They’re Back!

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Tina Tumbles

Ethan tries to work Rupert over out in the water. He tells Rupert that he and Tina would like to have an alliance with him. "I mean, you watched Jenna and Jerri, you saw how they played last time," he says. Well...they were both extremely annoying, but actually, they were both pretty faithful to their alliances, as I recall. I'm not sure Ethan has much of an argument that they played dirty or can't be trusted. Unlike, say, Tina, who was a total backstabber. "They don't play the way you play," says Ethan, sucking up to Rupert in a patently phony way that probably would have worked on Rupert the first time he played, but isn't working so well now. "I will give you my woooord," Ethan says majestically, as if he thinks Rupert will start chanting, "One of us, one of us," and just hand over the million. "I held true to my promises; that's the way I work," he says. Funny how nobody likes him, then, isn't it? I mean, for a guy who wants you to think he's such a sweetheart, he sure doesn't seem to have many friends.

Anyway, Ethan leaves Rupert with some nonsense about thinking "long-term," and then this interminable festival of bullshit is over at last. Rupert despairs in an interview that Jerri and Jenna are pushing in one direction, and Ethan and Tina are pushing in the other. He thinks he has some sway over Rudy's vote, so he's trying to decide what to do. All he knows is that he's sticking with Rudy. We see him sit and work on something or other while Ethan and Tina watch him like hawks. Saboga strides across the beach to begin making its way to tribal council.

The sun sets. Kind of fast, actually. Then we are in the middle of an insane thunderstorm, and the castaways are plodding in the pouring rain toward the fire pit. Apparently, the fire pit and torches are unaffected by the rain, which is nice. Jeff welcomes them to "a very wet tribal council," which he explains is in a suspended treehouse. That would seem to be using a very broad definition of "treehouse," but I tend to cut Jeff a lot of slack, because he has to see a lot of these people, and I feel for him. He tells them all to take a torch, walk up to the pit, and get fire. He reminds us that "fire represents life." Some things never change. I would like to see a season someday where, like, mashed potatoes represent life, or bug spray represents life. Once everyone is seated, Jeff smilingly acknowledges that it's the rainy season, so there's going to be a certain amount of this. He asks them how this experience compares to others, and Jerri calls this round "total hell." Jeff then asks Rupert about the fact that he got home from S7 and pretty much turned around to come back out. Is Rupert sorry he made that decision? Rupert admits that a part of him wonders why the hell he came back. But as always, he has a highly gregarious explanation for why he does everything, so he explains that he had to, for his wife and daughter. Because Rupert is still all about not thinking of himself, you know. "Maybe I can do better this time," he growls. Jeff now notices that Jerri has cupped her hands to collect rainwater -- that's how thirsty she is. She confirms that she's finding the lack of water very difficult, and that getting by without water is a lot harder than getting by without food. Jenna, meanwhile, is letting the water soak into her buff and then squeezing it into her mouth, which is fine, except in that God only knows where that buff has been and what other material it may have hiding between the fibers. Ew. I'm not sure "drink your own filth" is a strategy I'd want to embrace on Day 3. A truly soaked Jeff asks Rudy how this tribe stacks up against the other two. Rudy acknowledges that he thinks it's "a good bunch of people." "I'm seventy-five," he says. "I ain't what I used to be. I wish I was twenty-three. But I'm not. But these guys are all...they're good."

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