While it is not unheard of, Survivor is not typically a show that ends on a cliffhanger. Usually, you see the castaways participate in one or two challenges, including a reward and immunity challenge, before heading to tribal council and voting someone off. In every episode, someone leaves, and the episode comes to a close.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t watched this week’s episode.
This week’s episode of Edge of Extinction took a bit of a unique turn as it did end on a baffling cliffhanger. After the Manu tribe lost the immunity challenge, they had a heated debate before ultimately deciding to let go of Keith because he didn’t contribute much to the tribe thanks to his struggles with swimming.
Keith – like Reem from last week – was met with a new surprising twist: the chance to go to the “Edge of Extinction” for an opportunity to return. During the Season 38 premiere, we watched as Reem quickly embraced the opportunity to fight for a chance to come back. Keith, however, did not have the instant reaction to jump on the boat and fight to continue.
In fact, his reaction left viewers of the CBS reality series confused as some thought he was struggling with whether he wanted to stay, while others thought he was just so shocked about having an opportunity to stay that he became overwhelmed with emotion. Regardless of what Keith was doing at that moment, he was presented with a chance to come back, and the episode effectively ended on a cliffhanger.
What is Keith's deal? Did he go home or what?#Survivor
— Teresa Walker (@TDWalk5) February 28, 2019
How hard was it for Keith to come up with a decision of going to Extinction Island? #Survivor
— kenneth (@_markkenneth) February 28, 2019
It is taking Keith too long to make a decision, if you really want it the decision would not be so hard #Survivor
— Shrinking Natural (@ShrinkinNatural) February 28, 2019
Entertainment Weekly caught up with host Jeff Probst to get his insight on the decision to end the episode on a cliffhanger. While Probst did acknowledge the episode ended on a massive cliffhanger that sent viewers scrambling on social media for the truth, he thought it was important to clarify that Keith wasn’t the last scene. It was actually Reem declaring that she wasn’t sure if she was going to make it that was the end of the episode.
— Gold Derby (@GoldDerby) February 28, 2019
“We are really enjoying being able to be more playful and the audience response is very encouraging. Our teams spend so many hours going over the best way to present the story. We want it to be entertaining, surprising and ultimately inevitable,” Probst explained to Entertainment Weekly, as he discussed the intense amount of editing that went into that cliffhanger.
“So yes, continue to expect the unexpected!” the reality TV host went on to add.
New episodes of Survivor air every Wednesday night on CBS.