HomeTelevisionSurvivor 41 Episode 4 Review

Survivor 41 Episode 4 Review

Photo Credit: CBS

Written by Mike Mueller


Blindsides in Survivor can be a complicated thing. If it is not unanimous, people come back to camp feeling hurt and betrayed. That’s exactly what happens at Ua after Brad was blindsided in the previous episode and Genie was not a part of the plan. When they return to camp, Genie lets the rest of Ua know that she considers herself alone in the game and will not be contributing to the team. 

Shan, apparently in an attempt to let Genie know where Brad’s loyalty really lied, reveals that Brad told her about his secret advantage. While this tactic worked on the surface, it also revealed to the rest of the tribe that Shan is a strong player who is keeping secrets from everybody. Shan has just placed a huge target on her back and has now lost the trust of both Genie and JD. 


The next day begins with a reward challenge. The tribes must shoot a ball into an elevated ramp, catch it, dig under a sand obstacle, and then land the balls on a very narrow perch. The first tribe to finish will receive the expertise of a local Fijian who will teach them how to better live on the island. While some might not see it as a big deal, this is really a huge reward that lasts a hell of a lot longer than an Outback steak. 

The second tribe to finish receives…a fish. Between the fruit reward last week and the fish this week, one can’t help but wonder if the budget was a little tighter on this season of Survivor. 

As the challenge gets underway, we see Luvu struggle for the first time in any competition. Heather, who has received about as much screen time this season as this reviewer has, cannot get past the first portion of the challenge. Ua and Yase pull away quickly and Genie proves to have the shooter’s touch for Ua, landing their final ball on the perch and giving them the victory. Tiffany makes quick work of the balls as well, and Yase finishes in second place before Luvu even gets finished with the first leg of the race. 

This is Luvu’s first loss of the season and Heather struggles with knowing she let the team down. She sobs and apologizes to her team. Former NFL player Danny reminds her that they are a team and everybody fails sometimes. His natural leadership and ability to comfort a teammate when they are down is why he is one of the favorites to win this season. 



As Yase returns to their camp and enjoys their second-place reward (…a fish…), Tiffany discovers a group of baby turtles have hatched and are making their journey across the beach to the water. The Yase tribe can’t help but notice the similarities between their early struggles in the game to the struggles these turtles are going through. But just as the turtles overcame obstacles to make it to the water, Yase overcame their own hurdles and are now a well-functioning team. This may be viewed by some as a “throw-away” scene on the show, but it was great to see this metaphor and allow the audience to have a nice, feel-good moment. 

Back at Ua, the tribe is in much higher spirits than they were last night. The “island expert” is at their camp, performing superhero-esque stunts, like scaling palm trees to get fruit and opening coconuts with his bare hands. Their success in the challenge seems to have brought the tribe back together, but Ricard (never one to miss a strategic opportunity) sees this success in a new light. Now that the tribe knows how to better live on the island, he sees no point in keeping Genie around any longer, since her main role was that of a provider. In a season without any real villains, Ricard is trying his hardest to earn that title. 


With Luvu suffering their first loss of the season, some players are switching into “game mode.” One of these players is Erika. While she may be small in nature and seem bubbly and easygoing, Erika is already looking at who she wants to eliminate first. Her target seems to be Sydney, mainly for the reason that Sydney is emotional and impulsive. Erika runs these thoughts past Deshawn, and it actually makes Deshawn skeptical of Erika. He has a pretty good bond with Sydney and knows that Erika has a very high Survivor IQ, despite acting like she doesn’t.

As is pretty much always the case, Deshawn immediately goes to Sydney and lets her know of Erika’s plans. Deshawn also lets Danny know and actually suggests throwing the challenge to get rid of Erika. If Luvu loses the immunity challenge (either intentionally or unintentionally), Erika might regret “showing her fangs” too soon and trusting in the wrong person. 



Unlike in episodes past, we do not see Jeff talk to the contestants as they come in for the immunity challenge. This is normally the chance to allow players to say the “secret phrase” for the three-way shared immunity idol. It is safe to assume the stakes are still the same for Xander, though. If Yase loses, he will not be able to vote at tribal council.

For this challenge, players must race through the water, collecting bags of logs that they then must push through a tunnel. After that, they must find a key within the logs and unlock three rings. The first two teams to unlock the rings and land them on a target are safe. The losing tribe will go to tribal council. 

As the challenge gets underway, we find out that Danny and Deshawn are going to go ahead with their plan to throw the challenge. There is only one problem: Yase is doing horribly in this challenge. For as slow as Deshawn is moving toward shore, it doesn’t really matter when the other team is swimming in the wrong direction. 

When Luvu reaches the beach, Deshawn sees a great opportunity to cost his team some time. While the other players are frantically whipping through knots to release the logs, Deshawn is actually tying more knots into his bag. Deshawn is working harder in an attempt to lose than Yase is in trying to win.

Deshawn gets one more opportunity to sabotage Luvu, as he insists on being the ring tosser. Ua and Yase are able to catch up and even land a few rings before Naseer has seen enough and forces a substitution with Deshawn to take over the ring toss. He immediately lands two rings and gets Luvu right back in the challenge. 

The good fortune for Yase continues as Xander hits the last ring and Yase completes their comeback. JD hits a second ring for Ua and now it is a race to see who will hit their final ring and avoid tribal council. After several near misses on both sides, Naseer hits the last ring and Ua will be going back to tribal council for a second straight episode. 



As Ua prepares to vote off another member of their group, chaos is in the air as everybody seems to have their own plan for tonight’s tribal council. Genie lets JD know she’s planning on using her “Shot in the Dark” die, which would allow her to roll for a one-in-six chance at immunity, but it will force her to give up her vote tonight. JD wants everybody to vote for Genie and convince her that she’s not the target so she doesn’t use the Shot in the Dark and they can have a clean, tidy blindside.

Shan, however, is playing a deeper game. She wants to get that extra vote advantage back from JD (who gave it to her as a sign of good faith before the last tribal and that Shan returned that night). She tells JD she’s convinced he and Genie are planning to blindside her, and the only way she will trust him is if JD leaves his extra vote at camp or gives it directly to Shan. JD, being the young, naive player that he is, falls for it and gives Shan the extra vote. 

At tribal council, JD ironically points out that, as a viewer at home, you have information that the contestants don’t have. He references a prior season by saying “Malcolm, what are you doing bro? They’re coming for you!!!” 

Genie says point blank that she was blindsided at the last tribal council, feels like she’s at the bottom, and has lost the trust of the tribe. She reveals that she is going to use her shot in the dark, and JD makes one last effort to convince her otherwise. JD is successful in convincing Genie not to use her Shot in the Dark, but ultimately it doesn’t matter, as Shan and Ricard blindside JD, sending him packing and keeping his extra vote to use later in the game. 



  • Shan was the breakout star of this episode. She said she didn’t want to be a villain but did want to be an assassin. It’s safe to say that she accomplished that, making a brilliant move to send JD out the door and keeping his extra vote advantage.

  • It was surprising to see that there wasn’t some type of tribe swap in this episode. Fourteen is traditionally when a move like that occurs, but as we are learning, nothing about this season is very traditional. The lack of swaps and merges means that there are very few votes at each of the tribal councils. There’s no room to hide and get lost in the shuffle.

  • It’s ridiculous that this needs to be said, but NEVER THROW A CHALLENGE! It has literally never worked out for the people who throw a challenge. You’re satisfied in the moment, but ultimately it costs you momentum and numbers. After watching 40 seasons of this show, you’d think these contestants would learn that. Fortunately for Deshawn and Danny, Naseer saved the tribe, but this could have been the beginning of the end for Luvu.

  • It’s easy to judge JD for giving his extra vote away, and it’s certainly something that this writer would never do, but it’s important to keep in mind that if JD kept and used his extra vote at this tribal council, he would have been eliminated anyway, as the vote would have been 3 on JD and 2 on Genie. His real mistakes were getting caught with the advantage in the first place, trusting the wrong people, and just not being very socially aware…the list goes on. 

Survivor 41 Episode 4 is now streaming on Paramount+

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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