Rewatched the finale of this season as part of preparations for S40. Lots of good thoughts in this thread to respond to as a result.
1: Yeah, that's a thing. Shortly into the episode recap, around some semi-relevant TH, I paused to bring my mother up to date on [redacted]'s legal issue, as she was unaware. After restarting the episode, when he next appeared on screen, she commented that she was already looking at him differently. And that had only been about two minutes.
2: After each of the 3 gave their opening statements at FTC, I asked my mother to just rank the statements, even with us knowing Denise would win. We agreed that Denise had the strongest remarks, and Lisa the weakest. Admitting at FTC that you didn't really start playing the game until about half-way through is never good. [Redacted]'s statements were very middle-of-the-road and old-school Survivor; talking about the Survivor motto, and the target he had to overcome as a returning player.
3: At least RC had the grace and "humility" to turn her lack of "need" for Lisa into saying that she knew Lisa was a smart and sneaky player, and that that was the real reason she wanted to get rid of her. It was also the justification RC had for voting for Lisa in the end.
Not really. As I said, [redacted]'s opening statement was about how he came into the game with a target on his back as a returning player (as did the others), so he had to work hard to stay in the game. Penner correctly pointed out that [redacted] never had his name written down even once during the game, as opposed to Penner's name being written 15 times (a near Survivor record at the time). Penner then opined that [redacted] might continue that "perfect game" that night. And if it hadn't been for Carter (the most slack-jawed contestant until the Christy brothers show up in BvW2), that would have been the case.
That's one of the things we talked about regarding Penner. He's a storyteller and entertainer. He knows what makes for good TV. Hence his attacks at all of the F3. Each one designed to injure, but not hurt overly much. But none delivered in actual anger. As compared to the "just restrained" anger that Artis had.
And to be fair, he did ask permission to reveal Lisa's past, and gave her the opportunity to do it herself if she wanted. She allowed him to have that part of the narrative, instead of controlling it herself. She did have a decent response though, saying it was just a job she had at a certain age, and asked Penner if he'd revealed what he did for a living at the same age in his life.
But then again, it's not like he was the one to recognize her first. As far as I remember, it was actually Denise that did, and she was the one that told Penner.
In retrospect, he got the "soon-to-be-returning" player edit. Since apparently, TPTB decided they wanted him back for the next season about halfway through this one. And apparently, Peachy went to Malcolm to make the offer on Day 27. And somehow Malcolm knew that's what the conversation was going to be about before Peachy made the offer.
So his edit was akin to what they did with Hantz for Samoa. Only Malcolm was actually a decent and likeable person, so they had more "good footage" to work with.
Absolutely. And that's why it's going to be interesting to watch her play again. Her strategy is one of the very few that could be implemented exactly as her first game and be just as successful. The problem is that everyone else knows this time that that's her skill set, and how she can use it against them.