Episode Five: The Ocean's Surprise
By Dan Krovich
We open on Chuay Gahn as they return from tribal council after chew-ay Ghandia up and spitting her out. Clay is upset that Jan voted for him because he can't figure out why she would do that (Maybe it's because he's condescending, lazy, willing to lay blame, not willing to take responsibility, and generally annoying). Regardless, Jan seems like she will be the next Chuay Gahn tribe member to get the ax. Jan has a sneaking suspicion that Helen had changed her vote to Ghandia at the last minute, which proves that Jan can count to three.
It wouldn't be Survivor without some PETA baiting, so today is the day that Sook Jai decides to turn their chicken into breakfast. So, early in the morning, Jake chokes his chicken...and then he and Stephanie go get one of the poultry from the coop and break its neck. They boil the chicken, and the tribe has a feast, but Robb is concerned with Shii Ann's table etiquette. Apparently she's eating stuff like the lungs and intestines and neck and eating with her fingers. Because when you're on an island without much food, that's the time to be picky.
The food situation at Chuay Gahn continues to deteriorate. Clay does his normal thorough food-gathering job and returns with one crab that I can only assume crawled up and jumped into the pot itself. Ted and Brian have no better luck fishing with their random floating around with the net hanging over the side of the boat, but they do solidify their alliance. Of course, the way Chuay Gahn's numbers are dwindling, it will likely be useless. When they bring in the boat we get a close-up of Ted tenuously tying the boat to a stick. It's called foreshadowing.
Back at Sook Jai, after their meal, the tribe decides to go for a swim. I hope they waited 30 minutes. Da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, Robb is walking in the surf, da-dum, da-dum, da-dum, suddenly something attacks Robb, and he screams in agony and collapses under a wave. He is apparently in real pain and possible jeopardy. The rest of the tribe reacts with indifference. It's not until he makes his way to the beach that they decide to see what's the matter. Robb was apparently bit or stung by something, but thankfully no one has to urinate on him, as they go with a treatment of boiling his foot. Upon closer inspection, although he is bleeding, he seems to be carrying on way more than necessary. I can only imagine how much he yelled when he got all those piercings.
Apparently someone over at Chuay Gahn is injured, too, because there's some sort of yelping going on. Oh wait, they're singing again, Christmas carols this time. Meanwhile, the tribe's boat has come loose from its mooring, and of course there's a cameraman conveniently there to catch it on video. Now you don't suppose that he may have "accidentally" kicked it loose, do you? I wonder if it's the same cameraman who filmed Sook Jai's lost net. The next morning Chuay Gahn awakes to find the boat missing. No one actually says, "Dude, where's my boat?", but you know that's only because Robb's not there.
The tree mail comes, complete with $1,000, and Jan seems overly excited about that, considering that currency is probably the last thing you would need on a deserted island. Anyway, Granny Moses does a jig to celebrate. It's obvious that the reward challenge is going to be an auction, so maybe Chuay Gahn will be able to buy a new boat. Before the auction, however, there is a twist: Jeff offers the contestants the opportunity to switch tribes.
From a strategy standpoint, both Jan and Stephanie have admitted that they know they are the next ones gone from their respective tribes, so it would be smart for them to switch, even if only as a move of desperation. No one takes the offer, so they move on to the auction, during which nothing of interest happens. They bid on food and they eat it, though there is a suspicious lack of blatant product placement.
Sook Jai eats some bananas and Chuay Gahn gets some water, but basically they move quickly on to the immunity challenge. The challenge involves sorting four kinds of fish - baramundi, travoli, silver fish, and squid - which is all fine, except that squid are not actually fish. Anyway, Chuay Gahn wins immunity, so Sook Jai will be heading to tribal council.
As usual, they try to generate some suspense about the vote and set it up as a choice between Shii Ann and Stephanie. During the tribal council interview, Robb finds a Butthead to his Beavis in Jeff. Come on, bro; that is a fact, Jack. Jeff also gives Stephanie, who is most likely going home, a chance to save herself, but she instead digs the hole even deeper by condescendingly suggesting that she carried the tribe on her back early, but now the rest are doing okay. Finally, Jeff asks Shii Ann if she seriously considered taking the offer to switch tribes, and she says no, because she really likes this tribe. -REWIND: Jeff: "Does anyone hear want to change tribes?" Shii Ann: "I hate this tribe." -Ultimately, by a vote of five to two (the same five that voted Jed out), Stephanie is voted out. Robb votes for Shii Ann because she gets on his nerves and he doesn't like being around her, but it's nothing personal. Uh, that's kind of the definition of personal.
With one more elimination to go, Sook Jai holds a six-person to five-person advantage, and though Chuay Gahn is supposedly the happy-go-lucky, "one big happy family" tribe, it seems like the group of five in Sook Jai (everyone but Robb) has the more solid strategic alliance set up. They seem to be in good shape to be the final five, barring some possible tiebreak loss in the first vote of the combined tribe.