There have only been two episodes of Survivor since the tribe shake-up that reunited some of the Blood vs. Water pairs and it’s already time for a merge. And I was just starting to remember how to spell those stupid tribe names too! Well, let’s get to it then, shall we?

At Coyopa, Missy feels bad about voting for Keith so she attempts to explain her reasoning to him. She says they didn’t know if Dale had an idol or not so the plan was to flush the idol. Which is all well and good for her, but if Dale had had an idol, it would have been Keith going home.

Needless to say Keith is not happy about seeing his name written down. He doesn’t think he can trust anyone else on this tribe anymore. Lucky for him… A merge is coming!

At Hunahpu, Jeremy is glad to hear about this merge. He feels like after the tribes were mixed up, he was on the bottom and now it’s time to get back on top again. Josh is a little worried that Jeremy is a threat. He wishes they would have had a chance to go to Tribal Council and get rid of him before the merge.

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It’s time for the merge feast celebration! Wes says the feast is the highlight of the game thus far. More strategic players like Jeremy realize that this is where the game really begins. And Julie just feels sad seeing all the couples because she misses her boyfriend John Rocker.

Jeremy gets to work right away talking to Jon. He tells him if Jon and Jaclyn get Baylor and Missy to vote with them, they’ll have a strong alliance of seven that also includes Natalie and Julie. Jon thinks that’s a good idea and they should probably target Josh first since he was pretty much in charge at Hunahpu pre-merge and Coyopa before that.

Josh notices that Jeremy is talking to a lot of people, “gathering his troops.” Josh realizes the necessity of talking to people as soon as possible before Jeremy gets all of them on his side.

The next day is Wes’ birthday and Josh remembers before Keith does. It’s okay, he gives his son a small crab to roast for a birthday treat.

Josh tries to talk to Baylor about their alliance. She tells him that they’re still good, as far as she knows. That throws Josh off. He feels a bit hurt that she’s blowing him off.

Baylor tells her mom that she feels bad about hurting Josh since he was her only alliance before the tribe shake-up and he saved her skin more than once from going home. Missy tells Baylor she needs to toughen up. She has a nice moment in her confessional where she talks about being a mom that she can be proud of again after putting Baylor through three of her divorces. I have a feeling that Baylor and Missy aren’t going to be very well-liked by Survivor fans, but I think they’ve survived thus far by making the right alliances and being a bit ruthless, but not too cut-throat. Which I think is a good way to play the game.

Josh sees Baylor and Missy interacting and soon realizes that he needs to change his game plan. He approaches Jon and Jaclyn and warns them about getting into bed with Jeremy, who is probably the biggest threat to win at this point. He’s direct and doesn’t feed them any B.S. line, but tells them if they align with the other pairs they automatically have more people on their side and thus a higher chance of winning.

So once again, Jon and Jaclyn find themselves in the middle. Jon says that they have had a lot of opportunities to control their own fate.

After the merge feast, Julie emptied a bowl of trail mix into her bag. Now everyone is hungry and looking for the trail mix and they can’t find it. Julie claims that everyone else already went through their extra food and she was just conserving hers better. She doesn’t plan on sharing it.

When she goes to lay out on the beach by herself, Jon searches through her bag and finds it. Everyone is astounded that she was hiding food from her tribe since there’s so little of it. They eat all of the trail mix out of her bag but are steamed while doing so. Jon and Alec are especially mad, calling her selfish. But no one confronts her about it when she comes back. And she realizes what happened when she gets back, but doesn’t take any responsibility. It’s just quiet and awkward.

Girl! If rule number one of Survivor is “Don’t Throw a Challenge,” then rule number two is “Don’t Steal Food.”

Immunity Challenge

For the first individual immunity, the survivors have to balance a ball on a disc attached to two ropes. After 25 minutes, they’ll have to balance an additional ball. If they drop a ball, they’re out of the challenge.

Jeremy is the first one out, which is funny because he’s on the chopping block if Josh gets his alliance together.

The rest of them drop one by one until it’s only Josh, Keith, Jon and Wes at the end of 25 minutes. Jon and Josh are done soon after the second ball is added, so it’s just father and son left in the challenge. Wes drops his ball and his dad Keith wins the first individual immunity.

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Loser Camp

Jeremy is mad at himself for being the first one out. But he uses it to his advantage to try and convince Jon that he’s not a threat because he’s bad at challenges.

Everyone is gathered around eating broth after that challenge. Alec says a smart-ass comment in front of Julie about how he wishes he were eating trail mix right now. She doesn’t really know how to respond so she just walks away. She tells Missy how hard it is out here for her because she doesn’t have her boyfriend. Missy tells her to try and hang in there for at least one more vote but Julie is feeling emotionally spent.

She understands that Missy is only telling her whatever she can to keep Julie in the game to serve her own agenda. But she needs to make a decision in this game based on her own needs.

Keith and Wes try to work on Jon while Jeremy goes for a swim. They tell him that Jeremy’s been gunning for loved one alliances and that he really shouldn’t trust him. Jon tells Jaclyn that he thinks the best move for them would to be to blindside Jeremy tonight.

Back at camp, everyone is wondering where Julie is. Well, she’s meeting Jeff Probst on the beach to tender her resignation. She says on top of how difficult this game already is, she really misses her boyfriend who she hasn’t been apart from for more than four days in the three years they’ve been together.

Jeff asks her if she’s only quitting because she thinks she’s going home, she admits that that’s part of it. She says she can’t put the needs of Missy and other strangers over her own. She also says she doesn’t feel like she belongs in this game with these people because everyone judged her before they knew her because she’s so pretty and has big boobs. Side-eying that argument so hard, but whatever Jules. Do what you gotta do.

Jeff calls the non-quitters for a gather round on the beach. He tells them the bad news is that Julie quit, so if she was on your alliance, you just lost a member. The good news is that they will not be going to Tribal Council. Which is especially good news for Jeremy, who Jon and Jaclyn were getting ready to turn on. Unfortunately it means Keith’s hard-earned immunity doesn’t mean a whole lot. Oh well, at least he still has an idol in his pocket.

Next week: Looks like there’s trouble in Jon and Jaclyn’s “power couple” paradise.

Watch an all new episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur next Wednesday at 8pm on CBS.  

(Image courtesy of CBS)

Gina Pusateri

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV