Survivor season premiere recap: Brain Drain

The Brains tribe makes one stupid move after another, displaying a complete lack of Survivor smarts.
Ep. 01 | Aired Feb 26, 2014

SITTING DOWN ON THE JOB J'Tia didn't exactly make a great first impression

Monty Brinton/CBS

“We’re not very smart for the Brains tribe.” — Kass

First off, that is an understatement of massive proportions and somewhat akin to saying “On second thought, the Medallion of Power may not have been the best idea after all.” But here is what is absolutely remarkable about that quote. It came before the Brains tribe showed that they could not figure out how to get a trunk through a barricade without all the puzzle pieces falling out — leading Probst to comment that  “Whatever brains they had have clearly evaporated 72 hours into this game. It’s unbelievable how far behind they are!” It happened before Kass told J’Tia to her face on day three that she was voting her out, leading to the others organizing to oust David instead. It happened before Cliff and Woo almost sunk their boat (which I realize involves a completely different tribe, but at this point why not just pile on and blame the alleged brainiacs for everything). It happened before the Brains tribe got to the puzzle portion of their second immunity challenge with a lead roughly equivalent to the length of a compilation of everything ever narrated by Morgan Freeman and still somehow managed to completely blow it. A puzzle portion! For the Brains tribe! Think about that for a second.

It also happened before Garrett decided it would be a simply fantastic idea to once again tell J’Tia right to her face that she was being voted out and then forbidding any additional strategy talk. Oh, and it also happened before one of the tribe members went and poured out all off their rice into the fire. That’s right, THE BRAINS TRIBE GOT FREAKIN’ HANTZED! (Is that now a thing, pouring out your own rice? Is that Brandon’s lasting legacy on this show? That and staring creepily at Mikayla?) But wait, it also happened before Garrett gave what has to be considered one of the worst Tribal Council performances of all time. And it happened before the tribe decided to KEEP THE PERSON WHO DUMPED OUT ALL OF THEIR RICE!!! It also happened before Garrett decided to not even bring his hidden immunity to Tribal Council, leaving it back at camp as he was voted out of the game

So if the Brains tribe was not very smart according to Kass at that point in time for merely not being able to build a shelter, what are they now? I’m open to suggestions. Morons? Idiots? Nincompoops? Okay, that’s mean. Plus, there has been no indication that Spencer and Tasha are anything but smart. But as a tribe, these guys suck big time. I mean, even David royally blew it right out of the gate when he showed not a speck of concern over naming Garrett his tribe’s weakest player — in effect outing himself as a hardcore gamer and paving the road for his own exit. That is not how you play Survivor, people. And I guess that’s what this ultimately comes down to: Survivor smarts. And these knuckleheads seemingly have none of them.

But I celebrate these knuckleheads and congratulate them on their knucklehead ways, because they helped make for one of the most entertaining first nights of Survivor ever. Does that mean the season will follow suit? Who knows? After all, I thought the Redemption Island premiere was maybe the series’ best first outing ever, but the rest of the season didn’t follow suit. However, it’s hard not to get excited about a great start. And it’s hard not to get excited about the fact that this great start comes courtesy of a cast with all newbies, proving you don’t always need returning players to make compelling television. But can I make a compelling recap? Let’s find out and take this bad boy from the very top!

NEXT: It’s the return of Twistapalooza!

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