Back at Kucha, Elisabeth tells us it was "strange" and "hard" as they were telling Mike good-bye and that the second he was gone they "decompressed." She tells us through tears that as the tribe gathered around, "his eyes were just locked on [ours]. Locked." Rodger tells us that unless "somebody jumps boat in middle stream, which is possible," that they're going to stick together as a team. He says that Mike's accident has taught some of them that there're more important things than the million dollars. Jeff tells us that the merger will be intense and that Ogakor must feel relieved. He says, "I mean, I think they're good people. And I think that they're gonna feel bad and sincerely have compassion for us and for Mike," but that because they didn't see, experience, and hear it for themselves, the feeling of "oh my goodness" will be replaced quickly with relief. He tells us Kucha wasn't going to lose that night's challenge and so they would have merged ahead, but now they'll go into it even. Then, since he's gone about ten minutes without threatening to kill or eat the other tribe, Jeff says, "We're gonna kill 'em. We're gonna eat 'em up and spit 'em out and that's the way Mike would want it to be." Jeff tells us that was the last thing Mike said to them, and I wonder if he used those exact words. Elisabeth has borrowed Jerri's funky glasses in honor of the serious occasion while the team cooks rice and looks pensive. Through gently filmed candlelight, Rodger blesses the food and prays that the Lord will be with Mike and with the doctors to "fix his hands so that they will once again be returned to normal." He asks for blessings for Mike and his family, and also for the "ones remaining" in Kucha. We end with a quiet team moment and an "Amen."
And then a bright, cheery Peachy voice pierces the silence and tells us to stay tuned for scenes from next week's episode and Michael's last words. I mean final words. I mean parting words.
Next time on Survivor: The tribes merge and have champagne for the occasion. According to Jeff, it has begun.
Mike tells us that winning will be anticlimactic and that he's sorry to leave. Except it sounds to me like this confessional was done before Mike's accident in a standard confessional. In any case, by all accounts Mike is now healthy and fully recovered. So why is it still so hard to mock him now?