The episode starts off with Nakum’s sadness back at camp. Margaret says that “we don’t have the energy to take the emotional hit” of tribal council. The tribe looks rather down over their loss of Jim. The next day at Yaxha, the Yaxha family is being born. Brianna says that they all have good qualities. Jamie says they have the most diverse group, not racially, but job-wise. He points to himself and says “a bum” and then ticks off the other occupations of the group: police officer, magician’s assistant, fishmonger, gay guy, and landscaper. Okay … so which one of those isn’t a profession? Stephenie “hopes to keep the family together for a long time.” Excuse me while I go puke up rainbows and happiness.
Back on Nakum, it’s all about how much Blake is hurting. Blake says that he can’t breathe and that drinking water isn’t helping him. Margaret, being the mother/nurse figure, says that it’s hard to watch a strong, young guy heaving and struggling to get breath. Brandon, on the other hand, has no sympathy, saying he doesn’t think Blake can handle it, and he just has to “man up.”
It’s time for the reward challenge. It’s an interesting challenge. The tribes, one by one, have to run across a large net, then climb underneath a rope dome, hanging upside-down, and grab bags for their tribe. All eight tribe members must go first, but then anybody can go if somebody misses one. The reward is cooking stuff, worms, fishing hooks, etc. Amy sits out for Yaxha.
And they’re off! Jamie and Bobby Jon are the first to go, Bobby Jon taking to the ropes like they were monkey bars. Both get a bag, but Jamie takes a slight lead over Bobby Jon. Cindy catches and overtakes Brian though, giving Nakum the lead. Blake and Steph are dead even in the third round, Blake looking amazingly spry for having so many breathing problems earlier. Gary starts out ahead of Brandon in the fourth round, but Brandon is like a spider and passes Gary on the ropes to give Nakum the lead again. Margaret gets the fifth bag for Nakum, but Rafe has problems and can’t get a bag and puts Yaxha far behind. He eventually gets to Morgan, who goes out to get the fifth bag for Yaxha. Judd tries to climb, but the big guy can’t get a bag, and tags off to Danni. Danni gets the sixth bag while Brianna falls as well. Yaxha however catches up as Lydia gets her bag, and Jamie flies through the rope course catching up to Brooke on the seventh bag. It comes down to the last bag, Blake vs. Brian. Both are neck and neck for the entire challenge, but Blake barely edges out Brian and Nakum wins the reward.
On Nakum, Brandon narrates how they “got up at the butt-crack of dawn” to go fishing. Blake is out with them, saying that he is feeling better and isn’t panting as much. Brandon and Blake both hook fish, and Nakum gets some protein! On Yaxha, it is a different story. Rafe says that Yaxha is in “desperation food mode” and they’re looking for anything to eat. Gary notes that while everybody else is helping, Morgan is doing the least around camp, just sitting and looking pretty. Lydia is being helpful and using her fishmongery skills to wrangle up some fish for Yaxha by building a little cove to catch things. Steph is grossed out as Gary and Rafe decide that ants are a good meal and grab an ant’s nest to feed the tribe … Steph says she’s just gonna wait until her tribe wins a food reward to eat. Way to survive, Stephenie, way to survive. Lydia managed to get 10 little minnows with her cove trap, and states that “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”
On Nakum, apparently Blake is milking his ailments for all they’re worth, as even though he said he was feeling better earlier, he’s still laying around a lot. Judd starts complaining, saying that Blake does nothing in camp, Margaret nurtures him all day and tells him to sit down, relax, and get some water. He then asks “How much more relaxing does this dude need?” Judd goes fifth grade and whines about how he wants to be the hero in the next immunity challenge.
Speaking of immunity challenges, it’s time for one! Before Nakum heads out, Danni states that they have tough competition, that they know Stephenie is an athlete, and that Gary used to be a pro football player. Bum bum BUUUUUUUM. Gary’s secret is out!
The immuniy challenge is a good ol’ fashioned tug-o-war. The two tribes of eight are tied to each other, and they have to pull the other tribe and grab flags that are kinda far away. There is a rope that is anchored that they can use to pull themselves, but they have to drag their competition far enough so they can grab it, first. If no tribe gets a flag in fifteen minutes, they’ll go to one-on-one faceoffs. Brianna ends up sitting out for Yaxha.
The tug-o-war starts, and Nakum has a slight advantage, what with all of Bobby Jon’s screaming and such. After a minute or two of stalemate, Brian from Yaxha tries to interfere with Nakum, but Danni goes back and tackles him, and the two have a nice mudwrestling match while the rest of their tribe is pulling. Pants are sliding down everywhere as we see a ton of blurs. I couldn’t even tell which fuzzed-out buttcracks where whose … I think I saw Morgan and Brooke’s blurs but I can’t be too sure. Maybe that’s just me being hopeful. Anyway, near the end Nakum tries to make a last-minute surge, but time runs out and there’s no dice. So we move on to one-on-one.
The first match-up is Judd vs. Gary. Judd has the leverage and starts pulling Gary through the mud. Danni yells out encouragement in the form of “he’s a quarterback!” Uh-oh. Yaxha looks at each other, confused. Judd gets the advantage and manages to grab the rope, so Gary in some manuever I’m not too sure about runs over and tackles Judd, preventing him from grabbing the flag. It doesn’t accomplish anything as since Judd is still closer than Gary, Judd gets the flag for Nakum. Nakum’s up 1-0. The next match is Jamie and Brandon. And it’s rather tight, but Brandon has a slight advantage (who’da thunk? the guy looks skinny as a rail.) Jamie tries to pull a maneuver like Gary did, but slips instead and Brandon easily drags him to grab the second flag for Nakum. In the third round, it’s Jamie vs. Judd. It’s pretty much a stalemate with Jamie having a slight advantage for Yaxha until the last five seconds, where Judd puts on a surprise burst of strength and speed to drag the rope far enough to give Nakum the win and immunity. Congratulations Judd, you’re the hero.
It’s now time for tribal council scrambling at Yaxha. Rafe says they lost because they couldn’t pull Nakum’s big man. Stephenie states the game is one big bag of nerves, and you always have to be on your toes. The guys get together, and Jamie wants to vote for Stephenie because she knows how to play the game. Gary shushes him and says that they need to keep strength on the tribe. Amy, however, goes to Steph and tells her the guys were thinking about voting her off. Stephenie says that it’s “inexperience on Jamie’s part, and clearly I’m the strongest girl on the team.” It’s nice to know that you think so highly of yourself.
There’s a pow-wow as Brian asks Gary if he played football, as apparently during the challenge Danni asked him if he knew he had a pro football player on his team. Gary, in a confessional, says that he has no idea why Danni would bring that up to Brian during the challenge, if only to disturb Yaxha. Gary says he’s just going to deny, deny, deny. Gary then says that for him, this TC is between Lydia and Morgan. Morgan does nothing around camp, but is better in challenges, while Lydia is helpful around camp and not-as-helpful as Morgan in challenges. The vote seems to be heading towards Lydia. Brian doesn’t want Lydia to go, saying “how can we vote her out when Morgan doesn’t do anything?” So Brian tells Lydia to talk to other people and prove she’s worthy. And she goes to Gary and does so.
At TC, it’s the usual grilling by Probst. Steph says that she’s not an idiot (I beg to differ) and she knows that they know she played the game already. Jamie says that Steph knows the game well and she’s always going to be a threat. Lydia tells the tribe that she hopes she’s shown them that she’ll never give up. Morgan thinks the tribe is unified, as they’ve all been honest with each other up until this point. Rafe brings up the fact that they are almost like a family … again. I might ask … how can you be a family after six days? I don’t get it.
Then they vote. Brian votes for Morgan, saying that he hopes it works as he had to do last-minute scrambling. Morgan votes for Lydia, saying that it’s the hardest decision she’ll have to make out here.
When the votes are read, and it’s a unanimous vote for Morgan. Her hardest decision was her only decision, apparently.
Next time on Survivor: Nakum decides to defy the crocodiles and goes into the water …. bum bum BUM. And Amy somehow gets hurt, twists her ankle or something.
Morgan’s Final Words: She didn’t really see it coming at all, she feels really naive, but she’s done a lot of things she thought she couldn’t do.
I’m liking this season so far. The challenges are intense and so far have been really close … all four of them, if you count the hike. I like this so much better than the blowout from last season. The characters are still being fleshed out, but I’m still liking Bobby Jon, and Brian, Gary, Blake, and Jamie are growing on me. But who I’d watch out for is Rafe…notice how he did horrible in the reward challenge, and yet he wasn’t even considered for TC this time. That says something right there. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any opinions, and I’ll see you next week!