is down to the final six now, and unlike many years, there hasn't been any person clearly running the game. Actually, any time someone seems to be ahead they have earned a one way trip to the Ponderosa. In the last few episodes, Cochran has emerged as the new person calling the shots and the strongest player in the game. This has finally been noticed by the other players, and now, Cochran needs to stop the trend of this season to stay alive. "Don't Say Anything About My Mom" will reveal if Cochran is really in charge.
Erik vs. the Coconuts
Eddie suddenly discovers that he may be on the outs in this game. This actually isn't earth shattering news, Eddie. Then again, Eddie has been a lame duck this whole game, and he keeps being ignored in the voting in favor of blindsides. Eddie then reveals to Cochran that the alliance may now be targeting him, especially if Eddie wins immunity. It appears Eddie may have a crystal ball since Brenda is contemplating taking out Cochran, and Dawn is giving it some serious thought. Though knowing Dawn, she'll probably just rat out Brenda instead. Meanwhile, Erik, who has won several more food challenges than most, has decided he is starving and needs food so badly he is scaling a gigantic coconut tree. Erik successfully avoids plunging to his death, but doesn't get any coconuts.
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It is all cries-and-hugs time as the tribe finds out it is Survivor's Family Reunion Day. Everyone gets to see a video of a family member on a tablet. It is a misty eyed thing, and Erik has suddenly decided he has energy even if he is lacking coconut power.
Brenda gets super excited to see her dad, and between tears thanks him for telling her to remain humble. This heartfelt exchange makes stone cold Probst even cry, and he claims this is the first time he has been broken on the show. Anyone know if that is actually true? After everyone does the obligatory hugs, kisses and dancing, they find out the challenge is a race where they have to spin around to get off a series of rails, and then set them up so they can toss bolos on them.
Cochran and his mom decide to go the leisurely route, and Cochran warns Probst not to mock her. Erik and his brother seem to be the strongest at the start. Eddie seems to just walk with his dad who is winded. Brenda and her dad are doing pretty well when he isn't falling on his face. It is pretty clear even the strong players don't have athletic family members. It actually turns out to be a pretty tight race, which is surprising considering I would have thought Erik and his brother were the strongest pairing. Several get to the bolo tossing stage, but in the end, Brenda and her dad win it.
Brenda picks Dawn to come along with her, because you always bond when you dive for someone's teeth. Probst reveals that there is a second loved one that has come along, but then he does something less wonderful. Probst puts Brenda on the spot by having her choose between having the reward with Dawn or giving it up so that everyone else can have a BBQ with their loved ones. Of course, strategically Brenda doesn't really have a choice, and sacrifices her time with dad so the others can get the prize. It really does suck to win this challenge most years.
Burgers, Beers, and Blindsides
Erik chomps away at burgers and chips, before everyone else, and I'm assuming he likes it more than the coconuts he lost out on. Cochran spends his time mocking his dad, and wondering if he went Hollywood, because apparently, people in Hollywood often flip burgers while wearing shades. In order to make things worse for Dawn and Brenda, they actually get a perfect view of everyone having fun on the boat. Dawn now pulls an Erik and talks about starving. I know it sucks to lose out on food and being with family, but they are in the final few days here. They can have a family picnic in a week. Brenda tries to keep up Dawn's spirits, since she is still her biggest ally and probably feels bad about making her lose out shoving burgers in her face with her husband.
Cochran has now decided that Brenda's noble move makes her the target. Apparently, his mom whispers that Brenda will win the game with this move, and that has been enough motivation for him to make her his newest victim. This attempt at a blindside is kind of guessed by Brenda who hopes her move puts her in the good graces of the group, but also senses it could make people see her as too likable. Now, she just needs to figure out who she can really trust, but sadly, her best ally is the master of "ratting out all plans to Cochran."
It is a balancing challenge where they must hold on to a handle attached to a pole and occasionally a wrench is turned that gets the person closer to the water. Before things even start, Erik is hoping Probst has food to entice him to jump off. Bud, you just got burgers.
Cochran returns to the person I know from his first season and is the first out. After Eddie says he has to win, he is the next one out, while Erik goes out to make it an all-girl battle. Sherri falls out, and now it is just Dawn and Brenda. Dawn tries to convince Brenda to drop out since Eddie is out, and she hasn't ever won one. Brenda never gives up a challenge, so she refuses the offer. To be fair, Brenda should know she is the next most likely to be blindsided in a season full of them. Dawn though, ends up earning her final five spot as Brenda can't hold on anymore. Dawn wins her first ever Immunity Necklace.
Brenda then claims in the confessional that she could have held on longer, but wanted to appease a paranoid Dawn. Oh Brenda, this season has taught us that you just can't trust Dawn unless you're a skinny and witty nerd.
The Beginnings of Another Blindside
Brenda is ecstatic Eddie lost, and thinks it is a straightforward vote. Except this season has never had a straightforward vote, and Eddie seems to keep being ignored for the sake of doing blindsides. Cochran then pitches to Sherri to blindside Brenda, and Sherri is on board before he says Brenda's name. Cochran then presents his master plan to Dawn, and she also agrees she is the biggest threat due to being likable. Dawn is worried Eddie could win the next challenge, but Cochran brings up the good point of asking if Eddie is even a threat in the final three. The truth is Brenda is a way bigger threat to win than Eddie the Goat. Dawn seems ready to knock out Brenda, but is paranoid about playing Cochran's game rather than making her own decisions. A little too late for that, Dawn. She seems to not factor in that betraying Brenda would also destroy one of her votes in the final three.
Brenda confirms how much she trusts Dawn by saying she is glad she won the Immunity Necklace. Eddie laments his fate, and thinks it is time to pack his bags. Everyone then talks about how Brenda is golden due to her sacrifice. Which means everyone is a jerky liar or, Eddie is toast. Cochran tries to throw out one final pitch by saying the easy move isn't always the best move.
Eddie once again survives due to being so non-threatening, and Cochran finally emerges as the mastermind of this season. Brenda leaves tribal council crying in yet another huge blindside. It was pretty dickish of people to say her kind gesture of allowing them to be with family made her safe then turn on her. She gets voted out by Cochran, Sherri, and Dawn, which looks like the strongest potential for final three.
If that is the final three, Cochran is winning this game. Dawn made a pretty huge mistake tonight voting out Brenda, because she has now burned yet another player in this game. She betrayed Malcolm and Reynold earlier, she lied to Andrea, and Brenda completely trusted her. I am thinking the jury will see Dawn as a pawn of Cochran, since she always went with his decisions. I can't see anyone voting for Sherri, because well, she is Sherri.
Of course, Erik and Eddie still have a strong chance to win the next two Immunity Necklaces, and shake things up even more. There is an obvious winner right now, until the next blindside happens to shake things up.
(Image courtesy of CBS)