‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: season finale

Tony, the cop from New Jersey who lied, cheated and always had something in his bag of tricks won $1 million Wednesday night when he was voted the sole survivor. Credit: CBS
Tony, the cop from New Jersey who lied, cheated and always had something in his bag of tricks won $1 million Wednesday night when he was voted the sole survivor. Credit: CBS

If you are anything like me, once a season is over, you reach for a little bit more. One last grasp onto the world wide web to relive a fantastic, or lackluster series.

Lets dive right in and look back at the ending of one of the best pieces of reality television produced.

Well, Woo made the ultimate bro move. Tony hung on by the skin of his teeth. Spencer showed he was one of the most memorable and likable players of all time. And when all was said and done, Tony was the sole survivor.

Proving that strategy, a great social game and ruthlessness is what this game is all about.

The season had it all, as did the episode, as it started on a pretty high note.

A boat emerged from the ocean and the tribe was greeted by family members, in the flesh, with a picnic for all.

After tears, hugs and introductions subsided, Woo read treemail that invited the tribe to an unexpected immunity challenge.

As has happened multiple times in immunity challenges, after the first stage, it was a race between Spencer and Tony. When Woo joined the party working on a puzzle, Cass was miles behind, still working to get her key to unlock her puzzle pieces.

But then out of nowhere, and seemingly like a strike of lightning, Cass came back and finished her puzzle first, earning a guaranteed spot in the Final Three.

“To lose to a brain dead weasel like Cass,” Spencer said after the challenge, “that’s the most humiliating way I could have lost today.”

Cass made it clear Spencer was going home. And with Tony and Woo unlikely to turn on one another, it seemed like tribal council would be relatively easy.

But then Spencer approached Tony with a realization — that it will probably be a final two. And if it is, neither Woo nor Cass would choose to take Tony with them if they win immunity.

Tony looked convinced. So much for an easy tribal council. After Spencer pled his case, and sounded like he did a good job, he was sent home 3-1, leaving Tony, Woo and Cass as the last three.

After a night together on the beach, it was right to the final immunity challenge. The stakes were clear. A Tony win, and perhaps only a Tony win would let the stronger player vie for $1 million in front of the jury. If he lost, both Woo and Cass would vote to take one another to the Final Two.

The challenge appeared massive, spread out over a beach with hundreds of turnstiles set up in a maze, some that turned and some that didn’t.

Woo made it out of the maze first with Tony not far behind. They worked to put together a puzzle involving cogs and a spinning wheel. Cass made it out of the maze and joined the party and made it close, falling to Woo by just a couple seconds.

Tony, having never won an individual immunity challenge, knew his fate was all but sealed.

The cop from New Jersey argued with Woo to keep him around, to honor his loyalty. Woo said he would consider it, as well as Cass’ argument that she was easy for him to beat.

The heat was on, and Woo had to decide. And he made the “stupid stupid stupid,” decision, as Cass said in her exit interview. He took Tony with him.

Woo made perhaps a $1 million mistake when he took Tony with him to the final two instead of Cass. Credit: Getty Images
Woo made perhaps a $1 million mistake when he took Tony with him to the final two instead of Cass. Credit: Getty Images

“In a martial arts tournament if I went up against someone who wasn’t as talented as I was, that victory wouldn’t be as sweet,” Woo said of his decision to take Tony. “You want to go up against someone who is strong, maybe even stronger.”

And then it was time for the jury to take control.

Jeffra asked a good question to Tony, allowing him to explain and “own his game, admit that he is a villain.” He seemed to fall over his own words a little bit, not really convincing her.

Woo explained to Cass, in her question, that his desire to be honorable (to Tony) was more important than the seemingly sure thing of taking her to the end.

Then Trish threw Tony the showstopper. After quite the ramp up, she asked if his swearing on his wife’s life, his daughter’s life and father’s grave, for $1 million was worth it. And Tony said, “Yes.”

Spencer went last, and he argued tooth and nail, to the jury on Tony’s behalf instead of asking him a question. And made a compelling argument. Calling him the “only guy sitting there who actually played this game and actually honored it.”


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