Survivor: Fiji, Episode 13 "I Wanna See If I Can Make a Deal" Recap

Originally aired on Thursday, 05/10/2007

Episode Rating: *** (3 stars out of 5)

Episode Overview:  Big risk could equal big reward for Yau-Man as he makes a series of game-changing decisions on Survivor:Fiji.

Episode Highlights:

  • Boo is starting to feel like there is a target on his back...but so does Yau-Man.
  • Yau-Man makes a crazy-like-a-fox proposition to Dreamz.
  • The hidden immunity idols continue to impact the face of the game.

Kenward “Boo” Bernis is being crafty. He clears a secret path to the watering hole so that he can eavesdrop on any of the other Survivor: Fiji tribe members who might be conspiring against him.

Good plan, but his time away from the camp gives them time to conspire in the comfort of home. Earl Cole talks to the others about ensuring that Boo is out next.

Tree mail arrives and the clue convinces them all that this reward challenge will be the one to win the car. Dre "Dreamz" Herd is beyond excited. He is the only Survivor without a car – in fact, he’s never bothered to get a license because he felt there was no point.

They meet with Jeff Probst, and he reveals the truck. It is a very very rugged and very very giant Ford Super Duty truck. Dreamz just looks awestruck; it kind of breaks your heart. For all his scheming and double-dealing, there is still something quite innocent-seeming and childlike about Dreamz and to see how much he wants this truck – and realizing how far from his circumstances such a thing is back home – seems to touch all the other Survivors.

That said, though, no one is going to just let him win it. The challenge first requires that the Survivors work in two teams of three. They will be tied together and must walk over a series of see-saws. Once they get through that section, they will then climb through a cargo net course (still tied together). They then must dig for a hatchet, and use that hatchet to break a rope to raise a flag. After that, the three from the winning team will compete against each other to win the truck. All three members of the team will head out – in the new truck – to deliver some school supplies and a mobile office to a local school.

The teams are assigned: Earl, Cassandra Franklin and Dreamz on one; Yau-Man Chan, Boo, and Stacy Kimball on the other. Dreamz’s team gets an early start as Yau-Man continually topples off his see-saw and slows down his whole team, giving the other team a chance to start the cargo net crawl. However, Yau’s team makes up some good time once they finally do make it to the crawl, and they are not too far behind the other team when they begin to dig. They find the hatchet, and get their flag up first. Their celebration is tempered as they all see how dejected Dreamz is.

To determine the individual winner, each Survivor must throw another hatchet to cut two ropes intersecting on a board. At first, it looks like an easy win for Boo, and he gets one rope cut and another nicked, while Yau can only get one and Stacy can’t seem to make a connection with the board. Boo misses again, and this gives Yau the chance to split his second – he wins!

The first thing he says: “I wanna make a deal.” He asks Dreamz how badly he wants the truck. Dreamz replies that Yau-Man knows how badly he needs it, and reiterates that he’s the only player on Survivor: Fiji who doesn’t have a truck.

Yau-Man makes him an offer: he’ll give Dreamz the truck, but with a condition. If the two of them make it to the final four, and Dreamz wins immunity, he will give Yau-Man that immunity.

Dreamz doesn’t need long to think: he agrees. Jeff stresses that there is no way to enforce this, but Yau says he thinks Dreamz is a man of his word.

Dreamz will get to take Yau-Man’s spot in the reward challenge, but there is another piece of business. Part of Yau-Man’s reward was deciding who to send to Exile Island. Now he is technically part of the losing team…so he decides to send himself. Even the normally unflappable Jeff is amazed.

So off Yau-Man goes to Exile Island. He says he went because Earl has been too many times, and Cassandra wouldn’t survive. Plus this gives him a chance to read the next clue to finding the hidden immunity idol.

As he gets himself some coconuts on the island, he comments how surprised he was at how easily Dreamz gave up immunity. I’m not: Dreamz gave up something that is a just a possibility (a possibility to the third degree: IF he makes it to the final four, IF Yau-Man makes it to the final four, IF Dreamz wins immunity) for something that was a big giant chunk of metal and rubber reality right in front of his face. I’m not saying that, upon careful reflection, one couldn’t come to the decision that the “ifs” might be likely to become “whens.” But still, it’s hard to give up a big concrete reality for an abstract future possibility. So Yau-Man played that just right.

Yau-Man reads the clues – it includes a pointed reference to “pining.” Sounds like it might be a pine tree…

Meanwhile, Dreamz, Stacy and Boo are in Dreamz’s fancy new truck, delivering the school supplies and towing the mobile office. It’s very touching; the kids are thrilled to get the supplies, sports equipment and games the Survivors hand out. And the teachers are excited as well to see their decked out new office-in-a-can (like one of those big metal cargo containers) with a copy machine, air conditioning and even more supplies for the students.

It’s touching and Dreamz feels like he can relate to the kids. However, his warm feeling recedes as he really thinks through the ramifications of what brought him here. He realizes he just signed over his future to Yau. He says he wouldn’t go back on his word. However, if Yau doesn’t make it to the final four…there’s no word to go back on. Dreamz realizes he has to get Yau out now.

Dreamz is correct, of course, but doesn’t Dreamz realize how much the home viewer (this home viewer, especially) really loves Yau-Man?!?! And how much we really want to keep him around?! This is the one thing I both hate and love about reality television. Your favorite “characters” really can get “written off” the show way before you’re ready to let them go.

And if Dreamz has anything to say about it, there will be a lot of disappointed home viewers like me tonight. He starts the process of wrangling for Yau’s ouster, talking to Cassandra when he returns. She is tempted, but thinks that Boo might be a bigger threat right now.

Before any decisions can be made, we need the curveball of the immunity challenge. It’s an event that requires the Survivor to stand on a platform in the water and throw a ball connected to a rope through a hoop. The hoop is then pulled down, and the post it is attached to becomes a balance beam. The Survivor must cross the beam to another platform in the water. The first four across will go onto the second round.

The Survivors start. Dreamz gets his done quickly and is across. Boo and Earl follow. Meanwhile, Cassandra throws her entire ball and rope to the hoop. The whole kit and caboodle falls into the water. Stacy cannot connect either. I am momentarily mortified by this display by members of my gender.

Yau-Man finally connects and gets across first, although he slips into the water. The four men will go onto the next round. The first two to complete this round will compete for immunity.

This time, Yau-Man gets it first. Then Boo is across, so it’s the two of them. And Boo makes quick work of the last heat. He crosses the beam and raises the buoy, signaling the end of the challenge. He wins immunity.

Back at camp, Boo says he notices a lot of disappointed faces. I bet one person isn’t disappointed: Dreamz. Dreamz has needed some leverage to get Cassandra fully into the voting-Yau-off group, and the lack of Boo as a target is just what he needs. He talks to Stacy and Cassandra and starts to make things happen.

Meanwhile, Earl takes advantage of a lull to go searching for the idol…and finds it! He returns to camp and shares the good news with his partner Yau-Man.  The others remain unaware of this development.

As the others plot against Yau-Man, they know they have to keep Earl in the dark as well so that Yau feels safe and doesn’t play his (known) hidden idol. To this end, Stacy takes Earl aside and plays it up like she knows it’s her time and she’s accepted it. Earl admires her dignity, and it’s a little sad to see how pleased he is with himself while he is getting totally played.

Yau is not. Yau is not feeling good about things. He takes Earl aside and says as much. Earl shakes his head, like, No way; we’re in control here.

At tribal council, Jeff talks about Yau’s deal, having the players describe it for the jury. (When Dreamz says he’ll stick to the deal because he’s a man of his word, the Former Horsemen can barely contain their bitter laughter.) Stacy tries to walk a line in her response to Jeff’s usual council questions, but her answer that she thinks the vote will be split appears – and by appears I mean this could all be edited – to get some raised eyebrows from Earl and Yau.

They vote. Will Yau take a fall? Nope. Before Jeff reads the votes, Yau plays the idol.

And good thing too. He would have gotten four votes. But he’s safe. So Stacy, with her two, is outta there. Every single person’s expression is priceless: Cassandra, Dreamz and Stacy look sick. Yau-Man looks, once again, tickled to death with his own cleverness.

Oh my goodness I cannot wait to see what this guy pulls off next week in the finale. It would just be too good to be true if he can win this thing…I will be making my usual predictions tomorrow here on BuddyTV, but I think this will be an all-best-case-scenario for Yau fans editions. Going to try to imagine how my favorite could win this thing…see you back here soon!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images courtesy of CBS)