Photo: CBS

It's Quittin' Time

If even the contestants don't want to stick around for the full episode, should you?

The Bags O' Puzzle Pieces send their best regards from their extended vacation in Aruba. As you'll see, they've sent in a replacement to fill in for them this time.

Night After Tribal

In what may be a Survivor first, the most compelling part of the episode is in the Night After Tribal segment. NoBrains returns to camp, and Trish immediately begins laying into Lindsey. She simply cannot wait to gloat to Lindsey's face about booting her alliance partner. While Lindsey is no pleasure cruise herself, Trish is really out of line here. Lindsey calls Trish annoying (check) and a bully (check) and eventually wanders off on her own after the fight ends.

Cut to a scene of her sitting alone on a beach when Probst wanders up. Seriously? I mean, I'm not on board with Jeff's standard quitter-shaming, but this really feels dumb to me. He confirms that she wants to quit; she claims that it's because she feels she might do something dangerous to Trish if she sticks around. Man, just when I think I've settled on which of those two I like less, Lindsey has to sink another level down.

JP goes to the NoBrains camp and gives them the news. Trish tells him that Lindsey got "nasty" and "mean," which is ridiculous since Trish instigated the fight. Absolutely nobody on the tribe seems upset about the loss, so I guess none of them care about numbers at the imminent merge. Later, Woo interviews that this puts him in a tough position since he's the one who'll be targeted if they lose again, so I guess he finally figured out that this was a bad thing for him.

Reward Challenge

As NoBrains arrives on the beach, NewBrains is absolutely thrilled to see that two people are missing and that their tribe is now up 7 people to 5. The challenge itself is an oldie I've always liked: one player from each tribe holds an idol resting on a small perch; the first player to knock the other's idol to the ground wins the round, and the first tribe to four wins gets to raid the other's camp later. NoBrains wins it and selects Woo and Tony to do the raiding; gee, I wonder if Tony will find some way to overthink this situation? Place your bets now.

After the ad break, we return at the NewBrains camp, where we see that it's not like the old days, where raids had no rules other than a time limit. Nope, now they have strict instructions about what they can and can't take. Bah, take all the fun out of it, why don't they. They end up choosing the comfort items (pillows, hammock, and so forth) and the fishing kit (including the spices). More importantly, it's time for Tony's latest Sinister Plot.

Woo and Tony also have a clue to a hidden immunity idol back at the NoBrains beach. Rather than just be happy to have a chance at a second idol (since he's unaware that LJ already found it), Tony decides to try to leverage this to foment chaos among the NewBrains. He decides that they'll tell NewBrains that they have to give a clue to the HII to one of them, and they choose Jeremiah. Tony thinks that Jeremiah is the biggest threat on NewBrains and that this will put a target on his back, and that no one will see through his Evil Plan, mwahahaha.

Now there just may be a few little holes in this plan. For starters, the clue is plainly for the other beach, so Jeremiah -- and anyone else who sees the clue -- is going to immediately see through this, and if this plan fails and Jeremiah survives, Tony has just alienated another potentially useful post-merge ally. After the raid, Tony suddenly realizes that he has to get the clue back or else the other tribe members will see it and know what's up, and he rushes back to grab it. Smooth move there, genius.

Tony and Woo return to NoBrains, where "Shame on you, Lindsie [sic]" is written on the beach. The show doesn't say who wrote it, but really, is there any doubt? Jefra enumerates the things that the guys returned with, including a mosquito net, which is interesting because I freeze-framed the list of things they were allowed to take, and the mosquito net was not on it. Tony gleefully details his Nefarious Machinations to his tribemates, which (along with his follow-up revelation that he's a cop) makes everyone realize just how untrustworthy this guy is. LJ puts it well: "So to solidify that he is trustworthy, Tony exposed that he lied. ...Different." I admit it, I'm really starting to love LJ a little bit. Trish "admits" that she's really a man. Oh, Trish, you scamp.

Camp Life

Alexis tries to convince Spencer that Jeremiah is the one who's going to flip. Spencer interviews that Alexis seems phony. Later, Jeremiah talks to Spencer and Alexis and points out how ridiculous the whole thing is: why would the winners of the reward challenge need to give a hidden immunity idol clue to the losers? Spencer the Brain interviews that he's not buying it because it looked like a new clue for his beach specifically: it was tied with a string and everything!

Immunity Challenge

Ah, it's the raid-the-refrigerator challenge, where you see what leftovers you can grab from previous challenges and try to make a satisfying new meal out of them. This one almost reads like a parody of Survivor challenges: teams have to put poles in a ground to form a staircase, then climb the stairs and go through a bamboo maze, then slide down a slide, then work a key through a rope maze, then use the key to unlock a machete, then use the machete to chop through a wooden block to unfurl a banner that had been containing puzzle pieces (that's right: this week we have Flags O' Puzzle Pieces), then assemble the pieces to form a six-digit combination, then use the combination to unlock a box and raise their tribe flag. Do you care? No, you don't.

NoBrains wins. Lunkhead Tony loudly celebrates the victory with a "Top five! Top five!" chant, which causes Sarah's eyebrows to go sproing.

Scramblin'

Alexis interviews that Tribal Council is, like, the worst place in the whole world, you guys. The tribe collectively mocks Tony for his idiotic "top five" comment, since it both alienates Sarah and is premature when they're down in numbers. Alexis pitches a Jeremiah boot to the rest of the tribe. We hear very little specific in the discussions about the boot, so there's probably not really much debate; the editors just aren't going to let us know which way it went down.

Tribal Council

Lots, lots more of Alexis trying to put the heat on Jeremiah. As she votes for him, she says he lied "like a hundred times," which if true means we've been missing an awful lot of interesting material.

Snuff!

Alexis is out, 6-1, so Tony's deviousness paid off about as much as it usually does. Is it too soon to have forgotten her presence in this game already? Because I think I'm already there.

Verdict

It's moderately interesting that someone quit for such a lame reason, and we did lose two somewhat annoying people, but nothing much really changed. Wait 'til next week's merge, when things are sure to get interesting again.

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