Missy is Baylor’s mother. Missy is Baylor’s mother. Missy is Baylor’s mother. Is it annoying that I keep repeating that? Well, I’m just trying to simulate what watching the episode was like. Not only is this mentioned at every opportunity, Baylor can’t even scratch her nose without the producers cutting to Missy for a reaction shot.
Last episode I thought Missy was overly dramatic talking about people who want to hurt her daughter, but actually Dale goes just as far, saying that on Survivor “You see complete strangers slaughter your daughter.” That doesn’t mean Dale is giving up though. Back in the first or second episode, he had gone to the well near camp and found an interesting symbol on the lid which he broke off and held onto. Lo and behold, that seemingly extraneous moment comes into play — Dale shows that piece to Jon and says it’s an immunity idol, and Jon believes it!
Now it’s time for Jeff Probst to arrive at the blue team’s camp with a big sack of rice. You’ll recall that they had signaled their willingness to trade something for the food. He notes with some disdain that this is only the second time this has happened and the first was Survivor: The Australian Outback (the second season, we’re now on season 29), and he’s quick to add that the Australian group had other additional hardships they were dealing with.
After much buildup, Probst reveals his demands: he wants to take back every comfort item the tribe has won to date. All they get to keep are a machete, a pot, and a flint. After he says this, there is no deliberation, the tribe simply gets up and starts breaking their shelter down. Probst stuffs everything in the hammock and drags it away. Roll the credits.
When both tribes have filed into the arena, Probst announces that since there are no new possible “blood” matchups (the only ones on opposite tribes are Keith and Wes, who have dueled already), each tribe can just pick its strongest competitor for the duel. So Reed from the blue team will face Baylor for Orange. The challenge involves navigating an obstacle course blindfolded, then examining a tribal mask by feel, and then assembling an identical mask from a selection of pieces, only some of which fit.
Reed wins, but note that the reward they were playing for was food. So whoever Reed picks to go to Exile Island with Baylor won’t get any of that food. He picks Julie, but Natalie raises her hand to volunteer and Reed doesn’t stand in her way. This is the moment where I realized Natalie is a contender to win this game! She saw the chance to exchange information with Baylor (her presumed ally, since Natalie allied with Missy) as more valuable than some food. Bravo! Of course a look at Natalie tells you she is not exactly wasting away.
As Blue digs into their reward of shish kebabs (“I’m a meat collector,” Alec exclaims), Jeremy, who didn’t like the rice-for-a-tarp deal when the tribe made it, is now even madder. If they’d only held out for one more day they would have food and their tarp and other gear. Jeremy’s other problem is that Julie acts like she’s about to quit during a night of hard rain. She makes it through the night and pats herself on the back for doing so. But as Alec notes, “This is Survivor. You sign up for this s**t.”
In the challenge Orange gets out to a decent lead, but Jon has trouble putting the pieces of a flag together and Josh and Reed catch up to him and pass him, winning yet another challenge for Blue. I find myself cheering for Blue, who do seem to be a more likable bunch overall.
Everyone just wants to make it to the merge. Dale offers Jon a deal: if I’m not voted out tonight, as soon as the person’s torch is snuffed I will give you my idol. A smart move, since he’s not giving anything up, as noted above, the idol is fake (though Jon doesn’t know that). Dale wants to team with Jon and Jaclyn to vote Missy out. Alas, Jon immediately tells this to Missy and Baylor, and they point out that they could just send three votes Dale’s way (Keith being the other vote) and have two people vote Keith, then Keith is gone if Dale does play an idol.
Alas, that’s exactly what they end up doing, and Dale is out of the game.
Of course, what Jon and friends didn’t consider is that Keith might have an idol, but he does — a real one at that. He gets to save it for another day.
Contenders: 1) Wes, 2) Josh, 3) Jon, 4) Natalie, 5) Reed, 6) Jeremy, 7) Baylor, 8) Jaclyn, 9) Julie, 10) Keith
No chance: Missy, Alec