My favorite part is that James The Challenge Demon (alleged) is the one person they've assigned to the part of the challenge requiring no skill -- opening the locks. Sigh. WHO CAN TAKE HIM ON?
Anyway, from here, there's not a huge amount of suspense. Airai gives it the old junior-college try, but the fact that Chet took so long and didn't wind up bringing his key back anyway dooms them. Can't really come back from that. The puzzle, which is a map of Micronesia, is on the easy side for a challenge puzzle, so there's not much to it. So Malakal are the big winners, and Chet is the goat, and not undeservedly so. Jeff hands over immunity, and they also get the fishing stuff. So now, they have to send someone to Exile Island. These people have finally figured out what you want to do, which is send a weak person, not a strong person, because you don't hand a strong person an idol, and because handing one to a weak person can throw off the other tribe's plan.
But, aha! There is a twist! They also have to choose someone from their own tribe, who will also go with Kathy. They'll both spend the night on Exile Island, they'll both get a clue to the idol, and they'll both return tomorrow before Airai goes to tribal council. (Yes, they're waiting a whole day to go to tribal council.) Cirie is sent, and she tries to look disappointed, although I suspect that she totally is not. Jeff tells Airai that tomorrow night is tribal council, and he sends them home. And then Ozzy and Yau-Man hug, which is really kind of cute. Two very different superheroes, there.
Back from commercials, we are with Cirie and Kathy as they head to Exile Island -- Day 5, it is. They climb out of the boat when they arrive, and they head up the beach. "Yo, yo, yo," says the music. Kathy tells Cirie that she's so glad it was she who came along, and then asks what season Cirie was on again. Whoops. You don't really want to lead with, like, "You were the best female contestant ever, and I was so happy you beat Neleh!" Cirie reminds Kathy that it was Exile Island, "which [Cirie] never got to go to." But now, here she is. Kathy tells us that Cirie "grew a lot" during her own season, and is, like, the nicest person ever, so being out here with Cirie isn't exactly a rough go. Cirie prods Kathy to keep moving, so they go out and head up a little tower, where they find a clue to the idol's whereabouts: "To progress further, go back to the start. Where one has fallen, there still is a part. The thing which [sic] you covet require ascension. It's hidden inside, if you pay attention." The ladies get in the water to swim back to where they came from. Cirie voices over that she's got a nine-person tribe back at camp, and because she's smack between two four-person groups, she really feels like she wants that idol. Hey, someone who recognizes that "swing vote" is kind of a bad position to be in. When they've crossed the water, Kathy climbs up to a tree where they find another clue, which tells them to go back across and look somewhere else. They're not happy about having to slog back across the water again, but they do it. Cirie dryly interviews that this was "absolute torture." When they get back across, they find...another clue. Guess what! Back across the water. And when they get there, Cirie instructs the universe that it had better not just be another clue. But...it is. Back across! Cirie tells us, "We searched and searched," and stresses how tired they really were. The last thing we see is the two women continuing to look.
Airai, Day 5. Alexis institutes a "round of applause," despite the fact that they totally lost the challenge. Her thinking is that they "win and lose as a team." All righty, then. The team sits around and grouses about the opportunity they lost to wind up with a bunch of fishing stuff, which someone (Jason?) melodramatically refers to as "a box of gold." Erik interviews that they'll be sending home one of the three oldsters (Kathy, Tracy, or Chet) -- "probably Chet, because he did very, very poorly." Also...not Kathy, because she has an immunity idol, dude. Mikey B tells a reluctant Alexis that if what Chet showed today is all he has to show, then they can do nothing but send him home. Mikey B interviews that, while they all want to get rid of Chet, it's hard to make that happen when his ally, Kathy, has at least one and possibly two immunity idols at her disposal. So his idea is for the guys (himself, Joel, Erik, and Jason) to vote for Chet, and then for the women (Alexis, Natalie, and Mary) to vote for Tracy. The idea is that if Kathy has given an idol -- either the one she had before or one she might find in exile -- to Chet, they can do no worse than a tie between the other two people, while if they all vote for Chet, then if it bounces off Chet, it will automatically hit the person Chet, Tracy, and Kathy decide to vote for. What he's suggesting really (1) isn't that complicated, particularly for "superfans" to understand; and (2) makes a fair amount of sense, since we've seen people guard against bounceback votes before. This is one of the few times when you actually have so many votes that you can protect against an idol-induced outcome, so that's what Mikey B is suggesting: control first place and control at least a tie for second place, and you make the idol way less powerful. Makes sense! Therefore, nobody will get it! In fact, Mikey B complicates/improves his plan by saying that if Kathy publicly hands any sort of idol to Chet at tribal council, then the guys will vote for Tracy and the girls will vote for Kathy. The way he has it figured, the only way they could then get screwed is if Kathy has secretly given the idol she got on the first day to Tracy, and even then, they go to a tiebreaker.