Survivor: Winners at War "Quick on the Draw" (Episode 6) Recap

Updated: Nov 17, 2020

Move over, Sandra, there is a new Queen in town!

Holy cow! What a tribal council to close out the night. The level of gameplay this season has been off the charts so far, but Denise may have taken it to a whole other level this week, cementing herself as the queen of big moves in a season with some of the greatest players of all time.

The last time someone played two idols so memorably was in Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains when Parvati used her immunity idol and JT's idol to save both Sandra and Jerri. While others have doubled dipped in idol play since then (looking at you, Malcolm), Parvati changed the course of the game with that move, voting out JT and giving the villain's alliance complete control of the game. It's quite ironic that on a night when Parvati also got the boot, Sandra was voted out by her own idol, just like JT during Heroes vs. Villains.

There is no telling how this move will ultimately impact the remainder of the game, but it certainly gives Denise more agency. Throughout Philippines, Denise made it to the end without having to make any waves. Apparently, other players didn't see her as a threat this season either. She could have ridden that low threat level wave to the end probably, but what good does that do her? On a season full of winners, your resume needs to be full of big moves if you hope to win the title of Sole Survivor. Even if this increases her threat level, she has a big move under her belt. Besides, Denise was really in danger of going home and needed to save herself.

I know some will disagree with this move as she used two idols, lost a fire token, and saved someone who voted against her. Essentially, though, she traded her fire token for the right to vote Sandra out of the game. Denise used it in a strategic maneuver to further her game, and isn't that the point of fire tokens? Plus, she still has one left, more than several other players in the game.

As for using both of her idols, it feels like a move she had to make. The original Dakal could have easily thrown a rogue vote towards Jeremy in case Denise did play an idol, resulting in Jeremy getting voted out. Playing the second idol prevented this from happening. With Jeremy still in the game, she has at least one ally moving forward.

In the end, Denise saved herself, built trust with an ally, and got a huge target out of the game. That's what we call a win-win-win situation.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain

Sele also experienced tribal council this week, and the season's villain may have emerged. The tribe swap has not been kind to Wendell's game. While he is on a tribe with a majority alliance, it also has his ex-girlfriend Michele. Their relationship is contemptuous at best. Michele deserves credit, she is willing to put all of that aside to work with Wendell, but he doesn't seem to care. More importantly, Wendell is rude when talking with anyone outside his alliance. His attitude is either going to get him voted out or carried to the end because no one will want to vote for him.

Parvati was the target throughout the day, but she is a crafty veteran. She went to Wendell to see if they could work out a deal. Wendell agreed to vote for whoever she wanted in exchange for her fire tokens. When Parvati pushed back, Wendell essentially dismissed the idea and walked away.

It didn't matter, though, as Wendell burned that bridge. Parvati was able to use this information to try and get Nick to flip on Wendell. He seemed legitimately interested once he found out Wendell was at least willing to consider voting for Nick or Yul. At tribal council, Wendell didn't help his cause, fully admitting to the offer, much to the shock of Nick and Yul. Wendell was adamant this was him being "real", but it felt like a "real" dumb move in the end.

Nick may have still voted with Wendell, but one has to wonder if they can repair their relationship at this point. It is astounding that in a season of winners, so many players are making rookie-level blunders. Wendell's strategies and actions this week are painting a target in his back he won't be able to get rid of. He very well could be throwing away any chance he has at winning this game.

What about the third tribe?

Not much happened on Yara this week. After voting out Rob, the tribe celebrated the death of the mob boss with glee by leaving the shelter. Well, everyone except Adam. It hasn't been the easiest of times for Adam on the beaches of Fiji, and it may not get easier anytime soon.

Adam correctly reads that Ben feels close to Sophie and Sarah. That means Adam is next on the chopping block. Keeping Rob last week would have been better for his game, and now he finds himself on the outside looking in.

It doesn't matter, though, as Adam once again performed well in the challenge this week when he needed to most. Adam has now saved himself twice by propelling his alliance to a victory during an immunity challenge. He keeps dodging bullets, and it is starting to feel like he is going to make a deep run into the game. I am not sure he is going to be able to win, but he is at least giving himself a shot.

Wait, did he say man panties?

The Edge got a relatively short segment this week, featuring a standard scavenger hunt for an advantage to sell to for a fire token. Tyson ended up finding the idol nullifier advantage, sneaking it back into camp by hiding it in his man panties. His words, not mine.

Tyson sold this advantage to Parvarti. Tyson wasn't just going to sit on this newfound fortune, though. He immediately invested his fire tokens in a jar of peanut butter. The only logical reason for buying food here is because the challenge to get back in the game is coming up soon, and he won't be able to win enough tokens to buy the advantage for the challenge. The next best thing then is to get some carbs for strength during the challenge. Plus, in an episode where people are bargaining their fire token for their lives in the game, it's kind of funny that Tyson spent his as quickly as he could on food.

The addition of fire tokens has been a fun wrinkle this season. Look at both tribal councils this week. Denise and Parvati, though to lesser success, both bargained with their fire tokens to gain votes and advantages in hopes of staying in the game. These tokens are creating an added layer for strategy, a Survivor economy that will impact the larger game.

Now, we have to sit and wait for someone to sell a fake advantage for fire tokens. It's only a matter of time.

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