With no family reward challenge this season, but Probst insisting that family members visit the contestants, we get a special family reward Redemption Island quadruel. The loser leaves the game. The winner gets to spend time with his family member. The other two get to stand around awkwardly. Of course, Steve loses the challenge (possibly intentionally -- he wasn't even trying and he looks really hungry) while Mike wins the prize, only for Probst to cruelly force him to choose between hanging out with his mother or letting Ralph and Matt see their farm friend and brother, respectively, or letting the Onomatopoeia audience members spend time with their family members. Mike has been spending too much time with Matt, so he goes both stupid and Biblical and chooses to let the smug cocky assholes who voted him and his tribe out hang out with their family members. Rob's sister comes out instead of his wife (I'm guessing because she was too pregnant at the time?) and he bores her with strategy talk while all the other contestants actually enjoy seeing their family members. After a brutal immunity challenge that Rob nearly kills himself to win, it seems pretty clear to everyone except Andrea that she will be the next person sent to Redemption Island, as her tribe has been talking about it for weeks now. Then Phillip, in his effort to irritate his tribemates into taking him to the Final Three, goes a little too far and possibly turns everyone against him. Except for the part where he doesn't, just like every other episode where the editors have tried to trick us into thinking Phillip was going home, and the only vote he ultimately receives is from Andrea. The rest of the votes go to Andrea, who belatedly remembers that this is a game and blindsides happen.
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Ralph arrives on Redemption Island. Matt and Mike are not surprised to see him, and Ralph fills them in on Phillip and Steve's rice fight, as if Julie wouldn't have already told them about that. The three then discuss Steve and how pitiful he's become over the last thirty days, only for Steve to suddenly show up. Don't you hate it when you're talking about someone and he's right behind you the whole time? How embarrassing! Anyway, the other three are surprised to see a fourth person on their island, and Mike interviews that Redemption Island is getting "crazier and crazier." I think he's confusing the word "crazy" with "crowded." Steve interviews that he's kind of happy to be on Redemption Island, as he was dreading returning to camp with only the rest of the Onomatopoeias for company. While Matt bitterly wonders what his former tribe is going to do now that they'll have to vote one of themselves out next, Mike mentions that the majority of the jury will be former members of Zapato. Ralph then figures out that the odds of winning the million are pretty damn good if he can get back in the game and make it to the Final Three.
We're meant to believe that Onomatopoeia are so loud in their post-Tribal victory celebrations that they woke up some jaguar stock footage. Andrea says she's kind of excited about the idea of actually playing this game again, since the last five Tribal Councils were easy votes. Natalie, on the other hand, bursts into tears. She blames it on hormones, then basically begs Rob not to see her tears as a weakness. Rob has these people so scared of him that they don't even want him to see their feelings. Rob interviews that Natalie is 19 and she's been in this game for 30 days now, which takes a toll on anyone. He has to make sure she's okay because he considers her to be his main ally. Also, he says, with only eight days left in the game, he just wants to keep his tribe content and docile, because if they start talking to each other and comparing notes, they'll realize that they need to vote Rob out ASAP.
The next morning, Andrea and Ashley open treemail to find a Product Placement phone. They both know what this means: family visit time! They run back to show the phone to the rest of the tribe. There's an invitation to the Redemption Island Arena and then they're told to check the videos section for a "surprise." An actual surprise would be if there was just one video of Probst telling them that they weren't doing a family visit this season. Videos of their loved ones, on the other hand, are not a surprise, since this happens like every season. First up is Natalie's mother, who might want to consider taking some anti-depressants. She seems really tired and sad. Also, she's standing on her porch with a tree in front of her. She couldn't think of a better spot to do this? "Daddy's very proud of you," she says. Not proud enough, apparently, to actually show up on the video. Andrea's boring dad pops up next, followed by Phillip's sister. I don't understand why Phillip even gets a visit from his sister when he's been hanging out with another family member, his great-great grandfather, for several weeks now. It seems kind of unfair to me. Then we see Rob's sister Heather, who says their parents are doing well. She doesn't mention Rob's actual wife or child, which is kind of weird. I was hoping we'd actually get to see Amber, but then I remembered that she was, like, nine months pregnant or something when this was filmed, so it makes sense that she wouldn't be able to fly to Nicaragua. Grant gets a video from his sister's husband. Wow, a brother-in-law? That's the best his family could do? And why is he wearing a little red scarf around his neck like that? Is he French? He doesn't say much except that Adrianne, who I'm guessing is Grant's sister, is "newly pregnant." Grant responds to the news by pumping his fist. Finally, we see Ashley's mother, who, like Natalie's mother, is standing next to a bunch of plants. Videos over, the contestants wipe their tears and hug each other.