Yase are no longer the underdogs — they’re the underturtles!
Ua has reached a turning point that their team may never recover from — but there are individuals who may yet rise from the ashes.
Survivor Season 41 Episode 4 gave us some truly magical moments.
That reward challenge was a roller coaster of emotions.
It was great to see Yase finally getting their groove back — including Tiffany! — but man, did Heather ever come up short. Luvu has been consistently winning, but now they’ve shown that they can lose with grace.
Heather was just hard to watch. Every time she failed, you could feel everyone’s heart sinking for her. At that point, Luvu didn’t even care if they won. They just wanted Heather to catch the ball as a personal victory.
What we learned is that Heather is both kind and tenacious. She is loved and she loves her tribemates. Even the rest of the castaways acknowledged her. The support of this cast for each other is so wholesome and makes them all that much more likable.
And in the end, it is just a reward challenge. Food would have been nice, but immunity’s what Luvu really needed, and despite their best (or worst) efforts, they got it.
Yase really have proven to be the comeback kids. Now that Tiffany knows the taste of victory, she feels invincible and she’s cracking jokes with the rest of them.
Liana is a challenge beast, right up there with Xander. Though we didn’t see much of either of them this episode, they are still definitely both ones to watch. Strength in challenges will be important down the road. If they can keep winning, the four of them might just stick together even after the merge.
Yase was also blessed with one of the most magical scenes ever seen on Survivor.
Something like this cannot be set up. It can be predicted, but to witness it so close, firsthand, must have felt like a miracle.
Yes, the baby turtles! It was impossible not to be moved by this beautiful display. I re-watched this scene a couple of times. It was just so special.
People love Survivor for many reasons, but the gorgeous scenery and the shots of nature are what really sell this show as an epic adventure. Moments like this really solidify it as a life-changing experience for the players.
Evvie, ever the opportunist, found a way to organically spin the baby turtles’ struggle into a metaphor for the Yase tribe. It’s fantastic that she saw this as an omen of optimism and hope, of what they’ve managed to overcome.
Good job, Yase. You deserved that baby turtle show.
On the Luvu tribe, we finally get to the women. Sydney is proving to be volatile and ego-centric, but you must admit her confidence is entertaining.
They love to hate me. They hate me ’cause they ain’t me.
There’s also Erika.
I am actually a lion dressed like a lamb. As much as I wanted to keep this innocent act up, like, I’m so ready to take off my little lamb costume and show my teeth a bit more.
She’s definitely been on a winning tribe for too long. But you shouldn’t be too eager to get your hands dirty.
It’s understandable that they’re all getting antsy. They want to play the strategic version of Survivor, instead, they’re just winning challenges.
On the one hand, this sets them up as going into the merge six strong, something that gives them an advantage over Ua and Yase (unless of course Ua and Yase get together).
On the other hand, going into a merge without having been to tribal council often shows a naivete when it comes to voting and an eagerness to play for the “big moves” rather than seeing what actually needs to be done.
In previous Survivor seasons, castaways who attend many tribals develop a knowledge of how to navigating them. There’s an art to deciphering subtext of how people answer Jeff’s questions, and also knowing how to read the room. Practice makes perfect!
These are skills Ua and Yase will have that will give them an edge over Luvu.
Very often, the person who is voted out first after the merge is someone who has ever attended tribal council before. If Luvu keeps dominating, it’s almost guaranteed that a member of the Luvu tribe will be booted at the merge.
Throwing a challenge isn’t always a bad idea, but it has to be worth it.
Jeff certainly doesn’t like it when the contestants do it. Voting out Erika wouldn’t have been a bad idea for Deshawn and Danny, but it could have waited. Immunity is much more important at this point if anything just to keep knocking down the other tribes.
Also, make sure your MVP knows what you’re trying to do, or else you get what happened with Naseer. Maybe they know Naseer wouldn’t have agreed to it or would have passed the information back to Erika.
Erika made the mistake of confiding in the wrong person — but how could she know Deshawn would be gunning for her immediately?
Genie took Brad’s blindside to heart. Her reaction felt very defeatist, so it was a relief when she floated the idea of playing her shot-in-the-dark. It really did feel like she could be going home, so it was exciting to think we might finally see someone roll that die.
I would probably be crying right now if I didn’t already lose all of my liquids through sweat.
However, it’s apparent Shan is playing to win. She is 100% playing an A-level game and the issue will be hiding that innate skill she has from the other castaways when they merge.
Right now, only Ricard really knows how good she is. In order to win, Ricard is going to have to find a way to cut her loose. The trouble there is that Shan is great in challenges as well.
I think Ricard has it in him to vote her out if it comes to that, but would he instigate it? That’s taking it to another level — but, it’s a level he might need to attain to prove he’s worthy of the title of Sole Survivor.
Ua got the best reward — instructions on how to live off the land from Fijian Nathan — but failed to capture immunity.
You might be the coolest man I’ve ever met in my life.
So we say goodbye to poor JD. JD was an awesome character and hopefully, his short stay on the show will cement his legacy as a fun, charismatic, and enthusiastic lover of the game. He could easily be back for a returning player season and right his wrongs, prove himself.
You just knew as soon as he gave that advantage back to Shan that he would likely be voted out.
Every time Shan does something so underhanded it’s a shock and a thrill. She anticipated how he would react to her supposed paranoia. That’s how well she can read people.
I don’t want to be a villain, but I do want to be an assassin.
JD wanted to believe he was such a good Survivor player that he could instill this kind of fear in others. He underestimated Shan. She cares for him, but her dreams are just as valid as his and for that, she played him ruthlessly.
Only four episodes in and we’ve seen some exceptional gameplay and strong emotions.
Survivor’s juiciest moments come from the interplay between clashing personalities, but also in the close bonds the castaways develop in a short time.
But as we saw today, sometime the biggest thrill is recognizing and honoring a connection to the natural world.
What was your favorite moment of the episode? Share in the comments!
Mary Littlejohn is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.