At Zhan Hu, Todd's brilliant plan to give the strongest person in the game access to two immunity idols "pays off" when James finds the second one. But he has to pull down two plaques to find it, one of which is basically the same as the idol, only without the printed words on the back identifying it as such. Because he's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, James leaves the extra plaque lying in the middle of camp, where Jaime and Erik find it after Jaime notices that the plaques have been removed from the archway. They deduce that the plaques were related to the hidden immunity idols, and they further deduce (correctly) that James removed them while idol-hunting. While James is gone, Jaime looks in his bag and finds that he's got two of the plaques in there, wrapped up in his clothes. Most likely because the rules don't allow you to steal hidden idols -- a fact that the show chooses to leave out, because it doesn't fit the "blonde girls sure are dumb!" script they're pitching this week -- Jaime returns James's idols to his stuff, either without finishing unwrapping them fully (since she could feel what they were) or without seeing in the dark that they have writing on the back identifying them as idols. While she knows it's a longshot and might well not be the idol, Jaime decides to keep the discarded plaque anyway. James sort of figures out what happened, and instead of laughing at himself for being so dumb that he left the blank idol out, thus completely blowing his own cover and revealing to the rest of Zhan Hu that he had both idols, he laughs hysterically at Jaime -- to everyone who will listen, all episode long -- for thinking that something that's identical to the idol but for writing she doesn't know is supposed to be there might be the idol. Considering that she put the entire thing together on her own, and he had it literally handed to him by someone else, you'd think maybe he'd be less smug, but...no. When the tribes merge, everything Peih-Gee and Jaime figured would happen immediately happens when James goes back to his Fei Long family (as Aaron would have). Frosti wins individual immunity, and Fei Long targets Jaime. She tries to use her maybe-idol to bluff and get the attention off herself, but nothing doing. At tribal council, Jeff Probst's girl-hating dreams come true when Jaime presents the plaque, saying she found it lying around and thought it might be immunity. When he mockingly hurls it into the fire, it's clear that he's never had more fun in his life. Jaime is sent home, and somehow, I don't doubt that Jeff Probst believes that this is the result of throwing the challenge, even though it's not. Despite the fact that Jaime is clearly, obviously not at all stupid -- right down to the challenge throw, a strategy utterly validated by everything that happened in this episode -- the show is determined, because she is young and blonde and pretty and made the mistake of saying in an interview that she's not dumb, to proclaim her stupid. So they do, pretty much, which is depressing and lame, and while the show is getting more interesting, this episode was kind of uncomfortable, really. (Which you will read more about in the full recap in a few days, because Survivor is returning to full recaps, rather than weecaps, effective this week.)
Previously on My First Weapon Is Fear! Fear And Throwing The Idol At You: James had big trouble at little Zhan Hu, which seemed set on losing another immunity challenge and tossing him, just as they had with Aaron. But he got a reprieve when Sherea and Frosti were overly frosty to their former tribe during the reward challenge, leading Jaime, Erik, and Peih-Gee to conclude that they'd be better off trying to recruit the grouchy and possibly unaffiliated gravedigger than booting him and hoping to get back with Sherea and Frosti. When Fei Long won the reward, they kidnapped James and took him back to their camp, where Todd unleashed his "plan," which he based on the interesting "theory" that the best thing to do with a big, strong guy who keeps winning all the challenges is to "give" him two "immunity" "idols." There certainly seemed to be Phoebe Buffay levels of "oh, don't worry -- he's going somewhere with this" required to digest this plan without laughing, but Todd was certainly quite confident. Showing his clearest signs yet of non-genius, Todd impatiently removed the immunity idol from its hiding place with a bunch of people watching, then handed it to James with instructions to throw the immunity challenge, wait for Zhan Hu to try to boot him, and to put the rebound vote on Jaime. On top of that, for no apparent reason, Todd instructed James about where to find the matching idol at Zhan Hu's camp. But when Denise couldn't down the famous Chicken Fetus Served With Embryonic Slime And Attached Feathers (a food I'm still not sure they didn't make up while stoned and listening to Pink Floyd) and several others failed to pull their gobbling weight, Fei Long couldn't even win the challenge when James was trying to throw it, so it was Fei Long headed to tribal council. To no one's surprise, and with only Courtney's squeaky hatred of Jean-Robert providing any resistance whatsoever, Fei Long ousted Sherea. And James now had the immunity idol -- and potentially another immunity idol -- for nothing. Slow clap, there, Friendly Skies. Way to give away the only barf bag right before the big turbulence, if you get my meaning.
Fei Long, Night 18. In night vision, the members of the tribe are attempting to sleep, but Jean-Robert is taking the opportunity to complain about the "tension" directed at him during tribal council, claiming that he didn't know a thing about it. He is innocent! He raises you ten dollars! Amanda tells J-R that what's going on with him is his problem to solve with Courtney. This is kind of rotten of Amanda, really, considering that Amanda has complained just as Courtney has about J-R being creepy, and if she's decided not to pursue it, that's fine, but acting like they just have a disagreement when she knows that Courtney actually feels uncomfortable with him (as I seem to recall Amanda did herself) is pretty...unfortunate. Todd, his head covered in a kerchief, announces that he likes the person Jean-Robert has showed that he "can be." In other words: "I dislike you, but occasionally, I have had a flicker of disliking you somewhat less." Is that supposed to be diplomacy? Because it sure smells like bullshit. Todd refers to the Courtney/J-R business as "a tiff," and says that it's up to them to resolve it or not. Of course, you'd think that since it has the potential to interfere with Todd's plan, he'd take more of an interest, but he doesn't, because...he's not a big thinker, so much as he is a very, very big talker. Courtney interviews that J-R treats her like shit, and that even the people who are trying to pretend to be her friends still "suck up to" him, so she knows they don't actually give a damn about her. She finger-quotes not only "friends" here, but also "Todd and Amanda," like, "IF THOSE ARE YOUR REAL NAMES." She says those two are just the ones she dislikes the least, and that they seem to mistake that for friendship. Heh. She pauses, taking a full beat or two before breaking out into a kind of creepy grin. I don't like her at all, really, but I don't really blame her for not being all that impressed by the entirely transparent efforts by Todd and Amanda to "befriend" her for the sole purpose of telling her what to do. The thing that's kind of sad about that, of course, is that Todd was right there when J-R was being all vile about Courtney being kept around to be fucked, basically, and Todd saw her cringe and vow not to sleep near J.R. again, and he looked right into the camera and vowed to get rid of those guys, saying he would "take out the trash." Remember? I think that's part of why this is happening: if Todd was saying that to us, he was undoubtedly saying it to her, and I think Courtney believed him that he was going to take up for her because of the personal shit being directed at her, and Todd totally flaked on that, and I think it hurt her feelings. I mean, she should have been more realistic, but she didn't make this up, this idea that there was originally a sense that they were her friends and that they were going to back her up.
Credits. Wait, what country is this again? Don't tell me. I'll get it.