LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The first episode of Survivor's first all-winner season was about everything you could hope for and more.
It felt at times like a season full of rookies while also providing the audience with a plethora of nuanced gameplay and relationships.
Usually when the first episode of Survivor hits, it's kinda hard to gather what the tribe dynamics are going to be like.
On the Dakal tribe you have a variety of strategies in play and all of them seem to be working. You got Yul picking up right where he left off, forming relationships quickly with Sophie, Nick and Wendell.
And then you sort of have everyone else who is playing for themselves. Sandra is the queen and will do whatever you say as long as it isn't her.
But then you have the wild cards in Tony and Tyson, who seem to be up the creek without a paddle. Tony is trying to play slow, but he's Tony and can't.
On the Sele tribe, it's very clear that there is an old school vs. new school mentality.
Ethan seems like a lost puppy as Boston Rob and Parvati have decided to let the past die and team up.
Then you have players like Adam, Denise, Ben and Jeremy who are so used to playing a mile-a-minute that the strategy of the old school may be too much for them figure out.
And speaking of Sele, they went to tribal first and boy was it a doozy.
Before tribal, it felt like all of these winners were playing for the first time! They couldn't even decide on a single name to vote out at one point.
But when we went to tribal, there was a moment when Jeremy figured out in real time what was happening.
And while it sucks that Natalie was the first boot, it has set up a great revenge story for Jeremy. It's almost like their positions have switched from San Juan Del Sur.
It was a great piece of television and we're excited to see how the old school vs. new school plays out.
Dakal has to go the second tribal and it's very clear it's down to either Tyson, Amber or Kim which has been dubbed the "Poker Alliance."
Unfortunately for Amber, it's clear she has the biggest target on her back because she's married to another player. And she becomes the second boot with little fanfare.
But the key thing to remember from this is that Yul absolutely has this Godfather-esque ability to his gameplay and it's crazy to see it work in a game full of winners.
If the voting blocs pop up though, they are going to throw his game theory to absolute hell.
Edge of Extinction and back and it's still kind of a bust, but at least the idea of fire tokens has made it more worthwhile.
It'll be interesting to see how players use these tokens for strategy or sabotage.
One thing to remember though is that Ben is just chaotic and he's going to shape the way pre-game is played whether he knows it or not.
Also, history was made on Survivor. Denise won a dang challenge!