Now, we are in a clearing with two mats, where Jeff Probst brings in the members of both tribes. Jeff tries to say something serious about The Art Of War, because he thinks that this kind of talk will conceal the fact that he shops online and not at a wilderness store guarded by tigers that he personally stabs with small blades so he can retrieve the perfect cargo pants. But the reference to war (not to mention art) makes no sense, because this is nothing more or less than the blandest of Survivor merge sequences, in which Jeff's like, "Um, so, you're merged! Put your buffs down!" Somehow, I think Jeff doesn't bring me flowers anymore, metaphorically speaking.
Incidentally, let's review Jeff's words of ominous portent when Jaime and Peih-Gee decided to throw the challenge. He told them that it was very dangerous to assume anything, and he clearly implied that they were fools to think they knew how the game was going to progress. Of course, they didn't assume so much as they gambled, but they did gamble. And what did they gamble on? They gambled that there would likely be a merge with ten people left: true. They gambled that there would be two challenges in which people could be booted before that merge occurred: true. They gambled that the challenges would proceed normally, with one person being voted off by the losing tribe: true. They gambled that James would return to Fei Long as soon as the merge occurred: true [spoiler!]. They gambled that Aaron would also have returned to Fei Long as soon as the merge occurred: impossible to prove absolutely, but I'm going to say almost definitely true. They gambled that Fei Long's first boot in the event they lost would be Sherea or Frosti: true. They gambled that if Fei Long had been required to boot two people, the second would have been whichever of Sherea and Frosti wasn't the first boot: based on this episode and the comments made therein, true. In short, Jaime and Peih-Gee gambled that if they were to win the next two challenges, there would be three former Zhan Hu against five former Fei Long after a merge, but that if they were to lose the next two challenges, it would be five former Fei Long against five former Zhan Hu at the merge, giving them a better chance of success. This was...fundamentally true. They gambled that they were more likely -- not guaranteed, just more likely -- to get traction with Frosti and Sherea than with James and Aaron, which I also think is true. So what the hell was Jeff Probst talking about? It appears now that his efforts to scoff, which he pretended were based on something he knew that we didn't, apparently were just bitter bacon over his love of James and Aaron, typical of his freaky devotion to big "manly" men, and his pissy indignation that they were outmaneuvered by a couple of small women who don't win challenges. Boo-hoo, Jeff. Ozzy can't win every challenge every week, and Colby Donaldson doesn't even remember your number anymore. Might start making friends with some dudes your own age. I've heard there are some very active bowling leagues for seniors. And Sudoku wards off becoming addlepated. Just so you know.
Aaaanyway: merge! And immediately post-merge, Jaime gives an interview in which she says, among other things, that she's glad to have the hidden idol. Of course, if you read her post-boot interview, you know that they did this interview at the time of the merge (which seems clear anyway), when she did believe she had it, but that she later got hold of James's two idols between then and tribal council, saw the writing on them, and realized that she didn't have a real idol. But the show is riding pretty hard on the "pretty girls are stuuuupid; let's laugh at them extra-hard" train, so if that happened, they're certainly not going to show it. Jeff hands out the black buffs. Jeff somehow once again tries to call upon The Art Of War as the reason they're going to Fei Long's camp. I haven't read that book, but I never realized that it had this much to do with reality television.