Katie now breaks in, displaying exactly the tendency women like her sometimes have to pump everything up and make everything worse -- think about Beth S. in the famous Tami/David blanket-pulling incident -- by bitching that it's so rotten of Ian, because "Tom's been sticking up for [Ian] this whole time." Tom continues the berating, and Ian finally realizes, and says, that no matter what he puts out there in this situation, Ian's going to come off as the bad guy. "Cause you're lying," Tom says. "To her and to me." Katie tells Ian he should "fess up." "Fess up to what?" Ian asks. Katie: "Say that you -- yeah, you told me you were going to take out Tom." As Ian points out, he has already admitted saying that. Furthermore, Tom has already voted against Ian. Clearly, their alliance is over. What is the flogging about? What does Ian owe to Tom at this point? At any rate, Ian is somewhat disbelieving about the morality soup in which he has suddenly landed, and says incredulously, "We're playing a game." "We thought," Tom says haughtily, "we were all playing the game together."
Okay, Tom. First of all, there is no such thing as all playing the game together. Only one person can win; thus, it is a zero-sum game. It's not a team sport. The team can't win. One person wins; everyone else loses. Thus, when there are two choices and one is in your own individual best interests and one is not, the choices are only to act in your own best interests or to act contrary to them. Every alliance -- including this one -- exists because people believe it to be beneficial to them. People don't join alliances for personal reasons, because alliances exist only within the game to begin with. People don't join alliances the way they join the Jaycees, to do community service and bond with the like-minded. They join them in order to get farther in the game, and to have a better shot at the money. That's what an alliance is. You can have allies that are friends, or friends that are allies, or allies you don't like, or friends you're not in an alliance with. It's a separate issue. And every person in every alliance ultimately intends to attempt to win the money himself or herself, and keep the other people from winning it, even if they disagree on the point at which they're going to break off and take that step. I see no particular "honor" issue in cutting your alliance loose one step before it cuts you, if that's your safer move. Why would you not do that? That's the game. It doesn't mean you're choosing the money over the friendship, if there is one, because that should never be the choice, any more than that's the choice in chess. Whatever.