After a particularly terrifying shot of ball of baby spiders, Stephen and J.T. are still undecided on tonight's vote. J.T. is worried that Taj will use her idol if she thinks she's in danger tonight. And even if she doesn't use it, it will leave the game with her if she's voted out. "That's not true," Stephen says. A small lightbulb turns on above J.T.'s head as he realizes that the idol only belongs to whoever has possession of it, and currently that's Stephen. Well, it's really Stephen's pants, but I guess they're not playing. If Stephen and J.T. vote Taj out tonight, then they'll only have to share the idol between themselves. They think about that, and J.T. interviews what we just saw, that he and Stephen can vote Taj out and take the idol for themselves. "I have no idea what I'm doing ... I'm probably gonna decide when I get there," he says. Maybe he is, but Stephen knows that Brendan and Sierra are counting on Taj making it to the merge with the idol, and he'll be the first person to go if she's voted out. There's no way he can vote Taj out ... right?
Jalapeño arrives at Tribal, and Probst calls on J.T. to tell him the "state of affairs" at Jalapeño. The only reason why Probst isn't laying into Jalapeño for losing hard these last couple weeks is because their leader is a strong alpha male, which Probst thinks is as it should be. J.T. says the state of affairs is that they're about to head into a merge with four people to Tempura's six. Probst asks Stephen if the tribe talks a lot about a possible merge, and Stephen says that they do since it's more than likely about to happen and they'll have to scramble to overcome Tempura's numbers advantage. Probst turns to Joe, because it's not like we should hear what the women have to say or anything, and asks if tonight's vote is being cast with the merge in mind. Joe says it's based on trust. He wants to go into the merge with someone who can share information with him and he can share information with, and it won't be spread around to others. Again, that sounds like the kind of person that anyone who isn't Joe would want to get rid of.
Probst finally turns to Taj and asks if her time on Exile has hurt her in this game, spelling out that she hasn't had a chance to bond with her tribe and has had a chance to find the idol. Taj says there's not much she can do about going to Exile over and over again. Probst sucks out loud at math as he asks Taj what she'll do to help "these other four people" if Jalapeño goes into a merge. It'll be three other people, Probst. Idiot. Taj says she's had a chance to form bonds with people on Tempura, and that can help her entire tribe if she can talk Brendan and/or Sierra into flipping and joining Jalapeño. Probst immediately points out that Taj's relationships with Tempura don't necessarily benefit the rest of her tribe and asks J.T. what he thinks of that. J.T. says he worries about her flipping over to Tempura.