Warning: This recap for the “Love Goggles” episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X contains spoilers.
Matters of the heart cause two castaways to become the unwanted center of attention while palpations of the heart bring a scare for another in a blood-pumping episode of Survivor.
In his play, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare wrote:
“But love is blind, and lovers cannot see
The pretty follies that themselves commit,”
It might seem redundant quoting Shakespeare in reference to Idaho bro Taylor, a man who probably skipped every literature class in high school to go practice kickflips in a McDonald’s parking lot. But it’s fitting when describing his actions in Episode 2 of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X. Everyone has been hopelessly in love at some point in their life. That head-over-heels puppy love that turns you into a bumbling, slack-jawed simpleton, following your sweetheart around like a slobbering Labrador. It’s not a good look at the best of times, let alone in the game of Survivor. Unless your name is Amber or Boston Rob (and let’s face it, that’s not even a real name), hooking up on Survivor is probably a bad move.
The object of Taylor’s affection is Figgy, not a burgeoning female rapper as the name might suggest, but a bartender from Nashville, Tennessee who looks like an upbeat Amanda Knox. In Taylor’s eyes, Figgy is “super rad,” which I’m pretty sure is the same thing Heathcliff said when he first met Cathy. Taylor has on the love goggles, and he knows it.
Not that his feelings are unrequited; Figgy is equally mesmerized by Taylor and his bright blue eyes. It isn’t long before cuddling for warmth at night turns into a full blown French kissing sesh — getting Figgy with it, you might say. Sleeping in the middle of the Fijian jungle you’re sure to hear a lot of creepy noises throughout the night, but perhaps none more disturbing than slurpy wet kisses.
Soon the other Millennial tribemates take notice and not everybody is thrilled that the shelter has suddenly turned into the love shack. In particular, Michaela, a one woman quote machine, is not only annoyed by the whole situation but downright disgusted: “You stink, your mouth is nasty, you got sand in your drawers, and you’re kissing somebody!”
A straight up catfight descends upon camp Millennials with Figgy and Michaela trading passive-aggressive insults back and forth. If you were going to put money on a winner of this Survivor smackdown, the wise bet would be on Michaela, the one holding the machete. Even without a weapon, her tongue is just as sharp as any knife. “You’re supposed to work your magic behind the scenes. Her [Figgy’s] magic is all over the place. You have to pull the bunny out of the hat. You can’t just walk in with the bunny.”
Even fellow Triforce member Jay is baffled by the blatant stupidity of his alliance partners (and also worried about losing his coconut bowling buddy). He tries to talk sense into Taylor, telling him that a power couple in the game of Survivor is not going to last long. When Jay is the one talking sense, it tells you everything you need to know.
Over on the Gen X camp, another couple is forming, and it might be Survivor’s most adorable couple in history. Perpetually distressed David, a Charlie Kaufman character come to life, and Captain America Ken, the six-packed male model, is not a pair you’d predict, and that’s what makes it so appealing. Of course, there are no romantic overtones here, and certainly no kissing, one can only imagine the amount of anxieties that would cause David — think of the germs! It’s a pairing born out of necessity due to both men being on the outs of the tribe.
Despite starting the tribe’s fire, David is still drifting on the outskirts of the majority alliance, with lawyer Chris referring to him as a “puppy dog” that they keep busy so that he won’t scurry off looking for a hidden immunity idol. Unfortunately for Chris, he let David off his leash, and that’s exactly what happens.
After stumbling on a painted coconut in the jungle, David cracks it open to discover an idol inside. There’s a moment where it almost looks like David doesn’t have the strength to open it and is going to have to carry the whole coconut to every tribal council. Luckily he musters the strength to pry it apart and quickly shares his findings with new BFF Ken.
David and Ken agree to look out for each other and use the idol if need be to take down the dominating alliance, which Ken refers to as “Paul’s Posse.” And for a man that looks like a sort of glam-rock pirate, Paul’s Posse is exactly what Paul would call his gang if he had one, and come on, he probably has one.
Paul boasts that he “breathes control,” but soon after he takes that breath he drops to his knees, suddenly fatigued. It’s a worrying moment as Paul tells his fellow tribemates that his arms are numb and his chest is tight. It isn’t long before Jeff Probst and resident Survivor medical professional, Dr. Joe, are by Paul’s side. While Dr. Joe is concerned that Paul might have suffered a heart attack, he’s soon able to rule that out and states that Paul is just suffering from heat exhaustion and is fit to continue.
Paul springs back into action at the next immunity challenge, where the Gen X tribe are able to mount an impressive comeback against the Millennials. After swimming and diving and jumping for keys, the challenge comes down to a classic ring toss and the oldies pull off the upset against the young upstarts.
With tribal council approaching, the Millennials tribe breaks down into last minute panic and scrambling. Initially, all eyes are on Figgy due to her late night make-out sessions with Taylor. In terms of the game, it makes sense, Figgy and Taylor are a blatant pair and will always vote together; that’s a threat to players like Adam, Mari, and Zeke who feel on the outside of the Cool Kids alliance.
But when Jay informs alliance member Michelle, missionary recruiter and possible escaped cult member, she immediately disagrees with the decision to take out one of their own numbers. Instead, she thinks they should target pro-gamer Mari, and tasks Jay with the role of relationship counselor in order to mend the fence between Figgy and her arch-nemesis Michaela.
The counseling session doesn’t seem to be making any headway, so Jay comes up with a deft little lie by twisting Zeke’s words and tells Michaela that Zeke was throwing her name out as the next “easy vote-off” after Figgy. Meanwhile, Michelle brings on board high school student Will who is just happy he doesn’t have to hand in any homework tonight.
All the post-challenge madness leads to a chaotic tribal council in which multiple conversations are taking place simultaneously. As Figgy and Michaela snipe back and forth in what’s becoming quite the Survivor double-act, Michelle whispers to Hannah, who was previously all aboard team misfits, to vote for Mari. Hannah wants to know why but Michelle isn’t forthcoming with info, causing Hannah to have a meltdown at the voting booth. Even Jeff peeks his head around the corner to check on her like a concerned parent.
In the end, it’s game over for Mari, as she’s voted out 7-3, leaving Adam and Zeke on the outs.
Treating Survivor like a video game proved to be an unsuccessful approach for Mari despite seeming like she had a grasp on the numbers last week. In the game of Survivor, human relationships are what count, and even though Figgy and Taylor did their utmost to tank their own games, their alliance mates Jay and Michelle used their connections and social ability to save their butts. That’s the best man and maid of honor positions filled for the Figgy and Taylor wedding extravaganza.
Overall, a fun and thrilling episode that made up for the rather safe (yet solid) premiere, and reminded us of the greatest love of all – a Survivor blindside.
Players of the Week
Michelle: Pretty much the reason Figgy is still in the game. She worked her connections to turn the vote her way, even convincing Hannah to abandon her misfits.
Jay: His white lie about Zeke seemed to be the reason Michaela switched her vote.
David: Not only did he make fire but he found the first idol of the season!
Who are your players of the week? Was the right person voted out? Let us know in the comments.
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.