Once Denise leaves, Malcolm asks Lisa and Skupin if they're cool for the finals. Lisa and Skupin don't really answer but Lisa says that they should probably tell Denise that they're keeping her. Malcolm interviews that he's really worried even though he got Lisa and Skupin's word that they're sending Denise home.
Now Malcolm is gone and Denise is asking Lisa and Skupin what their decision is for tonight. Skupin lays out the two paths: it's either Denise or Malcolm going home. Denise says she's going to vote Malcolm and hopes they'll join her. I wonder if, at this point, Denise could convince Malcolm to vote Lisa and she will too. Then it would be a tie. Anyway, Denise interviews that Skupin is a dreamer and wants to win against the best, meaning Malcolm, so Denise needs to convince him that it's in his best interests to take her instead. She vows to do everything she can to stay.
Denise meets with Skupin privately. Skupin says that there's a part of him that wants to go against the best and beat the best, and he's not sure if there's any honor in beating Denise or Lisa. Gross. Basically, Skupin's completely discounting all of the hard work that Denise and Lisa have done, because they're ladies and haven't won physical challenges. His whole philosophy is, "It's not honorable to beat a poor, defenseless, helpless lady, because who couldn't do that (besides all of the men on the jury)? Instead, I need to beat my fellow male warrior who, if he didn't have a Hidden Immunity Idol, would have been gone weeks ago." That's just gross and I commend Denise for not smacking Skupin upside the head. Denise points out that she doesn't know if Skupin can beat Malcolm in the jury, or if any of them can, so it doesn't make sense to take Malcolm and surely lose. Denise assures Skupin that their friendship will last beyond the game, but she's voting Malcolm and she thinks he should too.
Skupin then goes to Malcolm and says that he just heard Denise out. Skupin interviews that he wants to make his family proud, and he'd love to get in the final three by being honorable and keeping his word. Has he forgotten how he turned on his Tandang alliance not so long ago? I'm sure the jury hasn't. Lisa interviews that Skupin is a wild card, and she doesn't understand handing the title to Malcolm on a silver platter.
Tribal Council. The jury comes in and Abi gives someone (Denise, I think?) the stink eye. Probst starts by asking Skupin how much alliances factor in now and Skupin gives a non-answer like, "They're important." Someone who was more honest would say that everyone has an alliance with everyone else at this point, so they don't really matter. Denise does talk about alliances and sub-alliances and loyalties and basically says that you don't know where people's loyalty lies. Probst asks Malcolm if he's still allied with Denise, and Malcolm says that alliances are always shifting, like he was allies with Angie and had to cut her throat, so it's no surprise that now he has to consider getting rid of Denise. This whole conversation is so ridiculous. Malcolm knows that his alliance with Denise is over. Denise knows that her alliance with Malcolm is over. Why are they both pretending like their alliance might still stand after tonight? It's insulting to the viewer that they're spending so much time on this, when the real question is who Skupin and Lisa will vote out. Anyway, Denise and Malcolm both agree that their plan was always to go to final four and then see what happened.