We swoop over the jungle and land in a clearing where there are a variety of little stations set up. Jeff welcomes the tribe to yet another obstacle-course reward challenge. As often happens late in the season, it's a mix of tasks from previous challenges -- digging under a fence, crossing ropes at a compass point, that sort of thing. Because who doesn't love revisiting the challenges of yesteryear? It's like having dinner with all your exes at the same time. Jeff explains that the winner of this challenge will go off to the ruins of Panama City, where he or she will enjoy a feast and camp out overnight. Gee, Jeff, now that they've spent almost forty days sleeping under a tarp, I'm sure there's nothing they want more than to go camping. Good grief.
Undeterred by the suck factor of the reward, they run the obstacle course. I particularly enjoy the fact that when they dig under the fence, Darrah barely has to dig, because she's so wee at this point that she can basically wriggle between the bars at the bottom. Creepy. Lill melts down when she can't decipher the coordinates for the rope-crossing, which makes me wonder what kind of a Scout master she really is. Maybe she's just a figurehead. Anyway, Jon actually manages to jump into the lead for a while, defying any merit-based system of predicting challenge successes. Burton, however, shortly develops a huge lead that holds up to the end, and when he unscrambles the words "Jolly Roger," it's all over, and he wins the reward. I've grown to hate Burton, which I can tell, for some reason, as soon as I hear him say "Jolly Roger." "Jolly Roger" this, you bulked-up gym rat.
Jeff, unsurprisingly, offers Burton the opportunity to take someone with him, and Burton says that he's taking Jon, who leaps into Burton's arms. Ew. The women look on, dejected, despite the fact that something almost unbelievably fortunate has just happened to them. Seriously, I think everyone in America knew that the one thing Burton should be most afraid of at this point is an alliance between the three women. ["At least three people in Canada knew it too, I can personally attest." -- Wing Chun] Therefore, the thing Burton most needed to not do was take Jon off on a reward trip and leave the women to sulk and plot. If Burton didn't want to take Lill (which is understandable, considering how tired of her he seems to be at this point), he could have taken Darrah, who seems to have a reasonably pleasant personality. This would have given Jon the opportunity to stay behind and monitor the more volatile Lill and Sandra. Basically, any course of action was defensible with the exception of the one Burton chose. Arrogance, party of two, your table is ready. And what's for dinner? Your own heads on a platter. Nice one, nimrod.