In the recap of the season thus far, Jeff asks if anyone will have the gall to join Dawn and Whitney and “turn the game upside down.” Going back to camp, Coach tells the whole Te Tuna tribe that Jim is the most dangerous kind of person and they’re going to grow together as more of a family with him gone. Coach knows that people at the bottom of the alliance can’t know they’re on the bottom.

Whitney isn’t stupid, though, she knows Coach is running the show. He is also running Tai Chi class. Cochran is aware that he’s in the cult and drinking “the Coach Kool-Aid.” Coach tells Cochran that he’s worried about Albert and Brandon getting squirrely. He also promises that he’ll do everything in his great power to make sure Cochran doesn’t get booted at 7.

Triple Duel! Trial! Everyone is there to see it. This is an endurance challenge. They have to hold poles on the tops of their hands. The two people who leave become the first and second members of the jury! That is something. 10 minutes in, Brandon says he’s rooting for Jim, Whitney is rooting for Keith, and no one is rooting for Ozzy. Ozzy is to be feared.

Jim is the first member of the jury, and Ozzy smiles calmly. Everything is going according to plan. But things are looking really shaky for Ozzy … and Keith! But Keith is out first. Ozzy majestically wins and will stay on his vacation island. Plus, the first two jury members want Ozzy to win. He’s in a good place. Jim and Freakishly Tall Keith leave redemption island to go eat hamburgers in a hotel.

Ozzy isn’t just living on Redemption Island, he is flourishing. He is in such a good position. Can any first-timer win a Redemption Island game of Survivor?

Dawn approaches Cochran, who isn’t completely willing to blindly follow Coach and Upolu. Cochran might earn some angel/jury points. But first, let’s see who will win immunity. Contestants will need balance for this one, as they traverse teeter totters with bowls of rice on their heads. Dawn is doing really well, and Brandon and Sophie are doing OK. Cochran is doing very, very poorly.

Haha, remember Rick? He’s still here! Anyway, Sophie carries an almost overflowing bowl to the basket and wins immunity. Dawn was a real contender, though. Jeff promises a twist at Tribal Council. What will it be!? Maybe it could behoove Whitney or Dawn!

Everyone fears the twist could be a double elimination leading to another immunity challenge. Dawn is pretty sure she’s going home, but still hopeful. She and Whitney caucus, then decide to talk to Albert. Squirrely Albert. They appeal to his desire to turn the game around.

Albert wants to get rid of Edna to move Cochran up the ladder and gain favor with Whitney and Dawn, potential jury members. This is actually coming together a bit. Playing Island Chess, Albert and Cochran discuss the Order of Things. Albert says that Cochran is definitely seventh, but he’s thinking about actually PLAYING the game by taking a big risk. Then they approach Sophie.

Sophie takes it all in and evaluates things. It is time to be strategic and use those two free votes. But Coach knows that Albert is playing for jury votes. He decides this is unacceptable. If Albert dissents, it is “instant death.”

Jeff brings in the jury. Why did Keith keep his facial hair looking like someone defaced him with a marker? Anyway, it comes up at Tribal Council that Cochran is in seventh place. Jeff, who knows everything, guesses that it will be Dawn or Whitney, or perhaps there’s a crack in this group and someone will be blindsided! PERHAPS! Now is the time.

Coach says that he worries, stresses, believes, and trusts. He also claims not to be the leader of the tribe. Leader, maybe not. Puppet master? Definitely. Albert says Coach “might just be a figurehead,” which actually signals that Albert is a potential weak link. Everyone knows more than they’re saying.

What I want to know is where Rick’s head is at in all this. He has literally not said a word this entire episode. What’s going on underneath that cowboy hat, Rick? Are you the one who spelled a woman’s name, “DON”?

The votes go to Dawn and Edna, until a fifth vote goes to Dawn. That’s really too bad, I hope the twist is a good one! Another immunity challenge followed by a vote! Whitney is severely outnumbered, she has to win!

Jim rubs his hands together in delight. He just had a delicious hamburger so he’s all ready to go. It’s Survivor trivia! Everyone grabs an answer cube. Albert, Rick, and Edna are out right away. Cochran and Brandon are out with a question about the Coconut Crab (who knew?!). Coach is out next, and it’s down to Whitney and Sophie. OoohHOO! Whitney needs it, but Sophie is one of those “smart people.”

It comes down to a question about clams. Are South Pacific Clams dangerous to remove from the ocean? No, they’re not! Put that necklace back on, Sophie! Without deliberation, they go straight into the next vote. So it will clearly be Whitney, right? Or maybe Albert is showing his true colors a little too soon. 

Whitney voted for Cochran, but everyone else took down Whitney. If only she had won, then we’d really see where everyone stood in the former Upolu tribe. But I guess we’ll see soon enough, because now it’s just Family Upolu and Benedict Cochran.

I find myself wishing Albert and Sophie had opted for that big move, it would have been so exciting! Maybe not the smartest thing, but certainly the most exciting and ballsy. How do you feel about the big move that wasn’t made?

(images courtesy of CBS)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).