Survivor: Cagayan, Episode 6 Recap- “We’ve Found Our Zombies”

by Julian

Previously on… SURVIVOR!

The castaways dropped their buffs and three tribes of Brains, Beauty and Brawn became two–Aparri and Solana. On Aparri, all three remaining Brains–Tasha, Spencer and Kass–stayed together, and found the Beauties that joined them–Morgan, Jeremiah and Alexis–were quick to fracture and throw one another under the bus, putting the Brains and lone Brawn Sarah in a position of power. Things were looking less bright for L.J. and Jefra over on Solana, where they were invaded by the majority of the former Brawn Tribe, who seemed intent on sticking together to get them out. Fortunately for them, bottom woman Trish found herself smitten with L.J. and grabbed ally Tony to flip, moving the target from L.J. to the gigantic Uncle Cliffy, who was blindsided–leaving his allies, Woo and Lindsey, in complete shock. 13 remain–who will be voted out tonight?

It’s a quick start to the fireworks as the Solana Tribe returns to their campsite on Night 14, sans Cliff, who has just been blindsided.

To refresh your memory

No sooner than are the torches set down than does Trish turn to address the team, tense music building in the background. With only a few words out, Lindsey tells Trish to “get real” and it’s all downhill from there. The two women have butted heads since the very first day on Aparri’s beach, and Trish voting out Lindsey’s closest ally appears to be the hairdresser’s last straw. The point Trish is trying to make is that she wants for Solana to be as strong of a team as possible going forward in the challenges, but as an irate Lindsey continues to cut her off, Trish becomes less and less genial in her approach. “Let me just make this really clear to you, moving forward,” Trish snaps. “I will respect you, because this is a team moving forward–but I don’t like you.” “You know what? You disgust me!” retorts Lindsey. “Everything about you is annoying–your laugh, your teeth, your face, everything about you I cannot stand, so how about you just back off a little bit, and shut up, and not talk to me for a little while?” Golden Boy (or, as Probst will re-term him later in the episode, Bearded Mountain Man) L.J. watches with a mixture of horror and fascination as the two women continue to verbally dig at each other. Lindsey calls Trish “annoying” about a thousand more times before Trish asks “Do you think I’m annoying?” just to spite her. When Lindsey answers yes, Trish responds with “okay, now ask me if I care.” Zing! Tony eventually tries to step in and calm the tension, but Lindsey is far too wound up. “I cannot, honestly, even be in the same sand as you right now,” Lindsey spits, and with that, she sulks off into the darkness of the night. After what appears to be sometime later, Lindsey still hasn’t returned, and the tribe is starting to worry. “It’s cold out, and it’s night… I hope she’s alright, bro,” remarks Tony. “She’s probably just licking her wounds because she’s not used to being called out like that,” says Trish as she huddles into the shelter.

Lindsey has found a spot for herself to sulk on the beach, and out of the darkness emerges a figure… is it a chupacabra? A serial killer? Malnutrisha, back to finish the job? No, it’s the one and only Jeff Probst, who takes a seat next to Lindsey to figure out what’s going on. Lindsey explains that Trish “exploded” on her with “her annoying mouth,” and Lindsey tells Jeff that she cannot be around someone who is antagonizing her, saying she’s worried that she’ll “flip out” with the implication being that if she spent another second near Trish, Lindsey, the self described “slave to [her] emotions” would have been unable to restrain herself from responding with physical violence. “I’d rather cost me a million dollars than for my daughter to see her mom act like that.” Lindsey admits that she knows the physical toll of the game–the hunger, cold, thirst, discomfort, etc–are impacting her ability to respond rationally, and that she’ll probably regret her choice come the morning, but in this moment, her mind is made up–Lindsey quits and becomes the 6th person to leave Survivor: Cagayan, leaving Jeff with little more to do than to trek up the beach to Solana’s camp to inform her tribe of the news.

Both Jeff and the show itself treat Lindsey’s choice with as much respect as it can, and it seems that they’re really trying to give her as much benefit of the doubt as possible. Only Lindsey can ever know what her true motivations were in the moment, but I don’t 100% buy Lindsey’s reasoning. In an online bonus clip, Lindsey further explains her rationale, saying that her motivation the entire time was her daughter, and what she could use her experience on the show to teach her. She says that she realized in the end, the biggest lesson that she could take from the game to bring home to her daughter is the importance of knowing your limits. She says that she’d rather be remembered as a quitter than as the woman who resorted to physical violence, which is respectable enough… but I’m not sure Lindsey is being totally honest with herself. While I don’t doubt that she truly is considering how everything she does on the show will affect her child, I think she put that in the front of her mind to justify what was, in essence, a rage quit. With her closest–and apparently only–ally out of the game, Lindsey gave up. And, well… come the end of the episode, I can only wonder if watching at home, Lindsey came to regret her decision. If she did, I doubt she’ll ever cop to it. I also think it’s very telling that she is removing ownership of her own actions in the situation–she doesn’t seem to ever for a moment question what she could have done to foster Trish’s disdain of her, and she doesn’t seem to realize that no person is truly a “slave” to themselves. If she had attacked Trish physically, it wouldn’t have been an inevitability–it would have been her choice. Instead, she chose to leave. And as much as we, as viewers and fans, can sit back and criticize, it’s her life, and she doesn’t really owe an explanation to anyone.

Jeff appears to the stunned Solana Tribe to break the news. Trish, for as much as she admittedly dislikes Lindsey, says that she still “cares for her as a person” and worried, on a human level, when Lindsey vanished into the cold Cagayan night in nothing but her underwear, and the group as a whole seems relieved to learn that she didn’t literally explode in a fit of rage, staining the beach with chunks of flesh and dreadlocks. Trish admits to feeling a little bad because she did come down hard on her, but says she’s not surprised because Lindsey was so attached to Cliff. Tony reveals in a confessional that he’s elated over the development–“you turn the head, the body always follows. It was two for the price of one and it’s beautiful.” L.J. says that it was a “huge, volatile…” and pauses, clearly trying to stop himself from saying “bitch,” and instead says “zit that was waiting to pop.” For the most part, it’s perfect news for the Solana Tribe, save for our dear, handsome, sweet, goofy Woo, who knows that he has just plummeted hard and fast to the bottom. Though he puts on a brave face for the tribe, his confessional says otherwise.”If we were to go to Tribal Council… I could definitely project myself going!” he frets.

Day 15 officially comes, and the seven members of Aparri all seem to collectively die of shock when Solana walks into the reward challenge with neither Cliff nor Lindsey in tow (that is, with the exception of Morgan, whose lack of reaction to almost everything makes her a more and more comically absurd character with each passing episode–but more on that later). Trish can’t help but cackle with joy when Jeff tells them that Lindsey quit–and on some level, you have to hand it to Trish. She may not have intended to do it but she pulled off a true first in Survivor–mind gaming a rival into walking out on their own accord. Sarah is stunned beyond words, and Jeff can’t help but notice that Alexis is overcome with excitement. “I’m happy to see our Beauties still standing, I’m happy of course!” She doesn’t realize it now, but saying this could end up hurting her. Jeff also calls out Spencer nodding in affirmation, and Spencer tells him that while he’s not crazy about someone having quit, he’s not upset with the outcome for himself. “Two people are out of the game and I didn’t have to do anything!” he laughs.

 

First idol to drop loses

Today’s reward challenge is Idol Hands, first seen in Survivor: Philippines. It’s an easy one for production to set up so I wouldn’t be surprised to see it appear more and more frequently in future seasons. As far as challenges go, it’s pretty simple–one member of each tribe steps into the arena, each holding a platform with an idol on top. The goal is to knock the opponent’s idol off of the platform to the ground. The first idol to touch the ground loses, and the winner scores a point for their tribe. First tribe to four wins reward, and it’s a big one this time–a camp raid. In a reward twist that isn’t used nearly often enough, the winning tribe will send members to the losing tribe to loot items from their camp. If you’re on a tribe that’s not so well off, it’s an opportunity to make camp life a little nicer. If you’re on a tribe where things are already pretty peachy, winning is your only option to ensure that you get to keep all the luxuries you’ve earned. The latter is certainly the case for Aparri, whose reward wins in earlier challenges have given them bedding, fishing gear, cooking supplies, mosquito netting, and a tarp amongst other things. Besides the fact that the original Aparri was the Brawn Tribe, the fact that they had won so many extra amenities and then also had a second bag of rice thanks to Trish were probably key factors in what kept them from being defeated. Well, that and not having J’Tia.

In round one it’s Spencer for Aparri and Woo for Solana. Spencer has a lot of height on Woo, but Woo is a highly trained Tae Kwon Do black belt who has devoted his life to martial arts, so the advantage is in his court. Unfortunately for Woo, Spencer is the bigger Survivor superfan, and has clearly remembered the winning strategy that was used previously in this challenge–after cornering Woo, Spencer chucks his own idol as far into the air as he can and flings himself at Woo, knocking Woo’s idol into the sand before his own idol can hit the grown. Tasha attempts a similar maneuver on Trish in the second round but falls short, tying the scores. Jefra manages to keep her idol out of reach of Sarah, but becomes distracted by Sarah’s offense and drops it. The next round is Jeremiah against L.J. and Jeff’s boner practically tears through his pants and the TV screen as he gushes about the incoming “showdown of bearded, mountain men.” L.J. wins the heat, once again tying the scores as Morgan and Tony head in for their turn. L.J. jokingly warns Tony not to look her in the eyes as to avoid getting sucked in… as if anyone is looking Morgan in the eyes. Regardless of where he was looking, Tony wins the match and it cycles back to Woo and Spencer, with Solana only needing one more point to win. This time, Woo knows what to expect, and he scores the winning point for Solana. After a quick caucus, Tony and Woo decide they’ll head to camp Aparri for the raid. Trish, Jefra and L.J. head back to camp, but before Aparri can leave, Jeff hands Tony a sealed note, instructing him and Woo to find a private place on Aparri’s beach to read it. As the two Solana boys head off, Tony can’t help but be elated to have won the challenge–he feels that Cliff and Lindsey leaving has boosted the morale of the tribe and solidified the group he’s with, and that this is evidenced by their challenge win.

At Camp Aparri, the orange tribe can only stand in wait at camp while Tony and Woo head off to read their secret letter. Once they open it, it turns out that there are two notes within. The first are instructions for the raid, telling them that they can take two of the specifically listed items. What is perhaps more interesting, however, is the second note and what Tony decides to do with it–it’s a clue to a hidden immunity idol, and as Tony and Woo read it, Tony realizes it’s a clue for them to find the idol that (was) hidden at Solana’s camp, as it refers specifically to Solana beach’s rocky coastline. Tony excitedly devises a plan–when they return to the Aparri campground, Tony will tell the group that they’ve been given a clue to an idol and instructions to hand that clue to a member of Aparri. Tony wants to give it to Jeremiah, hoping that it will stir up drama and put a target on Jeremiah’s back. While Woo packs up the raided items, Tony escorts Jeremiah into the jungle to give him the clue. Tony’s plan works immediately, as Tasha casts a suspicious gaze towards them as they vanish into the underbrush.

Though he is a male model, Jeremiah is no Zoolander. He can read good enough to make it through the clue, which he immediately recognizes as the same clue that Solana found as a tribe in the chicken feed after the episode 4 reward challenge. To Jeremiah, it’s obvious that Tony is just trying to stir something up, and is worried that it could compromise his position on the tribe. Before he and Woo leave to return to Solana, Tony wisely decides to turn back and take the clue from Jeremiah, so he won’t be able to show it to the rest of the tribe and verify to Aparri that Tony set him up.

The above image greets us as Woo and Tony return to Solana’s campsite. A poster somewhere online said that it would have been better if we got to see Trish writing it, and someone responded that “they probably didn’t show it because it was someone unexpected like Jefra who did it.” It got a giggle out of me and I can’t help but now imagine that Jefra’s ~secret strategy~ involves passive-aggressive sand messages.

But for now, her up-front strategy involves sticking with Tony, who she knows is playing the game hard–she’s just happy that he’s on her side.  Tony can barely last for two seconds after arriving before he blows up from his self-satisfaction for having bamboozled Aparri. Like a little kid who just saw the cooooolest fight on Power Rangers, he gives L.J., Jefra and Trish the blow-by-blow of how he targeted Jeremiah by giving him a useless clue. With that, his floodgates are opened, and secrets just start spilling out. He reveals to everyone that he was lying about being a construction worker and is really a policeman. The tribe reels from this information as Tony explains in a confessional that he had no bonds with anyone on Aparri save for Trish, but that the vibe of the new five-person Solana Tribe is great and that this is the group he wants to stick with. (Apparently something about this vibe has made him now bond with Woo, who was also on the original Aparri… perhaps the fact that Woo has nowhere to turn?) While most of the tribe seems impressed, L.J. is hesitant. “To solidify that he is trustworthy, Tony exposed that he lied… different,” he laughs. With everything Tony has put on the table, L.J. realizes now more than ever that he’s now in an alliance with a very dangerous and devious player who isn’t as dumb as they appear to be, and that he’s going to have to be on his toes at all times going forward. The Solana fivesome solidifies that they are sticking together as a group until the end, and the secret sharing prompts Trish to make a revelation of her own to the group: “I’m really a man,” she cackles. The camera pans away before we can confirm whether or not she was joking.

From here on out, our business with Solana is pretty much done for the episode, and our story going forward is set in place. If Tony was a villain before, he’s shot into the stratosphere of sheer cartoon character villainy after this episode, and–minor spoilers for later this episode–during the immunity challenge, it only manages to get even worse for him. The editors have positioned Tony for only the mightiest of downfalls, and it’s going to be absolutely amazing when it happens.

Meanwhile, at Aparri…

On Aparri, there isn’t much to do around camp besides sulk over the stolen goods and overthink the results of Tony’s machinations. In particular, the possible idol clue has all the wheels turning for psych student/Survivor superfan Alexis, who sees the incident as only one more reason for her to distrust her former Beauty tribemate Jeremiah. (In case you’ve forgotten, Jeremiah initially landed himself in hot water when he double-crossed Brice, leading Morgan to reveal his double dealings to the entire tribe.) She grabs fellow student/Survivor superfan Spencer to talk strategy on the way to the well and figure out how they’re going to solve the Jeremiah conundrum.

Following the tribe swap, the former Luzon Tribe has effective fused into a single uber-player with three votes at their disposal, moving through the game in constant step with one another. In our post-J’Tia world, the editing for the Brains is now focused on differentiating each of their unique personalities as opposed to simply their strategic positioning. (The fact that the editing is trending this way only gives me further reason to believe that there is high likelihood of an all-Brain final 3.) Tasha is the laser-focused leader–a welcome variant to the types who usually fall into the role of alliance leader. I’m thoroughly enjoying L.J., for example–he’s eloquent and insightful, which makes his perspectives on the game a lot of fun to hear–but he’s pretty standard as far as successful alliance leaders go. As I’ve alluded to in the past, black women in particular usually get a rough deal on Survivor, as more often than not it seems casting goes for people for potential to be big characters as opposed to savvy players. The fact that Tasha has positioned herself at the head of her alliance is impressive in its own right, but it’s also firm proof that if casting tries a little harder and changes their approach, it’s more than just hunky, outdoorsy white guys who can be leaders in this game. If the three-headed Brain does make the finals, the fact that Tasha is recognized as the leader bids well in her favor–it allows her to make more claim to the decisions made and makes her appear to be the most active and important ingredient in the alliance’s success.

Kass–who I love and appreciate and mean no insult to–takes the most backseat role of the three. She’s the team’s comic relief. When the editors show us Kass’ perspective, it’s less for her specific strategic insight and more for her sense of humor. Her skill with one-liners is beginning to near Courtney Yates (of China and Heroes vs. Villains) territory, which is something I am never, ever against. In the long run, I think it is representative of how the other players might see her–amusing but not particularly relevant to the strategic decision making of her alliance–and could be foreshadowing a zero vote performance in the end.

That leaves us with Spencer, who is very much our narrator for the Brains this episode. Preshow, he is someone who Jeff Probst said couldn’t win the game, and based on his preshow interview you can get an idea as to why. In short–he’s kind of a dick. He’s bright as hell, and a very engaging speaker when it comes to articulating strategy and his motivations, but before the show began, it seemed all but set in stone that he was going to be an over the top mega-villain–the character that Tony ended up becoming. As the Luzon Tribe was battered by losses, Spencer became an underdog instead, and I think he probably ended up softening a lot more than he ever anticipated he would. The amount of turmoil he has weathered alongside Kass and Tasha has really bonded the group, and I don’t think that pre-game Spencer would have seen himself as someone who would end up in an emotionally-grounded trio with two women who are each old enough to be his mother. Now, however, that the Brains have settled into a power position, the arrogant side of Spencer is starting to come out. He’s turning more and more into our strategy narrator–but it’s possibly going to expose an element of his personality that could read as impersonal or cold, an element that could work against him in the finals.

“I like girls who own how smart they are and what they can do. Alexis is pretty phony to me, and I think that hurts her,” he remarks after Alexis proposes they take Jeremiah out next. Spencer believes that Alexis is smarter than she lets on and seems to have pre-planned all her arguments, which gives him worry that she’s playing the Brains. As Jeremiah and Morgan have given matching stories to the Brains about Alexis being closely aligned with L.J. and Jefra, it’s not a completely off-base assumption that Alexis could flip back to her old tribe during the merge. But the way Spencer talks about her is almost condescending, as if he’s pitying Alexis for her gameplay.

Alexis and Spencer later join Jeremiah in collecting firewood on the beach, and use the time to get to the bottom of what happened between him and Tony with the idol clue. “Why do you think they gave the clue to you instead of Sarah?” Spencer asks Jeremiah. Which is a good question–and it makes me wonder if Tony realized the possibility that the move would alienate Sarah, whose trust it seemed like he worked hard to gain. Jeremiah redirects the focus, saying that it makes no sense for the losing tribe to get a clue, and then reveals that the clue he received wasn’t new or useful, but the same clue they’d gotten over on the Solana beach. Unfortunately for Jeremiah, he gave the clue back to Tony. “Tony’s made a hell of a mess for me… now I’ve got to clean it up,” drawls the country boy. Jeremiah tells them he believes Tony gave the clue to him to put a target on his back, and Alexis accuses him of being paranoid. Spencer admits the story is hard to buy. “It looked like a real clue to an idol that’s actually here,” Spencer says. “He’s not fooling anyone.”

Come on in, guys!

The tribes arrive at an immunity challenge that looks like it’s going to be a doozy. It’s called Styx and it’s a new challenge, but it combines a lot of previously seen elements from other competitions in seasons past. It’s a long obstacle course that tops off with–what else, a puzzle! The tribes start by assembling a staircase using poles of different lengths, and use the staircase to enter a vertical maze. When they arrive at the top, they’ll untie a knot and slide down the exit to a rope maze, which one castaway will maneuver a key along. Once they’ve gotten their key, the same castaway will use it to unlock a machete and chop through wood and rope to release a series of puzzle pieces. At that point, two different castaways will solve the vertical stacking puzzle, which when completed correctly, will reveal a 3 number combination. Enter the combination, release a flag, win immunity. Simple enough, right?

Because Kass and Alexis sat out last time, they must run this challenge, while Morgan and Tasha sit on the bench. It gives me a bad feeling for Aparri going in–I think the players that sat out would have probably been quicker than the two they were forced to play. Aparri takes an early lead, figuring out the staircase puzzle quickly while Solana misplaces several poles. The vertical maze ends up serving as an equalizer, however, and the tribes are pretty much even when they hit the rope and key, where Jeremiah and Tony are sent out for their respective tribes. They keep even until the end, when Jeremiah pulls ahead, and his lead is only furthered when Tony struggles to unlock his machete while Jeremiah obliterates the wood and rope, allowing for Sarah and Spencer to start on the puzzle. They’ve had plenty of time to start figuring it out by the time that Woo and LJ get to the puzzle. Aparri is quick to get the first number, but Solana is hot on their heels, and the orange tribe hits a snag on the second number–67–which could also be a 29, based on the look of the pieces. Solana figures it out first and whizzes through the final section of the puzzle. L.J. slips on his way to the lock box, but it’s not anywhere near enough to help Aparri catch up. Woo and L.J. enter the correct combination and send the Solana flag rocketing upwards, winning them immunity. Solana explodes into insane celebration, and they huddle up in a giant, jumping group hug. “TOP FIVE, BABY!!!! TOP FIVE!!!!” shouts Tony, in what may be his most obnoxious and most dangerous mistake yet. From across the field, amongst the mourning Aparri Tribe, Sarah can’t help but cast a glare Tony’s way. As Aparri heads back to camp, she notes that Tony just showed his hand–“I counted five people over there, and I wasn’t over there.” Sarah says that her old tribemates have made it clear that they’ve moved on without her, so she vows to do the same, leaving her a free agent going into her first Tribal Council.

Aparri returns to camp for some hard prep before Tribal Council, which Alexis says is “the worst place in the world.” Around the shelter, everyone balks over Tony’s obnoxious behavior, with Jeremiah, Kass and Spencer putting on some choice impersonations. For the members of Aparri, originally scattered across three tribes, Tony’s tell seems to be more than enough to force cohesion going forward. “We’re seven now, and we’re going to be six tomorrow,” Spencer notes. “I don’t get that… how do you think you’re top five when you have less numbers?” Alexis asks. In her confessional, she explains her concerns in greater depth. She points out that for Tony and the Solana Tribe to be confident enough to believe themselves the top five post-merge despite being down in numbers, they have to believe a member of the Aparri Tribe is going to defect and vote with them. And she’s firmly convinced that person is Jeremiah.

Down in the water, Alexis pitches her theory to the rest of the tribe, sans Jeremiah. (Must have taken place while he was in a confessional.) Spencer humors her to her face, agreeing that by giving the clue to Jeremiah, they were signaling a desire to work with him, but once again shoots her down behind the scenes. “Alexis is trying to make us think Jeremiah will flip,” he says but adds that “the Brain Tribe could really go either way right now. In a merge situation, Jeremiah is a liability. It’s a question of who’s the bigger liability–Jeremiah or Alexis? Both have connections on the other side, both could potentially make deals against us… We’ll say yes to Alexis’s plan, we’ll tell her that Jeremiah being blindsided makes sense for us, and then we’ll make the decision of what actually makes sense for us.”

The Brains meet by themselves as the sun begins to lower to confirm what their move is, once and for all. It’s seemed to be the case since the shuffle, but with the first Tribal Council as the new Aparri looming, the proof seems to be in the pudding that the Brains are in complete control. “We just needed people to boss around,” says Kass. “The Brain needed a body… we found our zombies, and now we’re in,” she laughs as the tribe sets off to Tribal Council.

Upon arrival, Sarah–the only castaway to not yet attend Tribal Council, is given her torch to light, and after his fire and life schpeel, everyone sits for the pre-vote grilling. Jeff notes that from an outsiders’ perspective, not knowing anything that has gone down, it would appear that the vote would be a face-off between the three Brains and the three Beauties with Sarah in the middle as the swing vote. Kass says it’s a correct assumption, but Morgan lets Jeff know that the Beauties aren’t unified, namely because of the bad blood between her and Jeremiah.

And a quick (or not so quick) aside–Morgan is the undisputed star of this Tribal Council. She’s, in her own weird way, one of the most fascinating people on this season–because despite being one of the more secondary characters, she manages to make such a strong impression with the simple fact that she appears to be entirely unconcerned with the game precisely 98% of the time. (Thank you, Garrett, for the statistic that keeps on giving that isn’t Ted Rogers’ “150 to 200%” in Thailand.) And when I say “unconcerned,” I don’t mean it as in “she’s not ever worried she could be in trouble,” I mean “she literally seems like she just can’t be bothered to even try to pretend to care.” It’s not that she looks down on the game, or seems like she doesn’t want to be there, or that she isn’t enjoying herself–it’s her vibe of robotic apathy. The only time she even seems to show a hint of emotion is when she’s causing emotional turmoil or when someone is squirming.

The many faces of Morgan McLeod

 

Anyway, Kass notes that the fact the Beauties are so divided takes some of the heat off of the Brains, and elaborates that while the rough patches the Luzon Tribe went through brought the Brains together, the conflict in the “land of the beautiful people” has driven them apart. Spencer says that while the fractures among the Beauties do benefit him and the other Brains, they are fractures that need to be repaired, because they need a larger unified group going forward into the merge. This brings Jeff to Sarah as he expands upon Spencer’s point–“you don’t know what’s going on on the other tribe, you can’t count on old relationships,” he says. Sarah agrees and admits that Tony’s celebrating at the immunity challenge was an eye opener that made her aware she’s now standing alone. Sarah says that if they’re done with her, she’s done with them.

This brings Jeff to Alexis, as he asks if Sarah’s vote is a welcome addition, and while Alexis says it is, she also points out it doesn’t mean someone else still couldn’t flip. This segues into her explaining the events of the Camp Raid and Tony’s mysterious idol clue exchange with Jeremiah. She’s wary of the fact that the rest of the tribe has no way of knowing what really occurred, and Jeremiah defends himself by once again telling the true story. “I seen right through that,” Jeremiah says of Tony’s attempt to put a target on him, “so I hope they believe me.” Alexis admits that she doesn’t trust Jeremiah, and says that while he claims it was their attempt to put a target on him, she still believes it was their way of establishing a connection with him. Suddenly, Morgan awakens from her coma to point out that both Jeremiah and Alexis are flight risks come the merge. Sarah is glad for anything that takes the heat off of her, and re-affirms that she is solid with this tribe, though she is still certain someone will flip. Alexis agrees with Sarah, and points out that of the three people with connections on the other side–Sarah, Jeremiah, and herself–only Jeremiah has proven that he’s willing to break his promises. Spencer closes out the grilling by saying the vote is probably the most important one of the game–if they make the wrong choice, they’ve guaranteed that they’ll be walking out the door, one after the other. With that, it’s time to vote.

Alexis casts her vote against Jeremiah, saying it only takes one lie to break her trust and he’s lied, “like, a hundred times.” Jeremiah casts his vote against Alexis in turn. We don’t see any of the other votes, only an overhead of Morgan whispering “there’s no doubt in my mind you’re gonna flip… so you have to go.”

Jeff collects the vote and asks if anyone wants to play an idol–there aren’t any on this Tribe to play, so obviously nobody does, and we get to the votes. The first is against Jeremiah, but the rest roll in one after the other for Alexis, and by a unanimous decision, she becomes the 7th to leave and the 6th person voted out of Survivor: Cagayan.

She doesn’t take it well.

 

The fact that she doesn’t take it well only makes Morgan enjoy it all the more

 

Alexis has her torch snuffed and she walks out of Tribal Council in tears. It’s simultaneously kind of funny, but also a little heartbreaking, as I can’t help but feel for a superfan when they’re voted out of this show. I guess I had assumed that given castings love of recruiting hot model types that Alexis was a run of the mill recruit, but it turns out she was actually a long time and devoted fan. Her day after video and her secret scene definitely show that she has a pretty solid working knowledge of the game–but like many a fan before her, the experience of understanding the game from the outside and the experience of actually playing it prove to be far more different than they expected. (I also like that the secret scene is only further proof that Morgan just does not care about anything.) It makes the tears she was so quick to shed upon leaving make a little more sense, and while I feel bad for the girl, fundamentally, she was one of the less interesting characters remaining so losing her doesn’t feel like it’s taking anything away from the show.

 

NEXT TIME ON… SURVIVOR!
Two become one as the merge hits, and Sarah is in the middle–will she stick with her old allies or her new ones? I call a red herring–there really isn’t much of a choice to make. Tony is being set up for a downfall and his story is so intertwined with Sarah’s that I couldn’t see that downfall not involving her. Still, both of the idols are in the hands of the Solana Tribe, so even with a solid six, a member of Aparri could still go home. With the level of unpredictability and intrigue in this season so far, I have a good feeling that the merge will only be a continuation of the roller coaster we’ve been on.

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