Everything Old Is New Again
And then there was the shelter-building challenge. So much for limited rations and difficult conditions -- have a big box of tools! And rope! Ring bell for service! Amber got understandably hot and bothered watching Boston Rob build the Chapera shelter, while over at Mogo Mogo, Jenna M. was thinking about her sick mom, and didn't have her head in the game. At Saboga, Rupert insisted on building the shelter down into the sand in order to maximize the odds that it would collapse in the middle of the night and kill everyone, and when Jerri objected, Rupert treated her like she was such an idiot that he could barely bring himself to bother talking to her. Ethan called the idea "a little ambitious," but the contractor who visited them later basically called it a disaster waiting to happen. And not waiting very long, either. In other news involving shelters not built on foundations of insanity, Mogo Mogo's treehouse shelter was a tiny bit shaky, while Chapera's Rob/Tom collaboration was rock-solid. They got the win.
At the immunity challenge, Jenna M. quit to go home and be with her mom. But nobody tipped her off, no sirree, just an instinct she had. A little feeling. A little voice in her head. At hearing her difficult news, most people gave her hugs, but others (Rupert, primarily) handed out some judgment for "quitting." And eight days after she got home, her mom died. So, you know, it seems like she did the right thing, whether or not she did it because the game was kicking her ass.
Then, there was a horrible storm, and Saboga's shelter did just as badly as one could have suspected, in that it essentially burned down, fell over, and sank into the swamp. Chapera's, however, held up just great. Which is a good thing, because an intrusion by rain would have gotten in the way of the Amber/B-Rob snugglefests that were just starting to take wing. Because the members of Chapera are not blind, said snugglefests did not escape the notice of others.
At Saboga, as the storm raged, Rupert admitted the stupidity of his "let's live in a sand hole" idea at last. The next day, Saboga was in the unfortunate position of having to build a new shelter, and Jerri, having been treated poorly before, was in no mood to help. Ethan interviews that she "wanted nothing to do with" the process of rebuilding. And then when we finally do see her start to contribute, it's with none too pleasant an attitude. We watch the rest of Saboga work on building the shelter while Jerri, with a cool detachment born of having been treated badly just the day before, looks on semi-critically. She and Jenna disagree over how the roof of the new shelter should be constructed. Rupert -- absolutely determined to turn this around on Jerri and prove as quickly as possible that once again, it is all about how unfair and unreasonable everyone else is -- doesn't help solve the problem, but goes off to pout on a log. There is more passive-aggressive behavior in this scene than in a thousand dysfunctional Thanksgivings. He interviews that he used to be "very fond" of Jerri, but that after he treated her like crap, refused to listen to her, and talked to her like she was a recalcitrant three-year-old, she oddly wanted nothing to do with him. Go figure. As usual, Rupert transforms his own rude behavior into something that's supposed to make you feel sorry for him, claiming that "it makes [him] feel inadequate" that Jerri won't be friendly to him. Does he think that using magic therapy words transforms being a snot into being a victim? I think maybe he does. I also have to wonder whether he tried apologizing to Jerri -- not for the bad shelter, but for the rotten, rude way he talked to her. I doubt it. I mean, he doesn't seem to get that when you treat people poorly, sometimes this is the consequence: sometimes you have to put up with them not liking you for a little while, and you have to give them some space to get over it.