Week 13 - Finale and Reunion
Jay is upset that he threw away his Hidden Immunity Idol on the last vote and heads on a quest to find one last Idol to save him. It's the perfect time to find David's perfectly constructed fake Idol, which he even stashes in a painted coconut. Slow clap for this amazing craft project. Jay blows his chance at guaranteed safety when he forgets to cover up the secret code and every copies his answer. David ends up winning Immunity/Reward, and Jay uses the Reward Steal Advantage to steal the reward. But Jay's a good guy and includes David and Adam on the steak dinner reward to wine and dine them to the final three. Hannah and David are open to keeping around supershield Jay, but Adam knows that Jay has to go. At Tribal Council, they discussion that being well-fed and energized on day 36 is a huge advantage. You know what else is a huge advantage on day 36? The Legacy Advantage, which Ken plays and nulls out the one vote for him. Jay tries to play his fake Idol to no avail and is eliminated from the game.
Since it's the finale, the show needed to shoehorn in the battle of the generations by making the castaways solve a puzzle that said, "NOT A PARTICIPATION TROPHY." Ken wins immunity, not that anyone was planning to get him. David and Adam are targeting each other but Adam has a secret weapon: a second Hidden Immunity Idol he found earlier that day. Adam is giddy to reveal his plans to Hannah, who completely upends everything to run this vote. At Tribal Council, Adam plays his newfound idol but it doesn't matter. Hannah convinces David and Ken to switch their target from Adam to Bret, and Bret is eliminated from the game.
David isn't the only person surprised that Hannah saved him; Adam is livid at what could be a game-ending decision for them. The biggest decider of all will be the Immunity Challenge, which is a tense maneuver/stacking challenge resulting in a sudden death tiebreaker between Ken and Hannah. Ken wins the final Immunity Challenge and guarantees his spot in the final four, which means a 2-2 tie and firemaking challenge is likely imminent. All Adam wants is to finally boot David and even Hannah knows this is finally the time to say goodbye to David. What what about Ken, David's tightest ally? Ken, whose whole game is based on honor and loyalty. But can Ken beat David? At Tribal Council, Ken makes his biggest move yet and votes out his ally David for a better shot at winning the million dollar prize.
Adam, Hannah, and Ken celebrate day 39 with the traditional breakfast while heading into the toughest night of their voyage (except maybe being evacuated for a cyclone). The final three take their seats on the stumps and Jeff Probst brings in the jury (standout: Zeke in a shirt that I can only articulate as Saved by the Bell opening credits). A few jurors take the bait of shoving in Millennial and Gen X references to ask the typical questions. Ken explains he's an old school player based on loyalty, but the jury has mixed opinions. Will says it's a big move he's proud of, while Jessica points out it was cutthroat to eliminate his tightest ally on day 38. He's also pretty offended at the idea that Adam convinced him to vote out David; that was Ken's choice and no one elses. Hannah's argument is that she played a strategic game and is accountable for many of the jurors being eliminated, but many believe she's a flipper. Hannah's a very articulate finalist who owns and defends all her moves in a fantastic way. She totally owns this final Tribal Council, in my opinion, as she tries to take the win from Adam. Adam believes he played the strongest game of the final three and was able to make moves while avoiding being the target by not being the biggest person in control. It's pointed out that Adam was on the wrong side on the votes many times, which he explains he was able to fix his blunders. At the very end of Tribal Council, Adam reveals to the jury that he is playing this game for his family and his mom, home battling lung cancer. It's an emotional ending to a tough and defensive Tribal Council.
Flashforward to the live reunion and Jeff Probst comes out on stage without a jet ski or anything cool. In a unanimous vote, Adam is named the sole Survivor of Millennials vs. Gen X. It's an extremely emotional evening as it's revealed that Adam returned home and was able to tell his mother he felt he won the game before she passed away an hour later. But as Adam points out, sure this is a powerful story but it's also his life. Tears! Hannah, one of the strongest strategic players of the season, is relegated to a question about flirting with Ken which is absolute BS. In other news, Figtails is no more and Taylor just became a dad to a baby that didn't come from Figgy. David and Zeke both grew from the experience to become stronger people, while Bret appreciates being able to be open about his true self to Zeke while in Fiji. Jessica felt she had to stay true to her group and go to rocks and take a chance. Basically, almost everyone gets a question but I'm not recapping them all because.. that's dull. Just know, there was no Sia which means more time to actually hear updates from the players.
We end the finale with a preview of Survivor 34: Game Changers featuring a two-time winner, people who are playing for the fourth time, and other people where they will stretch the meaning of what a "game changer" is to justify casting. See you in March!
There's one last prize you guys: Pre-Show Winner Prediction trophies! My pick to win, Chris, made the jury but alas brought me no victory. However, four lucky folks correctly guessed Adam to win and they win the trophy! Congratulations!
[All images credited to CBS]