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Survivor: Philippines – Episode 5 – So Long, Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen. Good Night.

To Matsing, that is.

One thing you can’t say about this episode…is that nothing happened. Boy, we had a LOT of developments for the season as a whole. The balance of power shifted in dramatic ways this week and we now have a clear picture of what to expect down the stretch – barring any unforeseen power moves. And for fans of Penner, like me, it does not bode well.
The crux of the episode is twofold – first was the mercy killing of Matsing, and second was the double whammy inflicted upon Kalabaw. We are now faced with a 7-5 Tandang lead and a merge likely on the horizon. The Pagonging of Kalabaw is now a distinct possibility unless something gets done – specifically a delayed merge and a Kalabaw win in the next immunity challenge. So, get ready America…PBP, Abinormal, TV’s Blair and quiet man Artis are currently the power team in Survivor and could be your Final Four.

First, we have the last two Matsing members returning after booting Swan. Malcolm was hoping to be in a tiny tribe, but on Day 39, not Day 10. They speculate about what their fate will be – linger, get absorbed into one Tribe, or get split up. But before they go off on their merry way…time to find the idol. They scour the campsite, finally hitting on the rice pot as an option. They are one step away from breaking apart the grains looking for the idol when Malcolm pries off the panel and BOOM, he has an idol. He tosses the machete into the air, which I highly discourage others from doing.

It is a good thing they found it – or should I say, Malcolm found it, because Denise ain’t getting diddly at this point – as they arrive at the season’s first pure Reward Challenge to the news that Matsing is no more. They randomly pick out buffs and Malcolm joins Tandang, with Denise going to Kalabaw. Tandang is thrilled to land the fit young man – but let’s see how much they like it once he becomes a threat. Both Malcolm and Denise blend in extremely well into their new tribes – and instantly become second and third on my rooting list behind Penner. RC is a close fourth – even if she is arguably the most endangered of all of them.

On Tandang, everyone loves Malcolm. Abinormal and Pete start to bond with him. RC rubs her breasts on him. Blair starts getting cougary in talking about how nice and good looking he is. The dude is a sought after man. PBP confides in the new guy that he has the idol, which was an odd move. Pete already has the majority, why would he reveal his secrets to the guy he just met. Malcolm, however, wisely keeps his mouth shut about his own idol. While they seem paired up for now, I am hoping for a Pretty Boy Pete vs. Malcolm showdown post-merge.

Meanwhile, on Kalabaw, they are bummed to have lost out on Malcolm for his challenge ability, but they have not done poorly in adding Denise. She rocks physically – but granted, the two young guys on Tandang are formidable. Carter is not as big as they are, and the only other guys on Kalabaw are hobbly Kent and flabby Penner. Throw in bumbly but fit Skupin on the other side and the Kalabawians are now in a physical hole.

Speaking of physical holes, The Tattooed Lady is falling down one before our eyes. She is a mess. Basically, she’s got Colton Syndrome. She’s massively dehydrated, she’s burning up with fever and she’s puking more than 100 pound freshman at a fraternity party. She also has a knife-like pain in her abdomen. She is curled up in a ball in the shelter. Penner hysterically comments about how the conditions and weather suck, and he’s a big fat guy so he can take it. She is freezing and weighs 47 pounds. Boy, that number 47 sure has some connotations.– both in real life and in the world of Hollywood.

Anyway, Penner is a rock star in this sequence. He tells her to take off the wet clothes and get under the blanket – the tribe will keep her warm. She winds up curling herself onto Penner’s lap while Dawson comments about the state of her fever. It is bad, folks. Probst and the medical team come, although the noted absence of Dr. Ramona makes me treat Dr. Joe with a great bit of trepidation, especially after his jargon term of her “tummy being irritated.” Tummy. Whoa there – try English, Doctor Medical Books. Where is the ouchy again?

So, she is given a choice regarding her status. She is not in life-threatening danger like Swan was in Samoa, or Penner’s risk of infection in Micronesia, or Skupin’s shock from the burns. She is in a bad way though. She is given a chance to go back and give it about 12 hours to see if it goes away or gets a little better, but the pain is too great and she bows out. She apologizes to her tribe, but Penner instantly waves it off, they’re sorry for her and they love and respect her. Boy, this is why I love Penner. Great Survivor. And when did he become the Kalabaw leader, because he sure seems like it.

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