I had a new idea I wanted to give a try, in which I take someone who's left in a difficult spot after the last episode's vote and do some brainstorming about what might be running through their head after tribal council that night. It's a bit of a hybrid between what I know and what I think they know, since the edit obviously doesn't give us all of the information on the table (i.e. if I don't think they know about an idol in the game, I won't say I think they'd be considering how to flush it out of the game). So without further ado, I give you the first entry in this new series: what should Scot do?
After the Nick blindside, Scot’s obviously in a rough place. Before this vote, he had a number of strong personal alliances: Nick, Tai, Jason, Cydney, and Julia all seemed to be people with whom he had a strong relationship. He’d burned his bridges a bit with Aubry and Joe by getting a bit power-drunk when they voted for Julia instead of Peter. Scot never had much of a chance to bond strongly with Michele or Debbie, since they were on Chan Loh. Before now though that almost didn’t matter, as his bonds still firmly put him in the majority. He had many options for making a smaller alliance within the alliance too, since he could have stuck with the men (Nick/Tai/Jason/Scot, solidified when Scot told Nick about Tai’s idol and Jason told Nick about Neal’s) or with brawn (since Cydney/Jason/Scot are obviously bonded together tightly after their time on the brawn beach). Cydney/Michele/Julia turning on the brains/brawn alliance throws everything off.
However, he's definitely not backed into a corner. The man's got some outs. The first big thing to consider is: will he forgive Cydney (or at least tell her he does) or does he cut her out completely for flipping? He’s done a bit of both so far. When someone he didn’t much trust turned on him, he lost all trust in them (Alecia and Joe/Aubry being good examples); however, if he’d already formed bonds with someone before they turned, voting them out was much more difficult (such as when he had to vote out Jennifer). But keeping Jennifer around wouldn’t have changed much so early into the game. Now it’s an individual’s game and things are getting more heated, he might realize that he can’t be so carefree in handing out his forgiveness because the stakes are much higher the closer they get to the end.
If the girls stay strong in their new alliance, Scot’s likely in pretty hot water. Cydney knows that Jason has an idol. She might know that Tai has an idol, based on his blunders at tribal last night. Couple that knowledge with the fact that Aubry, Debbie, and Joe might be salty after how Scot handled the repercussions of the Peter vote-out, and he’s looking like a pretty easy target if those who voted for Nick last tribal stick together for the next tribal.
As I see it, these are Scot’s options:
Forgive Cydney. The most straightforward option would be to welcome her back in. He could get Jason in on this and they collectively grovel at her feet. She wanted to make moves, she wanted to show that she’s not afraid to pull the trigger. While that may be dangerous, keeping someone like that close and happy might not be such a bad plan. They could pull a page out of Aubry's book who regretted kicking out Peter because he was at least a devil she knew. Scot and Jason know how to appeal to Cydney and how to turn her against someone by planting paranoia seeds in her head so that she blows up at them and thinks it’s her idea. If they can convince her that they were only keeping Nick close to keep beauty from having the majority within the majority, they might be able to pull her back in.
Cut out Cydney AND Jason and appeal to Gondol. Another potential option would be to go with the swapped tribe majority. The first two votes of the merge were both off the swapped Chan Loh tribe, giving the swapped Gondol tribe the current majority (Scot, Julia, Joe, Aubry, and Tai vs. Debbie, Michele, Jason, and Cydney). The main problem with this as I see it is whether Scot could pull Joe and Aubry back in. I think he could absolutely pull Julia back in and Tai voted . That’s probably far-fetched, but it is an option.
Throw the heat onto Tai and figure it out later. The other option is to go with a short term plan that buys Scot a few days and opens up his options. Tai made some big mistakes lately. He voted against Jason, so I know I could pull Jason in against him (and he won’t want to save Tai with his idol). I also feel like Scot could convince most of the others that he poses a bit threat to the jury, both for winning that immunity challenge and because he’s clearly super likable. It would help Scot build credibility with the girls by voting with them, would break up the threat of being in such an obvious twosome with Tai, and ultimately doesn’t really lose him much (except potentially Tai’s vote from the jury if he learns that Scot spearheaded his demise).
Threaten Cydney. Tell Cydney that if she goes with the girls and votes out the guys, Scot/Jason/Tai wouldn’t vote for her at the end. It seems likely that he could definitely get Tai and Jason on board with that plan. This would mean at LEAST 3 of the 7 jury members would guarantee their votes going to someone other than her. That might be enough to scare her into sticking with brawn/the original majority alliance to vote out brains, at least for a few rounds. It could also backfire and show that the guys are playing too hard or make her so mad she wants to get them out regardless of the repercussions to set an example that she won’t tolerate threats.
My Favorite Option.
Pull back in Julia/Michele. All they’d need is two more people to come back over to the men’s side to have the majority again at 5 to 4. Scot could easily pull Julia back in and Julia is pretty bonded with Michele (especially after Michele lost her close ally in Nick). If he could just pull those two back he wouldn’t even need Cydney and he could have two more people who have been following other’s plans to potentially bring to the end instead of the guys. If he wanted to play a risky move, he could share that the guys have two idols between them. That gives Michele and Julia the option to bring that information back over to the women, but it also offers Scot the chance to both build trust and instill a bit of fear. Scot could hedge his bets by saying that there are two idols but not say who has them. That could easily be enough to entice them, especially with the promise of the super idol. They could also reassure her that Cydney does NOT have an idol and make her the first target, as a vote of confidence that the girls are willing to re-even the gender divides to keep them from playing both sides.