Survivor: Winners at War Episode 9 Recap

Updated: Jan 17

What a crazy episode. Does anyone have anything to say?No one...okay.

Adam's game was pretty much summarized in that one awkward moment during possibly the messiest tribal councils ever witnessed. After spending several minutes with the rest of the tribe whispering around Adam about the plan while he argued with Ben, Adam was left with a resounding, and delayed, silence from everyone when he asked if they had anything else to add.

Despite trying, his fellow castaways didn't seem to want to involve Adam. Ever since he stumbled out of the boat on day one, poor Adam has struggled to get a sure footing in the game. Of course, he isn't blameless. He overplayed his hand early on the original Sele when he told Rob the plan to vote out Parvati, losing all trust with his tribemates, and was never able to regain momentum from there. While trying desperately to ingratiate himself, no one wanted to work with Adam. It's as if he was the unathletic kid in gym class begging the other kids to pick him for their kickball team.

Despite floundering, Adam was a lot of fun to watch this season. He could always be counted on for an entertaining, and sometimes vulnerable, confessional. His constant torch troubles at tribal council, along with his self-deprecation, made for some humorous moments. At some points, he was downright inspirational such as when he leaped to grab a key that propelled Sele to an emotional immunity victory, most likely saving himself from being voted out at the next tribal council.

It was Adam's unwillingness to give up that made him endearing. Right up to the moment he was voted out, Adam was still trying whatever he could to save himself. In one of the great moments of the season, Adam tried to find an idol at tribal council. It wasn't one, but he sure as hell tried. All season long, Survivor subtly slipped in images of Adam searching for clues in unique places, such as on the champaign glass back in episode one and looking around the voting booth. It was all set up for the moment that Adam defiantly walked up to Jeff's podium with hopes that a fleur-de-lis status was an idol.

While the statue wasn't an idol, it was a move he had to make. A lot of people on social media mocked the moment, but the ridicule is unwarranted. Adam knew the hidden immunity idol looked like a fleur-de-lis, and two different international versions of the show have featured immunity idols hidden at tribal council. That little statue very well could have been an idol, so he made the right call by at least tying. If that was an idol and he didn't, we would all be kicking him today for not taking the shot.

Now Adam heads off to the Edge of Extinction with the old school crew. I am not sure what his chance will be to get back into the game, but he is the perfect character for a place like the Edge. Adam is a good narrator in confessionals and has that plucky can-do attitude that might help him earn a few fire tokens. Besides, Adam has saved himself with quite a few tribal immunity challenge performances this season, so there is no telling what is next for him.

Welcome to the Wild West

Koru erupted into chaos this week, with a wild west mentality reigning supreme. Anyone and everyone was a target at some point. Instead of telling you how crazy it was, here is Survivor great Jeremy recapping all the names mentioned, accompanied by facial expressions accurately reflecting those of the audiences at home.

(Photo courtesy of Twitter)

Yes, it was a crazy week where almost everyone was a target at some point, with a few exceptions. Quite honestly, if I were a Survivor player, I would be more worried about the players that didn't have their names tossed about (Jeremy, Kim, Denise, Michele).

I know for some it was circumstantial, but how are you not even considering Jeremy? The show's edit may have skipped over it for time's sake, but Jeremy never had to leave his little bamboo bench. Everyone came to him. As a player, this would, at the very least, give me pause. But the previews for next week show Tony naming Jeremy as a target, so maybe someone else noticed too.

Out of all the names mentioned, Nick's was the one that came up the most. While Adam went home, Nick was the target early on. Nick seems frustrated with how his season has turned out. I get it. It's tough when the tribe calls you the easy vote every week, especially if you won the only other time you played.

Credit to Nick, though. He was the spark that lit the fuse of the chaos dynamite that exploded at the camp this week. A quick chat with Tyson allowed Nick to plant the seeds that Sarah is targeting him. From there, all hell broke loose, with the vote in a constant state of flux. I know he was the backup plan if Adam had an idol, but Nick managed to save himself here. It was his actions that got the ball rolling, which eventually landed at Adam's feet.

With this week's vote, the game finally feels like it is an individual game. I can honestly never remember a time when there was this much scrambling before a tribal council. For many of these past winners, they always had a pulse of what was happening in their seasons. It would make sense then that those winners would struggle to find their footing once the rug of certainty was pulled out from under them. Either way, we live in a vastly different world now. Anyone is vulnerable moving forward.

The past is now the present

With Tyson returning to the game and Wendell getting voted out last week, life on the Edge of the Extinction continues. This week, the castaways had another opportunity to earn some fire tokens by looking to the past.

The castaways thought the clue was referring to a past challenge from this season, subsequently breaking up into small pairs to retrace their steps. The ever clever Danni remembered a moment from the first Edge of Extinction where Aubry found a clue in a rock formation.

Sure enough, Danni, along with Parvati, was able to find the 50/50 advantage hiding in a hole on the rocks next to the stairs. The advantage allows the owner to flip a coin for a shot at safety.

Unlike other transactions for advantages this season, Danni and Parvati dictated how much they wanted to charge for it. They decided to offer it to Michele since she had four fire tokens. The fire tokens have really enhanced the strategic gameplay of the season. But I do wish Michele could negotiate with Danni and Parvati in this situation. She ends up buying it for the four fire tokens, but it adds another layer to the twist if she can counter their initial offer with an offer of her own.

This minor qualm aside, I have liked the fire tokens addition so far, and Michele used it to her benefit this week. While the 50/50 advantage probably isn't worth four fire tokens, she is doing anything she can to keep herself alive in the game. Michele seems determined to prove to everyone her win wasn't a fluke, even if that means she has to take risks to further herself in the game.

Players are going to have to take chances if they want to win this season. Sometimes, a 50/50 shot is the best odds you are going to have, just ask Adam. With the game hitting the ground running this week, there isn't any telling what will happen moving forward.

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