The November 30 episode begins with Hannah feeling guilty that Jessica went home. David is angry that he wasted the idol and thinks he’s next to go. Meanwhile, Zeke thanks everyone who voted with him. As for Ken, when he opens his bag he is surprised to find he has the Legacy Advantage that Jessica willed to him, and that of course he knew nothing about.
This is the more or less annual “loved ones” episode. Adam’s brother tells Adam that their sick mother is OK. Adam tells him about his reward-stealing advantage but says he couldn’t possibly use it for this challenge.
As for the challenge itself, Adam gets stuck under a log in the sand, costing him any chance to win it. Jay is the winner, and he gets to choose two people to go along. He chooses his ally Will and his mother figure if you will, Sunday. But then he gets to pick one more person. He notes, “Me and Adam been brawlin’ this whole damn time, man,” but he says he is rewarding Adam for not using his reward-stealing advantage. Oddly, Jeff Probst, who seemingly never fails to pass up a chance for tear-jerking, tells the remaining players that they do not get one last hug with their loved ones before heading back to camp.
On the reward, Adam tells Jay he wants to thank him, and does so by handing him the reward-stealing advantage! Upon reflection, this is a very smart move. He gets credit for a nice gesture yet gets rid of an “advantage” that was really more of a hindrance (though that wouldn’t have been the case had it remained a secret instead of Adam telling Taylor that he had it).
Later, Will tells David that Zeke would beat any of them at the end, they both say they’ll vote Zeke, as does Adam who is present as well.
The immunity challenge involves using interlocking handles to hold up a steel bar. It only lasts a few minutes, and comes down to Jay and Adam. Adam wins.
Afterward, Jay sees how calm David is and knows something must be up. Jay and allies think it must be because David has an idol. So they resolve to vote Ken, not realizing that Will is not with them.
Youngster Will, wanting to make a mark in this game, reveals the news to Ken, but Ken stresses that he doesn’t make alliances after five minutes, indicating that his evaluation process is much more in-depth. Ken then gets Jay and tells him that he heard from Will that he, Ken, was on the block! An incredulous Will tells Ken “I get it, you’re blowing up my game at this point.” Ken then tells his allies David, Adam, and Hannah what happened, and they are also incredulous. Adam tells the camera, “That’s not a test, that’s a betrayal!”
At tribal council, Adam whips the idol out of his pants and says he’s playing it for Hannah (guarding against the possibility that Will votes for her). As it turns out he didn’t need to play the idol. Bret, Jay, Sunday, and Zeke did indeed vote Hannah, but Adam, Ken, Hannah, David, and, crucially, Will all voted Zeke.
In the December 7 episode, we find out that Will wants to bounce back and forth between alliances and thus make it to the end and win the game. Longtime viewers will know that this almost never works, and usually doesn’t even get you to the finals! And in fact, it doesn’t even get him past the next Tribal Council as he is eliminated. Will was always proclaiming that he’s not your average teenager and deserves respect, not realizing that constantly whining that nobody respects you is very much a characteristic of the average teenager!
The next immunity challenge is quite interesting: contestants must drop a ball into a machine that it takes a while to go through, and try to solve a puzzle at the same time. Anytime a ball goes all the way through without their catching it, they have to sit out a penalty period in which they can’t work on their puzzle. At one point Adam stops working on his puzzle entirely in order to watch Ken’s descending ball and alert him when it’s about to fall, i.e. so that Ken can focus completely on his puzzle. Adam is cheering for Ken over the bigger threats David and Jay. Ken does indeed win.
Adam is trying everything he can to get Jay out, or at the very least, get him to play his immunity idol. And understandably so: the jury seems packed with Jay’s friends. This leads to a great scene between the two of them — they each admit that they’re trying to get the other person out, but there are no hard feelings. But then Adam, who hasn’t told anyone about his mother’s illness, reveals it to Jay. As soon as he hears it, Jay pulls his own buff down over his face to hide that he’s crying right along with Adam. He tells Adam that he lost his own mother as well.
Just as Adam is maneuvering to oust Jay, Hannah is energetically trying to oust … Sunday? You would think that Sunday would be the one person Hannah would be able to beat in the finals, so she’d want to keep her around at all costs! But to Hannah’s way of thinking, if Sunday has a guaranteed finals slot, that means only two slots are open instead of three, reducing her own odds.
At Tribal Council, Jay, who had been urged by Adam to play his idol, does so. But he only gets one vote. Bret and Jay vote David, and incredibly, the other four vote Sunday.
contenders: 1. Jay, 2. Bret
no chance: Hannah, David, Ken, Adam
jury and who I think they’ll vote for: Michelle (Jay), Taylor (Jay), Chris (Bret), Jessica (Ken), Zeke (Jay), Will (Jay), Sunday (Bret)