Survivor: Fiji, Episode 7 "An Evil Thought" Recap
Originally aired on Thursday, 03/28/2007

Episode Rating: **** (4 stars out of 5)

Episode Overview: With the new tribes now formed, Ravu is in for yet another shake-up: the return of Lisi. Meanwhile, Yau-Man and Earl continue their search for the immunity idol.

Episode Highlights:
  • Lisi returns from Exile Island to the new Ravu and begins the process of trying to fit in with the Boys’ Club.
  • Yau-Man and Earl team up to work to find the immunity idol based on the clues they have both seen at Exile Island.
  • Rocky’s big mouth is irritating more people than just the home viewers.


It’s new day on Ravu and everyone is preparing for the return of Exiled Lisi Linares. The tribe wonders how she will handle being the only woman among all the boys, and someone comments that she will like the attention, all five sets of ears. You know, because the ladies love to yap and all.

I can tell already this is going to be another depressing episode for me.

She returns, and begins the process of ingratiating herself with the tribe. Former Moto Edgardo Rivera and Alex Angarita are pretty solidly with her – so long as she is useful – but the other former Moto, Dre "Dreamz" Herd, still remembers her tacky behavior back at Happy Fatty Camp. When she had the power, she wasn’t very kind to him, and so now he’s feeling pretty much the same in return.

Over at the new Happy Fatty Camp, Yau-Man Chan and Earl Cole are still working together to find the immunity idol. Earl leads the others away while Yau-Man stays back at camp. After some frenzied digging, he finds it! It’s a large turtle amulet on a rope cord. Yau-Man is completely, adorably beside himself with glee, saying he is “going to jump out of [his]skin” with excitement. He fills in the hole and waits for Earl to return. When he does, the two head out for a private minute, and Yau-Man shows him the idol and they make plans to share it if the time comes where one might need it. Yau-man seems to genuinely trust and be loyal to Earl, but I don’t know if it’s the edit or whatever – because Earl seems like a good guy – but for some reason I was a little underwhelmed by Earl’s expression of loyalty in return. I like them both, so I am hoping that nothing will come of this.

The tribes now go to the reward challenge. I am momentarily GIDDY with anticipation when I hear Jeff Probst include the words FLAMETHROWER and FIREBALL in his description of the challenge. But it’s less exciting than you would think: each tribe will send one person up at a time to use a stick to launch a small flaming ball towards a fabric target. If I knew anything about sports, I would say this might be like a lacrosse-type throwing stick thing? But I don’t know anything about sports, so I might be completely wrong. Whatever it is, it is nowhere near as exciting as the word “flamethrower” implies. The prize will be, randomly, a trip to a small Fiji games arcade, with a dinner of hot dogs and beer.

The tribes each send up one person at a time. Ravu gets a quick lead when Dreamz is able to score and Earl is not. Next it is Michelle Yi vs. Lisi. Lisi is wide while Michelle is just short. Next up is Yau-Man vs. Ed. As Yau-Man climbs to the platform, Mookie Lee makes fun of his perceived frailty from the sideline. It is especially rewarding, then, when Yau-Man is the first person to score a point for Moto and Ed doesn’t get a hit. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YAU. Yau-Man might be little but he clearly has more mojo in his little little finger than most of the other players put together.

Unfortunately, his mojo isn’t catching, and while his team more consistently aims closer to the target, they have trouble get the fireball all the way there, and Ravu winds up getting a win by Mookie getting a goal and Dreamz catching a second for the team. Ravu is filled with glee at the win, but I don’t really care for most people on that team so I am not.

They go to the arcade, they eat a bunch, they throw up what they ate, usual Survivor reward. During the time at the arcade, the balance of power shifts, and James "Rocky" Reid’s constant ball-breaking turns off the other players, and they start to like Lisi better, to, it seems, their total surprise. Because, you know, Lisi is a woman. So Rocky would naturally be inherently more likable, I guess, but because Lisi has successfully acted like a dude, she might be okay in their book. At this point, I wander off into the kitchen to get a stiff drink to get me through the rest of this.

But I don’t need it, because I have Yau-Man to cheer me up. He decides to make a FAKE immunity idol by painting a coconut shell and labeling it “I.I.” He then wraps it up and buries while the others are resting. He is so tickled with himself.

Kenward “Boo” Bernis
, meanwhile, unaware of Yau-Man’s possession of the real idol, says in interview that Yau-Man should be worried because he is the “weakest link.” Maybe I will need that drink. So far, I have seen Yau-Man TWICE be the only member of his tribe to be successful at a challenge (once with the platform sumo wrestling and then today with the flamethrowers). Are these people all really so truly conditioned to believe that only the young and muscled are valuable assets in the world that their own direct experience of reality will not convince them otherwise? Is Yau-Man the strongest player? Maybe not, but how on earth anyone could look at his combination of relative physical strength (he does have some), intelligence, positive attitude, even keel, and ability to get along with so many people and still call him weak just totally baffles me. If anything, vote him off for being a threat. But to call him weak is just absurd, and again, has not been actually borne out by all of the events of the show.

It is time for the immunity challenge. In the challenge, one player will be a caller, guided the other players – each blindfolded, through an area. The blindfolded player must smash a hanging skull, retrieve a set of tiles from the skull, set the tiles on a puzzle board at the end of the field, and return to the other end. Then it will be the next player’s turn.

Michelle and Lisi take their places as the callers and the game begins. Michelle shows why she is one of my other favorite players so far as she gives quick, clear and direct instructions to lead Stacy Kimball quickly through the field. Lisi does all right guiding Alex, but once he is back, they switch the two out and he begins to call.

However, Michelle is able to keep her team with a slight lead for the entire game, and is so focused on being the eyes for her teammates that she actually falls off the edge of her own platform! She makes quick work of everyone but Boo, who seems to have a LOT of trouble understanding what his left is. Who’s the weakest link now, tough guy? Michelle’s voice starts to go out, though, so Boo takes over for calling to the last person for Moto, Yau-Man. As soon as he gets on the platform, though, he squints and rubs his eyes. Apparently distance vision might be a problem. Sigh. Boo, you are a mess.

But he gets Yau-Man through and Moto races to finish their puzzle. Although Ravu is hot on their heels, Moto finishes first and I am pleased. Ravu is heading to tribal council and I cannot imagine that Rocky won’t be sent home after all of his tirades.

Back at camp, Ed and Alex are focused on Rocky. Lisi goes along with the plan and attempts to ingratiate herself by offering to have them all look for and share the immunity idol based on the clues she saw on Exile Island. This seems like such a bonehead move. If she believes that these dudes won’t turn on her the first second they get, she…well, I guess she deserves to be taken out. Without physical power or mental domination, the only possible advantage Lisi can have on Survivor is the ability to be a swing vote OR information the others don’t have. To so quickly give that up for the short term gain of looking like one of the team…seems as shortsighted as her willingness to alienate Dreamz back at Happy Fatty Camp.

And speaking of…it seems like that bad decision might be coming back to bite her in the butt. Mookie knows that Rocky is on the chopping block. He himself won’t vote for Rocky due to his promise, but doesn’t truly try to swing Dreamz over to create a tie. Dreamz, though, seems willing to entertain the idea of voting for Lisi instead of Rocky.

At Tribal Council, it seems pretty clear, though, what is about to happen. When Jeff asks Dreamz about Lisi’s pre-Exile Island meltdown, Dreamz gives what seems to be an honest, but open-minded answer that makes it seem less likely he is about to vote her off.

And he doesn’t. With only two votes for Lisi (Rocky and Mookie), the rest go to Rocky and he is out. Honestly, good riddance. I really wanted to like Rocky – I started out loving Rocky – and I didn’t mind his loose cannon nature or his running off at the mouth. But it started to seem like there was something really hateful and unpleasant underneath all of that bravado and eventually, it all just grossed me out. I was more depressed by his sentiments than charmed by how humorously he presented them, so I am kind of glad to see him go.

 He’s ticked, though, so I can’t wait to see who winds up in the final two – if it’s anyone from the current Ravu, maybe other than Mookie, we are in for a jury speech of a lifetime from Rocky!

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Images Courtesy of CBS)