Rebecca? Her? We've been curious as to why Raro had never cast any votes against Rebecca until this point, since she was pretty clearly the least helpful tribe member in challenges (most glaringly in the episode where everyone got mad at Brad for not volunteering to swim). Raro kept losing challenges, often as the result of her lack of contributions, yet when it came time to vote, some trumped-up reason to target someone else always seemed to pop up (J.P. is bossy, Stephannie *gasp* mentioned mashed potatoes, Cristina is now bossy, Brad *gasp* pointed out that the game becomes individual after the merge). Was she the one pulling those strings, or was Raro just that easily distractable? We may never know, since Rebecca was almost completely hidden from the audience, never getting confessionals.
Sure, she had a stray snippy remark about everyone disliking Cao Boi, Flica, and Ozzy when they showed up in camp, and smirked in confessional about Cristina's surprise at discovering Raro's irritation with her at Tribal Council. But we were given virtually no insight into who she was aligned with, or what her or Raro's plans were going forward. So perhaps it's fitting that she had zero confessionals in her boot episode AND didn't even get a Final Words speech after she was voted out. Ouch. All the focus was instead on Jenny and the twist-in-a-bottle. Poor Rebecca (who applied via an open casting call, and appears to have been one of the tiny fraction of this cast who had actually watched Survivor before playing). An afterthought even in her own exit.
Stupid, stupid people
On any other season, or at least one that didn't feature a cast recruited for their lack of familiarity with the show, a showmance as obvious as Adam and Candice's would have been broken up by now, not allowed to pass, unmentioned, through three straight votes. Why? So that the audience would not have to sit through the likes of the finger-kissing and hair-mussing scenes that opened the episode. We can only stand so much, people! Seriously, though, while Candice is clearly better in challenges than Rebecca, why has nobody questioned her loyalty after the merge, or the more glaring obvious power duo relationship she has with Adam? Well, okay, Jenny did bring that up at the start of the episode, but then it was never mentioned again. And that's another reason why this season will never rank near the top in the Survivor hierarchy.
I'll send an SOS to the world
The message in the bottle was an odd, and spectacularly unfair twist. It's never been repeated, probably because it's so cruel to force two boots on a single tribe for losing one immunity challenge. It seems less unfair in Raro's case because they had a 7-4 advantage going in, and because they'd just lost four straight challenges. But this was the final boot before the merge, and if the numbers had been, say, 7-6, and if the 7-person tribe that lost the last pre-merge challenge went in to Tribal grimly calculating, "Well, we blew it, but at least we'll be tied at the merge," only to learn they'd now be down in numbers, the outcry might be a bit louder. Also, as with the previous double-boot episode this season, nobody had the opportunity for individual immunity, and Jenny had almost no chance to scramble, since the focus in camp had been on booting Rebecca. In recent variations on this (challenge at Tribal in Redemption Island, for example), there's at least been an immunity opportunity, which seems more fair. Ach, back to the loch with you, Nessie.
A chilling vision of things to come
Not only did the immunity challenge share a name with a future Survivor season ("South Pacific"), but the map of said region contained the filming locations/names of two more future seasons (Fiji, Samoa), along with one that fell through at the last minute (Tonga). Relax, though. There's approximately zero chance there'll ever be a Survivor: Hawaii season, so it's not some sort of all-knowing oracle.
The alliance that dare not speak its name
Clearly, based on the fact that he's the designated alternate target every time, Penner is not really a part of this group. But it's noteworthy that over the course of the past three votes, the four remaining members of the original, all-Caucasian Raro tribe have proceeded to vote out, as a bloc, three consecutive minorities (Brad, Rebecca, Jenny).
Probably just a coincidence. Nothing to see here. Move along. But still... don't get too comfortable, there, Nate.
Great moments in preview misdirection
Probst started the obfuscation at Tribal Council, admonishing Raro not to start counting on a merge that may never come. But the preview of the next episode continues the ruse, highlighting a whole bunch of events from the next episode, none of which is the merge. (Raro is still lazy and hates Penner! Ozzy and Yul are in an alliance! Adam and Candice are smooching!)
Which is bollocks: We're finally, after 24 days of tribal play, done with the pre-merge. Merge next episode.
Recaps and commentary
Exit interviews - Rebecca Borman
Exit interviews - Jenny Guzon-Bae
Jeff Pitman is the founder of the True Dork Times, and probably should find better things to write about than Survivor. So far he hasn't, though. He's also responsible for the Survivometer, calendar, boxscores, and contestant pages, so if you want to complain about those, do so in the comments, or on twitter: @truedorktimes