If you are looking for a Survivor recap with a specialized focus on the weekly exploits of one John Hennigan, you’ve come to the right place. After each episode, until Hennigan either wins the show or is eliminated, we’ll recap his best moments and highlights in a column we like to call, “Johnny Survivor.”
“Everybody, drop your buffs.”
Just four episodes in and it’s already time for a tribe swap. After Bi announces an injury is forcing her to withdraw from the game, Jeff Probst surprises the castaways by announcing its time for the merge. Instead of Davids vs Goliaths, the castaways are split into three teams, Tiva (green), Vuku (orange) and Jabeni (purple). Keeping with the theme of the season, each five-person tribe has three Goliaths and two Davids, giving the Goliaths yet another advantage in the game.
John Hennigan is on the Tiva tribe, meaning that will be the tribe we focus on throughout the rest of these recaps. Joining him are fellow Goliaths, Dan and Allison, and Davids, Gabby and Christian.
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) October 18, 2018
And that’s probably the best part about this tribe swap is that the Mayor Slamtown and the castaway who has been endlessly fascinated with the fictional location, have ended up on the same team. And viewers don’t have to wait for long into the episode to see Christian and John’s first interaction.
“I want to see Slamtown one day, it will be great, we’ll have a good time,” Christian says as the new tribes are assembling. It would appear that Christian has a misunderstanding of what Slamtown is which leads John to correct him that they won’t be going to Slamtown, they’ll be taking the two other tribes there. It’s just a simple comment but it’s one that illustrates just how great it is that Christian and John are on the same team. And it’s not the only time in the episode where the two discuss the logistics of Slamtown.
On paper, it looks like Tiva is probably the strongest of the three tribes. Dan is a strong competitor and he’s got an immunity idol, and then there are John and Allison, both of whom were voted as their team’s strongest members at the beginning of the season and were chosen to take part in the initial challenge. On the David side, Gabby and Christian are two intelligent competitors. Plus, they are really the only two Davids who ended up on a team with an alliance member.
Given time to bond with their new tribes, Christian decided to turn on the “Charmpocalypse” and was quickly able to form relationships with both Dan and John. Finally with some one-on-one time, Christian was able to ask all of his questions about Slamtown, a place that John explained to him is the name of the location where he takes his opponents to. Continuing his charm offensive, Christian inquired about a comptroller position to which John played along saying he’ll definitely take a look at his application once they get access to technology.
As this is a John Hennigan inspired Survivor recap, please excuse the clear bias when I say, John and Christian’s growing relationship and Christian’s fascination with Slamtown, is one of the best parts of this season so far.
Back to the beach, all three teams gathered for the challenge where Tiva’s on paper strengths translated into real results. The hero of the day was Gabby, who calmly led John and Dan through the maze before guiding Christian and Allison through the puzzle. Feeling on the outs when the tribe swap began, this must have been reassuring for Gabby. With the win, not only did Tiva get immunity, but they got a reward of coffee, pastries and brownies as well.
The rest of the episode focused primarily on Vuku and each castaway’s thoughts on who they were going to vote off the island. In the end, Natalia, who thought to have orchestrated the whole thing, was blindsided by Alec’s powerplay. Carl, who started the episode on Exile Island, joined Vuku to even the numbers, making the orange tribe the only of the three to now have three Davids and just two Goliaths.
Make sure to check back next week for our episode five recap and then tune in to Survivor, every Wednesday at 8 PM ET on CBS to see more of John Hennigan and the wonderful world of Slamtown.
Missed anything? Want to catch up? Check out our previous two recaps here: