Ready...go! Everybody runs and swims out into the water. Everybody except Jonathan, whose leg is not in any shape to get wet, so he waits on shore. So the tribes all start dragging bundles back to shore, and as soon as Airai gets near Jonathan, he goes out to the edge of the water and starts hauling things to the mat. "Penner really limpin' on that bad leg," Jeff comments, and if you listen carefully, you can hear the edge in Jeff's voice there -- he's surprised how bad it looks, and that Jonathan can't really put weight on it at all. He probably hasn't seen the guy in a little bit; I think he was legitimately surprised that Jonathan was in this much trouble, even though he'd probably heard by now that it was serious. But there's a not-entirely-announcer-y tone in his voice; some real concern mixed with the color commentary. As Jonathan backs up, dragging a couple of heavy bundles of stuff and also dragging his stiff leg, he falls backwards onto the mat. "Penner takes a big fall," says Jeff. "That leg is really giving him trouble." And then you can hear Jonathan yell, "I'm okay!" Aw.
Malakal is first to get all its bundles to the mat. They're followed by Airai. And the blockade-building begins. And after that's been going on for ten minutes, it's time to switch and start trying to get through. At first, Malakal starts plucking out planks from the Airai blockade, and it looks like this is going to go well for Malakal. Over at Airai, there is nobody -- nobody -- working harder to yank and pull and make something good happen than Jonathan. But Ozzy, for Malakal, is first to crawl into the cage. "Penner, bad leg and all, ripping those planks out of there," Jeff says. Now, Airai has broken into the cage by opening up enough space at the top to crawl over most of the front part of the blockade. And then suddenly, it's like Airai sees the light of day, and they start to wiggle through, all of them. And the very last person to go through is Jonathan, who can't even use his legs for crawling, doesn't want the top of his leg to touch anything, can't bend his knee. So he's on his back, dragging himself through the cage. "Come on with your bad knee, boy," James calls encouragingly. Aw. AW! And literally, Jonathan gets out of the cage and falls onto the sand on his side, where he starts to get up and head to the mat, but his leg goes out from under him, so he scoots to the mat on his hands. That was pretty goddamn dramatic. Big hug at Airai.
First, Airai has to choose someone from Malakal to go to Exile Island. Might as well choose someone who's unlikely to care enough to go after the idol, so they choose Chet. And to go with him, they choose Jason. They'll rejoin their tribes at the immunity challenge. Jason and Chet head off in their boat, and Jeff sends Malakal back to camp empty-handed. He promises Airai that they'll meet with their guides in a bit. "Before that happens, Penner, medical's going to take a look at that knee." You can feel the sense of foreboding here; Probst knows it's bad, and Jonathan knows it's bad. He doesn't want to see the doctor, because he's afraid of what the doctor's going to say. Deep down, despite what he said this morning, I think he knows it's not getting better. But he limps off for this consult, dragging his straight, swollen leg.