Kalabaw, now minus Katie, regroup back at camp. Jonathan Penner notes that Denise has been at every Tribal Council this season, and says she needs a break. Jonathan was surprised that Katie wrote his name down at TC, but understands that it’s a warning that he needs to keep his eyes wide open at all times.

At Tandang, Mike Skupin mentions that it’s the anniversary of the day he fell in the fire, 24 series before, when he last played Survivor. His current tribe thinks it’s a miracle he’s made it this far in this series.

Off in the distance, a boat appears, and the Tandang members are first to find out that the tribes are merging.  They are given ten minutes to collect whatever they need from their current camp, and everyone scrambles madly to get their possessions together. Especially Malcolm, as he has to retrieve the Hidden Immunity Idol he’s hidden in the bush.

Kalabaw gets the same message, and are overjoyed. Their little tribe of 4 is no match for the larger tribe of 7. Penner hopes that the merge will allow them to swing a few people on to their side.

Everyone’s cheerful, with renewed energy, as they converge on their new beachfront home.  Jeff Kent, however, has developed a real itch to get rid of Jonathan Penner. Jeff believes that no returning player should win at Survivor, and he’s making it a priority to ensure it won’t happen.

The two tribes merge over a feast of grapes, salami, bread and cheese, and wine, introducing themselves. Some, like Jeff Kent, can’t tell the truth about their background, so they make up a new life on the spot.

Skupin is giddy – this is the first merge he’s been part of. But he sees that the ‘power group in his tribe are pretty quiet at the feast, and decides he’s a free agent from now on, willing to work with whomever he feels trustworthy. Lisa, RC and Abi wonder if Denise will come over to the women’s side.

The men drag out bamboo poles to build a new shelter. With the sun shining, Lisa decides to spread out everyone’s clothing for drying. She finds the Hidden Immunity Idol in Malcolm’s bag. In the bush, Malcolm and Denise spot Lisa hanging out the clothes, and realize that she knows about the Idol. Malcolm rushes to get Lisa alone. She tells him she honestly didn’t mean to find the idol, and apologizes. He reassures her that he trusts her, as she reminds him of his mother, and that she, he and Denise will go to the end together.

Malcolm interviews that he’s glad the “Church Lady” found the idol, but now feels locked into an involuntary alliance with the two people he’s not confident he can beat.  Lisa interviews that she’s not the only actor out there, and she’ll take his promise with a grain of salt.