Survivor's Lines Are Blurring When Three Tribes Become One
Will GenXers and Millennials revert to their generational alliances post-merge, or have new friendships formed during their time away?
The Urge To Merge
Jay managed to alienate Hannah by excluding her from the vote against Michaela. Tuck that away for later.
Merge! Time for the merge! Boats take Ikabula and Takali to the Vanue beach, where they will all live together. Of course, they get a merge feast. During the feast, Bret notes that his new buddy Jay seems very cozy with his old Millennial buds, and he's worried. Jay reunites with Taylor and Michelle. Bret and Chris buddy back up. Adam, Zeke, and Hannah reform their nerd voting bloc. Just looking at generational lines, the six GenXers are outnumbered by the seven Millennials.
While everyone else eats, Adam goes looking for an Immunity Idol, but instead he finds a new power: he can steal a reward. That seems like a great way to make enemies. Unless you stole it and gave it to someone else.
In the middle of the night, Taylor goes through the Merge Feast crate and puts a bunch of food in a mason jar, which he then hides. Bret sees Tayor stealing food but doesn't want to make a scene, so he ignores it. Adam notices also, and sees it as an opportunity to get Taylor back on his side, so he follows Taylor and promises to keep his secret. Adam says that Jay is amassing an army and Will is his new right-hand man. Adam wants to vote out Will so that Taylor can slide back into the first lieutenant spot. Adam also tells Taylor about his new reward-stealing advantage. Taylor just sits there and chows down on banana chips, but interviews that he's totally not going to help Adam and, in fact, wants to vote him out.
The GenXers wake up early and chat about Taylor's having stolen food, which leads them to discuss how they're getting bamboozled by the Millennials. Chris and Bret want to get the original GenXers to vote out Taylor. Zeke is on board with them.
Taylor and Jay have a State of the Union. Jay's plan is to keep the Millennials tight until they vote off a few GenXers. Taylor spills about Adam's plans; Zeke overhears and gets worried, because Adam is part of his Nerd Alliance.
The Challenge is a popular one, but also usually a boring one to watch: stand on a perch with your hands on a bar above your head. When your arms get tired, a bucketful of water drops on your head. Many people go out in the first thirty minutes. It all comes down to Jessica and Will, who last for an hour and thirty minutes before Jessica finally goes out. I honestly think Will's rig wasn't as sensitive as some of the others, because he was moving all over the place and his bucket didn't spill, while some other people barely twitched and lost it.
Pre-Tribal Council Scramble
Jay informs Michelle that they're voting out Adam. Michelle thinks that's dumb when they have so many GenXers to go after, and that this is personal, not strategic. But because she's female, the dudes all shout her down and ignore her sage advice. I may be projecting.
Zeke tells Adam that Taylor spilled the beans on his great plan to vote out Will. So they are trying to pull together the numbers to get out Jay, Taylor, or Michelle. Zeke and Adam approach the GenXers, but they can't agree on whom to vote for, because they think Jay has an Idol and that he might give it to Taylor. They may have to go with third choice Michelle.
Adam isn't happy that the GenXers won't commit, so he goes back to Taylor and tries to convince him to vote out...someone? This part of Adam's plan is both desperate and muddled. Anyway, Taylor's not interested. Taylor, Jay, and Will are very much like the school bullies discussing getting rid of the nerd. It's not a good look.
David and Hannah see Adam scrambling and start to worry that he's playing them. Hannah tells Adam to chill out before he screws everything up. Zeke and Hannah discuss how Adam is a terrible teammate because he's unpredictable, and consider how long they should keep him around. Adam interviews that he could just play his Idol, but if he plays it when he already has the numbers, he'll look like an idiot.
Taylor gets called out for eating more than his share of food, which Taylor thinks is hilarious. Probst points out that everyone is hungry, but Taylor just keeps laughing about it. Are we REALLY sure he didn't sneak some ganja onto the island?
Probst wants to talk about whether alliances are still mostly along generational lines. Adam and David both admit that there's been some blurring of those divisions. Jay says he wants to stick with the people he trusts, although Probst points out that Michaela and Figgy both said that before they were voted out. Adam admits that he's very nervous tonight because he's heard his name being discussed.
No one plays an Idol. And since they couldn't vote out Will, and they were worried that Jay would use an Idol on himself or Taylor, the GenXers -- plus Adam, Hannah, and Zeke -- vote out Michelle. I'm sad to see her go; I liked her much better than Jay or Taylor or Will. She was guilty by association. I'm also not loving how many women are getting voted out this season. This is turning into a real sausage fest.
It's always good to watch the merge episode, just to see how the various permutations play out. Def skip that immunity challenge, though, unless you like seeing people get doused with giant buckets of water. No judgment.