What is this! The Lord’s best shepherd has had enough? We start at Redemption Island, where Matt is praying aloud, telling God he’s had it. Rather appropriately for the Wednesday before Good Friday, he’s saying, “you know how much I want out of this game, but if you want me to stay in it, I will. I will fight …  I need you to protect my heart, Lord. I need you to protect my mind.” I think he means, “take this cup away from me,” but then, I went to a convent.

At any rate, his mind is apparently blown now that he has two companions on RI, Mike and David. They are wondering what the heck is up with the duel. Can you have a duel with three people? No, says David the lawyer, that would be a trial – or a ‘truel.’

On Murlonia, Ralph, Julie and Steve are enjoying a quiet fish breakfast. Steve’s woken up in a better mood, maybe from eating those hamburgers last week. So he’s philosophic about Philip sitting nearby, reattaching his feather and muttering incantations. (Is Philip channeling Coach Dragonslayer?) Rob and his interchangeable hotties rise slowly, looking like a hippie commune.    

Philip keeps getting weirder. He’s gone off to meditate, and tells us that his relationship with Rob has gone full circle – it’s now the Circle of Trust. But he’s a hungry man, so watching the ex-Zaps chow down on a bucket of rice is driving him crazier. He saw Julie scooping 7 ½ measures of rice … that’s just not right! He plans on stealing some of their rice because, after all, all rice here belongs to all of them. (Even if Rob’s crew won’t share.) Rob dubs Philip the “Rice Police.”

Julie and Steve find treemail summoning everyone to RI for the upcoming battle. Well, it’s more fun than hanging around Murlonia! At the arena, Jeff just has to poke Matt in the sore spot, asking him where he’s at, emotionally. Matt says he never knew that strangers could hurt him so deeply.

The challenge is to build a sort of house of cards, from 150 tiles. The first two to build a house 8 feet high win – well, they get to stay on RI – and the loser goes to the jury. Like that old joke: first prize, a week on Redemption Island. Second price TWO weeks on Redemption Island!

Matt and Mike get their shaky houses to eight feet, but David is too slow, so he’ll be the first member of the jury. Rob can’t believe that Matt’s still in the game – if Matt keeps on winning, it’s over for Rob. Well, Rob, when you take on the Lord’s best buddy …

Rob and Grant groove it up with a little song they call “Rice Wars.” They’re gonna eat up all that ill-gotten rice, so that they will be stronger than their opponents. But Andrea discovers that their rice container is contaminated with maggots. She and Philip sort the good from the bad by dumping all their rice on a blanket. Now what to do? Reasonable Rob says they should just pool the rice into the Ex-Zaps container, but Philip thinks they won’t go for it. Sure enough, Julie and Steve gloat at the dilemma, and refuse. Ever heard of karma, Phil?

Philip must have a very short memory. HE stole the rice from the others, and now waxes philosophic over how bad Steve and Julie are behaving? Pot, meet kettle. He confronts Steve, saying that he is not being logical, it’s not a Zapatera decision, it’s OUR rice. Steve lays the decision off on Ralph, who’s conveniently absent, and says the ex-Oms should have thought about it before dumping out their rice. Philip’s getting his feather in a twist now, and says that the first chance he gets, he’ll take the Zaps tin and hide it somewhere. In other words, he’ll STEAL their rice. Are you hearing yourself, Philip? He then says that, like it or not, their rice is going in that can. Steve calls Philip a lunatic, which seems to please Philip, because he first takes the name as a compliment.

Then, Philip goes batty. Suddenly, the ‘lunatic’ name is not a compliment – it’s all about what happens the first time someone of his ‘color’ gets all up in their faces. Rob and Grant, listening nearby, can’t believe that Philip just played the race card. Even Andrea can’t believe her ears. Steve also questions how this became a black and white issue, but Philip assures him, he is the “Chief of Counter Intelligence.” Any kind of intelligence would work, right about now.  “Wing Chung Kung Fu expert here,” says Philip, as he walks away. Ooh, scary! Still seething, Philip tells us that, like a lot of black men, he’s prepared to self-destruct at any moment. Surely that’s not a good thing, Philip?

Steve tries to explain to Ralph exactly what happened, saying that Philip tried to make the argument into a racial incident. Philip pushes his point, saying he’s a federal agent. Steve salutes, while Julie just says, ‘whatever.’ When Ralph tries to calm Philip down, reminding him it’s a game, Philip himself uses the ‘N’ word. Philip just won’t let it go. Steve says it’s not a chip on Philip’s shoulder, it’s a log. Later, Steve tells Julie and Ralph they’ll be voting for Philip at the next council.

Steve and Julie wonder how such an unstable person could have lasted in any kind of agent or investigation position. Julie wonders if Philip was ‘discarded.’

Rob’s loving how Philip escalated the situation, making a war about white rice racial. He and Grant rehash the moment, with Grant saying he felt very uncomfortable at Philip playing the race card AND using the ‘N’ word. Whooo! At the end of the day, Rob says, Philip will be Public Enemy Number 1. But who will Rob make Public Enemy Number 2?

All that drama, and we haven’t even had the challenge yet! We start with a multi-piece wheel puzzle. First six get to move on to a second puzzle, to complete the wheel. Winner gets immunity. Rob and Steve are pretty much tied, but Rob wins in the end. Steve figures the only shot the ex-Zaps have is if two of the ex-Oms vote for Philip.

Philip’s right – it is war, says Julie. And she steals his swim shorts off the clothes line, burying them in the sand. “Philip’s gonna have to hang out in his cute little underwear from now on.” Nooooo Julie! Not the saggy pink ‘manties!’ My eyes, my eyes! Karma again, Philip. I’m just wondering, though, if Julie’s main objective was to goad Philip into behaving even crazier, so that everyone could see what a loose cannon he really is.

Our ‘Chief Investigator’ blusters and threatens, but the swimsuit stays gone, so he fashions a sort of tribal loin cloth from his buff. Rob yawns. He’s got immunity, and three targets to choose from. “One man should not have this much power … but I’m grateful that I do.”

At Tribal, Jeff immediately notices Philip’s lack of shorts. Philip spits that a former Zap thought it would be funny to steal his clothes. He blames Steve. Before Steve can confirm or deny, Philip gets into the rice incident. However, now he says he confronted Steve about the fact that they were deliberately consuming all the rice. Steve says that, since there’s less of them, they have more to share. Andrea whines about the maggots found in their container. Rather than simply point out that they are now one tribe, and should all be sharing the rice, Jeff shows concern when Steve says that Philip went off on a racial tirade, using the ‘N’ word against himself.

Julie says that it got nasty when Philip started threatening them with martial arts, and Steve called him crazy. Philip bursts out that he’s being called crazy whenever he brings up a rational argument. Jeff asks Philip if, when Steve calls Philip crazy, he’s actually saying the ‘N’ word. Philip cites Richard Pryor’s comedy album “That N***** Is Crazy,” and points out that Jeff can no more understand being an African-American man than what it’s like to be a woman. Clearly emotional, Philip talks about being the only African-American when he worked with 67 other men in the government. He can’t put it into words, but he knows prejudice when he sees it. Jeff asks why Philip assumes Steve means ‘N’ when he says crazy, and Philip goes into a long story about his father being called ‘boy.’ Steve interrupts to say that he played 13 years in the NFL, 7 of those years on the Raiders, which was only 1/5th white, and there’s no black and white line in his heart.

Jeff paraphrases the whole argument, with the end thought being that Philip took Steve’s comments a certain way, based on his own experiences, and those of people before him. Nicely defused, Jeff!

Jeff next asks Rob how the conflict will impact on the game. Rob dithers, calling both Philip and Steve grown men, but admits it will have some impact. Natalie says she feels for both Philip and Steve. Last question: Shorts. Where are they? Who took them? (Obviously, even Jeff can’t handle Philip’s saggy pink ‘manties.) Julie gleefully waves her hand in the air, proudly admitting she took the shorts, and nobody will ever find them. Way to take the fun out of Philip suspecting everyone else, Julie. And you have to know that Rob’s team will have to take revenge on anyone evil enough to make them look at the ‘manties!’

Jeff concludes their therapy session by asking Steve how he thinks the incident will impact voting. He says he’s hoping that a few ex-Oms are as tired of Philip as the ex-Zaps are. When Philip is asked if he feels that being voted out tonight would be racially based, he says that he’d consider the decision ‘the tribe has spoken.’

Julie is voted out, five to three. As she picks up her torch, she says to Philip, “guess you’re not gonna ever find your shorts.” Jeff reminds everyone that everything they say or do will have a direct impact on winning the million dollar prize.

Next week, on Survivor: Philip has his greatest day yet. Andrea may have an early departure, and Matt plumbs the darkest depths of his soul.