Survivor Has To Teach The Kids Again That Power Couples Are A Bad Idea
And that reason is because people feel obligated to come up with couple portmanteaux like 'FigTayls.'
Zeke Is Delighted (And Delightful)
There's no post-Tribal Council squabbling because everyone who is left on Vanua (Zeke, Chris, David, Michelle) voted together. Zeke can't believe the GenXers gave up their numbers, but he's delighted.
Over at Ikabula, Jay and Will go out to look for coconuts (Hidden Immunity Idols). And Jay actually finds one! Jay and Will are so excited that they don't hear Michaela strolling up behind them, so now she knows that Jay has an Idol, too. And she claims she has no qualms about revealing Jay's Idol to save her own butt, because she knows he would never play it to save her, even though they are allied.
When the three tribes arrive, Figgy claps with delight that Michelle and Zeke are still there. Well, she admits that she was happy to see Michelle. And Zeke is fine. Probst wonders if Michelle is worried that Figgy is so open, and Michelle claims that she thinks the truth works well in this game. Good luck with that. Probst jokes that she's the first person ever to say that.
The Reward Challenge is a twist on the usual "one caller helps blindfolded tribe search for puzzle pieces" in that it's an obstacle course. Normally, the competitors just have to pick up the pieces, but in this one, the pieces are locked in a box or tied around a post and suchlike. And once all of the pieces are returned, instead of everyone ripping off blindfolds and solving, the caller tells one blindfolded tribe member how to solve.
It's unclear whether Michelle has a weak voice or David has bad hearing, but Vanua struggles to retrieve their puzzle pieces. Even though Figgy directs Ken into a post that clips his nuts not once but twice, Takali gets all of their pieces back first. Despite their earlier struggles, Michelle and Zeke work together to finish Vanua's puzzle first. Jay (with a lot of sneak peeks at Vanua's finished puzzle) and Michaela finish second for Ikabula. And Figgy and Ken, despite starting first, finish last at Takali. The first- and second-place teams get a reward of cookies and milk.
Meanwhile, as the challenge is happening, Hannah (who is sitting out) has a panic attack, causing her arms and wrists to cramp up. Dr. Joe comes out and talks her down, helping her get her breathing under control. Once she starts feeling better, Hannah admits that she's had panic attacks before, but that she didn't want to let it keep her from playing this game. Poor Hannah. It's such a Catch-22, because it probably ups her anxiety levels to think about revealing something others might consider a weakness, which only makes it more difficult to control her anxiety. Hannah says as much after the challenge: she knows others will make fun of her weakness, and also use it as a reason to vote her out.
They're Going With "FigTayls"
As Vanua enjoys their reward, they all chat about how happy they are, but also have in the back of their minds that only one of them can win the money. They joke about Figgy's love for Michelle -- oh, and Zeke. Zeke interviews that he knows he was on the bottom of the Millennial tribe, so he's fairly convinced he can vote out Michelle next if he has to, and leave his old tribe behind.
Meanwhile, over at Takali, everyone seems fine with having lost the challenge. Figgy and Taylor decide it's time to out themselves, mostly because they feel like they are in a safe majority of their tribe. Figgy tells Jessica first, and Jessica is like, "Uh, duh. Obviously." Then Figgy tells Ken, and Ken feigns surprise at first before revealing that he also totally knew. He knew so much that he has already tried to sway Adam over to the GenX side.
Teams must race across a series of floating balance beams to retrieve bags of coconuts, and then open the bags to find three balls inside. Then they must navigate the balls through a table maze into three holes. The first two teams to finish get immunity, and the third is going to Tribal Council.
The first half of the challenge is unremarkable; Takali finishes first, but they don't have a huge lead or anything. Michaela and Hannah finish the table maze first for Ikabula, but Michaela's "coaching" strategy of barking orders at Hannah and chastising her for every move might rub some people the wrong way. Michaela shrugs it off as doing what she needs to do to win and keep her tribe whole. Her tribe seems fine with her tactics, but I wonder what might happen if she acts that way and they don't win.
Zeke and Michelle are really struggling with the table maze for Vanua, and Michaela starts coaching them from her mat. Getting their first ball in the hole sparks something for Zeke and Michelle, and they go on to tie things up with Figgy and Jessica; in a tight finish, Zeke and Michelle pull out the comeback win.
When the challenge ends, Probst asks Michaela why she was coaching Vanua. Michaela says that she's trying to protect her Millennials. Zeke and Michelle are in a 2-against-2 situation, so she didn't want them to go to Tribal Council. Taylor yells that there are Millennials on Takali too, and Michaela deadpans that there are three of them on that tribe, so if they can't figure out how to stay, they deserve to go home. Michaela: ice cold. I love it.
Pre-Tribal Council Scramble
Adam realizes that the shit is about to hit the fan because he's been playing both sides of his tribe. Figgy and Taylor want to vote out Ken. They wonder if they can trust Adam, and Taylor jokes that he hopes Adam isn't smarter than they think. Wait, does TAYLOR think he's smarter than ADAM? Oh, dear. Jessica and Ken both lobby Adam to vote out one of the power couple, which is the right thing for Adam to do. There's no way Figgy and Taylor are going to have Adam's back after the merge.
I don't even know what is happening at this Tribal Council. It is bizarre. Probst is loopy. After talking about the obvious numbers game going on, Probst brings up the Figgy/Taylor relationship and somehow it turns to Probst offering to marry them right now because he's an internet-ordained minister. After all the giggles die down, they talk about the position Adam is in. Taylor says that if Adam turns on the Millennials, they will boot him after the merge, when they have the majority. Jessica points out that Taylor is assuming the Millennials will all still be working together after the merge.
In the end, Adam does the right thing and votes out Figgy. It is worth it to see the smug smile wiped off her face. Taylor is PISSED. Maybe "FigTayls" should have paid attention to Adam before they knew they were headed to Tribal Council.
This is a very watchable episode; while I wish we got more of a glimpse of what's going on with the various tribes (difficult to do with three tribes), it's worth watching to see the demise of FigTayls. Seriously, that's what they came up with for their couple name. BARF.