You Can't Blindside A Blindsider On Survivor
As another rule-bending advantage enters the game, the final eight Survivors ponder flipping on their various alliances.
Second Place Is Still First Loser
Tai, Scot, and Jason celebrate the fact that they forced the others to cannibalize one of their own. Tai passes Jason's idol back to him with about as much ceremony as Jason originally used when he handed it to Tai, but Jason promises that we have not seen the last of Super Idol.
Tai's still uncomfortable with the fact that he's aligned with the two biggest douches of the season, though, and he'd love to mend fences. Scot, who's only the second-biggest douche of the season, agrees to a point, since he never saw himself playing Survivor as villainously as he has. He, too, commences to extending olive branches. His pitch to Aubry: she considers working with him, he'll consider doing all the provide-y things he used to, although he still manages to make this sound as douchey as possible, since Scot, as a former athlete, is not used to being second-best at anything.
Aubry sees straight through Scot's condescending overture, but she notes that there's a big move to be made somewhere in all of this, and she does need to make a big move at some point. Whether that move involves Scot's plan or not, she's not sure.
Incidentally, while her role in this scene is negligible, we need to take a moment to appreciate Cydney's hoodie...
...and the overall Prymaat Conehead effect that's achieved when she pulls it over her hair.
Keeping The Beam Alive
This week's reward challenge involves standing on one foot to balance a ceramic pot on the end of a balance beam. Wanna know what you're playing for? Jeff offers the winning Survivor a choice of food, letters from home, or a game advantage. All three prizes will be awarded, so there'll be three winners. Julia and Joe compete for letters; Scot, Jason, and Michele pick food; Aubry, Cydney, and Tai are going for the game advantage.
Julia wins her letter after about thirty seconds of gameplay; Michele wins food shortly thereafter. The game advantage is, of course, the toughest battle, and while Aubry reports that she wants to prove to herself she's capable of toughing out a difficult situation, she's...not, at least not this time. Tai wins the advantage.
Julia's loved ones filled in the Survivor loved-one-letter Mad Libs provided to them by production, meaning they're very proud of her, they hope she stays strong, she's on the adventure of a lifetime, and she should listen to her potato when it comes time to purple caterpillar fart.
Tai reports, via confessional, that since his idol is public knowledge, it'll be nice to have a top-secret extra advantage that nobody has any clue about. This is right after he announces to the entire tribe that he's going to go see what this new game advantage he just won is all about. (It's a straight-up extra vote, more akin to Dan's two seasons ago than Stephen's last season.)
Julia, Michele, and Aubry chat about the best plan of action to flush out Tai and Jason's idols. Aubry notes that Julia's plan of targeting Tai and ratcheting up the paranoia is sound, but it's pretty clear to her that Julia intends to jump ship on the women as soon as it's convenient. So Aubry's pondering jumping first.
Immunity Slips Through Aubry's Fingers
Aubry chats with Tai and suggests that they could work together to target Julia, who surely wouldn’t see it coming this week, and Tai brings the plan to his alliance. Their response: "Let's vote Aubry out," which in turn makes Tai feel a little unlistened-to, but Scot can't be swayed from the notion that this is a brilliant plan. (Scot also seems to describe every single vote plan as a "blindside," which suggests he might not fully understand what a blindside is.)
Immunity is another endurance challenge that tests the strength of the Survivors' fingertips, of all things. After an hour of fierce competition and way too much of Jeff Probst's usual editorializing (seriously, it's a miracle nobody's ever slugged him after he yells at them to "dig"), Aubry's once again one of the last two standing, and once again she's not quite up to the challenge, so Jason takes it.
Nothing But Net...Losses For Scot
Julia reports to the guys that the girls are going to vote for Tai to flush out his idol. Scot and Jason suggest that they don't have a problem with that, since they don't want to take Tai to the end anyway.
Cydney, meanwhile, thinks maybe the key is going after Scot and getting Tai to jump on board, a plan which Tai does appear to consider when Aubry suggests it to him. He reports that he's "not here to make good friends," he's here to win a million dollars (which of course makes him the first Survivor contestant in history to espouse this groundbreaking statement).
A large chunk of Tribal Council is given over to appreciating Aubry's competitive spirit and challenge prowess, which makes it seem like Aubry's going to be the one going home through some combination of idols, extra votes, treachery, or other shenanigans. Her whispered "please please please" as she writes down Scot's name only bolsters this narrative. But even with Julia's stray Tai vote, there are more votes for Scot.
There is a very long pause as Scot looks to Jason and Tai for Super Idol reassurance. There is none to be found. Scot even whispers at Tai, "Are we doing this?" and Tai just shakes his head a little. If Scot wasn't sure what a blindside was before this moment, I'm guessing he's got the idea now. Oh, also, Scot exited the game with Jason's idol in his possession, so there's that, too.
Survivor's streak of unpredictable tribal councils continues, and while the only truly can't-miss moment is Scot's attempt at a buzzer-beater and Tai's subsequent denial of said buzzer-beater, there's enough narrative buildup seeded throughout the rest of the episode that you may want to at least keep one eye on it while you do something else.