First of all, I need to correct a mistake I made in last week's recap. I thought Brandon was calling Mikayla "Poverty," when actually he was referring to Survivor villain, Parvati. And it turns out that Havarti is a type of cheese, while we're clarifying. Anyway, I wrongly assumed it was some obscure Biblical reference that just didn't make sense. So, if you can forgive me and we can all move forward from that, let's enjoy this season!
So, Christine joins Sad Sack Semhar on Redemption Island, and she blames her tribe not wanting someone "who wanted to play the game" around. Who would you rather see back in the game, Christine or Semhar? I vote for neither of them.
Back at Upolu, Mikayla has no idea why Brandon hates her. And she shouldn't have any idea because it is completely illogical. Brandon has realized that villainy is in his blood, and in his tattoos.
Time for the Redemption Island Duel! Coach and Stacey will go from Upolu, and Ozzy and Elyse arrive from Savaii. Semhar had a lot of time to braid her hair. Before the challenge, Semhar recites a spoken word poem for whatever reason. Man, it was weird, and a bit awkward.
On to balancing! Christine and Semhar balance a totem on a pole, then add a second section of pole. I guess we're just pretty sure the totem wouldn't fall on anyone's head? After the third section of pole, Semhar loses the totem, which almost fell on her head. Weeping about her abandonment issues again, Semhar leaves the game for good.
Back at Upolu, Brandon is feeling an ancient shame. It is eating at him from within. So he takes off his t-shirt, to reveal his tattoos. Since it didn't have the impact he desired, he tells his tribe that he's Russell's nephew, which DID have the desired impact, particularly from Stacey. He apologizes, but it's too late for Mikayla, who hates him for his personality, not his family ties. Coach isn't sure he trusts Brandon anymore, either.
At Savaii, things are going pretty well. Papa Bear has realized that he's on the outs because he doesn't have many friends or close relationships, and he's not an idiot. Ozzy has elected to trust Keith, who might be a big idiot, but now knows that he has the idol. He immediately went to tell Whitney, because he might be a big idiot or he wants Whitney to trust him; one of the two.
Mikayla confronts Brandon, "why do you have a problem with me?" Brandon can't defend himself. He says he doesn't like Mikayla "because of the attitude." No, it's because of the body. So Brandon brings this argument to the whole tribe, which is weird and snakey and desperate. Come on Russian Lit Major, Sophie! She knows what's up: Brandon is devious, but also crazy religious, and may have referred to Mikayla as the Whore of Babylon.
Brandon lays down by the fire to cry and feel guilty about his flesh overcoming him. He also covered himself in ashes, and probably rended his garments. Everyone thinks Brandon is a loose cannon, and completely unreliable as a team member.
For the immunity challenge, team members must race across a bridge carrying a body board, grab a bag, then the rest of the team will pull them back. There's also a puzzle banner element at the end. In addition to immunity, the teams will play for a tasty reward. Ozzy and Brandon head out with the body boards, but predictably, Cochran gums up the works with the rope and slows Ozzy down. It wasn't too noticeable, though. Dawn and Alfred (WHO??) tie things up, and Savaii finds their momentum as Upolu slows things down a bit.
Brandon runs for his life/God, and it turns into a close race once again. For the puzzle element, Coach and Edna are much better at hooking the bags than Whitney, but it's still a close race. Upolu pulls into the lead, thanks to Coach, and Sophie leads them to the win. Whitney and Elyse didn't even pull their last bag up, and Papa Bear looks pretty bummed about it. Secret Dispensary Jim declares that Papa Bear is the weakest member of the team, which means he's even weaker than Cochran. That's pretty bad.
"We did a good job," Cochran tells the rest of the tribe, optimistically. Dawn did a good job, specifically, so it's between the weak young one, and the weak old one. Papa Bear and Cochran are not stupid, though. Will they fight back? Can they get it together in time?
The Allied Five decide that Papa Bear is the one to go. They tell Cochran that it's Papa Bear, but they're telling him it's Cochran. New Cochran resists the urge to scramble. Papa Bear doesn't buy their story.
"Sure, I believe that, I'm an ASS," he says in an interview. He lumbers into the woods, then starts running. He is either looking for the idol, or just running away to live alone in the jungle. Elyse watches Papa Bear dig and scramble for the idol, but it's all to no avail.
Then Papa Bear does one of my favorite things people do in this game: he fashioned his own idol. Is anyone going to buy that? Papa Bear tells Jim that he found the idol, and he identifies it as an unexpected variable. Cochran knows it's baloney, though. Now it's all up to Keith not to tell everyone that Ozzy actually has the idol.
At Tribal Council, Papa Bear and Cochran identify Ozzy as Savaii's leader, which makes him squirm a bit. Papa Bear admits that he has nothing in common with anyone, which isn't a good reason to keep him around. Also, Papa Bear knows about the alliance of five, and puts it out in the open at tribal. The idol comes up, and Keith looks very smug. He didn't say anything, though, and deserves a cookie for that.
Cochran smiles as Papa Bear has no idol to play. Papa Bear voted for Jim, clearly, and everyone else voted for him. I hope he does well at Redemption Island, because I like him and he's not an idiot. At least he left with some dignity (or he would have if he hadn't run into the woods and made his own fake idol).
Next week, Cochran will become the new mastermind! Brandon will squirm some more! Perhaps the guilt will eat him alive! Who is Alfred? Will Edna's awesome jungle hat make it all 40 days? When do we get to see more of Rick?
(images courtesy of CBS)