‘Survivor’ 45 Recap: Bruce’s Plan Backfires, Emotions Run High

TV Shows

How Am I the Mobster?

Season 45 • Episode 10

rating: 5.0 stars

[Warning: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Survivor Season 45 Episode 10, “How Am I the Mobster?”]

Survivor Season 45 is just plain fun. On top of the usual intrigue this long-running show brings, the creators have been trying new editing styles this season that have been an unexpected delight. And in Episode 10, the Final Eight players proved why Survivor is unmissable TV.

A few episodes back, there was a Tribal Council flash-forward that even shocked Jeff Probst. Episode 10 brought a hilarious guys montage set to Kenny Loggins’ “Playing with the Boys.” The humor contrasted the touching scene where the women read letters from home in the sanctuary. But while nearly every player bonded in this episode in a string of moving, emotional scenes, one rivalry came to a head and a new one formed.

Bruce started the episode trying to make an ally out of Katurah. This pair hasn’t gotten along all season, and Katurah has wanted to vote him out every week. But after realizing Kellie, his perceived closest ally, wasn’t as close as he believed, it was smart to try and build a bond here. Bruce told Katurah he would lie about his idol, saying he gave it to Kellie for safekeeping the night she was eliminated. In the sanctuary, invited by reward challenge winner Emily, Katurah told all the women Bruce’s plan.

At the camp, buddies Drew and Austin planned to vote Bruce out, not knowing this was also the women’s plan. Jake and Bruce contemplated how best to break up the Austin, Drew, Julie, and Dee alliance. Jake first tried to bond with Drew by sharing the (incorrect) information about Bruce’s “flushed” idol, but when the women returned to camp, he quickly turned and told Julie they should put the backup votes on Drew instead of him.

Drew, one of the season’s strongest strategists, confronted Jake about it, and their subsequent disagreement left Jake with an enemy he didn’t have to make. He wants to make big moves, but he doesn’t have the popularity needed to carry them out.

The final eight of 'Survivor' Season 45 in Episode 10


Emily informed Drew of Bruce’s idol plan, which made everyone agree that Bruce’s idol needed to be flushed. But Katurah started planning ahead, assuming Bruce would save himself, and suggested to Emily that they try to get “Mama” Julie eliminated.

As she rightly said, you don’t want to be in a final three with a player everyone calls mama. The collective love for Julie has now put a target on her back, but she was safe this week, as Emily used her as a decoy to make Bruce confident enough not to play his idol.

It’s rather unbelievable that it worked, but it did. Emily single-handedly made Bruce feel safe enough not to protect himself. He was clearly torn when making that decision, but he took a risk that didn’t pay off. He was the singular vote for Julie, while Dee, Drew, and Austin voted for Jake. Katurah, Jake, Emily, and Julie voted for Bruce, making him the fourth member of the jury.

With Julie veering away from her Reba alliance’s decision, and with her name now on the chopping block, she seems to be the next prime target. Jake, meanwhile, is still struggling with the knowledge that he’s not a big enough threat to eliminate, and not a convincing enough player with whom to make an alliance. Between her reward challenge win and her successful manipulation, Emily delivered one of the most impressive single-episode performances of the season. Could she be the dark horse of Season 45?

On a different note, this episode may have been full of strategy and big moves, but the best part of it — and of Survivor at large — were the displays of true love and care between every member of the cast, including Jeff. The collective celebration of Emily’s first individual challenge win, and the support Katurah received when she started to panic during the water-based immunity challenge, showed why this show should keep running. Players can be starving, exhausted, and pushing their bodies and minds to the limit as they fight to win $1 million, and yet they never fail to help their competitors get through another day. There is no surviving without each other. Survivor is reality TV at its best.

Survivor, Wednesdays, 9/8c, CBS

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