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The Merge That Wasn't There

The tinkly music of blossoming, orange-colored love plays as Penny and Brian sit together on the beach. They toast each other with fruit from their basket, and then Brian explains in an interview that they exchanged information as to how both tribes were living. Penny tells Brian that Sook Jai "did a lotta oysters and snails in the beginning," and Brian commiserates on how difficult it is to clean shellfish. They must have had a really uneventful conversation for Mark Burnett to forgo the chance to make like a romance was brewing.

Clay and Shii Devil don't have fruit in their basket, but they manage to "wow" over a little scroll instead. The scroll reads, "Getting to know you/ Getting to know them/ Go to Chuay Gahn camp/ But with foe or friend?" It looks like there's more to the clue, but we're only subjected to the first part. In an interview, Clay reiterates that Shii Devil was instructed to visit Chuay Gahn's camp, and that "the other couple" got a similar note in their basket. As he says this, we see Helen unscrolling the clue she and Ken received.

Shii Devil and Clay chat each other up en route to Chuay Gahn's beach. Shii Devil marvels that Chuay Gahn has a cove and cave, and tells Clay they don't have either at Sook Jai: "We had a rooster wakin' us up for a while. Then we ate 'im." Clay says that they have many monkeys around the Chuay Gahn camp, and Shii Devil is surprised. An amazed Clay asks, "You haven't seen monkeys?" then tells her all about the boat-stealing, grinding Magilla. He puts his hand on Shii Devil's back to guide her as they walk. They finally arrive at the camp, and Clay points out the shelter, which Shii Devil thinks is much better than Sook Jai's.

We move on to Helen and Ken, who have arrived at Sook Jai. Helen is not flattered by her paint, and Ken doesn't appear to be wearing any. Maybe he scrubbed his off when he saw how silly Helen looked in it. Helen exclaims over Sook Jai's bed, but she doesn't sound particularly earnest. Ken confirms that they did indeed make it themselves. Helen is surprised that Sook Jai has chickens, and Ken reveals that they've already eaten two of them. Helen responds, "You gotta be kidding me!" In an interview, Helen says that her first impression of Sook Jai was amazement over how well they built their structure. Ken and Helen toast each other with fruit from their basket and say, "Cheers," except Ken says, "Chee-yahs!" I have never toasted anyone with fruit -- or any food item, for that matter -- but I think I'll have to start doing so. Maybe today when I unwrap my peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, I'll be sure to step outside my office and toast the secretary's hard-boiled egg. That aside, Helen was surprised to see that Sook Jai's water source was so near to their camp. As Ken shows it to her, Helen tells him that Chuay Gahn has a similar water hole, but that they have to swim a mile to reach it. Or they could paddle there if they hadn't lost their boat, but Helen conveniently leaves that part out. Ken -- who has likely been hanging around Penny too much -- says, "Oh my goodness!" when he learns this news. In an interview, he explains that as one of the four "ambassadors," he listened to Helen but didn't say much: "Let's face it -- this is my enemy." We rejoin them; Ken is questioning Helen about her tribe's ability to get along. Joker-faced Helen looks away, and then says they like each other "as much as you can like strangers." In an interview, she tells us she is a "suspicious new Englander and he's a New York cop." She didn't want to give up Chuay Gahn's secrets "to the cop" so he could run back to Sook Jai with them. Why not just call him a "pig" and get it over with?

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