Survivor Launches A Surprise Into Viewers' Laps
The only tribe that hasn't visited Tribal Council finally gets a chance, and the results are epic.
Good For Me, Bad For You
After Takali's Tribal Council, Adam pulls Taylor aside to explain why he voted Figgy out. There's not really any explanation other than "I thought it was best for me, which turned out to be worst for you." That's basically what Adam says, and since he's not bullshitting, there's not much Taylor can say. Taylor does vow in an interview to get revenge on Adam eventually. How does Taylor always seem high? Does someone have a stash on the island?
At Vanua, David is feeling more comfortable with his place in the tribe but, being David, he's never fully comfortable. So he decides to tell Zeke about his Idol, in hopes that Zeke will side with him if they lose another challenge. Zeke seems amenable to an alliance. At the very least, Zeke is happy to have options.
Michaela is delighted to see that Figgy is gone, and doesn't hide it. Even though she felt she had to root for her fellow Millennials publicly, she wanted Figgy to go.
For the challenge, the tribes have to release bags of balls and then get those balls through a hole and work them through a long net. Finally, they toss those balls up so they land on a narrow perch. The winners get a chef to come to camp and cook them a feast. The second place team gets the food, but have to cook it themselves. The third place team gets squat.
Vanua has a lot of trouble with the first section, but thanks to Chris's athleticism and Zeke and Michelle's teamwork, they quickly pull into the lead and win. Ikabula trails throughout, but Michaela's basketball skills land them in second place. That means Takali, despite a huge effort from Ken, gets nothing.
As they shovel food in their mouths for their Reward, the guys on Vanua feel the effects. For Chris, that means some serious burping and farting, practically in Michelle's face. I mean, come on, dude. I'm a proud supporter of farts, but no one wants juicy loud beefs in their face while they're trying to eat.
Meanwhile, Jessica and Ken are enjoying Taylor's company, and Taylor promises them that he will never write their names down. Uh oh. Adam could be at risk if Jessica and Ken decide he's too much trouble and they'd rather work with easily-led Taylor.
On Ikabula, Hannah starts questioning Bret pretty hard about his supposed profession: funeral director. Hannah tells her fellow Millennials that she's pretty sure Bret is a cop, and Jay agrees. Hannah admits that she's hoping to plant a seed in her fellow Millennials' minds that Bret can't be trusted.
The challenge involves throwing coconuts into a net to make it heavy enough to lower a flag with numbers on it. The numbers are a combination to a locked box, which contains a key, which will enable them to unlock a slingshot that they will use to fire sandbags and knock down five targets. First two to finish get immunity. I enjoy watching the challenges this season, but they are increasingly like playing Mousetrap, the game no one ever actually played because it was way more fun just to set it up and then make it go.
Amusingly, some of the guys are trying to use an overhead basketball motion with the coconuts, which isn't successful. Michaela is the first to go underhand, which is what works, and nearly everyone follows suit.
Takali gets to the final stage of the slingshot first, followed quickly by Ikabula. Taylor and Ken do well for Takali on the slingshot and take down all of the targets first. Chris and Zeke help Vanua come back from a huge deficit by quickly hitting all of the targets, which means that, for the first time, Ikabula has to vote someone off.
Pre-Tribal Council Scramble
There's not much scrambling when they first get back. Bret and Sunday are bummed because they know it's one of them. Neither of them seems to make any moves or talk to anyone, so honestly? They kind of deserve to go. I mean, at least make the case for why it should be you who stays. They even discuss how they have to vote for one another so that...the Millennials who remain won't be mad at the remaining GenXer? This seems like dumb strategy, but I'm no expert.
Michaela pulls her fellow Millennials aside and uses seashells and rocks to demonstrate how the game will go, and why they should vote out one of the GenXers. Everyone agrees, but then Jay realizes, "Hey, Michaela is really smart about this game, and really good at challenges. Maybe I should vote her out now, while I still can." Jay talks to Will about it, and they are both torn: they're scared of Michaela's prowess, but also trust her in a way they don't trust Bret or Sunday. They're not sure if it's the right time to take her out. I say, take out Bret this time and take out Michaela next if you have to. Michaela is going to have a huge target post-merge; she'll get taken out. Use her as a meat shield. No one's coming after Jay and Will while Michaela is still in the game.
At Tribal Council, everyone expresses regret that they have to vote anyone out. Probst uses finger guns to pretend he's in the Wild West in an effort to demonstrate how crazy it is if people just blindside one another willy-nilly, and it's still only my second favorite moment from this Tribal Council. Everyone's all lovey-dovey, and Probst notes that either they really are a tribe filled with trust, or someone's about to get blindsided.
As Probst reads the votes, the first two are for Bret. And then the rest of them are for Michaela. After the third vote for Michaela is read, Michaela turns and gives Jay the scariest death stare of all time. I seriously thought she might straight up murder him. Jay, to his credit, takes it well and calmly stares back at her, nods, and admits that he did it. Hannah is having a panic attack. As Probst says that Michaela has been voted out, Michaela tells Jay he fucked up. She continues cursing out Jay as she grabs her torch, and then awesomely has to come back for her shoes.
RIP Michaela. I hope you get brought back for another season soon (although I don't know how you will avoid getting voted off first) because you were a great competitor AND good television. But you should have hid your light under a bushel instead of showing everyone how awesome you are.
Michaela's reaction to being voted out makes this whole episode and maybe this whole season worth watching.