat anti-climactic ending to an anti-climactic episode. At least Tai gets to keep his hidden immunity idol! He can’t play it anymore, and he wasn’t able to play it tonight for good measure!

See you all next week for the finale!

Random Thoughts:

– I’m really surprised that more people don’t get constipated or messed up after eating a bunch at challenges. I can only think of a few times in the past, and none of them were quite as life threatening.

– It’s still super gross to me that all of these people just unabashedly pee and poop in the water. I’m not OK with that. I could deal with the extreme conditions and starvation, but not the peeing and pooping.

– Man, Joe was a really kissy guy! Dude was kissing everybody tonight!