Sorry I missed last week! School is a lot of work. So much, in fact, that this is going to be my last recap for a while ... more on that later, though.
Upolu return to camp. Edna, who has no right to be in this game, whines about how hard it is to see her name at every Tribal, then suddenly talks about how crazy Li'l Li'l Russell was yet again and how hopeful she is that he'll crazy himself out of the game before the tribe votes her out. Rick agrees, muttering to Coach that Li'l Li'l Russell is too volatile to take to a merge. Coach assures Rick that they'll "keep him under control," like, you haven't been able to do that yet, but keep being optimistic that you'll somehow make it happen. Ah, but it turns out that Coach has figured something out, as he interviews that he'll just take Li'l Li'l Russell out himself if the time comes, à la George shooting Lennie in Of Mice and Men (spoiler alert! Way to ruin it for all of us, Coach).
On Day 17, we head right into the Redemption Duel. John and Ozzy are watching for Savaii, while Albert and Sophie are in the audience for Upolu, because, it seems, the people who voted Mikayla out are too chicken-shit to face her now. Probst explains the challenge: each contestant must take apart a crate and use the planks to build a bridge, then solve a puzzle on the other side using some of those planks. And just in case Mikayla isn't the one in the lead the entire time, Probst will give her as many hints as possible in the hopes that Christine, of all people, doesn't pull a Matt and truly us all show how stupid the Redemption Island concept is.
Probst calls go, and Christine quickly figures out that she can just lift all the planks on one side of the crate in one fell swoop instead of taking them out one by one, thus saving herself some time. Probst makes sure to tell Mikayla about this, as does Albert. By the time Mikayla starts on the bridge, though, Christine is a few planks ahead of her. When Albert calls out more encouragement to Mikayla, Probst points out that Mikayla's former tribemates are helping her, but not Christine, who was also (briefly) on that tribe. Apparently, Probst has forgotten about how Christine flipped them off last time. I wish Christine would just take her last plank and smack Probst with it, but instead she puts it on the bridge to advance to the next round. Mikayla isn't far behind and makes quick work of taking her bridge apart, but Christine maintains her lead and starts the puzzle.