Well, well, welcome back! It’s been two weeks since the last truly new Survivor, time many of you spent delighting in a freshly-cooked turkey, and then enjoying leftover turkey, and then making a turkey sandwich, and then finally hating turkey and wondering why you got such a big one in the first place and vowing to just go out to eat at a restaurant next year.
But back in the misty times before tryptophan hit the nation, the Survivors engineered a boot that was either hilarious or cruel, depending on your perspective, or perhaps a bit of both. They not only voted out Randy, but did so after conning him into playing a fake immunity idol made by Bob.
The previews at the time made us think perhaps there was yet another immunity idol floating around, rescued from the ocean by Marcus. Is it true? Or just another wily prank played by Bob, maker of the best fake idols ever? Let’s see!
“Mutant” Would Still Be a Better Tribe Name Than “Nobag”
We rejoin the action after Randy’s boot, with Bob saying he was really irritated by the girls laughing at Randy as he played the fake idol. Back at camp, he lashes into them, saying he didn’t mind giving Randy that idol but he didn’t like people laughing in Randy’s face. He warns them never to ask him to do such a thing again.
Sugar, chastened, says she still doesn’t feel a bit sorry for Randy, as he dug his own grave.
Corinne then says something snarky about how they could teach her how to belittle people. Sugar snaps back, telling Corinne she talks behind people’s backs all the time, and then tries to act “like a really sweet little girl with a bow on your head” to their faces. Corinne says she can’t be honest to people’s faces because she’s playing the game. Sugar says exactly, the others are playing the game too.
Corinne tells us she’s only nice to people she likes, and it’s hard to be fake-nice to people she hates, like these people, whom she calls a camp of “mutants.” She says she’s done pretending.
The next day, Bob and Kenny go fishing in the canoe, and get quite a large fish in the net. Kenny tells us he’d never have imagined himself as outdoorsy, but out here, he’s his own man.
It seems to be a catfish. Bob is pounding flat a can for some purpose, and someone says they can’t believe how smart Bob is sometimes. Kenny, though, tells us Bob’s not good at playing the game, and he won’t feel bad voting him out.
Let The Sobbing Begin
They go to the reward challenge. Jeff says they’ll divide into two teams of three, and race out into a swamp to collect seven puzzle pieces. They’re sprocketed wheels, and they’ll have to place them so they turn and raise a flag. The winners then compete against each other to solve a slide puzzle.
The reward is not loved ones, but is electronic messages from home, thanks to a product placement from Samsung. Jeff then teases them with a quick clip of their videos. Crystal cries at her husband and daughter, Ken’s sister gets him crying too. Sugar cries out of sympathy. We see Susie’s family, Corinne’s family, Bob’s wife, Matty’s girlfriend (and pug). And Sugar’s sister, who tells her her dad is “smiling down from above.”
Now that everyone’s bawling, it’s time for them to compete to see the whole thing, plus pizza and beer and brownies. “To fill up your belly and you will fill up your heart” Jeff says. Oh ugh, how sappy. Also, due to the love theme, no one will go to Exile.
They draw stones for teams, and it turns out Crystal and Susie are captains. Susie chooses first, Matty. I don’t see why she wouldn’t take Bob first, since he could probably make a violin out of a piece of wire. Crystal takes Sugar. Matty takes Kenny. Sugar takes Bob. Corinne wasn’t chosen, so she isn’t playing and has no shot.
Corinne says they’re sticking together, it sucks, she doesn’t want to go home but doesn’t know what to do to save herself.
Tied together, they run into the swamp, where Crystal drags Sugar, whose top is falling down. The swamp is very muddy and it’s hard to move. Sugar falls again, and the other team moves ahead. Matty and Susie and Kenny are working better together than the other three, and are ahead with their last pieces. They all start working on their puzzle
And I was right about Bob – he takes over the wheel stuff, and his team quickly wins.
So now those three must each solve a slide puzzle to win reward. Bob thinks he has it, and does, and wins reward. That was fast.
Kenny wanted to win the reward, but now Bob’s a threat, so if he doesn’t win immunity he’s next to go.
With This Rock On a String I Thee Wed
Bob, left alone on a couch, pours out a beer while he watches the rest of his message from his wife, Peggy. She says she wanted to show him something and says hang on, and then – surprise! – creeps up behind him there in Gabon. Awww. After hugs, she asks if he’s been eating, and he says yes, termites. “He smelled like a campfire, he smelled so good, and he had that full beard,” she says. She can tell he’s happy.
Bob says he was completely convinced that a video was all there was.
They return to camp to general amazement. Peggy immediately hugs everyone. Then Bob whistles, and everyone else’s loved ones come over the hill. They all break out crying and running to hug people.
Corinne gets her brother, and she says it was such a relief to see someone who knows her and gets her.
Kenny tells his sister about strategy. He thinks everyone trusts him but he’ll blindside them. He thinks if he makes final three, he’ll win.
Sugar wants closure about her dad, so her sister brought some of his ashes, and she makes a long speech to the sky and they drop the ashes into the water. “Have fun in Africa, dad,” Sugar says.
Matty takes his girlfriend Jamie off to the river. He tells us he’s always been weak and didn’t want to grow up, and out here he’s realized he needs to, and he didn’t want another day to pass without Jamie knowing how much she means to him. So he tells her he wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and proposes. Awwww.
He pulls out a necklace he made. She says yes, of course, if they can stop crying and calling each other baby. This is so emotional and sappy it’s almost uncomfortable to watch. Matty tells us the good things in life aren’t easy and they require a lot of work and digging deep.
The families leave, thank god, because I’d had about all the emotionalism I could take. It almost made me long for Corinne’s sarcasm.
The Plot Thickens
Bob and Corinne go to get treemail. He tells her it would be the perfect time to blindside Matty.
The five left back at camp decide this would be a good time to take out Bob, who’s a physical threat.
In the woods, Bob tells Corinne this story that when Marcus supposedly threw that idol in the ocean, he really kept it in his pocket and hid it around camp. He says it’s a lie, and a cover story. He’s going to make another fake idol and tell that story, that he’s got Marcus’ idol. That way, he hopes, he can scare the main five off from voting for either him or Corinne. Corinne says one of them will have to win immunity, so the fake will work for the other one. She thinks it’s a good plan.
Sure, Vipers are Harmless and Elephants Eat Through Their Trunks
Jeff will ask questions about Gabon. Right answers win a ball, and then they’ll throw the balls at a target. Closest to the center wins immunity.
Gorillas were first discovered in Gabon, true or false? Answer: True. Sugar and Corinne got it right. Gorillas were discovered there in 1847.
A male elephant is called a bull. A female is called a mare, a doe or a cow? Cow is the answer. Sugar and Susie and Corinne and Bob get it.
The Gabonese viper is poisonous. Is it, however, harmless to humans? False. Everyone but Susie and Corinne get it right.
The elephant’s trunk serves as its nose, arm and mouth. False. Everyone but Susie and Crystal get it. For heaven’s sake, haven’t they SEEN an elephant? They clearly have mouths.
Kenny goes first, having two balls. He hits the sixth ring. Matty hits the fourth. Sugar gets further away. Susie has only one shot, and doesn’t hit close enough. She’s out.
Corinne hits in the fifth zone, still not close enough. Bob hits closest, the third ring, I think. Crystal gets only one shot, and doesn’t get close enough.
Kenny’s bounces, so he’s out. Matty isn’t close enough. Sugar isn’t close enough. Corinne isn’t close enough. Bob, already closest, improves it and is in the second ring from the center. Corinne takes her last shot, and it bounces across the target. Sugar has one last shot. Sugar doesn’t get close enough, and Bob wins immunity.
Bob says that saved him, and he’ll suggest to the others this is a good time to blindside Matty.
How Many Times Will The Fake Idol Ruse Work? At Least Twice
Back at camp. Corinne says his immunity win is what they needed to get this to work. Corinne tells Bob how to play it, and he tells her she’s conniving, in a good way. I’m surprised she’s not mad at him for faking out Randy.
The others decide to vote Corinne. They’re a bit worried Bob will give Corinne the necklace. Matty says this is dangerous, getting down to final six with Bob still in, he’s a major threat.
Down by the lake, Kenny tells Corinne Bob’s win messed up their plan. She says it’s ok, she’s got a plan. He swears he won’t say anything, and she spins the story about Marcus’s idol. She says they’re after Matty. Kenny agrees that’s their best chance.
Kenny tells us this changes the game, and the best shot is to blindside Matty. Corinne goes and gets Bob and brings him down to the lake, where they butter up Kenny. Corinne asks if Crystal would come with them.
“We come up with a ridiculously harebrained scheme that shouldn’t work at all… it just shows you the level of incompetence that we’re playing with,” says Corinne. I’m not entirely sure why she keeps talking about incompetence in others when it’s her alliance dropping like flies and the incompetent ones are doing the swatting.
Bob, making his fake idol, says they’re going to ask Crystal if she’d like to be in their alliance. It really is a nice looking fake idol, with beads and everything.
He gets Crystal in the woods and spins the story, shows the idol. She shakes his hand and says yes.
“Operation Fake Idol II is working like a charm,” Bob says. This is a good point – Crystal and Kenny have just seen Randy use a fake idol made by Bob. Why would they trust him?
Kenny and Crystal, alone in the woods, jump around, saying taking out Matty is good for them. But Crystal is going to vote for Corinne. He’s going to vote for Matty. If Corinne plays the idol, Kenny says, it’s a win-win situation, because the idol will be flushed and Matty will be gone. So it seems they don’t completely trust Bob; instead of both of them flat-out voting for Matty, ensuring his boot, they’re going to see if this idol is real. If it is, and Corinne plays it, then she’s safe and Matty will be gone.
Crystal says she wants to trust Kenny. But if they’ve got a fake idol, Corinne goes home. Corinne isn’t a threat, and Matty is. Trying to work out all the odds is a challenge. “The mental part of this game is kicking my ass,” Crystal says.
Not Quite Trusty Enough
Jeff asks if Susie can still feel old tribal lines. She says the alliances get you to a certain point, and paranoia has a domino effect and you have to think ahead.
Bob says it’s the first time he’s been paranoid, but he will be next time too.
Corinne says she and Bob are on the outside of the tight group of five, but paranoia can help them break it up. Sugar says people freak out and believe lies. Crystal agrees that at a certain point, it becomes crazy to trust certain people. The trick of the game is knowing when to trust and when not to.
Kenny says the vote is very important tonight, because it’s about whether you can trust.
It was a really dull tribal council, frankly.
They go vote, and Jeff asks if anyone has the idol. Those in the know look at Corinne. She does nothing. Kenny gives a tiny headshake and shrug at Bob.
And the vote is…. Three for Matty, four for Corinne. Matty looks relieved, the jury hangs their heads. So does Bob. I guess we’ll see some fireworks next week when Matty wonders who that third vote against him was.
In her confessional, Corinne rants about her hatred of Sugar. “I plan to never exchange another sentence with that girl,” she says. She doesn’t like anyone but Bob and Kenny, and says, “I hope the rest of them have miserable lives.” I really think it’s a tossup who’s going to have the better hate-filled final speech, her or Randy.
Kenny says Bob lied to him and now his game is messed up. Bob says he’ll give Kenny immunity if he wins it. Sugar says Crystal’s a bully and Kenny thinks he can take out whomever he wants.