Last week saw, what had been a fairly unified Upolu tribe splinter into two factions when it came time for Tribal Council. One wanting to keep the stronger Mikayla – the other wanting to keep the more loyal Edna. Edna stayed, so Mikayla will face off against Christine at Redemption Island. Before the title sequence, several Upolu members comment on Brandon’s third Tribal meltdown. Rick is concerned about what happens after the merge, and Coach is ready to go all “Of Mice and Men” on him.
For the Redemption Island duel, Christine and Mikayla have to take apart a crate and use the planks to make a bridge. Once they complete the bridge, they have to take it apart and use some of the pieces to create a puzzle. The loser goes home.
Christine gets off to a quick lead. Mikayla struggles to catch up. Once they hit the puzzle portion, it seems like she has a good shot. Mikayla completes her puzzle first but it’s wrong. Before she can fix it, Christine finishes and has it right winning her fifth duel to stay alive in the game.
Ozzy was in the stands watching as as they leave, he tells the audience that Christine is a force to be reckoned with. He says that with the merge coming, it might be better for Savaii (if they lose the next challenge) to send someone to Redemption Island who can beat Christine and then come back into the game post-merge and even up the numbers. It would be a scary proposition for whoever would put themselves in that position, but it’s probably the first legitimate strategic idea Ozzy has had this season.
Ozzy shares his idea with Cochran. It’s a bold move since they’ve been on opposite sides of the fence. Ozzy even says he might give Cochran the idol to hold for him until he gets back.
Over at Upolu, Coach is trying to find a way to reunite the team. Coach leads a prayer circle praying for God to help them find the idol (which he already has – only Sophie and Brandon know about it). The idea is to get everyone looking for the idol and then “find” it and share it as a tribe. While everyone else is looking, Coach and Sophie go fetch the idol and also find tree mail. They are told to pair up and then using warrior makeup, dress like “twins” for the next challenge.
Coach and Sophie tell the tribe that Coach “found” the idol and share the tree mail.
Time for immunity and reward.
The reward is the winning tribe gets to go the Survivor: South Pacific Cinema and see the new Adam Sandler movie, Jack & Jill (not sure if that’s a reward or a punishment) with all the movie snacks to go along with it. This explains the “twins” theme.
One set of twins will act as ‘caller’ as the other two sets are blindfolded and work to retrieve bags with masks in them. Once they have the masks, one set of blindfolded twins have to put the masks in pairs using only their hands to tell which mask is which.
Callers for Upolu are Coach and Rick. Savaii chooses Cochran and Jim. Wonder if Upolu’s choice to keep Edna will come back to bite them in the butt.
Brandon and Edna get the first bag for Upolu. Keith and Dawn are right behind. Upolu gets their second bag. Savaii is right behind. With the third bag, the teams are neck in neck. Savaii pulls ahead. Savaii has their rope all tangled up. This gives Upolu a chance to jump back into the lead. Savaii gets their rope untangle and heads out. Albert can’t get the fourth bag untied – this gives Ozzy a chance to catch up. Upolu gets back first – Albert and Sophie untie the bags and start working on their masks. Ozzy and Whitney are hung up on the course because Cochran didn’t get them fastened onto the rope correctly – something Jeff seems to relish pointing out over and over again.
Ozzy & Whitney make it back and start working on the masks. Coach is working himself up into a religious fervor praying for a victory. Savaii can’t pull it out. Albert and Sophie match up the masks and win for Upolu.
Ozzy is pissed since the loss lies squarely with Cochran tangling up the rope. Upolu is ecstatic. Ozzy is still raving mad. I think this may affect the plan to volunteer to go to Redemption Island.
Upolu enjoys their night at the theater, while Cochran is getting raked over the coals at the Savaii camp. It’s the general consensus that Cochran is going to be sent to Tribal Council. The team encourages him to view this as a redemptive moment for himself and seriously try to win. Cochran seems completely defeated though.
Ozzy wakes up the next morning. He goes and gets the idol and says he had dreams that he should go through with his initial plan and go to Redemption Island himself. He says that everyone is calling this Cochran’s chance at redemption, but he believes it’s his. He puts the idol on and wears it into camp. He lets everyone touch it and then hits them with his plan. While Cochran is all for it (of course), the rest of the team feels like it’s too great a risk – especially if the merge doesn’t happen right away.
At Tribal Council, Jeff calls out Cochran about his performance. They talk about their hope to have whoever goes to Redemption Island take out Christine and come back and even up the numbers. Jeff asks why Savaii thinks Cochran would want to come back considering how he’s been treated. That’s when Ozzy tells Jeff that he wants to go Redemption Island. Ozzy has grand notions about being the team savior, but as he talks I think the real motivation comes out. Ozzy talks about if all of this fails, he’s going out on his own terms – not someone else’s. I think his own blindside (while holding an idol) in his past season and then having Elyse blindsided has really messed with his game. I agree with Jeff. Ozzy is setting himself up to be the biggest fool in Survivor history. The team seems adamant to not do it. When Jeff asks if anyone has the idol to play or give away, Ozzy says he’s changed his mind and is going to let Cochran go to Redemption Island. Cochran looks seriously ill, but then Ozzy laughs and says he’s joking. He hands his idol to Cochran. Ozzy gets the first four votes; that’s all he needs. He gets his wish.
It’s either the ballsiest move in 22 seasons or the stupidest. Guess we’ll find out next week. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m half hoping Christine tears him a new one.