Originally aired on Thursday, 04/19/2007
Episode Rating: ***** (5 stars out of 5)
Episode Overview: Last week, the Four Horsemen were able to carry out their strategy despite a twist in the game; will they be able to continue to control the outcome of Survivor: Fiji?
- The elimination of Michelle Yi requires that the Earl/Yau-Man/Cassandra alliance work out a new strategy.
- An unexpected winner for the reward challenge helps to create a new dynamic.
- Each of the two alliances has its own hidden immunity idol and this week, they come into play.
Last week’s Survivor: Fiji tribal council has knocked nearly everyone for a loop. Mookie Lee is furious that Dre “Dreamz” Herd voted for Stacy Kimball, and has to do damage control with Alex Angarita. In order to rebuild trust with Alex, he has to promise to now physically share the immunity idol with the other members of the Four Horsemen. After that, he chews out Dreamz in frustration for his decision to vote off Michelle. Dreamz defends his decision by saying that Michelle’s comments in tribal council worried him so he decided to go with the safe bet.
Michelle was a member of an alliance with Earl Cole, Yau-Man Chan and Cassandra Franklin, so now they are scrambling to make new plans. Earl had been riding high on the potential of all his machinations but the loss of Michelle changes things drastically.
There is one person outside the Four Horsemen for whom this vote is good news: Kenward "Boo" Bernis. His weak alliances has made him vulnerable prior to the vote, but now his position as potential swing vote makes his valuable. He talks with Earl, Cassandra and Yau-Man and they solidify their alliance. Dreamz is a tentative member of this, but since he switches back and forth between the two, Earl isn’t 100% certain that he can be trusted.
The group now heads out to the immunity challenge. The event will test how in-tune with the thoughts and feelings of rest of the tribe each member is. They all privately answer a series of questions about the tribe. Then the results are tallied, and Jeff presents the questions again. This time, each tribe member must decide what they think the majority thinks, which may or may not be what they themselves think. If they get the correct answer, they will have the opportunity to smash out one of three stands representing another tribe member. Once your three stands are smashed, you are out of the game. The winner will get to send someone to Exile Island and will get a reward of a night on a yacht.
The game begins and the answers are revealing. To the question: “Who would you trust with your life?” the most popular answer is Earl, which he must find comforting. Cassandra, Boo and Yau-Man all guess correctly. Cassandra gets the first chance to knock out someone’s stand, and she queries Jeff as she hesitantly heads towards them: “Do I just do it at random, anybody?”
Okay, I have held off making any judgment about Cassandra because a) she seems like a nice lady and I am a fan of nice ladies, and b) she hasn’t really had the chance to demonstrate much through the show. But asking Jeff if she just eliminates someone AT RANDOM?! With that I suddenly and irrationally dislike her. Is she aware she in on Survivor: Fiji? Does she just think she is on a really terrible vacation?
Anyway. She picks Stacy to smash, as do Boo and Yau-Man. Stacy is out. And it is, in general, a rough game for Stacy. She is the group’s most popular answer for many of the negative questions. Alex is predictably the answer to “Who mistakenly thinks he is controlling the game?” Yau-Man is predictably the answer to “Who would you most like to be stranded on a desert island with?” (He even picks himself, I guess knowing his value to the others now.) To the question “Who smells the worst?” Earl abashedly raises his hand even though he has already been eliminated. Earl, if you smell bad, keep your arms down at your sides. (The “correct” answer is Dreamz, and he calls himself out on it too.)
One by one the Survivors are eliminated until it’s just Dreamz and Cassandra, and Cassandra gets the enough right to then knock Dreamz out – in fact – she didn’t miss any. I guess all that flying under the radar has given her a good opportunity to learn how people are feeling. She gets to send someone to Exile – picks Mookie, earning his undying hatred – but has the chance to return to camp to decide which three players she will take on the yacht.
She selects Boo, Dreamz, and Yau-Man. Yau-Man is obvious because he’s part of her alliance, but the other two are to help solidify their loyalty. Poor Earl: his dependability just cost him a ride on a yacht!
On the yacht, Yau-Man goes to work on Dreamz, trying, as he says, to “brainwash” him into being loyal. Dreamz feels conflicted, seeing the potential benefits of both alliance, but feeling more kinship with the Cassandra-Yau-Man-Earl group.
Meanwhile, on Exile Island, Mookie is seething about his banishment. He reads the clues for the immunity idol and realizes it’s highly likely that someone else has already found it. He assumes Earl due to his intelligence.
The group returns from reward, and Dreamz finds himself speaking privately with Alex. Earl sees them speaking intensely, and this raises more doubts in his mind about Dreamz’s loyalty.
Dreamz knows this and so makes a bold move to regain their trust: he tells them about the immunity idol. Well, now this is something.
Before anything can really happen, though, it’s time for the individual immunity challenge. It’s an endurance and balancing challenge. Each survivor must balance on progressively smaller ledges inside a large box in which they can use their arms to brace themselves.
And it starts. Cassandra, Edgardo and Earl are the first to fall. From the sidelines, Jeff asks them who they think will win and they all respond: Stacy.
Next, Mookie, Alex and Dreamz all fall. Stacy fights valiantly, but the pain she is in can be read on her face. She slips. Boo and Yau-Man are left. Boo struggles and has about five amazing saves in a row, but he can’t keep it up. He falls and Yau-Man is the WINNER. Again, every week I wonder the same thing: could I love this guy any more than I already do? And then every week he does something else that’s great and I like him even more.
Back at camp, the strategizing starts, and the word the Survivors themselves use to describe it is: “chaotic.” The first move: Yau-Man turns Stacy. She realizes she has to work with them to stay alive and turns on Alex.
Meanwhile, Mookie wants to get rid of Earl due to the idol. Alex talks to Stacy about it, but her clear distraction spells trouble. He tells Edgardo about it, and Edgardo says they need to assume she is out of the alliance.
Dreamz, meanwhile, tells the Four Horsemen that the others are gunning for Alex, so Mookie has to transfer the idol to Alex. He doesn’t like to have to use it but he thinks it’s for the best in the long run. Dreamz then heads back to the others and lets them know this. They want to vote for Mookie, but after Dreamz leaves, Stacy has her first truly valuable moment when she suggests they vote for Edgardo. That way, if Dreamz is lying about the swap, they still get somebody off. Brilliant.
The Four Horsemen think they have their own brilliant scheme. They assume the others are voting for Alex, plan to use the immunity idol, and then will stack the votes against Cassandra. They are SO PLEASED with themselves, which, coming from them, totally irritates me. This is unfair, because I happen to find Yau-Man’s self-satisfaction totally adorable. Nevertheless, I can’t WAIT to see the arrogant young guys get blindsided.
And blindsided they are. Before the votes are read, Alex stands and gives the immunity idol to Jeff. The votes are then read, and Mookie’s, Edgardo’s and Alex’s smug satisfaction is evident on their faces. Then something happens: a random vote for Mookie (from Dreamz – not quite sure what he was doing there). Then the votes for Edgardo start. And with every vote, the Four Horsemen’s faces drop – including Dreamz because he must realize that the others switched up the plan without telling him. Edgardo is out and it is clear: he was not expecting this.
I said last week that I wasn’t sure the Four Horsemen could be stopped. I am thrilled that I was totally wrong! This episode just goes to show what Jeff reminds the Survivors about as they leave: this game is always in flux. Assume nothing.
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images courtesy of CBS)