Okay, if there is ANYONE who can answer this question -- ANYONE, ANYWHERE -- I would love to hear it: if the request was made as a friend, outside the game, then wasn't it also granted outside the game, meaning that it would have zero implications involving voting, and would only carry the implication that Rob would be personally grateful to them as friends for keeping Amber in the game? I say again, Rob got it exactly right from the beginning: if it wasn't strategy, then they had nothing to be angry about. Either it was a favor, or it was a deal. Favors aren't deals, they're favors. If the deal involved voting, then there is no such thing as a deal that involves voting that is made "outside the game." And if the deal didn't involve voting, then Rob didn't owe them anything in the vote, but only owed his personal gratitude. Get it? Does anyone hear me? Am I screaming into the wind in a futile manner, doomed to rail at the heavens alone?
And one more thing. "Favor" means that you give up something. "Favor" means generosity. "Favor" means doing something for someone else without thinking of yourself. If Kathy and Lex granted a "favor" to Rob on the assumption that there could never be any negative consequences to them and on the assumption that it would cause their asses to be saved, then it wasn't a favor, because it was self-serving. And favors are not self-serving. Okay, I think I'm done.
By the way, in a rare break of her role as Nice Smiley-Smiley girl, Amber gives an enormous and totally open eye-roll during this "one day, Rob will admit the truth" bit from Kathy. In fact, she does it three times. Hee. Hatch starts making noise in the background again, and Jeff has to tell him to shut it, because as much fun as it would be to hear Hatch rip Kathy a new one, we don't have time. But Hatch will not be denied, especially when Kathy -- who obviously had an arrangement with Hatch and then made the call to vote him off, by the way -- is all, "Oh, calm down." Hatch points out to Jeff that Kathy just said in her very own answer exactly what he was saying -- that it was a strategic decision. He points out that Kathy just said there were "other reasons" besides the friendship that they brought Amber over. So, Hatch points out, she's basically saying, "So if we didn't have those other reasons, screw Boston Rob and his request as a friend -- we're gettin' rid of Amber." The audience cheers, because...well, yes, exactly.
Jeff then turns to Big Tom, pulling something of a non sequitur by asking him what happened with Boston Rob -- and, oddly, calling the situation "he said, she said." Um, which one of those guys has that feminine appearance to you, Jeff? Big Tom gives Jeff a little bit of a look, and then Jeff explains that he's referring to Boston Rob's dark remarks at tribal council about how there's something that was really going on and only the two of them know about it, yada yada. Tom insists that he still has no idea what Rob was talking about, so Rob offers to settle it "right he-ah, right now." He turns to Tom. "Did you have an alliance with Lex before the game even started?" Big Tom gives the non-answer of repeating the question. "Did I have an alliance -- uh --" Rob helps him out: "Did you have an alliance with Lex before this game even started?" Big Tom again doesn't answer: "I had an alliance with Rob and Amber from the very first day." "That wasn't the question, that wasn't the question," Rob says. "Did you have an alliance with Lex before the game had even started? Yes or no." "Don't 'yes or no' me," Big Tom says indignantly, which would be a lot more understandable if he had not indeed just refused twice to answer the damn question when it was directly asked. "I've heard your mouth the whole time I was out there, and I'm sick of it," Tom says. Big Tom tries to redeem Big Tom some more by opening Big Tom's mouth and saying, "Big Tom played the game with Amber and Rob." He insists that he "never wavered." What he's trying to avoid saying is that, as he later admitted in post-game press, he did indeed intend to fuck Rob over at the merge and flip to Lex, but when Lex came in with only three people and they didn't have the numbers, he couldn't do it -- but he meant to. So the answer is yes, Tom had an alliance with Lex, and yes, just as Rob discovered, Tom never intended to follow through with Rob until his plans with Lex went awry. So Big Tom, too, has nothing to complain about, and needs to get his pacifier, stick it in his yap, and shut the hell up. Tom further complains that Rob had him shake on their deal again right before his last tribal council. Rob doesn't get the objection: "You think I was going to take a chance? Of course I made you shake again! Of course I did, it's a game, Tom." Who knew that Boston Rob would wind up being the player who speaks what's in my head? I am happy to learn that my brain has a sexy Boston accent.