"It's a sign, guys - our fire is still going," said Kass. You just keep hoping, Kass.
The Brains hoped the long overdue booting of J'Tia the Terrible would finally improve their tribe. Let's hope, because up until now. as Kass put it: "We're not the Brains tribe. We're the crap-for-brains tribe. I mean, just a rolling logjam mess with a couple of nerds on top." Nicely descriptive, Kass! But the confession that J'Tia's boot was a last minute TC decision does seem to confirm the crap-for-brains moniker.
Spencer humorously noted that: "This could be the final three. The only thing between us and that is two entire tribes." Tasha's reply: "That's it? No problem, man!" Interesting words, considering what ensued..
Arriving at what they presumed to be a challenge, the tribes were greeted by Probst: "Drop your buffs!". Sexy, Jeff. A random draw for two new tribes was held, resulting in a couple of interesting tribes.
New Aparri got all of the remaining Brains along with 3 Beauties - Morgan, Alexis, Jeremiah - and one poor Brawnie - Sarah the gullible cop. Here's hoping time away from Tony the Mole helps Sarah clear her head.
New Solana got the 2 other Beauties - LJ and Jefra - and the remaining 5 Brawnies - Cliff, Woo, Tony, Trish, and Lindsey. Prospects looked dim for LJ and, especially, Jefra, who had no HII.
Asked by Probst about the new tribe configurations, Cliff responded: "It definitely shifts people's thought process." Yes, it does, Cliff...
The RC was a contest to pull individuals off a giant pole. This show loves giant poles. The challenge seemed unfair, as one team used Cliff on the pole, and he was the ultimate Immovable Object. So the poor Brains, while happy about their renewed prospects, still can't actually win a challenge. No donuts for you!
Spencer noted: "It's nice to upgrade from the moms to the hot girls", but was disappointed to lose another challenge. Hey! Moms can be hot girls, too! And sometimes hot girls can be moms. Spencer's young, so these groups are distinct from each other in his mind. He'll learn.
The best part of the challenge (besides the shots down Morgans blouse) was Cliff's thundering laughter as the regular-sized humans attempted to displace his massiveness.
At the new Solana camp, LJ mistook the shelter tarp for Cliff's jacket. Heh. Meanwhile, Trish found someone she could relate to - LJ, a fellow Massachusettsan. "LJ is pretty laid back and pretty easy going and you can tell he's a gentleman...I think LJ is a very handsome guy, but I could be his mother. I'm not Mrs. Robinson," Trish laughed. LJ wasn't averse to Trish's attention: "We already have a connection, and if for whatever reason I'm a draw to somebody a little older that's single and been through a lot of stuff, whether it's the sex appeal or whatever...I'm gonna use it to save myself." Who wouldn't? It's a game! He has sex appeal!
Then there somehow evolved conversation about twerking, which I think was just more foreplay between LJ and Trish. Lindsey was making faces while Trish flirted with LJ. Lindsey apparently really enjoys mocking the way other people look. Has no one in her life ever told her that such behavior only makes you look bad? The editors have included Lindsey doing this several times, each time making her look worse than the time before. I don't think they like her any more than I do. "Trish totally exaggerates her laugh around guys and it makes me sick.You're 50 years old! Stop trying to get attention from 20 year old men!", Lindsey spat. First, LJ is 34 and Trish is 48, not a huge difference. Second, shove it, Lindsay; stop being an ageist.
Uncle Cliffy just wished that Trish had ended up on the other tribe. He thinks he needs to keep an eye on Trish and LJ. He just doesn't think it enough.
Trish let Jefra know that there were rifts in the Brawn alliance (i.e. - she hates Lindsay's guts), and that some Brawnies wanted Cliff gone. Jefra told us: "I'm not ready to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think there might be a spot for LJ and I to squeeze in." Always with the chickens with this one! Maybe LJ has been teaching her math.
Back at New Aparri, Sarah explained to the newcomers (the rest of her tribe) where all the rice had come from - and the Day 1 choice of Morgan, Garrett, and Trish. Morgan was exposed. I'm sorry - I should say that Morgan's lie was exposed, and Alexis wasn't happy: "Morgan lied on day one and it put a bigger flag, not that she doesn't have 100 red flags already. It told me exactly what I needed to know, to not trust her and never ally with her so I am going to protect myself and jump ship right away."
So Alexis decide she was ready to join up with the Brains, privately going to them and offering allegiance. Then Morgan, did the same. And Jeremiah. Spencer is stunned by his good fortune, and can't believe the poor gameplay of the Beauties: "The Beauty tribe is a very gossipy tribe. They're almost like high schoolers." He noted they seemed desperate to destroy their own tribe: "They just seem to have so little social skills for a tribe that's supposed to be beautiful." I think he has it wrong. Beautiful people don't have to cultivate social skills as much as the rest of us; they have their beauty to get them by. So perhaps this is exactly the kind of gameplay Spencer should have expected from the Beauties, rather than being surprised.
Morgan apparently decided to throw Alexis under the bus, since she was clearly on the outs among the Beauties. So, as Alexis looked on, she explained to her new tribemates how Alexis was LJ's thrall and would twerk for him on demand. I don't know why but I found this exchange hilarious. Twerking is a thing now. And it's having an impact on Survivor, for gosh sake (ask for more, LJ). What a world. Some day there will be a time travelling movie in which the heroine will introduce twerking to a pre-twentyfirst century society, and all he!! will break loose.
The change in fortune had the Brains rethinking their chances in the game. Spencer is thrilled. Tasha: "We went from tragedy to what seems a triumph."
Before the IC, a confused Probst attempted to suss out the gender of the greater and lesser Tribe Immunity Idols, as the reduction to two tribes required the elimination of one of the idols: "We'll get rid of the small brother. And keep mama. Or daddy. I'm not really sure." For one brief moment, I thought Probst would attempt to look under the idol's skirt to check for genitalia, but, thankfully, we were spared that. If only the idols were chickens, LJ could have stepped to the plate and cleared up the confusion.
The IC required the tribes to sit someone out, but Aparri is busy arguing about whether it should be Morgan or Alexis. Sarah settled the matter: "Rock-paper-scissors, eggheads." Ha! She really should have been on the Egghead tribe.
The IC featured another huge pole, this one shaped like a enormous pencil crafted for the Jolly Green Giant. The object of the challenge was to swing your mighty post like a battering ram and smash through barricades, followed by wending your post through a puzzle and then banging a gong with it. Bang a gong, get it on.
Clearly the Brawn-heavy Solana tribe, up four males to two, had this one in the bag, right? Nope. Somehow, Spencer and Jeremiah were able to stay with the more muscled Solanans, and Aparri edged them out in the puzzle portion to bang their gong first.
The Brains went crazy! "That was awesome! We communicated! We killed it!", cheered Spencer.
Tony was flummoxed: "How did that happen? It was custom-made for Brawn." Something tells me that, as much as Tony thinks he is sharp, he is often flummoxed. I just think he has a narrow mind (well, he is a cop) and there are probably a lot of things he can't wrap his brain around. But Tony seemed anxious to rid himself of the versatile LJ: "LJ is a threat, so he's going home first," adding later "(LJ) has the heart, he has the drive, he has the ambition, he has a strategic mind, so he's dangerous." I think he just listed off a lot of the things Trish admires in LJ. Trish may have a rival for LJ's affections.
Though on board with the "boot LJ" plan, Woo admitted: "Paranoia is rampant right now.
Trish, however, had other ideas, and was prepared to take her new beau, LJ, and Jefra to vote out Uncle Cliffy (and then "ding-a-ling" next, meaning Lindsay, natch). She wanted Tony to join them, but Tony was dubious: "She's crazy! I don't know if she's bipolar or schizo!". Trish, however, knew where she stood with Cliff and Lindsay (which is why you should always be nice to your enemies on Survivor), and she saw an opportunity to change the game.
Lindsey assured Cliff and Woo that Trish would flip on them ("She's going to screw us over. I guarantee it"), but they didn't seem to take her too seriously. Cliff: "I'm actually looking forward to going to Tribal Council (note to self: never say you're looking forward to TC). Trish got caught up in her emotions, so we're going to chop down her new support system and have her come grovelling back." Who doesn't love a good grovel? I know King Joffrey loves him some grovelling (April 6th!).
LJ was confounded by Trish's gameplay, but wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. Trish told us: "I play with my heart and I really like LJ. He's a gentleman, he gets along with people, he never gives up. I mean, the guy's got it all." Trish cackled with glee as she noted that Cliff wouldn't even see it coming.
Tony told us he was torn, as he didn't trust Cliff or LJ. After Tony and Trish had a conversation, Cliff asked Tony what Trish had said. Tony simply lied, saying that Trish wanted to make sure they were solid. But the cameraman had his instrument focused on the hatchet in Tony's hands...
At TC, LJ noted that he and Jefra felt like folks who had sold their house, and were just waiting for the new tenants to kick them out. I get it, but who buys a house with the old tenants still inside? Get out!
Cliff tried to reason Trish back on to his side: "People have to understand that this game is about numbers". Woo added that "You can't let your emotions get the best of you." That made me cry. Trish, however, had a perfectly good response: "Numbers are important, but numbers are only important if they work for you. If not, then maybe you have to make other arrangements for yourself." LJ and Jefra liked that statement. Absolutely correct. Some may not like Trish, but you can hardly blame her for switching sides; she knew she was at the very bottom of her "alliance". I blame Lindsay's face. Even Jefra had an intelligent line: "Someone's at the bottom in that five."
I expected LJ to play his HII. I thought he would be insanely foolish not to. I yelled at him to play it. He didn't play it. I was sure he was toast (Tony was difficult for me to read during TC). But, no - Cliff had his torch snuffed. Woo was aghast. Lindsey was stunned and horrified. Heh. Jefra thanked God (God: "That wasn't me; I'm busy."). Trish is so pleased with herself. I bet she is partly pleased about the vote, mostly pleased because Lindsay is wrecked. Cliff? Cliff just kept smiling. I like that guy. Wonder if he would adopt me.
All I can think is that there was a conversation between Tony and LJ before TC that we did not see. Otherwise, why would he not play the idol? Hopefully, Probst will ask this question of LJ at the reunion show. I hope Woo recovers and sticks around awhile. I hope Lindsay falls in a volcano.
Next time on...Survivor! The Lindsey and Trish hatefest continues. I'm not sure I'd want to spend time on a tribe with either of these two, but Lindsey seems a bit more odious to me. I'll welcome her exit from the show, whenever it happens. And Probst, in an interview with EW's Dalton Ross, promised a "first" this week. Maybe someone dies. I kid! Although, I've often wondered how good a job the production staff does of clearing the camps of poisonous spiders, snakes and the like. I don't like spiders and snakes. I don't want to see anyone mortally wounded, but I sort of keep expecting it. But, as long as they keep Skupin off the show, they may continue their string of zero fatalities.
Gotta say, I love the change of fortunes for the Brains. They went from a terrible position to having the most power in the game. Go Brains!