Survivor: Cagayan - Episode 5
We Found Our Zombies
By Jim Van Nest, Survivor Analyst
March 29, 2014

You're gonna miss me when I'm gone.

Hello, good people, and welcome to fight night here on Survivor: Cagayan! All signs are pointing to an amazing showdown between Solana's dread-locked tattoo queen Lindsay and tough as nails yoga master Trish. These two have been on a collision course since day one and after Trish organized tribe favorite Cliff Robinson's ouster last week, this feud seems to be coming to a head.

I get ahead of myself, though. To catch up from last week: Beauty, Brains and Brawn are no more as the three tribes dissolved into two equal tribes of seven. The chief beneficiaries of this split were the former Brains tribe as their decimated ranks were lucky enough to stick together giving them a near-majority on the new Aparri tribe. With former Beauty members Jeremiah, Alexis and Morgan falling all over themselves to get in good with the Brains, Spencer, Tasha and Kass seem to be in the drivers' seat right now and have been given new life in this game. Over at the new Solana tribe, LJ and Jefra found themselves on the wrong side of the numbers against five former Brawn members. The problem is that the Brawn alliance of Cliff, Woo and Lindsay kinda forgot how important it is to have the bottom of their alliance not feel like the bottom of the alliance. All it took was one look at LJ's sweet abs and Trish flipped to the Beauty side. Tony had been chomping at the bit to dump Uncle Cliffie from the get-go, so when he was presented with the numbers to pull it off, he jumped at the chance. The end result was that Cliff was sent home, leaving Woo and Lindsay in a bad place. Oh yeah, and the new power alliance in the Solana tribe has two hidden idols between them.

With all of that in mind, the previews suggest that Lindsay reaches the breaking point and it would seem that all of her fury is getting ready to be unleashed on the person she feels is responsible - Trish. With the suggestion from J'Tia that things would be crazier than her rice dump and Jeff Probst suggesting that this week will be a Survivor first, I'm very concerned that things may turn physical. I hope I'm wrong on that one, because no one really wants to see that. But after 28 seasons, coming up with a "Survivor First" is pretty hard to do, you know? Ok, enough of my blathering...let's get to tonight's episode.

As expected, we begin the show at the Solana camp as they return from Tribal Council. And Trish wastes no time getting to work. She wants to explain something to the tribe, though I'm not sure exactly what that could be. The Tribal was pretty self-explanatory. Lindsay really doesn't want to hear her. Her game was totally screwed with the Cliff vote and the last thing she wants to see is someone gloating in the end zone. But that doesn't stop Trish. She "makes things clear" for Lindsay by telling her she has no alliances and that she doesn't like her. Lindsay then makes it clear that she doesn't like Trish. Not one little bit. Lindsay finally asks Trish to just leave her alone and not talk to her for a while. But of course, that's not gonna happen. As any bully can see, Trish has Lindsay on the ropes so now is the time to go in for the kill.

Trish starts putting words in Lindsay's mouth as she says, "So you're saying you're not part of the team."

"No, I'm saying I'm not part of YOUR team," Lindsay replies.

Tony finally comes in and tried to break it up saying that everyone knows how they feel so they need to make the best of it. Again, that doesn't stop Trish. Next she tells Lindsay how sorry she is that Cliff is gone - just rubbing more salt into that wound. Seriously, even Richard Sherman is out there somewhere thinking that Trish needs to show some class. Isn't it enough that you won the battle? You got rid of Cliff. The vote went your way and you have the upper hand now. Isn't that enough? Do you need to come back and rub the losers' faces in it? As a 50-year-old woman, you'd think she'd be able to muster some class, hand the ball to the ref and get back in the huddle. But that just isn't how she is. She wants to stand over the grave and laugh.

Lindsay tells us in confessional that she has to get away. She's not sure what she's going to do, but she cannot be around Trish. Lindsay won't put up being talked to like that and she has some figuring out to do. At camp, Tony mentions to everyone that he's worried about Lindsay because she just disappeared and it's getting late and cold. Trish, ever the diplomat, chimes in that she's just not used to being called out like that. Somewhere on the island, we get our first Probst sighting of the night. He comes to Lindsay to find out what's going on. Lindsay tells him that she cannot have someone antagonizing her as Trish has been. She's worried she'll "flip out on her." She would rather lose the million dollars than have her daughter see her the way she's close to getting. She tells him she cannot take it anymore and she has to go. Jeff tells her that it's a first to have someone quit because they're worried about what they might do. (Okay, technically, I guess so...but that's a weak "Survivor first", Jeff. This is nothing more than a quit.) So, Jeff gives her the option to come back to camp to tell the tribe and she turns it down. She wants out now

Okay, if I may (and it's my column, so I most definitely may), I have to stop the recap for a minute and throw in an editorial. First off, a quit is a quit is a quit. I have no tolerance for a quitter in Survivor. I think it's the coward's way out and it really pisses me off. People have been trying for 14 years to get on this show and never even get an interview. People have sent in over 20 tapes of themselves trying desperately to get on this show only to never be noticed. To be one of about 400 people to be given this opportunity and throw it away because someone said mean things to you...I cannot stand that and I cannot respect it. I have no words for how disappointed I am in Lindsay. To her credit, she acknowledges that she's cold, tired and hungry and that could be affecting her. But NOT to her credit, she still made a rash decision in the heat of the moment without taking time to even think about the consequences of her choice. And for that, I lose respect.

All that being said, shame on Trish. Shame on her for feeling so awesome about herself and what she did that she needed to come back to camp and shove her victory in the face of one of the vanquished. Any athlete would tell you there's no place for that in sports. Any Survivor would tell you there's no place for that in the game. And any person would tell you there's no place for that in life. She came back to camp and hammered on a broken spirit mere moments after breaking it. Cliff's body wasn't even cold before Trish had to rub Lindsay's face in it. That is classic bully behavior and absolutely disgusts me. Preying on someone in a weakened state is actually worse than Lindsay's quitting. And the worst part of it is that now I'm stuck watching and listening to Trish for who knows how many more episodes. It was a despicable display from someone who, at 48-years-old, should frickin' well know better. Seriously, she needs to go. Like yesterday.

Okay, apologies, kids. But when I feel as strongly about something as I did this situation, I need to get it all out of my system. Where was I? Oh yeah, Jeff now has to go back to Solana and tell them that Lindsay has left the island. So Jeff comes into camp to give them the official word that Lindsay is out and just when I thought Trish had done enough, she tells Jeff that Lindsay got nasty in camp and she's not surprised that she quit, because she can't live without Cliff (*sigh*). Tony then tells us it was just as he expected. You cut off the head and the body follows. And he's excited that the body just took herself out of the game.

LJ and even Woo tell Jeff it's now like they can gel and get back to the game. In LJ's case, I get it. He was dead man walking last week and now he's in the driver's seat again. Woo, on the other hand, just lost his main man Cliff and his other alliance-mate, Lindsay. Maybe he's just trying to play up the fact that he's "one of them" to the rest of the tribe. He tells us that with his alliance gone, he is definitely worried that he's next. Um...duh!

Anyway, one more small editorial: Um, Trish and Tony? Dumbasses? You're applauding and excited that Cliff AND Lindsay are now gone. That's a huge win for you and you love gloating about it. Did either of you stop to think that you are now two people down to the other tribe? Did either of you think that you just depleted your Brawn tribe to the point that if Beauty gets together again, you're history? Did either of you stop to think that, at this point, this is still a team game and you just severely weakened your team? In any kind of physical challenge, what girl can possibly stand up to Tasha or Sarah now? You, Trish? Jefra? Not a chance. While nothing is decided, obviously, you majorly weakened your tribe today. And if Aparri were to go on an Immunity run, you're all toast. So, go ahead and celebrate. I can't wait for you to toast each other about how awesome you are while dining at Ponderosa.

We come back from the opening credits (yes, that's right...I typed 1,700+ words before the opening credits of this week's show) to another Probst Sighting! This one is more typical and is for the Reward Challenge. Aparri gets a look at the new Solana tribe and is absolutely giddy and what they see. Oddly enough, Solana also seems to be absolutely giddy. One of these tribes is right, the other is Solana. What's so funny right here is that everyone is laughing, especially Trish. The problem is that Trish doesn't realize what the joke is. Jeff asks Alexis why she's so happy. She's happy that her Beauty members are both still in the game. Spencer's happy because two people just left the other tribe and he didn't have to do anything. See, the Aparri tribe gets it. In a game that relies heavily on numbers, they were just given the gift of a two-person advantage.

Today's reward challenge is a simple one-on-one challenge. Each person will hold an idol on a little platform. It's real simple: knock the other person's idol to the ground before they get yours. First tribe to four wins and gets to send two people back to the other tribe's camp to raid the camp. Aparri has to sit two people out, they choose Alexis and Kass. Round One: Spencer vs. Woo. The brainy dude versus the black belt. Hmmm, wonder who'll win this one? After a couple minutes of sizing each other up, Spencer just heaves his idol in the air and lunges at Woo, knocking Woo's idol to the ground before his own lands. One point Aparri. Round Two is Tasha vs. Trish. After a few seconds, Tasha tries the same move but doesn't get her idol up high enough and it hits ground before Trish's does. We're tied at one.

Next round is Sarah vs. Jefra. And right here is where Lindsay would come in really handy. After only a couple seconds, Sarah just overtakes Jefra and wins the point for Aparri. Round Four is a heavyweight battle between Jeremiah and LJ. They size each other up for a minute and the Jeremiah quickly loses control of his idol. After an impressive juggling act, the idol finally hits the beach and we're tied again at two apiece. Round Five is Morgan vs. Tony. Before they even start, LJ warns Tony not to look in her eyes. (What the hell, man. Is she Medusa or something?) I have to admit though that I was thinking that all she'd have to do to win this is take her top off. Tony would be toast. She doesn't do that, however, and quickly loses, making Spencer the last hope for Aparri in a rematch with Woo.

I really thought Spencer would try the same strategy that won him Round One, but he doesn't. After a pretty long staring contest, Woo finally makes a move and knocks Spencer's idol to the ground. Solana wins reward. They choose Woo and Tony to go back to the Aparri camp. Jeff gives them a note to read after they get to Aparri's camp. Everyone heads back to camp and we'll take a break.

We come back from the commercials to the Aparri Tribe (and Tony and Woo) returning to camp. Tasha is devastated. She just left a camp that had nothing and it looks like her camp is getting ready to have nothing again. Tony and Woo go off to read their note. The note tells them they can take two of the following: the comfort items, the tarp and rope or the fishing kit. They decide on the comfort and the fishing kit. Also included in there is a hidden idol clue. After reading it a few times, they realize the clue is not for an idol at Aparri beach, but for the idol at Solana beach. I could be wrong, but it sounds like the clue to LJ's idol. So, good luck with your clue, guys. You'll be searching for an idol that has been gone for a lot of days.

In a crazy twist, Tony comes up with a really smart idea. I've busted his balls for playing too hard too fast and essentially compared him to a little mini-Hantz. But credit where credit is due, this is good. He decides they'll take this clue and give it to someone on the Aparri tribe. He wants to tell them that the second part of the note said they had to pick someone to give the clue to. He feels that Jeremiah is the strongest member of their tribe, so he wants to paint a giant target on his back by giving him an idol clue. Spur of the moment, that's a really good play...if they can make it believable.

They come back up to the camp to break the news to Aparri. Tony tells them they're taking the comfort and the fishing gear. He also says that they have a hidden idol clue (which is all rolled up and tied nice and neat as if never touched) and they had to choose one person to give it to. He says they choose Jeremiah. In another smart move, instead of just handing the clue to Jeremiah to do with as he sees fit, Tony sends Woo to get the stuff while he takes Jeremiah aside to give him the clue. If he just hands it over, Jeremiah could throw it in the fire and the plan would have been wasted. Right off the bat, Tasha is not happy with this. She sees it as sign that Tony and Woo might want to work with Jeremiah. So, the plan is working just the way Tony drew it up. Jeremiah reads the clue and tells us right away that it's the same exact clue he had over at the Beauty camp. So he knows that he just got screwed, but he also knows that there's no way his tribe will believe him and he could be the next to go because of it.

As they head out of camp, it dawns on Tony that he needs to get rid of that clue. If Jeremiah shows it to everyone, the plan will be blown as they'll all know it's not for their camp, so he runs back up to camp. We don't see anything that happens there because it's time to check in on Solana. I'm not sure who did it, though I have an idea... Someone has written "Shame on you, Lindsie" in real big letters in the sand.

Tony and Woo come back to camp with their loot. The rest of the tribe is bummed that they didn't come back with rice. Like that's what the Brains need, to lose their rice...again! They are excited by all the comfort items and spices, though. Tony just can't WAIT to tell them about his trick on Jeremiah. Don't get me wrong, it was a good plan...but dude, act like you've been there before. So he lines it out and the tribe is pretty stoked to hear about the target on Jeremiah's back. Jefra tells us that Tony is going all out to win this thing and she's just glad he's on her side. After the Jeremiah story, Tony decides to come clean about being a cop. He tells them this to show he can be trusted. LJ summed it up best, "So to solidify that he is trustworthy, Tony exposed that he lied. Different." LJ tells us that he didn't peg Tony for being very smart, but he's showing him a little something now and he feels like he has to be on his toes where Tony is concerned. Jefra is just excited as she can be to have this sweet new tribal alliance of five. Tony is also very excited about this new tribe and he lets them all know that starting right now, he can be trusted by all of them. And with that kind of pitch, who could possibly question him. Am I right?

Back over at Aparri, the aftermath of clue-gate is taking shape. Alexis is very paranoid about Jeremiah having an idol clue. She feels Jeremiah is untrustworthy, so she's very worried. She goes to Spencer and tells him of her concern. Spencer tells us that her speech sounded rehearsed and that Alexis is smarter than she lets on. To him, he feels this makes her questionable. He thinks she should own how smart she is and since she doesn't, he feels like she's trying to play him. The next scene we see is Jeremiah talking with Spencer and Alexis. Jeremiah does his best here to deflect this clue thing by actually using logic and a little something we like to call "the truth." He asks them why they would get an idol clue after losing a challenge. He says it makes no sense and he's right.

Alexis isn't buying it. She asks him whether or not the clue was an idol clue. He tells her that it's the exact same clue they got at the Beauty camp and that's it not for them. He tells us that Tony called him out, gave him a clue, took it back and left a big mess for him. Alexis is still not buying it. Hey Spence...maybe she's not as smart as you think. What do you think? Aw, hell, he doesn't buy it either. He says it was rolled and wrapped and looked like a new clue. He has now jumped on the anti-Jeremiah bandwagon. Egads, man...look at it logically. You're the genius, what sense DOES it make to give the losing team a clue? Trust me, the Survivor people aren't smart enough to have foreseen this type of scenario. They would not have planned this.

Uh oh...we come back from break to a Probst Sighting! The setup of this challenge is huge, like a massive obstacle course. Jeff tells us today's challenge involves building a staircase. They'll go through a bamboo maze, go down a slide, and work a rope maze to get a machete. The machete will release some puzzle pieces. Once solved, the puzzle will give them three numbers to unlock a lock to release the tribe flag. Good lord, this is huge. Aparri is sitting out Morgan and Tasha. And we're off...

The rain-soaked course is claiming victims right and left. With people sinking in the mud, LJ goes down hard. Aparri gets their staircase built first and Solana is falling behind. Solana catches up on the maze and Woo actually gets through it before Sarah. The teams are neck and neck at this point. Tony and Jeremiah work the rope maze to get the key to unlock the machete. Jeremiah is first to get the machete, but Tony isn't far behind. Sarah and Spencer begin work on the big puzzle while Tony slows down Solana a lot. Woo and LJ finally get to start working on the puzzle for Solana while puzzle beast Sarah gets to work for Aparri. On the second number of the puzzle, Solana goes a different direction than Aparri and it turns out they were right and Sarah was wrong and Solana wins immunity! Aparri to Tribal Council tonight. This really shouldn't come as a surprise with as much time as was spent with Jeremiah and the fake clue. You had to know Aparri was in trouble. Also, as the challenge ends, Tony is all about how his tribe will be the final five. That comes as a surprise to his Cops R Us alliance mate, Sarah. Apparently, she's not included in Tony's final five, so it might be time for her to move on to another alliance.

We come back from break to an exciting game of "It's anyone but Jeremiah." As Aparri comes back to camp, Alexis is totally bummed about having to go to Tribal. The first topic of conversation was Tony mouthing off about Final Five and all that nonsense - especially when, even after this vote, the other tribe still has numbers. Alexis, proving why she wasn't on the Brains tribe, deduces that Tony must think he has Jeremiah as his sixth and that's why he's so confident. It has nothing to do with Tony desperately needing to get over himself and thinking he's the master manipulator running the entire game. Nope. It's all 'cause Jeremiah's gonna flip (*eyeroll*).

So, off goes Alexis to start rounding up support to dump Jeremiah. Down at the water, she tries to convince everyone that Jeremiah will flip on the tribe. Sarah is all about it...but bottom line, as long as it's not Sarah, she'd go with anything at this point. Morgan is suspiciously quiet through the whole thing, leading me to believe she's not necessarily on board. The Brains, well...they have some thinking to do. Spencer hasn't really trusted Alexis since the tribal switch. He tells us that the Brains can go either way. He's trying to figure out whether Jeremiah or Alexis are the bigger liability. He says they'll agree with Alexis' plan to vote Jeremiah as the best option for them. Then the Brains will convene and determine what is REALLY the best option for them.

Naturally, the next clip we see is the three Brains talking this out. Tasha thinks they need to make this vote with the intention of planning for the merge. The others agree. Kass tells us that it's remarkable that the Brains are now in control of their tribe. But that's what happens when you have a tight voting block that will not waver. She says the Brains just needed a body and they found their zombies (ah...there's where the episode title comes from). Anyway, if Kass were even remotely personable, that might have been funny. As it is, it's one of those comments that make me cringe. The Survivor Gods are fickle bitches and their justice is swift and final. Start getting cocky (Tony, Kass) and they'll remind you who's really in charge here.

We get to Tribal and the first thing that happens is that Sarah has to grab a torch. Whoa, I totally forgot that 16 days into the game, Sarah has never been to Tribal Council. Jeff starts with Kass suggesting that from the outside, it looks like there are three Brains and three Beauties, with Sarah in the middle. Kass agrees with him. He asks Morgan if the Beauty tribe is tight. She says that she and Jeremiah had a rocky patch there for a bit. Jeremiah fesses up to lying to Morgan on the Brice vote and agrees that it's affected their relationship, but that he's backed away from her to give her some space. Back to Kass. Jeff asks her if this rift between Jeremiah and Morgan means anything to the Brains. She says that it definitely does and that while all the turmoil her tribe experienced brought her tribe together, the life the Beauty tribe experienced actually started to tear them apart. Jeff asks Spencer if he agrees with that assessment. He says that he does, but that most important right now is to fix those fractures and come together as a unified tribe. Okay, I am REALLY liking Spencer...but more on him later. Back to the Tribal action.

Jeff mentions that moving forward unified is huge, especially when you don't know what's going on with the other tribe. Sarah pipes up that listening to Tony talk about the Final Five and looking over and seeing no Sarah involved in that number, she now knows she needs to go ahead and be done with them and focus on her new tribe. Alexis says that it's good to hear, but she's still concerned about the reconnecting once the tribes merge. Alexis is WAY more concerned about someone flipping after the merge than she is about working on the relationships necessary to actually STOP someone from flipping.

Jeff asks Tasha who's in trouble tonight. She says that if Beauty is that fractured, they're the ones in trouble. Next up is Alexis talking about the tribe raid. She jumps right into Tony and Woo pulling Jeremiah aside to give him the "idol clue." Jeremiah says that they gave him a hidden clue and that it's put a huge target on his back. He says he saw right through that and he hopes the rest of the tribe trusts him. Jeff asks Alexis if tonight's vote is about trust. And if we weren't sure how easily manipulated Alexis is, her answer here should solidify it. She actually says that she's not sure that Jeremiah understands what the goal of the "clue" was. She says that he thinks it is a way to target him for a vote...which it most definitely 100% absolutely is. But SHE knows that it was a way to let him know they want to work with him. Which is most definitely 100% absolutely the complete wrong assessment of the situation. As Alexis speaks, Morgan interrupts by saying that she thinks either Jeremiah or Alexis could flip to the other tribe. In the background, Jeremiah shakes his head while Alexis just sits stone faced. Tasha says that this discussion is very telling and just when she thinks she knows who the flipper would be, the other one steps up and seems to be the one.

Sarah gets to speak again and tells Jeff that she's okay with whatever is going on as long as she's not getting the vote. She says she is 100% with this new tribe, but that she feels confident that one of the people will flip. Now, Alexis starts nodding, which of course, gets Jeff's attention.

She says that she, Sarah and Jeremiah are the only ones with ties to the other tribe, but only two of them have not broken their word. Jeff asks Spencer how important this vote is. He says it's very important. If they make the wrong decision here, they're "Eleventh, tenth, ninth, eighth and seventh place". It's the most important decision of the game for them, at this point. And with that, it is time to vote.

The first vote we see is Alexis voting for Jeremiah saying it only takes one lie to lose her trust and that he's lied "like 100 times" - except for the whole "that clue was the exact same clue we had over at the other camp" thing. We see Jeremiah voting for Alexis saying, "You're the one that's gonna flip." And then we hear Morgan's comments, but don't see her vote. She says, "There's no doubt in my mind that you're gonna flip. So you have to go." Jeff will go tally the votes.

First vote is Alexis' vote for Jeremiah. And every other vote is for Alexis. While Jeremiah breathes a sigh of relief and Morgan flashes an evil grin, the tears well up in Alexis' eyes as she takes the walk of shame. Before I get to the previews, I have to talk Spencer here. I went back and looked at my season preview where I said Spencer was a likely early boot because he was too cocky and might even have issues with being on a tribe with hot girls. Wow, was I wrong! Spencer is playing the best game of the season right now. He's been a surprise in challenges, showing he will be a force when this game gets individual. And he's shown that he understands the game of Survivor and the strategy needed to win.

His move with Alexis this week is the perfect example of what I'm talking about. He tells her exactly what she wants to hear. They are unified in their quest to vote out Jeremiah. Then he gathers his tribe and they make their REAL decision without ever addressing it with Alexis again. As Garrett found out early in the season, telling someone they're going home only leads to scrambling and crazy results. The key to success is to keep your friends close, your enemies closer and never give anyone a reason to work against you. In faux-aligning with Alexis this week, he stopped any kind of potential backlash from her and was able to send her packing with a unanimous vote. Sure, it took several moving parts for this to happen and someone else COULD be running the show. But everything sign I've seen points to Spencer as completely rocking this game right now. time on...Survivor: Two words - The. Merge. Looks like the Solana tribe is moving to Aparri beach and the two power alliances will square off with Sarah stuck firmly in the middle. She is shown saying that she will determine the end of this game. That's usually when the swing vote is about to get dumped. For her sake, I hope not. Until next week, take care!