Next, in a crushing show of cooperative brain power, Shawn and Jon take a walk together and Jon tells Shawn that it's Rupert he wants voted out. In an interview, Jon says that nobody wants to be in the final two with Rupert, so they have to do something now. Much posturing follows in which Shawn says portentous things -- like "In this game, you have to do what you gotta do" -- which are intended to be really ironic, because Jon thinks Shawn is talking about booting Rupert, whereas Shawn is really talking about...I'm sorry, I just fell asleep mid-recap. This episode was really boring. There's way too much of this meaningless jaw-flapping where they talk and talk and talk in very general terms about strategy and yet nothing happens. Anyway, Jon makes some yaps into the camera about how this is the way the game is played, and Rupert's a good guy, but Shawn's a better ally for Jon, and blah dee blah. Strategy talk from stupid people leaves me cold.
The sun is setting, and you know what that means -- it's time for tribal council. The team members take their places around the fire to be Probst-ified. Jeff points out that they've always acted very cocky at challenges, and that today's challenge was pure strength, so he's wondering how they feel about being at tribal council unexpectedly. Sandra agrees that they thought there was absolutely no way they'd wind up at tribal council tonight: they'd just had the big protein meal, Morgan was starving, Morgan was demoralized (she may not know how Jon helpfully re-moralized them), and so forth. Jeff asks Christa about her performance in the challenge. He gratuitously points out for the sake of humiliating Osten that Christa outlasted him. Christa says that the challenge was hard for her, and that she did better than she expected to, but that she still hated dropping the pole. Those are some seriously dark roots Christa's working on, incidentally, not that that's, you know, relevant. But I think Christa's first ally when she gets off the island is going to be Miss Clairol, if you see my point.
Jeff now moves on to Rupert, asking why he looks so "incredibly sad." Rupert gives his best "everyone I know has died and is living in my beard" look of gravity and hams it up for a while. He is incredibly wounded to know that there are people on the tribe who want to see him go. How dare they, in a game that's about eliminating the competition and winning money for yourself! He returns to his whole disappointed-daddy thing that's just so pompous that it would be funny if he didn't have so many people sucking down everything he's dishing out right now, which chaps me so much I can't even tell you. Anyway, Rupert lectures everyone about how hard it is for him to "pull everybody together," which of course is his job because he's the big boss, blah dee blah. He also gives a big speech about how his tribe sees him as "unneeded." He explains that as much as he has tried to explain to the rest of the dummies that there may be no merge, they just continue to assume that there will be one. He congratulates himself for all the fish he's caught, and he expresses disbelief that this isn't enough for them to keep him. He only wants them to keep him for their own good, you see. Wow, all this, and me without my hip boots.