Elsewhere, Burton and Rupert have a chat about which member of Morgan to toss if it comes to that. Burton suggests that if Andrew is the leader, you start by "chopping the head off." Rupert nods meaningfully. Tijuana interviews that she knows Andrew suspects he might be a target if Drake has successfully recruited Lill. Everyone seems to recognize Lill as a potential swing vote, which is why it's interesting to me that Morgan didn't figure this math out when she first got back and do a better job of welcoming her. ["It's Morgan. I assume you're not really that surprised by their non-smarts." -- Wing Chun]
The sun sets, and it's time to head out to tribal council. Everyone gets situated around the fire. Jeff starts off by asking Tijuana how the reaction was when they learned of the impending merge. She says that she was "shocked," because the merge could either be good or bad. I'm not sure how the first half of that statement has anything to do with the second half, but at least it makes Jon smirk, and whatever makes Jon happy is good with me. Well, anything that makes him happy or makes him writhe in agony. Tijuana goes on to say that she's trying to keep an optimistic outlook, but still, "it was a shock."
Jeff turns to Lill. What about this whole "one day at Morgan, then the merge" thing anyway? She says that she's thrilled by the merge, as Andrew eyes her with suppressed rage. "I'm just glad that I now have a larger family," she says, not being the first person to ever confuse a tribe with a family, but perhaps being the most sincere one. Maybe later, they can all roast marshmallows and study knots there in the troop -- er, "tribe."
Now, it's time for Jeff to talk to Ryan-O. There are still eighteen days left. It's an individual game now. How will he handle the first individual vote? Ryan-O says he doesn't know anyone well enough to vote for him or her, especially after they all had such a swell time together at the big feast. But now, for better or for worse, they've got to vote for somebody. You know, Ryan-O's real cute, but he's got to start playing here at some point, or he's going to be a big old slab of targeted beefcake.
Jeff moves on to Burton to discuss the individual immunity. He reminds everyone that Burton is immune either way, so he can freely give the immunity or he can hoard it for himself, and it doesn't affect him directly. I particularly love the fact that Probst refers to the individual immunity won in the challenge as "assignable," which is basically the perfect, spot-on legal term that you would use if immunity from booting were a contractual right. Brilliant, really. Burton says that he's given the immunity thing a lot of thought, and that he's decided to hand immunity over to Rupert, as a result of their very close battle for the individual immunity. Rupert takes the sword, they shake hands, and everyone claps. Boy, Burton may not be the brightest bulb on the string, but he's got Rupert's number for sure. Rupert wants to be bowed to, whether you mean it or not, and paying completely meaningless alms to him like that is the best way to play him. Stroke that soaring, monstrous ego a little bit, and he'll leave you alone. Rupert was never going to get votes anyway, so that was a completely meaningless gesture -- purely a sop to Rupert to turn the phony pirate routine in somebody else's direction.