With a little bedding on the line, the women win a reward challenge that plays to their strengths: balance, cooperation, and, most importantly, lack of mortal terror about touching each other. The women's generational divide grows deeper, as does the gulf between Rory and everybody else in Lopevi. Rory's safe for now because Scout blows the immunity challenge, a puzzle race in which the blindfolded Yasur women might actually have been better off without her sighted "guidance." But Scout's safe too, because the older women are dead set on picking off a younger "Bowhead." It looks like Dolly's going to be the swing vote between Leann and Eliza, but Eliza reads the writing on the trees and, in a cannier move than I would have given her credit for, jumps alliances by giving up the sheep farmer as a sacrificial lamb. And the Tribal Council sends Dolly back to her flock. Burly Girls: 1. Bowheads: 0.
Previously on Survivor: the entire season to date. I'm thinking most of these episodes would be more exciting condensed into this two-minute format. Between that and Miss Alli's excellent-as-always recap, I certainly don't feel like I've missed much.
Credits. So many competitors, so few volcanoes.
It's Day 4. Volcanic smoke photogenically obscures the sun as the men of the Lopevi tribe stand around staring at their fire pit, attempting to achieve combustion with their minds. Surprisingly, they are unsuccessful. Travis, a.k.a. Bubba, interviews that it was "freezing cold," and that he slept like a baby: "I woke up every three or four minutes and cried." At least he acknowledges that it's an old joke, which is more than I ever do. He goes on to say that they not only need the fire for heat; they need something to cook with. A woman? See, now that's an old joke. Sarge digs a worm out of a big nut and splits it with Chad, who is none too thrilled at the prospect, much less the creepy pizzicato violin bug-eating music playing in the background. Chris explains to us that they need something to boost morale. As if on cue, we see the men gathered around the fire pit, ready to make another assault on the forbidding edifice that is fire by friction. Travis and John P. manage to get a tiny mass of fibers smoldering. Things are looking pretty hopeful, as Sarge comes over to intone eerily, "Pay tribute...pay tribute...respect the island...respect the island...respect the island...it puts the fire into the basket...." except that last part. Chris blows gently onto the ember, trying to get it to catch. Which is when it starts raining. No fire for you! Travis interviews that if they don't get fire (and therefore water) soon, they're in for a tail-kicking.
Over at Yasur, the creepy diurnal bats crawl through the trees, secure in the knowledge that they're a good three days away from becoming a major food source. Twila and Mia hoist Lisa onto their shoulders up against a tree so that she can try to hack loose a bunch of plantains with her machete. Dolly fills the vital role of spotter. "Please don't drop the machete, dude," Mia begs when Lisa's grip almost falters. Man, how selfish do you have to be not to want a fourteen-inch blade embedded in your skull, anyway? Lisa finally manages to pull the plantains loose, and Dolly herds them off the jungle floor.
They head back to camp, satisfied that they've probably scored almost half as many calories as they just burned. Mia interviews that it's "about a thousand times harder than I thought this was gonna be" as their fire flares up satisfyingly. But then the rain hits their camp too, and steam billows up as Eliza complains about the uncomfortable beach and the uncomfortable water. I don't know. She compares it to prison, presumably because prisoners the world over must subsist on green plantains that taste like "burned mush." And also, prisoners live outside and get to go home whenever they want and vote each other out one by one and the person who stays in the longest gets a million dollars. So, yeah, it's just like prison. That Eliza's a smart one.