When we last saw Hunahpu, they were trying to make a deal with Jeff Probst, despite just having won yet another Immunity Challenge. The tribe had bit off much more than they could chew, quite literally, having depleted their rice supply through only the first 13 days in the game. So what “stiff penalty” would they receive? We found out on Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: San Juan del Sur.” Here is the full recap:
Down But Not Out. Returning to camp, Dale vows not to give up, despite having just watched his daughter Kelley get voted out at Tribal. He called it, “The roughest thing I’ve ever watched my daughter go through.” Coming through on his promise not to give up, he awoke the next morning with a plan: You remember that little icon-logo-thingy that he took off of the top of the water container way back in Episode 1? He presented it to Jon as if it were a hidden Immunity Idol (it is not), and told Jon that Dale would be safe. Jon seemed to buy Dale’s story hook, line and sinker.
Deal or No Deal? The morning of Day 14 was the time…that time when Jeff Probst arrived at Hunahpu’s camp with a large bag of rice, ready to make “the deal heard round the world.” OK, it really isn’t all that big of a deal, but they sure were milking this for all that it’s worth. Being down to a literal handful of rice, Probst and the producers couldn’t just let Hunahpu starve…it’s unethical, but even more importantly (!), starved, lethargic turds don’t make for good television. “Let’s gather around and have a chat,” Probst said when he arrived. Reed tried to explain why the rice proportions were mismanaged, saying that he believed their were just too many cooks in the kitchen. “It sounds like there were too many patrons,” quipped Probst. He went on to tell them, “There’s never been a tribe in the history of Survivor who has needed as much help as you guys have, and only 14 days in.” He then told them the “stiff penalty,” and it was, well, stiff. In exchange for a new full bag of rice, they would have to give Probst back their tarp, hammock, bed roll, pillows and all of the comfort items they won at their reward. In addition, they’d have to trade in their hatchet, their hammer, one pot and their extra piece of flint. This left Hunahpu with just a machete, a single pot and flint. “You are starting over,” Probst told them. They made the trade, and while many of them were very happy, saying that the trade was definitely worth it, only Jeremy seemed ticked off and perturbed. This is Survivor…they are trading a ton of stuff and you never know, their could be a food challenge right around the corner. He ended up being right.
Reward Challenge. After Julie and Natalie got over the shock of discovering their former alliance mate Kelley was voted off, Probst revealed that the Reward Challenge (held at Hero Arena) was for a Survivor BBQ, complete with a grill and eight huge skewers of meat and vegetables. A person from each tribe would be chosen to compete in the challenge, and Hunahpu picked Reed to go against Coyopa’s Baylor. The winner would win reward for his/her tribe with the loser being sent to Exile Island (so I guess we aren’t done with this game twist just yet). Blindfolded, they had to navigate an obstacle course, retrieve three bags of puzzle pieces, and then solve a puzzle, still blind. A few head bumps later, Reed managed to win, scoring Hunahpu a much-needed feast. Reed then had to choose a person from his own tribe to accompany Baylor to Exile, and he chose Julie…meaning Julie would miss out on the feast. But hold on, Natalie actually volunteers to go in Julie’s place. Reed allows her to go instead, and Natalie and Baylor head off to Exile. Missy feels that this is a good thing – being aligned with Natalie already – now that Natalie will get some one-on-one time with her daughter as well.
Changing Course. Back at Coyopa, Jon lets Jaclyn and Missy know about Dale’s Idol. They mutually decide that they might want to target Keith if Dale does indeed have an Idol (he doesn’t). This is interesting to us viewers, because we know that Keith, not Dale, has a real Idol.
Exile Island. The plan worked, with Natalie and Baylor seeming to bond a bit out at Exile. They share a clue to a hidden Idol, and talk about how it would be cool if they both found their tribe’s hidden Idol prior to the merge.
Defeated. Without a tarp and comfort, of course, it begins to downpour for an entire evening, night and morning. Julie is breaking down, having a horrible time and contemplating quitting. Jeremy is trying to talk some sense into her, but she seems really on the verge of asking out of the game. She doesn’t, deciding instead to stick it out…for now. Is this a bit of foreshadowing for what’s to come later in the season? Not claiming to know anything, but usually we don’t see “thinking about quitting” segments all that often unless someone ends up quitting…
Immunity Challenge. For Immunity, the tribes had to scale a large wall and then push a giant wooden cube underneath a series of puzzle bags that were dangling from a coiled piece of metal. They then had to retrieve the puzzle pieces (pieces of fabric, actually) while two members from each tribe solve the puzzle. It was a close match to begin, but Jeremy’s puzzle bag got all tangled up, giving Coyopa a tremendous lead and a huge head start on their puzzle (Jon and Missy were working it for Coyopa). But this is Coyopa, after all. In a stunning come-from-behind victory, Reed and Josh ended up winning Immunity – yet again – for Hunahpu. Wow.
Faking It. “We can’t catch a break,” says Keith. Dale now knows that he is going to have to get creative, since he doesn’t really have an Idol. In an effort to gain favor and possibly side-step the embarrassment of balking without a real Idol, he tries to reason with Jon, and make a deal. He tells him that he would like to hold onto his Idol into the merge, so if Jon and the others don’t vote for Dale, he promises to give Jon his (fake) Idol immediately upon surviving the vote. Jon and Jaclyn find themselves in the middle once again, with Dale wanting to vote for Missy. Jon and Jaclyn, Missy and Baylor and Keith, decide to split their votes – getting Keith to vote for Dale and then having them put two more on Dale, and two on Keith – just in case Dale has the Idol. This way, they can flush it, but if he plays the Idol, Keith would go home (I’m about positive that Keith wasn’t privy to this decision). Could Jon and Jaclyn take up Dale’s offer though, to save him? He would be a loyal extra vote and they think they’re getting a real Idol in the deal.
Tribal Council. Tribal talk focuses on the close – and tearful – relationship between Missy and Baylor. Talk then switches to how Jon and Jaclyn once again find themselves in the middle, yielding all the power. “Who can I trust long-term?” Jon asks. “That’s what this vote is all about.”
The Vote. No Idols are played. We are shown Keith voting for Dale, Missy voting for Keith, and Dale voting for Missy. Then the other votes: Keith – Dale…and Dale. In a 3-2-1 vote, Dale was sent packing. Jon and Jaclyn decided indeed to split their votes, but the expression of shock on Keith’s face made it appear that he was not expecting to see his name written down twice.
Next Time On…it is the merge!!!
Analysis. For my opinions on tonight’s episode, and a break-down on people’s chances heading into next week’s merge, be sure to check out my companion analysis article here (link will appear when analysis is live).
You wont want to miss my exclusive one-on-one interview with Dale tomorrow…subscribe or check back in Thursday!
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