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Author Topic: The Zen of Penner  (Read 4648 times)
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Mr. E of Yonago, Japan
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« on: November 25, 2012, 02:15:31 AM »

I was quite shocked when Jonathon Penner said that he wasn't going to make any plans until the three dyads are at six. I wonder if even Skupin bought it? Was it simply a ploy to deflect Skupin from asking straight up for an alliance that Penner felt he couldn't make in good conscience? (Perhaps because Penner had already made an F4/3 promise to someone else?) Or could Penner's strategy at this point simply to play as transparent a game as possible, in order to appear UNscheming and UNcompetitive? Whatever he is doing, Penner has seemingly managed to remove the target that he has been carrying around on his back since the merge, and conveniently for him, Pete and Abi have also raised the flag on the threat Malcolm poses to everyone else's chances of winning.

At this point, the only reason to vote off Abi would be to preserve some pretense of Good vs. Evil among the remaining dyads, and those who don't go along would show themselves to be Evil as well, perhaps (which is a Coach-type stratagem, and can blow up in your face, as we have seen). If the goal sooner or later becomes to start eliminating the biggest threats to win, then the next boots would have to be Malcolm, Penner, and Skupin, in more or less that order, but I don't see how that can possibly come about given the assumed loyalties that each target has within their own dyad. There have been rumblings from Denise at TC about continuing the game with "worthy" (I don't know if that was her word) competitors, which again is a way of maintaining control/discipline among the inner circle, but at this point, we haven't been shown any alliance much beyond the dyads. Presumably, making a move against any of the "Good" players before taking out Abi would therefore qualify the one making such a move as Evil too, and therefore the next target. True, Malcolm has tried to rope in Lisa and Skupin, but I'm not sure Lisa is completely sold on the idea. I'm certain that she sees Malcolm as a huge threat. The real question is, whether all the other players have come to the conclusion that they wouldn't mind being beaten by Malcolm, and therefore are willing to agree to take/go with him to the end?

Even if Penner's strategy doesn't end up getting him into the final, it is a new gambit in the Survivor playbook (at least to me), and he deserves credit for crafting it and keeping himself in the game thus far with it. It's a nice twist on the Diaz-Twine "Anybody but me" strategy. Jonathon is playing the game with everybody, so how can you boot him from the game if he is so willing to help your game? I like it.


Mr. E of Yonago, Japan recommends:

by Douglas Copeland, in Darwin's Bastards, Zsyzsi Gartner, editor

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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2012, 03:31:33 PM »

I have to say I agree Mr. E.  I like the "strategy" of Penner also.  The only problem I have is that learning from previous seasons he seems like he is doing good and then opens his mouth and says something stupid or does something stupid that puts the target back on him.  I'm waiting for that to happen.  As for Abi, as much as we want her gone she is a perfect goat to take to F3 as I don't think she will get any votes because no one likes her.  As for Malcolm, at this point he is almost as invincible as Kim was last season.  Very likable, not too overbearing at the challenges, and seems to have people that listen to his every last word like he is a God.  I can see him in F3 and possibly winning if someone doesn't take him down soon.
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2012, 07:30:55 PM »

I agree with you that Penner is trying to get under the radar by toning down the gameplay as much as he dares.  I'm worried that he won't be able to recover from that though...  I think he should have just gone along with the finals deal.  I suppose we'll see!

I do think that Abi is gone though.  Yes, on paper it's a great plan to take the goat to the finals, but who are you going to betray in your alliance in order to take Abi?  If anybody raises the option of keeping her around for another week, everybody else is going to suspect them of wanting to take her to the end (and thus costing another player their position at Final Tribal.

The only way it might work is because we have at least two dyads, so if they're all assuming an F3 (and it might be an F2, going by episodes left), one dyad could agree that Abi would be their third, and both partners would be happy.

But Malcolm and Denise have a final four deal with Skupin and Lisa, and a webclip of Carter's proves that they've discussed endgame scenarios with him too.  For all we know, they've talked up a finals deal with Penner as well.  If either of them tries to save Abi, that will raise a red flag for Skupin, Lisa and Carter.  If Skupin or Lisa try to save her, that will raise a red flag for Malcolm and Denise.  If Penner or Carter try to save her, that's just going to lock the final four together.

Perhaps that's the real reason Denise was able to talk about only taking the worthy players to the end.  She was using the Good vs Evil narrative, but she also knew that she and Malcolm could not use Abi as a finals goat.  So she drew a line in the sand that using Abi as a goat was not acceptable.

Anyway, that's my prediction... Abi will go home.  The only way out of it is if Carter or Penner try to save her, which might just draw the target to them.
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