Tracy’s not happy that there are now four Faves against three Fans on the Malakal tribe, and she’d like to get one of the Faves to flip, so they’d be back to even. Ami sees that Tracy feels on the outside, so she gives her a pep talk, telling Tracy that she, too, has felt like she’s on the bottom rung, but “I’m not going to be Poop Pants. The more you’re Poop Pants, the sooner you’re going out.” I think everyone should work “Poop Pants” into any pep talk or speech. “Win one for the Poop Pants.” “Ask not what Poop Pants can do for you …” “Ich bin ein Poop Pants.” (It’s inspiring in any language.)
Over on Airai, Jonathan’s leg is still hurting. James tells the camera that it would suck to lose Jonathan — “I’d be stuck over here with a bunch of girls, losing my mind.” Um … isn’t Jason on the tribe, too?
The reward challenge involves swimming out and collecting planks, sticks and rope, and then using these materials to build a blockade that the other tribe must get through. Despite an early lead by Malakal, Airai wins the challenge and earns the reward of a visit by two native Micronesians, who show the tribe some survival techniques, such as how to catch fish and coconut crabs, and successfully rebuff Parvati’s flirting.
Right after the reward challenge, a member of the medical staff looks at the wound on Jonathan’s knee as the rest of tribe watches from a distance. The medic tells him there’s a “big collection of pus,” and the antibiotics aren’t working. She warns him that his leg is only going to get worse unless he gets treatment in the hospital, and the infection could threaten his life. It breaks his heart and the hearts of some of his tribemates (especially Kathy, who says, “I only knew him for three days, but I knew I loved him”), but he leaves the game. We’re told later that he underwent surgery, and he’s doing fine.
After their reward challenge loss, the Faves on the Malakal tribe engage in some Fan-bashing talk among themselves. They think Chet and Tracy didn’t help at all with building the blockade, and Tracy even works as a residential builder — Cirie the nurse says that’d be like her doing poorly in an operating room challenge. (I really hope there is an operating room challenge this season. Like stitching up incisions — “Survivors, ready … Sew!”) Ami’s not happy with the Faves’ attitude, and she tells Tracy she’s willing to vote against Cirie. Tracy and Ami fist-bump their trust in each other, and when Erik walks up to their conversation, Ami informs him, “Hey — I’m giving all my trust to you.” Erik accepts the trust of Non-Poop Pants.
Chet and Jason are the two chosen to go to Exile Island after the reward challenge. Chet tells Jason that he thinks Ozzy already has the hidden immunity idol, so Chet uses his time on Exile as some R&R to heal his heel (Chet got some coral in there, and he thinks he has an infection. Like Jonathan’s infection, only much weenier.).
Jason follows the clues back and forth across the ocean, and he finds the fake idol that Ozzy had hidden. He looks at it and says “Well … I guess this is the hidden immunity idol. It’s not much, but it’s a carving on a piece of wood, with a little guy on it.” Jason shoves the piece of wood down his shorts, which invites me to attempt some sort of crude joke, but I won’t take the bait.
At the immunity challenge, Malakal and the two players returning from Exile learn about Jonathan’s departure. When Jason is told “We lost Jonathan,” he immediately asks, “Because of his leg?” I wish someone had answered, “No, we just can’t find him.”
Probst asks Chet and Jason if they searched for the idol on Exile, and Jason says he had some time to look for it, and he’s concluded that Ozzy already has it. Ozzy feigns surprise and says that perhaps Jason isn’t that good at following clues. So Ozzy pretty much implies that he thought the idol was easy to find.
The immunity challenge involves transporting Survivors across water from one platform to another, using stepping poles held in place by their tribemates. Once two players reach the second platform, all seven members have to swim to a smaller platform and balance everyone on top of it.
Airai carries Eliza across on one pole instead of having her walk pole-to-pole. James carries the pole, and the others provide support. Probst says, “Not the way this challenge was designed, or the way we thought it would go,” but it worked beautifully for transporting Eliza and (after one failed attempt) Parvati, and Airai wins the challenge easily.
Chet tells his tribe that he’s got a big pocket of pus in his heel (like Jonathan’s pus pocket, only not visible), and he wants to be voted out. (Strangely, I don’t see the medic rushing out to examine him.) Ozzy hugs him and says “Oh, man. Damn,” as if Chet wasn’t the obvious choice to be voted out anyway.
And I think, “Brilliant! Everyone will think that Chet’s being voted out! The Favorites are so vulnerable!”
But, alas, it isn’t a scheme — Chet really does want to leave. Erik, Ami and Tracy ask Chet to vote against Ozzy — they’d have the numbers, so now would be the perfect time to blindside him, in case he does have the idol. They outright plead with Chet to use his dying breath to cast a vote against Ozzy, but he’s noncommittal. The discussion is near the chicken coop, so we occasionally see and hear chickens during their conversation with Chet. Nice.
At Tribal Council, Erik says he thinks Ozzy may have the immunity idol. Probst asks if this suspicion concerns Ozzy, and he says no, because he knows he’s not going home anyway, since Chet’s being voted out. See? Ozzy’s totally vulnerable!
But Jonathan’s wound contributes to two people leaving the game — himself, for the physical injury, and Chet, who lost his will to stay when he got it into his head that his heel injury was along the same health-threatening lines as Jonathan’s infected knee.
In his parting words to the camera, Chet says he decided not to go with Erik and Tracy’s plan to vote out Ozzy — “It’s something they can take care of after I’m gone.” No. They can’t. That’s the point. They can’t have a 4-3 advantage when their fourth man is off the island, propping his heel up on a pillow.