"Survivors ready, go!" At first, the approach to the game seems to be fairly haphazard on both teams. Surprisingly, Eliza un-bugs and appears to give reasonably good directions. Which, equally surprisingly, the team seems to follow without too much complaining. Jeff declares that there is "a key" to figuring out how to do this puzzle, because he is a huge, annoying know-it-all at times like this. Yeah, it's real easy to talk about the key when you've seen the answers, Teacher's Pet. The men continue to behave as if they're just moving tiles around and hoping for the best, and the background music mocks them with the twanging. Because see, country music implies low intelligence! Get it? Eliza, on the other hand, has a strategy involving arranging each color and symbol in a diagonal. I'm not sure she quite has it exactly right yet, but at least she's thinking about solving it in a puzzle-like way, rather than just moving stuff around and hoping to stumble on it, like people used to do with Rubik's Cubes before that smart-ass wrote a book about them. Whatever Eliza's plan is, anyway, the women are least willing to let her lead. The men, though, are over there ignoring Rory most of the time. I think I would know they're stupid without the banjo cues. Even Jeff comments that Rory "may have lost control" of the situation. The women finally get their pieces all arranged, and they announce to Jeff that they think they have it solved. Jeff announces that indeed, their solution is correct. The women have won again. I think Mia was the opposite of a good-luck charm. She was the anti-rabbit's foot. The women hoot and celebrate. Jeff reminds Lopevi that they will be heading for tribal council, as if they don't already know. I do sympathize with Jeff's situation. It's so hard not to come off smug when you never, ever compete at anything yourself and probably couldn't complete a brainteaser given three hours and a personal assistant, but your entire role is to snipe at people's failures, all camp-counselor and disappointed. The guys, duly chastised, walk back to camp with their heads literally hanging down, as the women exchange more hugs and love. It's the Year of the Woman, in the same sense that the Olympics are the Fortnight of the Athlete: sure, there's lots of cheering in the moment, but eventually, there will be a sobering letdown as society's long-term attitudes rebound, forcing yesterday's hero to be tomorrow's cover of Maxim.
There is underwater footage of fish, which symbolically represents the way the men of Lopevi are drowning and gurgling in their own ineptitude as they return to camp from yet another loss. Chris says that the challenge was "a mess." (Honestly, I cannot improve on the description of Chris given to me by Wing this week, in which she commented that it was time for him to go back to being the second banana on the morning drive-time radio show in whatever town he's from.) Around the fire, Sarge openly blames Rory for the loss. Sarge insists, in fact, that he knew exactly how to do it, and only didn't tell them because they had decided Rory would be in charge. What a flaming pile of horseshit. And if it's true, he's an idiot. There are ways to communicate that fall in the wide chasm between silence and ordering people around the way he usually does. (As a matter of fact, many of us exist almost exclusively in that chasm, because we don't like it when people beat the crap out of us, but we're not good at being quiet, either.) Brady agrees that there was not enough "direction" given during the challenge. In an interview, Rory simply says that it was a bad performance for them "as a team." Apparently, he has not gotten the memo that he was entirely to blame. Oh, wait -- actually, he has. He says in an interview that he's willing to "take that on [his] shoulders." Probably because he has an alliance of five, so at this point, accountability is as cheap as it will ever be. "I may be a pain in the fanny," he is thinking, "but I am their pain in the fanny."