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Survivor: Season 43 Episode 11 Review

GameRant 12/1/2022 Jillian Unrau
© Provided by GameRant

The following contains spoilers for Episode 11 of Survivor Season 43.Some Survivor fans have complained that the modern seasons are too easy, that the players don't have to struggle as much or that they get things handed to them because of the abundance of idols and advantages. Whenever that sentiment gets a little too strong, the show likes to bring back some of its classic elements, just to remind players of the game's roots - and to see just how far they can push these castaways. Episode 11 featured the return of a beloved (albeit incredibly stressful to watch) challenge, along with messy strategizing and a Hail Mary pass made at Tribal.

Sami starts the episode off upset that he was left out of the vote for the first time this game. It's making him suspicious of the people he's supposed to be aligned with, because they clearly didn't trust him enough to fill him in on the plan. It also puts him in a bad spot with Karla, as he has to admit (after attempting a weak lie) that he wrote her name down. Owen is also frustrated because once again, the perosn he was allied with got blindsided and he was left out of the plan. He, perhaps astutely, compares his situation to Charlie Brown always having the football taken from under his feet before he gets the chance to kick it.

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While the players are chilling at their camp, a boat appears on the beach bearing a note that informs the tribe that there is an advantage hidden in their jungle. Everyone takes off in separate directions, frantically searching for the hidden advantage. This begins a sequence that the editors and camera operators were clearly having a lot of fun with. There are numerous shots of the players walking right by the place where the advantage is "hidden" in plain sight hanging on a tree, and they are totally oblivious to it. It's hilarious to watch them continuously search for this thing that's so elusive to them when it's literally just behind their head.

At one point, Cody leans against the very tree that the advantage is hanging on, and only realizes it at the last moment when he makes a quick glance to the side. He tries to be calm about it and manages to hide the fact that he found it until everyone else walks away, and discovers that the advantage allows him to bet on a player for the next Immunity Challenge, and if they win, he's also safe (if he doesn't win the Immunity necklace himself). He bets on Owen to win, and also learns what the challenge will be before anyone else does.

At the challenge, there is an additional reveal that Cody's choice of player won't be revealed until after the votes have been cast, meaning that the players won't know whether or not he's immune, which adds an interesting layer to the advantage (though it kind of just ends up meaning that no one votes for him out of fear anyway). The challenge itself is an old favorite - Last Gasp. In this, the players have to float below a metal grate, attempting to breathe as the tide rises higher and higher. It's anxiety-inducing to watch, and obviously must be even more so for the players trapped under that grate.

Despite that, the challenge lasts for close to 3 hours, and both Karla and Owen stay under the grate long enough that the tide starts to go back down. In an unprecedented move, they're both awarded with Immunity for outlasting the challenge - and the ocean - itself, which is a crazy moment to witness, and a testament to their lung capacities. Of course, this also means that Cody is safe because he bet on Owen, meaning that technically 3 people are Immune going into Tribal Council. This, naturally, causes a bit of a scramble back at camp.

Karla, in a slightly baffling move, has become a bit nervous (even paranoid, perhaps) about the fact that she told Cassidy, her closest ally, about her idol. She worries that Cass might start spreading this around, and this theory isn't helped by the fact that Sami lied to her earlier and said that Cassidy was out to get her. Karla wants to vote Cassidy, and almost everyone else back at camp seems on board with it, many because they see voting Cassidy out as a way to weaken Karla (which is why it's so strange that Karla thinks it's a good idea to vote out her closest ally right now).

Jesse has a better idea - get Karla to vote for Cassidy but have everyone else vote out another threat (like Sami), which not only gets rid of a big player, but it then drives a wedge between Cassidy and Karla later on. Jesse's strategy is smart because it thinks ahead - it's not just about the current vote, it's about the dynamics of the game going forward. It's surprising how many of these players don't realize how much Jesse is pulling the strings of this game. Someone will point it out every once in a while, but it's never enough to get him even close to being voted out, and their inability to recognize this power structure has really kept him safe so far.

Sami, however, clearly doesn't feel safe, as he announces at Tribal that he'll be playing his Shot In The Dark advantage. A bunch of the players instantly look nervous, and say that it shows a lack of trust from him that he's willing to do that. However, Sami was lied to at the last Tribal, so why should he trust them now? In the end, the Shot In The Dark is once again unsuccessful (it has yet to ever actually be useful since its inception), and Sami was right to be wary, as he is voted out by the tribe.

With only two episodes left, it will be interesting to see how the power dynamic of the tribe plays out in the end. Will anyone finally realize how well Jesse is playing this game? Will the players continue to make big moves to vote out the strategic players, or will they choose the easy votes once again? This season has been unpredictable as usual, so only time will tell which direction the end of this game is going to go in.

MORE: Survivor: Season 43 Episode 10 Review

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