Well, tonight’s episode had a balance of sadness, gladness, and depending on your fan base, giddiness. Personally, I’m sad but relieved at the same time.
The Malakal tribe returned home after voting off Joel (or Truck as they once called him). Erik came to the realization that the favorites couldn’t be trusted. They would vote out anyone in their way, useful or not. Erik figured he either needed to step up his game or get an alliance.
Tracy was also having problems with control; mainly with the fact she didn’t have any. Her alliance with Chet wasn’t a lot to work with. She started working Ami and Erik into her alliance, Ami was uncertain at first, but Erik was in immediately. Everything seemed to be falling into place for Tracy.
At the Airai tribe, Jonathan, or Penner as Jeff has taken to calling him, took the pain in his leg with grace. Everyone acknowledged the fact that it didn’t bring him down but also noticed it wasn’t getting any better. James however, acted different than when Eliza started getting sick. He didn’t want Jonathan to leave because he was a help in the challenges. Also, he didn’t want to be stuck with a tribe full of girls (and Jason). Penner was convinced that his leg would heal if given the time.
When the reward challenge came around, the Airai tribe was shocked to see that Malakal had voted Joel out. The challenge had the survivors swim out and retrieve bundles of sticks and bring them to the shore where they had to build a blockade in an empty box. After five minutes, the tribes switched boxes, and had to tear apart the blockade the other tribe had built. The first tribe to get all their tribe mates through the box and on the mat on the other side won the reward, having two Micronesian’s come to the tribe's beach and teach them how to live on the island.
Penner, despite his knee, stayed in the challenge and competed with his tribe. This seemed like a bad choice when the challenge started and Penner stayed on the beach, limping on his leg. However, when it came time to build the blockade, Jonathan’s intelligence seemed to be an advantage. Eventually when they switched, the Malakal tribe gave their all, however, Airai's strategizing lost Malakal the challenge. Basically, Airai tore apart what they could of the blockade and then dragged themselves through it (even Penner) winning them reward.
However, after the Malakal tribe left, and before the Airai tribe could leave, Jeff had the Survivor medical team look at Jonathan’s leg. The medic informed Jonathan that he had an infection and if he didn’t get medical attention, it could be fatal. Jonathan had no choice; he had to leave the game. He said his tearful goodbyes to his tribe mates and got on the boat to go to the hospital.
I was very sad. I didn’t really like him until about two seasons ago when he was writing for Survivors Strike Back, a blog where past survivors could comment about the newer survivors. He was so funny and he brought up a lot of good points. Then in this season, his personality and intelligence really shined, it was obvious he could outsmart everyone if given the opportunity. It was a shame to see such a great player leave. I really hope they do the Survivors Strike Back blog again and that he participates.
As for Exile Island, the tribe decided that Chet and Jason should go. Once there, Jason went looking for the immunity idol. Once he found it, he concluded that it didn’t look like much; but that it must have been the real idol. I burst out laughing when he said “Well, at least Ozzy doesn’t have it”. Man, I was laughing so hard, thank goodness I wasn’t drinking milk.
The Airai tribe’s remorse was over-shadowed by excitement when the Micronesian’s arrived. They brought extra supplies and spices for the tribe to enjoy. They showed them how to catch fish and crab, and how to make stew. It was interesting to see how the people of Micronesia live everyday life. We’re so use to living in a world where we can buy our food and buy our shelter, it’s cool to see a world where you catch your food and build your own home.