Silas summons the entire tribe, gets down on his knee, and says, "Doggonit." What's with the "dog" this and "dog" that in this season of Survivor, anyway? And what's with all these questions? I must be channeling Jerry Seinfeld today. Silas tells Samburu that they need to "come together as a team"; he's upset that they're disorganized. Linda tells us, "Silas with the knee. I've seen him on the knee twice." She understands that "it's like a football thing where the coach gets down and just whatever," and she thinks it might even be genuine, but she also thinks it's "so cheesy." ["Well, if anyone knows from 'cheesy,' it's Linda." -- Wing Chun] Linda then tells the group that the things Playskool said and did after returning from the prior night's Tribal Council were divisive. Silas cuts her off and says, "You have to understand this though, too, Linda. What if it was you on the cutting board?" I hate it when people tell me I have to understand something. I understand what I want to understand, and I don't have to understand anything. That's up there on my pet-peeve list with addressing an individual as "you people." Secondly, it was Linda on the cutting board, and will be soon enough, so I'm not sure what Silas means. Linda goes on to say that the Playskoolers were all about "revenge, revenge," and that it was disrespectful. For once, she means disrespectful of her and of the other members of Oldskool, as opposed to of the Doum Palm God and the Goddess of Elephant Dung. Kimp agrees with Linda that the division between the tribes needs to end. It looks like, out of all of Samburu, Kimp has best managed to remain neutral. That doesn't mean I like her, but it does mean she's at least attempting to play the game according to some understandable rationale. Linda then assumes the Warrior I posture as a sort of "in your face" gesture which is not conducive to the philosophy of yoga, as she yells, "Thank you!" She then freaks out and starts jumping around yelling for the others to "let [her] on the team!" Both Playskool and Oldskool look on with disgusted faces.
Brandon tells us in a confessional, "Linda this morning really came unglued." I don't think there was much holding her together in the first place. He tells us that she has two sides, "like this sweet little New England mom and then there's this -- I don't know -- crazy woman side too!" Meanwhile Linda is still spazzing and jumping around insisting she's "ready to be on the team!" She then demands a hug from Lindsey, who stiff-arms her in response. Linda gets offended and persists, "Why can't you hug me?" Lindsey mumbles a bit, and then Linda goes over to Kimp and enlists her help in "demonstrat[ing] a hug." She then says to Lindsey, "Did your momma never hug you?" which seems like a nasty thing to say, and I thought they'd go somewhere with this, like Lindsey was abused, or Lindsey's mother died when she was six months old, or at the least that that sort of comment is offensive to Lindsey and to whatever-degree-of-hugginess culture she was raised in, but the topic just drops. I'm glad it did. In a confessional, Linda tells us that Lindsey's unwillingness to hug her was "awfully strange." She says Lindsey "got that look in her eyes" like one of them had a knife. Linda continues her pathetic routine of begging hugs off people she doesn't even like and who clearly are not interested in hugging her. Linda asks, "Why don't you give me a real hug?" and Lindsey just mumbles that it's "hard." She doesn't say, "I don't have to hug you, you crazy, Mother Africa-loving freakshow." Lindsey tells Linda she is seeing a side of her she's "really nervous about." The psychotic side, perhaps? Finally, Linda says she respects Lindsey's inability to hug her. She then Deepak Chopras that "anger is a cover-up for sadness." Lindsey tells Linda she's "good at it," and I think she means covering up her sadness with anger, but maybe she means just being angry. I don't know. This has been one of the most irritating Survivor sequences I've ever sat through. Watching one stranger beg another stranger for a hug (and not in the context of a drunken bar conversation) is not television-worthy. Not even reality television-worthy. Linda then attempts to comfort Lindsey by patting her on the back and Lindsey snarks, "Don't tell me it's all right!" Linda backs away and repeats that she respects Lindsey's space, but it's so clear she does not. Meanwhile, Silas babbles in the background that the tables have been turned. In a confessional, a crying Lindsey tells us she felts "sectioned out of [her] own little group even thought they're totally supportive of [her]" and that she thinks Oldskool hates her because they singled her out. Well, boo to the hoo to the I don't care.
At the scene of the challenge, Peachy asks how the cornmeal tastes. When the tribes answer that it sucks, he responds, "It was bland to begin with," which seems awfully defensive to me. Like he thinks the tribes are accusing him of making the cornmeal taste bad, when they have only Mark Burnett, and his likely tendency to urinate on other people's food, to blame. Peachy points out a vertical rope web which has twelve items suspended in it. He says these are things that will "dramatically improve" their meals -- things like olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes. Is this Dean & Deluca, or Survivor? Peachy explains the rules: one person at a time, the tribes will run up a ramp, traverse a horizontal net, and climb the rope web to retrieve a prize, which they will then bring back to their team. The baskets are at different heights -- some appear to be within standing distance of the netting, while others will entail climbing. The winning team gets to keep the loot. Tom and Brandon go first. Tom runs as fast as Brandon, which is pretty sad...for Tom. They both grab baskets at the low end of the rope. Clarence and Silas are next, and they grab low baskets, too. I realize that it's psychologically good to feel like your team is ahead, but why would they leave the hardest climbs for people like Kimj and Brandon, or even for themselves on a second round attempt when they're tired? Just about everyone bites it transitioning between the ramp and the netting. Ethan doesn't, for once, which is kind of funny. Probably his innate enormous clumsiness is counteracted by the inherent clumsiness of the challenge. We don't watch everyone have a turn, but we're shown in an onscreen caption that it's "neck and neck." Someone yells, "Climb like you never climbed before," which is cringe-worthy and sounds like something Silas would say. It comes down to the battle of the Kims. Kimj falls on the netting and never quite recovers. It looks like she's lost her confidence as she slowly eases herself along the netting while clutching the rope railing. Kimp and her six-pack have no such problems; she hands off to Lindsey, who finishes before Kimj as well. In the end, it comes down to Frank and Lex. The editors try to make this look suspenseful, but it's hard to believe that Frank will flail so badly as to be passed by two members of the Boran tribe. So Samburu wins, and Peachy hands them their booty and wishes them a good meal. Kimj is pissed off at herself for messing up. You'd think she'd be used to that by now. Damned thong.