Last week: With all ex-Zapatera members voted out of Murlonio, only the ex-Ometepes survive. Philip claims to have been acting crazy as a winning strategy. Rob continues to manipulate everyone, and Andrea is sent to Redemption Island.

At Murlonia, Ashley gloats over Andrea’s shock at being blind-sided. “It’s kinda funny to see the reaction,” she says, and then bunny cuddles with her BFF, Natalie. I guess their relationship could only get closer from the days when they clipped each other’s armpit hairs. (Ewww!) And yet Natalie can’t quite get over her reliance on Rob, who now confides that he’s been unsure of Ashley since Day 1.   

Andrea arrives on “the Isle of Redemption,” as Matt calls it, prepared to make nice with the very people she so gleefully blind-sided previously, to find that she’s persona non grata. She tries to explain to Matt why she voted against him, blithering on about Matt’s wishy-washy attitude being his downfall, until he drawls, “well, I’m sorry for ruining your Survivor game,” and tunes her out. “No room, no room,” says  Ralph, “sleep on the ground. Rob was using you like toilet paper. He wiped his a**, now he’s done with you.”  Not quite the welcome Andrea had hoped for.

After a hard day’s night, Matt, Mike, Ralph and Andrea arrive for the ‘fruel’. Andrea tears up as she describes the betrayal she felt on being blind-sided. The game involves running a knife thru a table maze by its handle, then using the knife to break a tile, revealing a bag of puzzle pieces. They then solve the puzzle. Three will stay on RI, one will go on the jury. Ralph takes a strong lead, but blows it on the puzzle, so he’s our next juror. Rob interviews that the Redemption Island twist is making it harder for him to make it to the end. He wants it to be over.

At Murlonia, the bored tribe members talk about the remaining rice. (Apparently they’ve given up on fishing.) Ashley tells everyone they will run out of rice in two days if they eat three times a day. Philip points out that her math is faulty, since they’ll be losing a player every two days until the end. Rob just lays back and blames the rice gobbling ex-Ometepes for the situation.

Philip tries to explain to Natalie and Ashley that it’s imperative that Grant be well-fed, as he’s their dominant player. Women can survive on 1700 calories a day, but men need about 3400 calories. All very logical until Ashley snarks that, oh sure, let me give up my portion for Grant. Ashley escalates the situation, saying, “do not talk to us in that tone of voice. Leave us alone.” Philip’s previously calm attitude goes into overdrive against the high school attitude of the girls. As they claim that he said that they don’t need to eat because they’re girls, Philip, in those pink ‘manties’, admonishes them. “Don’t lie on me! Don’t lie on me!” I’m sure neither girl had the faintest wish to lie on Philip, but he means that they are lying by saying he said they didn’t need the energy. As the argument escalates, the girls defend their more easy relationship with Rob and Grant as being because they are ‘normal.’  

I think you can see where this is going. Philip winds up with a head of steam, and the scrawny girls slink away, self-righteously defending themselves by branding Philip ‘psycho.’ Rob uses the argument as a ruse to get closer to Natalie, saying that Natalie should trust him, but it looks like Ashley has got to go. Ashley determines that the tribe are leaning towards voting against her, so comes up with a plan to get rid of Grant. She tells Rob that Grant might be able to best Matt at RI, thus keeping their little foursome free to win the million. Rob uses Ashley’s plan against her when he tells Grant about Ashley’s plan.

TreeMail! Wrapped around a chopstick, the note tells them they’ll have a bone to pick. Ashley thinks her plan may have turned Rob around, but as soon as Rob and Natalie have time alone, Rob assures Natalie he has her back to the end, but Ashley’s got to go.

The challenge is an odd one. This time, they are playing not only for immunity, but for a food reward. They have to pick up puzzle bags with large fish hooks, then fit the puzzle pieces into a wooden fish skeleton. There are three bags. The twist is that they will have one arm tied behind their back.  It’s actually one of the more inventive challenges of the series. With so much at stake, Ashley busts a move, and wins the game.

She has won not only immunity, but the food reward, which is a three course meal, delivered to them at the camp. She can pick one person to share the bounty. It’s no surprise when she picks Natalie.

Hungry, exhausted, and with their chosen scapegoat out of harm’s way, and about to gorge on food, glorious food, Rob, Grant and Philip try to avoid the look and smell of Ashley’s feast. Rob hopes they choke on it. They might well do, as they shovel pizza, pasta, bruschetta, nachos, and chocolate cake with whipped cream. They eat until they feel sick.

I think Rob truly thinks of himself as the victim, as he weaves the tribe members around his fingers. He apologizes to Grant when he interviews that he didn’t want Grant to go out at this time. But what can the poor, misunderstood Rob do? He’s Big Daddy, who has to wear the Bad Guy hat, because everyone else is too stupid to do the hard things. My heart bleeds for you, Rob.

One odd thing this week; suddenly everyone is calling Philip ‘Shep.’ Not sure when that change occurred.    

At Tribal Council, there are only four people on the jury. Jeff notes that Rob is vulnerable tonight. Ashley shares that she had a feeling she’d be voted off if she hadn’t won immunity. Philip is very quiet at this tribal. Rob shares that the love of his wife and daughter gets him through the game, while Grant says that his fiancee’s love has been his strength.

Bottom line, Grant gets the boot. He doesn’t know if the deciding vote was cast by Rob or Philip, but, regardless, still seems to be on Rob’s side.

Next time, on the special two hour season finale, to be aired this Sunday, May 15th: everyone has a plan to win it all, but someone will return from Redemption Island to change the game.