A Thoughtful Gesture Or A Deceptive Plan?

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A Thoughtful Gesture Or A Deceptive Plan?

It's still gray and rainy. The tribe members sit under a tarp and complain about how shitty their beach is. There is a river trickling down the hillside behind them, which reminds me of the camp in Australia that washed away. Rob says he's never seen this much rain in his life. Shii Ann interviews, "I woke up this morning feeling vulnerable and scared, and I thought to myself, 'Why am I here?'" We've all been wondering that for weeks now. Shii Ann and Jenna huddle together for warmth. Shii Ann says that she wants to see her family, and Jenna says that she wants to see her girls. They realize that they only have eleven days until they see their families. Jenna interviews that the situation is emotionally draining, since it's physically demanding and you're surrounded by relative strangers. Jenna thinks that the whole thing leads to bonding, and that the thought of going home in eleven days is keeping her going.

Jenna returns to the camp with Tree Mail. Everyone tries to figure out what the note is attached to; someone finally realizes that it's "that thing that you hang from, that goes down the line." I'm sure it has an actual name, but if you were going to go down a zip wire, you would hang from one of these items. Jenna pulls off the letter, which seems damp, and reads the traditionally stupid and non-scanning poem that concludes, "Bring the necklaces with you. It's not for reward alone." Each tribe member looks up sharply at that last part as the meaning sinks in. Jenna points out that they have a challenge today, and then Tribal Council that night. Big Tom tries to read the clue and puzzle out its meaning, and I harbor a secret theory that Big Tom is really like a college professor and the whole accent and stupidity is just a put-on. Come on. How awesome would it be if, whenever he left the show, he came back for jury duty wearing corduroys and a jacket with elbow patches, clean-shaven, holding a pipe, and spoke with a British accent or something? Let me have my fantasies. Kathy interviews that it's a combined reward/immunity challenge, and that they all thought that the immunity from the previous challenge would last three days. Read: She thought she was safe for three more days. Kathy concludes that she's the next to go, unless she wins immunity.

The tribe members report to the challenge area, and Probst is wearing a brown shirt! Not blue! It's freaking me out a little. Probst explains that this challenge is both team and individual, as well as both reward and immunity. Was this because of all the rain? Or are they just speeding things up because everyone knows Kathy is the one going? ["I think they had to have some legs of the season last less than three days, since they started with eighteen contestants but still are only out there for thirty-nine days." -- Wing Chun] It's an obstacle course, and I have an inhuman love for obstacle courses. I'll watch anything with an obstacle course involved. Dogs doing agility trials? Yes. Battle of the Network Stars? Absolutely. So, yay! Probst reveals the reward: letters from home and rain ponchos for the four people who win the team challenge, and the individual immunity winner gets to watch a video from home. Shii Ann is already crying, as is (surprise!) Jenna. Oh, and the video watcher gets a big pitcher of hot chocolate. I would think it should go in a thermos, but whatever. Of course, the tribe members are going to be tortured by sitting through a few minutes of the videos that 7/8 of them won't get to watch. Before they get to watch, Rob and Kathy have to hand over their immunity necklaces. Probst ditches one of them, since only one person will get immunity this time around. Jenna sprints into the little pagoda where they will be watching the videos, and everyone else follows.

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