At this point, Alex points out in his self-consciously meaningful way that each of the guys has already proved his loyalty to all the other guys. "You gave up Rock," Alex says to Mookie, "and we gave up Lisi." And you know what sacrifices both of those decisions really were. Not Lisi! Not Rocky! Well, okay, but only out of loyalty.
Credits. Boo sure did look different back in the day.
We come back to find the tribes unhappily paddling toward Exile Island. Paddling, paddling. And then it is Exile Island, on Day 22. Earl says that people are nervous, not really knowing whether a merge is coming or what. He explains that people are really counting on the merge, whenever it comes, as a ticket to safety, and he's not sure it's ever wise to be looking for your salvation in the future, rather than just concentrating on who presents a threat to you right now. Moto has beaten Ravu to the island (unsurprisingly), so they're there to greet the "horsemen" when they show up. Earl tells us in his interview that rather than obsessing over the merge and your future, it might be smarter to focus on your present.
Everyone shares greetings on the Exile beach, and Alex says that because there was no Jeff and there were no directions, he wasn't sure what they were supposed to do. He thought they were just living there now. Fortunately, other people have a little more intellectual curiosity, as well as hope against hope that there's a big steakhouse dinner hidden somewhere, so the group takes a walk up the big steps toward the Exile Island tower. They all wind up actually climbing the tower together, and Cassandra explains that they all kind of figured that there were going to be there for a while. They open the little box, however, and find that there are purple buffs in there. Everyone takes one, and Michelle reads a note explaining that they are now merged, and they are one tribe, and they are heading back to their new home -- at Moto! Couch Camp! Yay! Such great news! Mookie, in an interview next to the tower ladder that they were clearly careful to grab now, says that he is sooooo happy about getting to go to Couch Camp, because he's the only person left who's never lived there. Earl tells Cassandra, Boo, and Stacy that they were lucky to dodge Ouch Camp the entire time it existed. Cassandra interviews that she's so relieved to be going back, because living without the bed and the couch would really suck. Like, really. I understand that there's wishful thinking involved in this, but can it really not have occurred to them what was going on? Why would they have been given such specific instructions about bringing all their personal items? Why were they admonished to bring their canteens? Why were they sent on this errand to Exile Island in the first place? Was there merely a great desire on the part of Production to take footage of them paddling without toothbrushes? They should be wondering about the answers to these questions, and if they wonder very long, it should occur to them what might be happening back "home."