After being blindsided last week with the removal of her island boyfriend, Coach, Jerri feels the pinch back at camp and starts to panic. Fearing that she’ll be heading home next, she pleads her case with Danielle and Russell who both assure her that she will not be the next to go.
For the reward challenge, the tribes are competing in the individual endurance challenge from Survivor: Tocantins, but with a team twist. The tribes will be paired against each other and you only have to out last your immediate opponent. First tribe to three wins.
The tribes were told to rank their team members in order from strongest to weakest to set up the challenge and Russell opts to sit out because as the heaviest remaining Villain, by far, Russell figures he’ll have the hardest time with the challenge. His rationale proves correct as three Heroes drop out before a single Villain has to withdraw and the Villains win the reward challenge easily.
Prior to the reward challenge, the Heroes noted that Coach was voted off the previous evening and their confidence that a woman’s alliance is ruling the Villains tribe only grows stronger. After the reward challenge, JT hatches a plan to give the immunity idol to Russell at the next immunity challenge so that he can save himself with the idol should the Villains lose. While Amanda remains skeptical of the play, JT figures it sets the Heroes up for the finals because Russell will surely flip to their side at the assumed merge at ten players.
While JT is hatching his master plan to save Russell with an immunity idol, Parvati stumbles across one of her own during the reward. While sitting down to their feast, she discovers a clue to another hidden immunity idol within her napkin. She is able to hide the clue without anyone seeing that she found it and later reveals its presence to Danielle in an effort to build trust with her female alliance member. Later that day, back at camp, the pair is able to find the idol without Russell finding out, something that each feels is important at this point in the game.
The immunity challenge is the first new challenge of the season and has the tribes start on a platform in the water and move a bag of puzzle pieces through obstacles in the water to the finish back on shore. Once all five bags have been transported to the shore by individual tribe members, the tribes must construct a totem pole-like structure out of the puzzle pieces.
The Heroes get out to a substantial lead, leaving Colby and Russell on the platform alone. Assuming that his team has won, Colby tells Russell the details of the Heroes plan to save him. The Heroes do win easily and JT transfers the idol to Russell, confident that his plan has bought him an ally. Back at the Villains camp, Russell reveals the idol that JT gave him with Parvati and Danielle and the three of them have a laugh over the very explicit note that JT wrote Russell in an effort to save him.
Sandra and Courtney know they are on the outside looking in heading into tribal council and Courtney tries to scramble to get the tribe to keep her over Sandra. While she’s able to give Parvati some pause regarding getting rid of her, ultimately the tribe sticks with Sandra and Courtney is sent home.